So much has happened in fifty years. It is almost unbelievable.
So many deaths of Principals and deputies, registrars, senior tutors and original staff members!
So many abandoned buildings and so much demolition!
So much transformation in thought and image!
So much growth, so many opportunities and so much hope!
The passing parade had actually happened before my very eyes and I felt compelled to write about it for posterity.
- Mr Charlie Best who interviewed me for a job at the College;
- Mr Alvin Barnett and Mrs Norma Holder with whom I worked side by side to create something new and important- a Division of Health Sciences of which I became Head;
- The late Mr Calvin Yarde, Mr Arthur Sealy, Mr Eric Phillips, Mr Nigel Bradshaw, Mr Freddie Inniss, Mr Arthur Fingall, Mrs Grace Thompson, Mr Sydney Arthur who sat with me at the same table in the conference room at the Eyrie Campus – planning and evaluating progress;
- Mr Hinkitch Bell, Mrs Peggy Inniss, Miss Pauline Sarjeant and Mr Richard Griffith who walked across the compound, from their classrooms to the administration building, pausing, under the tamarind tree, before entering the office to strategize.
Sherbourne House, The Harbour Site, and Marine House have long disappeared. The Tercentenary School of Nursing Building and The Eyrie House are in ruins – open to the elements; hotels for rats, other vermin, weeds and trees.
What is there to celebrate in a book? What is there that is worth recording?
- The new Divisions which came since the college’s establishment – Hospitality Institute, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Language Centre and General and Continuing Education.
- The Departments of Physical Education and Counselling.
- New and varied programmes – not only associate degrees but bachelor’s degrees too.
- Barbados scholars and exhibitioners and graduates- leading in every corner of Barbados – as politicians, artists, chefs, craftsmen, engineers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, designers and musicians.
- A ‘more or less’ A’ level College evolving to a point where it was able to shed its external examinations and, using borrowed and original ideas, ventured out on a course of self -determination, as early as many developed countries did and also first in the Caribbean.
The Barbados Community College Experience: Leading the Anglophone Caribbean in a Global Movement concludes that the college has touched the lives of students from every village and walk of life and contributed to meeting the aspirations of a developing nation. It has provided opportunities for student access to affordable tertiary education, catering to every age, every stage, gender and educational background. It has fostered the holistic development of its students, helping them to become their best selves. It has instilled the desire for learning and created the environment to achieve excellence, opening up the opportunities to compete, excel and earn scholarships and recognition. It has provided opportunities for developing leadership and pointed to opportunities for further study and job placement.
The Barbados Community college is but one of several such institutions in the English Speaking Caribbean that is involved in nation building and regional development. They have emerged from the creative amalgamation of smaller and specialist institutions as well as from the creation of new entities. However formed, they have risen to the challenge of providing relevant and meaningful education.
They are not traditional institutions. They are constantly changing to bring about desired change. They are part of the constant: “order, disorder and re-order” which is the path to further development. Hopefully, this book will provide inspiration for current and future teachers and students and thought leaders to continue on this educational and development journey.
It is not hard to get a copy of the book. It is published by and available from the UWI Press located at the Mona Campus.
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