Caribbean Single Market and Economy - Who says UWI isnít doing enough?Written by Eldonna Lendor
The University of West Indies (UWI) has often been viewed as a long-standing partner to Caribbean Governments in fostering integration and development of our people, and forming strategic alliances.
CARICOM member states are now considering establishment of a single market economy. This will mean general removal of all legal and administrative restrictions to trade. Increased competition among these states is therefore inevitable. The ability of member states to survive effects of trade liberalisation will among other things depend on capacity of its human resources and its learning institutions. The role that UWI is playing in enabling people and countries of region to make transition will therefore come under great scrutiny. Many, including graduates of University, believe that ďUWI simply isnít doing enough!Ē
UWIís role has been assessed based on changes in its curriculum, level of intellectual discussion stimulated on topic among people of region and extent to which it has facilitated product development by enhancing regions access to specialised training and technology transfer.
A major criticism levelled against University is that it has failed to employ innovative strategies and radical curriculum engineering in achieving transformation required to strategically address challenges facing region.
To question of whether University has enhanced intellectual capacity of people of region, answer is an emphatic yes. But when asked whether its efforts have equalled those of reputable universities around world, response is not equally convincing.
Caribbean entrepreneurs argue that UWI has not instilled in its graduates, dramatic changes in attitude and perspectives required to assist business sector in confronting challenges of CSME. Amidst a climate of high unemployment among graduates, view is that UWI is not equipping its graduates to seek opportunities for self-employment. Instead, UWI is churning out bookworms that lack entrepreneurial vision!
The question has also been asked about whether University has increased opportunities for regional cooperation in human, economic and social development. No doubt, it has played a critical and significant role in integrating people and countries of region. In fact, it can be argued that UWI has played a pivotal role in advancing spirit of cooperation and integration that has made Caribbean single market a reality. In comparison to ďmuch-laudedĒ CARICOM Federation, continuing achievements of University of West Indies dispel arguments that region cannot unite.
Teen Suicide, how do we stop it?Written by Ryan Orr
I have been watching news and reading papers from all over last couple of weeks. I have read web blogs, letters to editor.... I have seen many things to cry about. I see people pointing fingers at current President Bush, I see people pointing to a lack of God and parents and many other excuses for teen suicides, I see Michael Jackson in bedclothes. On television I watch as 10,000 kids die each day of starvation. I see kids running our streets with no place to go, I see trash, I see drunk drivers slapped on wrist.
I see jobless, and I see unemployment, I see low wages for those that do work. I see Senator John Grubesic and other State officials are lying to our police departments, others are just plain drunk drivers and have been caught. I see family drunks in convenience stores buying beer with food stamps, and I am sure they are not feeding that to baby. I see boys and girls at our schools laughed at because they do not have nice clothes or their shoes ripped and worn to pieces.
I see working mothers crying hoping they can find a better way for their children, I see children crying without their mother. I see fathers long-gone wondering if kid was really theirs. I see drug dealers. I met a man today that smokes marijuana but does not know where his next check will come from. I saw a man that works twelve hours a day and belongs to two churches telling his son he did not have time to play ball. I saw a coach using foul language to ten and eleven year-oldís on his team... but letís get that part straight, regardless of age, a foul mouth is not something good men share with any boy, girl or teen.
I see voters unhappy about Asbill and Stell voting against ban on cockfighting. I see child protection laws being thrown out, and drunk drivers getting pats on back. I see great men and women leaders worldwide dying of old age that will not be remembered by many, including grandpa, grandma, uncle, aunt, son, daughter... while thugs, liars, criminals fill up our televisions and newspapers.
I see biased media and reporters. I see media making trivial things into works of awe inspiring garbage, while real art goes unnoticed. Yes, this last two weeks there is a lot to cry about. Then again there is every week, and each week it becomes worse, there seem to be less tears, at least from most people. Are we hardening our hearts to our neighbors, their children, their homes.. Our neighbors?
Itís pretty bad out there, real life. The message is being sent to every household in America. To every teen, to every child. There is no hope.
As a guest speaker for a Native American Pow-wow a few years ago near Battle Creek Michigan, I was asked to speak about Native American Community helping each other instead of bickering with each other. What I said then, is just as important this week to world, as it was to them.