A veteran educator has warned that blame for the recent upsurge in deviant behaviour among the youth cannot be placed squarely at the feet of the education system.
Retired principal Matthew Farley is insisting that other factors, including delinquent parents, have contributed to the problem, even though he was quick to add that the blame game would serve no purpose at this stage.
His comments came in response to a recent suggestion by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite that one of the reasons for deviant behaviour among young people was that they were being pushed through the school system and were not getting the help they needed to work out their issues.
“What we have before us is a societal problem where there is a fundamental level of dysfunction in the society. I think that all the institutions – the politicians, the school system, the church, the parents and civil society – must seek to find solutions to the dysfunction rather than look to apportion blame,” Farley told Barbados TODAY, adding that some measure of social re-engineering would be required to save many of Barbados’ young men.
“We have children who, even when they are in the school system, spend their waking hours outside of the school on the block involved in violence and drug abuse. When they leave school they graduate to the block. In every community, there is a satellite drug access point where anyone can get drugs every day of the week 24/7,” he added.
Arguing that parents have also contributed to the social problem, Farley noted that many of them have allowed children to raise themselves.
He further charged that there were parents who sacrificed the sanctity of their daughters to adult men in exchange for money.
Farley, who served as a principal for more than 18 years, said there must be both tough action and tough talk to address these issues.
“Sometimes you need tough talk. We need tough talk from the Attorney General instead of the namby-pamby we get from him. Brathwaite needs to get across to the society the minimum standards that the nation would accept. We need tough talk from the Minister of Education Ronald Jones, too. We need tough talk from our politicians. We have not had that kind of tough talk for about 15 to 20 years,” he said.
Farley also warned that there would be consequences to pay if Barbados were to mimic North America and Europe’s “liberal culture and liberal society” in decriminalizing prostitution, homosexuality, and marijuana. (NC)