BLP candidate and leader out of sync on free tertiary education

Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for St James South Sandra Husbands appears to be out of sync with her political leader on the issue of free tertiary education for Barbadians.

While BLP leader Mia Mottley is promising to reinstate free tuition for Barbadians attending the University of the West Indies (UWI) if her party wins the next general election, Husbands has suggested that any financial support must come with strict conditions.

Speaking sometimes as though she would not be part of the decision-making, the parliamentary hopeful explained that while she was not sure how Mottley intends to reverse the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) 2013 decision, if it were up to her only the areas of study that were critical to national development would be funded by taxpayers.

“We must agree that if 20,000 [students] turn up, we [the country] don’t have the money to do that many. It is my opinion of how I think it can be approached, but Miss Mottley will share exactly how they would go about it. But in my view, for example, you have some areas of study that may not be part of your national development plan. If you find yourself with limited resources you may have to make choices, but how they come up with those choices . . . Miss Mottley would outline how they deal with them when she outlines the plan,” Husbands told Barbados TODAY while insisting that by no means was she speaking for the party.

Her position will be music to the ears of Minister of Education Ronald Jones, who has charged that Mottley was making unrealistic promises in a bid to win the youth vote.

Jones, who was addressing the DLP’s Christ Church branches at Deighton Griffith Secondary School last Sunday, said Mottley’s pledge did not mesh with the country’s economic reality.

It was clear, however, that Husbands was not expressing doubt about the policy, but appeared to suggest instead that the devil would be in the details.

“But all of that is conditioned by the funds and resources which we have,” Husbands stated this morning at her campaign office at Thorpes, St James, during the question and answer session of a press briefing on an upcoming voter education seminar.

The BLP candidate said her suggestion of a streamlined approach to education was not new, explaining that UWI had already been weeding out irrelevant programmes.

“We cannot just let there be inefficiency in the way in which the university operates in relation to the Barbadian student. Miss Mottley will share whatever changes the policy will engage. But one of the things that I am sure will be there is that you have to focus on the areas that are critical to national development.

“That process has already started with the university, who have already engaged the business community because they were finding that students were getting degrees that they could not get work with. They found that there was a mismatch between what the businesses wanted and what UWI was sending out,” she said.

From the BLP platform last Saturday during the party’s 79th annual conference at Queen’s Park, The City, Mottley gave her word that should her party win the election, it would present an economic stabilization and growth plan “within six weeks of being elected as the Parliament of this country.

“Whosoever shall have the pleasure of being the Minister of Education shall be rising to give their first ministerial statement and . . . they shall commit the Government of Barbados to paying fees for students of Barbados at the University of the West Indies from academic year 2018 to 2019,” Mottley declared.

19 Responses to BLP candidate and leader out of sync on free tertiary education

  1. Saga Boy November 2, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Here we go again. First it was Ryan the big economist with a plan to sell the Transport Board only to be shot down by one of his own who said he was not speaking on behalf of the BLP. Now Sandra Husbands is saying to us that her leader really don’t mean what she said. Mia must be fuming especially knowing that she is not one of her favorite candidates. And all you BLP Yard fowls saying that this is a cohesive party? Give me a break!

  2. Charles Alleyne
    Charles Alleyne November 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Another so called politician who benefited from free tertiary education and here trying to make herself relevant.Even by eliminating and only funding national development programs is nonsense.All
    the years we have national development programs have one person returned to really contribute in any meaningful way to our development. Give me one example where some discipline that was use to enhanced our development.So tell me this candidate is really serious about our development or she only trying to win a seat.The time she has been around what has she really contributed ,but trying to give the impression that funding tertiary education is not possible when she herself has benefited.Please sit down

  3. luther thorne November 2, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    You bathed today ?
    There is absolutely no reason to give thos Government anothet term. None ! So the DLP Consortium can take a hike.

  4. Johnathan November 2, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Why do politicians even speak to this dangerously sensationalist masquerading as a journalist is beyond me. Nothing I read there contradicts the opposition leader just like he wrote about Straughn and again he repeats it. This boy is an excuse for a journalist and seem to enjoy the emptiness of the DEMS.

    • Meakai November 3, 2017 at 1:30 am

      I endorse this comment.

      I called him a fake reporter on another story and my comment was deleted. The quality of reporting at Barbados Today has declined drastically over the years and no one seems to care.

  5. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray November 2, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Mr. Man where in world education is free when my taxes are RH so high

  6. Mark Adamson November 3, 2017 at 12:44 am

    All students must continue to be made to contribute reasonable amounts of money/credits 10 – 15 % of the financial costs of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill.

    And they must continue to expect good quality lecture and non-lecture services and amenity provisions and services from this institution.

    What Husbands is reported to have said in the above news story clearly shows that Mottley’s mouthings on the issue of students contributing to such to such an extent are just hollow, obtuse mouthings.

    For, Mottley’s mouthings do not amount to a BLP policy!!

    Pity she has not been done like how Ryan Straughn was done on the question of disposal of the Transport Board from the government’s responsibility to private sector ownership.

  7. Sue Donym November 3, 2017 at 4:25 am

    “Mottley declared… the Minister of Education… shall commit the Government of Barbados to paying fees for students of Barbados at the University of the West Indies from academic year 2018 to 2019”. Read this again and decide if it means that TOTAL fees will be paid for ALL students.
    The Opposition leader has also given herself almost a year to finalise a plan, as it specifies from academic year 2018 to 2019.

  8. archy perch November 3, 2017 at 5:46 am

    Sandra Husbands has No appeal whatsoever, but I must give it too her…..she is like a bad virus. Her monotone; the lackluster…she is just boring….more suited to being a technocrat in the office than someone in your face as a politician. Poop!

  9. chris hill November 3, 2017 at 6:34 am

    as a junior politician i believe she should only be speaking on topics she is big on, then again this may only look like a difference so Freundel can call the election thinking to exploit the so called rift. the party is stong and there is no rift. however she obviously needs a BLP playbook.

  10. Oliver Smith November 3, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Am I missing something here? Ms Husbands agrees with the policy of free tertiary education espoused by her leader but gives her own views on what her priorities would be and this is twisted into ‘she is out of sync’ with there leader.

    What is going on at BT?

    The cheap headline is a drug.

    • Corey Broom November 3, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Agree Oliver, Before plans are implemented, debate and discussion is had to get the best possibly solution If the Dems did this, then they would not be so many reversals of policies and confusion in implementing policies. When you have persons of intellect in a group that is what happens everyone doesn’t always have the same point of view, ideas are shared and then there is a consensus of how to move forward.

  11. Sandra Husbands November 3, 2017 at 7:32 am

    The headline misrepresents my views. Happily, I made a recording of the press conference, and the references to education, which were a sideline to our main topic on business, will be provided to clarify any misunderstanding the journalist has, and correct the impression which the public may derive from the way the article was written.

  12. Greengiant November 3, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Not worth commenting on, as those of us in the know, are aware of the division within both government and opposition parties. No need for you people who support them both so blindly to deny it anymore. To deny is to deny yourselves.

    New party, new ideology, new politicians, new direction for this country. As is written, ‘behold all things became new’.

  13. sam Clarke November 3, 2017 at 10:11 am

    This is not out of sync, what the Ms.Husbands is saying is correct , there should be strict conditions. NO UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE SHOULD TAKE ANY STUDENT 15 YEARS TO FINISH. Are you kidding me? You have perpetual students at the UWI.


  14. Adrian Hinds November 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

    This is why I hate Bajan politics and would not involve myself in it at this level. If Sandra Husbands HAD a difference of opinion with Mia Mottley on an issue, why should it be a problem that might lead persons to suggest that there is disunity in a political party and by extension – they are not suited to lead? Mia Mottley or any other human being isn’t all knowing and all seeing. Now poor Sandra has to ensure that the so called “dear leader” isn’t thinking that she would be a problem child in “her goverment.” Do we really think we can revamp and sustainably grow all sectors of Barbados without revamping the way we govern ourselves?

    until we change political governance in Barbados the much
    needed economic governance changes will never materialize.

  15. Thunder November 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I am sorry I frankly cannot comment since some people are not interested in truth,only printing stories to sell papers,the title is very misleading!

  16. Charjoy November 3, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I like her style. Intelligent, methodical and structured. This is a RH democracy and she has a contitutional right to present her view, even if it varies from that of dear leader…. Sandra talk ya talk and fc#%k the haters and yardfowls

  17. straight talk November 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Barbados Today delete my comment because the truth hurts.


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