What future for our children?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

While we congratulate the children who have done well in this year's Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and especially those who have been placed in the schools of their choice, we must pause to reflect on their future.

Fidel Castro once said that the next generation will curse us for what we have done to their future.

Some of the students are crying about being placed in schools that we would have been proud to attend. As we look at their faces we have to be cognisant of the future we are leaving for them.

In 2009, the national debt translated to each Jamaican owing $450,000. Today, that debt has significantly escalated. When the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rewards us for passing a test, it is not by a grant; it is a loan which we have to pay back with interest to the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

We need to manage the economy so that our children's future is secure. We cannot sit down and hope that they will manage the bleak future caused by us.

Damion Crawford recently asked why people are demonstrating for water during a drought. The answer is simple: We may be able to blame God for the drought, but we must blame ourselves for not building more dams and reservoirs.

We need to reduce the cost of electricity by using alternative energy and also reduce the importation of fossil fuel. Mauritius uses its sugar industry to provide more than 40 per cent of its total electricity need.

Our Government may still be able to partner with Pan Caribbean Sugar Company in establishing co-generation within the industry and making sugar a by-product instead. While we await the 381-megawatt power plant, the logistics hub and the rare earth metals from bauxite waste research, we can still concentrate on simpler ideas.

Many of us will not be around to repay the debt we are leaving for our children. This is a cruel trick played on unsuspecting innocent children.

Mark Clarke

Siloah, St Elizabeth

mark_clarke9@yahoo.com

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