Letter to editor can bring change
I must applaud President Anthony Carmona for the tributes he expressed at the memorial service for national hero, the late Justice Ulric Cross. However, I was astonished when his Excellency said that those who wrote “fancy letters to the editor” should stop writing and do what needs to be done. As an avid letter writer since my teens, I must let his Excellency know that a well placed letter to the editor can bring results.
Sometimes a letter to the editor is precisely what needs to be done to remind the authorities of the people’s concerns, or shame them into action. We, the small people of this country, are regularly ignored by those in high places. For example, in 2004, I raised an issue with a Joint Select Committee of Parliament concerning the selection of consultants for an educational project in T&T, exercising my rights under Standing Orders 80 (13) of the House of Representatives and 73 (13) of the Senate. The late Prof John Spence and I gave evidence on April 20, 2004. Up to this day there has been no response about the findings of this inquiry from the Joint Select Committee.
In a letter dated July 11, 2011, I wrote the chairman of the Accreditation Council of T&T (ACTT), pointing out inadequacies in the qualifications of the staff in a school offering doctorates in T&T and called for an investigation. I received an acknowledgement dated July 25, 2011, and nothing more to this day. I have had training in accreditation, and was once employed on contract at ACTT. I have all the documents mentioned here. Mr President such is the contempt to which we the simple people (without connections) must submit because we do not live in prestige locations, nor speak with foreign accents. We therefore have to shame the oppressors into action by writing letters to the editors.
In 1997 I wrote the then minister and his adviser in the Ministry of Education, pointing out innumerable errors in the recommended primary school textbooks, and received no reply. Investigations only ensued after I wrote a letter to the editor and brought proof to the editor.
Then a committee was established to review textbooks.
Yes, a letter to the editor can bring change. If there is need to plumb the feelings of the ordinary people in T&T, one must pay attention to the letters to the editors.