Barbados Education System Infested By Termites

The Caribbean Is One Nation.

                                       Barbados Education System Infested By Termites

By William Skinner
Once again the annual ritual surrounding the release of the Common Entrance Examination results, has taken center stage. While the Minister of Education rants and raves about the mathematics results, the Principal of the University of the West Indies seems down spirited about the science results at Cave Hill. Any alert observer will see the connection. If the foundation is bad the building would eventually fall.
The Minister of Education refuses to see that if the results are deteriorating under his watch, it may be time for him to move on to another ministry. But we have little regard for holding our leaders accountable. Dragging retired teachers from their gardening and other hobbies to teach math will not work because there is no retired teacher in his or her right mind, who will leave healthy flowers and vegetables, to return to the quagmire that now envelops the Ministry of Education.
Our entire education system is on the verge of collapse but like many other decaying structures the final fall may take some time. Carpenters know about new coats of paint giving the impression that there are no termites. However the termites are there and they will get the job done eventually. Truth is that we are afraid to “touch’ a single rotten board because we fear that the house will fall down. Just slap some paint on it!
We went about claiming that we had an almost one hundred percent literacy rate, while some of our children sitting the Common entrance, could not construct a simple sentence or count to fifty. The loquacious principal of the University at Cave Hill talked about a graduate in every household, while the employers were complaining that many graduates had not mastered basic English. No problem –just flood the place with them and hope for the best.

So next year around this same time, we will parade the “bright” students and some Minister will talk about math and English results. And some principal of Cave Hill will lament that the science results are not encouraging.  The termites will be the only focused group on the island; slowly but surely making sure the house crumbles. Then we will call in retirees from the pest control industry.
They will probably say on arrival: We cannot treat dust-too late!

William Skinner is a social commentator.

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