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The video above is a short clip of 9-year-old Lemar Irish Junior performance at the Calypso Show 2010. Everyone, who was at the show, was amazed at level of talent from this 9-year-old, and the way in which he brought out this message to the huge crowd.

There is a popular saying in my motherland (Russia), that “Every joke has just a little part of a joke”. So, I hope Dominicans got a message, because it wasn’t only for children and youth, but was mostly directed to adults.

I’ve noticed that several book stores closed in Dominica during last year. Now there are only few book stores, some of which you can hardly refer to as a bookstore; because of the poor selection of books they carry. For example, in most cases there are about 12 shelves (maximum) of books in the store, 6 of which falls under fiction or love-story books (which is useless), and the other 6 shelves either pertains to cooking, local authors and text-books. That is really scary! You can hope that Dominicans order books online, but I doubt it. People do not read at all…Why?

Most adults like to blame the children and youth, who now mostly interested in other things like TV, cellphones, computer games and etc. It’s always easy to blame somebody else. But do not forget following:

  • Who really provide television service and make available cable channels? These are the same adults who are in-charge of the local programming of television and radio stations. And why is it there are no radio talk show programs about reading and book reviews? Do you agree that encouraging Dominicans to reading would be more important than all the other gossip and political talk shows?

    Why on the newspaper they publish soap updates, but not exciting book reviews, which will encourage people to read these books?

  • Children always look for example. They see that adults saying one thing but do another. Really, each of us (parents, ants and uncles, friends, teaches, stranger in the café), do we set example? Do you take a book with you to read in the nature, in the bus or at work? Do you read at home? Do you share your expressions of what you read with somebody else? Do you suggest somebody a book, because “it helps me to understand/know/learn/achieve…”, “it makes me laugh a lot…” and you can continue.

When I was a very young girl, I didn’t like to read. I thought that my imagination is better then any book :), so my father help to light a love for read in me. I remember everything like it was yesterday, but I will tell you only about one example. He knew I like cats a lot and at that time we had big fluffy black cat at home. From time to time, he called the cat “Hippopotamus”. I thought, because it was clumsy after eating food, but at one evening my father asked me if I want to hear a story about our cat, and he read a very funny excerpt from a book. It was about huge black cat with name “Hippopotamus”, which can talk and walk. It was a very interesting for me, and opened my heart to this book – at one breath I read “The Master and Margarita”, written by Mikhael Bulgakov. It’s a serious book about soviet regime, love, spirituality and nature of the people, but camouflaged to a very funny story about the Devil visiting Moscow.

To date, I convinced that if my father didn’t show it to me the way he did, through my love to my cat – I would probably never discover or understand that book. And most importantly, if he didn’t help me to discover a lot of other books, I would probably never like to read as I do now.

So, if our children do not like to read, it is not fully their fault! It is your responsibility too. If we want to build and develop this country, we need to start from encourage to reading books. Because the book is not only the door to other wonderful world, but it is the best teacher, university and source of wisdom!

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Now that the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) results are out and there is bound to be the usual excitement over those students who would have done exceptionally well as far as their results are concerned.

For many Dominican students these examinations are stepping stones as they try to discern the path along which they might want to travel as far as their careers are concerned. Many of these students are now getting the first hints on whether or not they should continue with dreams as they moved from one level of their formal education to another.

Having said that, we now have to wonder what might be in place, compliments of this country’s authorities, to properly assist these young people, whether they decide to further their education or to enter the work force early.

Government will certainly have to be very creative in get jobs for these young people once they have committed to joining the work force while the private sector would need to be a bit more willing to offer our youths a chance of making something of themselves. If this is not happening, then there will be too many people going around this country with nothing to do but getting into trouble with the law.

In any case, it will be government with the headaches to try and find rehabilitation programmes when work done upfront might have worked to the positive development of the young people. The private sector also has much to gain by assisting as it is their businesses that will bear the brunt of any assault of a people feeling that they have no where to go and no one to turn to.

So while we’re excited about the good news of excellent examination results, we are forced to ponder “what happens from here” and come up with very few answers.

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With hundreds of students immigrating from Dominica every year in pursue of high education; is it really worth doing a university degree?

In these difficult times with more unemployed graduates returning home and higher tuition cost leaving more and more of these graduates in debt. Doesn’t make you wonder if it’s really worth it?

Not everyone thinks a college degree is valuable; business tycoon Donald Trump, thinks experience is better than education.

“I talk a lot about education because I think a good college education can really take you far in life. At the same time, however, some people are incredibly book smart but are clueless when they deal with the real world. Others are street smart but can’t handle anything other than what they’re accustomed to.”

Most people choose a degree because they’re interested in it or it’s the appropriate thing to do, but for many children coming from middle-income homes throughout the region don’t have that luxury.

And if it’s a choice between investing in small businesses and sending people to university, is higher education a luxury our small island society can afford? I personally believe in investing more in small businesses – young entrepreneurs with ideas that can stay back and help develop the economy.

Don’t get me wrong, knowledge is essential, but knowledge alone certainly isn’t enough. You must be able to act on your knowledge. You must put it to work because doing is how you learn and how you ultimately prove yourself. But then again that’s just my humble (no degree) opinion.

Have your say!

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