Fri 19th Jan 2018

Free, high-quality education must be our vision, not tourism

According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, it is very odd to see the ULP regime beating their chest about the ‘success’ of the tourism industry.

Tourism is not a success for our people and country.

There were 40 murders in 2016, 42 murders in 2017. There is still very high unemployment, crime and poverty throughout the whole country. Thousands of households have no mains water and electricity and struggle to feed themselves adequately.

This is not a sign of success!

Tourism can never move our country forward. On the contrary, tourism is quietly destroying the fabric of our country and causing enormous environmental damage.

SVG needs to focus on education to create a wealthy country and strong economy. SVG needs a government that invests many more millions in to education, to give our children better opportunities in the future.

Many poor parents cannot afford school fees, school uniforms, school books and other school equipment for their children. Parents are forced to pay all manner of nonsense education charges. This is wrong. There should be no school fees and uniforms and books should be free.

Pre-school and primary school are crucial periods in the development of children. Children whose parents cannot afford to send them to pre-school or primary school, are being left behind in education and development, at this important time in their lives, is being hindered.

There are many children who don’t finish primary school and many more who don’t finish secondary school. These children are being failed by the ULP regime. We need more investment in education.

Mr Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons) MSc, MBA, is making a strong call for a billion dollar investment in education a year in SVG. Free, high-quality education, from pre-school to university, for all regardless of the economic status of a child’s family, is needed in SVG immediately to lift our people out of poverty.

With a university degree, the opportunities of employment are immense. SVG’s children could get highly-paid jobs throughout the world, if we provided them with good education and our own SVG university. Generational poverty can be eliminated if a child gets a university degree, as children of graduate parents are more likely to become graduates themselves.

SVG can acquire about 2 billion dollars a year in revenue overnight, by taking back our fish licence from Taiwan and setting up our own tuna fishing and canning industry.

The richest and more industrial countries in the world have highly educated populations. They place a great emphasis on university education. A green government would focus on education and innovation and build our own science and technology university.

UNESCO calls for poor countries to educate their people. US ex-President Barack Obama’s advice to CARICOM leaders in April 2015 was to educate their people, because ‘if they had a highly-educated workforce they will attract a lot of foreign investment’.

The low education standard in SVG is reflected in the very high murder rate in 2016 and 2017. We need a change of government with a focus on free, high-quality education from pre-school to university, not on tourism.

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