Categorized | National News

Lightbourne Blasts Gov’t Over Education

With the government deadset of transitioning the College of The Bahamas to a university, a FNM MP is convinced that until the general state of education is addressed, it’s a dream that should probably be deferred.

 Montagu MP Richard Lightbourne said opposers may find that he’s not being nationalistic when it comes to the College of the Bahamas making the big leap to university status, but he said he is being realistic.

 During his contribution to the ongoing debate on the University of the Bahamas Bill, Mr. Lightbourne lambasted the government for what he called hoodwinking people into thinking that even before the university of the Bahamas’ physical structure is completed, degrees that haven’t even been created will be comparable to those offered by universities around the world.

 “In order to create a university of any standing finances are required not only for the physical structure, but for the staff that you’re going to employ

 “This is a substantial amount and the government hasn’t addressed it, where is the evidence of this.

 “Where is the evidence that we’re going to have adequate funding to make this work in this country?” Mr. Lightbourne said.

 Mr. Lightbourne added that the country’s brain drain is still very much a reality here, with many of our qualified and educated students remaining abroad, because of a lack of economic opportunities.

 “We’re going to be the breeding ground for students to work in the United States until we start addressing the crime problem, the finance situation

 “You think these students that are going to produce out of the University of the Bahamas are going to stay here?

 “They’re going to get on the same plane and boat that took the people away and they’re going to find employment elsewhere.

 “So if we just sit back and ignore the realities of life in this country, then this country is in for a sad awakening,” Mr. Lightbourne said.

 Prime Minister Perry Christie responded to Lightbourne’s remarks in the afternoon session of the house, and said that he was partially correct, but only because there are large percentage of graduates from the region that go on to work in North America.

“When the member for Montagu spoke about the brain drain he was correct in a way.

“The Vice President of the United States met with prime ministers in the region was facing a situation where 60-70 per cent of the graduates from universities within the region end up in North America.

“He said to us that the United States of America was built on getting the best and brightest from around the world.

“We have persons that go off and become economists, financiers, doctors who remain abroad because they have had this extraordinary opportunity to make it big, this is all part of development, ” Mr. Christie said.

Mr. Lightbourne claims more than 50 per cent of Bahamians educated abroad do not return home.

 The University of Bahamas Bill passed the House of Assembly last evening.





Written by Jones Bahamas

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