Students Told Be On Time Or Pay Bus Fare

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Minister of State, in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Patrick Todd, delivering remarks at the launch of Queen’s Park’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations.

"If you want to get on board the Transport Board buses free, [then] get on board at the acceptable time!"

This warning has been issued to school children by Minister of State, in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Patrick Todd.

Delivering remarks during an official ceremony to mark the 100th Anniversary of Queen’s Park, Minister Todd explained: "I have received reports recently from persons who use this park…that some school children may hide away on occasion [here] rather than go to school".

"The government has provided free access for school children on the public transportation and if we find that students are engaging in joy rides up and down the country rather than going to school, then we would have to seriously look at saying that after 9:30 or 10:00 a.m., students would have to pay," the minister resolved.??

Noting that although the park was generally used for positive activities, there were persons who used it for other purposes.

He added: "I congratulate those National Conservation Commission (NCC), rangers who work assiduously, to ensure that we keep out persons who seek to utilise the park in an unacceptable manner; be it drug abuse, gambling or prostitution. This is not acceptable and must be stamped out."

In highlighting the importance of maintaining Queen’s Park as a "national treasure", Minister Todd also invited the business community to "get on board and adopt the park", by providing more benches and similar resources for students seeking to use the park for study and relaxation.

He further noted that, "within any major town or city, there must exist significant green spaces, to provide recreational facilities for residents and persons who have to congregate within the [city area]", and Queen’s Park was one such location that ensures the quality of life is optimised.

In addition, Minister Todd identified Queen’s Park as a possible ???breeding ground’ for cultural activity, if the concept of "Community Tourism" is introduced and embraced.

"As a community tourism venue, we can have on a sustained basis… craft persons and vendors in an organised way, setting up with entertainment to bring Barbadians and tourists alike, to benefit tremendously from this wonderful venue [Queen’s Park]".

Sharing in Minister Todd’s sentiments were Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett, and Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, who also advocated the restoration of Queen’s Park, during the commemorative ceremony.

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