Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2018 Contents Moral education,
Friday, March 9, 2018
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A Judiciary divided hurts citizens
If there had been any lingering doubt about the extent of
the rift in the judiciary, the events of the last few days have
totally erased them. The added dimension of Chief Justice
Ivor Archie’s sabbatical in the midst of the ongoing court
battle with the Law Association—an appeal of Tuesday’s
ruling is now pending—only makes matters worse.
The controversies in which this indispensable organ of
our democracy are embroiled have gone on for much too
long with no indicators of a resolution any time soon. For
the ordinary citizen it is looking more and more as though
the very institution responsible for applying the laws to
resolve disputes is incapable to doing just that to restore
peace and harmony within its ranks.
This is not the first time the Judiciary, or even a sitting
Chief Justice, has faced difficulties but this particular
eruption looks more severe than previous episodes.
Losses have already been suffered, reputations have
been battered. Continuing along the current path will only
make things worse
T&T does not have to look very far to see how a country
without a proper functioning judicial system descends into
chaos and anarchy leaving citizens to suffer injustice and
all kinds of intimidation.
The difficult truth that must be faced now by all sides
involved in the current turmoil is that allowing it to
continue threatens the ability of ordinary Trinidadians and
Tobagonians to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
The Judiciary must return to the place where it functions
fully and efficiently as protector of the rights of citizens.
Bury this hatchet now and do everything possible to
preserve our courts as neutral arenas in which disputes
can be resolved.
Continue speaking your truth
One day after the 2018 edition of International Women’s
Day, it is clear that a great deal of work needs to be done in
this country. It is good that activities are continuing today
and into this weekend to raise awareness and keep the
focus on crucial issues affecting T&T’s women.
A lot of work still needs to be done to protect the
rights of women and girls, including ensuring equality
of treatment, safety from abuse and exploitation and
opportunities to contribute fully to the advancement of
On these matters, we must continue to speak our truths.
March on, Soca Warriors
Congratulation to the senior men’s football team which has
qualified for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, automatically
seeded in League A. Best wishes for a successful campaign.
In 2014 Matsephe Letseka wrote
“Africanising Philosophy for Chil-
dren (P4C) in the South African
Context”. He mentioned that
“scholars and intellectuals are in
the forefront of advocacy of African
philosophy as a basis for concep-
tions of education in (South) Af-
rica. In 2000, the then minister of
education South Africa, Professor
Kadar Asmal, initiated the forma-
tion of a working group on values
in education. The group released a
report on the promotion of values
such as equity, tolerance, multilin-
gualism, openness, accountability
and social honour in schools ...
These are the values which African
philosophy and Ubuntu espouse”.
He noted that Ubuntu is also fea-
tured in a 2001 Department of Edu-
cation publication on values, which
observes that “out of the values of
Ubuntu and human dignity flow
the practices of compassion, kind-
ness, altruism and respect which
are at the very core of making
schools places where the culture of
teaching and the culture of learn-
ing thrive; of making them dynamic
hubs of industry and achievement
rather than places of conflict and
pain... Ubuntu embodies the con-
cept of mutual understanding and
the active appreciation of the value
of human difference...”
There is much to consider in
these latter initiatives.
His calypso, Teachers footsteps,
was no doubt a part of general sen-
timent. It was a serious indictment
of the teaching profession.
This year, in his cry for parental
leadership, Brian London sang “I
There is already a draft “Core
Curriculum Guide for strengthen-
ing morals and values education
in educational institutions in Trin-
idad and Tobago” prepared by Dr
Kwaku Senah, between 2002 and
One recommended book was Do-
reen Anderson’s Moral Education,
A course intended to encourage
high moral standards in our chil-
dren...” It quoted precepts from
Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and
the Bahai. Unfortunately it does not
mention anything about African
faiths, local regional or continental.
The late chief servant Makandal
Daaga proposed that ethics be in-
troduced into the curriculum of
the now defunct Elizabeths College
in Tobago when Mr Embau Mo-
heni, current NJAC deputy political
leader was the principal.
Dr Walter Lipman started Philos-
ophy for Children better known as
P4C. He launched the Institute for
the Advancement of Philosophy
for Children (IAPC) at Montclair
State University in 1974. The idea
of philosophy for children has now
spread to 50 countries.
at primary and
levels should be
one possible way
to prevent a future in which there
would be a recurrence of the cur-
rent challenges facing Trinidad and
Tobago. Moral education ought to
include philosophy, values and eth-
We live in an unhappy land.
Nearly every national institution
has become compromised. The late
Professor Maxwell Richards’ 2008
Presidential inaugural address is
spot on. He said in part:
“Economic deprivation is a pow-
erful provocation to the failure of
states. But in my capacity as Head
of State I want to tell you that un-
less the institutions of the people
are sound, coherent and, if you
will, reading from the same page,
we are not going to succeed.
“The evidence of failure is em-
blazoned in the media every day.
We read of violence; we read of in-
stitutional failure; we read of social
dislocation; we read of educational
malaise in which children who are
not stupid become failures and
consequently increase our popu-
lation of those who are considered
Teachers, priests and parents
used to be our community leaders.
They have been replaced by “the
street”, a combination of the tradi-
tional media, the new social media,
film, video, venality and violent
Whether we agree with him or
not, Ras Shorty I sang that Trinidad
and Tobago is in this sorry state be-
cause we “Pushed the Creator out”.
Teachers are now so disre-
spected that regardless of the work
of the good ones, Peter pays for
Paul and Paul pays for all.
I remember Machel Montano
when he was junior monarch, 1984.
Members of the Point Fortin West Umoja Drummers perform In the African
Drumming Ensemble Class JR E12 during the 32nd Biennial Music Festival
(South) placing first at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, yesterday.
PICTURE TONY HOWELL
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