Sunday, May 30, 2004

Bdos: What would happen if Americans said this?

Accusations of racism would ring loud and clear from every country at and outside our borders.

ONE hopes that Minister of Education Reginald Farley has not opened a can of worms by calling for an investigation about the children of non-nationals who are receiving primary and secondary education in Barbados. It might even be discovered that a number might be receiving free tertiary education as well.

Farley has suggested that the Immigration Department will have to work closely with the Ministry of Education “to get a handle on the matter.”

The suspicions grow, however, that some students especially at the primary school level, are the children of non-nationals who are not properly documented. These could include people who have overstayed their welcome in Barbados and might even be keeping their children away from school, disregarding laws about compulsory education, to avoid having to answer questions about their reason for being in Barbados.

Farley also hinted that parents from other Caribbean countries are suspected of sending their children to friends and relatives in Barbados “to get a Barbadian education” for free.

Barbados spends millions of dollars each year on educating its people, young and old.
The figures on the surface are so far not startling, but once we start digging they could be a lot higher than what we now suspect. It follows that when students from overseas gain places at various levels in our education system, from primary right up to university level, these are places that will not be available for Barbadians and we cannot be sure how many such students are involved if there is no proper documentation.

This is why Farley indicated that we have to be sure that everything is being done to protect the school places of Barbadian children. This is no CSME issue involving free movement of students from one territory to another, to enjoy the benefits of a better education for free.

This talk right now is about the free movement of labour, not the free movement of students.
I wonder how many children of Bajan illegals in the U.S. are receiving "free" education paid for by the American taxpayer? I wonder what is the Nation's position on the children of illegal Bajans who receive up to tertiary education "free" in the U.S.?

Seems we all like illegals ... except in our own country.


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