March 1, 2005
Over some years now, the World Garifuna Organization (WGO)
has been very intensely concerned about the quality of the interactions
and exchanges among our black students, parents, schools and educational
administration and ultimately how they, each in its own fashion, benefit
from and contribute to its own individual progress and development as
well as to that of the Nation at large.
WGO has listened to complaints, we have seen frustration
after graduation, we have observed hopelessness and confusion, ambitions
dashed to the ground, blame exchanged and so on and on. Indeed, the
problems can be overwhelming. However, WGO believes that great as the
problems and challenges are we, the affected, must be resolved to find
solutions. Throughout the anguish, pain and struggle our focus must
remain on overcoming the challenges so we can register success, progress
and development. The question most often therefore is how and where to
Good will and consolation from others may at times be
soothing. However the final answer rests with us. Success, progress
and development are not achievable by looking to others for solution.
They are achievable only by looking to ourselves and by ourselves doing
what it takes to succeed. Our welfare is our responsibility and it
takes us to commit ourselves to our own welfare. It is our foremost
contract with ourselves. Entertaining hope anywhere else therefore is
going to be totally and utterly futile.
WGO, in its desire to offer and attempt a contribution, is
centering its 2005 Assembly on Black Education and is focusing its
attention on two of the principal ingredients of education, namely, the
Student and the Parent.
The student is first invited to scrutinize and analyze the
underlying and driving qualities in the character of a successful
student, then the student is challenged to commit himself (herself) to a
contract with himself (herself) to succeed in his (her) studies
throughout his (her) formative years. Among other commitments, the
student must also accept and cherish that he (she) and
he (she) alone, is responsible for his (her) self-improvement and
development, that he (she) is ambitious and desirous of academic,
professional and financial success, that he (she) will make habitual use
of academic resources and that he (she) is selective of his (her)
friends and associated.
In like fashion, the parent(s), after scrutinizing and
analyzing the underlying and driving qualities in the character of a
successful parent(s), is challenged to commit herself (himself) to a
contract with herself (himself) to succeed as a parent throughout her
(his) life. Among other commitments, the parent also must accept and
cherish that she (he) establishes the trust and confidence of her (his)
child as well as instill positive discipline in that child. The
parent(s) is to provide academic encouragement in a safe and secure home
where the child is assured that
his (her) academic well-being is supreme, that his (her) academic needs
will be met and that there will be adequate meals at all times.
Although initiated by WGO, the heart and soul of our effort are the
students on the one hand and the parents on the other, each publicly
pledging to assume his or her responsibility. It is hoped that the
schools, with their teaching staff and administration, will provide the
support and Dangriga and its surrounding villages will provide the
student populations where the education process originates, flourishes
and will ultimately demonstrates its effects.
The effects of our effort will obviously take time to show.
But for sure the complaints and negative criticism about students,
parents, teachers, schools and communities are being set aside as we all
struggle to correct our ills. The future indeed remains difficult but
we, all of us, in our communities, by assuming responsibility for our
destiny, are standing up for our future and are demonstrating our
ambition and desire for academic, professional and financial success.
There is no illusion about turning around every and all
specific group of students either. Our effort is to increase the
percentage and numbers of those who are capable and desirous to succeed
into actually succeeding. It is to encourage those who may be wavering
but can still catch a second breath and move up the ladder of success.
It is to catch or create some more successful and productive citizens
out of those who otherwise may be headed or drifting the wrong way . . .
more St. Pauls and Mary Magdalenes, so to speak.
In spite of the waywardness of so many and the overwhelming
representation in crime, prison, violence and poverty, Blacks have
indeed taken advantage of all opportunities this Nation offers and we
have indeed been very successful. With everything in the balance, Black
contribution is the foundation and bulwark of the existence, mainstay
and future of this Nation. In education, Blacks hold the credentials
from elementary school to University graduates, all the way to Ph.D's.
The Civil Service, Teaching Field, Nursing and Health Care Delivery,
Police Force and BDF are preponderantly black domain. In the legal
field, Blacks prevail. Lawyers and the Judiciary boast a black upper
crust. The economy is fueled and driven by black labour, earnings and
buying power. Management and higher paying jobs are replete with
Blacks. Land use and agriculture has a significant black
representation. In Politics, governance and vote power Blacks are a
power to reckon with. There is nothing in Belize that Blacks do not
substantially affect. Hence there is nothing that Blacks need from
anyone beside themselves to succeed, progress and develop. What Blacks
need is Black Consciousness where Blacks drive and do for themselves on
their own steam.
Where we still are is a show case, mannequins dressed in nice robes that
we want to be in, addressed with titles that ring elegant and hold
offices that portray power, but with no base or interest to satisfy the
concerns of Blacks and responding only to commands from others. We,
Blacks, need to understand that the wealthy and powerful will look after
the wealthy and powerful. It is good for the wealthy and powerful. The
poor must look after the poor. It is good for the poor. As already
pointed out, Blacks are abundant in professions and positions. Hence,
Blacks, with a Black consciousness to bind them together, are in secure
position for success, progress and development. It will therefore be
fantastic for Blacks to look after Blacks.
Of course, WGO is not unaware of the other many factors that affect
education. Health care is one since healthy students study better than
unhealthy ones. So is finance. There is also security at home and
peace of mind and many others. WGO is only beginning with parenting and
studying but all the other ingredients will come in with time.
The WGO Assembly is:
Friday, April 8 Consecration of the "Culture
Saturday, April 9 Garifuna Mass
Sunday, April 10 Education Congress
Tuesday, April 12 March For Education
The first educational activity is "Education Congress" slated for
Sunday, April 10, 2005 in Dangriga. It will be a whole day
presentation, beginning with an "Opening Address" to be followed by
three (3) presentation / discussions by prominent speakers representing
an international organization, a professional of Continental African
origin and a university personality.
The "March For Education", will cap the Assembly, Tuesday, April 12,
2005, Dangriga. Schools are being consulted on how best and most
productive the March is to be conducted.
The participation of everyone is invited.
World Garifuna Organization (WGO)