The island’s school system cannot be expected to resolve all the
problems that exist in society.
That was the assertion of MP for St James South Donville Inniss
as he addressed Parliament today on a supplementary for education.
“We cannot rely on our school system to solve all of the
problems that exist out there in the wider society, and I think
that is a fact we have to face. The school is really a microcosm
of what is happening in the wider society and therefore it is a bit
unfortunate if we focus so exclusively on the school system and not
on what is happening in wider society.
“So a bad behaved boy doesn’t become a bad behaved boy
because of the school he is at and the teacher he has. It is because
of the school environment that he is functioning in; how he is being
socialised out there in the wider community and when sometimes
we as adults do not set good examples for de young people, how
dare we come in here and blame them like that,” he stressed.
He said he also believed that young people today were no worse
than those of yesteryear at their age and added it was unfortunate
that today’s youth bore the brunt of criticisms for society’s rearing.
“It reflects badly on us as adults and as parents in the
Addressing the issue of bullying, the MP and father
of two said he did not know that it was any more
prevalent now in the schools than 40 years ago. He
posited that the improvements in technology now
made it easier to have cell phones and other devices
to record the happenings that would not have been
available years ago.
“I don’t think we should behave in two ways: 1)
as though bullying does not exist. It does exist in our
school system and society on a whole and not just
the school system, it exists in our work place, in our
communities at large. I don’t know that there is any
emperical evidence that it is any worse now than it was
ten, 15. 30 years ago.
“The other point that must be addressed as it
pertains to gender issues and our young people . .
. because while bullying is not reserved for boys, it
predominantly exists among them and we have to ask
ourselves what sort of boy children are we seeking to
raise in contemporary Barbados.
“I think our boys sometimes are being a bit too soft,
but the truth of the matter is that we need to let boys
be boys . . . ,” said Inniss, adding that he was concerned
that boys were not allowed to be boys in society.
“I think we are sometimes blowing matters way out of
proportion,” he added. (LB)