Social activist Bobby Clarke believes that despite their much praised education, Barbadians have not progressed mentally past the times before the 1937 Rebellion. Speaking at the monthly University of Independence Square meeting last night, Clarke said that what he saw as lack of mental movement was to be blamed on an education system that prepared persons to be employed only –– mostly in Government.
“All of your life you all have heard the nonsense statement ‘Barbados is a very literate country’. We can read and write,” he said in Independence Square, Bridgetown, but added: “That’s all we can do. We can’t think because the system is created to make sure you do not think.
“It is the same system we had prior to 1937. It has not shifted. We go to school to come out and learn how to work for the Government –– in the Post Office, in the police, the fire station. That’s what we come out to learn to do.”
Clarke asked: “Is that what we went to school for? Is that what we spent all those years for, to sell stamps?
“If you can count to ten, you can sell stamps. You can leave school at second standard, or primary school and sell stamps . . . . We do not come out to learn anything about development of ourselves and our country.
“The 1937 Barbados Rebellion, led by Clement Payne, was for the recognition of Barbadians across the island in all spheres of life, and led to changes such as political representation of all the people in Parliament, instead of the landowner and planter class only. That uprising is hailed as the pathfinder to pre-Independence introduction of free education,” said Clarke. But the social activist said that in the year 2014 “we still have the majority of Barbadian working class working in the Government, pushing paper”.
The attorney-at-law dismissed Barbadian education as meaningless.
“You talk we are highly educated. The Press keeps talking nonsense that we are number 13 or 14 in some element [international ranking] to do with education, and we can’t produce a bicycle. We can’t produce a computer.
“So what do we have? Just a continuing education system that says you must not be able to do anything for yourself or your country. And we have a hungry population, a dysfunctional population, Members of Parliament who can’t think, and we still at the level saying we are educated people.”
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