“The school curriculum is not delivering the quality of individual we need to build the nation.”
—Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago
Neal Phillip, professor and chairman of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at Bronx Community College, City University of New York (CUNY), wrote the following article, “Preparing Students to enter a 21st Century Workforce,” at my instigation. I wanted to follow through on suggestions to improve high school education in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). I reproduce Professor Phillip’s article with a few editorial changes. Continue reading What Constitutes an Educated Trini?→
For many of the faithful, god-fearing Christians around the world, the resurrection of the Christ is central to that faith they hold so dear. Every year around March-April dramas are re-enacted commemorating the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus put on by devotees as a form of renewal. Like everything else that goes with religious matters, most Xians are blissfully ignorant about the true origins of this, the central theme of their faith. Coloured eggs are given to friends and the bunny is the animal associated with Easter but little thought is spared for the study of the roots of these traditions and the relationship Xianity shares with the “pagan” world it forever disrespects. Continue reading Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ→
No, I haven’t gone completely mad, just thought I’d try to grab your attention and so make you understand the importance of understanding what power words have.
Today is Emancipation Day, celebrating the ending of the enslavement of African people. You will hear the usual platitudes and speeches about how great we are and how we “broke the shackles of slavery”….and so on. Now as cynical as I’m sounding, those are important words to hear. So too are the sights of people walking around dressed in African or African-inspired attire, all that is praiseworthy. Continue reading MOST OF US ARE ALREADY EMANCIPATED, UNFORTUNATELY→
THE EDITOR: I can NOT believe that a new dress code for teachers is an issue. Really?! Wasn’t the existing one clear-cut enough?
Be that as it may, if true, it is welcome. Welcome in the sense that it serves to illuminate some of the elephants crowding the room that conservatives and the wilfully ignorant among us – i.e many of the over-40 age group – have no intention of discussing. You see in the wording of current guidelines (and no doubt the new one) there is a distinct gender bias, but that’s apparently okay with many people, including radio talk show hosts and their callers. Continue reading On this “Dress” Code for teachers→
THE EDITOR: September 11 marks a profoundly tragic event in world history. On this fateful day and in the coming years, thousands of lives were lost or permanently destroyed. So many people were disappeared, to date unaccounted for. The events of that day so many years ago continue to affect the lives of countless people and societies to this very day. Continue reading Remember the FIRST Sept 11th→
THE EDITOR: This COLFIRE caper illuminates some deeper issues that have always crept up every now and then. This doesn’t mean I expect said issues to be addressed; by and large, as a society we don’t like to face uncomfortable truths, preferring instead to deflect, trivialise and live in denial. Continue reading On the Colfire Dress Code→
THE EDITOR: So, the reactionaries have only recently ‘discovered’ that scores of youths are leaving Trinidad to fight with ISIL. Predictably, they react by talking about blocking their re-entry, jailing them, etc. In other words, pretty much the same punitive measures they insist on applying to gang violence and school bullying. Continue reading Re Youths and ISIL→
THE EDITOR: Last weekend I looked at a photo of Coast Guard ratings bearing the body of Harold La Borde and wondered if I was the only one who felt it was just a shallow, hypocritical charade.
I mean it’s not like the La Borde’s amazing achievements of sailing around the globe in a litte yacht he built right here meant anything. In other countries – y’know, those where self-contempt does not run as deep as it does here – what Harold, Kwailan and Pierre La Borde did would have been held up as models of inspiration for fellow countrymen and women. There was so much they did that spoke to the power of imagination and perseverance. Continue reading Don’t Mourn for La Borde Now→