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Education Revolution and noise pollution

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EDITOR: Universal access to secondary education was instituted in 2005. The opportunities for our students are enormous if they are properly prepared to capitalize on what is being offered.

The ‘A’ Level College has increased its intake, some young people enter the classroom as teachers, apply for training at the SVG Teachers’ College, the Technical College and appear to be doing well enough and the Literacy Crusade is off and running. {{more}}In addition, Distance Education is utilized by many citizens to earn their degrees in conjunction with those who have gone overseas to study. There are other opportunities available for those who will make use of them.

This focus on education, in my opinion, is a continuation and upgrading of what previously existed. Every administration would defend its position and policies as to how they managed and delivered educational opportunities to the people. Despite all this, there is a nuisance/counter-productive activity that threatens the efforts of students to consolidate what they have learned in the various educational institutions.

This nuisance/counter productive activity is noise pollution. There are many people in our towns, villages and hamlets who don’t value education, not even for their children’s sake. Therefore some students have difficulty concentrating while they do school assignments, work on projects, review work previously done in class and study for exercises and exams.

Most students are aware that they now operate in a competitive environment and they deserve the chance to sit quietly at home and prepare thoroughly for their future. In some places, loud “music” with heavy bass can be heard for miles around. The lyrics of some of these songs contain expletives and implicit and explicit sexual content. No one can study or concentrate in such noisy and irritating surroundings.

There are places where there is no respite on weekends and holidays. The radios turned up full volume blast their advertisements about ‘blow outs’ at this or that disco by some crew or the other. When they start early Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday evenings, then they continue into the early hours of the next day. In all fairness, can our students do their homework or get a proper sleep in such circumstances? We take into account that these discos are not sound proof and they are located in residential areas.

If the education revolution is to succeed and its objectives achieved, the police and by extension the government must now take the responsibility to reduce or eliminate this annoyance that has now become a pain to the brain and an acid to the heart. Our students, most if not all, recognize that what they learn at school must be consolidated at home through extra work and practice but they cannot do so if there is consistent noise. Reading and studying are not compatible with noise. As a layman, I know what education has done for many persons in SVG – lifted them out of poverty to a decent life.

The education revolution needs the support of all stakeholders and the general community. I therefore recommend the following:

(i) that the ‘Noise Act’ be enforced by police;

(ii) Every person who applies for and is given an entertainment licence be issued with a letter indicating the conditions under which they should operate;

(iii) Provision should be made for the withdrawal/revoking of such licence if the regulations are not complied with;

(iv) consistent monitoring of these discos/houses of noisy entertainment by the police to ensure that civilized behaviour is observed;

(v) refusal to grant any further entertainment licences to people who operate or want to operate in residential areas or near to institutions, e.g. schools and hospitals unless they are sound proof.

The point has been made. We should not allow the gains in this education thrust to be reversed by those who have no interest in it. Our students and teachers deserve a chance to consolidate, i.e. do research, plan and prepare work and do projects. Our youth and education leaders deserve that break.

Education Conscious

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