Education Minister Ronald Jones is bothered that only 29 per cent of males are among the latest batch of 1,730 students who successfully completed courses and programmes at the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP).
Calling it an ???extremely terrible dilemma??? society was facing, Mr. Jones asked those gathered at BIMAP???s graduation ceremony at the Hilton Barbados Resort: ???What has gone wrong with our young men that it???s only 29 per cent? What are the men doing????
The Minister noted that it was important to reach the males and pointed out that it was no better at the University of the West Indies, where the figure reached about 35 per cent.
Recalling some action research he had undertaken, Mr. Jones lamented that he had observed men with cars dropping off females at the University of the West Indies Open Campus in the Pine, St. Michael, but rather than going into the institution of learning they drove off and later returned to pick up the women, after the classes were finished.
He said: ???I have also been watching the dynamic of those same young ladies that you take to study, who have made the impossible possible by transforming their lives through learning, through education as they receive their scrolls and their special prizes, that two weeks down the road you are still driving your car, ignorant as hell, and she is driving her own car and seeing somebody else.
???You should have been next to her in school or in some classroom of learning as well. I don???t feel sorry for you when somebody else takes her away because you were stupid.???
The Education Minister, however, acknowledged that this did not appear to be the majority and there were still some brilliant young men, at all levels of the educational system. But he said he would prefer to see more males in a learning institution bettering themselves and having strong and positive relationships with females.
He therefore called on men to take the challenge saying: ???Continue to learn and to enhance your position in life???There???s an opportunity, an opportunity that should not be missed, that should be grasped because you have the foresight to understand and to know that you have to be better.???
The Education Minister had earlier reminded the graduands that they should feel good about their achievements, as it was important to invest in their own future. Cautioning them not to stop at this achievement but to keep on learning, the former teacher said this was necessary if they really wanted to ???transcend their borders and be on the cutting edge???.