Submitted by William Skinner
Recently in a submission to BU, I mentioned a story appearing in the local press about a six-year-old citizen, selling her first piece of art. In the interview, her mother said that she was conflicted, in exposing her daughter to such activity at a very tender age. She did not want to send the message that everything is about money. However, she concluded that her daughter’s passion, came at the cost of some expensive art supplies. In the end common “cents’ became the reality.
We stupidly believed that the world would have waited on us, to embrace the emerging technologies. While we waited, teens in other countries, were already becoming millionaires by creating and selling computer programs /apps. We wasted almost twenty years boasting about “punching above our weight”.
Our children were therefore denied the excellent opportunity of mastering basic computer skills, and many have left school lacking the competence to turn on a computer. Edutech was a monumental failure. And to this day, the architect of that calamity has never explained the disaster.
Our children must compete in the global market. Countries with limited resources must have educational institutions that impart knowledge and skills to navigate their local, regional, and international challenges.
An honest assessment of successive administrations reveals their innate ability to prefer presentation over content. They always fail to deal with the issues and challenges we need to face within our educational system. The latest fallacy being promoted, suggests there are no “good or bad” schools. We should ask our children what they think about that! We are trying to convince ourselves that the system is not elitist. We are still contending that each child, who sits the Common Entrance, has an equal chance of “passing” a “fair “examination.
Many citizens are asking what will replace the Common Entrance. Almost two years have passed since the current administration informed the public that it would be abolished.
We continue to blame the parents and those teachers, whom we think are not the best ,for the failures of the system.
Our children are not responsible for poor parenting or teaching. No child chooses his or her parents. Our children should have at least one daily nutritious meal and be exposed to the best educational institutions. We must ensure that they are provided with all the means to enjoy a happy, healthy childhood. They must be protected from all forms of abuse.
Very urgent and comprehensive legislation is needed to give our children protection. For example, adults who are accused of abusing children, must be removed from the home immediately; children under the age of fourteen should not be required to give evidence at trials where they have accused adults of abuse. Once the state determines there is a case, there should be no need for the child to be a witness and be cross examined. The accused is at the mercy of the court and his innocence or guilt will be determined by a jury.
Those found guilty should be placed on a public record as molesters and be not permitted to reside or frequent anywhere where children gather this will include play parks, schools, and other places. There should be a minimum sentence of twenty-five years for anybody who rapes a child. Penetration could be any object.
As a nation, we must protect and develop our only natural resource. We are all parents and guardians of all our children.
As we embark on the new Republic journey, we need to ask ourselves: how seven of ten children in the nation’s care, from the Girls Industrial School, became patients, at the psychiatric hospital on suicide watch. The next question is are we collectively doing right by our nation’s children.
The alert parent mentioned at the beginning of this piece, knew, the difference between reality and illusion. Our children have all the inner resources to make the future of our country greater and like that parent, we need to always know the difference between cents and common sense