Our Readers' Opinions
July 30, 2010
Can we afford to copy Kamla’s campaign promise?

Fri, Jul 30, 2010

Editor: Both political parties in St.Vincent and the Grenadines seem to be copying a political promise made by the People’s Partnership of Trinidad and Tobago to distribute laptop computers to school children. This idea, though commendable, must be placed in its true perspective.{{more}} Trinidad and Tobago is an oil rich country. Kamla and Jack know exactly where they can get the money from to purchase these computers.

In the case of SVG, we are a poor country, struggling even to pay public servants’ salaries on a monthly basis. We cannot compete with Trinidad and Tobago. We just cannot afford to do what Trinidad and Tobago has the resources to do. Therefore, with mauby change pocket we just cannot host champagne parties. Hence, we should not copy Kamla’s campaign promise without examining our own reality.

Why give students laptop when:

  • Our schools lack basic resources to aid the teaching learning process?
  • Our teachers cannot get their promised 2% salary increase?
  • Many of our schools do not have functioning computer labs?
  • Many children go to school without meals, textbooks and stationery?
  • Many school plants remain unfinished?
  • Many school need furniture and other supplies?
  • Many school toilets are in deplorable conditions and
  • Many teachers are waiting years for their appointment?

These are just a few of a list of things that are more urgently needed to be corrected before any right thinking government or government in waiting can consider using our scarce resources to buy laptops for our children.

We have to be mindful that SVG is a very poor country. Politicians on both sides of the fence must not play tunes to the electorate they know we cannot afford to dance to. That is why many countries in the Caribbean have cut

off their noses and have spoilt their faces. The Laptop tune played by the Top DJ of both parties sounds good in the dancehall, but at the end of the day the dance will not be able to pay for the light.

I urge both leaders to wheel the turntable and come again; change that laptop tune. We simply cannot afford at this time to dance to that one when there are more popular tunes in the education system that need to be placed on the wheels of steel. We have to dance within our means.

Let’s get the small things right in the ‘Education Revolution’ before we distribute laptop to our children. I don’t want any of the children to have their laptops as white elephants. Remember many of them are still living in homes without electricty and telephones. It is high time we put country before party. I urge both parties to stop playing on the emotions of the electorate in this election campaign.

Don’t banter us with grandiose promises. We expect better in this new dispensation vis-a-vis the election season.

M. Anderson