Paul appalled ‘bureaucratic nonsense’ stopped student participation

Paul appalled ‘bureaucratic nonsense’ stopped student participation

James Paul On Midterm Break Over Agrofest

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“Bureaucratic inflexibility” and “bureaucratic obstacles” are not a good enough excuse for hindering thousands of students across the island’s public schools from attending Agrofest 2023.

This is the belief of Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul who feels strongly that the midterm break dates were “not cast in stone” and could have been moved.

He said Barbadians must ask ourselves, “That is the issue. We as a nation must decide what is important and what is not important. And I think that if we have decided on something that is important, commit to it and let’s do it. Get past all the personalities and whatever.

“There are some things that as a nation that we should just come together on and I think this is one of them. We should be able to say, forget the bureaucratic nonsense…”

With school students from public schools on island on midterm break this year and thus absent from Agrofest 2023 on its initial day for the first time since the start of the Festival, Paul, who is one of the Agrofest organisers is still disappointed that all was not done to facilitate the student participation somehow.

He posited they could have given back the students the day somehow. He said he understands the importance of the teaching and learning, but believes, a change could have been facilitated if the will were there. He said that persons hid behind processes and policies.

Lamenting the outcome, he highlighted the fact that some children on island only get to attend the exhibits with their schools and for some this is their first or most impactful interaction with the agriculture sector ever.

Speaking to Loop News on Day-3 as Agrofest wraps up, Paul lauded the private nursery schools and private primary and secondary schools that attended on Friday, February 24, in their numbers, but he said that a middle ground could have and should have been found for public schools.

He said:

“To me it is just bureaucratic madness that you can’t have a situation where let us facilitate the process. Nothing has to be cast in stone. Even the tablets [in the Bible] got cast in stone and they got broken…

“This type of bureaucratic inflexibility, seriously,  at a time when we have something like this, which I think all will agree is of critical and national, and we couldn’t just have simply, let’s just do it.”

Paul also shared that some teachers in the public school system were willing. He said the called saying, “We would do it if we could,” but they were not in positions to effect such significant change. He said he believes it is sad that the “willingness” was not there on the part of the authorities. “It is just to my mind inconceivable how people stay on these things which really should not be happening.”

  • PublishedFebruary 27, 2023

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