IT’S not the first time that there have been calls for the inclusion of a conflict resolution programme in the curriculum of secondary schools, without any such initiative ever coming to pass. One wonders whether there might be some follow-up this time since the latest call has come from no less an authority figure than the Commissioner of Police.
But I ask: What would it have taken all these years to introduce even a pilot project in a well-chosen sample of schools if doubt still remained as to the efficacy of such a move?
But it’s the same old story: time and time again one questions one’s self as to why it is that seemingly beneficial educational, economic, cultural, social and other potential initiatives just fail to get implemented even when they seem to us the expectant public like just the thing to do and without any fallout. So, what happens? The particular problem simply gets worse and begins to affect the society as a whole in regrettable, even dangerous, ways.
I would go further than the Commissioner in my longstanding call for a human development programme such as C.A.R.E’s Adolescent Development Programme (ADP) to be placed in the curriculum of secondary schools and add that there should be appropriate versions of that programme starting from the infant school level, where our children are eminently rescuable, and moving smoothly through the primary to secondary levels.
If we are convinced that in the overwhelming majority of cases the homes of today clearly fail to provide the necessary resources, whether through wilful abdication of such responsibilities or through ignorance or rank inability in these challenging times, then the State surely has a duty to formally charge the schools with that responsibility.
So, one more time, let me commend the tried and tested C.A.R.E. ADP, which has over the years earned the approbation of the business community in its assessment of the C.A.R.E. trainees employed at their businesses — of whatever type. Said programme, adapted or used as is, should be an integral component of the school curricula. And, oh, how I’d love to throw in Civics and Logic, again starting early on and moving up the educational ladder at appropriate levels (basic, elementary, intermediate). I have no doubt that if this were ever to happen, we would be singing a different song — a much sweeter song, a more hopeful song, a proud song, as far as the youth of this country are concerned and, by extension, the country itself.
More than that, I think we’re at the stage where some relevant national campaigns are in order. Having for some years experienced the miraculous outcomes of the Singapore national campaigns, I can’t help but secretly wish I could wave a magic wand and make Saint Lucia what we all (at least, the vast majority, I’m certain) would want it to be. Of course, one is aware of the stark fundamental difference in psyche between the Asians and us “no-problem Caribbean peoples”, and well, magic wands are hard to come by. So it would have to take the same efficient planning, execution — and then some — as obtains in that 238 sq. mile Eastern land.
But right there banging at the door to be let in is the slavery bogey (never mind the reality that all other peoples have experienced and surmounted that horror in one form or another) and so it would seem there can never be a fashioning of the people to save them from themselves.
However, recently, PTL, I have noticed, and just perhaps you have, too, a recent phenomenon, something which holds much promise and which has renewed my faith in our ability to change for the better. Do you see what I see?
Think about it…