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Institutions aid social problems

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Fri, Nov 2, 2012

Editor: One wonders, when we hear the government crying out for help to meet its financial needs to effectively run the affairs of the country of St Vincent and the Grenadines,{{more}} if it’s not time for us to take stock of our personal financial requirements. Instead, individuals and institutions are still operating and thinking as if nothing is financially wrong in the way they spend and hold on to some priorities, which in the end cause more burdens, especially social burdens, on the state.

The Prime Minister knows full well that because of the gamble he took with the construction of the airport, it is difficult for the government to meet its obligations to the state. When a piece of road is repaired or built, the prime minister and his cabinet behave as if it’s a big favour they did for Vincentians. A government is put in place to manage the financial affairs of a country, through the revenue they collect by way of taxes or grants.

The services this revenue has to provide include the health care, security, education, roads, electricity, food, and a stable environment. So, why are we made to feel as if it is a favour the parliamentarians are doing? We need to let our politicians know that this is not the case when they make political statements of comparison over a piece of road, medical supplies or education.

Take a visit to the Grenadines wharf and see the empty port; take a walk through town during the weekdays and see how many of the few workers remaining in business places are peeping outside and wondering when someone will come to buy something or how long before they are told that their services are no longer required until “things pick up”. Sounds familiar? It should. Even the prime minister is always trying to keep the calm within the country by mumbling every time “when I catch my hand.” Where would he catch it? in Taiwan, Venezuela, Cuba, USA, or maybe it is falling in Canada.

We have the issue of large unemployment in the USA, where lots of Vincentians reside; the latest immigration issue will see a number of Vincentians returning home from Canada; the nurses trained in Cuba being back home without employment; teachers leaving the college with degrees and nowhere to work; students who received disadvantaged loans unable to repay and the guarantor, who is the prime minister, promising to hunt them down; the banana industry at an all time low; farmers with low yields and high pilferage; market vendors with goods spoiling because of cash flow within the economy; yet the persons who should know better and be considerate are constantly pressuring parents to beg, cry, get sick and prostitute themselves and their children to make ends meet.

Yes, many of our socials ills are aided by institutions in St Vincent which fail to understand the economic situation and make adjustments. Why should secondary schools, in particular, always want to take students out of state on trips disguised as science or history projects, placing stress on the parents and students to raise revenue of up to four thousand dollars each, when they know full well that it’s a struggle already just preparing the child for school and ensuring that the child completes his/her schooling. Efforts like these force both parents and students into prostituting themselves, because they lack the life skills in decision making to say no. I call upon PTAs to reject any fund-raising which puts extra burden upon you and any child at this time.

Many parents send their adolescents to school with what they could, but never notice that they are having more than what they could afford, and when asked how they came by what they have, the reply is “a friend”.

Many children could walk to school, as the school is only a mile away, but they ride. Who pays? Only God knows. Many parents go the extra mile to make their children happy, but this should not be by crime or prostitution.

Here I only mentioned PTAs and schools, as they are the ones with the out of state trips, even though we have the information at our fingertips on the computers; and they are the ones with the pageant, beauty show, under the heading fund-raising. But there are others. I implore you to do some deeper thinking when planning. Remember our economic and social situation and do not do like the others and make the excuse that it’s a global problem. In this time of independence, let us make our own decision to do some adjustments.

Thank you.

Stressed Out Parent

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