THE EDITOR: The Panorama results present us with a serious contradiction and anomaly as a society. The three top world-class steelbands this year hail from east Port of Spain.
We were treated to sheer excellence in musical attainment, demonstrating collaboration, group cohesion, sustained concentration, hard work and sacrifice, great memory and recall, high-energy performance, fantastic leadership and pride in performance.
But the stories coming out of this area during the year are about drive-by murders, high crime rates, warring gangs. From the schools we get reports of several primary schools under academic watch and secondary schools with high examination failure rates.
So how do we reconcile these two images, one of excellence and one of underachievement?
Is it not possible that the institutions of schooling as they operate do not capture something that the steelband captures? And can we harness this so that these successful bands become academies for the promotion of education through music, from where young people can graduate?
Imagine two or three such musical academies operating in Port of Spain, the UNESCO-designated city of creative music.