Teachers who attended the workshop were given a smartphone by Digicel. (Photo: Camillo Gonsalves/Facebook)
Teachers who attended the workshop were given a smartphone by Digicel. (Photo: Camillo Gonsalves/Facebook)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

The voices from below cry deception, scheme, unscrupulous, and I conclude “EXPLOITATION”. Several weeks ago I wrote an article entitled “telecommunications robbers or providers?” and described a “rip off” as a bad financial transaction. Usually it refers to an incident in which a person is overcharged for something, or receives goods or services not of the standard expected for the price. A rip-off is usually distinguished from a scam in that a scam involves wrongdoing such as fraud; a rip-off may be considered excessive, but not illegal.

Today the issue at hand is the smart phone that Dr. Ralph Gonsalves promised to give each teacher on completing a training course that was intended to enhance teachers ICT skills. Our Prime Minister says he’s a man of his word and often warns us not to take him for a joke. But teachers were never told that these smartphones have conditions attached to them. In my opinion, these phones are not given freely. Condition #1: the phones have to be on a post paid plan. Dear Mr. Prime Minister, teachers did not ask for another bill at the end of each month. We barely make enough to pay our existing utility bills, not to mention our electricity bill.

Condition #2: two post-paid plans are offered by Digicel, which they claimed are specially tailored for the teaching community. However, how could you give us a plan without our input? Wouldn’t this be considered as a bad financial transaction if I accept? A “rip-off”! How could someone give you a shirt then turn around and tell you it is mandatory that you wear it on Sundays only? That’s the PM telling us that we will be getting a phone and Digicel telling us that we have to take a post-paid plan. Preposterous! The PM wants Vincentians to be more articulate, to be critical, and to develop citizenship education. This article is a product of the education revolution, and I speak for my fellow teachers and countrymen.

Condition #3: If the teacher does not take the post-paid plan offered by Digicel, the teacher does not get a smartphone. Mr. Prime Minister, didn’t you say every teacher will be given a phone on completion of the training course? As a man of principle, I refuse to make promises I can’t keep but in politics, “promises are for tricks”. We (teachers) would have turned up for the workshop without a “smartphone promise”. We embraced the workshop and looked forward to implementing technology in the classrooms.

At the end, we all have the choice not to accept the dirty contracts we have been offered. I refused to accept the contract and was told by the Digicel representative that I will not be given a smartphone that was promised to teachers by the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

In a democracy, citizens have the right to choose. However, Digicel tells me I cannot choose between a post-paid and pre-paid plan. Teachers need to be one voice and let Digicel know we want to choose between a post-paid and pre-paid plan.

THE POWER OF TEACHERS SHOULD NEVER BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED.

Vanrick D. Williams

[email protected]

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

9 replies on “PM Gonsalves aiding and abetting Digicel?”

  1. Dear Vanrick, is it worth coming here and writing about a smart phone and in doing so risk losing your job, the spite the malice etc that you will attract

    1. Vanrick D. Williams says:

      Do you see this article as meriting me losing my job? Then I see you’re one of those who are afraid of speaking out for the oppressed. Nelson Madela, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, among others have at least two things in common- They all spoke out for what they believe in and represented the people. I am no different from these men. People like you, Peter Binose will never be able to reach stage 6 (universal ethical principles) as posited by Lawrence Kohlberg. In Stage six (universal ethical principles driven), moral reasoning is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles.This involves an individual imagining what they would do in another’s shoes, if they believed what that other person imagines to be true. The resulting consensus is the action taken. In this way action is never a means but always an end in itself; the individual acts because it is right, and not because it avoids punishment. In a democracy, freedom of speech is a key element once it does not violate another’s rights. I have not violated anyone. I am just living up to the expectations of the ‘Ideal Caribbean Citizen’.

      1. Vanrick, yuh sure is NOT “Stage sEx yuh mean?

        WHY don’t you cease writing these bits of “gobble-de-gook” and try at some ting more within you purview?

        What a scatter-brained cold-blooded butcher of Kohlberg …

        Certainly, it is embarrassing in the extreme.

        And FLIGHTS OF FANCY about supposed ‘greatness”? I think I have a pal down Leeward who is said to be a one-time psychia…

        Anyhow ah hear dey moving the mad-house up dey in Orange Hill . . .

        Oh, by the way ON THAT OTHER MATTER.

        Is the pm giving you FREE CALL MINUTES?

        IF he or the business company [the same difference?] “GIVING” you something there, then ONLY THE FREE PAID-UP MINUTES WOULD BE WORTHWHILE or really countable?

        What is the blasted use of ‘giving’ a ‘phone instrument – – – IS IT AN ORNAMENT?

        Or, IS IT NOT RATHER A DISGUSTING ADVERTISING PLOY utilized and engaged in my business men and ‘hateful’ “CORPORATIONS” of the FASCIST ‘CORPORATE’ , or “crony-‘capitalist’ ” class???

        A mere BUSINESS ADVERTISING GIMMICK.

        Practised on UN-SUSPECTING VINCENTIANS with the connivance and complicity of a supposedly ‘SCIENTIFIC SOCIALIST, MARXIST-LENINIST, INTERNATIONAL soviet SOCIALIST “enlightened” politician???

        Boo – – – Ah give you an onion

  2. I am happy to see someone else writing and voicing their opinion about this issue…when I raised the issue on my own facebook page I was told that I should take down the information because I would be victimised…I did not because I feel I have the right to speak about anything thats affecting me

  3. Vanrick did the right thing. In this Vincentian (present-day) society, we need more Vanricks. Too many people behave like turtles, we must teach the new generation to stand up for truth and justice by leading the way ourselves. Witness someone being murdered and don’t come forward with the evidence,that crime will be unsolved and the murderer stays at large to murder again. We need a united effort on all fronts to rid our blessed SVG of dirtiness and worthlessness.

    1. james the lion monroe says:

      Anita, i like what you wrote, and i’m glad the eyes and ears of svg are starting to open to what’s going on in our country. If svg wants to get rid of dirtiness and worthlessness, then get rid of these crooks and limit the next govt to two terms. let them know that they’re here to represent us and not themselves. What the hell.

  4. Here we go again, another scheme to make money. I have to wonder with all these schemes going on is anyone in government getting any kickbacks and making money on the side.

    There is a famous saying from the PM “when the government is going out they tend to thief and thief fast”, and with all these issues of finances missing I wonder if that is what we are seeing here. When the next government gets into office we are going to hear about all the corruption that took place under this government and I believe most Vincentians are going to be shocked. […]

    OWN THE JAIL.

  5. Give back the PM and digicel them damn phone, who the hell they think they are. Brother man tell the PM keep his efing phone, If he giving you all a phone as a gift it should be unlock and without any conditions

  6. Well said Vanrick. I don’t believe they can touch you. You have shown Vincentian that they should not be afraid to speak from the heart. I also believe you have opened a can of worms because you set an example that many would now follow.

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