Category Archives: Education

Consigning Panday’s Memory to National Forgetfulness

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 23, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeNo fallen prime minister since Eric Williams has ever received such an outpouring of sympathy as Basdeo Panday did. On Thursday, the mayor of Siparia and his council members expressed the hope that, “His legacy as a dedicated servant leader, a man of unwavering principles, and a champion for the people of Trinidad and Tobago will always be remembered and cherished.” (Express, January 18). I am not sure their wish will come to pass.
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Upholding a university’s core mission

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 19, 2023

What you’re seeing now is a handful of super-ultra-wealthy individuals—plutocrats that, I guess you would call philanthropists—who have incredible leverage over higher education.

—Isaac Kamola, professor, Trinity College

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Monday December 5, the presidents of Harvard University (Claudine Gay), the University of Pennsylvania (Elizabeth Magill), and MIT (Sally Korn­bluth) were summoned by the US Congress to answer how well they responded to threats that are made against Jewish students at their universities, and whether students who call for the genocide of Jews should be disciplined.
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‘If you see something…’

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 10, 2023

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI have been poring over the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) “Education Policy 2023-2027”. In it, the word “holistic” comes up so often that I do not know whether I am a holistic citizen or not. One dictionary defines the word as meaning “characterised by the belief that the parts of something are interconnected and can be explained only by reference to the whole”.

I am still not sure how the MoE expects a student to achieve that goal.
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Brinsley Samaroo: A Historian of the People

Prof Brinsley Samaroo
Historian and retired lecturer Prof Brinsley Samaroo

By Dr Tye Salandy
July 10, 2023

I first met Brinsley Samaroo many years ago on a radio programme where I brought up an aspect of race relations in Trinidad and Tobago that I thought his explanation was missing. He agreed with me, and we spoke for a long time following the programme. Since then we would talk closely over the years, and he would give me books and critical feedback on my work. In the years to follow, I would send countless students to Brinsley, and he would give all of them the same enthusiastic support, mentorship and guidance. He would go beyond the boundary to assist and was always willing to give helpful critiques. I would invite him to give guest lectures and he was always phenomenal, managing to push the boundaries of knowledge in a calm, serious, but witty way. We would joke about him living in the West Indiana section of the UWI library, because he would always be there. He had a space on a desk with all his research materials and notes, and he would be there almost every single day of the week the library was open. When I could not reach him on his phone I would go and find him there, along with many other visitors who would come there to find him.
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Eugene Chen: a forgotten Trinidadian

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 06, 2023

PART II

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBetween 1921 and 1925, the year of Sun Yat-sen’s death, Eugene Chen was on top of his game. He was described as “Sun Yat-sen’s personal representative and spokesman in Shanghai” while the US Consul General in Shanghai described him as “one of the ablest, if not the most able, of Chinese political writers”. (Look Lai, West Meets East.)
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Suffer the little children

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 27, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeMy mother, Carmen Cudjoe (nee Batson), was born in Belmont in 1909. After spending her childhood years there, she moved to San Juan where she met my dad, married him, and moved to Tacarigua. Although my mother attended only primary school, she read constantly and wrote with eloquence and grace. In Tacarigua she was the secretary of most of the voluntary organisations there, such as the Garden Club and the Village Council.
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Human rights, equality and diversity

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 20, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDespite its fancy-sounding title, “Human Rights, Equality and Diversity: An Inquiry into the Right to Equal Access to Education with Specific Focus on the Under-performance of Schools in Port of Spain and Environs”, the children in this area (mainly Africans) will be condemned to educational backwaters even as the Ministry of Education (MoE) continues with its anachronistic approach of not-educating our children.
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Beloved

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 01, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeBeloved is an excruciatingly intense novel about the slave experience written by Toni Morrison, an acclaimed African-American writer. She is the only Black woman to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. She also won a Pulitzer Prize for Beloved in 1987. In 2012 President Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award that can be bestowed on a civilian.
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Education for those who want it

By Raffique Shah
September 13, 2021

Raffique ShahFor the second time in as many months I ask a question that is pertinent to this country’s future path, one that we need to answer because it is critical to everything else we do as we forge a road to recovery in the aftermath of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and the near-collapse of the national economy. It is this: are we satisfied with our education system which, give or take a tweak here, a turn there, has remained a hugely expensive relic of colonialism that refuses to die 60 years after independence.
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National heroes and history

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 24, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few weeks ago I listened to young Jamaican student Deane Weatherly talk about the importance of Queen Nanny of the Jamaican Maroons to her and Jamaican national life.

Queen Nanny, the leader of one of the country’s maroon groups, defeated the British in the 18th century, thereby establishing Nanny Town, a maroon town in the Blue Mountain region.
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