A call has gone out for History to be returned as one of the core subjects on this island’s schools curriculum.
Deputy Director of the Museum and Historical Society Kevin Farmer made the call today while delivering the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s lunchtime lecture at the party’s George Street,
St Michael headquarters.
Speaking on the topic Museums and Cultural Identity in the 21st Century, Farmer argued that such a move was necessary to assist Barbadians in understanding their roots.
“I am aware that I am going to get ripped for this. Social Studies is a wonderful subject, but . . . if we want people to understand who they are and where they are within a larger global world, then History needs to be taught from first form . . . as History . . . is the foundation upon which those critical thinking skills and understanding of self must begin,” the historian said, while acknowledging that while some children may want to shy away from the study of History because they think it involves a lot of reading.
However, he maintained that the study of History was fundamentally important for there to be an appreciation of Barbados’ development.
“ We have got the opportunity now to ensure that when we look 30, 40, 50, 100 years down the line we have robust institutions that can tell us who we are. These institutions can tell us about those interesting stories about intrepid Barbadians migrations to places as far-flung as Cuba and Panama, but further afield to countries like India, Alaska, the deeper north of Canada, all the way to Australia and New Zealand.
“Wherever you go in this world you will find Barbadians. Those stories no matter how small are there to be told. You have got thousands of returning nationals who have fantastic stories in their heads. They are stories about overcoming adversities,” he said, pointing out that the first Barbadians who would have gone to the United Kingdom in the 1950s, though met with racism, had been able make a way for themselves.