Go Lean Commentary
“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars” – Casey Kasem (1932 – 2014).
The world lost another icon of Rock-n-Roll last week with news of the passing of renowned DJ and Media Host Casey Kasem. He was well known for his closing salutation quoted above.
“Reaching for the stars” should be more than a radio catch phrase; it should be a community ethos. This is noticeably missing in the 2025 Master Plan for the University of the Bahamas. They appear to be striving for the cutting edge of 1985; they are not reaching for the stars, they are reaching for the lamp-post.
Title: College of The Bahamas Master Plan 2014-2024
The College’s plan to accommodate growth in programs and to improve campus life through the creation of a more beautiful and cohesive campus.
“Twenty-five percent growth in student enrollment is what the Master Plan for the University of the Bahamas seeks to accommodate”. Visit the link… to view this newly produced infomercial on the blueprint for the physical growth that will undergird the impending University.
Vimeo – Video Sharing Site (Retrieved 06/23/2014) – http://vimeo.com/98270213
Make no mistake; it is a good thing that the College of the Bahamas (COB) is graduating to the University of the Bahamas (in 2015). It is also incontrovertible that COB is inadequate in meeting tertiary education needs of Bahamians, not to think of the rest of the world. Don’t agree? Consider how many Bahamian students matriculate abroad; now consider how many foreign students matriculate at COB.
This is more than just an academic discussion, as the subject of Caribbean students abandoning their homeland for foreign shores is a motivator for the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This effort mitigates published reports that the Caribbean loses over 70% of tertiary educated citizens due to brain drain; (http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1433).
So as the sole tertiary education institution in the Bahamas, it would be expected that a Master Plan would “dream a little dream” and strive to counter the negative realities of students matriculating abroad. Instead COB delivered a plan that only inches forward – only reaching for the lamp-post. The inadequacy in the Master Plan highlights the need for the Go Lean roadmap for elevating Caribbean society. The CU, using cutting edge delivery of best practices, will employ strategies, tactics and implementations to impact its prime directives; identified with the following 3 statements:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.
The Go Lean book posits that the Caribbean is in crisis, with the debilitating brain drain/societal abandonment rate, but that this crisis can be a useful because a “crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. Therefore the roadmap seeks to change the entire eco-system of Caribbean education and learning solutions. This vision is defined early in the book (Page 13 & 14) in the following pronouncements in the Declaration of Interdependence:
xix. Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores…
xxi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.
xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.
So what (also how/when) should be featured in a Master Plan/roadmap for effectuating change in the tertiary education landscape for the Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean?
The answer is not as simple as A-B-C-1-2-3. The answer requires heavy-lifting, a long reach, and a consideration of the economic realities of the region. Thus the Casey Kasem axiom is so applicable:
“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars”.
“Reaching for the stars” would include fostering Research & Development (R&D) on our college campuses. Also, the deployment of cutting-edge technologies to avail the benefits of e-Learning would deter the trend (and necessity) of young students studying abroad; thus minimizing the temptations to remain abroad or to subsequently emigrate. This would mean staying grounded!
The Go Lean book details a lot more, a series of assessments, community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to foster the elevation of college education in the Caribbean region:
|Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Choices & Incentives||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – People Respond to Incentives||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Return on Investments||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future||Page 26|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius||Page 27|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development||Page 30|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Bridge the Digital Divide||Page 31|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Anecdote – Valedictorian Now Diaspora Member||Page 38|
|Strategy – Vision – Realistic, Achievable, Demanding, & Inspirational Goal||Page 45|
|Strategy – Mission – Local Education to Compete with the Best in the World||Page 46|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Education Department – University Admin||Page 85|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Labor Department – On-the-Job Training||Page 89|
|Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change||Page 101|
|Implementation – Steps to Implement Campuses as Self-Governing Entities||Page 105|
|Implementation – Ways to Deliver||Page 109|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy||Page 151|
|Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs||Page 152|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Education||Page 159|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Student Loans||Page 160|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Libraries||Page 187|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology||Page 197|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Youth||Page 227|
|Appendix – Education & Economic Growth||Page 258|
|Appendix – Measuring Education||Page 266|
Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people and governing institutions, to lean-in for the empowerments described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. This is a big deal for the region. This book is not just a Master Plan; it is roadmap with turn-by-turn directions of how to get from Point A, where we can only hope to dream of reaching the lamp-post, to Point B, where we can finally dream about reaching the stars.
The Bahamas in particular, and the Caribbean region as a whole needs the deliveries of Go Lean … Caribbean. Otherwise, we have no hope to incite/retain our young people to work towards promoting a better future for the Caribbean, and making it a better place to live, work, learn and play.
Thank you Casey Kasem, for reminding us, (with song, great-story-telling and a heartfelt out-reach), what it means to keep our feet on the ground while continuing to reach for the stars. Rest in Peace!
Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!