Government has defended the amount of money it spends on the various programmes in schools.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education Senator Harcourt Husbands said the island’s schools were in need of more support services and therefore the Government programmes were necessary. He made the observation earlier this week as he spoke on the Appropriation Bill 2014.
Husbands said, based on his personal account of what was taking place in schools across the island, there was need for more technical and professional emotional support and therefore the various programmes implemented were critical.
Husbands said based on information from officials in Student Services during his visits to some schools, they had noticed “an increase in such things among some of the students . . . in self-cutting”. Describing other deviant behaviours he said were related to him during his visits, Husbands said it was necessary that the state initiated solutions “to deal with these challenges”, and hence a number of Government programmes.
“I am saying to Barbadians that when they hear what is being spent in these Estimates on education, part of it goes, yes, to the University [of the West Indies] debt and the School Meals Department, and so on. But a significant part of it goes to perform these vital functions,” he said.
“What I am saying is that we have all of these challenges with the young people, but the Ministry of Education, the Government of Barbados are cognizant of these challenges, and we have put in place a series of programmes, whether it is WorldSkills, whether it is A Ganar [Spanish for to earn], whether it is the Schools’ Positive Behaviour Management Programme or Skills For The Future, that we are convinced will assist us greatly in tackling these challenges that we face,” added Husbands.
He said, however, there was need for residents and private sector involvement in tackling the challenges facing the island’s children.
“It is in your interest, it is in my interest. It is in the Opposition’s interest, it is in the business community’s interest; because if we don’t find a way to assist these young people we are not going to be able to sleep at night. So it is our business,” said Husbands.