The Barbadian educational system is in desperate need of reform and reinvestment suited for 2021 and beyond, Democratic Labour Party president Verla De Peiza has suggested.
As she joined other panellists for a live town hall discussion on education in the time of COVID-19, hosted on the party’s Facebook page Sunday, De Peiza said, that the time has long since passed for the overhaul of the system.
She noted a lack of “true online portals” and devices for students and teachers to use for learning had been brought to the forefront by the pandemic.
De Peiza declared: “If ever there was a moment that should make you stop and pause and think about how you want to go forward, this is it.
“COVID has exposed all of our wounds that we thought were healed – it has broken them all open.
“We have to find a way in education of getting our young people up to scratch, up to speed, within in the current environment, and in such a way as well that they are prepared to face the second half of the 21st century.
“The recrafting of our educational system is long overdue, we are scrambling in terms of technological instruments.
“We are behind the eight-ball in terms of our teacher preparation; we have not explored in any way, how we could positively use an online classroom. We are essentially trying to transpose what we do traditionally into an online environment instead of doing it the other way around.”
De Peiza also said that this was the right time for Government and educators to address education in a new and bold way.
She said: “What COVID has presented us with, is an opportunity to be as revolutionary as we want to be.
“We have the time and the space now because the whole world has been asked to just stop for a moment and catch yourself.
“Part of just catching yourself is not just to take a breath in and hold it, but to be evaluating. So when you do let the breath out, we are coming with something fresh.”