I had the privilege of attending the eZine Business Summit last evening. It’s worth noting the advances Jamaica has made in the areas of entrepreneurship. As my mother would say, we are a people versed in the art of ‘tan pan crooked and cut straight’. We are an innovative people. We are also an uneducated people.
The Governor General, His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen, in his keynote speech, said that nothing that is wrong with Jamaica cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica and I agree. William Mahfood of Wisynco made note of the need to focus on education and forward thinking leadership, and I also agree.
It is a myopic Government that slashes an education budget and starves early childhood education. According work done by Dr James Heckman, which was referenced by Douglas Orane, and quoted in an article in the Jamaica Gleaner, for every $1 spent on early childhood education, we will see a $17 return in later life. (http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120725/news/news6.html). Go figure, as we continue to play financial musical chairs.
It is a myopic Government that fails to instil in its people civic and national pride. It is a myopic Government that fails to secure BRAND Jamaica, where other Caribbean islands make a touristic killing on selling Jamaican patties made in Florida. Instead of spewing vitriol in parliament and seeking to oppose and depose policies that have been proven to be successful (read: the previous Government’s macroeconomic and education policies); instead of cutting ribbons and entering beauty pageants; instead of pandering to the freeness, handout mentality of the archaic (almost communist) 70s, should we not be seeking to build a foundation on which our youth can stand?
As William Mahfood said, if Jamaica were a penny stock company, the first thing he would do is FIRE the board of directors. Mr. Mahfood sir, I would be the first person to commend you on your decision. Myopic leadership had lead to Jamaica’s popped-downness.