When the mind refuses to see reality it stagnates. It locks itself up in a warped time zone. When actual events relentlessly force themselves on such a mind, it is inevitably too late. Such a narrow psychology is immensely destructive when it comes to heads of importantly large national or international institutions, Prime Ministers and Presidents.
If this commentator had written that the University of Guyana lost its international accreditation for its programmes, the response would have been that I am a perennial critic. But it was the Chronicle that reported that upon meeting Guyanese residents in Barbados, President Ramotar was told that employers do not recognize the UG certificate.
This is a tragic state of affairs but it is the type of mind referred to above that has brought UG to this state. Two of the senior UG administrators put there by the Government would robotically refer to criticisms of falling standards by constantly denying the crisis. I could provide readers with a dozen letters to the KN and SN where an administrator pointed to the excellent standard of UG by citing how well UG graduates were doing in their post-graduate studies at other universities.
So if you came out of the gutter and helped yourself to a Wall Street job, it was the brilliant training you received in the gutter that caused you to excel elsewhere.
This kind of bizarre thinking prevented UG administrators from seeing that the place was falling down. These defenders were either ignorant, naïve or plain deceptive. It may be too late to save UG. It may be too late to save Guyana because former President Jagdeo used to think and still does like those two senior UG administrators. Mr. Jagdeo has surfaced again and he continues to make appallingly jejune analyses.
Speaking at the opening of the NBS building, he praised the economic performance of Guyana by pointing to the economic mess in Greece. One does not know if Mr. Jagdeo is being honest in his misplaced thinking or is simply propagandizing. An economist cannot take comfort that his country is doing well because Greece is in decline. In economics, the comparison is untenable and should not be used.
Greece is an EU country far more advanced than Guyana. Greece has developed over the decades while Guyana has gone nowhere. Then as 2012 started, Greece began to fall. And when it stops falling, it will stay at a stage that is still far above Guyana. Why should any citizen take comfort in Guyana’s economy because Greece is in dire straits? You can only do the juxtaposition if the two economies are comparable. You then can make the comparison of different economic policies and conclude which approach is superior.
Greece is going through what happened to Argentina in the mid eighties. The situation was worse in Argentina. The banks could not disburse customers’ own money that they went to withdraw. Argentina is, today, one of the fastest growing economies in the Third World, not only in Latin America. And where is Guyana in 2012?
Let us answer that question briefly by returning to UG and other places in this land.
The UG situation hardly needs rehashing. Trinidad is now growing and selling carrots in commercial quantities. Guyana imports it. Which of the two countries should be exporting the vegetable? Our schools lack basic facilities. Our roads are in terrible conditions. The index on poverty shows that disease afflicts large numbers in our population. So has Greece fallen? The answer is yes but while it lies flat on its face, it hasn’t reached the levels of poverty and infrastructural decay that characterize forty years of Guyana’s existence.
The Greeks will look to the Argentines and they will say like them we, Greeks will rebound. The Guyanese will look at Greece and think of Argentina that has rebounded and they know Greece will survive. And Greece will endure and rise again while Guyana remains where it is – one of the poorest countries in the world and at the time of debt forgiveness by the Group of 7 five years ago, was listed by one of the eleven poorest nations in the world.
Guyana will not move and catch up with Greece and Argentina because inside the mind of those that control Guyana, like Mr. Jagdeo, we are as developed like Greece and Argentine. If you believe that one of the poorest territories in the world is not poor and is like Greece and Argentina, then with such a mind, you are bound to destroy that country because you cannot see reality.
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