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I want to see … Part 1

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by Maxwell Haywood 14.JAN.11

When Barack Obama became president of the United States, many of his opponents wanted him and his government to fail. They do not care if America fails, so long as Obama and his government do not succeed.((more))

Among some Vincentians, I am hearing similar sentiments. In this case, I am hearing that Dr. Gonsalves and his ULP- led government should fail. However, in the interest of putting country over party, I have no need to see SVG fail. I want to see the government of SVG succeed by achieving the goals and objectives of the national development process, with full attention to transparency, accountability and national unity. Among other policy areas, I want to see its social policy agenda succeed. If the government succeeds with this social policy agenda, it means SVG is the winner. Similarly, I would like to see the Opposition New Democratic Party succeed at serving as a constructive force in the national development process. If the NDP succeeds at doing this, it means SVG is also the winner. In this connection, I will say more about the NDP in part two of this article.

Social policy agenda

I want to see the government achieve its social development goals and objectives. None of us stays young forever. Our elders in the population have set a foundation by working hard during their younger years. Now in their older days, the society has a responsibility to ensure their well-being and empowerment. This is why I want to see the government succeed with its focus on: Home-help for the Elderly Programme; assisting the elderly in accessing the NIS and Public Assistance; construction of more centers called the Golden Years Activity Centres; building linkages with NGOs that provide services to the elderly; and developing the human resources suitable for working effectively with the elderly.

Furthermore, youth is a social group that holds much potential for the nation’s development. Thus I do not want to see the Youth Empowerment Service (YES) fail. It is vital for the nation that the efforts of the government to promote youth entrepreneurship efforts do succeed. The government’s intentions and plans to strengthen young people’s consciousness and resilience must bear good fruits. Therefore, I want to see that the government is successful with young people by promoting among them the importance of historical awareness, critical thinking, and positive cultural expressions.

Many Vincentians are in need of decent housing. For that reason, I welcome the efforts to build low-income and no-income houses, and to put in motion a housing-repair programme. It is commendable that the government seeks to assist those Vincentians in Informal Human Settlements. It is also vital for the government to enhance its human resource base in the housing sector. How could I sit by and wish that these things do not become reality?

SVG has always been plagued by a highly inadequate health care system. So I applaud any government (ULP or NDP-led) that wants to transform the health sector. This is why I want to see the government succeed at relocating and upgrading the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, and achieve a fully functioning Modern Medical Complex at Georgetown. I want to also see it succeed at making life better for the mentally and physically challenged, and those in need of psychiatric services. I do not want to see the government fail at putting in place quality health care facilities in local communities throughout the nation. And I welcome the policy of the government to strengthen the human resource base of the health sector so that Vincentians will receive quality health care from highly trained staff. Why should I want the government to fail with these initiatives in the health sector?

Why wouldn’t I want to see in SVG a stronger foundation for Early Childhood Education? The government has committed itself to institute Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, build proper physical facilities, and enhance the quality of the teaching staff to support this policy. I want to see it succeed in implementing these components of the Early Childhood Education policy.

The government plans to continue its efforts in making secondary education accessible to all students. Toward that end, it plans to improve physical facilities. Also other elements such as remedial education services, counseling services, and other enrichment programmes are needed to buttress the expansion in secondary education. I want to see this happen so that our young people will enjoy access to secondary education. I do not want SVG’s government to fail at putting these facilities in place.

It would increase my joy to see more and more young people having access to higher education in SVG and in other countries throughout the world. So I am in full support of efforts to build the nation’s capacity to provide university education at the Community College, and to send students abroad to study. I do not want the government to fail at doing this at all.

Without a strong teaching staff, the education system will not be able to deliver quality services. Hence I want to see the government succeed with its plan to have every teacher trained in education and particular subject areas. I want to see the government succeed at increasing salaries for teachers and providing them with the best working conditions possible.

These are just some of the things I want to see the government and nation succeed at doing. Part two of this article will look at what I want to see the NDP succeed at doing.

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