Government’s push toward technological advancements across all sectors will not come at the expense of Barbadian values, history or cultural.
Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, made the declaration during the unveiling ceremony of a mural at the Mary’s Primary School today depicting the contributions of a handful of Barbadian icons who attended the inner city institution.
National hero, the Right Excellent Samuel Jackman Prescod, creator of Spouge, Dalton Jackie Opel Bishop, Cultural Ambassador Anthony The Mighty Gabby Carter along with Richard Stoute, veteran entertainer and founder of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent competition, were all lauded for their contributions to society.
According to Bradshaw, the creation of murals at primary schools was envisioned by artist Kwame Hunte and was being carried out with a team of artists with materials from Harris Paints. Four schools have been chosen for such initiatives this year to beautify the spaces and promote the arts.
“It is not just about painting images beautifully on walls but about ensuring the work that these persons have done is cemented in the minds of our young people,” Bradshaw stressed during her brief remarks.
“We have begun a process of transformation of our schools and while it is in only one small part, I believe it signals the beginning of more things to come in relation to the improvement of the school plant.”
Bradshaw added that deeper links needed to be made between technology and the arts to maintain a connection between themselves and Barbados’ historical icons. This she said was considerably more important amid government’s push toward a technologically advanced country.
“So while as a government, we continue to place great emphasis on the importance of technological development in our schools and across our nation in every sector, and while we know that this will position us as competitors on a global stage, we also appreciate how the arts can serve as powerful reminders of our core identity as Barbadian and Caribbean citizens.
“A mural can serve therefore as a type of visual narrative, which tells the story of where we came from and of where we hope to go as a school, as a community and as a nation.”
Minister Bradshaw also directly addressed Richard Stoute, who recently expressed disappointment with the lack of support for his developmental competition from distinguished artists. She assured him his contributions to the country were priceless.
“Make no mistake, Richard Stoute, the place that you have in my heart,” she told Stoute, before promising: “I will make sure that these students that are coming up will understand what you have done to ensure a number of our young artists who have excelled in the cultural arena have a platform to be able to be the best that they can be. For that, we salute you.” (KS)