Tag Archive for 'Selwyn R. Cudjoe'

What Constitutes an Educated Trini?

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 15, 2019

PART 1

“The school curriculum is not delivering the quality individuals we need to build the nation.”

—Paula-Mae Weekes, President of Trinidad and Tobago

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA nation always needs a leader who is willing to call it as she sees it. Paula-Mae Weekes, T&T’s president, is not afraid to play that role. Her latest intervention in the island’s political and social discourse occurred on Tuesday when she offered her views on how badly our education system is doing in preparing our citizens for life in the republic.

President Weekes believes the education system has failed in its responsibility to our children and our leaders. She didn’t call it a fraudulent system, but she left her listeners with that impression. The fact that she is an experienced judicial educator and was a fellow at the Commonwealth Juridical Educational Institute lent credence to her observations.
Continue reading ‘What Constitutes an Educated Trini?’

A Caribbean Hero

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 01, 2019

“Me think he do something for the people. Me think he think back and he see the cries of the people them and he do that.”

—Mona, East Canje, Berbice, Stabroek News

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt was an ordinary political moment. The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) of Guyana moved a routine non-confidence motion against David Granger-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU+AFC) when back-bencher Charrandas Persaud (AFC) surprised every member of Guyana’s National Assembly by supporting the motion.
Continue reading ‘A Caribbean Hero’

A Christmas Gift

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 25, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Sunday last, the Lydian Singers’ concert, “The Gift,” explored “the gifts of Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh…and Music” at its final concert at Queen’s Hall Auditorium. There were many outstanding performances. I was enthralled by Pat Bishop’s practice of blending local and foreign elements and her insistence that our musical forms can achieve standards of excellence that occur in other societies.
Continue reading ‘A Christmas Gift’

Evaluating Trump, Trini-Style

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 17, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBrian Moore is one of my best friends. He is Trini-to-de bone when it comes to discoursing about national and international matters. He is a contrarian and has dogmatic views about issues. He was not unduly worried when Donald Trump was elected to the presidency of the United States. When many of us were desolate about the prospects of the U.S., Brian declared defiantly: “America got what she deserved. Trump is not a U.S. aberration. He is the quintessential expression of who and what the U.S. is.”
Continue reading ‘Evaluating Trump, Trini-Style’

Reparatory Justice

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 04, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe Jamaica Gleaner, it is true, was impetuous. On November 25 it announced that the University of Glasgow (UG) and the University of the West Indies had reached an agreement regarding reparative justice. According to the Gleaner, UG had agreed to pay “£200 million (approximately J$34 billion) of value in reparation payments to The UWI.”
Continue reading ‘Reparatory Justice’

Andrew Haswell Green

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 26, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am always astonished when I realize how unaware we are about certain aspects of our history. I had completed my book on William Hardin Burnley, the biggest slave owner in Trinidad, when I received a fascinating note from a reader.

“My name is Henry Albert. I am a retired accountant and working on a project with the goal of becoming a docent for Preservation Worcester, a local Worcester, MA nonprofit.

“The topic includes Andrew Haswell Green, a local man who became well known in 19th century New York City. Supposedly, Green’s family knew William Burnley of Trinidad.”
Continue reading ‘Andrew Haswell Green’

The Incredible Dream – Pt 3

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 19, 2018

PART 3

“The further you look into the past, the further you can see into the future.”

— Sir Winston Churchill

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOver the past month, I visited London, England, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland where I delivered several lectures and participated in the launch of David Featherstone, ed., Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket: C. L. R. James’s Beyond a Boundary in which I contributed a chapter on James’s intellectual origins and his knowledge of early Trinidad’s history.
Continue reading ‘The Incredible Dream – Pt 3’

The Incredible Dream

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 12, 2018

PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen enslaved Africans (they were the majority population then) won their full freedom in 1838, there was an urgent need to establish an educational system that combined their ways of knowing with the needs of the dominant colonial class. Sir Henry MacLeod, governor of the island, sent the following dispatch to Lord Stanley, the Secretary of State: “I should submit to Your Lordship that there never was a country where some general situation of education was more required than in Trinidad” (May 1, 1840).
Continue reading ‘The Incredible Dream’

The Illusive Dream

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 05, 2018

PART 1

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI don’t know if it was “the cleansing water” as I called it last week but all of a sudden the newspapers were filled with reflections on education and the role it should play in resuscitating our society. It was almost as though these profound meditations came down from heaven, demanding that we fulfill an age-old dream of togetherness.

The first iteration came from Iman Yasin Abu Bakr when he eulogized Ricardo “the Gladiator” Welsh. He observed: “Many children were full of rage and parents lapsed on the job of keeping them in school. He [Abu Bakr] stressed the importance of this saying education was the only chance a people had to elevate themselves” (Newsday, October 28).
Continue reading ‘The Illusive Dream’

Water of National Cleansing

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 29, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeNow that the waters have subsided after the worst flooding in fifty years, we should engage in a new national discourse about who we are and whether we can keep on doing the same ole same ole and expect different results. We should decide whether we continue along our national highway using the same tired rhetoric of a happy, go-lucky people who never think or plan for tomorrow.

President Paula-Mae Weeks opened up the national conversation best when she said: “Whether causes by an Act of God, omissions or commissions of institutions or individuals or any combination thereof, this is not the time to ascribe blame. Now is the time for all to come together as a nation to render whatever assistance we can to those in such desperate need” (Express, October 22).
Continue reading ‘Water of National Cleansing’