“Teach school children about local heroes”

POSTED: 01/30/12 2:04 PM

Mavis-Brooks-Salmon at tenth Lionel Bernard Scott-lecture

St. Maarten – Vice-President of the Advisory Council drs. Mavis Brooks-Salmon has suggested young people be taught more about local heroes and basic survival skills as a means to make them and by extension all of St. Maarten more self reliant. The suggestions were made on Saturday evening during the 10th Lionel Bernard Scott memorial lecture.
Brooks-Salmon’s specific suggestion has yet to be formulated into an unsolicited advice to government. She recommends the production of documentaries about local leaders and to include them in the school curriculum. She also suggested that more speakers give lectures in schools and to youth organizations about inspiring true stories. Young people ought to receive lessons is basic self-defense, survival skills, and skills like car maintenance and basic home repairs.

Brooks-Salmon’s entire lecture was built on the premise: “Do for yourself or do without.” She also asserted that St. Maarten’s current status is better than being part of the Netherlands Antilles.
“In the 1970s, St. Maarteners slipped into a complacency of letting others do things for them,” the advisory council vice president said.
Brooks-Salmon said that the quality of advice the government receives is better because almost all of the members on the Advisory Council are from St. Maarten. The body is not there yet though.
“We will soon have all expertise in house so we can stand on our own. In the beginning we struggled, but now our formation is almost complete. We use what we have and focus on our work. If we need to do overtime, we do, so we ensure that the government receives well thought out and well put together advices. We are getting there and if we need to we can also ask the Council of State for advice on legal aspect,” Brooks-Salmon said.

The Advisory Council contributes to national self reliance by providing checks and balances, Brooks-Salmon said. “Politicians do not know everything. We give advice and point out the effects of the law. We also ensure that the law serves the people.”
The lecturer’s focus on St. Maarten “doing it themselves” was also a point mentioned by the President of the Philipsburg Mutual Improvement Association (PMIA) Glenderlin Davis-Holiday.
“As a people we no longer need to wait for others to tell us how to run our island. We have our own professionals. I encourage all to do something that will help St. Maarten grow,” she said.
Saturday’s lecture was one of several activities that will be held this year as part of the PMIA’s 80th anniversary.

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