26.9 C
St John's
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
HomeLocalNational Abroad Advocates for Tourism, Education & Health Sectors to be Priorities

National Abroad Advocates for Tourism, Education & Health Sectors to be Priorities

Nationals of Antigua and Barbuda living abroad are closely monitoring national developments in the twin island state and a holding the government accountable for leadership or lack of leadership of the nation’s business.  

One former resident who migrated to the United States over 20 years ago, said matters of tourism, education and health must take prominence in the governing agenda as these sectors are lifeline through which citizens can be energized, mobilized and fueled for national productivity and prosperity.

Jason Martin, 40, said while there is some rays of hope in the previously mentioned sectors, such as tourism, there is plenty room for improvement to ensure maximum efficiency and capitalization of the island’s natural beauty.  One of the areas of concern the national told the Antiguan Trumpet is in the area of tourism.  

He noted that efforts were made to ensure frequent and affordable flights from New York, however, greater effort must be formalized to ensure that tourism officials tap into larger cities, including Florida, to ensure that not only is Antigua/Barbuda is capitalizing on that market, but also ensuring that its nationals can easily obtain flights to and from their homeland.  The avid national observer outlines that every effort must be cultivated to ensure that the cost of air travel is kept within the pockets of the average income earner.

It has often been said that the nation’s wealth is grounded in the health of the residents. Martin, who was trained and worked in the medical sector for several years, noted that while some great strides have been made in the health care sector, Antigua and Barbuda is still lacking behind in providing professional and timely services to the nation.  

Speaking directly to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to challenge the medical professionals the world over, Martin said “a national council should have been established to lead and guide the country through this perplexing catastrophe.”  Moreover, Martin asserts that an experienced and trained health professionals should have taken the lead of conducting press briefings and developing a national strategy to combat the global plague.  He calls for more and frequent press updates that will address residents’ concerns as well as a more feasible plan that is developed by the nation’s talented and capable health and communications specialists.

Another point of concern is the health care sector and the residents seeking medical attention.  According to the CDC, the average person is expected to live until 78 years.  Therefore, the health care worker notes a greater thrust to caring for the elderly population and those are in needs of medical attention and cannot afford to visit the private clinics.  For example, he noted that there must be a concerted effort to “reduce the waiting time, a better flow of operations to ensure efficiency”.  

Antigua/Barbuda has a great hospital and this country should set the standard that is emulated throughout the Caribbean.  Martin noted that while this is not an easy undertaking, proper management, reorganization and strategic planning are crucial in the mission to achieve a formidable health care sector.

Finally, Martin said that education is close to his heart as obtaining his qualification is the health care position him to make an impact on the world and live a more financially independent and satisfying life, thereby catering for himself and family.  Therefore, revamping the education system should be paramount feature of the education ministry.  The new and re-focused model should include more emphasis on “mathematics and English language, which even greater emphasis on science, technology and even the arts.” 

According to Martin, while the current education model served its purpose in former years, one has to wonder if the model is not antiquated and has lost its luster thereby causing some students to become disinterested and unmotivated.  He argued for a long-term education process where students’ strengths can be identified early and a long term plan to advance these students in the areas of their strengths and most promising abilities.  

Additionally, he said students should be given the opportunity to participate internships and or community service projects to help harness their humanity and volunteerism from an early age.  He believes that volunteerism will help to commensurate the students’ skills as well as develop a sense of loyalty and patriotism.   

Martin said that Antiguans/Barbudans continue to make significant contribution from abroad and Government must make a concerted afford to garner and address their views as nationals overseas since they can make significant contribution in the development of their country.  Through regular dialogue, Martin asserts that regular group meeting, and open dialogue are crucial in building a strong link between overseas nationals and their homeland. 

Most Popular

Recent Comments