T&T needs a new ideology
TODAY marks the 51st anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s extrication from the grip of colonialism. The nation reminds me of an adult who, although 51 years old, is still struggling for growth, self-reliance and survival. Yes! I agree! There are still some citizens who are enjoying life and doing well, but what about the masses? Are they really as well off as they perceive? Have they reflected on the direction in which our nation is going? Are we in Trinidad and Tobago immersed in illusion?
Fellow citizens, tell me! What in our nation is working flawlessly or approaching perfection? Have our successive governments been able to inspire us to higher levels of consciousness as citizens, workers, parents, students and party members?
Is our education system addressing the needs of the economy, society and individual citizens? What about our economic and health system? Who is benefitting from them? Are we satisfied with the social, legal and justice system? International sociologists even argue that the security system, the legal system and its related sub-systems exist to fatten all who are related to them.
So, my people, what can we do to secure a better Trinidad and Tobago? To my mind, we will have to develop a new ideology for our society, and start overhauling our institutions so that the needs of our citizens—collectively and individually—will be met. The question is: who will bell the cat? This task can be only for our education system, our families, our churches, mosques, and temples, and our media—both print and electronic, and of course the arts.
The point is, as a nation, we cannot continue to pursue the regressive path on which we now are. The time is long past for us to start teaching our people that education and qualifications are not about accumulating and reproducing information and ideas. Education is about generating new ideas and critical thinking. Indeed, the new definition for a bright person is one who can generate new thinking to help us solve our problems.
By way of conclusion, I wish you happy Independence. I hope our next anniversary will see signs of progress in our nation.
Raymond S Hackett