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A Call for Professionalism
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2002

Karibkween, Trinidad & Tobago Message Board

I admire Mr. Rennie's call for professionalism in the development of our infrastructure. One of the reasons we suffer and will continue to suffer from that cursed brain-drain is that the UNC was not the first government to practise such blatant nepotism and cronyism. There is no reason why our nurses should be leaving the country for jobs elsewhere. Think of how far along our country would be in terms of our evolution, if all our elected leaders had integrity and had placed the national good over their own pettiness. But this practise is destroying, at every level, every institution in our society.

How many more of our educators, health-care professionals, engineers, political leaders, etc, etc, are we going to sacrifice? Survival is instinctive and the host of nationals living and working abroad in the U.S., Canada, England, or any of the developed nations would have been contributing to our national growth if they believed they had a chance of competing fairly for any number of positions which are now filled by someone's unqualified mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunty, nephew, niece, son, daughter and the village idiot.

I have some knowledge of the strict codes and practices employed in the science of construction, after working for many years in the corporate sector of the U.S.'s Construction Management industry. I encountered on many occasion architectural, engineering and other technical professionals who had left T&T to further their education and stayed because the opportunity to grow and advance, even if it's only to middle management for those of East-Indian and African descent, was better in their host country than it was in their homeland. That's not including the 1st and 2nd generations of T&T expatriates who possess just fleeting memories of childhood visits to relatives. If anyone wonders why the developed nations remain superior, have a look at the lines outside their various embassies, then take a survey of the level of education each person in that line has attained. In the case of T&T that education is received free of charge, so in essence T&T is contributing to the wealth of these first world nations.

When the majority of our state owned enterprises prefer to dole out bonuses to their already fat and over-paid cronies, rather than spending money on R&D or the recruitment of new talent, it's easy to understand why our roads only hold up for less than a decade and our telecommunications and energy industries fail to keep up with demands the new technology is making on its outdated 19th century infrastructure.

A close friend of mine, after many years, returned to Trinidad for carnival, on his return to the U.S. I asked him what he thought since he was barely a man when he left T&T. He said he didn't remember it being quite so third world. My friend couldn't tell if that was because he had lived so many years in a first world nation or because Trinidad had regressed. I believe it is the latter, we have regressed.

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