Street Vibes: Meet me on the pavement! Rowley points way to meaningful education for all

Since returning from my three-month sabbatical, I have been finding life on this rock we call home to be a real struggle. I have tried my best to refrain from commenting on the numerous instances of outrageous, silly behaviour and criminal acts in the news, be it on social or in mainstream media.

Unfortunately, the sabbatical did not prepare me to confront the major challenge of watching institution after institution fail. Confronting that challenge was no walk around the Savannah and I find it impossible to continue to watch my nation crumble and remain silent.

Photo: Motorcycle policemen perform during 2017 Independence Day celebrations.
(Copyright Office of the Prime Minister)

The last straw came when, in Parliament last week, the PM challenged the UNC’s Roodal Moonilal to “meet me on the pavement.” Immediately, the late Mr Patrick Manning’s words came to mind: “The man is a raging bull.”

Although silent, I have been noting the sorry excuses which have been passing for governance as well as the continuing charade between the Yellow Gang and the Red Gang. Of course, there was the recent passing of the Anti-Gang Bill, which saw both groups colluding to pass the perceived panacea for the crime which has been haunting us. That both gangs could agree on this as the solution to the nation’s crime woes is a clear demonstration of the intellectual bankruptcy which permeates the hallowed halls of this nation’s Parliament.

It is clear that neither side understands the numerous subcultures across this nation: the criminal subculture, the police subculture, the white collar criminal subculture, the prison subculture.

If they are of the view that legislation will eventually bring about change, they need look no further than the recent law banning the use of cell phones while driving.

“This Anti-Gang bill is nothing more,” a colleague of mine noted, “than banana republic-style governance to replace respect for law with State abuse of human and civil rights for no purpose.”

Photo: Mr Live Wire was unreliably informed that, just to be safe, Cedric Burke (centre) made sure to keep his hand firmly on his OWN wallet!

I cannot help but recall the recent SoE. As we speak, several persons who were arrested during that SoE are currently being awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars by the nation’s courts simply because the authorities abused their power. Ironically, the arresting personnel remain the same, a clear reminder that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

While on sabbatical, I observed a continuing trend as it relates to schoolchildren fighting while a useless, geriatric Minister of Education constantly seeks to do damage control. Such fights, combined with the recent bullish “meet me on the pavement” response in Parliament from the PM, prompted me to recommend to the Ministry of Education (MoE) that “fighting” be officially added to the curriculum.

For starters, students arguably demonstrate a greater interest in fighting than in anything else. And it is well known that students pay greater attention to topics in which they are interested, which makes both teaching and learning easier.

Why, we should ask, don’t we see such fights when students are out of uniform?

Teaching kids to fight will bring positive results. First and foremost, it will reduce the murder rates, thereby assisting in crime reduction. Kids who learn to fight no longer need to shoot or stab one another or employ any type of weapon in their defence of self. Everyone knowing how to fight will also serve as a deterrent to fights, which is the argument advanced in favour of everyone owning a firearm.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Furthermore, I have every reason to believe that adding “fighting” to the curriculum can make a meaningful contribution to fulfilment of the long overdue promise to diversify the economy. Fighting as a competitive sport can increase forex as we export kick-boxers, martial artists, tae kwon do artists, WMA wrestlers, boxers, stick-fighters, etc.

Evidently, not everyone will be interested in learning how to fight; such persons will definitely learn how to run, thereby producing potential track and field athletes. And, of course, in learning to fight, one must adopt the proper attitude. This provides justification for teaching a second language: Obscene. Do students, for example, know the difference between “Ask your mother” and “Ax yuh mudder”?

And, of course, the ILP’s Jack Warner can be given a contract to develop the syllabus!

Students who generally record the fights can also learn videography, having demonstrated that they have the potential to become professional reporters and journalists.  And then there are the select few who might attempt to break up these fights, thus demonstrating the potential to become community leaders.

The vast majority, however, are the students who look on and egg the fighters on; they have the potential to become professional cheerleaders and be employed as ambassadors to support Windies whenever and wherever there is a game—although, by the time they graduate, Windies may have nothing at all to cheer about.

Photo: A tense scene in a Trinidad and Tobago school.

And, of course, those who manage to rise to the top of the food chain can always become leaders and business people who can either smash glasses into their colleagues’ faces or challenge anyone who opposes them to “meet me on the pavement.”

Let’s all hope that Mr Moonilal takes the PM up on his offer—or, perhaps more accurately, calls the Rottweiller’s bluff.

Then perhaps all 41 will at last be where, it seems, on current performance, they really belong.

Editor’s Note: Wired868 reserves the right to share opinions and views to which we do not necessarily subscribe and which may not at all be of a piece with our own opinions and views. Click HERE to view our editorial policy.

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About Rudy Chato Paul Sr

Rudy Chato Paul, Sr, is passionate about gardening, music and writing and boasts post-graduate certification in Anthropology, Criminology and Sociology. He also studied Theology, which is why he is actively seeking to make Trinidad a better place rather than waiting for divine intervention. 

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  1. hmmm parents not bringing up there children right is the government fault…. YESTERDAY I BOUNCED MY TOE. An gonna blame the PM. For this..

  2. I want Ms. Maharaj-Ramnath to tell us how you plan a distraction when you don’t know a fool was going to ask a question.
    I also would like her to confirm what part of Trinidad she is referring to as nowhere. Is it that some places deserve to be accessed via a proper road network snd others must remain out if reach?
    The PM was correct. If he stated that the State placed a ceiling on the funds to assist the medical expenses, then that ends the contribution of the taxpayers. Dr. Moonilal is not a PNM member or a friend. So, why does he think he could ask where the payments coming from, except to make small talk?

  3. Plenty senile and geriatric unhealthy ministers

  4. I wish people would get that conversation and nits entirety….Moonilal knew that was not the forum to ask Party Politics questions… The PM was correct since it can be answered ” outside on the pavement”. Rudy Paul get your stories correct please. Fighting was since way way back…so stop it…dam

  5. Ppl stop let them politicians divide us…they all has one aim…the nation’s …live in love…

  6. But he didn’t answer the real question as to how’s paying the man bills. Can’t you all see it’s yet another distraction? We busy talking about his wajang behaviour and the CJ is doing what he want, the HDC busy taking the nursery , the high to nowhere is on, the crime increasing, Marlene keeping Maxie chair warm, A&V Drilling still didn’t get charge for fraud and replace the stolen money, WTH the list too blasted long and yet the news is about his lack of respect and stink mouth

  7. Rudy Paul are you a teacher? So stop I agree with Collin Cudjoe

  8. RudyPaul fighting did not increase it is jus being taped now.

  9. Why the ageist attack on the MoE?

  10. Strange. It’s probably me, but I thought that Rowley was referring to comparing notes on corruption outside the protected halls of Parliament. Then, with the sanction of slander overhead, persons would be more careful about the accusations they make.

    I have been befuddled by the interpretation that the statement meant anything more than Imbert’s “come outside” of two years ago…

    • I mihself haven’t seen the clip but that is what would come to my mind as well. …Come Outside. I seriously doubt Rowley would suggest he and Moonilal duke it out?

    • Roodal Moonilal’s response was to repeat his question and announce that it was addressed to “the badjohn.”

      Interestingly, although he immediately withdrew the comment without being asked to, the Speaker insisted that he had to get to his feet and “properly” withdraw the slur–provoked in my view, not to say merited–which I found excessive. it’s not the first time that I feel the Speaker has opened herself up to understandable charges of PNM bias.

      The UNC’s David Lee, speaking for the party, called it “political gangsterism.” Overstated, of course, as is the UNC way. But completely off the mark? Ha!

      Do you really think it was an innocent “Let’s compare notes on corruption”? I doubt it.

  11. The attempt to do a mocking piece backfired because this is a damn good idea! When everyone knows how to fight there will be much less of it. And the writer better pray that he lives to be geriatric. Not all people do! So be careful when you scoff! That might back fire too!

  12. Actually not a bad idea. Something like boxing could build discipline and allow them to let off steam safely.

  13. They should meet in the Boxing ring fight there differences out not on the pavement to prevent People free movement

  14. This would have been real funny if it wasn’t so damn sad and spot on…

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