of a failing state
read your article of Sunday, May 25, and other T&T newspapers
online. The horrendous rate of crime and murder in T&T
is appalling to me, but as an educator for nearly 20 years,
I have observed that there are many contributing factors.
noted your comment, The ministry, desperate for teachers,
lowered the educational requirements to a minimum in the recent
meet more than the minimum requirements for obtaining a teaching
position or any position with the Ministry of Education (three
degrees), yet have had no luck with job applications.
there always seem to be vacancies for those with five O-Levels
and two A-Levels.
literacy is at an all-time high in T&T, and here I sit
outside of T&T, seeking and hoping for an opportunity
to contribute to the education system, and support myself
in T&T, the land of my birth.
you believe there is a high possibility that the very personnel
who must decide whether or not I should be hired for any position
in T&T may not even possess a quarter of the training,
academic qualifications and experience that I have earned.
can that be?
corruption and nepotism run rampant in T&T.
a recent discussion with others from T&T, we concluded
that if the situation does not improve, the only people that
will be left in T&T are those who are too poor to leave
or cant afford to leave; too rich to leave, since they
own all the assets, inputs and access to production (power)
and can financially survive; or too stupid to leave (illiterate)
and/or possess the weaponry to dominate, control and terrorise
the rest of society.
hope it wont come to that, but T&T might very well
end up in such a state.
We are not yet a failed state. Just failing. Its a matter
of time. A society that breeds men who kill casually and walk
away without thought is a symptom of a failing state.
Our battle is similar to the battle against terrorism. For
every terrorist caught or killed, thousands more are thriving,
filling the vacuum illiteracy, corruption and poverty create.
Pakistan is an example.
Combating terrorism is a battle for the minds of citizens.
Guns wont humanise the men who daily push up our murder
In this battle to humanise our country, our only weapon is
In a recent interview, Education Minister Esther Le Gendre
responded to my questions over the shortage of principals
(over 100 vacancies) and teachers, and indiscipline and violence
coming out of our schools.
people who are not working now are either unavailable to work
or unemployable. The teaching service is subject to the same
constraints as the rest of economy.
Which sector is not looking for people?
are in a situation of full employment. Jobs are absorbed by
the construction industry, energy sector, banking. The problem
is not salaries.
had a recent survey that showed we have a very high level
of satisfaction in teachers salaries.
are training teachers in three agenciesUWI, UTT, and
University of Southern Caribbean. The classes are full.
violence in schools, its not a question of being a developed
or undeveloped country. I talked to a colleague
in a European country about issues we face and he said can
had ten schools burnt because of violence; on CNN you see
schoolgirls beating up one another. We havent gotten
to that point as yet.
am not expressing satisfaction in a global situation that
makes us look better than other countries.
and indiscipline cannot be de-linked from parenting and community
support. Every criminal, every cold-blooded murderer has a
child, a brother, a sister in a classroom somewhere in the
A generation brought up on a diet of illiteracy and dependency
has brought its chickens home to roost.