Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2016 Contents A22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Ihave been reading and listening to the
many comments concerning non-vio-
lence affecting the education system in
T&T. As an educator of 43 years teach-
ing experience in the primary school
system, I wish to offer my contribution.
There are many factors affecting non-
violence in schools. I will like to empha-
sise only three: philosophy, concordat
Philosophy: An education system must
have a relevant philosophy. According to
Ornstein and Hunkins (2004), there are
basically four educational philosophies:
perennialism, essentialism, progres-
sivism and reconstructionism. Perenni-
alism and essentialism deal with the
classics, are subject and teacher-centred
and exam oriented. Progressivism and
reconstructionism are child centred,
deals with democratic living, recon-
structing the society and school reforms.
Presently, we are operating on a
perennialism and essentialism philoso-
phies, whereas we should be using pro-
gressivism and reconstructionism.
Concordat: This document came out of
the 60s when the dominant churches
were very powerful giving the late Dr Eric
Williams very little room to manoeuvre.
However, he stopped any further building
of secondary school by the boards. This
was changed recently when the Pente-
costals were given permission to build
new schools. Therefore, why can t this
draconian document be changed or re-
moved altogether? Several educators have
written about this totalitarian document
including the late professor Kenny Julien
and recently Dr Winford James. The con-
cordat creates an elitist and undemocra-
tic education system.
Examinations: Our education system is
based on passing examinations only. This
came out of the essentialism camp deal-
ing with back to basics and excellence in
education. It does not involve the total
child and changes in society. Students do
not have a say in what they want to learn
and get to hate school. See John Holt s
book, How Children Fail.
In order to create non-violent schools,
I suggest we use a correct philosophy,
remove the concordat to create equal
educational opportunities and teach stu-
dents to live in a democratic society
instead of only passing examinations.
Time for a national
We need connectivity. Not simply highways. We
strongly support the Point Fortin to San Fernando High-
way. However, the Debe to Mon Desir highway would
have demolished one of the most traffic-free, prosper-
ous and connected districts on the planet. And dis-
rupted the future agricultural potential of the
Oropouche Lagoon district. This district once provided a
food basket for the island; and now feeds the bulk of
food to the Siparia, Debe and Penal markets.
Debe to Mon Desir was the tail-end of a megaloma-
niac Master Gas Plan, which included two highways to
Point Fortin, not one. This 2001 Master Gas Plan was a
product of Gaffney and Cline, an international gas con-
sultant. The Government paid for this plan; Gaffney and
Cline threw it at us; like bubble gum and chiclets; and
the Government went for it.
This was development suicide, madness. Luckily, the
people deconstructed it: two smelters, three industrial
ports; an industrial island off Otaheite; three industrial
estates; 14 heavy gas-based foreign owned corpora-
tions; and the superfluous Debe to Mon Desir. Our ac-
tivists fought every inch of the way to rescue this
nation from a TT$150 billion fiasco.
If we had gone ahead with this gas-monetisation
plan, where would we have got the gas to support it?
ArcelorMittal is leaving to build a plant in Iran. T&T can-
not, any longer, trade gas in the international investor
market, at competitive rates. Too much gas, shale, re-
newable, coal, oil elsewhere. Dead end. Time to move on.
Time to move on from our oil and gas tabanca.
The Highway Reroute Movement
T&T can learn from
In Ms Panday's Easter Sunday article, she correctly
analysed the Venezuelan economic situation to turn on
the alarms in T&T so the country doesn't follow that
The description was accurate but she avoided analy-
sis of the causes. The main culprit of Venezuela's woes
is the socialist system the leftist government
Venezuela has had in the last 17 years.
With purpose and determination, Chavez and now
Maduro have been relentlessly destroying the private
enterprise. Construction industry, cement and steel fac-
tories, super markets stores, import firms, medical pri-
vate care, etc, have been seized to be run by the
workers or the state.
The result has been a widespread bankruptcy of all
those thousands of enterprises that produced the
panorama described in her article. Even the safety net
of US$700 billion earned by the oil price did not prevent
the present outcome.
In Trinidad, you have a much better perspective since
you have a democratic government, independent judicial
and legislative powers and a respect of the law that
present to the investor a safe country to invest.
The other lesson Venezuela could teach T&T is to be
aware of the temptation to have a powerful head of
state as a way to increase efficiency.
CREATING NON-VIOLENT SCHOOLS
Cpl Phillip attached to the Highway Patrol Unit, La Horquetta, speaks with a motorist who was transporting an unsecured load during
a mid-morning roadblock along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Santa Rosa Heights, Arima, on Monday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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