Monthly Archives: November 2010

CBS TV boost for Guyana tourism – Videos

CBS-TV ‘s Joey Stevens in Guyana

Here are two videos, each about 28 minutes, by a CBS-TV team led by weather forecaster Joey Stephens. The videos  feature various aspects of  Guyana’s geography, its people, forests, and eco-tourism.  Unfortunately, these videos are no longer on-line at the CBS website.  Here is the report on Joey Stephen’s visit:

Written by Nathalene De Freitas  – Sunday, 11 July 2010

A TEAM from the popular ‘One Caribbean Weather’ and WSEE TV, including weather forecaster Joey Stevens and his puppet parrot, Bob, arrived here yesterday to produce shows on Guyana’s tourism that will be aired on CBS and the ‘One Caribbean Weather’ channels.   Continue reading



Some tunes by “The Tradewinds” of Guyana with some Guyanese pictures to go along with them, as chosen by the person posting the YouTube entry.

Tradewinds – Dave Martins – 3 videos

Tradewinds – Dave Martins Pt 1 of 3

Tradewinds – Dave Martins, Live on stage in Guyana……..Created by DJ Getbusy


Live in guyana….”Not a blade of grass & Is we Own”……..  .created by dj getbusy


Live in Guyana…Tradewinds – Dave Martins Pt 2 of 3 “Copy Cat”


“Beautiful Barbados” by the Merrymen

“Beautiful Barbados” by the Merrymen

This Barbadian song, performed by The Merrymen, says it all.

“Your Barbados” Presents Merrymen Medley

“Your Barbados” Presents Merrymen Medley

A video, a great day at Consett Bay,  Barbados

Buxton- Friendship Express – Nov 2010

Buxton- Friendship Express Newsletter – November 2010

Please download here: Buxton-FriendshipExpress2010-11

The November issue of our newsletter is also available online at:

You may also obtain past issues from our website at

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy!


Lorna Campbell,  Editor



By: R. Buckminster Fuller 1895-1983 – inventor of the geodesic dome and many futuristic products. The following entry is from his book: “Education Automation – freeing the student to return to his studies”, published in 1962:-

“I am convinced that humanity is characterized by extraordinary love for its new life and yet has been misinforming its new life to such an extent that the new life is continually at a greater disadvantage than it would be if abandoned in the wilderness by the parents. For an instance of misconception extension there is my own case. I was born in 1895. The airplane was invented when I was nine years old. Up to the time I was nine years old, the idea that man could fly was held to be preposterous, and anybody could tell you so. My own boyhood attempts to make flying machines were considered wasted time. I have lived deeply into the period when flying is no longer impossible, but nonetheless a period in which the supremely ruling social conventions and economic dogma have continued to presuppose a non-flying-man ecology.

“My daughter was not born into the kind of a world that I was; so she doesn’t have to struggle to sustain the validity of the particular set of spontaneously-logical conceptions that were pronounced “impossible” in my day, nor need she deal with the seemingly illogical concepts that the older life thought to be “evident”‘ and “obvious” in my day. The new life is continually born into a set of conditions where it is easier for it to acquire more accurate information, generated almost entirely outside of family life and folklore, regarding what is going on in human affairs and in nature in general; and, therefore, the new life has the advantage of much more unshaken intellectual courage with respect to the total experiences than have its as yet living elders who have had to overcome these errors, but who retain deep-rooted delusively-conditioned, subconscious reflexes

“I said I started a number of years ago exploring for ways in which the individual could employ his experience analytically to reorganize patterns around him by design of impersonal tools. To be effective, this reorganization must incorporate the latest knowledge gained by man. It also should make it an increasingly facile matter for the new life to apprehend what is going on. It should eliminate the necessity of new life asking questions of people who don’t know the answers, thereby avoiding cluttering up the new minds with bad answers which would soon have to be discarded. I felt that the evolving inventory of information “decontaminated” through competent design might be “piped” right into the environment of the home. Please remember my philosophy is one which had always to be translated into inanimate artifacts. My self-discipline ruled that it would be all right for me to talk after I had translated my philosophy and thoughts into actions and artifacts, but I must never talk about the thoughts until I have developed a physical invention — not a social reform.

“That is the philosophy I evolved in 1927 when at thirty-two I began my own thinking. I have been operating since then on the 1927 premises, looking exploratorily for tasks that needed to be done, which would, when done, provide tool complexes that would begin to operate inanimately at higher advantage for the new life. I am the opposite of a reformer; I am what I call a new former. The new form must be spontaneously complimentary to the innate faculties and capabilities of life. I am quite confident that humanity is born with its total intellectual capability already on inventory and that human beings do not add anything to any other human being in the way of faculties and capacities. What usually happens in the educational process is that the faculties are dulled, overloaded, stuffed and paralyzed, so that by the time that most people are mature they have lost use of many of their innate capabilities. My long-time hope is that we may soon begin to realize what we are doing and may alter the “education” process in such a way as only to help the new life to demonstrate some of its very powerful innate capabilities”. – Buckminster Fuller – 1962



COMMENT by Cyril Bryan:

Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), is one of my favorite authors.  His ideas on education, science and innovation are unique in many respects.  I  selected the above entry  on Education that was written in 1962 which I found to be quite interesting.  I do hope that you found it informative especially in these times of rapid technological changes.  Here is some background information on Buckminster Fuller:-

Buckminster Fuller was the creator of the geodesic dome and many unique products.  Although Fuller was not the original inventor, he developed the intrinsic mathematics of the dome, thereby allowing popularization of the idea — for which he received a U.S. patent in 1954.  See Wikipedia entry on geodecic dome here

He was truly one of the great thinkers and inventors of the 20thcentury.  His life story and books are truly fascinating, and demonstrates how a university dropout can achieve the pinnacle of success in science using the intuitive processes that are innate in everyone, but which can be dulled by the “education factories” teaching yesterday knowledge.

Many of the concepts and words like Synergy, Holistic, “Paradigm shift”, ” “Thinking outside the box” “Comprehensive thinking”, and research methods used today were created by him and used in his various books and writings.

His ideas have influenced architecture, mathematics, philosophy, religion, urban development and design, naturalism, physics, numerology, art and literature, industry and technology.  I have been influenced by his life story and philosophy and have read most of his books, the most interesting being his two-volume “Synergetics” – Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking.

I would suggest that readers learn more about his life and works and the organization he founded, by visiting the following website of the Buckminster Fuller Institute:

Education system in 19th century British Guiana

Education system in 19th century British Guiana

The evolution of an education system in 19th century colonial British Guiana: From the Dutch to British Compulsory Education Ordinance of 1876

By Tota C. Mangar – Stabroek News, Guyana – January 15, 2009

Based on the available evidence it is quite reasonable to conclude that very little was done during the long years of Dutch settlement and colonization towards educating the slave population in their former colonies of Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice. Such a situation was not entirely surprising as these earliest colonizers focused almost exclusively on trading and agricultural development. Dutch planters were obviously more interested in the acquisition of a large scale, unskilled labour force for their estates and hence they saw nothing advantageous to themselves and their associates in attaching importance to education. Whatever little opportunity availed itself to the slaves came from the Church, and in particular the Dutch Reform Church, in the form of evangelization and with emphasis on qualities of spiritual and moral goodness.

The immediate post-cession years of British rule witnessed a general reluctance and even discouragement on the part of planters to educate their slaves. Indeed, education was far from being a governmental policy and planters were highly suspicious of missionary activities. The latter, were to a great extent, fearful that missionary work would go beyond the stage of proselytizing and that their teaching might eventually incite slaves to rebel. With such an attitude around, the work of early missionaries was considerably hindered or even stymied from time to time.

For example, John Hawkshaw, a Methodist clergyman was promptly expelled when he attempted to provide religious instruction to slaves. In 1823 Reverend John Smith, a prominent member of the London Missionary Society (L.M.S.) was blamed and made to suffer for the East Coast Slave Insurrection. In the first place, planters were pre-occupied with their personal safety and also the economic stability and viability of their plantations. Coupled with this was their obvious fear and concern that “the notions of freedom and equality inherent in Christianity would lead to a disruption of slavery”.

Despite tremendous odds the London Missionary Society in particular did reach out to some slaves during the early stages of British rule. It was obvious that from the 1820s onwards some missionaries were making an impact in their efforts to educate the slave population. It was the Anglican Church which established the St George’s Free School in 1824 and five years later this body followed up with the opening of the All Saints School in New Amsterdam. All the same one ought to concede that the overall situation was such that there was the existence of a “mere embryonic structure of elementary or primary education” in the immediate pre-emancipation era. It was only after 1833 that a formal system of elementary education emerged in the colony of British Guiana.

The Emancipation Act which came into force on the first of August 1834 ensured all children of ex-slaves under the age of six years were regarded as free persons and this in itself had serious implications. It led to the establishment of infant schools with the overall objective of providing day-care for children of the labouring class. Furthermore, the British government endorsed a plan for state subsidized religious and moral education.
Towards this end it allocated the annual sum of £25,000 Parliamentary Grant for Negro Education in the British West Indies. Of this figure the then British Guiana received a mere £1,430. In any event the underlying motive for providing education to children at this particular juncture was seemingly to groom them to become good servants and not so much as making them fit to live in society.

The immediate impact of the Education Grant in the colony was a marked increase in the number of schools by various religious bodies. Most of these schools that emerged had their classes in church buildings and of significance was the fact that teachers were either clergymen or they were closely associated with the Church.

At this early stage the quality of education provided was grossly unsatisfactory due largely to inadequate numbers of qualified teachers. As a result the monitorial system dominated as monitors were used to teach the less academically gifted under the supervision of the schoolmaster. Moreover, there was a high degree of absenteeism by children. In any case education instead of affording the masses the opportunity of improving their lot, was subtly geared “towards the production of a servile, neocitizenry who could remain a permanent labour force for the plantation system”.

It was not altogether surprising that from around 1845 several of the denominational schools ended in closures. Adequate finance was a major problem. In this regard a serious blow was dealt by the Colonial Office itself. It implemented a phased withdrawal of the annual Education Grant. Consequently, the onus was left on local legislatures to shoulder the responsibility of financing education. This task was made even more difficult since various state-aided immigration schemes were given preference during this crucial stage of ‘crisis, change and experimentation’ and colonial British Guiana was no exception.

The Court of Policy, the colony’s highest decision making body at the time, was prepared to offer only a pittance in terms of budgetary allocation towards education. Besides, the quality of education provided must have had a rebound effect. It contributed to an attitude of nonchalance on the part of both parents and children towards the whole business of education. Of added significance, was the fact that ex-slaves were moving off the plantations. With a mobile population resulting from both exodus and immigration it was rather unsettling for parents and children to view education seriously.
The depressing situation was further exacerbated by the Civil List crisis of 1848-1849.

A consequential stoppage of supplies led to a withdrawal of service of several headmasters because of the uncertainty of receiving salaries and education grants. School attendance was badly affected. Attendance fell from an average of 3,026 in 1848 to that of 1,686 the following year.

In 1844 Queen’s College was established and initially this development was primarily intended to provide for those whites who could ill-afford to send their children to Europe for a classical education. As a matter of fact non-whites had to be “extra-ordinarily gifted” to find themselves at this institution and by 1848 only two Negro boys were attending the school in addition to white students.

Mr John Mc Swiney was appointed the first Inspector of Schools in 1849 and the following year a Board of Education was formed. Following his assumption of duty Mc Swiney visited schools country-wide and he forwarded a detailed report for the general improvement of the education system. Among his recommendations were local governmental control of education, compulsory attendance at schools, better record keeping and more qualified teachers. Despite these calls there was very little encouragement from the highly influential and powerful plantocracy and the Inspector of Schools proposals never got off the ground.

In 1850 a Commission was appointed by the then Governor Henry Barkly to outline plans for the introduction of popular education in the colony. It proposed among other things, the creation of local district boards, religious instruction to be made optional, the continued usage of Church facilities and expertise and the cost of education to be partially financed by an assessment tax on parents of recipients and partly by a colonial grant. These recommendations met with strong protest from religious bodies. Added to this were government’s financial considerations and the intensification of various immigration schemes by the mid-nineteenth century.
In the end the plan was shelved and nothing tangible was done in terms of restructuring and education reforms.

Some progress in the development of an education system in colonial British Guiana was made during the administration of Governor Philip Wodehouse in the 1850s. His Education Bill of 1855 placed executive control over education. Among its main aspects were a formal system of dual control of schools by Church and State, a specified period for religion instruction, the remuneration of teachers on merit and the payment of school fees as sine qua non for the entitlement to government grants.

In spite of these changes problems continued to be experienced in the education sector.
Attendance of children was extremely poor. The payment of school fees was undoubtedly having the effect of preventing many children from attending school. It was also the tendency of parents to encourage their children to work on the plantations in order to supplement family income. Inadequate teacher training, a lack of standardization of content and problems of language and religion experienced by children of East Indian immigrants were also contributory factors.

In an attempt to improve the quality of teachers without entailing much expenditure, the pupil teacher system was introduced in 1857. Further, by the early 1860s there were repeated calls for compulsory education in order to stem the tide of absenteeism. Around this time some estate schools had been established in Demerara and Berbice to cater for children of East Indian immigrants and one Reverend Bhose in particular, worked actively among them. Bhose was of the view that the system of education was doomed to fail unless attendance was enforced and parents were compelled to send their children to school.

In the ensuing years Governor Francis Hincks instituted a system of payment by examination results in an attempt to make teachers more proficient but instead of achieving this desired quality, it led to “cramming and gross dishonesty”. Under this scheme teachers’ remuneration was based on the examination of children who had made a certain number of attendances during the school year. Hence, preparation for examinations involved much cramming on the part of students and even the forging of registers to ensure as many children as possible were eligible to be examined.

By the early 1870s there was very little improvement in the education system. More school age children were still out of school when compared with the number making attendances. It was not strange therefore that several newspapers joined the calls on whether the education system should be a completely secular or a compulsory denominational system. Continue reading


Living in the Age of Imposed Amnesia: The Eclipse of Democratic Formative Culture

by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed -Tuesday 16 November 2010 :


(Illustration: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

We live in an age in which punitive justice and a theater of cruelty have become the defining elements of a mainstream cultural apparatus that trades in historical and social amnesia. How else to explain the electoral sweep that just put the most egregious Republican Party candidates back in power? These are the people who gave us Katrina, made torture a state policy, promoted racial McCarthyism, celebrated immigrant bashing, pushed the country into two disastrous wars, built more prisons than schools, bankrupted the public treasury, celebrated ignorance over scientific evidence (“half of new Congressmen do not believe in global warming” )(1) and promoted the merging of corporate and political power. For the public to forget so quickly the legacy of the injustices, widespread corruption and moral abyss created by this group (along with a select number of conservative democrats) points to serious issues with the pedagogical conditions and cultural apparatuses that made the return of the living dead possible. The moral, political and memory void that enabled this vengeful and punishing historical moment reached its shameful apogee by allowing the pathetic George W. Bush to reappear with a 44 percent popularity rating and a book tour touting his memoirs – the ultimate purpose of which is to erase any vestige of historical consciousness and make truth yet another casualty of the social amnesia that has come to characterize the American century.

Imposed amnesia is the modus operandi of the current moment. Not only is historical memory now sacrificed to the spectacles of consumerism, celebrity culture, hyped-up violence and a market-driven obsession with the self, but the very formative culture that makes compassion, justice and an engaged citizenry foundational to democracy has been erased from the language of mainstream politics and the diverse cultural apparatuses that support it. Unbridled individualism along with the gospel of profit and unchecked competition undermine both the importance of democratic public spheres and the necessity for a language that talks about shared responsibilities, the public good and the meaning of a just society. Politics is now defined through a language that divorces the ethical imagination from any sense of our ethical responsibilities. Consequently, it becomes increasingly more difficult to connect politics with the importance of what Tony Judt and Zygmunt Bauman have called the social question – with its emphasis on defining society in terms of public values, the common good, spiritual well-being and “an imagined totality woven of reciprocal dependence, commitment and solidarity.”(2) more …….           read full article at this link < click

Guyanese Online Newsletter – Nov. 2010


Guyanese Online Newsletter – November 2010-<download here

Here is a list of the articles in the November edition of the Guyanese Online Newsletter — Enjoy!!

Banner: Cheddie Jagan International Airport, Guyana

Articles in this Issue

  1. Barbados P.M. David Thompson dies
  2. “Hurricane Tomas” hits Caribbean
  3. Editorial:  Cyril Bryan -Amerindians
  4. Diwali 2010 Motorcade in Guyana
  5. Amerindian Toshoas Council meets.
  6. A windfall for Amerindians – maybe?
  7. Editorial -Eight Toshaos reject pact
  8. Skeldon Factory Problems aired
  9. Hope Canal Works begin;
  10. Buxton’s new Tipperary Hall;
  11. Corentyne bridge may start next year
  12. REDjet  – new Caribbean Airline
  13. Rockstone Fish festival a success
  14. T&T Premier says she was misquoted
  15. Grenada business most improved
  16. St. Lucia – needs US$500M to rebuild
  17. U.G. Strategic Plan 2009-2012
  18. U.G. Alumni Assoc. Database
  19. Victoria honours ancestors
  20. Guyanese Association of Manitoba;
  21. GABI  Guyanese Association of Barbados
  22. American Invasions by Rocky Mirza
  23. Guyana Outreach
  24. The Elusive Tennis Rolls;
  25. Passing of the Wapishana Torch
  26. Glimpses of Guyana History : Roads and rail transport in 1922  – British Guiana Handbook.
  27. The Growth of Black Peasantry after 1838 in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

We hope that you enjoy the newsletter and pass it on to your families and friends.  Look up our past newsletters on the Blog.

Cyril Bryan,  Editor/ Publisher


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