|Student essay winners: Samell Harvey|
|Written by Samell Harvey/Wesleyan Methodist School|
|Thursday, 26 January 2012 11:12|
Editor’s note: Ten teenagers were awarded a 10-day trip to London for their essays on the topic “A 21st Century relationship between the U.K. and the TCI.” We will are publishing the winners’ essays in this and upcoming issues.
As one of the remaining overseas territory of the United Kingdom, we are expected to be fully covered under the UK flag flown with the Turks and Caicos flag.
The Turks and Caicos Islands is under the protection and watchful eyes of the UK. As a child, I would visit my grandmother during summer holidays, she would share with us stories about Great Britain, of yesteryear and where we are today the UK will always have the final say as long as the Turks and Caicos fly the Union Jack.
At 13 plus years of age, I attended a National Heroes Day on Middle Caicos and it was a privilege to listen to a presentation by Mrs. Ethlyn Gibbs a former primary school teacher, Mrs. Gibbs alluded to the struggle of our National Hero. The TCI first chief minister whom lost his life on an official visit to Washington, to negotiate the use of the United States money as Turks and Caicos legal tender, the continued occupation of the United States air force base and the United States Naval Facilities on Grand Turk and South Caicos, the delinquent children by the Americans across the Turks and Caicos Islands, inward investment, Turks and Caicos Islanders having access to education in the United State and Trade.
This high level talk with the Americans was a direct result of a delegation led by the honorable The Chief Minister to the foreign and commonwealth office to seek constitutional advancement for the people of The Turks and Caicos Islands. On the return of this very important mission to the United Kingdom, It was very obvious that the UK had begun to soften the ground for a cohesive relationship between the Turks and Caicos Government and the UK. It was at that meeting the Hon Chief Minister requested, that the United States Government should no longer pay the United Kingdom Government for Lease of Crown Land for the development of three fix base on two islands. Following two days of round table talks, the British concerned that perhaps the time is right for the government and people of The Turks and Caicos, to consider engaging in dialogue with regional government including The United States, on matters of direct benefits for the advancement and development of its people, but was clearly instructed that no attempt should be made to borrow without first seeking the UK approval. The Foreign Office agreed that the chief minister will lead a delegation from the Turks and Caicos to Washington with the British at their side as he and his team lead in the talks. With much surprise, they got double amount of what was the normal fees for the lease land. The Americans agreed to assist with the delinquent American children through The Turks and Caicos Government.
The United Kingdom demonstrated desire to foster a good relationship with the Turks and Caicos Islands, by providing VSO teachers at the British expense.
During those days fourth formers were spotted for their best academic performance and where necessary, would be placed in special class and subject to be taught by the British VSO ,then to a college and on to University all on the British expense. More specifically: there is an ever growing problem within the government four high schools which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. The overcrowded situation must be given priority. There must be more classrooms constructed for high school and primary school alike. Education must continue to be TCIG number one priority by ensuring the right programs are in placed to equip our students 2012 and beyond.
The relationship should open doors that Turks and Caicos Islanders could have free access to University level education in the United Kingdom at a fraction of the normal cost.
Social: Morals and Religion
Considering the TCI position at this cross road, the UK Government need to have a more outreached dialogue with civic groups and religious groups to find out how best the UK can work with the two to build morals in our young people. The religious communities play a very important role in the development or our young people. The churches represent the communities to a great extent. So it is imperative that the UK invite the two groups to the table now to be effective 2012 and beyond.
Here at home, I am told that the modern school buildings constructed in the early seventies were drawn by the United Kingdom government and further supervise the construction, again this tells me that the focus was preparing the Turks and Caicos for a transition into the 21st century.
As a growing country the UK must also see sports as a form of recognition and promotion for the TCI. In its aim and objectives to bring the country finance under control, funds must be in place to support our athletes who have proven that with training, we can compete in world events and win big. By 2012 the UK should have in position a contingent plan for bilateral with all the Overseas Territories sports.
The UK relationship must clearly demonstrate that tourism is the lead factor in the TCI GDP. Therefore the UK must seek to engage in joint clean up campaigns, beautifying the islands, and working close with the hotel association. The UK should facilitate the tourist board in promoting Tourism and training of the Tourist Board personnel. Tourism exchange programmes between the U.K. and the TCI should be fully promoted in this century.
The geographic location of the TCI suggests that we are a target during the hurricane season. After the impact of hurricane Ike, the TCI building code should be revisited, closely monitored and enforced. All flooding areas should be addressed on the highway and other areas. There should be people trained ready to plan to mitigate where necessary by 2012 and beyond. And we are always willing to support our ‘Big Sister’ in case of any disaster or world conflict.
Law and Order
The Governor is responsible for Law and Order. As parents must seek to equip their children to take on new challenges in the 21st century, so has the UK insisted that the territory keep within regional system of government and within various conventions that are required for order and progress. The UK government should ensure that our police force receives the best basic training in policing, law enforcement and management. This approach could only signify the UK Government’s attitude and their special interest to help The Turks and Caicos Government to prepare itself to be involved with the total development of its citizens as we work hand and hand towards the 21st century. The United Kingdom’s relationship with the Turks and Caicos Islands is a foster relationship with the commonwealth of The Bahamas and the TCIG, where the two countries jointly developed with The United State Government, a base in the Bahamas for the purpose of monitoring drugs movement within the waters and around both TCI and The Bahamas. I note that was not possible without the U.K Government’s financial support and commitment to the process. Such initiatives should continue in this century.
The TCI is at a cross road where we are confronted with the challenges of a global meltdown and a most serious political challenge at home. This presents an opportunity for the UK to move swiftly in making sound decisions, to establish the basic fundamental structure for the return of an elected government. This is the sincere wish of the People and it should be honoured by the U.K. Focusing on the welfare of the people both in Britain and TCI will surely make for peace and prosperity.
The U.K should now encourage British and other European investors to invest in the TCI ‘within the constitutional regulations’. The expertise and experience of these investors could assist the TCI to diversify in its industries.
Relationship in 2011 and Beyond
Where we at in 2011 in this the 21st century, it is quite obvious that in spite of all the positive accomplishments so far, there are areas that the U.K government should have focused closer attention to, in the interest of building a closer relationship.
In recent years, I believe that the U.K should have monitored closer, the areas where the TCI, can be sustained far into the 21st century. In my humble opinion, our recent years were not the best. There have been many unfortunate situations, especially in the present world crises. However, with my humble suggestions, the U.K. and the TCI can forge a bond of friendship, harmony and prosperity. I believe that the world can be truly ‘A Global Village’.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 26 January 2012 14:23|
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