EDITOR, The Tribune.
Given the level of crime in our country I believe it’s time we reconsider compulsory national service for our youth (young men and women). Perhaps we could split the participants evenly across the defence and police forces and rotate them at the halfway mark of a two-year programme. I think the potential benefits to our youth and country would be tremendous and include:
• Teaching conflict resolutions skills, health and wellness and CPR.
• Fostering a sense of responsibility, belonging and pride in oneself and our country.
• Bringing together our youth from different communities and socio-economic backgrounds, which would improve understanding and empathy for one another.
• Exposure to positive role models in the police and defence forces.
• The learning of one or more trades/skills for post service employment.
• Teaching our youth to make eye contact, communicate clearly and respectfully thereby increasing their opportunities for employment.
• Classes in reading, writing and arithmetic.
• In times of a national emergency we would have a ready and able group of people to deploy to communities in need leaving the police and defence force available to ensure public safety.
As for funding, perhaps the United States or China would assist in the establishment or support of a national service programme through monetary backing or specialised instructors or educators.
There will of course be those with a host of reasons why this couldn’t possibly work but we need to do something now before the next child that is shot or stabbed is yours or mine.
A BAHAMIAN PARENT
May 14, 2019.