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Too many people in St-Martin have a tendency to say that if the economy of the French side is so bad, it is only because there is no port for tourists ships or because all the interesting things are on the Dutch side or again that French side is not enough modern. But to me the problem does not only lay there. This is only a infinite part.
Even if we construct the biggest and most beautiful port for the French side as some want to, we will still have the problem because the greatest problem we have is delinquency and the fact that our police officers are incapable of intervening in urgent situations without have the gendarmes (French military police). It is not to blame no one and I respect police officers, they do what they can but I think it is over time for those people to obtain a serious training for intervening in some situation. Even if right now delinquency is not sky rocking in French SXM and even if it seems to have diminished a little bit, there are things that need to be done so businesses would not feel threatened when they open their doors and so people would feel secure in town.
Besides the problem with our police training, we also have a problem where education is concerned. We need to push our young people forward and for this I can see there are many efforts that are done but I happen to think that we are taking the problem by the wrong side we have to redo its bases. If today we have problems with violence in general is mostly a lack of education. Okay, school is obligatory from the age of 6 to 16 (if I am not mistaking) but in St-Martin the system does not really give a chance to a child that has difficulties to make it out unless his or her parents have the means to send him/her to a private school. I’ll give a simple example in a class of 21 pupils of primary you have over the half that cannot read or write, the teachers are forced to either favor those that have a very good level or those who do not. In both cases the result is bad because you cannot force a child to stop developing himself intellectually nor can force him to do it faster. A child learns at his rhythm even if you have to be a little strict and if this child cannot ketch the rhythm by working at school nor at home then he is bound to fail. Some people say it is the parents fault but when a parent cannot help his or her child, you cannot blame them because not all parents know how to do it or have the education needed to do it. Our system is like a vicious circle. We need to separate those classes even if only from primary to lower high school and re-integrate those children according to their improvements. Some people think this will favor discrimination but it is not true. In Guadeloupe they have something like that in some areas and it functions well. I know someone who is right now a cook in France after passing through it and that is planning to open her own restaurant while most of us that went through the normal schooling are not close to having a job.
We also have the fact that parents do not watch and do not make their children watch the news. I really hated as a child that they would force me to sit and watch the news (even when they did not watch it themselves) but now, as an adult, I say thanks for it because it opens people’s mind. I do believe that if we made it obligatory in primary for children to read in the morning a newspaper in class even if only 30 min in the day and if we made sure to change those newspapers often it would be a start for fighting delinquency : this fight has to begin in our children’s the minds of. A child learns as much from adults as adults learn from children. Even if a parent tells his child he is speaking rubbish, later on he will be forced to think the child’s words and even if they don’t realize it. No one can say the contrary, it does affect our way of thinking. I think there is a lot to do in our situation but this is a battle that should be fought by all of us St-Martiners: government, people, parents… all of us!
I don’t know what you think but to me this is a major problem and we have to deal with it now not in 5 years. This is a mean as another to open new horizons for our people and to make them realize that no one is bound to fail. A failure is a test or a lesson that only can make you stronger. No one is forced to turn himself/herself to robberies, crimes or whatever to get through there are many things that are only waiting to be discovered and known. I always thought everything good and bad happens for a good. If we fail there it is maybe that we have to think it over, change it or try something different. Don’t you agree?