Education's Role In Trinidad And Tobago

1779 words - 7 pages

Education and schooling has always played a pivotal role in the development of societies the world over and specifically in the context of Trinidad and Tobago. Education and schooling in this country as in any other is an investment in citizens that will reap benefits for all through research and innovation, physical and social mobility, improved opportunities and health. Though the exam – driven nature of our system makes it different from North America (Lochan 2005), education remains the means through which we can demonstrate how, as a people we are dependent on each other as we attempt to build communities in which we can live harmoniously despite our cultural differences.
This writer’s interpretation of the statement is that in a democracy, citizens are perceived free within limits of law where rights, equality, social justice and legal support are afforded thus; citizens have to be autonomous yet facilitate the autonomy of the wider society.
In the context of what is Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean our islands developed initially on the struggle of our ancestors who were brought to these islands as slaves and indentured labourers. Because of colonisation the society has evolved into a melting pot of people from different countries. Over the years we have come to appreciate the value of that melting pot of people and culture whose expressions have found prominence on the national stage. One notes the different festivals that are celebrated yearly by religious and other groups in the society. In the Caribbean and specifically in Trinidad and Tobago people are free to engage in maintaining their cultural identity through there different practices. Multiculturalism is alive.
There are two schools of thought on what multiculturalism purports to be. One school of thought points out that “multiculturalism is a way of coming to terms with Caribbean societies increasing social diversity. Others hold the view that it encourages divisiveness rather than unity, urging people to identify with their own category rather than would the nation as a whole” Nasser Mustapha (2007 p.85). The implications for citizenship rest in education and schooling. We tend to show greater appreciation for the homeland off our ancestors. It is Mustafa [2007] who states that colonialism and the advent of a plantation system has influenced the development of culture and identity in this Caribbean society. Carl Campbell (1997) posits that we inherited an English model of education which highlighted its values and habits.
The pre-independence era was characterized by the predominance off the imperialist’s values, attitudes and mores. Independence however brought with it a struggle for the development our own free state and a sense off identity. The implication here focuses around governing ourselves, developing laws, choosing representatives and leaders who are expected to lead us to a new horizon but this relies on the development of education and schooling which...

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