Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Planning education for a better world

Dawn to refining the culture of education:
Deframing the Framework for Action to 2030

Dr Kris Rampersad, Chairperson UNESCO General Conference – 38th Session, Education Commission, Opening Speech, 5 November 2015 US CO Headquarters Paris France

 Your Excellencies,
Honourable delegates,
Representative of the Director General and the members of the UNESCO Secretariat,

Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me in the election as Chair of the Education Commission of the 38th UNESCO General Conference.
Welcome to all of you to these most significant engagements poised as we are between the seasons of change as we embark on implementing the reform and re-visioning of UNESCO and its role in a world that places priority on the needs of the next generations in a climate of sustainable development. And to signal that process of change, and of where we are placing our priorities, you will see I have seated here with me for this opening session, the representatives of the 9th session of the UNESCO Youth Forum.
Ms Biru ANJANIE from Indonesia, Ms Esther VAN DUIN from the Netherlands, and Mr Faisal Khalid BIN GHANNAM from Saudi Arabia.
Also part of our team are: Secretary of the Education Commission, Mr Borhene Chakroun and the Assistant Director-General of Education, Mr Qian Tang (Chan Tang) and colleagues who will be co-piloting the Education Commission with me. Once again I would like to congratulate (Finland), (Gabon), (Kuwait), (Pakistan) and (Slovakia) on their election as Vice-Chairs and Rapporteur.
Today is significant because we are celebrating the UN and UNESCO’s 70th birthday.
A local calypso bard from my region might say, ‘70 years have passed, how you feel?’
Calypso and the rich musical heritage of my land, as some of you may know, is generally celebratory, but it is also reflective, introspective and an articulate chronicle of the times, and so it provides a mood very much attuned to an anniversary as significant as the biblical milestone of three scores and ten.
I was hoping to get some of the music of Trinidad and Tobago played – calypso, chutney and indeed we are in the season of parang which all are part of the music of our multicultural milieu - to mark the end of your speaking time but we are hoping that we wouldn’t have to use music as most of you would respect the timeframe of the agenda we have set ourselves to complete.
Some of you would have participated in yesterday’s launch of the Education 2030 framework of action.  
It was another opportunity to take a close look at where we have come as an institution, charged with building peace in the minds of men and women, as is in the motto of UNESCO - the leading UN agency for education. More significantly, however, is that it provides an opportunity for introspection for all of us to assess ourselves, and our roles as leaders, as ministers of governments, as officials of the public and private sectors, as policy makers, academicians, as social workers as youth, as citizens, and as men and women – of our role in working towards the achievement of our motto of building peace in the minds of men and women.
Let us remind ourselves of the realities before us:
This year, we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of UNESCO. In 1945, we, the Member States, enshrined in UNESCO’s Constitution our commitment to build peace in the minds of men and women. The fundamental role of education in this process is no longer an issue for debate. Our pledge to work to ensure that all people have access to inclusive and quality education and lifelong learning opportunities that leads to fulfilling lives for themselves and future generations is the cornerstone of UNESCO’s noble mandate.
This year 2015 is also the year of global action for people and our planet: a historic and unprecedented opportunity for us all to embark on sustainable paths to improve the lives of people everywhere, protect our planet and address climate change and the interests of the small and marginalised.
Our heads of states adopted a new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future. Education is central to this new Sustainable Development Agenda, with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 seeking to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
Education 2030 is universal. It is inspired by a humanistic vision of education. It reaffirms that education is a public good, a fundamental human right and a basis for guaranteeing the realization of other rights. It is essential for peace, tolerance, human fulfilment and sustainable development. It suggests that we focus our efforts on access, equity and inclusion, quality and learning outcomes, within a lifelong learning approach.
The new education agenda’s focus on inclusion and equity requires the political attention and the need for increased efforts especially aimed at reaching those marginalized or in vulnerable situations and more broadly giving everyone an equal opportunity, and leaving no one behind.
The attention to quality highlights the need to shift the attention from only access to learning and learning outcomes. Teachers play a crucial role in improving the quality of education. This means that it is of utmost importance to change current practices and mobilize efforts and resources including Information and Communication Technologies at an unprecedented pace.
The Education 2030 agenda is also emphasising on the importance of Lifelong learning opportunities and the need for new criteria and for new kinds of learning outcomes. For reasons of employability in a world characterised by fast changing labour markets and growing insecurity, unemployment and underemployment, learning outcomes should not just be more relevant at a given moment but they should be transferable. New kinds of learning outcomes have become important as well. These include the ability to learn, to be entrepreneurial, to think and act sustainably and to collaborate and live together as global citizens.
In terms of structure of the education systems, lifelong learning perspective gives strong arguments for recognising the cumulative nature of learning, creating open and flexible learning pathways, providing a rich variety of learning settings, and recognising non-formal and informal learning outcomes. For individuals, the lifelong learning approach gives them a more active role and responsibility in shaping their own learning pathways.
Rather than viewing education in isolation from other Sustainable Development Goals, we should consider that the realization of the Education 2030 Agenda is essential for the success of all the others. The challenge ahead is both to give attention to the complex interrelationships between education and key development sectors and also to determine which education strategies, policies and programmes are most effectively linked to the economic, social, environmental and political priorities of the new sustainable development agenda as a whole.
When it is based on the principles of democracy, quality and equity, education is a powerful vector to bring many other economic, social and environmental benefits, such as better employment and revenues, raised productivity gains - fuelling economic development, social participation, improved individuals’ health, reduced malnutrition, reduction of violence and discrimination in particular gender discrimination, better care for the environment and sustainable consumption patterns and behaviours.
In this context, UNESCO should fulfil its five key functions including supporting its Member States to strengthen their policies, systems and capacities to transform their education system and to develop appropriate normative instruments and standards, to act as a laboratory of ideas and ensure a clearing house function. As the specialized UN agency in education, UNESCO should be a catalyst of international cooperation and should play a vital leadership role in co‑ordinating partners.
As I examined the Global Framework for Action for Education to 2030 launched yesterday I recalled a line from one of Trinidad and Tobago’s two Nobel Laureates for Literature:
“The purpose of education,” says a schoolteacher, standing before a classroom on the first day of school, “is to form, not to inform.”
It is a scene from Laureate Sir Vidia Naipaul’s epic novel, A House for Mr Biswas, set in Trinidad and Tobago, but it could have been any school across the globe. For how long has the focus of our systems of education been on forming, moulding, shaping, when it should be creation, formation, remaking.
This global framework - the Sustainable Development Agenda which includes the education goal SDG 4 mandates us, I repeat, to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
They are well chosen words. And if I were to de-frame them we will punctuate each word to absorb its significance:
Lifelong Learning.
For All.
We cannot miss the lyricism of the words lifelong learning – preceded as it is by the gaps we need to fill in the education process to make it inclusive – and nurture generations who can rise above prejudice and discrimination whether it is at political, social or economic levels that are responsible for so much of the social strife that occupies UNESCO’s attention today.
We have assessed the successes – and the shortcomings - in reaching the targets of the Millennium Development Goals.
But the world of change before us is not insignificant. It is a world in which all knowledge can be contained in a computer chip the size of our thumbnails; and it is the knowledge that we do not yet know that deserves attention.
We live in a time when all scientific truths that used be considered facts; are as liable to become obsolete as the next discovery, the next invention or the next unearthing of an ancient culture.
We all have testimonies personal and otherwise of the value of education and man of us are living examples of the ability of education for social and personal enrichment and fulfilment and to transform a society and poise us to lead meaningful lives as nationals and as global citizens.
But the challenges remain and the new agenda mandates us to recognise that most of learning occurs not inside a classroom wall but outside, not within school hours but outside on the streets, in communities, in religious institutions, among gangs and peers as my friends from the Youth Forum here can testify - and in families.
So in the education mandate, SDG 4, there is the significant word and which we must be neutralised if we are to de-frame the framework so that our education mandate to the process of lifelong learning are inseparable and indistinguishable from each other. That would set us well on the part of achieving sustainable development.
Colleagues, today feels like the first day of school. We are about to embark on perhaps one of the most significant journeys of our time; a journey that will lead us towards fulfilling our mandate, not just as a UN agency, not just as UNESCO, but as leaders of our societies, as teachers, as parents, as citizens.
That thought brings to mind the words of another of our Nobel Laureates for Literature – one whom we share with St Lucia, our Caribbean neighbour, or should I say famalee – as we do in Trinidad and Tobago – as, although minute islands- we see ourselves intrinsically part of the global as our roots are in all the continents of the world.
Laureate Walcott, whose works are inscribed on the UNESCO International Memory of the World Register, in his Nobel Laureate acceptance speech, evokes for us the primeval spirit that is contained in lifelong learning which finds fertile soil for germination and perpetual renewal in our region:
There is a force of exultation, a celebration of luck, when one finds oneself a witness to the early morning of a culture that is defining itself, branch by branch, leaf by leaf, in that self-defining dawn, which is why, especially at the edge of the sea, it is good to make a ritual of the sunrise.
… The sounds of leaves, palm fronds, and birds are the sounds of a fresh dialect, the native tongue. The personal vocabulary, the individual melody whose metre is one's biography, joins in that sound, with any luck, and the body moves like a walking, a waking island.
Distinguished Delegates:
Who in this room does not feel this force of exultation to celebrate this dawning of redefining a culture which is our task here – to remake the culture of education, bringing together conventional systems of education with original and primeval instinct for lifelong learning, clause by clause, branch by branch, leaf by leaf.
The purpose of our education agenda to 2030 is not just to form nor inform as Laureate Naipaul’s small island school teacher might pronounce, but also to remake, reform and transform; to break down the barriers of prejudice, discrimination, and conflict to respect the natural human rights as global beings that is at the core of the youth vision we would hear shortly.
We can ritualise that through our work here in this room over the next few days so at to provide our societies, with our own vocabulary for change, a fresh dialect for transformation, a native tongue for inclusivity with a self-defining melody that adds a spring to our projections and like Walcott’s awakening island, to create the world we want.
I thank you.

Dr Kris Rampersad is an independent educator and international development consultant/facilitator in media and culture and specialist in international policy mechanisms of education, culture, media and information and gender.

 Dr Kris Rampersad (second from left) with representatives of the 9th session of the UNESCO Youth Forum at the opening of the US CO Education Commission at the 30th General Conference 

Ms Biru ANJANIE from Indonesia, Mr Faisal Khalid BIN GHANNAM from Saudi Arabia and Ms Esther VAN DUIN from the Netherlands 



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Smart Response: Zika Control technology begins field testing

Have you noticed an outbreak of mosquitoes near you?
With the rainy season in the tropics, the announcement of the explosive spread of Zika in the Americas and the alert to Europe on potential spread by the World Health Organisation, testing has begun on a new mobile technology aimed at putting power in the hands of anyone who has a smart phone to become an active participant in the international mosquito eradication effort. 
This, along with establishment of a quick response network of individuals, communities, experts and officials involved are part of a concerted effort at mobilising and harnessing efforts in the fight against the deadly Zika virus, Chik-V, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Malaria and other mosquito-bourne diseases. It you want to get involved please inbox me.
World Health Organisation
/Pan American Health Organisation
Poster on Zika
The technology makes everyone a key player in eradication of the deadly threat of Zika and other viruses from mosquitoes and can prove to be vital in the global monitoring and surveillance efforts of not
just the spread of Zika but also on preventative actions by individuals, public health officials, scientists, governmental and intergovernmental agencies, as well as private sector and businesses  working towards eradication of the disease.
It can also facilitate planning and give organisations like the World Health Organisation/Pan American Health Organisation and their aligned regional and national agencies and agents, universities, scientists, epidemiologists and researchers a clear picture of potential danger and help in the mobilisation efforts to address with effective preventative action including eradication programmes of spraying, habitat destruction  that includes local level communities, groups, and individuals in the public, private, NGO and academic sectors.
The technology allows for multimedia information gathering, generation, verification, validation and management that capture data, as well as process, map, track and evaluate existence of risk conditions that will inform and mobilise preventative and proactive responses.
Among its potential spin-off benefit is its use of instant surveillance technologies that will help pinpoint and localise actual threat so limited resources can be focussed and effectively utilised.
It promises to add value and efficiency to the work of epidemiologists, pesticide and insect vector control, emergency response personnel, planners, researchers, media and other surveillance or response mobilising agents while at the same time heightening consciousness and giving individuals and communities key and active roles in the eradication and preventative efforts.  
The new knowledge and information-based technology and strategy in keeping with the WHO/PAHO Zika Strategic Response Framework which has prioritised research, surveillance, risk communications and implementation of vector control strategies for prevention and control of the spread of Zika and other mosquito-bourne diseases.
It comes on the heels of the declaration by the World Health Organisation that the Zika virus, spread by the Aedes Egypti Mosquito is a public health emergency of international concern and concerns sounded by the Pan American Health Organisation about the pace of regional response to the epidemic.
Its applications and outputs can directly inform and impact local to international level mobilisation of efforts by communities as well as use of data generated by technicians, health workers, epidemiologists and scientists who are being asked to get involved in this testing phase.
Its ease of use and accessibility through a mobile App, makes it relevant to every individual of any age or level of expertise as well as those who need key information to prepare actions and responses.
This initiative, part of an exercise in corporate social responsibility is being driven by a network of private, public, academic and NGO group of concerned citizens in partnership with first world technologies of the Americas.
Testing involves tailoring both inputs and outputs of information to be responsive to the needs of various user categories, from insect vector response agents to health officials to individuals and households who find themselves potentially at risk from mosquito breeding grounds.
If you are an official, corporate entity, or individual in any region in area of research, monitoring, or mobilising action for Zika control as an international, national or local level agent and interested in utilising, partnering, sponsoring, accessing information or getting involved in this initiative please inbox me for details.
Dr Kris Rampersad is an independent sustainable development multistakeholder, multimedia educator and outreach facilitator

For Your Information
World Health Organisation Fact Sheet: Zika Virus
(from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/)
·         Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedesmosquitoes.
·         People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
·         There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
·         The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
·         The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
·         Genre: Flavivirus
·         Vector: Aedes mosquitoes (which usually bite during the day with peaks during early and late afternoon/evening hours)
·         Reservoir: Unknown

Signs and Symptoms
The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is not clear, but is likely to be a few days. The symptoms are similar to other arbovirus infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. These symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days.

Potential complications of Zika virus disease
During large outbreaks in French Polynesia and Brazil in 2013 and 2015 respectively, national health authorities reported potential neurological and auto-immune complications of Zika virus disease. Recently in Brazil, local health authorities have observed an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome which coincided with Zika virus infections in the general public, as well as an increase in babies born with microcephaly in northeast Brazil. Substantial new research has strengthened the association between Zika infection and the occurrence of fetal malformations and neurological disorders. However, more investigation is needed to better understand the relationship. Other potential causes are also being investigated.

Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from theAedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical regions. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. However, sexual transmission of Zika virus has is also possible. Other modes of transmission such as blood transfusion and perinatal transmission are currently being investigated.
Zika virus disease outbreaks were reported for the first time from the Pacific in 2007 and 2013 (Yap and French Polynesia, respectively), and in 2015 from the Americas (Brazil and Colombia) and Africa (Cabo Verde). In total, 64 countries and territories have reported transmission of Zika virus since 1 January 2007.

Infection with Zika virus may be suspected based on symptoms and recent history of travel (e.g. residence or travel to an area where Zika virus is known to be present). Zika virus diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory testing for the presence of Zika virus RNA in the blood or other body fluids, such as urine or saliva.

Vector control
Mosquitoes and their breeding sites pose a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people.
This can be done by using insect repellent regularly; wearing clothes (preferably light-coloured) that cover as much of the body as possible; installing physical barriers such as window screens in buildings, closed doors and windows; and if needed, additional personal protection, such as sleeping under mosquito nets during the day. It is extremely important to empty, clean or cover containers regularly that can store water, such as buckets, drums, pots etc. Other mosquito breeding sites should be cleaned or removed including flower pots, used tyres and roof gutters. Communities must support the efforts of the local government to reduce the density of mosquitoes in their locality. Efforts must be made to eliminate mosquito breeding sites such as still water soon after rains and its accumulation in discarded containers and waste materials in and around houses.
Repellents should contain DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), IR3535 (3-[N-acetyl-N-butyl]-aminopropionic acid ethyl ester) or icaridin (1-piperidinecarboxylic acid, 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methylpropylester). Product label instructions should be strictly followed. Special attention and help should be given to those who may not be able to protect themselves adequately, such as young children, the sick or elderly.
During outbreaks, health authorities may advise that spraying of insecticides be carried out. Insecticides recommended by the WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme may also be used as larvicides to treat relatively large water containers.
Travellers should take the basic precautions described above to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Sexual transmission
Sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible. All people who have been infected with Zika virus and their sexual partners should practice safer sex, by using condoms correctly and consistently.
Pregnant women’s sex partners living in or returning from areas where local transmission of Zika virus occurs should practice safer sex, wearing condoms, or abstaining throughout the pregnancy.
People living in areas where local transmission of Zika virus occurs should practice safer sex or abstain from sexual activity.
In addition, people returning from areas where local transmission of Zika virus occurs should adopt safer sexual practices or consider abstinence for at least 4 weeks after their return to reduce the risk of onward transmission.

Zika virus disease is usually relatively mild and requires no specific treatment. People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain and fever with common medicines. If symptoms worsen, they should seek medical care and advice. There is currently no vaccine available.

WHO response
WHO is supporting countries to control Zika virus disease by taking actions outlined in the “Zika Strategic Response Framework":
·         Define and prioritize research into Zika virus disease by convening experts and partners.
·         Enhance surveillance of Zika virus and potential complications.
·         Strengthen capacity in risk communication to help countries meet their commitments under the International Health Regulations.
·         Provide training on clinical management, diagnosis and vector control including through a number of WHO Collaborating Centres.
·         Strengthen the capacity of laboratories to detect the virus.
·         Support health authorities to implement vector control strategies aimed at reducing Aedes mosquito populations such as providing larvicide to treat still water sites that cannot be treated in other ways, such as cleaning, emptying, and covering them.
·         Prepare recommendations for clinical care and follow-up of people with Zika virus, in collaboration with experts and other health agencies.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Disconnecting to buy local for sustainable living

Anyone know of a local alternative to #Microsoft and some other #software and #hardware technologies and upgrades?
Does sustaining local enterprise mean disconnecting from global technologies?
Those who know me know I do not like shopping and am an advocate to #BuyLocal so I would appreciate info so as to avoid that new #7%Tax in addition to the other taxes already paid on such products because we have not developed the necessary bilateral and multilateral regimes to ensure that locals benefit fully from belonging to a universally connected physical, technological and human ecosystem.
I am sure we have already injected significant investments in developing our own #knowledge products and #industry that would #sustain such activities even as we recognise that we are a self-sustaining #island onto ourselves already growing all of our own food, producing our own technologies and have fully developed alternative local systems to ensure we do not need to be connected to any part of the globe to sustain ourselves or economic or other activity. Of course there are always alternative endeavours to knowledge-driven engagements as joining our hard working friends on the Beetham collecting old bottles for sales... Some of the sustainable living options available....more to unfold here or anyone want to move beyond renewing, recycling and reusing old ideas and are serious about developing sustainable alternatives, contact lolleaves@gmail.com @krisamp @lolleaves @glocalpot #GlocalKnowledgePot #Worldwewantpeople #SustainableDevelopment #SDG #SustainableLiving 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Beyond the Boundary The West Indies and Britain Cricket Retribution The More Things Change ..Attitudes on Cricket the West Indies and Britain

Explore the Landscapes of Fiction
from Trinidad and Tobago
 with LiTTscapes, LiTTours, LiTTributes
What Do They Know of #Cricket who only Cricket Know 
Congratulations to THE CHAMPIONS: CRICKET LOVELY CRICKET: Celebrate BeyondTheBoundary and #CLR James From SporTTscapes in LiTTscapes.... the Empire STTrikes back - 

...and a journey down memory lane through the SporTTscapes to Heritage Reflections on colonial origins and British attitudes to Cricket in the West Indies and Britain.....

While saying howdy to media and other friends out there in the Empire, you know I've been waiting a long time to say #LondonHasFallen since this article about the treatment in coverage of the West Indies by the British Press - Enjoy

The More things Change ...The West Indies
and  Britain Attitudes to Cricket

Ask for your custommade LiTTour throgh the SporTTscapes of Trinidad and Tobago 
lolleaves@gmail.com @lolleaves @krisramp @glocalpot #Demokrissy #LeavesOfLife #CaribbeanLiterarySalon #Crickinfo crickinfo
#CPLT20 #T20 #T20WorldCupFinal #T20WorldCup
#Cambridge #Wolfson #Nuffield #London #Lords #Lagaan #SachinTendulkar #RaviShastri #DarrenGanga #GerardButler #SalmanKhan #ShahrukhKhan #DinanathRamnarine #BrianLara #DwightYorke

Request article:

Rum Curry and Cricket -Citizenship and the Commonwealth

Friday, March 25, 2016

Open Letter to Saviour of the Trinity Cross Key Keeper of City Guardian of Demokrissy

The More Things Change: From  Montage of Articles & Columns
on Social and Economic Development
(c) KrisRampersadArchives2016
Dear Father Tony,
Please hear my plea,
To revive the economy
Try that city key
Tho of you and me
Dey making bobolee
And the poor already
Heading to vagrancy
Save this country
We call La Trinity

I may call you that, Dear Father Tony, may I not, although we is not family, we are still part of the Trini famalee and the human famalee, part of the same national journey on the same ship, and I was part of your empire on the media side for most of me journalistic life and that was how some referred to you in revered whispers though others had less reverent terms; and it may be said, ’twas in your empire whence I cut meh journalistic tooth and whence my career was birthed and so you really are meh father in some sense of the word, eh Tony!

Is vexness that have we here yes, with no avenues for constructive and creative discussion and dialogue and debate, doors slam, you get put out, you vex, you become branded as part of the opposition! How many times you see it replayed in domestic and in national strife during your ninety-something years, Dear sagely Father Tony +Sabga?
Everybody vex, vex in this place, ‘though they hiding it behind big big smile and sweet talk, but I doh have to tell you dat. Just like how the contentious politics produce ah set a vex chirren, going off on their own way, mashing up party and forming new ones and voting out this one and that one and the next one to pay de devil or the next monster or canine; just like all them vex and mad and angry chirren/monsters and hoodlums and hooligans in school; we have dem in the media too, pappy yo, getting vex, walking off, starting Independent newspapers to Express themselves and create they own Daily Newsday and making the Guardians of Democracy cut they own standards downsized to tabloid and rag too! 
’Tis true, Father, indeed and in word I have been a prodigal a daughter of Demokrissy. Of this you reminded me the last time we spoke when we literally bumped into each other while I was trying to find the people who say they is people to sort out me car insurance at your ivory tower on Maraval Road, and you hug me and say, ‘Eh Eh, Kris, you abandon me’, and I hug you back and kiss you on your cheek and shake yuh hand and assure you that I hadn’t abandoned you, ‘I thought it was the other way around’  and you promised to fix it and I never hear from you again.
That was a lil while now, eh, some good time after I had returned from other prodigal outburst to AVM Television, later again as a founding daughter of Newsday to head your flagship Sunday Guardian  - which under its previous editor, Therese Mills, the weeklies liked to call the Jamete of St Vincent Street. Abhorrent of meetings, I must say I enjoyed our long private meetings Oh Father of Conglomerates on setting up that new newspaper, The Wire, which died a natural death – maybe it would have lasted a little longer if you didn’t decide you prefer me at the Big One, and then cast out the thought - just like its predecessor the Evening News, because while they might have been serving some needs for the public right to know they couldn’t really serve the bottom line profit line requirements of the empire!
The More Things Change: Montage of Columns
Discover Trinidad & Tobago (c) KrisRampersadArchives2016
’Twas some time, too, after I walk away from the organised institutional journalism mafia a dozen years or so ago, convinced that the future of media was a new type of media, responsive journalism that speak to the people, and although I was not in marketing, leaving a marketing plan and advertising concept to reflect the convergence of print and motion picture that no one wanted to touch then but which I see somebody just dust off and take up because maybe that’s how long it takes corporate giants in small islands to awake from slumber.
Deny me, once, twice, trice, if you wish, Dear Father Tony,  but daughter I am, the DNA proof is before you in this blog which derives its name from one of the last of the ‘C Monologues’ columns – see photo this page. I would be one of the first to admit and give you credit that this blog, Demokrissy is itself one of your offsprings, Dear Father Gate Key Keeper of the City and Guardian of Democracy, for being a child who run off on her own - because she ‘own way’, nah - just as is virtually the whole media of the Triniverse is here today living testimony of the fruit of your noble loin and toil, every one of them whether designer tabloid or rag, but most of dem too neemakaram to admit it.  Not me! I suck the last bit of pre-vatted salt and am ready to admit to the error of my ways!
I reckon my evil wanton ways, now, Father. What a slur that must have been on you, my Father’s goodly name to have those controversial ‘C Monologues’ spread out in the centrefold of the editorial page, shamelessly baring the society’s privates for all to see!
Why couldn’t I understand how justified were the boardroom disciples in crucifying it, calling for it to be constrained in consternation of its contentious content that seemed contemptuous and contradictory of contrived commercial and political constitutions and hence its, and mine, discontinuance which have been otherwise falsely attributed to a Chutney Bacchanal?
Forgive them, Father Tony, as I have forgiven them, for they knew not what they do!
Contrary to popular belief, I heard you understood those monologues’ conterminous connotations and tried to defend its continuation, but to contemplate that would have meant reconfiguring the conglomerate’s constellation so ’twas best to concur ’twas a contaminant of the body politic, rather than recognise it as a concise map of contemporary times. Who have control over what gets into the public minds, eh? Not me, even if I were to zip meh lips fuh the rest of meh life the seeds already planted and we have plenty wire, satire, lateoclocknews, and people clamouring for truth, peace, bread and justice, equity and respect, so I could really happily retire to that spot under the Samaan tree with my friends in Woodford Square.
For your coming to my defenses then, I thank you Dear Father Tony, in the hope that now by my father’s will, will open the minds of those in his many mansions in his kingdom to new plea, My Defences of Peace and for the protection of my hard earned and hard won goodly name in the name of Demokrissy.
Since I am in confessional mode, I admit, Oh Father Tony, to being one of the very few people who perhaps know that the political puppet masters and the bottom line profit pressures have never been your priorities - but the empire’s, just as I am beginning to accept that the long days night of resistance being over, that I am but only a daughter of this island empire set afloat but drowning in its own wasted produce, thoughts, words and actions.
The More Things Change: Montage of Articles & Columns
Resuscitation and Development of City of Port of Spain
(c) KrisRampersadArchives2016
Now, I too am sitting among piles of that garbage that I produced with the Ole Lady of St Vincent Street – otherwise mirrored in such national yellowing and dog-eared chronicles of our times as the Guardian of Democracy – and elsewhere since. I sit among these piles and piles of useless words, thoughts, ideas and actions as a reporter, writer, producer, strategist, advisor, activist, educator: from my newspaper articles and columns and television scripts and manuscript of short stories, films, plays, novels and documentaries, national committee reports and recommendations for more equitable and sustained development to revive Port of Spain and other districts too; to emerge from the ashes of the coup; to rehabilitate delinquent monsters and their parents, trade unionists and leaders of counter political coups; to resurface from the corruption; to regenerate from the environmental bulldozers; to resuscitate from the stifling polluters of people’s conscience – see photos this page. All beaming out headlines that look like they were written today! Static society. Nothing new in the news! The more things change!
In this panorama, I am surveying my options, Dear Father,  if I shouldn’t have left them for the fishmongers to wrap fish as is the erstwhile fate of all news articles or create a big bonfire and burn all of it like some people claiming to be of higher education, who, if they not burning, banning books.
That’s why, I have turned to you, Dear Father, Saviour of the Trinity Cross, Guardian of Demokrissy and Gate Key Keeper of the City; Corporate Conglomerate Magnate. Sitting here, stoned, tarred, nailed to the cross and head bowed with its thorny crown; dis-empired, de-nationed,  dispossessed and de-robed; on the auctioneer’s executioner block, to beg of you Father Tony - you whose rod and staff saved the nation La Trinity from the embarrassing auctioneering of our Trinity Cross outbidding the highest bidder with a lower bid, I am beseeching your mercy to save my head and the honour of La Trinity which has been marked for execution and character assassination in the eternal national chess game of blame, name and shame like every errant monster child of this delinquent tri-headed nation, though one State.
I beseech you, Dear Saviour of the Trinity Cross and Guardian of the City Gates. I had made arrangements to bring these to the feet of the former ill-fated Mayor Tim Kee to try and find a way of resuscitating the city quays and keys and he promised to meet me on a bench in Woodford Square but he had the keys and quays snatched from him and the brand new and youthful Mayor give them quays and keys to you, my wise and sagely Father Tony, and they are now dangling in your pocket and you there wondering what to do with it.
Having fasted for one hundred and forty days as you requested Dear Father Tony – do the math and you would see what I mean – I can see now the error of my ways: that rather than bow to the enticing temptations of the Almighty Dollar, thirty-pieced silverware or corporate promotion, I have followed false prophets of doom and gloom and a devilish path of enlightenment with dirty and false thoughts and beliefs that knowledge and information shall set us free which were planted in my mind by my birth father, a country farmer, who knew only how to live by the sweat of his brow!   
Dear Father Tony, in such a repentant mode, this prodigal daughter crawls to the gateway of the city in which is housed you’re the many minions and mansions of your conglomerate power - passions spent, wings clipped, dreams clouded, picking leftover salt and roti from discarded sohari leaves, beseeching to be folded back into the flock of the lambs who would be sheep rather than be slaughtered.
 You tried to warn me - in those days when we bounced ideas about, towards creating the new tabloid to Wire or rope in errant readers - that a mind or a life mean nothing here; it is only about which company or corporation or constituent you keep, and my hot mouth, the likes of which got other people fired, tell your henchman to keep it, I going ‘plant bhaji’ – and I walked into fields of freedom and boundless knowledge.
 ’Tis true that I worshipped not the one true god, the Almighty Dollar but false gods of knowledge and education and followed my birth father’s advice into paths of enlightenment where there are no cliques, so now I pay the price of the proleteriat, condemned with body and mind left to solitary confinement for trying to resist and defy the tunnels of darkness where and when it would have been easier to grope and cling to the cliques of corporate co-operative masses.
Forgive me, Dear Father Tony for believing that the pursuit of knowledge and happiness should take precedent over the pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. I have erred.
Forgive me for contending that as a messenger of the messiah and a chronicler of social truths that the media has a greater duty to the society than chasing a profit line. I have erred.
Forgive me for wanting the national discourse and national agenda to be about progress and development and not shame and scandal. I have erred.
Forgive me for begging and pleading and battling boardroom decisions for investments in human not just technical capital. You saw, what my idealist’s lenses were too clouded to see: the Judas’ among them humans, when technologies would never have betrayed me. I have erred.
And forgive me for running off and squandering my mind and intellect in pursuit of all of that in spaces that would allow for such errant behaviour, beckoning and welcoming such daring to believe that finally there was an opportunity to turn stone into bread for the hungry, disenfranchised, marginalised and alienated multitudes and for a more equitable and sustainable path to our development – another ill-advised lesson from my dearly departed birth father - when I could have been building and serving your noble empire, Dear Father Tony.
I have erred, Dear Father and Saviour of the Cross and Keeper of the City Keys and Quays and hopefully, Guardian of this Demokrissy.
I return to seek your benevolent mercy and kindness as I had sought in vain the mercy and kindness of the head of those other powerful mansions, the Houses of Parliament.  I must have erred in inviting the former Mayor Tim Kee to join me in Woodford Square to explore some actions that would help the vacantly starring vagrants of the People’s Parliament to utilise their mind, memory and experiences for the edification of all. He had them there keys snatched from him. His successor, the spanking young new Mayor, hand you Tim’s Key, so it look like I back, right there, where I started: dis-possessed, de-nationed, disrobed and disenfranchised, with Demokrissy under threat by a demonic censure mill intent on overpowering the memory of the world with a flood of garbage, and censure on thoughts, words, actions and books lest they be used for higher edification.
So it is as the Saviour of this Cross, La Trinity, I now, in the final analysis, address you, Dear Father Tony Sabga, unpacking these burdens and accumulation of useless knowledge as I prepare to meet my fate, whether it will be as a headless corpse, a mindless lunatic or a disenfranchised and dispossessed inhabitant of Woodford Square – all of which will inevitably tax how you put to use them there city keys, as the Saviour of the Trinity Cross, a Guardian of the Ole Lady of St Vincent Street and her offspring, the errant monster and prodigal daughter, Demokrissy!
Dear and Revered Father Dr Tony, maybe together we could put them city keys to some sustainable use for development of our city and nation, eh?
Kris Rampersad
Your Prodigal Daughter,
Of No Fixed Place of Abode
Soon to be Burgess of Woodford Square.

Vagrant's View of Woodford Square, Port of Spain
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