Government Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner today hit out at the president of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Guild of Students Damani Parris for not thanking Minister of Education Ronald Jones for coming through with bursaries to help Barbadian students pay tuition fees.
Although acknowledging that the financial aid was late in coming, she insisted that Parris should have shown appreciation instead of only focusing on the delay.
“I heard ‘it was too late’ as if the taxpayers of this country were sitting down waiting to give Minister Jones their hard-earned money to educate people like him [Parris],” Sandiford-Garner said as she contributed to the Estimates debate in the Senate this afternoon.
“Barbados . . . has now nurtured and raised a generation with a cadre within it of some citizens, some of whom have no sense of community, no obligation to give back and are imbued with a sense of entitlement that sometimes becomes offensive.”
She criticized what she described as the acquired selfishness of some of Barbados’ educated.
“It is evident that we have advanced educationally and professionally, but we are no longer our brother’s keepers. Self now comes first in Barbados.”
Sandiford-Garner pointed out that while tough decisions had to be made to cut UWI funding, the Ministry of Education had still tried to secure bursaries to assist the most vulnerable.
While conceding that Jones was “too previous in announcement of the bursaries”, she said the minister maintained that they would get the assistance.