Culture of ‘undue diligence’

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THE EDITOR: We live in a world in which everything in comparison to the days of yore seems to have diminished in value, standard or performance. Wherever we turn, activists and the man in the street question the government of the day. In Trinidad and Tobago, the misinformed cry is that neither the party in power nor the official opposition have the capacity or human resource to respond to the imperatives of the age.

As an educator, I see many factors contributing to this sad state of affairs.

Very briefly enumerated, these include: our current approach to education which emphasises what to learn to pass examinations rather than how to learn and think; and a superficial and materialistic approach to living which has caused the majority of people to be more worried about what they have than who they are or what they can contribute to national development.

Among our young people, there is an increasing emphasis on what brand they are wearing, what cars they are driving, or simply what manifestations of wealth and splendor they can portray. Pressed for time and space, I conclude emphatically that, from three decades of participant observation, our deteriorating standards of governance (our politics, management of private enterprise and the public service) are collectively due to the culture of undue diligence and commitment we have allowed to emerge, and also the appointment of personnel in keeping with nepotism and political affiliation, and the weak organisational structures and processes which slowly but without interruption and with impunity evolved in the society and the workplace.

As a direct follow up, we have encouraged our children to believe that paper qualifications are all that are needed to fill a vacancy.

We clearly have to start paying more attention to our human resource training imperatives such as mentoring, induction, and performance management.

Raymond Hackett via e-mail

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