Editorial

The PNPYO's arrant nonsense!

Friday, February 07, 2014    

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THERE was a time in the not-too-distant past when the People's National Party's Youth Organisation (PNPYO), guided by strong leadership, advanced intelligent ideas for serious debate.

We didn't always agree with everything they said, but we had respect for the obvious thought that they gave to their suggestions before placing them in the public sphere.

That, unfortunately, seems to be an era long past in the PNPYO as it appears to have morphed into an organisation for tribalistic and vacuous expressions.

Anyone who disagrees with that assessment need only to reflect on the organisation's call this week for the introduction of political clubs or societies in high schools.

"There is an urgent need for a reform of the national curriculum, regarding political education," the PNPYO said in a news release. "We believe that secondary school students should at least have an opportunity to receive an education in politics and democracy."

Until such transformation is realised, the group said, it is calling for the introduction of political clubs or societies in schools with members from grade 10 and upwards.

According to the PNPYO, this would "allow young people to have a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of politics and having political opinions; promulgate awareness of the role of the populace in a democracy, thereby creating a more conscious generation of citizens; teach students to translate thoughts into actions and take a full role in the development of their school communities through student governance".

All of that, though, can be achieved without the introduction of clubs with alliances to political parties in our schools where students are already being groomed to accept and respect the responsibilities required of good citizens.

What it appears the PNPYO wants to have implemented is a programme of politically partisan indoctrination of our schoolchildren, in other words, further institutionalisation of tribalism. Thankfully, people who know better have already rejected

that nonsense.

360 MW project too important for mistakes

Based on its mandate, the Energy Monitoring Committee (EMC) should not have to ask for an abridged version of the due diligence report on the preferred bidder for the proposed 360-megawatt power plant.

The report, we submit, should have already been shared with the EMC as a matter of principle.

Recall that the committee, a partnership between the Government and the private sector, has been established in order to ensure that the bid process is followed in the manner prescribed by the Office of Utilities Regulation.

Remember, too, that the EMC is also mandated to ensure that at the culmination of the process, the price of electricity provided by the licensee to the Jamaica Public Service Company does not exceed US$0.1288 per kWh.

We have no reason to question the integrity of the individuals comprising the EMC, especially its co-chairs, Messrs Carlton Davis and Peter Melhado, who have demonstrated that they have Jamaica's interest at heart.

The point the committee is making, and which we support, is that this project is too important to Jamaica for us not to get it right.

If the feeling is that the EMC does not need to be fully informed about the process, then there is no need for the committee.

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