Of the many issues being debated today in the country, the education of our children in this COVID-19 era is one not being debated enough. Also not being debated enough is the bludgeoning external debt the country is racking up through constant borrowing by government.
Several debates are now raging, and rightly so, however the debates are so hugely tainted in partisan politics that many of us are missing salient points in these debates, points that we should be reflecting on and calling on the appropriate authorities to deal with for the betterment of us all.
For instance, with the advent of the coronavirus, weaknesses in major structures have been exposed, with education being one example. Physical classrooms have given way to virtual classrooms and an astonishing decline in student attendance.
Not only has COVID-19 showed that a huge percentage of students were unprepared for virtual learning due to them not having the necessary tools, but teachers also were scrambling to get their act together. In fact, reports by teachers indicate that their virtual classrooms were 30 percent filled for some subjects and much less for other subjects in the early stages of virtual classroom teaching.
That’s an issue that impacts on households supporting both political parties in the country. Supporters of the United Workers Party should be joining supporters of the Saint Lucia Labour Party in calling on government to put resources into improving the education system in the country as it will be their children who will be affected.
The same goes for the debt burden that gets heavier each and every time parliament sits. Supporters of either party, nor their children will be spared the pain of having to pay back such a debt which is over one billion dollars and climbing.
This global pandemic calls for serious change, not only where better debt management for this country is concerned. Uniting is a big part of that thrust. Saint Lucians should unite for sound policies, policies that make sense – policies that should push the country forward and not backward.
While politicians are not the same in aspirations, loyalty should never be given to them over country. Too many Saint Lucian politicians have shown themselves to be working strictly for a pay cheque and more, rather than working for country.
Too many of them pretend to work for country knowing full well their motivation lies not in seeing all Saint Lucians progress positively but in seeing themselves, their friends and families taken care of.
It seems that the wealth some politicians amass while in office has no impact on their followers who continue to vote them in every five years, a situation that breeds the type of politics we have in the country today. Honesty and integrity appear to be of little or no value to too many Saint Lucians when it comes to voting for a particular candidate.
Supporters of both parties seem to accept and vote for anyone their party of choice endorses. Therein lies the biggest problem in the country yesterday, today and maybe tomorrow.
Too much precious time has been wasted in this country by Saint Lucians pushing the agendas of political parties and that of politicians, rather than pushing their own agendas and that of country. Now is the time for Saint Lucians to unite, not under the banner of any political party but under the banner of country.
At this juncture, we should all make an effort to examine, and rid ourselves if necessary, of all traces of partisan politics. This involves listening, and paying attention to what is actually going on, and not just taking oneself out of the voting pool because we couldn’t be bothered. We all should join the discussion and get involved if we want to see a better Saint Lucia.