Time for Change
The operative word is CHANGE. And this is the
word that is being heralded by many. It is time, the whole country
seems to agree, for positive, decisive and permanent change. What better
place to start than with the youth?
1. We have to change the education system
to motivate youth. We have to teach leadership from an early age, make
it part of the school curriculum, and learn to encourage individuality,
as well as bring back civics, which teaches pride in one’s history and
culture. I believe in career training from an early age. I believe in
proper preparation for success. I believe in a system that trains
leaders. Not just students. An education system that will not just shove
knowledge down our childrens’ throats but will teach them how to think
critically about the issues facing their nations, and emphasise
individual thought, instead of conformity and repetition, solutions
instead of problems.
took me a while to realise what I really wanted to do, who I really
wanted to be. And to realise that the error was not in me but in a
system that taught me to think that the error was always in me.
We have to change the way we view the
working world. It’s time to emphasise and teach entrepreneurship as a
way of life and thinking, instead of as an abstract ideal for a select
few. Creativity and innovation must become ingrained in our culture if
we are to step up from being a developing nation and become developed.
We have to change how we engage our
youth in dialog about their futures, and the future of this nation.
Twenty-first century living requires 21st-century thinking, to which
21st-century technology is essential. Youth won’t be young forever.
Essentially, it’s their world. We have to find better, more innovative
ways to teach them how to grow into their roles and take charge of their
lives, ensuring that they realise that everything they do affects the
entire nation. We no longer have the luxury of living for just one.
We have to change the dependent culture
that we have yet to dispel in 50 years! Instead of thinking in terms of
what the ‘system’ can give to them, youth have to be taught to think in
terms of what they can give to the system to help mold the nation’s
future. Can we build/Are we building a new mindset, which is
indispensable to building a better nation?
a very complex problem, and Jamaica is not the only country facing it.
Other Caribbean countries have similar issues, and indeed, countries all
around the world are dealing with this sudden and tremendous need to
rethink their national visions and chart new paths, and finding ways to
link their past with their present, while charting new routes to a
brighter future. The big question is: how do we go forward? How do we
create a society that encourages excellence and self-actualisation
without stamping out individuality?
is at a time where the entire nation is looking back, and looking
forward. We recently concluded our eighth general election, and
appointed, for the second time, a female prime minister to govern the
nation’s affairs. As a nation and generation, we stand at a crossroads.
We have many tough decisions ahead of us.
Jamaica reflects, I find it is a poignant time to do my own reflection
on the progress my nation has made, and to personalise the experience. I
have lived for a half of this country’s independent life span. What
does the nation’s 50th Independence really mean for its youth? And more
specifically, what does it mean to me?
in this, our 50th year of adulthood, I’d like to teach Jamaica how to
be a child again. I’d like to teach my country how not to be so hardened
by the years of continuous struggle. And I’d like to remind our youth
how to hope, and grow with outward grace and inward beauty. How to see
the beauty and the blessing in our brilliant sunshine, and develop
personalities that rival its warmth and resilience.
like us to look back and recapture the heart that beat in our
ancestors: strength, determination, vision. And I’d love it if we
finally got the inheritance that rightfully belongs to us. Not the
repatriation money so many are clamouring for: but the lessons learnt
through history. And the wisdom of not just half a century, but more
than a thousand years.
This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices
of Our Future a program of World Pulse that provides rigorous new
media and citizen journalism training for grassroots women leaders.
World Pulse lifts and unites the voices of women from some of the most
unheard regions of the world.