Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is concerned over the increasing acts of violence and the high level of indiscipline by children within the island’s schools.
However, as Barbados prepares to celebrate 49 years of Independence, the country’s leader is satisfied with the overall progress it has made.
“There are things which we need to get rid of. I am not at all happy that there seems to be developing in some small pockets of this society a belief that the way to settle disputes is by acts of violence.
“I am also a little concerned that in some cases at the level of our schools, sometimes we get the impression that some of our children do not understand the great opportunities that have been made available for them, to fully exploit opportunities for learning and personal advancement and for personal empowerment and being put in a position where they can contribute more effectively to the society,” Stuart lamented during a press briefing held at Government’s Bay Street headquarters this afternoon.
“There are some areas of concern, but generally speaking, I think that we have done very well.”
However, the Prime Minister stressed that this was not the time to be resting on our laurels.
He revealed that whenever he travelled, he was complimented on Barbados’ progress by both regional and international leaders.
“I am not one for counting our curses. I like to count blessings and I think that Barbados has done very well. And even if I doubted that, when I go abroad and talk to people in the Caribbean and people beyond the Caribbean, their story is that Barbados’ achievements have been incredible,” Stuart said.
“So I think we just can’t rest on our laurels and basically say, ‘the labourer’s task is over’. We have to reposition ourselves to make Barbados an even greater place than it has been over the past 50 years.”
For this to happen though, he said, it would require efforts from more than just parliamentarians, the Church or even school teachers.
“Every family and every community has to become part of this effort to ensure that we strengthen our society and that the only standard we feel comfortable accepting is the standard called excellence and that there is no room for mediocrity in our schools, in our churches, in our communities and in our workplaces, and that the standard is excellence in whatever we do.”
His comments came during the briefing, which was called to disclose details of the island’s upcoming 49th Independence anniversary celebrations, next year’s 50th anniversary celebrations, as well as Stuart’s impending visits to Malta to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit and to Paris to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting.
As a result, Stuart will not be in the island for Independence Day.