Tuesday, September 4, 2012

...this school year will be much like last ...and most of the others in memory... ...they will disgorge thousands of students who are border-line innumerate ...and -sad to say- also stone-cold illiterate

Tragedy in Slow Motion

The Bahama Journal Editorial

As morning light rose this morning, it did so to the sounds and chatter of children and their parents as they did what they had to do before this brand-new school year.

This first day of school is set to be that kind of day when some parents lament the traffic jams and all those other troubles that come with far too many roads still mired in a muddy mess.

Somehow or the other – that is to say in a style that is uniquely Bahamian – school will convene and teachers, administrators and other school staff will get on [somehow or the other] with their work.

Police on patrol on some of these mean campuses will also get on with their work of ‘securing’ these places.

Students will be patted down; teachers will be waved through and this first day would have started.

If past experience is any guide this school year will be much like last and most of the others in memory – they will disgorge thousands of students who are border-line innumerate and [sad to say] also stone-cold illiterate.

Very many of this nation’s schools – public and private alike – are just not working.

This is evidenced by the fact that in any given school year thousands of students come out of schools [say that they have been graduated]; but who know it better than anyone else that they are functionally illiterate and woefully innumerate.

This is a national disgrace.

On occasion, this disgrace morphs into families that are run by people who are so incompetent that some of their school attending children sometimes eclipse parents who cannot read or write – or hold down a well-paying job.

In turn, some of these troubled families disgorge troubled, illiterate children.

Why you might ask is this sad situation allowed to continue.

Here we would proffer – as explanation and as cry for relief – that, having decided that every child in the Bahamas, should have access to schooling, in an independent Bahamas; this nation’s elite classes saw to it that this was done.

And it was done: every child in the Bahamas has access to schooling; with but a few having access to a genuine education.

This is an expensive tragedy; with its pith and substance being found in a situation where practically all students – regardless of aptitude – were exposed to an identical curriculum.

Predictably, the system did what it was designed to do: – It churned out the few who could negotiate the hurdles. Thereafter it disgorged the many who had presumably ‘failed’.

These tens of thousands of youth did not fail!

Today the dreadful truth stands revealed – the system failed them!

Making matters even worse, tens of thousands of the youth who trudge their way to this or that broken school have their roots and genesis in homes that are hovels.

Compounding the matter at hand – most of these hovels are located in so-called ‘communities’ where drugs, guns and street-level prostitution are rife.

There arises a kind of ape-mimicry of badness by youth who pattern their feral behavior on what they see and hear going on around them.

Information coming our way speaks a horror concerning the extent to which some who live in these kinds of bad places routinely target tourists and other strangers.

Interestingly, “…The United States Department of State has rated the crime threat level in New Providence in The Bahamas as “critical” and “high” in Grand Bahama…”

The Embassy also notes that, “…New Providence Island, in particular, has experienced a spike in crime that has adversely affected the traveling public,” said the Bahamas 2012 Crime and Safety Report, which was recently released. “Armed robberies, property theft, purse snatchings, and general theft of personal property remain the most common crimes against tourists. There has been a dramatic increase in general crimes in 2011.”

It added: “In previous years, most violent crimes involved mainly Bahamian citizens and occurred in ‘Over-the-Hill’ areas, which are not frequented by tourists.

They also point to the fact that, there were numerous incidents reported that involved tourists or have occurred in areas in tourist locations. These incidents have specifically occurred in the downtown areas, to include the cruise ship dock (Prince George Wharf) and the Cable Beach commerce areas…”

The US Embassy claimed that it has received reports of assaults, including sexual assaults, in diverse areas such as casinos, outside hotels, or on cruise ships. In several incidents, the victim had reportedly been drugged, the report said.

There it goes:- Some of the thieves, rapists and cut-throats bred and born in today’s crime blighted society are now turning their attention to the nation’s jugular.

This is nothing short of tragedy played out in slow motion.

04 September, 2012

Jones Bahamas