“Ignore the high winds, ignore the fires and listen to the still small voice”.
This was the firm advice given by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to party faithful, as he addressed the 62nd anniversary church service of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) at the Bethesda Tabernacle, Vauxhall, Christ Church this morning.
Vaguely mentioning the upcoming general election, Stuart, who is yet to reveal a date for the much-anticipated poll that is constitutionally due within the next year, assured the congregation that the DLP’s position was not under threat amid what he called the “huff and puff” of opposition forces.
“Don’t be distracted by these things because we are driving the Democratic Labour Party by the sound of the still small voice,” the Prime Minister said, adding that when the day of reckoning arrives, the country as a whole would come to realize that “what were earthquakes were only little tremors, and what we thought were high winds were only a lot of huff and puff”.
During his address, Stuart zeroed in on the DLP’s record of educational achievements, dating back to its founding father Errol Walton Barrow. However, he said, since the party’s return to office in 2008, it has had to “do what the others have not gotten around to do”, in a seeming reference to its decision to end free tertiary education at the University of the West Indies, which has proven too costly for Government to maintain.
The Prime Minister also announced that, in keeping with Section 89A of the Constitution of Barbados, a new teaching service commission will be established here in a few weeks time.
Although he did not give a precise date, Stuart said the 3, 600 teachers employed by the Ministry of Education will answer to the commission on the issues such as appointments and promotions which “have bedevilled the teaching profession over the past 40 years”.
Stuart said “[the commission] will put members of the teaching profession in a position to get the highly specialized treatment and attention that they both need and deserve”.