Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Shameful behaviour, Minister Green

Published:Thursday | September 22, 2016 | 9:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am writing to express my annoyance and offence at the behaviour of Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green, who was the keynote speaker at the United Nations Development Programme's Social Good Summit 2016 on the Sustainable Development Goals and the role digital technology can play in achieving them. These summits were held across the world on Monday.

By 9:30 a.m., the starting time, the room was full. the audience included not only ambassadors and representatives from various public, civil society and private-sector organisations, but also high-school and primary-school students. Since Minister Green was the first main speaker, the event could not start without him. At 9:40 a.m., the moderator informed us that we were waiting for the minister, who was on his way. The event started 25 minutes late. When the Minister spoke, he launched into his speech as though all was as it should be - not a hint of an apology.

What an appalling example from one of the highest representatives of the Ministry of Education and Youth, who should be a role model to its clientele: young students! The tepid applause after his speech was not, I suspect, due to its content, which was quite good, but to the alienation felt by his listeners to the disrespect on display.

When will the majority of our politicians get it? They are not gods, they are not royalty, they are leaders - servants in leadership positions. If they do not respect us, how can we respect them?

Jennifer Jones