Principal of Combermere School, Vere Parris, says this country has to buck the consumerism trend.
Addressing the school’s annual Speech Day and Prize Giving Ceremony this evening in the Major Noott Hall, he warned against Barbados being a place of retailers and noted instead it should move in the direction of manufacturing and the knowledge industry.
Commending the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for its “skills for the future programme”, which aims to improve the quality and relevance of secondary and post secondary education, he noted it was intended to give students the necessary core and life skills to enter the labour market and to support the national qualifications framework including the CVQs.
“We have been told by private sector representatives that they are on board with this new thrust and will be prepared to assist in placing students for training purposes. This is highly commendable and should be good news for guidance counsellors,” he said.
Parris said that educators were hoping that programme will help students find their niche locally and internationally in areas such as manufacturing, and the “fast developing knowledge industries”.
“As a country we need to ward off the threat of our country becoming a nation of retailers, only selling and consuming other people’s products. The present trend cannot continue. It has the capacity to bring frustration among … the young bright people of our country.
“Programmes like these need to succeed. They must not led to the ends and I say let there by light at the end of the proverbial tunnel,” he told the audience comprising featured speaker CARICOM Ambassador Bobby Morris and his wife Education Officer Christina Morris, Chairman June Browne and other member of the board of management, former principal Dorien Pile, old scholars, teachers, parents and friends.
Reminding that during last year’s speech day he called for a review of the text book loan scheme and a move towards digital books and e-readers, he said that the “time has arrived faster than those who heard my call last year would imagine”.
“It is very likely that in some of our schools, digitized text books may soon be used. I will say no more on that at this particular stage, just to say that’s on the horizon,” he said.
He also told the audience about his students’ success internally, and externally in academics, athletics and music and the number of scholarships they were able to gain. He also said that the Waterford, St. Michael school was able to attain grade 1 and grade 2 passes in CAPE Unit 1 which was commendable.
In CXC (CSEC) Mathematics, 31 out of 59 Fourth Formers entered obtained grade 1s while every students passed.
Parris said that despite of the “enlarged roll of 1,119 students” during the 2011-2012 academic year, the school “still maintained its mandate to provide a high standard of education”. (DS)