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Now is the time to get it right

Published: 
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Much of the news on Monday, March 6 focussed on groups of people praying about the upsurge of crime including but not isolated to crime/violence against women. In situations where violence is perpetuated, it is expected that the weakest will suffer most–women and children, but also the elderly and young men/boys who continue to stand out as the ones whose pain has been ignored for many decades.

The Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar gave it the focus that I thought was so necessary and not as often identified. The reality of this has been with us for some time and it is tragic that we continue to need reminders that it is not going away just because we wish it to be so.

Our boys have been in trouble for a long time and I know that large pockets of the population especially in non-governmental organisations have recognised and even now are making their own contributions to address this problem. I am also one who has worked in the field and been pained by this awareness for many years.

What we require is not a short-term measure (though some can be saved even so), not a quick fix that we seem to like so much, to our own detriment. Everyone must be involved in the re-education of our people, in the education of our children that recognises their humanity, their vulnerability and not just for those with ability to learn subjects for a highly sought after profession.

Parents are invaluable in the education of our children. Communities are paramount in the fight against crime. Our religious bodies have an important role in supporting our desire to live a good life. However, we cannot ignore the fact that our schools can be pivotal in bringing together these agencies in the development of citizens and in perpetuating the positive values and attitude that are the cornerstone of our society.

Otherwise, why should it be necessary to spend billions of dollars taking our children year after year within its doors? The school is the environment in which we bring all that we believe about people and all that we aspire to achieve.

The spate of crime is what we reap from years of neglecting the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of so many. Maybe we can now give it the focus it deserves and work together on getting it right this time.

Dr Maraika Gooding

Educational and Child Psychologist