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Tuesday 13 November 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Aligning social and economic growth

THE EDITOR: The outlook of the economy for 2018 has been described by the Government as reassuring. There was also an expression relevant to the turning around of the economy through factors such as an increase in the collection of revenue, a buoyant energy sector, as well as significant growth in the non-oil sector.

This is good news which every citizen should welcome as it signalled an enhanced environment, employment opportunities and quality living. In the midst of the economic growth, the fabric of social growth may be misplaced. It is essential that prominence should be given to the psychosocial needs of all citizens, particularly people at the lower echelon of our society.

Strategies should be introduced towards motivating this group to develop resilience and to transform their situations. The result may be viewed as the hallmark of economic growth.

The first goal of the “Priorities to 2020” in the Draft National Development Strategy (Vision 2030) states, “People first: nurturing our greatest asset.” This goal can easily slip away from focus but should remain the primary priority within the phases of economic growth in the context of social growth.

The psychosocial development of the citizens should be an integral aspect of the overall economic framework. Its role is to assist people to successfully navigate psychosocial conflicts encountered through their life experiences, while adapting in their societal environment.

As the economy grows, social growth should be on the same curve and may be analogised as being in a symbiotic relationship.

In anticipation of a healthy society within a strong economy, it may be prudent to distinguish youths as the agents of change, notwithstanding the impetus of social growth within the entire society.

A holistic approach to social growth with respect to youths may be channelled through sport, both recreational and competitive, at community, regional and national levels. These are opportunities for the youths to demonstrate their sporting prowess, leading to the recognition of their potential which may be translated into engagements at national or international events.

There is a positive relationship between sport and psychosocial development. In addition to the physical benefits, there is an educational component, social interaction, discipline, resilience, emotional stability, values; characteristics within the realm of social growth. Social growth should always be aligned to economic growth.

JOAN HARRISON via e-mail

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