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posted 2 Apr 2018, 10:30 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 2 Apr 2018, 10:40 ]
Even as workers' lives are destroyed in plots: PSA staff! Cadel Trading! The latest episode in the sideshow called the legal system/judiciary adds another act in its ongoing series which features Archie and his All Stars.

This has very little to do with the everyday lives of the working class at large and EVERYTHING to do with the incarcerated, the majority of whom are from the working class and simply cannot afford to buy their way out of jail.

In recent times I have had occasion to visit the Hall of Justice. On the last occasion, I met members of a family whose relative has been on Remand for 12 years. In twelve years time children are born, complete primary school and enter puberty. In 12 years time people choose develop and consolidate their career paths and chart the course of their working lives. In 12 years time people nurture and consolidate their family/personal lives, invest in property.

What would these men and women give for a sabbatical/vacation a la the Chief Justice? But they must remain hewers of wood, drawers of water and occupiers of prisons, asylums and hospitals. As all this unfolds I remembered Christopher Phillip, an old man left to die on the lawn of the Port-of-Spain General hospital in 2017. He was not an M.P who had fallen ill while in office or a Chief Justice who was free to roam while men waited for their part heard matters to be addressed. Clearly those charged with the responsibility of 'dispensing justice' have gone deaf.

So however this 'soft landing' as one commentator manifests, the everyday life of 'ketch hell' for the average citizen continues with its debilitating effect on the individual psyche, family, community and cultural life. Economic despair gives rise to unimaginable aberrations.

While the ruling class continues with the "politics of the stomach", we have less money for school feeding but Archie wants to vacate for 6 months to study labour law.

Across the cesspool, the beleaguered Minister of Education and his trusty sidekick, the Chief Education Officer, have made more appearances on television than most Cabinet officers do in a year.

Tony and Tonto could easily be mistaken for a fry chicken commercial or food supplement. Tony and Tonto have been talking about a deceased teacher who was not really a teacher since she was killed at home; bosey backs from too heavy schoolbags and clogged toilets in schools.

Poor man, I am convinced that in every Cabinet meeting he and the Minister of National Security put in for transfers; Only to be told "Who we go put?' Not even Marlene or Camille want those jobs.

Let us talk about those extra heavy school bags for a minute. The booklist is predicated on a curriculum. The curriculum is designed on the basis of our project education needs. To satisfy those needs we need school plants, staff and educational tools. The classroom has to be equipped in a certain way. Now old folk like me and some of you too, dear readers, would recall that we went to school with copy book,/reading, arithmetic and English book.

The teacher was responsible for driving the process by literally teaching i.e. introducing engaging and evaluating. That is why the primary school teacher can be so effective. She is engaged in a year round, year long process with the students. They come to know one another. I discovered in transiting from primary to secondary school, those of us with a background and experience in the primary sector rarely engaged the guidance officers or had to send students to the Principal's office.

What happened? We shifted from the teaching model to the research model. The youngsters had to go and do this project and that project on their own. More 'independent' research, preparing projects; see what's beginning to happen? Testing replaces teaching.

The practice developed of bookstores writing book lists. (Yes, it is called capitalism). This writer has direct knowledge of this. Cartel, collaboration, mafia? Choose your word! Local writers began to appear and every 3 to 4 years a 'new revised' edition would be added. Best of all: education was free, state-subsidised called the school grant. Hog heaven for book suppliers!

The answer? Change the curriculum! But here is the elephant in the room. We go to these international lending agencies for loans and their conditionalities apply. Everything from school design to educational models! Check our text books, see who the publishers are. Somebody said computers? Where did that scam end up?

Essentially comrades, the house of cards that was our political and economic system has crashed. Not is about to, is likely to or possibly can. It has already crashed! And guess who has to fix it?