Born in poverty and enduring a constant lack of essential necessities that make life bearable, both individuals and collectivities are forced to express their discontent in explosive ways that are fare from pleasant for the so call good society. And any society that does not recognize its ultimate responsibility to alleviate the causes of the people’s unacceptable conditions, exposes itself to radical uprisings known as social revolution.
This can be avoided if those responsible take time to listen to the clamors and envision unselfish immediate and long terms actions that cannot only calm the current discontents but insure enduring solutions. They must realize that a country cannot be indefinitely the fief of a few, but the domain of the most. In other word, they must lay the foundation of a nation on the largest portion of its population and built with them the tower of progress and prosperity.
A young Haitian-American journalist writing about the people’s riot once wrote: “They rioted because they were hungry, but also because they were hungry for change”. However, change will not evolve from some circumstantial decision like price reduction or food distribution alone. As much as these punctual initiatives are necessary, a lager plan of action must enter into immediate consideration that include jobs, productivity, education that must be considered and provided in the context of a new mentality.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ericq Pierre, when designated once as prime minister, said that, if confirmed, his government “would pursue long terms goals of rebuilding agriculture, creating jobs, and overhauling the justice system and schools”. He also said: “We have to fight the high cost of living and try to create jobs, jobs and jobs”.
One important factor of jobs creation is industry investments that can be expected in a climate of secured environment. Jobs creation may imply high intensity of unskilled manpower for simple manual works. However, modern industry requires many already trained or with training capabilities individuals. Whether or not both categories can be readily available now, the sustaining effort of economic development must be insured by the competent teaching of young men and women, basically in the areas of languages, mathematic, sciences and national geography.
Such accomplishment depends on Smart leadership defined by Clifford Fyle, in an article published in The 1983 UNESCO Courier, and titled “National language and cultural identity”. Fyle notes: “Countries seeking to achieve rapid development for their peoples need rapidly also to provide education for all their citizens. Only by mobilizing their total manpower and putting it to effective use can they hope to make the economic strides a nation and its people desire. This means mass education, the mass teaching of reading and writing; a constant flow of information and ongoing positive communications; the teaching of new habits and new attitudes, and not least among these, extensive training in new skills. All this is impossible without a vast national mass education program.”
One word associated with change is hope. In an effort to help students understand their milieu and appreciate its needs, it has been reported that “a concrete school yard has been transformed into a garden of learning in hurricane-recovering New Orleans (U.S.), where students plant and weed, harvest produce and learn to cook it”. This is they said, “a garden of hope”. Those of us who have been around for sometimes may recall that in the early 40’s similar program existed at Damien, in the Normal Schools for elementary education and in the farm schools of Haiti.
Regardless the immediate actions a new Haitian government must necessarily take now to counter the high cost of living and the shortage of food, it must undertake the increase of national food production in order to reduce the people’s overwhelming reliance on imports to feed itself. We have a lot of problems to solve in this country, but if you think enough about it, the Haitian people should be considered greater than their problems.
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