Why the fuss with publishing results? Is your child or relative placing in the top 100 a talking point, something to brag about in family circles and make those less academically inclined feels inadequate and inferior?
It is time we aim at transferring academic excellence to the workplace – the parliament, the cabinet, and the judiciary. How do we explain the backlog in the courts or a patient needing an MRI being given a date 18 months away?
We must tell our children about the struggles of our pioneers in business, medicine, and engineering etc. All of us want to earn a Rolls-Royce but do we stop to bother about the efforts and sacrifices that went into producing such a machine? Do we bother to know about the life of Henry Royce who hardly had a three meals per day much more a fulltime education?
We must tell our children about their grandparents who came from India with nothing, cleared forests and revived the sugar industry… about Ram Kirpalani, Jang Bahadursingh and Joseph Charles among others? We must hang on our wall pictures of Vijay Narinesingh and Lall Sawh. My sister had a stomach ailment and had it cured only after visiting Lall Sawh. The other doctors were just ‘eating her money’ according to my mother!
Only yesterday Pandit Vigyan Dharamdass shared with me that his father taught him and his brothers so many skills that he applies today. For example, his father taught him that when digging a drain, one must always start at the lower end to ensure the constant flow of the water. He said that his father would always have a bucket of water to pour out with a cup to ensure that the water is flowing.
Look around central Trinidad, all the box drains are ‘flat’ with the water stagnant. Were there not engineers to supervise those projects? Who granted the final approvals before payments were made?
Education is much more that passing examination? It is about economic wellbeing. It must be a vehicle for social change, to inspire and motivate. We cannot continue to talk about our greatness when our society is an open cesspool.
This brings me to the politics of the day, Is the current Prime Minister the best individual this country can throw up? Where are our scholarship winners? Why don’t they step forward to serve? Many who are critical of UNC don’t even have a party card and others who have cards don’t bother to vote.
I voted for Fuad Khan because I think that he is a successful professional and an entrepreneur in his own right. He is not only a ‘dactar’ but is on top of his skills as a urologist. More so, I have never heard of any charges of corruption being leveled against him.
Where are the other so-called professionals? Vijay Narinesingh is active in the community through the Hindu Prachaar Kendra apart from his success as a surgeon. More so, Narinesingh is a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine and writes for peer reviewed medical journals.
What passes for education in this country is not adequate to give our students the advantage to excel. A factory produces standardized products and not individuals, each with their unique and distinct personalities. Where are the models that our engineering students construct? Why are these ambitious models not published to inspire and motivate the nation? Why don’t our Faculty of Agriculture not share their model farms and innovative ways of growing crops? The reality is graduates are stealthily creeping out of university with limited confidence to go forth and conquer the world. No wonder alcohol and drugs have found a place in our social life!
We know that there is nothing to look forward to in the workplace and the last hurrah is placement in examination- “mi grand daata do very good in the test and she brother studying to be a dactar!
I support the call for the publishing of the top 100 students. My argument is that education does not end by writing SEA or graduating from university. I think it is the beginning and the real work is in the fields, factories, offices, courts, parliament and the cabinet.