A Government Senator today expressed concern that Barbadian parents had “dropped the ball” by failing to connect their children with the early struggles to develop Barbados.
Arguing that this had resulted in a “generational disconnect”, Irene Sandiford-Garner said the situation did not bode well for the country’s development.
As she made her contribution to debate on a resolution Congratulating Barbados on the attainment of its 50th anniversary of Independence, she also suggested that this was one of the reasons why Barbadians were finding it difficult to come to terms with the current economic challenges facing the country.
“So we have children now who have TVs in every bedroom. They can’t conceive of a Barbados where probably they would have been one TV in a whole district or none at all. They can flush toilets . . . . They eat English apples everyday . . . and when the washing machine doesn’t work we can’t tell them to go and wash those clothes by hand, they want to know when will it be fixed,” she said.
The Government senator also emphasized that while many Barbadian parents had struggled in both the pre and post independence period to raise the standard of living for their children, much of that effort has been lost on current generation of Barbadians, who she described as “impatient with Barbados”.
“So the disconnect with the aging infrastructure, the lack of understanding about an aging hospital, unsustainable tertiary education and the other many, many, issues facing us, are here with us and we find ourselves at a turning point because we now have to start to tackle these problems as a country, not only as a Government,” Sandiford-Garner said.
She also lamented that “in the mad rush to see how Barbados could become as wealthy as possible” the type of independent Barbados that should have been fashioned was somehow lost.
But while cautioning that Barbados would never be the same again, she said it was time for every citizen to step back and take stock.
“More and more as a people as we face these challenges everyday I am saying that we will be called upon to rely on ourselves, as a people and our innate capacity to be resilient and we need to be purposeful in fashioning a Barbados in which we will continue to be proud of not only ourselves, but of our children and our grand children,” she added.