Thu | Jun 24, 2021

Are we truly independent?

Published:Tuesday | May 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I can recall hearing from my teachers, grandparents, and I can also recall reading in books and local newspapers that Jamaica gained Independence in August 1962. We are now celebrating our 50th year of Independence in this our island home.

But is this an achievement we should be proud of? Did we achieve our objectives by divorcing ourselves from the mother country? Were we mature enough to take that first significant step? Or are we struggling to stand up, let alone walk? How can a country be independent and still have so many unattended issues?

Let's take the state of our roads as an example. In Jamaica, we have some of the worst roads in the world. They are so riddled with potholes that a journey that should take half an hour runs close to two hours to complete.

We have a welfare system called PATH, which was implemented in 2002. Is this a programme funded directly by the Jamaican Government, or one really funded by the World Bank?

Is our electricity provider, the Jamaica Public Service Company, truly Jamaican? This monopoly can treat us however it feels. Is this Independence?

Jamaica's currency is made in England. Are we still dependent on the 'mother country', or are we independent? Wouldn't we be better off being 'mothered' by Britain?

KIMESHA SMITH (Student)

Claude McKay High School

James Hill PO, Clarendon