Posted on

‘College students not where they were 40 years ago’

‘College students not where they were 40 years ago’


New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for Central Kingstown St Clair Leacock has expressed his disappointment with the nation’s college students, saying they are not where students were 20 or 40 years ago.

Speaking at a public meeting in Arnos Vale on November 26, Leacock said on November 25, he paid a visit to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) and while there, a student put two questions to him.{{more}}

“A young student at 18, after nearly half an hour conversation with Arnhim Eustace, came across with his broad smile to have discourse with me and in a sense to display how up-to-date they were, and I too was glad to relate to our young future, our community college students.

“He said, ‘Mr Leacock, I have two questions for you. The first question, could you tell me why it is you stole the wreath at the obelisk?’ and I responded appropriately,” Leacock said.

The Central Kingstown candidate said the student then asked: “I heard that you cursed a bad word over in Lodge Village to a person.”

“And I responded, and then I said, what else do you know about me? He said ‘Those are the only two things I know about you.’ This is a student in the college you know.”

The NDP vice-president said he then asked the young man if he knew that at one time he (Leacock) was the youngest graduate teacher at the St Vincent Grammar School and once was the commandant of the cadet corps.

According to Leacock, the youngster said ‘No’.

“I said, do you know that I was vice-president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce; he said no. That I was president of the Employers Federation in SVG; he said ‘No, I don’t know that.’

“But I said, you represent the future of St Vincent and the Grenadines and then I said, my God, is this what 14 years of ‘Education Revolution’ has done,” Leacock declared.

Additionally, he said it strikes him that many of the nation’s college students today are not where they were, 20 to 40 years ago, when all students had was a Students’ Companion.

“We knew every capital of the world, every prime minister, who the West Indies beat, who playing for Australia, who is this, who is that, who dead, who born, that’s how we were. We had no tablet, no smart phone, no computer, but look what has happened,” he said.

“And I am speaking to the older ones here and the radio audience, you know. There is a good story, the pied piper of Hamelin, who went to a village and he played such beautiful music and he led all of the people’s children out of the village and the people never saw their children again.

“This government, this administration has been a pied piper administration, taking away the minds of our children and many of our parents have lost their children almost for all time. This New Democratic Party (NDP) will have to correct that,” Leacock said.

Leacock said the closest analogy we have to the pied piper story in contemporary St Vincent, is the mass murder in November 1978 of 918 members of a church at Jonestown, Guyana, carried out by James Warren ‘Jim’ Jones, founder and leader of the People’s Temple.

“A Mr Jim Jones mixed red juice and it’s probably not by chance that the juice was red and killed out a whole set of people who couldn’t ask Jim Jones what are we drinking and all drop dead there, because no one could not apply their gray matter.”

Nearly 300 children were among those killed at Jonestown, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning.

“Is that the St Vincent and the Grenadines, people with red band lining up to put back into office come December 9? Hell no! And it is even more painful when you look at a lot of them and I am speaking in an unapologetic matter. Several of those students sporting their red bands and talking ‘Ralph, Ralph, Ralph’.

“Their parents could not pay their light bill, phone bill and water bill the month before. Cannot even pay their rent and are in the forefront of compromising a lot of the immoral conduct in this country in the way that their children go further. Our country could do better than that!”