Minister Browne: Liberty Lodge Unstable
March 10, 2006

Minister Browne: Liberty Lodge Unstable

All is not well with the Liberty Lodge Training Centre. It is not that the children are out of control or that facilities are run down. It has to do with the nature of the surrounding lands.

According to Mike Browne, Minister for National Mobilisation, Social Development, Non Government Organis-ation Relations, Family, Gender Affairs and Persons with Disabilities, “there is serious land slippage” on lands where the Liberty Lodge institution is based. {{more}}

Browne’s comments came last week Monday at the launching of the Liberty Lodge Young Leaders programme.

Browne, parliamentary representative for West St. George, raised questions about the stability of the location of the Liberty Lodge institution. According to reports from vulcanologists, underground water was affecting the integrity of buildings on that compound. Although he did not make any direct statements, Browne expressed concerns about the safety of students and staff at that compound.

Browne confessed that the government allocated $600,000 in the recent budget for Liberty Lodge, but he questioned whether that amount was being properly used.

Browne, who served as Education Minister in the previous term of the Unity Labour Party administration, noted that Liberty Lodge was sited on 10 acres of fertile soil.

He used his experience in the education field, as a father and citizen to throw light on certain issues.

Browne is not convinced that the Liberty Lodge is reaching out to all the persons who need the type of assistance that the institution is providing.

He noted that the school caters for students who had been “deprived of love, care and attention.”

“We need to reach out to more boys,” Browne stated.

Browne also promoted a more student-centred approach to education as opposed to the teacher-centred approach.

He acknowledged that children attended school under different circumstances. He compared children from Villa for example, which is a middle class area, of children from Rose Place or Paul’s Avenue, known as working class zones. The background of children from those situations would be different. Browne recommended the “humanist approach” which believes each human has potential which must be realised.”

The National Mobilisation Minister pledged his commitment to returning the students at Liberty Lodge to their parents. He also cited the lack of family life as contributing to the break down of the moral fabric of the society.

Browne plans to work closely with the Liberty Lodge Board to help galvanize maximum support for the institution.