Category Archives: Ask Bajan Mom
Good evening, everyone:
I have been away for a long time but note that all email and comment responses are now up-to-date so you can check your email/comment section.
I will try to post a Q & A at a later date since some of the questions asked fell into the same category and others may benefit.
I wish you well and belated New Year’s greetings.
Good day, good readers. A question has been asked and answered but may require its own post. One reader asked how to get updates going to his email. There is a small rectangle on the lower right hand corner of the screen which says “+Follow”. When you press that rectangle, you are invited to enter your email address. Your address is not made public nor will it be shared with anyone.
This is a very convenient way to keep abreast of the information here since I do not get to update as often as I would like.
Hope that you find this to be useful.
Thank you for your emails and I apologise for the delay in my responses. I have just completed answering the last of the backlog from the last couple of months so you may check your email for my answers to your questions. If you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask.
The majority of questions this time around have been in regards to doctor recommendations. Please note that questions about doctor recommendations will be answered privately and will not be published for the protection of the doctors themselves. (View this link)
Thank you again for reading and I wish you and yours all the best for the season.
Q: Hey… I wanted to know if you knew anything about the homeschooling process in Barbados. I know that it is accepted, but I am unsure as to what the procedure is. I have been living outside of Barbados for the past 8 years. I have been home schooling my 2 children since that time and believe in the parents right to provide the best education possible for their child.
I do so with the help of online curriculum as my children are American citizens. I use a program which provides me with teacher assistance, books, and online class. By the end of their high school life, my children will have recognized high school diplomas. I would like to continue on this program with my children. Do you know of the procedure that I have to go through in order to do so.
I think such a program will be highly beneficial for parents in Barbados most schools are overcrowded and teachers are overworked. – H.W.
A: Dear H.W.,
Thank you for your question. There are many variables which may impact whether you may be able to continue the curriculum you outlined, one of which is the length of time that you plan to spend in Barbados. If your children are to sit any of our national or regional examinations, it may be in their interests to follow the appropriate curricula which lead to those certificates. Your best recourse is to contact the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation at (246) 430-2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you want specifics.
Generically speaking, however, I do have some information for you. In order for a child to be home schooled in Barbados, one must write a letter, asking for permission, addressed to:
The Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation
Elsie Payne Complex
In this letter you need to:
- Give the reason why your children are to be homeschooled,
- Include your children’s names, dates of birth and any previous schools that they attended,
- Provide the curriculum to be used for the Ministry’s perusal,
- Provide the qualifications of those who will tutor your child, whether it be you or someone you hire.
I hope that you find this information to be helpful and I wish you all the best in your planned transition.
I forgot to mention this in my last post. I get several emails from you all which I greatly appreciate. I have been asked why some specific emails have not been published. What I do is select an email that epitomises questions asked by a group of readers and answer in that way. I also try to privately answer as many individual emails as I can as well.
I know some of you may have created pseudonyms and emails to match to protect your identity and expect to see your question posted. Please, I humbly ask, that when you create these pseudo-emails that you check them. I may not have published a reply on the blog but actually answered your question privately instead.
Thank you for your time, patience and understanding.
THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO EMAILED INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR PREFERRED OB/GYNS. IN THE WORDS OF J . . . “MANY THANKS.”
Q: Dear Bajan Mom,
I really like your listing of Doctors on your blog and noted your disclaimer about not being able to list recommendations.
I was going to Dr. Greaves (who I loved) and learned that he will no longer be delivering babies in 2015 and mine is due early January.
I am now looking for a new Obstetrician and would love to know the feedback you’ve had on this list that do deliveries at Bayview.
Appreciate you sharing your feedback. I’ve not been able to find information on where any of them have studied or practiced etc.
Dr Eltora Bennett
Dr Nigel Best
Dr James Boyce
Dr Carlos Chase
Dr Donn Greaves (retiring from deliveries Dec ’14)
Dr Raymond Maughan
Dr Garth Mclntyre
Dr Agatha Scholar
Dr Maurice Smith
Dr. Tracey Archer (believe she also delivers at Bayview).
Thanks in advance,
A: Dear J,
Thank you for your kind email. As I mentioned in my private response to you, there is only one on the list I am sure of, the others I will research on your behalf. I will also appeal to the readers to assist, some of them in the medical field themselves.
Any of these medical practitioners who may be reading, or any patients or former patients of theirs, feel free to comment or send me an email at email@example.com. Let us help J have one less stressor during this precious time in her life.
Q: Dear Bajan Mom, could you do an article on corporal punishment? I was told that children still get ‘lashes’ in Barbados. I have never laid a hand on my son and I am very concerned about how it would affect him if or when I return to the island. Say No To Beatings
A: Dear Say No To Beatings,
I understand your concerns. It is not an easy thing to place your child in someone else’s hands, moreover, when their values and modes of care may differ from your own. Yes, what you have heard is true, corporal punishment still exists in Barbadian schools, but it is not the first course of action as it was in days of yore.
The days of the classroom teacher beating children at will have dissipated. Only senior teachers and principals are allowed to administer the rod so the child is not spoiled. From what I understand, even when disciplinary problems are brought to senior management, the behavior must be especially egregious for the right to lash to be exercised. Some senior educators have become more sensitive to a nurturing approach to discipline, and Barbadians are more litigious than they once were, so an air of caution exists.
It would be remiss of me not to add that we as parents have a responsibility to raise our children in such a way that they do not end up in front of the principal for punitive reasons. Well-behaved, respectful children tend to avoid corporal punishment; this is not to say that injustice may never occur.
The parent-teacher relationship should be a collaborative one. Get to know your child’s new principal and class teacher well. That way, if a troubling issue arises, it is more likely that they would seek your input as the first approach instead of using the methods that you dread.
Q: Hi there, Bajanmom. This is my first time commenting but I have been reading your posts for a couple of weeks now. My question is, what are car prices like in Barbados? I am trying to figure out if I should buy a car here or in Barbados after I move. Thanks. UKB
A: UKB, thank you for your question. I wish you had given me more information like your age, where you live, how long you lived overseas, and when you are planning to move to Barbados. Information like that would help me to understand if you fall under the rights and privileges of returning nationals or not and also assist in making price comparisons. That said, I will answer you to the best of my ability.
Let me address your first question first. I have found that, due to Barbadian taxes and duties, that Barbadian vehicles are almost four times more expensive than those in the US. When I was in the States I visited US and Barbadian car dealership websites, which gave me an idea about costs. I also called dealerships in Barbados to ask if they would be able to service the particular brand or model I was investigating, since these are factors to consider as well. So, for example, let us look at the 2014 Toyota Rav 4. In the US, according to www.toyota.com, this vehicle’s 2.5L Gasoline engine model’s starting price is US$23,550, that is roughly BD$47,100. In Barbados, the 2013 model of similar engine size retails for a starting price of BD$166,995 or US$83,497.50. If my maths serves me correctly, the 2013 Rav4 in Barbados is 3.5 times plus more expensive than its 2014 equivalent in the US.
I should warn you, however, that your decision to purchase your vehicle overseas is not as simple as which country has cheaper vehicles. If you are a returning national (see criteria here), you will be allowed ONE motor vehicle free of all duties and taxes with certain restrictions. If the car is used, it cannot be more than four years old or have more than 50,000 kms on the odometer unless you have proof that you owned it at least four years before importation. If it is new, the vehicle must be retained for at least three years. Each year you must provide proof from the Licensing Authority that the vehicle is still registered in your name.
If you are not a returning national, expect 45% import duty, an environmental levy determined by whether your vehicle is new or used, 17.5% Valued Added Tax, an excise tax based on engine size and port charges. Furthermore, depending on where you live, you may want to import a left-hand drive vehicle. If so, please note that the insurance for left-hand drive vehicles in Barbados is considerably more than their right-hand drive counterparts. If you will incur taxes and duties anyway, getting a right-hand drive in Barbados may be a better choice for you. In terms of the type of vehicle you may want to purchase, you also need to consider road tax which increases in accordance to the vehicle’s weight.
I cannot make your decision for you, but I hope that the information that I have provided will assist you in some way. Some Barbadian car dealership sites you may want to visit are Nassco, Simpson Motors, and McEnearney.