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Professor Lamming says regionalization will begin with the children in school

Professor Lamming says regionalization will begin with the children in school


Caribbean author Professor George Lamming is of the opinion that true regionalization will begin with children in the primary schools.{{more}}

Professor Lamming, who was speaker at the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus St Vincent Independence lecture on Tuesday, October 18, under the theme, “Re-thinking Perspectives on Independence”, emphasized that while different islands have independence, there needed to be a united outlook for the Caribbean to develop.

The lecture took place at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown.

The Barbadian native expounded, “You want to produce a generation that would not be having this discussion. We have to start regionalizing institutions such as the primary schools with 6-9 year olds.”

Lamming said that it makes no sense persuading people who are already formed about regionalization, and that it was necessary to start with impressionable youngsters, who would grow into conscientious adults.

Lamming said that spending billions of dollars to import food was ridiculous since the Caribbean was “more than capable of producing for itself.” He also believes that a single airline was necessary, but that there continued to be problems with implementation in these aspects.

Lamming said he is disappointed that there was a gradual retreat by the politicians on the issue of regionalization, which he described as being on a “pause” or on the “burner.” He however said that the “corrective” must come from below or the populace.

He cried, “From territory to territory, the elected members of parliament are now focused on one ambition; the result of the next election. There is no horizon and no vision beyond the result of a next election…the issue of regionalizing the political institutions must not be left up to the political classes. That is a matter which must become a directive from the mass of the population. You are not asking politicians to do this, you are telling politicians, this is at the centre of any policy or you are out. You don’t get the vote unless you can convince me that the regionalization of the institutions are at the centre of your policy. Unless you convince me of that, there is no vote for you!”

Professor Lamming extolled UWI as one of the survivors of regionalism and praised the higher education institution in particular for their research work. He however noted that more publicity on their accomplishments was needed.

Describing them as “parasites in paradise”, the professor jabbed at off shore colleges set up by off shore schools, and he questioned their input into society, as well as the quality of their programmes.

New Head of the Open Campus Deborah Dalrymple said the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank UWI Open Campus Independence lecture first took place in 1999 and has become a part of the celebration of national independence and seeks to bring lectures to people outside of the classroom.