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Hardships, discomforts


Corey Worrell

Hardships, discomforts

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BEING THE LEADER of a country in this economic climate has to be a very hard, stressful and exhausting job – well, unless you are the leader of a country like Norway, which isn’t having challenges trying to find ways to cut its debt. Rather, that country is trying to figure out how and where to spend all the billions it has accumulated.  
I can only imagine the amount of stress our Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is under as he tries to lead this country, while having to deal with the public’s response to an unpopular Budget and the recent situation of allegations that temporary public servants will be sent home at the end of their contracts.
Over the last few years I have come to realize that the Prime Minister is a man who carefully analyzes and thinks before he speaks or takes action, a trait that some of us, including me, can learn from.
On Monday night, while watching the Evening News, I was quite shocked when the PM said: “When I last checked the dictionary, temporary still meant for the time being, and if you’re a temporary employee, clearly you have a letter that says that you’ll be employed from one date to another.”
Although there may be truth in what our leader said, I strongly feel that his comments were very insensitive, especially knowing that many Barbadians are already facing hardships and discomforts and the possibility of losing their jobs will only make things harder and, for some, impossible.
Since we are on the topic of temporary workers, I want to remind all members of Cabinet that their positions are also temporary. You have the power to send us home and we have the power to send you home also.
Without a shadow of a doubt, our country is in a critical position. I make no apology for saying this, but I believe we as a people have an apathetic attitude towards this crisis – yes, I said crisis.
Our leadership has failed its people in three critical areas, which are essential in times of hardship and discomfort. They have failed in giving inspiration, hope and security. As one contributor to my Facebook discussion rightfully said, “We think that economics is the only answer”.
Our citizens seem not to understand the severity of what our country is currently facing. Ajmal Khan said in his SUNDAY SUN interview that our resources are our human capital, and I totally agree. One of the most, if not the most, important contributor to our human development is our education sector. It has served us well and once managed efficiently it will continue to do such.
We boast about our high literacy rate and the number of people in our society who have been to school. I was a public secondary school teacher and I can tell you that very soon we will not have much to boast about unless there are changes. Our educational system needs an urgent shake-up and it must start at the primary level since that is what influences the secondary level.
As I have said in other articles, we the taxpayers fund the nation’s educational system, which in my opinion would make us shareholders. As shareholders, we should be given an annual report of how our investment is doing. When I served as a teacher, I was able to obtain end-of-year examinations and CXC results from colleagues at other schools.
If you were also privy to that information, many of you would be shocked and disappointed. Our teachers and principals are giving their all; yet in many cases the results are poor. Something needs to be done urgently. Please understand that the future of this nation is rooted in the product and quality of our educational system. Don’t take my word for it; ask the Minister of Education to publish the results of the end-of-term and CXC examinations and see for yourselves.
It was my desire to address the UWI situation, as well as touch on summer camps and constituency councils as promised but it just didn’t work out that may. My apologies.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]

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