Categorized | Editorial

Time for education is urgent – Not right at the top, will be wrong at the bottom

It is our hope that those people entrusted with the duty or the ‘job’ of explaining the rudiments of the new Montserrat Constitution Order, are indeed concentrating on what ARE new in it and different from previous.

We want to applaud the eventual formation of the Alliougana Human Rights Goup (AHRG) which was created out of the effort of HMG with funding by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and carried out by the Commonwealth Foundation.

We hope also that the new newly launched Alliougana group is not selling the idea that the sections of the constitution dealing with the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms are all new. These are very important, but those were always what should have been guiding the integrity, democracy and governance of all peoples in Montserrat, especially those in authority and public office. They may not have been written in any single document, but were all there.

Important are the avenues now made available to report the many transgressions against human rights that are continually committed here and go unnoticed or reported.  We do hear both Governor and Premier dwell on the Commissions that will deal with the issues that will arise.

Our hope also is that the people entrusted to upholding these rights will also be coached in knowing their real obligations and responsibilities; e.g. the right to work; and, like the people who are perhaps knowing their rights now must also know their responsibilities. So, just as public servants are being targeted in the message here, we are reminded of the Rights to  Education and what the responsibilities are for the parents who share and seek to uphold these rights.

And what about the Rights to Information? Not just what our politicians and public servants believe is enough to be put  “on the website’’, but their obligation to use all decent means to provide ALL, information the boss public is entitled to. Some of the information are even mandated to be advertised and publicised.

Just this past week information came out of Antigua and Barbuda where a two-day, first of its kind regional forum of CARIFORUM concluded, stressing the need for action on communications and public education in support of the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The headline of the story read: “…meeting on EPA calls for action on communications and public education.”

At the closing session of this forum, was an exploration of the scope to capitalize on synergies in communications and public education approaches, with respect to those actors that have a stake in EPA implementation, namely: (a) the regional EPA Implementation Unit; (b) national EPA implementation authorities and relevant government departments (including government information services or their equivalents); (c) regional private sector interests; (d) civil society…

This involved the 14 dependent nations of CARICOM, but we hope and will ascertain if Montserrat being the 15th full member of CARICOM, and being only next door, “was offered or allowed observer status.” In any case, does this mean anything to Montserrat?

The education that is going on generally about the Constitution, which the Premier has warned will not necessarily bring about any change in our impoverished economy, we wish to state that this can just be the beginning of a huge education campaign that this island needs which will come through a heavy media onslaught of discussions and publications, about financing, health and the economy. This may well be a move that might have to be initiated by the Governor’s office circumventing the popular statement about not having the money to do this and that, no matter the relevance and importance. This will stimulate something for the economy, but do we really have to wait for someone to slyly push it on us?

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It is our hope that those people entrusted with the duty or the ‘job’ of explaining the rudiments of the new Montserrat Constitution Order, are indeed concentrating on what ARE new in it and different from previous.

We want to applaud the eventual formation of the Alliougana Human Rights Goup (AHRG) which was created out of the effort of HMG with funding by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and carried out by the Commonwealth Foundation.

We hope also that the new newly launched Alliougana group is not selling the idea that the sections of the constitution dealing with the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms are all new. These are very important, but those were always what should have been guiding the integrity, democracy and governance of all peoples in Montserrat, especially those in authority and public office. They may not have been written in any single document, but were all there.

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Important are the avenues now made available to report the many transgressions against human rights that are continually committed here and go unnoticed or reported.  We do hear both Governor and Premier dwell on the Commissions that will deal with the issues that will arise.

Our hope also is that the people entrusted to upholding these rights will also be coached in knowing their real obligations and responsibilities; e.g. the right to work; and, like the people who are perhaps knowing their rights now must also know their responsibilities. So, just as public servants are being targeted in the message here, we are reminded of the Rights to  Education and what the responsibilities are for the parents who share and seek to uphold these rights.

And what about the Rights to Information? Not just what our politicians and public servants believe is enough to be put  “on the website’’, but their obligation to use all decent means to provide ALL, information the boss public is entitled to. Some of the information are even mandated to be advertised and publicised.

Just this past week information came out of Antigua and Barbuda where a two-day, first of its kind regional forum of CARIFORUM concluded, stressing the need for action on communications and public education in support of the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The headline of the story read: “…meeting on EPA calls for action on communications and public education.”

At the closing session of this forum, was an exploration of the scope to capitalize on synergies in communications and public education approaches, with respect to those actors that have a stake in EPA implementation, namely: (a) the regional EPA Implementation Unit; (b) national EPA implementation authorities and relevant government departments (including government information services or their equivalents); (c) regional private sector interests; (d) civil society…

This involved the 14 dependent nations of CARICOM, but we hope and will ascertain if Montserrat being the 15th full member of CARICOM, and being only next door, “was offered or allowed observer status.” In any case, does this mean anything to Montserrat?

The education that is going on generally about the Constitution, which the Premier has warned will not necessarily bring about any change in our impoverished economy, we wish to state that this can just be the beginning of a huge education campaign that this island needs which will come through a heavy media onslaught of discussions and publications, about financing, health and the economy. This may well be a move that might have to be initiated by the Governor’s office circumventing the popular statement about not having the money to do this and that, no matter the relevance and importance. This will stimulate something for the economy, but do we really have to wait for someone to slyly push it on us?