Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 11th 2018 Contents A18
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
jump to unschooling
before most even buy
into the concept of
well, it is what it is. What is it an-
Quite simply it is the rejection
of a curriculum-based education
system and quite frankly school
on the whole.
As the world prepares to start
week of school, we are still try-
ing to complete week three of
our curriculum—mind you we
skipped some of the items in
week two just to move on to the
good stuff in week three.
What amazes me though is
that Jess’ love for reading has
never burnt hotter.
Now that she gets to read
when she wants and read what
she wants, she happily picks up
books about random things and
spends lots of her screen time
researching the things that peak
Unschooling is based on the
premise that children will learn
what they need to know when
they need it.
This sounds very much like
my own experience with educa-
tion—I rejected what I thought
useless and studied what I
needed to accomplish the imme-
diate task at hand.
I did what most successful
entrepreneurs do—I hacked my
education, and this is precisely
what Jess seems to be doing.
For her, earning money, sav-
ing animals and wining souls for
God’s kingdom are top priority.
So she spends her days doing
She is happy to learn her math
facts because she has seen how
valuable they are in calculat-
ing her sales and working out
change while selling jewelry (or
whatever other hustle she has
going on that week).
Having had her first business
at the age of five, she is now
very confident in walking up to
anyone and asking politely for a
She has mastered the art of
closing a sale and is now working
out strategies to ensure repeat
While I was too busy to help
her craft her business and thank
you cards, I saw her reach for
a dictionary and figure out the
spelling of the words she needed.
I guarantee you, no English or
spelling lesson would have been
a greater motivator.
nother major differ-
ence with unschool-
ing is the lack of rank
placed on subjects—
Art and History are
deemed equally as important as
Math and English, another factor
that works well for us.
Jess has taken to History, she
has a deep affection for our his-
torical buildings, Knowsley and
the Red House in particular.
She often makes me park out-
side the Red House and is par-
ticularly pleased when she sees
workmen there as it means they
are actively pursuing its restora-
At eight, she can tell you their
rich history and because of the
Coup starting at the Red House,
she has now moved on to stud-
ying that time in history and is
forming her own opinions about
the events and the persons in-
volved. (I can see her passion for
good governance growing daily).
Jess takes most of the money
she earns and gives it to charity.
She hears me on the phone
working with women in need
and like clockwork, once I am off
the phone she is there standing
with her hands out, offering me
money from her earnings.
I would call that Character
Building 101, just not from a text
Sometimes to achieve the de-
sired results we must be willing
to reject tradition.
I hope our story inspires you
to stand up against failing sys-
Take a leap of faith!
Trust in the process and be
excited by the opportunity for
the growth that will be needed
to embrace something different.
The T&T Police Service (TTPS) has become quite
good at releasing statistics that are supposed to show
progress in the fight against crime. The problem is that
no one seems to be convinced of this positive trend
because of the ease with which perpetrators continue
to carry out their violent missions while managing to
remain at large.
Yesterday the very productive TTPS Corporate
Communications Unit churned out the latest of
those press statements, proclaiming a 12 per cent
reduction in serious crimes for the first quarter of
2018. Significant downward trends were reported in
the number of kidnappings, rapes and other sexual
offences, woundings and shootings.
There was an admission, however, that there was
only a negligible decline in the murder rate although
the TTPS did assure that it was pursuing strategies to
The problem is, after decades of worsening crime,
with the body count steadily creeping up year after
year, these claims of crime fighting successes do little
to inspire confidence. The average citizen is not feeling
any safer now than a year ago when, according to the
TTPS, there was a higher rate of crime.
It will take a lot more than a few paragraphs of
statistics to convince the public that real progress is
being made. Indeed, it has been proven that actually
catching and convicting criminals works best.
The controversies swirling around former Sport
and Youth Affairs Minister Darryl Smith had long
warranted a firm intervention by Prime Minister Dr
Before the recent court settlement of a sexual
harassment lawsuit, there had been other allegations
casting a dark shadow over the ministry, with
numerous public outcries. There was, for example,
an alleged high-cost trip to Tobago, with a larger than
necessary entourage and a costly stay at the Magdalena
Grand. He survived that one but wasn’t as lucky with
recent revelations, so the recently demoted minister
has been dismissed.
These kinds of matters need to be handled swiftly
and more firmly.
Better late than never
The trouble with allegations of sexual harassment
and abuse, particularly in this era of #metoo, is that
they don’t go away even when ignored. That is why it
is such good news to hear that in 2018, almost 56 years
after T&T gained independence, a sexual harassment
policy is finally being developed for the public sector.
Crime down but no one noticed
DURGA DEVOTION: Hindu devotees during the Balka Shrine and Mandir’s annual Durga Devi Puja in Bonasse Village, Cedros.
over the weekend.
PICTURE EDISON BOODOOSINGH
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I think we are
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