Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Patrick Todd (FP)

As the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development continues its celebrations to mark African Awareness month, Minister of State in the Ministry, Patrick Todd, is asking persons to reflect on the rich cultural traditions of that country.

He was speaking to students at the "Let’s Celebrate Afrika" presentation, held recently at Harrison College.??

"As we celebrate this month, let us reflect on Africa, especially West Africa – and the scattering of millions of enslaved Africans who strongly resisted efforts to crush their rich cultural traditions, while enduring tremendous humiliation and suffering," he advised.

The Minister also made mention of persons of African heritage who have made significant contributions in a number of areas. These include Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the first open heart surgery in 1893; Granville Woods, who invented the telephone transmitter; Marie Brown, who devised the home security system, Otis Boykin who introduced the pace maker; Sarah Boone who designed the ironing board and John Burr who invented the typewriter.

"I urge you to empower yourselves with accurate information about people of the African Diaspora, then you would understand why you should never see yourselves as underachievers. Do you know that Mathematics and Science were first created and practised in Ancient Khemet, a civilisation of black people? Knowing this surely should give you encouragement to make every effort to improve your performance in these subject areas," he added.

Minister Todd also called on teachers, parents and society to draw on the positive aspects of their African culture and to instill sound values such as respect, honesty, diligence, hard work, courage, tolerance, fairness and patriotism in Barbados’ children.??

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