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Don’t Derail Our Educational Journey Min Boastwain… Please Don’t

  • Written by  Rawle Paterson
Don’t Derail Our Educational Journey Min  Boastwain… Please Don’t

The delay in the commencement of classes at Bishop’s College for the 2016/ 2017 academic year, has left several people on the sister isles fretting and vexed with the Ministry of Education and more so the Minister of Education, Anthony Boatswain.

In my view Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell should not allow Minister Boatswain to survive the end of this new school term in the portfolio as Minister for Education.  

Therefore, allow me to welcome the incoming Minister for Education and to let him/her know that the issue of making an eyes-on assessment of not only Bishop’s College, but the nation’s schools from Petite Martinique in the north to Point Salines in the South - should be an immediate priority upon assuming the new role.

This country prides its success on education and for this to have occurred under Mr. Boatswain’s watch, is more than sufficient for him to be hastily dispatched to another ministry.

Look how shameful it is in the case of Bishop’s College.  Such an outstanding national academic treasure to have the Ministry of Education bruise its bright and beautiful image is more than cause for concern. How dare you?

The school, which is a household name throughout this country and many parts of the globe had to suffer a delay in the start of classes while temporary quarters were hastily constructed to accommodate most of the classes.

 It was clear from several years ago that the school was in need of attention.  On June 6th, 2013, Minister Boatswain, accompanied by Chief Education Officer, Mr. Julien Ogilvie toured the facility where the many physical defects were clearly pointed out to both of the education officials.

It is reasonable to assume that the minister in his own judgment should have concluded that the problem would significantly worsen three years later.  Education is the bed rock of the people of the sister isles and therefore when any institution much less one of the status of Bishop’s College has to be put on pause it is unfortunate and down right shameful.

This Mr. Education Minister should never be allowed to rear its ugly head again.  Time after time you as the minister would champion the importance of education to the country. Yet still the walls of some schools are unfit to house and teach the children who are tomorrow’s future. Is this a case of you hating what you like?

There was a long vacation from July 8th to September 5th, yet still the ministry took the decision on September 03rd to begin working to find temporary shelter for several of the forms. Several times in your various presentations you alluded to the outstanding success of the school.  My God, and now for this to be happening.

A school with a most dedicated staff and students who are committed to the cause of education are now in limbo. This is extremely vexing. As a son of the CARRIACOU soil you are fully aware of the significance that our people place on education.  You Mr. Education Minister are among the brightest the nation can boast off.  That’s because of the education you received. Therefore you should be eager to give these children every opportunity for them to achieve as much or even more than you did. Keeping them out of school is therefore counter-productive to whatever dreams of that nature the children would have.

Bishop’s College is an institution, which has more than demonstrated its worth as an ace-ranked school in this country.  Therefore it should have never been put through this at this time when classes should be in session.  The school has always attracted the very assiduous students.  Look at this year, the top four in this island from the 2016 CPEA in the persons of Elvis Gay Jr., Sashelle Alves, Adina Cyrus and Darrol Alexis, are all enrolled at the school. 

Is it that the Ministry of Education has resorted to a new form of appraisal where schools are punished for performing at their best?  Hope this is not the case and I don’t think it is. It looks so comical, it’s as if the leader of the Ministry of Education is leading from behind. It’s really baffling as to why the ministry would allow the entire holiday period to elapse and then look to rush at the start of the school year.  This is a brilliant demonstration of haddock planning by the Ministry of Education.

It’s like the Ministry of Education lacking education. How can the people of the sister isles invest confidence in such leadership?  Imagine waiting for the school term to commence before constructing a temporary shelter for the staff and students,totally out of place and downright vulgar on the Ministry of Education’s part.

But then again Mr. Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, this should serve for you to keep a closer check on your ministers as to how much time they take to visit the Parish of Carriacou.  I’m certain that since the February 2013 General Elections, Minister Boatswain perhaps visited the schools on Carriacou only once and is yet to visit the Petite Martinique RC School.

Therefore it is good that the Parish of Carriacou and Petite Martinique has a firm and strong Member of Parliament in Hon. Elvin Nimrod who is always very forceful in his demands for the sister isles.  Sometimes of course like in this case it proves to be a challenge.

But Minister Boatswain as someone from the community of Mt. Royal in Carriacou should be happy to grasp every opportunity to visit the island of his birth and to do frequent checks of the needs of the education system here.  So as is happening now we are made to feel a heavy measure of his unprofessionalism. This should be the ministry with a high level of attention and focus to ensure that students take advantage of every available day to learn.  

Minister Boatswain, don’t treat our education system as a sporting venue, which may not be ready for students to recreate.  This is EDUCATION.  Get that clear.  This is the gateway to the future.  This as you have said at many functions is the key towards success.  It’s the same keys for the students of Bishop’s College.  

Let me now warn your successor that on assuming office there are several other schools on the island, which demands attention.  Don’t allow any other institution on the island to have to face this educational dilemma and wait until after the longest holiday in the school year for a temporary structure to be constructed.  Madness!!!!

The Raw Perspective prays that there would not be a repeat of such unfortunate circumstances for our Carriacou schools and nationally.  Bishop’s College is a golden institution and we must continue to always keep that shine for the glory of all who are pursuing academic brilliance. 

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