Current Affairs

Talking Blues: Poverty Alleviation, Education and Crime Reduction

YardEdge welcomes new guest blogger, Nicky S. giving us his views on  poverty alleviation , education and crime reduction in Jamaica…

img_4322

Flagstaff in the Cockpit Country, St. James

I know it’s not an easy task as the legacy left by all Governments since Independence is poor. The reality has been that our entire system and status quo is based on the willful planned maintenance of keeping the majority of our people in ignorance and illiteracy – thus poverty and crime is rife.

The following paragraphs are talking points, and could only be part of an overall plan. As education is the surest guarantee of a better life, I start there.

*The eradication of the 2-shift system

*The building of 2 schools per year for the next 10 years

*Every UWI/UTECH student to spend 1 year after graduating in the classroom as a teacher’s assistant

*The immediate raising of teachers salaries by 20% across the board – plus an annual incentive based on the numbers of students graduating in the relevant subjects.

*A comprehensive plan and its implementation into roads, sidewalks, gullies, bridges, schools and other infrastructure improvements, managed and supervised on a daily basis by army engineer personnel. Employment and skills training opportunities for those unemployed in each area where the plan is implemented; assistance sought from overseas armed forces

*Compulsory carrying of national identification cards (the electoral registration card could suffice). The card is to be used in all transactions with Government, banks, insurance companies, for house purchases, leases & rentals, vehicle purchases etc

*A reduction in PAYE and company income tax to 20%, somewhat balanced by an increase in GCT to 20%. While providing some relief for PAYE employees and companies, this should see a widening of the overall tax net to include those who avoid paying income tax

*All companies in the manufacturing, importation and distribution of goods/services to declare to the Inland Revenue the names and addresses of all business’/individuals they trade with/deliver/sell to and the $ amounts of the goods/services traded (too many business’ utilize cash as a means of not paying/minimising the income tax they should pay)

*Stop and search procedures implemented day and night, utilising army and police personnel. Initially concentrating on all roads leading in and out of Kingston, Montego Bay, Mandeville, Ocho Rios and May Pen. Important to carry out these during traffic peak times as well.

*During the traffic peak times, Police and Transport Authority personnel on the streets ensuring motorists adhere to traffic legislation – this would involve the seizure of any vehicle without any one of the following: insurance, road tax, certificate of fitness, driver’s license. Return of the vehicle after production of the relevant documentation and the payment of a $10,000 penalty

*The establishment of rapid response task forces in all major crime areas

nickys

Tell us your views…

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  125. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID
    June 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm — Reply

    So true with respect to the shift system!! Nuff respect!!

  126. Velma Pollard
    February 4, 2009 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    A quick one. Somebody asks what’s wrong with the two-shift system and I that I am sure the government would agree it is not ideal. Just think of the second shift children who have to come to school in the morning because that is the way their parents can manage it, staying in holding areas or simply “about” till their shift starts. Think of the possibilities for truancy in such a situation. Think of the disadvantage of never starting school in the morning when the mind is fresher, always after lunch. I could go on and on. Just think…

  127. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID
    January 28, 2009 at 11:44 am — Reply

    Nicholas, the police are essential with respect to maintaining and enforcing the rule of law within the general society.Indeed,there are excellent police officers who take their jobs extremely seriously and are conducting themselves in a professional manner and are doing very well as required and expected by the Jamaica Constabulary Force in terms of the rule of law. Notwithstanding, a caveat, be careful of this exaggeration and excessive glorification of the police.Studies have delineated that in many instances,the police themselves are the problems in many communities across Jamaica,as a consequence of their involvement in sundry forms of corruption, negative and disrespectful social relationships with community residents,favourtism, bullyism,abuse of power,subjective and personal interpretation and application of the law,trigger happiness,extra judicial killings,inter alia.So,the police as an institution,also needs radical transformation in their relationships with the people and the respective communities.Such a radical and indeed needed transformation on the part of the police would lend or allow for a greater degree of trust and respect on the part of the people/communities vis-a-vis the police.The police are essential in terms of maintaining the rule of law, but the police also needs to be reformed for the betterment of Jamaica.Nuff respect!!

  128. Nicholas
    January 28, 2009 at 7:06 am — Reply

    Thanks to those who have posted comments…I have many friends who presently have children in schools, and most say that they would rather the 1 shift system that existed when they were young. For a child to reach school at 7 a.m. means they are waking too early…many mornings I see young children walking to bus stops, and fortunately in Jamaica it is not the norm for crimes against children, as it is for the so called developed nations of the world.
    Tunecrew, many thanks….my original written piece had an increase in pay for Police across the board but I removed it as the blog was long….right now the state of the Police force in Jamaica is better than it has been for a while….there are numerous plans around intelligence gathering, the stopping of corruption, new vehicles etc. There are numerous undercover operations…not reported for the very reason of anonymity. As someone who has friends in the Police force, I find there are many many good Police officers at all ranks. Rather like the international media’s perspective on our nation (everybody is a thug, drug dealer, rude etc), many Jamaican’s PERCEPTION of our Police colleagues is inaccurate. The truth is that without the Police force, we would be like the old west in the US. Think about what happens on the streets when a Police officer is killed in the line of duty…are there road blocks & demonstrations? Are there cries for justice? And sometimes we need to put ourselves in others shoes….think about the apprehension in going into a neighbourhood after a wanted individual.
    Too many of our citizens from all parts of our society adopt the attitude that it is not wise to get involved……until EVERY citizen does get involved then we will never stop the deterioration.
    Years ago I was with a friend and saw 2 men beating another man. People were driving past as if they did not see what was happening…I stopped and started questioning what they were doing. The very act of ONE person getting involved created a catalyst….a man on a bicycle stopped, a pedestrian stopped, a couple in a car stopped. TOGETHER we were able to stop what was happening.
    Again thanks much for your comments (all), and as I said at the start of the blog, these are talking points.
    Nicholas

  129. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID
    January 28, 2009 at 2:43 am — Reply

    With respect to the building of two schools every year,hopefully, this will involve strong emphasis on EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.It is at this level that a considerable amount of investments, financially and otherwise MUST be made to salvage the society, as opposed to the backend,i.e.,prisons and other forms of correctional institutes.Early childhood education is extremely crtical in developing our kids.

  130. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID
    January 28, 2009 at 2:31 am — Reply

    GCT increase by 20% would put severe pressure on poor people!!

  131. January 27, 2009 at 11:21 pm — Reply

    This is an interesting and provocative article.

    I fully agree with the author that a major investment in eduction is necessary, and that programmes should be devised that require university graduates, especially those that receive any sort of financial aid, to serve their country for a period of time following their graduation.

    In addition, the proposal for a massive national improvement programme is something I’ve also been advocating since the beginning of the JLP administration- essentially the Jamaican New Deal- accompanied by a massive propoganda effort to get the populace involved and feeling good about the country. This would help to solve so many problems simultaneously, and it boggles my mind that a year and half later we have not seen any movement in this direction.

    I am less supportive of measures granting greater powers to the security forces- I think that given the current state of the police (and many other public sector agencies), this would really just give them more power to abuse their authority, especially with respect to poorer working class persons.

    What the police really need to better fight crime is better pay, better equipment, vehicles and facilities, better training and a greatly enhanced ability for covert/undercover operations (do you EVER read about undercover officers in Jamaica???). In addition, the force needs a sense of discipline and its leaders need the power to enforce that discipline, to promote worthy officers and to sanction corrupt ones quickly and thoroughly.

  132. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID
    January 27, 2009 at 8:22 pm — Reply

    Where is this shop? Is it possible to place captions delineating place,town,parish etc. on these images? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  133. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID
    January 27, 2009 at 8:15 pm — Reply

    Interesting talking points, but one is of the perspective,that the promulgation and adherence to human rights and social justice should also be factored/incorporated in with these talking ponts.Nuff respect!!

  134. Mona
    January 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm — Reply

    why eliminate the 2 shift system? what’s wrong with it? I think the schools need it…?

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