Dr Donald Peters
Dr Donald Peters

Here are two contradictory or complimentary thoughts about why you should or shouldn`t go to college

"You get exposed to new ideas, new thoughts, and new ways of looking at things."

"Colleges don't really teach you success principles. They teach you facts. They don't teach you how to think."

I read with total dismay and shock the comments uttered by the President of the Dominica State College, Dr. Donald Peters, as reported in the New Chronicle of 18th October 2013: "Dr, Peters told the graduating class that they should not be misled into thinking that a Prime Minister should not be college educated". If I recall no one indicated or suggested this, Sir. The Chronicle quoted Dr. Peters as further saying, "Don`t believe the people in society who say it is okay in the 21st century to aspire to be Prime Minister of a country without ever going to college...if you want to lead people, you should first educate yourselves", Peters declared. Well, Dr. Peters the first part of your comments is false; the latter part is true. As a holder of a doctorate and presumable well qualified and educated, we expect better than that from you.

Dr. Peters and many others must understand and must be aware that education is NOT a level playing field and some people, amoung them doctors, are blinded by the fact that many people in Dominica and around the world have succeeded without such esteemed college education but have been self-taught, engaged in similar work to that of a doctor, or a graduate and has held esteemed positions and undertakings in careers thought years ago to be held only by those with so-called college degrees or doctorates.

Well, Dr. Peters you have been fooled and you have used and abused your high offices and the occasion of success of many young Dominicans to cast falsehood, promote ignorance and denigrate those who do not have the fortitude and ability to go higher but have achieved the necessary educational competencies and continue to display it.

What therefore is the qualification for or of a President of Dominica? What is the qualification of Mr. Savarin while he was a minister of government and now President? Has he a degree or is he self-taught….if it`s the latter, then he needs to be commended for his efforts and for reaching this far, but I do not hear from the pundits who advocate qualification criteria etc asks this question of qualification of the President and others like the Mr Austrie, Mrs. Justina Charles, Mr. Petter St. Jean etc.

Many leaders worldwide have occupied the office of Prime Minister and President without a college education or a degree and those qualified who have given the opportunity to hold this high office abuse it as we see happening today before our eyes; many have been sentenced to prison for fraud, theft etc. Look at Haiti, Italy, China, and Africa. Is Dominica next?

Therefore I dare ask Mr. Dominica State College President what are the competencies one needs to hold such high office?

Dr. Peters, what about trust, honesty, respect for poor people, sense of dignity, ability to be analytical, be your own person and not have others guide you to corruption? What about respect for the Constitution, declaring all your assets, declaring your status of nationality so that you are not serving two-masters? All those are basic tenets of honesty Grandma taught us. Where do knowledge, experiences and competencies and concern for good governance come into play?

Many so-called qualified people have the so-called qualifications (degree, masters PhD) etc and just cannot perform effectively. The merits of being qualified are honourable and must not be misunderstood but this qualification business. Prime Minister Skerrit has the so-called qualifications of a degree, but in what? Is it English, and if so, how does that qualify him to be Prime Minister?

Coolidge was "distinguished for character more than for heroic achievement," wrote a Democratic admirer, Alfred E. Smith. "His great task was to restore the dignity and prestige of the Presidency when it had reached the lowest ebb in our history ... in a time of extravagance and waste".