TCI News

TCI: Op-Ed – Letter to the Editor

#Providenciales, December 10, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – With lack of vision or limited knowledge the people and a nation will perish.

In this day and age where electronic devices are so readily available, children are spending an absorbent amount of time on their phones and may lack the attention span needed to focus academically.  In essence, every child is not cut out to be a scholar and as a developing country, its extremely important that we recognize this sooner then later.  We need to make career advice more systematic and more objective.  With that being said, why aren’t we investing in more technical schools?  As Guyanese political activist and historian Walter Rodney wrote, “The rise of the middle class can only be effectively chronicled and analyzed in relationship to the schools.”

Let’s start with secondary education.  Are we waiting too long to start prepping our children to help identify their inner talents?  From ages 9 or 10 children usually have an inclination of what or whom they want to be.  As parents, teachers and civic leaders, we have an obligation to cultivate those thoughts, behaviors or skills.

Talks of independence has been buzzing around especially when the Brits exert their powers on the local constitution in certain ways.  As a dependent territory, I do believe the road to independence should always be on the horizon but it starts with long term planning.  Nevertheless, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face as the old cliché would have it.  We must Identify areas of need that will benefit our people and the country as a whole and then create a road map to achieve those goals.  Focusing more on technical skills and less dependence on the service industry will provide the means for more of our people to join the middle economic classes and for their offspring to rise even higher.

Just to name a few areas of important educational opportunities.  Marine mechanics or Agriculture on a larger scale, in my opinion both are a dire need in this country.  Any kind of inclement weather the ships are temporarily grounded or delayed and there are limited or no fruits and vegetables available on the islands of Grand Turk or Salt Cay.  And if so, it’s substandard quality.  For heavens sakes, this is the most needed commodity for sustainable health.

Agriculture; in Middle and North Caicos where land is plentiful and during the bygone days the grounds were very fertilize, why not embark on large scale farming.  I realize the native population is insufficient in terms of providing the needed workforce for this, but there are other alternatives.  Let’s increase migration through a legal process to include encouraging the illegals to come forward and create a pathway for citizenship to those willing to work the farming industry for x number of years.  Migration in search of a better life is a global issue and will continue to exist.  Most of the immigrants entering our country are unskilled workers and this would be a perfect fit.  The politicians that run on this platform certainly have my vote.

Marine mechanics; the lion share of our GDP is tourism and fishing based on the amount of funds generated in these areas.  However, you can literally name the handful of native marine mechanics on the islands.  I’m speaking from experience as I’m in the boating industry and on many occasions had to wait weeks to have my engines serviced.  Having trade schools that offers such curriculums would be vital to our economy.

We complain about the foreigners coming into our country and taking our high end government jobs, but have we considered offering lucrative salaries to natives living abroad who possess these various academic skill sets?  Some may have only stayed away due to lack of opportunities.  It will certainly create more of a balanced society and a level playing field.

We live in one of the greatest countries on earth with having the best of both worlds.  Here is what I meant by that, its relatively peaceful, still a God fearing nation, we are still under the British rule and protection although frustrating at times and last but not least, we utilize the US currency.  What more could you ask for?  Have you ever wondered why folks from across the Caribbean and other countries are knocking down the doors to enter our boarders?  We have got to start thinking outside of the box if we are going to compete in this changing world and save this beautiful by nature country.

Ed Forbes

Concern citizen


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