There is a dire need to have world heritage awareness on the local agenda.
Lecturer in history at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, Dr. Henderson Carter, made this observation while speaking at a workshop for principals at the Ministry of Education yesterday.
“We need to make world heritage a household word right across the communities so that world heritage is on the lips of every student, every teacher and every parent. We want to do that because this is a sleeping giant, a great natural resource that can be exploited especially in these recessionary times. So our objective here is to spread the word, create awareness and to get you as principals to get teachers and the communities at large to embrace world heritage.
“We believe that heritage should be a developmental tool to take us forward as a society and to take us forward as a nation. Couple weeks ago I heard a fellow historian saying it is science and technology are the things that matter in this society. These are the most important things. I beg to differ somewhat.
“Yes it is science and technology, but equally important is heritage because we can exploit heritage tourism to the maximium. We have the facilities and we have the sites. I believe that in addition to the sea, sun and sand people who come here [and] want to hear about our history and our culture,” Carter added.
The historian also suggested that Barbados can exploit its cultural industry and expressed confidence that the current administration had placed it on the front-burner.
“We can make it another plank in our economy. The cultural industry can become another plank in our developmental thrust. It is an exciting period of our history even though we are experiencing a recession. We can make a difference in carrying our world heritage into every school.”
Carter argued that the statue of Lord Nelson was a valuable asset and went on to say that even though Fidel Castro pursued a revolutionary path he did not remove relics of Spanish colonialism.
Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, argued that retention of our heritage was critical in determining who we are as a people and where we were going.
“We have an extremely rich heritage. Barbados is an old country when compared to some of the other countries in the Western Hemisphere. Our heritage is responsible for determining who we are today. Much of our heritage would have been preserved because Barbados was not threatened by other colonial powers,” King said. (NC)