THE lack of will to enforce discipline will always lead to anarchy and chaos.
Anarchy in education:
The indiscipline we observe in schools and in young people today and the society as a whole since indisciplined children grow into indisciplined adults who will then raise indisciplined children because this is the mode of lifestyle they choose did not start yesterday.
It started with the abolishment of corporal punishment in schools in the 1990s by the then-minister of education Kamla Persad-Bissessar under the Panday administration. One of Mrs Persad-Bissessar’s arguments, which was widely publicised at the time, was that she was beaten by her teacher and up to that time was emotionally disturbed by it.
I was beaten by teachers during my tenure at primary school; however, I got over it by asking myself why was I punished and what resulted from it? The result was more focus in the classroom, better grades and passing for my first choice secondary school.
Back to the point: Were any effective measures put in place, then to now, by the Ministry of Education, to deal with inappropriate behaviour in the absence of corporal punishment? Was there any will to ensure that discipline was maintained in schools?
Now we come to the virtual classroom which is essential in this year of the pandemic. This was strongly advocated by the former minister of education, as it is now, by the new Minister of Education since online teaching has been a huge success at tertiary institutions with adult students who were willing to learn. Are the majority of primary and secondary school pupils willing to learn? If they gave teachers headaches in the classroom what will they do online?
When difficulties arose last term, as they have arisen this week within these virtual classrooms, both ministers were reported by the media as being “unable to be reached for comment”. Where is the will to ensure discipline and accept responsibility for policy decisions made and give support to those adversely affected?
Was there any formal training by the Ministry of Education to the administrators of these online classes? Principals, teachers and their trade unions “groped in the dark” and tried to figure out on their own how to make this initiative successful. This reminds me of the proverb “Putting the cart before the horse”.
With this reminder, let’s think about the legalisation of marijuana. Just like in education, were there any regulations put in place to deal with negative actions resulting from the use of marijuana before legalising its use and cultivation? Marijuana contains mind-altering compounds such as THC which stimulate your brain, giving you a “high”. It can also lead to anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations and paranoia. Isn’t this “high” similar to the one a drinker gets from alcohol?
Legislation and technology were put in place to regulate the use of alcohol when driving. Were the same regulatory legislation and technology put in place for “smoking marijuana and driving” before legalising its use? So these “high” drivers traverse our roads at high speed in a world of their own. Comforting thought, isn’t it? Putting the cart before the horse!
Finally, is there a will to enforce the law to ensure compliance, peace, safety and discipline within our society? Was the law enforced at the rally held in empathy for the unfortunate George Floyd at Queen’s Park Savannah where social distancing and public health gathering restrictions, as well as the law against removing a policeman’s hat, were all ignored? If the law was enforced and upheld do you think the fire would have occurred the following day? Were the social gathering laws enforced at the Bayside Towers as they were in Valsayn and Belmont? Now everyone wants to disregard Covid-19 health issues and have poolside parties in private residencies.
If I had the finance and a swimming pool, I would have a probably hosted a poolside party at my private residence for long-lost relatives and friends. The only condition being that they would have to disperse when the police arrive.