Promoting Commonwealth Values in Barbados

Student receiving the new exercise book from Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart.

Student receiving the new exercise book from His Excellency, Richard Hanley, High Commissioner of Canada.

From left: Rasheda Browne, Imani Brathwaite and Kaleah Clarke, peruse the excerpts found in the exercise books.

As they celebrate their nation’s 47th year of Independence, students in Barbados are also learning about human rights, the rule of law and protection from discrimination through new school workbooks.

The workbooks, produced by the Royal Commonwealth Society and funded by the High Commission of Canada, pair mathematical tables and other traditional learning materials with information on the recently-adopted Commonwealth Charter.

The Honourable Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, and Canadian High Commissioner Hanley were on hand to distribute the workbooks to the students of Christ Church Foundation School, and to speak about the relevance of the Commonwealth Charter to young people.

“You are the people of the future, but you can only guard that future if you go into it with the right kind of values. You can only continue to write Barbados’ name on History’s page if you are a strict guardian of this country’s heritage and you are determined to be firm craftsmen of this country’s fate.” - The Honourable Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados

Prime Minister Stuart also discussed relationship between the Commonwealth Charter and Barbados’ constitution, drawing particular attention to freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom from forced labour and the rule of law – values that Canada shares and is proud to promote. 

Though once consisting solely of former British colonies, the Commonwealth of Nations today includes many other countries that see value in associating with the Commonwealth and the values to which it subscribes.

The students of Christ Church Foundation School were the first to receive the workbooks, but with Canada’s support they will be distributed to all secondary schools in Barbados.