Keynote Address Hon. Gaston Browne – Inaugural Graduation Ceremony of the UWI Five Islands Campus

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Keynote Address at the Inaugural Graduation Ceremony of the Five Islands Campus of the University of the West Indies on 10th January 2021 by the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda:

Colleague Minister/s
Sir Hillary Beckles – Vice Chancellor
Sir Aziz Hadeed – Chairman UWI FI
Professor – Principal
Other Distinguished guests and
Graduands

This is an historic occasion. For the first time since the University College of the West Indies was created in Jamaica in 1948; a campus exists on Antigua to serve especially the people of the Leeward and Windward Islands.

Today, this Five Islands Campus – the fourth landed campus to be established in 71 years – holds its Inaugural Graduation Ceremony.

In doing so, UWI further fulfils its mandate: “To advance education and create knowledge through excellence in teaching, research, innovation, public service, intellectual leadership and outreach in order to support the inclusive development of the Caribbean region and beyond, including its social, economic, political, cultural and environmental aspects”.
Those who graduate today have become a part of history.

Their names will forever be emblazoned in the history of this campus, in the history of the University of the West Indies, in the history of the Leeward and Windward Islands, and in the history of the West Indian people.

In delivering this keynote address at the Five Islands Campus, I perform a role, carried out at the very first Presentation of Graduates on Tuesday, January 13th, 1953 at the then University College of the West Indies at its Mona Campus in Jamaica, by Sir Raymond Priestly, the then Chancellor of Birmingham University and a member of the Council of UWI.

He described the graduates as “the first of a few”.

For even though he was a member of the British Irvine Committee that recommended the creation of a University of the West Indies, he could not envisage University education in our region becoming accessible to more than a few.

He could not foresee the thirst for knowledge and advancement that existed within the subjugated West Indian people and the ambitious West Indian leadership.

But our people understood then, what our people appreciate now; that education is the key to both individual and national development.

They wanted the highest possible level of education so that they could compete with the best in the world, proving their ability, and using their capacity to raise-up themselves and their people from the underdevelopment in which they languished.

That is why in a span of 73 years this year, UWI has produced over 230,000 graduates.
That is no easy accomplishment.

Among those graduates are Emmy Award and Man Booker Prize winners, a Nobel Prize Laureate, entrepreneurs and Chief Executive Officers, academics, specialist doctors around the world, and leaders of many Caribbean nations across all sectors of our West Indian community.

Sir Raymond can be forgiven for his view in 1953 that University education would be for the few, because, as he observed with great cogency then, a University education “is an expensive ideal that the West Indies could barely afford, especially in an inflationary world”.
In that regard, nothing has changed.

The cost of providing a University and a University education, for which many thousands thirst and which is vital to the development of our countries, has increased exponentially over the last 7 decades.

Finding the money now to continue to provide it, in a world paralyzed and battered by the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult and challenging.

The World Bank estimates that, because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 30% of the world’s emerging and developing countries have lost at least 10 years of income gains per resident.

This has resulted in what the Bank describes as a “lost decade of growth” for these nations.
Further, the bank estimates that the global economy will be around 5.3% smaller – about $4.7 trillion – in 2021, than if it had expanded along pre-pandemic lines.

Unfortunately, the economies of our countries, that are served by UWI, are among the hardest hit.

But despite these brutal circumstances, the provision of University education is not a task from which West Indian governments can resile, any more than it is an ambition that the West Indian people should abandon. In 1953, even as he acknowledged that the cost of a University education would be an “expensive ideal”, Sir Raymond also recognised that “anything less would be a betrayal of our community whose destiny ought to be great”.

My government believes in this great destiny for our people and formulated a vision to transform Antigua & Barbuda into an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean.

However, we recognized that access to a university education, was quintessential to the sustained advancement of our nation and the achievement of our vision.

That is why we prioritised the establishment of UWI Five Islands Campus, at great costs and sacrifice, to facilitate the development of Antigua & Barbuda and the OECS sub-region as a whole.

Now – more than ever in our history – the observation of Sir Raymond is valid, pertinent, and compelling.

I repeat what he said: Anything less than providing University education would be a betrayal of our community whose destiny ought to be great.

Our countries need our educated and skilled people to fortify existing industries, create new ones, contribute to the diversification of our economies, to broaden the space for wealth creation and ownership, and to increase our competitiveness in the global community.
That need existed even before the epoch of COVID-19.

That is why, against all the odds, my Government was determined to establish a University on Antigua, to serve our people and the people of our neighbouring states.

It is why we allied with UWI and why we spent scarce resources on the establishment of this Five Islands Campus.

We were determined that neither our people, nor our nation would be left behind.
And, we resolved that we would bring the University to the people so that all, who wished to do so, could seize the opportunity for higher learning and greater knowledge, to improve their lives and strengthen the foundations of our nation.

I know, that I speak for my Government and the people of Antigua and Barbuda when I say that we have no regret over the investment we made in UWI Five Islands.

It was an investment in the upliftment of our people, and of our nation.

There can be no cause more noble, no pursuit more fulfilling, no accomplishment more joyous. This Inaugural Graduation Ceremony, though small, attests to the worthiness and wisdom of our investment.

Today, we graduate 6 persons with a post-graduate diploma in Education.

It is a small step in numbers, but a great leap in achievement.

These six graduates are “the first of the many” who will go on to educate scores of others in the decades to come, adding to the wealth of knowledge and capacity within our country.
It is significant that at the 1953 ceremony of the University College of the West Indies, only 11 persons graduated. However, none were women.Today’s graduation ceremony shows how far we have come, in achieving the inclusion of women at all levels of our development process.

Another significant thing about the 1953 ceremony, was that of the 11 graduates, seven were Jamaican, two Barbadian and two Guyanese.

The only representation of the Leeward and Windward Islands, was among the officials not among the graduates.

They included St Lucian Garnet Gordon, representing the Windward Islands, and Antiguan S.T. Christian, representing the Leewards.

However, while no Antiguan and Barbudan National was among the first graduates in 1953, three nationals of Antigua and Barbuda were among to the first cohort of students and were very much a part of the student body of the University.

They were from the Faculty of Medical Sciences – the first faculty to be established at the University College in 1948.

But because their medical courses lasted six years, they did not graduate until 1954.The first graduates of the University in 1953. were from the second Faculty that the University College established in 1949.

That was the Faculty of Natural Sciences whose students did three-year courses and graduated in 1953 – one year ahead of the medical students.

But that group of medical students – the class of 1948 – was unique.

It was 33 of them, of whom 10 were women.

And among the 33, were 3 Antigua and Barbuda Nationals – two men and one woman.
The men were Dr. Donald E. Christian and Dr. R. Alford Walwyn.

The lone Antiguan woman was – Dr Ruby Lake Richards.

Today, with special pride, we remember all three of these distinguished medical practitioners – born of our soil.

They came from one of the smallest territories of the West Indies but showed that they were the equal of all.

We applaud the mark they made and the service they gave.

But because all our graduands today are women, we recall Dr. Ruby Lake-Richards more especially.

She broke the glass ceiling, pushed the frontiers of women’s achievement, and helped pave the path for today’s women, to become leaders in all that they pursue.She helped to prove that gender is no obstacle to ability and should be no barrier to equality with men in every aspect of human endeavor.

I spoke with Dr Ruby Lake Richards yesterday and told her of this historic occasion, at which the first indigenous University campus in Antigua is holding its first graduating ceremony – of which all six graduands are women.

Dr Lake Richards was delighted.

Her own career took her to Canada where she served in hospitals as a general practitioner and subsequently as a respected psychiatrist until she retired at age 93.

Presently, at the age of 98, and with her brain as sharp as it ever was, she asked me to convey her congratulations to our six female graduands, and to tell them that, as the first graduates, they are paving the way for those who follow.

She also said that in today’s world, there is every opportunity for women to succeed and that they should seize every opportunity with both hands.

She also sent you – the graduands – her very best wishes in their future endeavours.
My Government is committed to the upliftment and empowerment of women in our society, which we want to be gender-equal in all sectors.

Consequently, we applaud the success of our women in seizing educational opportunities – a trend which is noticeable throughout the campuses of UWI.

It is amazing that the females are today outperforming the males; but the under achievement of our males is becoming increasingly worrisome.

The latter is an issue that currently occupies the attention of the Cabinet, as we seek to devise strategies to increase the matriculation and graduation of more males with a university degree.

Whereas all work add to national productivity and is embraced; more of our young males need to increase their ambition from climbing the back of a truck to work on a construction site, to achieving a university degree.

Today, I say to our women graduates and our women students – well done and congratulations. And I trust that the males will emulate your success.

Your hard work is paying off, and you are taking your rightful place as equal partners to men in our societies, that need the contribution and hard work of both. Ladies and Gentlemen, in part, it is the under-representation of the people of the Leeward and Windward Islands at the Mona Campus in Jamaica and subsequently at the Trinidad St Augustine Campus and the Barbados Cave Hill Campus, that fanned the flame of ambition for this Five Islands Campus, to serve the needs of the Windward and Leeward Islands more particularly.

I remind everyone that, having started operations in September 2019 – only 18 months ago – with 148 students, today, the Five Islands Campus has over 300 students across three schools and several exciting programmes, including Management, Education, and Nursing.

Our plan is to build on these programmes to offer courses in 2022 in areas such as Corporate Finance, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Midwifery, Special Education, Services Management and climate studies. That is why, even as my Government faces formidable challenges in public health, a daunting debt overhang, structural financial problems, as we try recover our economy from this still threatening COVID 19 environment; we will not forsake this Five Islands Campus.

While, in 2021, we will work toward the restoration of our economy by limiting the spread of the Corona Virus and a swift roll-out of vaccines to immunize our community; we know that the enhanced knowledge base of our people remains a vital ladder in our climb out of the today’s precarious circumstances.

Therefore, I give the undertaking today that my Government will do all in its power, to provide funding for further infrastructural development and expansion of the Five Islands campus.

We will also work assiduously to finance the operational budget of the campus over the next five years, and we will deepen our partnership with UWI to jointly devise solutions to major developmental issues.

In pursuing these policies, we will also seek the fullest participation of the private sector in Antigua and Barbuda and neighbouring territories, who will benefit from the wider and deeper pool of knowledgeable persons from which they can draw.

Education remains at the centre of our developmental aspirations, and our people at the heart of its attainment.

Our objective is to get ahead of the longer economic impact of the pandemic, by promoting investments to improve technology, health care, and, importantly, education.

This race will not be won by the swift; the prize will go to those with the resilience and stamina for the longer haul.

The painstaking path ahead of us will require sacrifice and patience, but most of all, it will require determination and stick- ability to overcome.

Previous generations overcame centuries of slavery and exploitation, repression, and oppression, to lay the foundations for the modern societies we have seen constructed in only six decades of self-government in our region.

That’s who we are as West Indians.

We have within us the same spirit that motivated our fore parents to fight for a better life, not just for themselves, but for the generations that followed.

Today, our generation stands as the principal beneficiary.

We are better educated and more competitive because our forefathers blazed the trail for our upliftment.

I know that every graduate of this Campus will want to blaze their own trail.

But, you must recall that each of you will leave this place, certified and more knowledgeable, because a previous generation cleared the way for you; gave you the opportunity, and allowed you to stand on their shoulders.

I hope that is something our graduands will keep in their minds, as they walk across the stage today: that gratification comes with helping someone find their path; for making yourself useful not just to yourself, but to others.

For you haven’t just earned new opportunities with your Diplomas, you’ve also earned new responsibilities with them.

I recall the well-known biblical counsel in Luke Chapter 12, verse 48: “To those to whom much is given, much will be required”.

I congratulate each graduand on the successful completion of your course of study. I congratulate: – Natisha Alie-Grant- Jerusha Baynes – Shanique Gumbs- Marsha Lay-Jarvis – Lakisha Mack- Launee Richards on your achievement of a post graduate qualification, that would increase your marketability and stand you in good stead throughout your lives.
You have written yourselves into the annals of this Campus’ history.

In the decades to come, as the early beginnings of the Five Islands campus will be recalled, your names will glow brightly as its first stars.

Now, you must go forth, recognising that you must play a meaningful role in our Country whose destiny, as Sir Raymond Priestly said, ought to be great.

But, it will only be great, if we resolve to make it so.

We can emerge from our current circumstances, stronger, bigger, better and more vibrant than before.

You who graduate today – and those who benefit from the Campus’ teaching – have the tools to help to make the future of our OECS sub-region brighter; by embracing the urgency of now and to utilize your knowledge, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovativeness in building well diversified, highly productive and value driven economies in the subregion.

I urge the you, the graduands to do so by stepping out boldly, compassionately and purposefully in making your contribution to nation building.

I wish each of you Gods speed and good fortune in your life’s journey.
Finally, I urge everyone to remain vigilant and to stay safe and healthy during this time of COVID.

I thank you.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. I am soooo proud watching these six Ladies who graduated from the University.I can remember when the Prime Minister announced the university coming to Antigua UPP and Gisele Isaac were against the PRIME MINISTER. UPP is now licking Their wounds and choking on Their VOMITS. As I read in one these posts Someone mentioned Prime Minister Gaston Browne is a GENIUS. The best Prime Minister in the WORLD.CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL.

  2. Wondering what the UPP is saying now that They watched the results of the University in Antigua. I listened to the BIG ISUES yesterday and I heard one the Contributors said that UPP lack Leadership hence the DEMISE of the UPP. Too many People left the UPP because of NO vision.

  3. @PETE and RUPERT
    You Guys are on the ball.UPP never want the University because D.Gisele Isasc and UPP do NOT want ANTIGUANS with Degrees. I also listened to the BIG ISSUES yesterday and heard the Contributor said that UPP should remove Harold Lovell and D.GISELE Isaac if the UPP want to be VIABLE.

  4. TEARS came to my eyes as I watched the watched delivered that speech. I do hope that more Antiguans especially Men will use this University.

  5. I keep asking Myself while I watching the Prime Minister on television yesterday. Who in Their right mind will vote for UPP. UPP no vision.

  6. Please Antiguans take note of the PROGRESS Antigua is making in this PANDEMIC. This University will be number one in the Caribbean shortly.

  7. This really shows what UPP and the Tabors of Antigua are all about…. things good happen in Antigua, they are silent- but if it was making Antigua look bad he would have commented since 5:30am, replied to a few persons comments and so on….. Tabor comments here now

  8. @ JOHN STONES
    John you are so correct TABOR,KNIGHT and Others are hiding. They cannot take the PROGRESS happening in Antigua. TABOR ,KNIGHT, SERPENT and all UPP Candidates are bunch of HYPOCRITES and TIME WASTERS. Tabor ,Harold ,Gisele Isaac are against the University. Now They are ASHAMED and hiding. Listen to Mr.Knight on Observer tonight. They are also against the following.

    University
    LIAT
    NOVA SCOTIA BANK
    CIBC.
    and others.They are a buch of LOSERS.

  9. Come on JOHN STONES and ERIC CARDEN be honest. The UPP was never against the university. What we were against was the use of the custom built secondary school (when secondary school places were badly needed) as the venue for the university. We have always maintained that the old US base at Coolidge would be an ideal venue. With the hotel school, ABIT and the AUA in the same area, it would have been like a little university town as exist in other countries. Added to that the proximity of all these learning institutions would have created certain economies for all concerned. Please remember as well that the UPP had set up a committee under the leadership of Juno Samuel, which included renowned Antigua academics overseas such as Dr. Paget Henry a professor at Ivy League Brown University in Rhode Island and retired professor Dr. Gregson Davis from Stanford University (Ivy League as well). So to say that the UPP was against the university is a blatant and bare faced LIE.

    • Charles Tabor it would have been bestbif you would have said nothing because what you are saying is not factual. There are numerous recordings of members of the UPP being opposed of the university to incloude the chairwoman. I know it must really hurts to see anything this adminstration do as being sucess but please do remember that with the university being here there are oppertunitines for more Antiguans getting an unveristy education not just for those who are privilage like your children.

  10. Once again my congratulations to the graduates but moreso to the PM he relentlessly fought with the help of the Minister of Education and all his technician for this day to have become a reality in the life of our Nation.
    Dr. The Honorable Gaston Browne this will go down in history and nothing the UPP and its bunch of savage critiques can do about that. And if I’n correct teachers in Antigua were offered free education up to Masters Degree. If that is correct these teachers did not have to pay a dime for their education.
    Thanks to the vision of the ABLP.
    This is what you call empowering people. No one can take away an education away from you. What is in your head stays in your head.

      • Well why not make your wishes known directly to the PM. He is a man that listen to his people. Once you can make a good case. Remeber about sixteen young people at the Port were sent to Jamaica to persue a maritime study all expenses paid as well. And all public servants have that opportunity as well.

        • @From The Sidelines…I thought you were his Right, Left and Center HAND-d-man. Therefore, the quickest way to get the PM’s attention is through the use of your #signing ability’s.

          • well you thought wrong. The quickest way is to pick up the phone and call his office and ask to speak to him. Or call him on Saturday on his radio program.
            He is a very apraochable PM.

  11. Congratulations to the 6 graduates. This goes to show that with hardwork and determination, anything is possible. Thankfully the PM did not get sidetracked by King Lyadd and his desperate tactics. A lesson to all that “haterz are gonna hate”, but you gotta stay focused and keep it moving.

    CONGRATS to all who made it possible!! God is good.

  12. Would be more satisfying if the the five islands community had their school and the University was constructed somewhere else.
    Antigua children are people too

  13. Congratulations to the Graduates.Why were only 6 persons graduated? I am happy for those 6 graduates. Were there no men at that University?

  14. Commenters All: Congratulations to all of the Graduates.May you reach for the sky and touch it.Why is this a Political Story? On one hand many of you are congratulating the Graduates.Then you inject partisan politics into a matter.That has nothing to do with the subject at hand.What were their areas study?

    • TUNA I could not agree with you more. However, you know that everything must be politicize by JB, FROM THE SIDELINE, ERIC CARDEN, CARSON, JOHN STONES (this name is new to me), RUPERT MANN and PETE. I see for some reason TENMAN is absent. Anyway, congratulations to the 6 ladies. Our men are being marginalized for various reasons and they need to step up to the plate.

      • Charles Tabor and Tuna fish you two are so full of 💩. You both are so bloody bais it down right comical. Mark you if present adminstration some bull💩 you two would be first but now all of a sudden now it is something postive you want to take politocs out of it. Talk about being a hyprocrite!

      • Tabor Tabor, Why would you say that our men are being marginalized. And by whom. The UWI Five Island is open for all who want to. A Study throughout the Caribbean shows more women are pursuing a tertiary education then men. And the PM spoke about that. What is your opinion of why boys seems to be more inclined to drop out of school then girls.
        And I know that you and the likes would like for us to forget the opposition that you had against the University in Antigua, but it is a record in Parliament now. UPP voted against. And you guys also claimed we could not afford it. I listened to Darren’s line of questioning today on his morning show. Trying to find out if the UWI is getting the promised support from the government. But you guys forget whom you dealing with. CIP was also attached to it for funding.
        The government thought of the longterm solution.

  15. @TABOR
    TABOR don’t forget Your Chairwoman of the UPP UPP called it a WATEREDDOWN UNIVERSITY and She resigned from Traching. Please be honest Tabor and stop the Lies.Tabor remind me of DONALD TRUMP. LIES. LIES.

  16. Hon.Dr. Gaston Browne Prime Minister STRONGLY believes in EMPOWERING Antiguans and Barbudans. Unlike the UPP that has NO VISION. All UPP Candidates are LOSERS. I like how Dr.Gaston Browne described CLEON ATHILL and SEAN BIRD on Saturday. Shame on CLEON ATHILL and SEAN BIRD. For sure They will never win Their seats.

  17. @ PHILLIP.G
    Totally in agreement with you. These Guys were drawing a PAY CHEQUE without showing up for work.This AWFUL.

  18. FROM THE SIDELINE I see that you try to challenge everything I say without any rational or factual basis. I said that our young men are being marginalized and you are challenging that statement, yet still you yourself have stated that a Caribbean study shows that more women than men are pursuing tertiary education, which supports my point. And by the way, the marginalization of men is not just a Caribbean problem, this is a world wide phenomenon. I am not a sociologist but I guess one of the reasons for this is that women are now taught to get an education to get ahead, rather than sit around and look for a good man or husband to take care of them. On the other hand, while the women are now seeking higher education the young men are leaving school to make quick money. So FROM THE SIDELINE it is a problem that our society has to look at and find solutions.

    • “When you push people to the edge of society by not allowing them a place within it, you marginalize them. Native or aboriginal groups often end up in this position, and so do people who are poor, disabled, elderly, or who in other ways are seen as not quite fitting in. …”
      The above is from Google. I think your use of the word is incorrect. The men are not being marginalized. No one is doing this to them. As you so rightfully say they are leaving school to make quick money. Therefore you and the PM are on the same page. I had the same problem in my house. I had a hard time convincing my boys to stay in school, while the girls were very anxious to learn more and get higher education. What I see the root of this problem is, is that boys need to impress girls with money and as they grew up in their teens they need money to impress them or they will lose them to older boys that do have money and can buy a car and buy them gifts. And another issue that I see is that the salaries in the labour market are not level. i bet you have heard the PM talking about certain unskilled workers at WIOC and the Port taking home about $8000 per month. A College graduate would be lucky if they carry home $6000 while having accumulated lots of student loan debt. School drop outs do not have that debt burden. I have given an example of this long time ago. Two students leave state college. One goes to University one goes work on the job. Lets say construction. In four years the university student comes back home has debt of $200K and look for a job. No experience he gets perhaps $4k-$5K p/m. The drop off student has been on the workmarket and have acquire experience and is now a leadman he takes home about $6K-$8K and has no student loan debt. Has alread been able to buy a car and hs been saving to build his house.
      Why would ny youngman looking at this scenario want to go through the trouble of incurring so much debt and when he come on the job market don’t make enough to catch up anytime soon with the school drop out. There are only a few professions that are lucrative enough that gives him that edge. Doctor, Lawyer.
      Therefore it need to be attractive for our youngmen to choose to stay in school and go for higher eduction rather then to leave school and go straight on the job market and learn and grew on the job.

  19. FROM THE SIDELINE the word marginalized is not used incorrectly. Yes the young men are dropping out of school earlier for various reasons, but it s for the society to find the reasons and address the problem (if we consider it to be a problem. Even Sir Hillary Beckles I have heard used the word marginalized in the same context as I did. He was giving a lecture about the greater representation of women at UWI compared to men (by the way this is seen even in the faculty of engineering that is traditionally dominated by men). When I was at law school in a class of 112 students, believe it or not, 100 students were women and 12 men. By the way, in the lecture by Sir Hillary he also said that because many women are now more highly educated than men and they will have a difficulty finding a suitable partner, he would advise his daughter in looking for a partner not to only focus on degrees since that is not the only criterion in determining the character of a person. He went on to say that even if a woman is a lawyer or doctor, that does not mean she could not find a great partner who is not a professional. Please FROM THE SIDELINE don’t advise me on the use of words. Young men in our society are being marginalized from their own doing and also from the various societal factors. This is a problem for our educators and sociologists to address.

    • So you yourself have no solutions that you can offer. You put it straight on the feet of our educators and sociologists. That is the sad thing about you. Always have destructive criticism and no constructive one. I took my own life experience as an example. Can’t you take yours? I indicate where I think the problem lies, you don’t. This is a societal problem and you are part of it. I would leave the use of the word “marginalized” alone, cause we’ll go around in circles. But I was trying to challenge you to a good constructive discussion and taking it away from “politics” which it has nothing to do with. You must try it from time to time. Deal with social problems as part of a society where you are part of and need to contribute to give solutions. Not leave it to others.

  20. FROM THE SIDELINE I will desist from engaging in discussion with you since it is not worth it. It is for the experts in our society such as educators and sociologists to study the problem and come up with solutions. First, you challenge the use of the word marginalize and now you have backed away from your silly and incorrect position. This discussion about the marginalization of our young men was never a political issue. However, with you bringing politics into it shows that you guys can never see an issue outside of your partisan, political lens. You ask about solutions. This problem is one for the society to address. From the level of the family, parents can try to socialize their boys of the value of education and the need for them to complete secondary school and perhaps go on to tertiary education. You as a parent can recall how our parents used to insist that their girls stay indoors while the boys could roam all over and “sow their wild oats”. That was how they socialized their girls and boys. The get rich quick that our children are exposed to from Cable Television is also a factor that has to be countered. Our boys, in particular see this, and all they become concerned about is making quick money. Instant gratification becomes the norm and forgetting about education takes root. It was always said that having more female teaches than males in the school system could also have an impact on male students and a possible reason for their lack of interest in education. Again, I am neither and educator or sociologists. This is a problem for the society to study and address. Now tell me what was my destructive criticism? You just use words because you appear to have a modicum of ability with words. However, you need to first try to understand the import of a person’s comment before proceeding to make all sorts of nonsensical comments. Understand as well not everything is POLITICS.

    • Thanks for letting your views known. Eventhough you said it is for the educators nd sociologists to address. But as you can see your opinion will contribute to solutions.

  21. By the way FROM THE SIDELINE I listen to every radio station in this country and I also read all the newspapers. I just read the Pointe Express Newspaper on line of Wednesday 15 January, 2021 and on page 2 there is a lovely article captioned TACKLING MALE UNDERACHIEVEMENT. The problem of the marginalization of our young men is really a serious problem and I was very happy to see the issue addressed in the article. If you have not read it as yet, I would recommend that you do so. Solutions that you are also interested to see are advanced in the article. From my perspective, I have for some time seen the issue to be a major one, so I really hope that serious consideration can be given to finding solutions.

    • Thanks for the advise. I will see if I get the time.
      Once again all of us are part of the SOCIETY we live in, and we ALL need to contribute to its solutions. Especially those social issues. And there are plenty of them. Like “pregancy of our young girls”. Another topic that I think the Nation as a whole should address. In Europe I participated in several Talk Groups. These are group of people coming together to discuss social issued and then we sent our finding to our representatives. We used to meet weekly in a hotel’s boardroom. It assist our lawmakers when they formulate policies.

  22. “It would therefore appear that the issue of salary is one of the main concerns that must form part of any reform.”
    Participatory Democracy is for me about Citizens discussing “Social Issues” amongst themselves and advizing the representatives of their opinions and views on the matter.

  23. May I suggest to this Website to take the lead and start Zoomlike WebGroup Talk Groups to discus social topics which in the end can be provided as data to the government of the day for making policy decissions.

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