Minister of Education Ronald Jones had some lashes today for Barbadians whom he described as libelous bloggers.
Jones, who indicated that he was a past victim of scandalous blogging, argued that technology in the hands of some, becomes a weapon of destruction.
“There is one, it’s a blog. It’s one of the worst, the most depraved that I have seen coming from Barbadians. Sometimes I see the media use it for reference and it’s scandal, destruction of people. The nastier it is, the more silly it is.
“And some of the people who put things on there are totally mad. I am serious. I don’t talk about how Barbadians say that he mad, meaning that his behaviour is a little erratic. I mean certifiably, psychiatry-proven mad,” Jones said.
The outspoken minister made these comments during the presentation of library equipment under the Skills for the Future Programme at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) this morning.
Jones noted that he was mentioned in a post and was in the process of looking at the possibility of suing the contributor. However, he said he was aware that this would be a difficult undertaking because the World Wide Web creates anonymity in many ways.
He explained that people had the ability to hide behind new technologies and destroy a society which he said that particular blog has been doing.
“I am not saying that Barbadians, we have puritans. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but when you have a citizen who will not step foot back in Barbados being the front line of the putridity of other Barbadians resident in Barbados, who hide behind that anonymity to discredit and destroy, there is something wrong with the brain,” the outspoken minister said.
He noted that Barbadians added a phenomenal amount of information on Facebook, but contended 90 per cent was “total rubbish” that did not add to the evolution of humanity, but created instead “crass human beings”.
Admitting that he was a regular “Facebooker” who stays in tune with social media, Jones said Barbadians somehow do not make contributions that encourage their target audience to dig deeper to find the relevance of human life.
“The amount of rubbish that Barbadians put up online is mind-downing information. Stupidity of the greatest height. It [the internet] can be used for other purposes that can elevate, illuminate, add to knowledge, but what you see now, Lord have mercy,” he said.
Jones said that, meanwhile, he feared that Barbadians were not enhancing their knowledge by the adequate and particular utilization of the resources of libraries across the country. He alluded to the fact that libraries operated by the National Library Service were experiencing low demand because people were not using them as they should.
He noted that tertiary level institutions also had a major digital library called EBSCO that Government was paying for but, disappointingly, it was not being used by students.
“These are things that the State pays for through the taxes of the people. Right in your face and it is so badly underutilized that it is frightening,” he said.
Jones went on: “When you go into a programme here at SJPP and you just simply stick with the knowledge provided by the instructor, that knowledge is narrow. It is patterned knowledge. Greater knowledge comes by your interrogation of the information which is out there in the books of the library.
“I want to see the librarians work harder because you are demanding more. The mind cannot expand unless it takes in information,”
He told SJPP students that using the services in the library not only enhanced their ability to learn better, but also to graduate at the highest possible level. He said there were too many students who were simply willing to accept the foundation for passing, and did not look to achieving academic excellence. (AH)