The Daily Source Feed
Social worker Monica Dystant wants Jamaica to take the radical but necessary step to legislate reproduction. The poorer classes continue to procreate at a rate that challenges our resources, perpetuating a socially unmanageable crisis of large impoverished households with too many neglected, unaffordable children. Dystant says the persuasive approach to popular control is no longer relevant. Like China, the time has come to restrict free-willed pregnancy. Read article
Jamaican males are staying away from the classroom in droves. Research shows females outnumber men at teacher training institutions as much as 16:1. Is this why boys are getting a failing grade in the classroom? Jamaica Teachers' Association President Clayton Hall says there’s no evidence of a causal link between the absence of male teachers and the performance of boys. Social Activist Dr. Henley Morgan isn’t buying the argument either. Read article
Agricultural pioneer and Songhai Centre founder Father Godfrey Nzamujo has successfully transformed Africa’s farming industry. Using innovation production technologies, he is pulling Africa out of poverty. Nzamujo's recent visit to Jamaica as a guest of the US Embassy augurs well for our agricultural sector. Nurturing agricultural linkages between Jamaica and the Benin Republic could unearth its vast potential. Read articlePress Release - Exploring Agricultural Potential - Jamaica and Benin.pdf
The Willie Lynch Syndrome is alive and well in the hearts and minds of many Jamaicans, says Lloyd B. Smith. Which is why we have such difficulty accepting Sista P as our Prime Minister. But Smith sees her as our most viable option for inspirational leadership and history shows these are the best people for the helm in war and at peacetime. To secure her legacy, the PM must step up to the plate and motivate Jamaicans to higher achievement. Read article
It may be too soon to celebrate the Ministry of Education decision to scrap the dreaded Grade Six Achievement Test. Wayne Campbell suggests its replacement, the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) test, may be nothing more than a case of name swapping. PEP will not alter the public's perception that some schools are better than others and it will not guarantee all students the same quality of education regardless of socioeconomic background. Read article
As Cuba marks the 52nd anniversary of the Bay of Pigs victory there are important leadership lessons for Jamaica in this David vs. Goliath struggle. Fidel Castro fought alongside the young Cuban revolutionaries that defeated the US-backed mercenaries. He did not ask his people to do what he would not. And he mobilized the youth to defend their homeland. Trevor Brown asks, on what moral grounds are our SUV-sporting politicians asking us to "bite the bullet" and how are our youth being rallied for national development?
The ‘Land of Wood and Water” is suffering a severe drought that is causing undue hardship to many. Sannette Grant suggests reclaiming water to overcome our chronic water problem. The reuse of water has been done safely in Israel, Japan and other countries for many years and can benefit Jamaica too. We must explore ways to ensure availability of this precious commodity as metrological forecasts predict less rainfall and worsening water woes. Read article
Violent crime and a lack of opportunities are making migration an attractive option for many. Lady Allen has considered it, Senator Stanley Redwood is intent on it, and our Minister of National Security is seeking divine intervention. Lloyd B. Smiths says if we are to attain the 2030 dream of making “Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business” we must stop the blame game and get involved. Read article
Martin Henry pays tribute to two iconic Jamaicans whose lives were devoted to building a better Jamaica. Businessman, philanthropist and champion of the arts Maurice Facey has left a massive legacy in concrete and steel and in business leadership. While folklorist and musicologist Dr. Olive Lewin will be remembered as a cultural visionary committed to preserving Jamaican folk music and oral history. We are richer today for their significant contributions. Read article
To show how much the world is a small village, consider an issue in Nova Scotia Canada that has a knock on affect in Jamaica. Nova Scotia’s strawberry industry is now suffering from a new virus that causes plants to wither and reduces the amount of fruit it produces. It turns out that Jamaican migrant workers go to Nova Scotia annually to work in the strawberry fields. So the virus is threatening their livelihood this summer and full production not expect to resume till 2014.
It's extremely worrying when a Corporate Area high school has some 60% of its students in one grade being parents. But condom distribution in schools is not the answer. Educator Esther Tyson says, first, we must challenge the destructive 'a nuh nutten, a little sex' culture that perpetuates our reckless sexual behaviour. Widespread family dysfunction, the established practice of incest, and the prevalence of older men fathering children with young girls are other issues that must be addressed.
There’s redeeming value in the brain drain that has cost us our best and brightest. The US$2 billion in annual remittances is Jamaica’s largest foreign exchange earner and a lifeline to many. But this money goes mainly into consumption and we need the Diaspora’s investment dollars. To woo them, we must present a more compelling case than we have done in the past. Dr Henley Morgan says June’s Diaspora Conference shows signs of a fresh wind that could yield more tangible results.
We’ve been warned! The types of catastophic earthquakes that shook Kingston in 1907 and sank Port Royal over 300 years ago are no longer the stuff of history but a very present reality for Jamaica. Based on the area’s history and active seismic activity, US seismic expert Eric Calais says we are ripe for a magnitude 7 or 7.5 quake although he can’t say if it will hit in days or decades. Calais made the call on the 2010 Haiti quake that killed about 316,000 people. Read article
Pastor Erwin James urges the Roman Catholic Church to rethink its policy of priestly celibacy or risk being defined by depraved sexual behaviour instead of its great social and religious works. He debunks Biblical arguments to support mandatory celibacy and sites greed as a possible motive for the policy. Married priests in the Middle Ages held substantial property that passed to wives and children upon their death. The Church wanted the property. Whatever the reason, when the natural desire for marriage is forbidden, evil results.
We keep playing the blame game but the truth is responsibility for Jamaica’s stagnant growth lies squarely at the feet of Government. Crime and growth are intricately linked, and with private sector cashing out massive sums for security little is left for research and development, accessing new markets, training and other activities that spur growth and productivity. David Mullings urges the Government to stop dilly-dallying and tackle crime with urgency. Read article
Despite the brand value Jamaica has gotten recently, our reputation is not dis-similar to Nigeria and her notorious Internet scammers. Cynicism here about American lotto scam victims is terribly jarring. Surely, anyone stupid enough to part with money on the promise of winnings from a lottery they did not enter deserves to lose it. This is payback for these elderly Americans, some Jamaicans say. It is their reparation! Such callousness to justify deception and robbery with the ignorant view that Americans have money should trouble us deeply.
More and more overseas Jamaicans are opting not to retire in their homeland, scared off by our staggering violent crime rate. Over the last 20 years, the annual number of "returning nationals" has dropped by more than half, down to slightly more than 1,000 in 2011. With their pensions estimated at 15 percent of the $2 billion foreign currency inflow from overseas nationals the Government has good reason to be dismayed by the slow down. Read article
Jamaica is too rich to be poor. That is, rich in natural talent. Steve Lyston urges us to tap these invaluable human resources and stop waiting for politicians to bail us out. It is not the job gained through academic success that brings you fame and fortune but your God-given natural talents. John Public is proof of this, says the Biblical Economics consultant, as he merely works to pay taxes and bills. Lyston shares ideas on how best to harness these natural gifts. Read article
Once again we’re making international headlines for all the wrong reasons. Dan Rather’s stinging television exposé shines a light on the Jamaica lotto scam and its devastating consequences on vulnerable US seniors bilked of their life savings. The thriving illegal telephone scam brings in an estimated $300 million annually to Jamaica’s economy. Rather hopes the investigative report will lead to more awareness and fewer victims.
PetroCaribe-reliant nations have good reason to be nervous. The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has put the concessionary oil arrangement in doubt and 17 Caribbean countries could loose a critical economic lifeline. The deciding factor will be Venezuela’s presidential race next month. Whatever the outcome, Sir Ronald Sanders says the time is long past for a collective investment in the region’s energy security that is not a repeat of this enormous dependence not even on one country, but on one man.