WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

If Talk Were All That Mattered

If Talk Were All That MatteredI’ve been to the Ministry before and nothing has become of it. The promises which were made in 2011, 2012, and 2013 are still the same promises made in 2014.

Has the Minister forgotten that she’s a public servant – working on behalf of the people? What misguided boldness! Such utter nonsense being publicly aired by a Minister of Government! That I, as a parent, know where the Ministry is - Clearly suggesting that if I have any issues, I should take my concerns there! Honorable Minister, I think it’s important that you understand that in government, there are going to be decisions you make (or actions you take) whose effects are likely to outlast the government of the day – And those, in my humble opinion are worthy of being addressed in public.



Also, please tell the good public that I’ve been there (to your office) and done that! Tell them about the emails I’ve sent sharing my views and suggesting ways that the Ministry could possible get things done. Tell them about the discussions I've had with you and other members of your team about this very topic. But as Martin Luther King once said…  "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." So, get off your high-horse and stand! This sort of superior attitude is what makes the public despair. There is a huge problem with regards to the provision of special education in this country. These deep systemic problems we’re faced with are not mine alone - And they are bigger than the speeches, the openings and the photo-ops we sometimes clamor for.

Regarding the Minister’s comments about my supposed attack on the members who sit on the Special Education Council… For those who missed it, here’s an excerpt of what I said:

“A Special Education Council was put in place… Good move: An advisory council could potentially assist the Ministry with drafting policies/programs/plans/reviewing budgets and giving guidance (relating to special education) on how to put those plans into action. Where I think you went wrong: Instead of looking as far as the eye can see with regards to assembling a diverse group to sit on this council – You, looked outside your office door. That‘s the only conclusion I could arrive at to explain why you would elect a senior executive within the Ministry as the Chair of this council - Added to that the other members (with the exception of one) are all Ministry execs.

By all means, this is not an attack on the competencies of the individuals who sit on the council but they are Ministry staffers and are conflicted, therefore, in providing independent advice to you. The council is unlikely to recommend actions deemed unfavorable by you or criticize any decisions that have been made by the Ministry. Therefore you and your team cannot receive the objective advice needed in order to make intelligent decisions. This clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of the processes of thoughtful planning which the provision of special education services requires.”

I’m not attacking the competencies of the individuals as you suggest. Actually, it’s your competency I question. You’re the one who has made the people doing the work both the doers and the advisers. How can you expect no one to question this? The actions you take have a direct impact on things and it baffles me that you’re unable to see this conflict. So, please do not confuse my right to be critical publicly with anything else. Don’t make that vulgar mistake that I’m somehow persecuting you or anyone else just because you’re being challenged.

Instead of working with the press to help the public understand what you are doing and why, you chose to defend your lackluster record where special needs education is concerned, on the grounds that you’re standing up for others. Give me a break! Quit trying to rationalize your phoniness into some sort of noble act. You’re not standing up for anyone! You’re using them as a shield! By the way, NO ONE! I repeat… NO ONE! Can be more hurt than the parents of these kids! At the end of the day you switch off your lights and leave your office. This is our ALL DAY EVERYDAY! So if you’re hurt, keep it to yourself! Use that energy to put the proper programs and policies in place to make the education system better for our children.

It’s so ironic that it suits you now to say that every criticism is a broad-brush approach. In a quote from an article posted on Caribbean News Now in 2013, you said: “This particular area of education has not been done justice over the years”. We're we to believe then, that the same folks you accuse me of disregarding now were being disregarded by you when you made those comments? Come on Minister… Give us all some more credit than that. No right-thinking person would assume that’s what you meant. Also, we agree with you! That's what this public conversation is about! Plus, at the end of the day, don’t you think those same people want better, more meaningful change too?

Here’s some advice… Don’t campaign on an issue, make empty promises, and take the job of Minister of Education, if you don’t want to be held accountable for it. We’re not accountable to you; it’s the other way around. This is our tax dollars you’re spending! It’s not only at election time you have to come to us – But you have to come to us every time! Get it right! I do not profess to have all the answers, after all, like you said I’m a “just come”. But I would love if at least once, after giving your excuses, you could tell the public what your plans really are and explain to us why the promises you’ve made have not been kept.


When the 2014 Education Week launched with a call for greater commitment – Again, what are you asking us to commit to? Can’t be blind commitment? Which, as far as I’m concerned is intellectual suicide – And I cherish my independence too much to allow that. But you know I once came across a quote which said: “The trouble with most of us is that we'd rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” So from me to you…

I will continue to be critical, because no government gets it right all the time. So stop treading on dangerous ground with your archaic views – This notion some politicians have where they want you to come to their office to bare your soul. So sing to the media and cry inside these walls. Perhaps it’s because of how I was raised and the fact that I probably watch too much MSNBC, that I find it difficult to accept that crap.

As I’ve said before, I’m an ordinary mom. The only special interest I have is for my son and others like him to have equal access to an appropriate and adequate education. I’m proud to be able to speak up and out for them and even more determined not to stop. So you see… Honorable Minister; I’m not asking for anything that you yourself haven’t asked for, said we needed. All I’m saying is: Talk is not all that matters…

Salma Crump


Reporting by Caribarena news, publishing by Ofer Shaked.

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8 Comments In This Article   

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RE: If Talk Were All That Mattered

#8 good citizen » 2014-02-19 18:49

I do not know the author. However, from reading the article she made some good points. The ministers in Antigua do have an air about them. Well said Ms. Crump. They forget who they are working for. Having a child who is challenged is not an easy road to travel. This is the same minister blaming the ABLP for the crime situation, instead of finding ways to combat the crimes. This minister does not place much thought in the things that come out of her mouth. The nation has invested so much into her financially. She is such a great disappointment.
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good citizen

Decently and in order

#7 Mr. Byam » 2014-02-19 15:13

thebanned-one,

I’m not suggesting that Antiguans shouldn’t voice their opinions or that Ms. Crump’s concerns are not valid, but attacking the minister because your suggestions were not implemented as fully or quickly as you would like smacks of hubris. If Ms. Crump is going to dictate policy, implementation, and appointment of councillors, then there would be no need for a minister.
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Mr. Byam

Mr. Byam

#6 thebanned-one » 2014-02-19 14:01

Mr. Byam, you are strange. I gather for you she should know her place? Not only is Miss Crump a resident of this country (a share holder) she is also the mother of a special needs child. She has a right to give her opinion and be treated with respect. Is it not the minister whose promises are still not delivered? As someone with a family member with special needs, I find myself in agreement with Miss Crump. They had a workshop on autism in July 2013, but forgot to invite the relevant teachers (eg ones at Adelele school). The government continues to show it is all about pulling the wool over persons eyes.
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thebanned-one

she too nuff an’ edge up

#5 Mr. Byam » 2014-02-19 11:29

Because you make one half-baked suggestion, the minister is supposed to drop everything and start implementing your half-baked idea just so? This woman is very nuff an’ edge up with herself. Who is Salma Crump to be barking out orders or dictating who should be sitting on council? She directly out of order.
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Mr. Byam

@ John French!! - Bomb Shell TONIGHT!!

#4 Skyewill » 2014-02-19 10:38

All those prayers for your picky head pickney dem are finally being answered. As they wake up you will see the change in the air. Know that God answer prays! Get this John French: “This clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding of the process of thoughtful planning” I SAY Not without consultants they don’t. MS Crump found them out like Skepple. I thought they had it also and then I found them out. All the fancy programs seem like just that FOR “SHOW”. Talk, Talk, Talk, is all they do and when you go see them they busy in a meeting, they give you business cards then disappear. Never return emails or phone calls. That is how your government works. This nonsense Must Change. Five more years! For what? When the children of Africa wake up and know you are made in the image of God, you will know there is none greater than you but he who is in you. CHANGE NOW! 3 more weeks to go. Just keep in mind CHANGE = HOPE
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Skyewill

Only one thing to say.

#3 Real Talk » 2014-02-19 09:30

Powerful!!!!!!!!!!!! And illuminating of the actual working of Government and its people. Don't mess with a mother!
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Real Talk

RE: If Talk Were All That Mattered

#2 ANTIGUAN WOMAN! » 2014-02-19 09:15

This is what this Goverment does best.Take no responsibility for nothing,pass the blame to someone else. Make excuses for all their failures. Then stand in the Parliament and try to sound like geniues and caring when every word that comes form their mouth has the undertone of arrogance and aggression.
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ANTIGUAN WOMAN!

Here Is Your Record ... The Defense Rests!

#1 John French !! » 2014-02-19 06:09

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! The Akan & Ashanti decided to move the Discourse from the Amofah Market at Da Bridge to "Spruggoo's" today. For "da fus thyme inna lang thyme" they moved away from the Ancestors who lie buried below Da Bridge. Wow!
Given the Political, Economic, Social & Technological Landscape in Antigua & Barbuda, One Akan said: Madame Crump is A Profile In Courage! A wizened Ashanti called on Anansi to offer his Statement Of Facts, Analyses, Findings & Conclusions.
Anansi quicly spun a web that sealed the Prey's fate. This most important folklore figure to all People of African Descent in the "New World", Americas or Caribbean, said:Madame Minister! You Stand Accused by a descendent of the Crump Rebellion of Conversion Insufficiency which the Mayo Clinic defines as occurring when your eyes don't turn inward properly while you're focusing on a nearby object. When you read or look at a close object, your eyes should converge — turn inward together to focus — so that they provide binocular vision & you see a single image. But if you have convergence insufficiency, you won't be able to move your eyes inward to focus normally. Usually diagnosed in school-age children and adolescents, it can cause difficulty with reading, which may make parents or teachers suspect that the child has a learning disability, instead of an eye disorder. Treatments are usually effective. The Defense Rests!
Oh Gad! Pray Fuh Mi Picknees!
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John French !!

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