Lack of education to be our downfall

Letters to the Editor

Lack of education to be our downfall

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

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Dear Editor,

“A people who mean to be their own governors,” James Madison Jr, fourth president of the United States (from 1809-1817) wrote, “must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but prologue to a farce or tragedy, or perhaps both.”

By definition, knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning. It can refer to a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject or topic.

Since the novel coronavirus pandemic I have discovered that there is a serious lack of knowledge among the people. And I am not referring to the knowledge of the virus itself, for the reason that people from all walks of life are still learning or acquainting themselves with the mystery of the virus. Instead, I am referring to the state of knowing about or being familiar with something; and that is how to function in their everyday life in order to make choice decisions.

Because of complacency, some people suffer from a variety of setbacks that prevent them from advancing. Based on observation in regards to a variety of factors, to this day I cannot believe that so many Jamaicans do not have a bank account, tax registration number, or other forms of 'necessary' identification. And there are some who are unable to read and write, so they become a burden not only to themselves, but to others as well, including the Government. And so, if the Government does not tackle illiteracy in Jamaica in the short term then I am afraid that, as a nation, we will not be able to compete in the regional or international arena in the years to come when competition among nations is crucial.

At the entrance gate of a university in South Africa the following message was posted for contemplation:

“Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long-range missiles…It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating in examinations by the students…

“Patients die at the hands of such doctors… Buildings collapse at the hands of such engineers…Money is lost at the hands of such economists and accountants…Humanity dies at the hands of such religious scholars…Justice is lost at the hands of such judges…The collapse of education is the collapse of the nation.”

Finally, I must inject that a good education makes an individual develop personally, socially, as well as economically in order to be self-sustainable.

Charles H Brown

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