LETTER OF THE DAY - Get ahead of T&T with knowledge

Published: Saturday | December 7, 2013 Comments 0

THE EDITOR, Sir:

As a Jamaican, I am deeply embarrassed by the recent remarks by Trinidad and Tobago's National Security Minister Gary Griffith, who has reacted angrily towards promises on hassle-free movement made by his colleague, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran, between that country and Jamaica.

Mr Griffith is also reported to have said, "Trinidad and Tobago is not a mall, where anyone will be allowed entry." This follows closely on comments made by his prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, that her country isn't an ATM.

First, it was Barbados' immigration officials cavity-searching Shanique Myrie. Now it's T&T. The abuse keeps on coming. At least they are honest.

No Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas is going to interfere with their behaviour towards a desperate fellow state. There are more than 20,000 illegal Jamaican immigrants existing in Trinidad and Tobago.

How can we save ourselves further embarrassment and shame? The BBC's news education correspondent Sean Coughlan may possibly have the answer. In an article titled 'Battle of the knowledge superpowers', he gives us an insight into what the future will look like. Knowledge is power - economic power - and there's a scramble for that power taking place around the globe.

'Knowledge clusters' are being built in France to kick-start high-tech industries. There is a growth-hungry drive to invest in high-tech research and innovation. They are looking for the ingredients that, like Google, will turn a university project into a corporation. A million new research jobs will be needed to match global rivals in areas such as health, energy and the digital economy.

Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European commissioner responsible for research, innovation and science, sees investing in research and high-tech industries - under the banner of 'Innovation Union' - as of vital practical importance in the push towards creating jobs and growth.

As an example of a success story, a generation ago, they deliberately invested heavily in raising education standards. Now, as a direct result of this upskilling, the West is importing South Korean cars and televisions.

MARK CLARKE

mark_clarke9@yahoo.com

Siloah PO, St Elizabeth

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