Crime makes it’s loudest statement from the “belly of the beast,” is synonymous with what pertains globally.

Once known as the pearl of the Caribbean, Jamaica has had it’s designation somewhat diluted, except where it relates to the pristine geography of the island. Jamaica is now floundering in failure to figure out a way to quell the beast or use its many talents to generate foreign exchange revenues for the island, especially given the fact that Jamaica is a brand that stands out among the biggest and best known globally.

The lack of well being for the masses is clearly evident by contrast from the vantage view of lit illustrious mansions on the hills, all to some extent built on the backs of those not so well off. The underpriviledged and disenfranchised have no choice but to live in a seemingly rapacious economical climate which barely affords them a hand to mouth existence.

A marginal means for high school, technical or tertiary education and the lack of welcoming “brick and mortar” libraries for edification, adds to this deficiency, where acceptance numbers into these institutions are not only marginal at best if not skewed to a seemingly preferential selection that leaves the “creatives” among them, for the most part, without a place to foster growth. They are left with no means of building or maintaining their deprecating self image, standard of life, confidence, self value or hope, as they merely exist in a sector of society doomed to live vicariously through lenses created by figments of imagination, fostered and fed through the looming lights reflected from the hills, except for tranches of sympathetic charity where political expediency fails to appease them.

But this non-chalance of successive governments in Jamaica to address nation building as a whole and create value in and through human capital for individuals and country, seems more evident in capitalist ideologies which apparently saw its genesis from the historical introduction of formal education in Jamaica, and which carried great construct of colonialism and imperialism. Jamaica on Democratic.

It behoves everyone with a modicum of responsibility or interest to read the Honorable Carl Miller’s OJ PhD address given at the 2012 Annual Conference of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association. It gleans the most eloquent, concise elicitation of the genesis and history of Jamaica’s formal educational system from the beginning of the twentieth century, with its entrenched segregation of color and mandated standards of educational guidelines which were strictly specified to ensure inferiority of the level of education meted out to children of slaves as opposed to the decendants of the upper echelon or ruling class.

When Jamaica and Barbadoes catapulted to 14th and 15th place in the world respectively, Jamaica attracted international attention and schools were invited to participate in “The International Congress on Education,” along with being recognized among the “Civilized Countries of the World.” Up to then however, high school education was so marginalized that less than one percent of students qualified for secondary education. Black students exhibiting promise were fed into teacher’s colleges and then theological dicipline, I surmise, to be brainwashed by clergy to seek life in the hereafter. Where financial constraints wasn’t the obstacle, the capping of expenditure ensured that there were no options. The closure of many schools over the ensuing years, could be seen as a successful exercise to ensure that the decendants of slaves were left relatively ignorant.

Mr. Miller noted that boys dominated in learning up to the 1950’s until a seemingly deliberate structural shift was implemented, which favoured girls. It would not be surprising if this were a thrust to emasculate men who were up to then, the primary breadwinners for their family.

Jamaica’s visionary and exemplary ex prime minister the Honorable Michael Manley’s valiant attempt at obliterating illiteracy by creating JAMAL in 1973 resulted in 82 percent of the population being able to read and write but without structured dedicated continuity, there is now a bleak permeating condition reflecting not only an erosion of the magnitude of such progress but a stymie that predicates stagnancy.

Fast forward to 2022 heralds a reality which reveals similar characteristics, attributes of the old colonialistic dogmatic mandates, which by virtue of population growth is by far more widely disbursed and which, some speculate, contributes largely to heightened frustration, hopelessness, domestic disputes, homicides and animus toward relatives, especially immigrants.

Gone are the days when Jamaicans were sought after en masse, if not for scholarship or professionalism, for prowess in craftsmanship. We are now largely seen as fodder to be used for menial tasks and to be exploited at the whims and fancies of “foreign elites.”

In addition, what obtains now includes:

Systemic poverty

Poor public services

Unequal development

A sense of being abandoned

No pride in self or country

Lack of recognition or respect for sovereingty

Poor economy

Brain drain

Closure of many schools over the years

Selective group grieviences

Starkly factionalized views on governance

Having no idea of the cause of situational discontent or challenges

Casting votes without substantial reason

No concept of value for life

No idea of who is accountable for due process

No international world view

Lack of proper health care

Lack of infrastructure development

Violence and crime as a fundamental means for surival

Waves of crimes having done severe psychological damage over the years – without redress

Lack of average political and civic literacy

Continuing prevailing state of lawlessness, which includes a sector trying to beat the system through scamming or whatever other devious means necessary along with failing efforts in seeking refuge elsewhere due to lack of skills or borderline illiteracy and not being viewed as resourceful assets.

In all civilized democracies, it’s the role of the government to ensure primary and secondary education and provide at least an average political and civic literacy.

This continuing lack of investment in education has become a disaster for Jamaicans and the country as a whole especially in light of the fact that foreign exchange remittances form a large part of Jamaica’s foreign revenue.

It stands to reason that no one subscribes to law and order in climates of such fundamental and reasonable discontent and where people don’t view state, government or legislature as legitimate, criminal activities will continue to wreak havoc. Visit us at.


Marlene Brown-Daley
Founder & Visionary
Kotch Magazine



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