Develop the east PoS schools
So the “area” is in the news again. The Duncan/Nelson streets area, I mean, and the cacophony of voices is deafening—all espousing “solutions” to the “problem”. Death penalty, more police patrols, police post in building, lock down...
It seems everyone has forgotten a key factor for a possible solution to the problem—the schools. There are so many schools in the immediate area—about seven primary and one secondary, and a large number of the children in the area and indeed from the so-called hotspot areas attend these schools.
These schools are sources of nurture to children who have lost fathers, brothers, cousins, godfathers, neighbours, boyfriends under the violence of the gun; children who have had their routes proscribed by the arbitrary division of streets that are little more than alleyways in the scheme of things; children who live in constant fear of losing their loved ones or their own lives; children who cannot play comfortably in their own neighbourhoods.
These schools should be zones of comfort with resources, like other schools, that promote learning. They are not. There is little or no room for sporting facilities, infrastructure is inadequate and/or crumbling and it has become increasingly difficult to secure approvals for school repairs. Does anybody really care?
Ask the principal of South East Port of Spain Secondary School about the trouble she has had to get approval to fix the roof after a flood in July 2012. To this day (Tuesday, August 20), nothing has been done to fix the problem, which was highlighted throughout the Ministry of Education. Not a nail has been driven since July 2012. It is only a matter of time before the place is flooded again and further damage done. Who cares?
With proper resources to help the psychological needs of the pupils, sporting facilities accessible in the area (if not in the schools themselves) and serious, non-partisan support and commitment from the State, the schools can be a main factor in the solution to crime in this little part of our country that has produced so many upstanding citizens.
I hope somebody is listening.