Approximately 60 per cent of Barbadian youth who go to secondary school fall through the cracks and leave without attaining any certification.
As he emphasized this point, local rhythm poet and cultural activist, Adisa AJA Andwele, said it is time that teachers at all levels speak out against the island’s antiquated educational system inherited from the British colonial experience.
The call coincided with the release of AJA’s latest musical production De Xross Road featuring Bashment Soca star, Hardware. It has been presented in the Bashment Soca genre, as the youth is the focus of the work which takes the form of poetic social commentary.
The production looks at Barbados from a socio-historical perspective and sees Barbadians and Barbados at a cross roads. It recognizes that Barbadians are a product of their social and cultural environment, and that that environment was shaped by the country’s colonial past.
As a result, the poetic piece offers a message that both the individual and the country need to decide on which path they must choose. Particular focus is on the island’s educational system. AJA is of the opinion that it is backward continuing to evaluate 11-year-olds by only one rubric – Mathematics and English in the Common Entrance Examination.
“As a result, many of the country’s youth fall through the cracks and (are) left floundering on the peripheral of the society. This is since they needed another methodology to learning due to their respective special needs, interests or social dynamics. It is many of these young people that fall victim to the drug trade and the island’s sub-economy and sub-culture,” posits the artiste.
De Xross Road was written by AJA and arranged, recorded and produced by Lowrey Leon Worrell. All music is by Lowrey, except the djembee work, which was done by the Pinelands Creative Workshop’s CEO, Rodney Grant.
The tracks were mixed and mastered by Adrian Simply Smooth Showmarry.