Browsing Category

Community Articles

Black man participating in demonstration
Community Articles, Crime,

Treat crime as an emergency and national crisis

We are under a threat and should be treated as such

Introduction

Hurricane Fiona was a threat to the Turks and Caicos Islands and so the National Disaster Committee was activated and headed by Acting Governor, Her Excellency Anya Williams and was able to engage various stakeholders and many volunteers to address and develop plans to deal with Hurricane Fiona.

I believe the crime situation in the Turks and Caicos is a national crisis and should be treated also as an emergency. Therefore, we need to engage various stakeholders. I know there is a National Security Council in the Turks and Caicos of which comprises some of the following members: the Governor, the Premier, Commissioner of Police, the Superintendent of Her Majesty Prison and the Attorney General. However, this council needs to be expanded and should include individuals from the Labour Department, Social Welfare and Education. There should also be a subcommittee of other stakeholders such as pastors, parents and volunteers.

The National council and the subcommittee should develop strategies to deal with crime situation and should meet as frequently as possible like what the National Disaster did during and after the preparation of Hurricane Fiona.

We are under a threat

I think the threat of murders in our country is more dangerous than the threat of a Hurricane. I made that statement because there were no fatalities over the last couple of years from Hurricanes. However, we have 8 murders already in September and 18 for the year. When you compared this to our population, this is very high per capita and is higher than our neighbours.

The murder of one person is a threat to our country let alone 18. In 2021, there were 13, 22 in 2020, 13 in 2019, 8 in 2018 and 4 in 2017. If we do not get this under control, this will become a way of life for some individuals and this of course will be a threat to the residents. Some may argue and say that it is not threat to them because they are minding their own business, but we cannot take anything for granted because we do not what is going on in the minds of individuals and furthermore, you may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Many of the victims are young Turks and Caicos Islanders men and if that is not a threat, then I don’t know what that is.

Our economy is totally dependent on tourism and when the news of this threat becomes public, this can be deterrent for tourists. We promote the Turks and Caicos as a safe destination but if this rate continues, we cannot longer say it is safe and so this is a major threat. While these murders are not taking place in the areas where tourists stay, but if it is not controlled, it can possibly happen anywhere and furthermore once Turks and Caicos is mentioned with the number of murders, it will not matter where the murders are taking place.

Treat the situation as an emergency and disaster

I think the various stakeholders did their job in planning and preparing for the Hurricane. It is time now that the relevant authorities do their jobs in dealing with crime. It is time that the Government, the Governor, the Police, Various Government Departments, and parents treat this as a crisis. We need to burn the midnight oil and strategize because what we are doing now is not working. Ultimately the Police is responsible for catching these criminals. I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, but the Police is not caching the criminals. The Social Welfare need to work with the labour Department and Education to formalize a strategy to deal with the root causes of crime. We need to pressure the Government continuously to deal with crime and make that their priority and they need to take some drastic steps.

We don’t know who in this country is. We don’t have a database of fingerprints in this country. We are not hearing from the Police often enough. Don’t wait until a murder takes place. Of course, we do not expect the police to tell the public all their plans as it can jeopardize their security plans but the public needs to see some actions such as the arrests of the right individuals.

There needs to be constant communication with the public. There must be constant visibility of the police in the community. Our borders need to be checked daily as too many drugs and guns are entering the country. We need some social programs that are effective.

Conclusion

I believe we can alleviate the crime situation in this country. However, it does not appear to be a priority and it only becomes a priority a few days when a crime takes place. This is an emergency, and the Government should treat the crime situation as an emergency. The people must demand this daily.

Your future is whatever you make it. Quote.
Community Articles, Social Issues,

Stop saying there is nothing to do, and the future is bleak in TCI

There are many things you can do and the future for TCI is indeed bright

Introduction

I know many people like to say there is nothing to do and the Turks and Caicos is boring, so they don’t want to live here.  They also claim they want a better education for their children and the cost of private education is high in TCI, so they move overseas. Some also claim that despite the booming economy of the Turks and Caicos, the future is bleak for Turks and Caicos Islanders and so many of the students that graduated with their degrees are not retuning home.

Now I lived on the island of South Caicos from 1970 to 1986 and we did not have all the things we have today in Turks and Caicos, but we found things to keep us preoccupied and it was fun. We played soft ball, marbles, basketball, visiting our grandparents, playing with our neighbours, going to Church and Sunday School every Sunday, watching wrestling, Dallas, Dukes of Hazard, and General Hospital. We even had a movie theater. The future did look bleak around that era as the economy was not doing well so many people continued to migrate to the USA and the Bahamas. However, this is 2022 and I am optimistic about the future for Turks and Caicos and of course for Turks and Caicos Islanders.


Stop saying there is nothing to do – There are many things you can find to do

The Turks and Caicos does not have shopping malls, movie theaters and fast-food restaurants and a lot of people complained about that. Even those that come here to live among us like to compare the amenities and entertainment in their country to the Turks and Caicos Islands. They refer to the place as boring. Honestly, I visit other countries that have all these amenities and entertainment and I still feel bored especially if my family is not with me. I concluded that people like to find excuses as to why they don t like TCI and why they must leave TCI.

I believe even if we had malls or movie theaters, many people may still not go to those places. These places will only make you spend money anyway. You may find visitors go these places more than the residents. Do a survey and ask some of the TCI residents that lived abroad, how often they go to the mall. Furthermore, so many people are busy with their families and work that they may not even have time to frequent these places. The thing is many people are ordering online and even watching movies online so it may not even be feasible for shopping malls and movie theaters.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is surrounded by so many beaches and yet many of us including myself do not go the Beach. Thousands of tourists are flocking to Turks and Caicos just for the beach, but the residents are hardly there. Some residents do not even know how to swim. In addition to the Beach, the Turks and Caicos has the third largest barrier reef in the world and people are coming here to explore the barrier reef and I am told it is such a beautiful scenery. This another reason why swimming should be mandatory in the schools.

The children should not be bored at least on the island of Providenciales where I lived. There are many sports that are available for children to participate in such as soccer, basketball, rugby, and swimming.

There are things you can do in TCI. Find some family and friends and hang out with them and enjoy life and stop complaining about nothing to do in TCI. For example, my family and I bought the day passes at Beaches and enjoy our time there. Now if it is too expensive for you, hop on the ferry and go to Mudjin Harbour in Middle Caicos, my favourite scenery in TCI.

The future is not bleak – the Future is bright

I know improvement is needed in our educational system and the cost for private education can be very costly in TCI and so some families have left the TCI. Of course, it is a personal choice, but thousands of individuals have gone through our educational system and are doing well. I have received both my primary and secondary education on the island of South Caicos and my future is bright. I recently interviewed Jenna Hatmin who did her education right here in Turks and Caicos and got accepted into Harvard University. Now I understand that some parents must relocate especially if their children have special needs. I also think we should all embrace the opportunity to enroll in a UK university and college given that we can get the local rates, but you do not necessarily have to go to High School there.

The future of TCI is bright.  The Turks and Caicos is attracting many immigrants, but many Turks and Caicos Islanders are migrating. Some complained they are being marginalized and it is true to a certain extent. However, it does not mean you should leave TCI. It is time for more of us to be entrepreneurs. The opportunities are here. We must take the risks and start our businesses. Embrace the opportunities from Invest TCI. Do not front for others so they can get a business licence. Do it yourself. While some of us are complaining about nothing to do, then develop businesses that will give people something to do.

Conclusion

Many of us are complaining about foreigners taking over but if many of us are migrating to the UK and USA, then what do we expect. Remember less than one third of the population is Turks and Caicos Islanders.

I conclude with the words of JF Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

Many non-citizens see the opportunities in this country and are taking advantage of them. Why don’t you do the same? We don’t need to rely on Government, the laws are already in place. Be the change that you want to take place.

multiethnic police officers running for thief
Community Articles, Crime,

How little things can make a difference in reducing crime

 “A review of Tipping Point, a book written by Malcolm Gladwell

Introduction

The recent murders of five individuals are creating a lot of talks among individuals. Of course, there is a lot of blaming and pointing fingers and as usual it is also political. Everybody on the outside including myself seems to have the solutions but history has shown us when some of these individuals become the decision makers, there is no change. This tells me there is a greater problem we are not addressing, and that problem is the root causes of crime. If we can deal with the root causes of crime and start doing some small things, we can significantly reduce crime in our society. With that said, a client of mine introduced me to book called Tipping Point written by Malcolm Gladwell.


A review of the Tipping Point

In the book, the author demonstrated how small things made a big difference in fashion trends and crime through something called social epidemic in which the behaviours of individuals spread like viruses. In other words, people imitate others, and it spreads like wildfire. Social epidemic comprises of three main laws, the law of the Few, the stickiness factor and the power of context. In the law of the few, a few people are making a difference through their influences. These people have a connection with other people. In the stickiness factor, you must have something that is memorable or addictive that will attract others. In the power of context, it is referring to the sensitivity of the environment.

The book also described the Broken Window Theory in which “if a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge.” Soon thereafter, more windows will be broken and will lead to more serious crimes. In New York there was a lot of graffiti in the train station, and it was not a focus on solving crimes. However, as soon as the police started paying attention to the graffiti and start cleaning it up and painting it over, it sent a message to the vandals and as soon as the police start addressing it, the vandals stop doing the graffiti. Another example is that some kids were jumping over the turnstiles and not paying the fare to get on a train. No attention was given to this but as soon as the police paid attention to this, individuals stopped jumping over the turnstiles and start paying the fare. All of these are examples of how these small things reduced the crime level in New York significantly.

The state of crime in the Turks and Caicos

I believe the crime in the Turks and Caicos started by a few people. However, these few people became very influential and were able to attract other people to commit these crimes. I am not convinced it is due to lack of employment or lack of trade and skills because some of these individuals committing these crimes are employed. The situation is that these individuals are being influenced by others and committing a crime is a way of life for them. They do not fear the police because they believe the police is not doing anything and so they continue with their bad habits. I believe the visibility of the police in communities will reduce our crimes. Because the police are not visible, the criminals are taking over and getting away with murders. The criminals must be fearful of the police and the visibility of the police with firearms in their possessions will deter the criminals. This is a small act that can have a significant impact on the crime situation. The visibility must not only be in Five Cays but throughout the communities in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Another small thing we can do as a community is to ensure that families return to the basics which is to go to church. Many people no longer believe in the word of God and many people are bringing children up without taking them to church and as a result a big hole has created allowing the devil to come in and start a spiritual warfare destroy the minds of our young people. If we can get our people in church, it can make a significant difference.

In 2018, the Government at that time started something called Operation Guardian which was successful in dealing with illegal sloops, illegal individuals and the inspection of homes and job sites. This should be reintroduced, and I believe a small initiative like this will make a big impact on reducing crime.

I also think that we need to introduce and teach crime prevention in elementary, secondary, and tertiary schools. Furthermore, we need to identify some young people in the community who are doing positive things and encourage them to influence others. The same way criminals are influencing others, so can non-criminals.

Conclusion

I encourage each of you to read the book, the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It just takes a few small things to reduce the crime level in the TCI. This Government and successive governments have spent millions of dollars on the resources that the police say they need to tackle crime, but crime continues to increase. We need to find these criminals and when we find them, it will send a strong message to others. Because these criminals are not being found, they continue to commit these violent acts. Somebody knows what is going on, but no one is saying anything and as a result crime continues to escalate. However, if we can start doing some small things, we can catch these criminals and we can also reduce the crime situation in TCI.

Smiling african-american schoolgirl going back to school with books and copybooks
Community Articles, History and Education,

It is back to school time – Rise up and take your position

Some tips for students, parents, teachers, and Government

Introduction

It is this time of the year when a new school year starts. This is an exciting time especially for parents who spend the entire summer with their children. It is also an exciting time for first time students whether it is kindergarten, elementary, secondary, or tertiary. Unfortunately, it is also a time of anxiety for some individuals as they do not like the school and don’t see the purpose in going to school. Some students do not like school also because they are constantly being teased and bullied.

I believe the school is a place that should not only provide learning opportunities but also a place of teaching others to interact, love and appreciate others.

I am not an educator even though I wanted to be one, but I am a parent and was a student and so I hope this article provides meaningful tips to make your time in school more meaningful and appreciative.

Students

Students do not take your time in school for granted. It is a place where you can learn something and therefore, I encourage you to learn as much as you can. If you do not understand what is being taught you, let your teacher know. Furthermore, when you go home, google the subject area, and watch videos on the topics until you understand fully the area. Even if you understand the subject, please still review daily when you go home. Stay focused and listen carefully to your teacher.

If you do this, you will not have to cramp or study as much the night before an exam. Do your assignments as soon as you get them. Do not delay. Do not plagiarize. If you are using someone’s else work, give credit to them. Participate in school. I know sometimes you may feel you are asking a silly question but if you don’t know then how you will know if you don’t ask. Do not cheat. If you have multiple choice questions, attempt to answer all of them. Treat your teachers and other students with respect. However, do not let anyone take advantage of you. If they do, let your parents, principal and teachers know. Students, remember nobody is better than you. There may be some students in your class that may know the subject better than you but do not let that intimidate you. There is something you are also very good in. Find a balance with your academics. Get involve in sports or some community work.  Everything in school should not just be academia. Finally, students, do not compromise your character or integrity by sleeping withing your teacher or professor to get a good grade. It is not worth it. If anyone sexually harass you, obtain the evidence, and report them because trust me, they are not only doing it to you but to others as well.

Parents

Parents, remember these children are your children, not the teacher’s children. Too many of us are sending our children to school and expect the teacher to do everything. Parents, we have a responsibility too. Review your children’s work and make sure they complete their assignments. Some of them may be able to work independent of your help while others will need your help. If you cannot help them, then find someone who can tutor them.  We cannot go back in time so ensure that your children are doing the best they can do. One thing I caution you is, do not compare your children to other children or even to yourself.

Some of you may want to put your child in a private school but if you cannot afford it, then don’t it. Don’t worry about what people think as they do not know your situation. Parents don’t put your career ahead of your children. Find the time to be involve in their education because soon your children will become adults and no longer be in your home. It is our responsibility to guide them and groom them.  Don’t say anything negatively about the teacher in the presence of your children.

Parents, accept the fact that some of your children will not want to go to college. It is ok if they go in the workforce after school.

Teachers

I admire teachers. It is a profession that is underrecognized. I encourage you though to keep teaching. We need teachers. I also encourage you to be an example to your students and to ensure that your students understand the material you taught them. Do not show favouritism even if you have favourites. Do not insult or shout at the students in the presence of others. You can make or break a child self-worth. Appreciate the fact that not all children are the same. Another thing is to discontinue putting positions on the report card. Sometimes there is too much focused-on positions. I remember in High School; I came first in Physics with a failed grade. Positions are not a measurement; the measurement is passing the subject. Finally, Teachers, upgrade your skills on a continuous basis.

Governments

The education system is guided by the Education Department. Ensure that we are not behind. Ensure that the curriculum is upgraded and when students leave secondary school, they can function in the workplace as some may not pursue tertiary education. Therefore, technical education should be prominent in secondary schools. I also think experiential learning should be promoted in the schools. I think this will also help students to learn better. Some of the current subjects being taught need to remove and replaced with everyday life subjects.

Government must also ensure that sports including swimming is an integral part of the curriculum of the schools and promote healthy competition among the various schools.  Finally, compensate the teachers fairly as they deserve more.

Conclusion

Being in school does not necessarily have to be hard. It is life learning experience, and it should be a mix of fun as well. Testing should not be about regurgitation. Testing should be about understanding and applying what you have learned. In this way, you are increasing a student’s ability to think.

Life is already difficult and so we do not need to make school life difficult. Otherwise, many students will not see the need for school especially when they can virtually google anything.

Pin It on Pinterest

AVAILABLE NOW!!!