Fr Harvey: That’s not the answer
By LARA PICKFORD GORDON Saturday, August 17 2013
THE SPATE of murders in Port-of-Spain has prompted the establishment of a police/army post on Duncan Street, but Roman Catholic priest, Vicar for Clergy Clyde Harvey is not convinced this will produce a lasting change.
“Everybody is still thinking in the same box. As long as they keep thinking this way, nothing will change,” Harvey said in an interview yesterday.
He observed that nothing done so far has been creative or strong enough to deal long-term with the crime problem. Harvey said “radical changes” were needed but he was not prepared to comment on these yet.
He said prisons and jails were at the “heart” of crime, and “until we fix those two we can’t begin to fix the rest.”
Harvey said youths often do not have the discipline (including mental discipline) which school work required.
This placed them at a disadvantage and with promotions in the education system based on academic performance, they were more and more disadvantaged.
“Some schools and teachers are trying but the problem is more widespread than people acknowledge. We have created a school system that is not equal. Children are physically in schools but mentally they have dropped out,” Harvey said.
These children need a year or two of “personal attention” focused on the relationship between the student and teacher and not exams. Harvey said, “To give that bit of confidence you need to take up education as a personal venture. The exam thing is placing a burden on children which they don’t need.”
Commenting on the prison system, he said youths were coming out of jail worse off than they went in. Harvey said much of what was happening on the streets originated from the jails.
He said he smiles when people remark that they were shocked at how bad things had gotten. “When you look at their faces, they are not shocked.”