BRIDGETOWN, Barbados–December 2nd,2020–Students across Barbados will soon be invited to give their input on the type of educational system they want for their future.
Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, made this announcement last Friday as she addressed a ceremony for the head boys and girls of primary and secondary schools at the Wildey Gymnasium.
“I want to hear of the concerns that many of you have as head boys and head girls. I am sure that you are interacting with other students who have concerns about education, concerns about the online environment, the blended approach, all of that.
“It is important that you have a say, just like your parents have a say in various forums, just like your teachers will have a say, just like our principals have a say, just as the general public has a say. I believe that we cannot change the way in which we teach and learn unless we hear from you the students as well upon whom this educational system will impact,” the Minister told the students.
She explained that while Government wanted to change the curriculum to make it more relevant to students, it was important to ensure that the changes catered to those who had academic, technical and vocational skills.
Ms. Bradshaw also noted that Government’s desire to transform Barbados could not be fully recognized without targeting schools, particularly those at the primary and secondary level, because it was the students of those institutions that were the future leaders of the country.
She noted that amidst the reports of students engaging in negative behavior, it was the responsibility of leaders to continue working with them to ensure they become change agents.
“[So] that you start to write a different narrative in your schools, communities and churches and see yourself as being able to change the narrative on how people view young people and in particular your colleagues at schools,” she said.
The Education Minister urged the students to recognize that they were all important and that leadership did matter, as she thanked them for being “outstanding young boys and girls in our society”.
Ms. Bradshaw also urged the young leaders to ensure that students at their respective schools continued to follow the COVID-19 protocols.
Barbados’s current government is actively seeking to uproot British traditions up to and including the Queen within the island and replace them with Barbados traditions, but it continues to adhere to British spelling. It will be interesting to see whether the students will want to switch to the slightly more simplified US spelling, that is becoming the standard for English in many nations in the region.