Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Devonish's Patwa economics nonsensical

Published:Saturday | February 4, 2017 | 2:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Having read Professor Hubert Devonish's article 'Of Patwa, progress and prosperity' (Part 1) (Sunday Gleaner, January 22, 2017), I have taken from it that the thrust of his argument is: "addressing the language education issue, by formally including the Jamaican language, alongside English, in a fully bilingual education system is the only option," as this will allow Jamaica to develop a stronger economy.

That is clearly bunkum, as Jamaicans have been speaking broken English (not really Patois, which is applied especially to the French language), or Patwa (as you have dubbed it), for many decades and our economy has ebbed and flowed based on economic management. That, sir, is the only option to attain progress and prosperity.

Then you go on to cite countries with the top 20 per capita, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Ireland. You state: "English is the medium of instruction, used to teach all non-language subjects right throughout the school system. In addition, depending on the ethnic background, children study one of the other languages ... and are taught literacy in those languages."

So by your flawed reasoning, that's why those countries (our competitors) are doing better than us economically.

 

PRODUCTION OF GOODS

 

Those countries are also doing better than us economically because they are producing more goods and services than we are based on better technologies and so penetrating markets at a faster rate than we are capable of doing.

Why did we do so badly economically, especially from the 1990s to 2000s? Because we had horrible economic policy decisions made by our elected leaders.

Also, the rule of law and proper family values undergird those competitors' improving economies, while we languish with rife father absenteeism and terrible parenting skills. That is how you should be arguing the issues of progress and prosperity, as opposed to your theoretical rubbish.

KENT GAMMON

Attorney-at-law

Kingston 5