Jones wants more books printed
MINISTER OF EDUCATION and Human Resources Development Ronald Jones is hoping that an increased number of indigenous teaching materials will be printed in the next few years.
In lauding the work of principal of Alexandra Secondary School, Jeff Broomes, who launched four new books at the ministry’s compound yesterday, Jones said he was hoping more teachers would follow Broomes’ lead and take advantage of the facilities at the fully equipped Media Resource Department (MRD) at the ministry.
Jones lamented the fact that although Barbados boasted of some of the best trained teachers in the world and an excellent teaching service, there was a disconnect between the excellence displayed in the classroom and published teaching materials.
He was concerned that too many teachers “transit” the teaching service for years, with nothing to show for their time in the classroom. The minister said Barbados needed to make that great leap forward, which cannot now be done because we were borrowing from others.
He reminded the audience that the same offer Broomes accepted to have his works published at the MRD was open to all teachers.
Speaking to the media after the launch, Broomes said that millions of dollars were spent every year bringing in teaching materials from overseas. He said that at Alexandra alone, $75 000 was spent on books, and that local teachers were well equipped to produce the relevant materials.
“I don’t believe that there is any teacher in Barbados that is less than a teacher in Trinidad, or less than teachers in Jamaica. We are good, but we lack confidence because oftentimes we are afraid of criticism. I don’t know why we should be, but we don’t have the culture of writing,” he noted.
Broomes said he believed there were a lot of teachers out there who were better than he who could and should see the thrust by Minister of Education and Human Resources Development and chief of the Media Resource Department, Walter Harper, as a stepping stone. Broomes said he was also working on a dictionary of mathematical terms and a book on early childhood education.
The MRD is also working on science books for students from infants to primary level and then one for secondary school. A social studies book is also in the works.