This Wheatake is a continuation of Wheatake 77.
A civic minded person is interested in what is going on in his community, in this case the B. V. I. He not only shows interest in the happenings, but also shows a caring spirit and disposition, and is willing to participate in activities that would benefit the community. The early leaders in education(1940's and 1950's) realized the importance of civic education and in a limited way introduced it in the Elementary school which was reformed in 1958. The present Pre-Primary and Primary Schools together with a new created Post Primary School were the results of the re-organization of the Elementary School. The Post Primary School which was a type of Junior High School offered Civics as a curricular subject. It helped the students to understand the Pre- Ministerial community and its place in the wider world. When the B. V. I. High School (now Elmore Stoutt High School) was created in 1968 by combining all the Post Primary schools( or Divisions) and the Virgin Islands Secondary School (A Grammar School) Civics was removed from the curriculum. Today, students are required to complete some form of community service in the hope that it would help them to become more civic minded. For many students it has been too little too late, but as an assignment if executed effectively and efficiently can assist with building a civic character. Today's students will be our leaders tomorrow, we see it currently unfolding before our eyes. These prospective leaders need to understand the fundamentals of human aspirations which connect leaders and their constituents or followers. Unless they understand and internalize that human principle, the strategies, tactics, skills and processes employed in the training and educating process would be unsuccessful.
We should not deny that there is an ethical dimension to effective leadership and very often those ethical challenges are overlooked and neglected while trying to achieve set goals, meet expectations and complete required tasks. This is one of the instances in the development of education in the B. V. I when we "threw out the baby with the bath water."
Leaders need to accept, develop and practise the understanding that leadership is a collaborative activity and not a matter of position or title which features heavily in determining the behaviour of some local leaders. Our leaders need to be percipient and have the vision to see the Territory today is only a reflection of what it can become. As leaders they have a significant role to play in that becoming. Presently that becoming is travelling on a slippery slope- a dangerous place to be and a course that lacks the decency of humanity which our forebears tried to inculcate in us. Those forebears reminded us that "wilfull wastes make woefull wants" applicable to the tangibles and intangibles of life. They also "pounded in our heads and hearts" not to allow other peoples to "spell and pronounce for us" while we indulge in dividing and conquering one another. Remember the Good Book reminds us "you reap what you sow." We are sowing on a slippery slope ignoring "gravity and erosion."
"This society in which we live is radically changing. What previous generations saw as evil is now embraced as being good. It is a dangerous and slippery slope upon which we stand when we reject what Solomon called the beginning of wisdom-the fear of God."
- Dr. Charles H. Wheatley