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Ryan wants national race debate
Prof Selwyn Ryan is calling for a national debate on race relations. Speaking to reporters at the 119th anniversary of the Naparima College Founders’ Day celebrations on Tuesday, Ryan said too much misinformation and misrepresentation was fuelling racial tensions in T&T. “I think we need to have a serious national discussion on race relations to get rid of all the assumptions, all the misinformation and misrepresentation.
“I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it quickly and with taste and with moderation,” Ryan said. In his feature address, he also called on parents to take an active role in their children’s lives. He added: “Many parents do not take their children’s education seriously. It is important that they do this.
He said his own parents faltered in that regard but because of the late Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams he was motivated towards increasing his intellectual capacity by attaining his PhD from Cornell University in the United States. Ryan is a political scientist. “Dr Williams lectured at Harris Promenade and he inspired many of us,” Ryan said. He also noted that over the past few years the prison population of young black men had increased.
“This is a challenge we face and we will continue to experience these problems if we have poor parental supervision,” Ryan said. He said sound moral upbringing and discipline were needed. Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rev Brenda Bullock, urged the students to strive for excellence.
She said: “You should fulfil your potential, not just by passing but by excelling. You must be honest and have high moral standards. I encourage you to work today so we can have a better tomorrow.” Also speaking at the function were school principal Dr Michael Dowlath, deputy mayor of San Fernando Sabrina Mowlah-Baksh and college chaplain Keron Khellawan.
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