Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 28th 2017 Contents viewpoint A25
Friday, July 28, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Critical thinking in
the classroom a must
Criminal behaviour, at the end of it
all, has to do with making intelligent
choices. "Intelligent" as used here,
is not necessarily only "academic"
or "intellectual" in connotation, for
people with good home upbringing,
good mentors, good peers, can make
intelligent choices without being
"schooled" to do so.
But it is reasonable to assume that
making informed choices often
springs from a personal culture of
being naturally inclined to weigh or
balance the nuances of an issue, and
this "skill" or tendency is often sown
and cultivated by a mode of teach-
ing which encourages students to
ask questions about and to respond
to the world in which they live.
So that if classroom culture in this
country encourages critical thinking
ing good choices does it not stand
to reason that many of the poor
choices related to criminal behaviour
which seem to defy all logic, good
sense and civilised behaviour, will be
But this call for a critical approach
in the classroom is jumping the gun
somewhat because "classroom per-
formance" is often not a "priority"
for many in this country as it is ex-
pected to be in modern, progressive
societies. For example it is not un-
common that in some instances, es-
pecially in depressed situations, the
traditional report card loses signif-
icance once "take" from the "drop"
is coming in on a continuing basis,
and in the wider society, education
as means to personal advancement
often gives way to the benefits of
the "who you know" syndrome often
associated with the benefits from
party loyalty in the politics.
So who really cares about earning
a recognised degree when your
cup runneth over without it! It's a
feature of this society that in many
instances people can showcase
wealth or boast of plum positions in
the workplace without possessing
the commensurate education and
training that should accompany
What I am trying to advance as an
argument is that even as we search
desperately for long term solutions
to crime and that education, through
critical thinking, can be key in this,
there is so much to distract from
using this mechanism because
of the way it is subordinated to
other means, questionable as they
on moral, ethical and even legal
grounds, to personal advancement.
It seems as if for many education
does not "pay," and crime, to include
corrupt and unethical practice, does.
But crime, when all is said and done,
is a matter of personal choice, and
even as other conventional strate-
gies will help, a way has to be found
to create a society in which would-
be criminals would ask questions
about the choices they make, and
with the moral and ethical questions
which such questioning naturally
generates, can we not hope for more
informed choices from those not so
inclined and that in the future we
will see some relief from this crime
situation which now engulfs us?
Critical thinking in the classroom is a
must for the future!
Dr Errol Benjamin
Cost of Point highway still rising
The highway to Point Fortin was un-
wisely embarked upon by the past
government using some $7.5 billion
upfront money from the Treasury.
We know it will take many years for
the Treasury to recover from that
particular piece of financial rape.
The very same highway is now
causing grief and heartache to those
citizens in central and south Trini-
dad to the tune of several millions.
Reports of unwise dumping and the
changing of water courses to facil-
itate illegal land development see
distressing areas of land covered in
raging waters after heavy rainfall.
It is almost as if Mother Nature is
slapping the faces of the illegal de-
velopers and garbage dumpers.
It does not help either that there is
indiscriminate slashing and burn-
ing of the hills which are no longer
alive with the sound of music but
of mudslides and trees and houses
collapsing. The government is now
being called upon to assist citizens
with getting their lives and fortunes
back on track.
The true cost of the highway to
Point Fortin continues to escalate
beyond all expectations. How much
longer and to what extent can the
government make payments for
losses brought about by gross negli-
gence? Can they spare such monies
in 2018? 2019? 2020? The rainy
season is still far from over.
It is said those who cannot hear
will feel. Until and unless all citizens
seriously rethink their responsi-
bilities regarding garbage disposal
and illegal land development, we
will always be spinning top in mud,
For those who say they left a full
Treasury, can we ask? Full of what?
The decision to make your diet one
that is low in sugar, low in toxins and
that's filled with high-fibre foods is
one of the best decisions you can
make because following such a diet
is crucial for supporting your liver.
Increasing the amounts of antioxi-
dants and fibre in your diet can even
cause liver damage and disease to be
reversed. The liver is the main organ
that is involved in the process of de-
toxification since it is responsible for
removing toxins created both inside
and outside of your body.
When the liver can't remove harmful
substances, the immune system takes
the rising level of toxins as a threat,
which causes inflammation. An influx
of sugar from foods like refined grains,
sugary snacks and sweetened drinks
puts a lot on pressure on your liver to
convert and store glucose and should
be avoided as much as possible.
Reduce inflammation, improve your liver function
Pallbearers carry the casket of Ronald Hay, former head St Mary's College Science Department following a
funeral service at the Church of the Assumption in Maraval, yesterday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
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