THE Progressive Young Liberals criticised the College of the Bahamas’ Union of Students yesterday for their “careless” and “imbecilic bashing” of the Christie administration over the purported cuts to the college’s subvention.
As the youth arm of the governing PLP party, the Progressive Young Liberals (PYL) said they were “repulsed” by the misinterpretation and deliberate meandering of facts that has left the College of the Bahamas and the nation in a state of confusion and disbelief.
“The students at the College of the Bahamas are not faced with a dilemma, as claimed, because the elected officials that lead our nation have absolutely no intention of reducing subventions to the College of the Bahamas that would cause a ‘reduction in quality or level of services to the public or any forced reduction in head count.’
“Had the 2012-2013 College of the Bahamas Union of Students (COBUS) board utilized its skills in collecting and analysing data to come to some truth in this matter, they would have first sought to retrieve the document dated 20th December, 2012 which was sent and addressed to the President of the College of the Bahamas, Dr Betsy Vogel Boze. The letter plainly explicates the expectations of the college from the Ministry of Finance and states: ‘I am requesting that you submit a financial plan by January 31, 2013 to reduce direct and indirect subventions to your organization by 25 per cent within the next two fiscal years with at least 10 per cent in FY 2013/2014. This reduction should be achieved without any reduction in quality and level of services to the public or any forced reduction in head count and should cover direct cash transfers (recurrent and capital) and any tax deferments your organization is now receiving. The proposed measures should also be benchmarked to cost of service, the market or the public’s ability to pay. The expectation is that at least 50 per cent of the reduction would be achieved through improvements in organisational efficiencies.’
“Evidently, the portion of the letter, quoted above, that clearly emphasizes the point that ‘reduction would be improved in organisational efficiencies’ was overlooked and or ignored as a mechanism to lambaste the Christie administration’s efforts in steering the country into the direction of positive growth and prosperity instead of a course of unfathomable demise as it was left under the former Ingraham administration,” the PYL said.
According to the youth group, COBUS’ “failure” to seek accurate information on this matter led to the “careless, imbecilic bashing” of the Minister of Education, Minister of State for Finance, Minister of Financial Services and the entire Christie administration along with “untruthful, distasteful tirades from students at the College of the Bahamas” and the general population of the Bahamas on social media networks and through other media channels.
“Even after several attempts were made to clarify the matter, the 2012-2013 COBUS administration is still claiming that they are still ‘not satisfied with the answers received.’ PYL wants to know, how long has this plight between COBUS and the College Senior Administration been unravelling? Surely, this issue is not a direct result of the Christie administration. Why is it then that the 2012-2013 COBUS board is seeking to flop this issue of miscommunication and lack of transparency between the COB Senior administration and COBUS to that of the Government of the Bahamas, but, more specifically, the Christie administration?
“PYL strongly believes that the 2012-2013 COBUS board handled this matter poorly, sent the nation in an uproar over untruths and, as such, demands that a public apology be made immediately to the Minister of Education, Minister of Financial Services, Minster of State for Finance, the Christie administration and the people of the Bahamas, for its malicious spreading of fallacious political pomposity and igniting fear and seeking to divide an already broken nation.”
The PYL urged the 2012-2013 COBUS board to pursue knowledge, as it will unearth truth and strengthen individuals with characters of integrity while positively contributing to the productive progression of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
In response, COBUS said it was disappointed that the Progressive Young Liberals have attempted to make the issue of subvention cuts and proposed tuition increases, a partisan political dog-fight.
“This matter impacts us all as Bahamians. The use of disrespectful and divisive language by an organization that also represents the voice of young Bahamians, after having no discussion with COBUS to understand our plight here at the College, is exactly what devalues the standards and voice of the constituents we as leadership organizations represent. Students, staff, teachers, and middle management unions all agree that the information around these subvention cuts has been unclear and ill-informed at best. We admonish all to not be blinded by the facades of alliances, party colours, and hidden agendas, but to unite for the common betterment and protection of our country and future.”