Doctor Carol Babb served as Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education up until December 2020. She now forays into a political career, with her appointment as the new Secretary General of the United Democratic Party – a party, her former boss, Patrick Faber now currently leads. Via Zoom on Monday, Doctor Babb spoke to Love News about how she intends to use her knowledge in education to lead the party’s secretariat at time of great challenges.
Dr.Carol Babb, Secretary General, UDP: “I see my role to be three fold: to unite, to support and to empower. As you know I’m an educator for all my life and I will take my educational experience and the skills and knowledge that I have to empower people. As you know we’re living in very very difficult times, parents need support for their children, they need their children to be more academically engaged, there are a large number of students who have been out of school for a long time. So when the party leader approached me, when the Honorable Patrick Faber approached me I said to him ‘Honorable Faber you know what I like and what I do.’ and I said to him ‘I want to prepare programs to support students especially the ones who are at risk and who are most deserving of our attention and need. I want to help young people with resiliency.’ We are losing too many of our young people to violence and I think the party needs to shift a little bit. Yes we need to hold the government accountable that’s the role of the opposition in a democracy but we also need to pay attention to the needs of the country. We are seeing that there are many people who are suffering they’re out of jobs, people are calling for support, calling for help it’s surprising that people still call me thinking I’m at the Ministry of Education ‘Miss Babb could you help me with a tablet.’ , ‘Miss. Babb could you help me pay my tuition fees?’ and sadly I have to say to them I’m not at the Ministry of Education. But thankful I have a network of people who support me. I have a nonprofit organization and through that nonprofit organization I’ve been able to support some of them but the need is bigger than me. And so I told the party leader I said ‘Mr.Faber I will do everything, my number one goal will be to unify, to get everybody to come to the table and to look at the big picture but we need to support our young people.’ I mean I just heard a teacher lost her son I think last night so I think even though people may see this is – it is a political post but there is more to it than politics. I think we need to be responsive, we need to look at what is happening in our country and how we can play an important role as an opposition party. We need to address and support and help our people, empower them so that they can help themselves.”
In addition to that shift in focus and priorities, Doctor Babb noted that she wants to ensure that the organization remains close to the pulse of the people.
Dr.Carol Babb, Secretary General, UDP: “People are in a bad state. It’s not only COVID affecting us you know ? It’s hard times. No food, no job, stress with all the bills, we need to change how we look at things. Yes we need to keep the government in check because we are paying our taxes and we want to ensure that they’re providing the goods and services that the people deserve but it’s more than that. We are a country in crisis not only health, in education and economic crisis and the whole nine yards. All the jobs that I have held in key positions I have an open door policy. Anybody who knows me and are honest can tell you. When I was at the Ministry of Education once you go to the ministry if you go to north front street you don’t have to make an appointment. If you are there to see me and I’m available I will see you. I will do my best. I believe in an open door policy. We have to meet people. You are a party who is in power and you’re getting ready to take over so you have to meet people. You have to interact with them, you have to talk with them , you have to be honest with them and that is what I want to do. I will not encourage them to be rude you know ? I will talk to them. I know some of them go off and so but you need to talk to people. You need to support them. Sometimes all these people want is for you to listen to them and to hear their cry. So I will have an open door policy.”
Doctor Babb takes over from Vice Chairman, Alberto August, who served as acting secretary general since the latter part of 2020.