THE EDITOR, Sir:
I wrote to The Gleaner previously on the current state of hopelessness surrounding our young people and their ability to find employment.
The solution has to take a multipronged approach and it requires discipline by the entire society. In dealing with the problem of youth unemployment, we deal with the problem of crimes and gangs. Why? Because the recruits in these gangs and crime syndicates are the large number of idle youths.
In dealing with the problem of youth unemployment, we deal with the problem of teenage pregnancy. Why? If you are busy working and building a life, you really don't have the time to have lots of babies either for old-age pension or for a woman to tie herself to a man for support.
I could go on, but needless to say, when we deal with issues to do with the youth, many current societal problems will also be addressed.
First and foremost is the issue of education. We have not really been serious about educating our children, and I am not talking here of the Government; I am talking about us as parents. Are we really serious? How much are we prepared to sacrifice for our children?
I heard just this week about the difficulty that Damion Crawford was having in his constituency. For transparency, I make it known that I know Damion (I did not like him as a teacher, so that makes it even). My understanding is that the funds he has access to, he wants to sink into the next generation and ensure that education is made a priority. His constituents don't like that. Are we serious?
Jamaica has hundreds of acres of land lying idle. Why are we not focused on farming? Idle hands can be put to work. But we would rather sit on the roadside, while away the time, drink, smoke, steal, get pregnant or have some foreign president use us as a bad example rather than make this place work.
Our gullies are in a deplorable state. Have you seen the gully that runs from the foot of Stony Hill Road, across Mannings Hill Road and beyond? It is a disgrace and is also in need of repairs.
How can Kingston Harbour be in a better state if our gullies are in the condition they are in? Clean them. I believe if plans like this were offered, more of us would be willing to participate by paying. Also, all these idle hands would be put to work doing something of benefit.
What has happened to our apprenticeship system, taking on youngsters to learn from those who are ageing and need to pass on their skills? This is a time-honoured tradition. What are we doing about encouraging the good from our past?
We sit and wring our hands and show on television the hundreds of youngsters who want work. What are we doing?