Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resouce Development, Patrick Todd (left), and Head of Delegation of the European Commission, Ambassador Valeriano Diaz, officially open the Barbados Language Centre.
A Government Minister has highlighted the need for Barbadians to be competent in foreign languages.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Patrick Todd, made the call this morning at the official launch of the Barbados Language Centre.
According to Mr. Todd, “Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours can no longer hold fast to their facility with the language of their distinct linguistic communities and expect to carefully and successfully manoeuvre through this decisive transitional period.”
Stressing that the world in which we now live is one in which inter-regional and international travel have become quite commonplace, Minister Todd stated that “in Barbados where we are dependent on the tourism product and where we highly value our regional and international affiliations, it is critical that we encourage competence in more than one language.”
He pointed out that the attitude that English alone was enough created self-imposed limitations. “To remain monolingual is to stunt one’s educational development, to restrict one’s communication and thinking abilities and to deny oneself the ability to fully appreciate and understand the world in which we live,” Minister Todd stated.
The Barbados Language Centre, located at the Barbados Community College, “Eyrie”, Howells Cross Roads, St. Michael, was completed at the cost of approximately BDS $13 million dollars, of which $9.4 million was donated by the European Union.
The new state-of-the-art facility boasts 12 multimedia-capable classrooms, two language laboratories, two computer laboratories, a self-access computer laboratory, student resource and recreation centres.