What about the development of the people?
Clarie Alonzo Astwood posted a question under my article last week which prompted me to write this article today. His question was “Has the rate of development of the country outpaced the development, growth and advancement of its citizens?’ He further stated that “If we are saying that we do not have the people to support the jobs that are here or the right types of jobs do not exist, then why do we continue at the current or even increasing the pace of development in the same area? I don’t think that there will ever be a complete and sudden stop but surely our development policy should be adjusted through the years to align with the census statistics, population policy, national skills audit, culture, environment heritage plans etc. to ensure that the country doesn’t become further out of the reach of its people.”
I do believe that the physical development of our islands particularly Providenciales is growing faster than the development of our people, however, I do not think we should slow the development, but we should ensure that our people are being developed and feeling the impact of this development.
More development is needed
Unlike many other islands in the Caribbean, the Turks and Caicos has multiple islands and so the same services and infrastructure are duplicated in the other islands. For example, there is an airport on all the inhabited islands, and this means we have the fund the operations of these airports including the provision of custom officers, immigration officers and firefighters. To finance these operations, we need money, and the money will come from the Government’s fund. The Government receive their funding because of the development that is taking place in the islands.
I recalled when I was in college in the 80’s, the budget for TCIG was around $14million and today our budget is around $400m. According to the deputy premier, Hon E Jay Saunders, he would like for the budget to be $500m.
I think more development is needed as there are so many more things we need in our country. We need to link our islands together. We need a deep-water harbour. We need better roads. We need to offer better compensation to our employees. All of this can happen if we have more development.
Development of our people is needed
Our people need more development and need to participate actively in this development. A friend of mine made a statement to me over the weekend. He said we must ensure that our people are involve even if it means for some of us to drag them along. I believe we as a people have come a long way, but we are still behind with the rate of development. I like the concept of free education at the Community College for the citizens but then again this could not be possible if we did not have the development.
I believe we need to continue to encourage and promote more entrepreneurship. The thing is no matter how small we are in numbers but if we can become successful entrepreneurs, we can become very powerful and active in our development. This will also require many of us to come together and establish businesses.
We should also ensure we provide adequate training to our locals so that they can occupy key positions in the country. I encourage locals to apply for those key positions if they have the experience. Have confidence in yourself, do your best and ensure that you help others along the way.
We also need to do an analysis of our needs and ensure we cater towards the needs by offering grants and scholarship in those areas most needed. For example, there is not one local nurse trained in dialysis.
As I was telling my daughter what I was going to write about, she said how can we brag about development when we cannot get simple things done in the country such as getting a police record in a reasonable time.
Honestly, we are so far behind in many things especially on the other islands and that is why I support continuous development. Of course, we must make sure our people are developing at or faster than the rate of the physical development.