Has education failed human civilization?

August 16, 2011 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon 


There is no exception in any country on how a policeman would react if he arrests a person for damaging your side view mirror over a minor traffic offence, or pinching a woman’s posterior while in the line, and that person is a professor, surgeon, lawyer or business executive. The words out of the policeman’s mouth would be automatic; “How can someone with your education behave like this?”
When we go through a long process of education (Plato put it at forty years for the ruling class) and we take that learning and use it for long years in society, we come to understand complex processes and intricate things. They make us better human beings.
The harsh reality of life is that uneducated people, unlearned minds do unsavoury things that if they had known better they would not have done. I hate when men are liming at a corner and a woman passes and she has to endure audible taunts about the shape of her derriére or breast. I may be wrong, but I cannot see an educated person descending to that animalistic level. This is the positive that education brings to our life.
To answer my own question, the answer is no. But sometimes you wonder. How can an educated person visit a foreign land for his own birthday after a long absence, see fancy buildings on the ground and call that progress? Surely, your education has to instruct you that there are more nuances and dimensions to understand before you can pronounce on progress. Before Randy Persaud became a PPP propagandist, he paid a visit to Guyana with his wife. I took them on a tour of UG, and Randy exclaimed, “God, they can’t paint this place?”
Some visiting Guyanese can be extremely foolish. Others can be exasperatingly stupid. And this is so because they are not gutter-cleaners who left school at age fourteen. They come to Guyana and give the PPP praise because they see a resplendent building erected by Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry. They see a handsome structure put up by Republic Bank. They look at a fancy supermarket with everything in it and conclude that the PPP has done well in Guyana.
Ask these very people if during the tenure of George W. Bush, the US weren’t inventing great things and winning the Nobel Prize for medicine, etc. So why did the Republicans lose to Obama? It is not only idiocy, but moral dishonesty on their part. Private entrepreneurs will take their money and invest it so they can reap a profit. The state takes its income and puts it in the entire country so that development and progress can take place.
Do we have to define progress and development for educated human beings?
For nineteen years, the PPP has been in control of the economy of Guyana. Not one of those overseas fools who praise the Government would live or bring up their children in an environment that looks like Georgetown.
I went home last week and told my wife that I saw one of the most horrible sights in the 21st century. Right in front of the national museum, there is a mountain of garbage that smells horribly and looks like if the world is going to end. On inquiry, I was told that this sea of miasma has been there more than a year now.
All over Georgetown rotting garbage dots the landscape. It is the most compelling reason why any sane and decent mind should vote the PPP out of office, then do what they have done in the Ukraine last week – charge the former Head of State with abuse of power.
In April, the Stabroek News featured a story that took up almost a page. It was the Vice Chancellor’s report on the future of UG. It paints a gloomy picture of that future, even suggesting that there may not be a future because the University hasn’t got funds to keep it in existence.
For two consecutive years, the marchers at the May Day rally encounter a group of women picketers sharing out handbills on the way aging pensioners are treated by the state. Old folks on pension receive $250 per day. It is an insult to human decency to offer our aging folks this kind of crumbs. Sewage lines hardly work. Electricity disruptions are as perennial as the grass and public schools are without furniture and teachers. Yet fools can come to this country and proclaim progress.
Education hasn’t failed civilization, only some idiots from this country.

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