by Michron Robinson
Notwithstanding current financial challenges, some staff members of the Barbados Community College have come together and voluntarily gone beyond the call of duty to create a better environment for students when the new academic year begins in a few weeks.
They have undertaken a task of rewiring, repainting and giving a general makeover to four information technology labs in the Computer Science Department. They are offering of their time, muscle and even money to make the labs work more effectively for the students.
Principal of the College, Dr. Gladstone Best, said he truly appreciated the effort of his staff and commended them for “going above and beyond the call of duty and showing such fidelity”.
“They are here painting and so on to ensure that the aesthetics of the labs are improved and the staff are here to ensure that everything goes well,” he said.
“So I am particularly pleased with the venture. What this is saying to me is that we have a very committed staff at the college and we work sometimes in trying circumstances. “We know that we are working in our spare times, we know that sometimes we have challenges with things, but that the staff remain committed to their job, to the institution for which they work and to the employer as well as the students they serve.” Information Systems Manager, Michael Slocombe, who is partly responsible for the project, said he came up with the idea months ago after viewing the terrible state of the labs.
“I went around trying to get the budgets sorted how to improve the state of these labs. I said I would take some money out of my pocket and buy the paint and I asked my staff and they readily agreed.
“So we decided to make a fun weekend out of it — buy some food and give the labs a spruce up, which was okayed by the principal who decided to donate. We decide to locate a few computer vendors and it grew into this wonderful thing.”
He added that they then decided to bring all the businesses together and they graciously donated various materials — from paints to printers.
“It grew into four labs and its grown into this huge project which says a lot about Barbadians and the seeds that you plant,” he added.
Deputy Principal Lindsay Waterman applauded the effort and stated that he hoped for such emulation in the future given the harsh economic times.
“If a lot more of this is applied it could assist the country in getting out of the problems we are in,” Waterman stated. “I would advise those new students coming in to be disciplined, knowing that the country is in dire economic straits and they need not to be wasteful of their energy or wasteful of time.
“They really need to buckle down and say, ‘Look, we are in a position where we can still have this phase, considering certain countries that have to pay larger fees’. What we need to do is utilise the opportunities.”
He added that historically it appeared that students coming from within the region perform better, grasping the opportunity, while too many Barbadian students appeared laid-back. He said he hoped to see a change in attitude.
One of the workers donating time, Pamela Grant, said while she was having a fun time painting with her colleagues, her hope was that the students would appreciate their hard work and take care of the environment.