Hard news…

Hard news…

first_img…on President GrangerYour Eyewitness wishes President Granger a quick recovery now that his illness has been diagnosed and treatment initiated. While the “C” word still strikes foreboding in the minds of most, fortunately for the President, the variety that he was stricken with – lymphoma – can be cured once it was caught early enough – as it apparently was – and treatment is followed up rigorously.But from what we know, the treatment – in this case chemotherapy – ain’t no bed of roses, and can take quite a toll for a man of the President’s age. So even in the best-case scenario, we’ll have to accept that the President won’t be back in the saddle for some time. So, what then? He is, after all, the President of a country on the cusp of the greatest challenge since Columbus spied our coast in 1498 – dealing with our oil wealth!! Who’ll have their hand on the tiller of our ship of State, while the President recovers?Fortunately for us, the framers of our Constitution addressed this contingency – as has every other country – and there’s a mechanism in place. In the event the President cannot perform his role, the Prime Minister steps in. And, we have seen this already working when Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, chaired the very critical Cabinet meeting last Tuesday, which grappled with the imperatives of the 2019 Budget.And why does your Eyewitness think this was a critical meeting? For the simple reason that (by sheer coincidence!) – 2019 comes before 2020! And we know that not only does oil start flowing in 2020, but the election to determine which party will be in Government to decide how to spend the revenues from the oil, takes place the same year!! Now, no matter what they say about “featherbedding” or “pork barrel” politics – the incumbent party ALWAYS directs spending with an eye on elections.So back to Moses Nagamootoo – who didn’t exactly part the seas to prevent a landslide for the PPP in his home village of Whim as he’d promised – and the first Cabinet meeting he chaired. Was he bold and decided that all the sugar workers who were fired will all be given “relief” in the form of a “once for all” mega payout for Christmas? Did he agree to give all public servants – in addition to the Disciplined Forces – that one month bonus the latter had been weaned on for years??Surely he’d heard his Finance Minister addressing the faithful at Stabroek Market Square and promising them they hadn’t been forgotten?Ahh…isn’t it great the system we have in place will ensure President Granger doesn’t worry unduly while he recuperates?Go Moses!!…on teachersThe Chief Education Officer doled out some “tough love” with teachers and other officials working to develop the curriculum for this new millennium – and our oil riches. He made the point that delivering the content of the rebooted “education” was only one part of teachers’ duties. Just as important is their attitude towards the students in front of them. They have to know how to speak to those children to encourage them to learn and not break their spirits.He illustrated his charge by pointing out you can’t have teachers calling kids “dunces”! It’s now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that children perform according to expectations – and a kid who’s told he’s a “dunce”, expect dunces to fail. And he will! The CEO, however, was on the right track when he pointed out that in Finland and Singapore, where they have fantastic schools, the selection of teachers doesn’t only depend on their academic performance.Just as important are their qualities of empathy and kindness. But was he throwing water on ducks’ backs?…on spreading thiefin’Just as the CEO was expatiating of the need for empathetic teachers, news came that some of them from Diamond Secondary, has joined the “thiefin’” epidemic sweeping public servants.$107,000 disappeared from the school’s safe!last_img

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