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Request to the Mayor of Vacoas-Phoenix
We would like to draw the attention of the Mayor of Vacoas-Phoenix to the daily inconvenience that the bridge at the end of Tranquille Road, Vacoas, has brought about in our lives. Since works started on its construction, we (mostly old-aged people) need to walk a long distance to go to the Shivala. We would appreciate if the Mayor would kindly intervene to ensure that the construction works get completed at the earliest.
Inhabitants of Vacoas-Phoenix
Construire une politique alternative?
I refer to the interview of Jack Bizlall in a recent edition of MT (Friday 19 Feb). He should have elaborated on how we should go about to “rassembler, unifier et construire une politique alternative crédible”. He leaves it to the meeting of 12th March to answer that question.
It is the problem of the left: they cannot take the decision to implement something with a clear plan of action or, if they do, it is so much steeped in ideology that it turns out to become impractical. They have to evolve out of this mould.
When will that happen? No one knows! Maybe when the people have been raped again by weird political alliances at the next elections!
Another five years in the opposition!
The people should ask themselves what will happen if a Labour Party-MMM alliance does materialise. Can one imagine the main opposition Conservative Party in the UK begging for an alliance with the governing Labour Party? It is well known that parties do not seek pre-election alliances for the benefit of the people, but for their own benefit. Alliances, if any, should normally be contracted after the elections if the main elected party does not obtain a working majority. PM Ramgoolam always said he preferred clear rather than easy elections. It would appear that he may have changed his mind – just like he did with respect to SAJ and given now that he is looking for a 75% majority to be able to amend the Constitution.
In a pluralist democracy, there must be an effective opposition. An honest opposition would try and persuade the people that it would do a better job. Addressing Conservative members at the spring conference of the British Conservative Party in Brighton, David Cameron talks of his « patriotic duty » to beat Gordon Brown at the next general elections and said that he has « got what it takes to turn this country around ». This is what is expected from an opposition leader. However, nothing prevents any opposition party from working with the government in matters of law and order, defence, and so on.
The argument that the main political opposition party should form a political alliance with its main opponent in government to be able to do this is deeply flawed and hides something very sinister indeed. The fact is the MMM, which earlier said that the Labour-led government would not last its five-year mandate, cannot now live with the prospect of spending another five years in the opposition.
M Rafic Soormally
Protect the child
The Ministry of Health is responsible for public health and sanitation and for offering such assistance as may be possible within its budget to persons who do not enjoy private health care facilities, that is to say a large majority of the population. If anything goes wrong with the scope of its services, it has to bear the cap. So, understandably one of its most important duty is to prevent maladies, for it is cheaper and in every way better to prevent than to cure at the cost of millions of rupees.
As far as school children are concerned, is their health the responsibility of the government alone or of the parents as well? On which side should they stand? Why do parents remain silent and let the government carry the burden alone as far as eatables of the school canteens are concerned? Shouldn’t parents should join hands with the government in its efforts to protect their children from unhealthy foodstuff? They should not allow the school canteens caterers to endanger the health of their children.
Now, the government should not yield to pressure from the street. Profit-making at the expense of innocent children should be stopped at all cost.
“Snacking” during all the day is inviting the scourge of obesity. Mauritius is making rapid strides in improving its position on the list of countries afflicted with diabetes. Soon it will top the list.
Second, the issue of private tuition, which has now become nothing less than another form of business – there is absolutely nothing private about it. Only students who are assessed in the 40-50% range or below need private coaching or a special consideration.
I have been a teacher for 35 years. In the last years of my career I taught Standard VI pupils, very often A-section. I refused to give private tuition to any student. I was giving so much homework that the pupils had no time left for any extra work to do. All my pupils scored A, excepting a few rare cases of B, in all subjects. All got admitted to the best State and private colleges.
I would also like to say that I had never used Creole in my class. Creole or no Creole, there will always be failures. There are 30% of failures in France although all students there understand, speak, read and write in French.
Some teachers are almost relaxing in classes, often absent on various grounds. And no parents care or dare complain for fear of reprisal. The teachers’ unions are accomplices in this business.