Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
July 27, 1975
completely irregular
Physical Description:
no. : illus. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note:
Includes supplements.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Tapia House Pub. Co.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
000329131 ( ALEPH )
03123637 ( OCLC )
ABV8695 ( NOTIS )

Full Text





THE first of Tapia's series of meetings to elaborate
and present for Public discussion Seven-point emer-
gency education plan took place last Wednesday night
at the Public Library in Port-of-Spain.
Before a full Library audience, main speaker for
the night, Tapia Secretary Lloyd Best, emphasised
that much of the sound and fury had been of limited
relevance to the real needs of the education system.
The most important question he stressed was the
quality of the education, the "productive capacity"
of the system. To focus our attention on the question
of numbers, or on the issue of one-tier versus two-
tier, he said, was a waste of energies.

But if we were to take
steps now to improve the
"productive capacity" of the
entire Education system, then
it was necessary, first of all
that we take a careful inven-
tory" of all the existing educa-
tional resources both actual
and potential. We should seek
ways to integrate them all into
a comprehensive program for
Also important, he said,
was that above all in the
Education system, such
change could not be sudden
or too precipitous for this
would only serve to heighten
the confusion in the&ysYter-ff--
The only people who would
benefit from that confusion
would be those classes with
the political and social influ-
ence to make capital out of it.
.- After the main speaker,
the House was invited by
Chairman Denis Solomon to
make comments and critic-
isms. There ensured a very
lively debate.
One lady member of the
audience declared firmly that,
apart from the suggestion for
the decentralisation of school
administration, through the
creation of school boards and
an Education Council, there
was nothing in the Tapia
proposals with which she
could agree.
As far as she was con-
cerned, the Tapia proposal
was for exactly the same
things as did exist at present.
She said that what needed
to be done was to ensure for
all children over the age of
eleven a place in a Junior
Secondary school.
Another member of the
audience+- a young man,
received repeated rounds of
applause from the members
of the panel as well as from
the audience. He was sup-
porting the Tapia proposals
for opening up the range of
possibilities available in the
Education system so that all
students would have the
opportunity to pursue sub-
jects in harmony with their
interests, capabilities, and
The meeting came to a
close at about 10.30 though
for a long time afterwards
members of the audience were
involvedin debate and discus-
sion over the merits and





Eight types of establishments

1. Post-II Divisions or Departments in Primary
2. Existing denominational and assisted all-age
schools with and without sixth forms.
3. State All-age schools with and without sixth
4. State Junior Secondary Schools.
5. State Senior Secondary Schools including Sixth
6. Private Secondary Schools, all age'or not; de-
nominational or secular.
7. Sundry central educational facilities, strategic-
a. lly -dispersed in the North, South, East, Deep
South, Central, Tobago.

Reading, Information and Library Centres
Regional laboratory and workshop
facilities for science and for trades
District sporting and recreational facili-
Youth,Camps, Technical Schools, Farm
Places in industry, agriculture, artisanry,
commerce, government etc, all select,
registered, subjected to inspection and
subsidized where necessary;
8. A National Service Establishment with camps
dispersed throughout the country.

A National Conference of citizens to be called
before September to discuss the entire Education
system. The conference might use as its working
papers, the UNESCO Report, the Government's 15
year plan, and a White Paper presented by the Gov-
ernment setting out its long and short term perspec-
tive and programmes.

Special Taxes to finance the major changes in the
Education system.
1. Sales tax on alcohol, cigarettes, luxury
goods and above all on gasoline.
2. An Education Levy to replace the current
unpopular Unemployment Levy.
Special Works Labour will be diverted to con-
struction of Educational Facilities.

demerits of the proposals.
The next meeting in the
series will be at the Town
Hall in San Fernando at
which the main speaker will
be Tapia Community Secre-
tary Beau Tewarie.


A programme of immediate diversification of a
number of prestige schools.
We have mentioned eight possibles to start the
These schools satisfy a range of criteria.
They mix Church & State & the religions
They span the regions
They contain boys and girls
The-have the cultural traditions, the admin-
istrafive competence and the technical!
command to provide the experiment with
the best possible chance of success.

Higher National School Leaving Certificate for
those 18 years and over.
National School Leaving Certificate (Preliminary,
Intermediate and Final) for Ages 14-17.
All Certificates will have three components.
1. The 0 and A Levels
2. National Craft Certificate based on General
Science,Basic Mathematics,
Science, Basic Mathematics, Apprentice-
ship work and Placement at Centres.
3. Social Studies Diploma based on Language
and Communication skills, the Humanities
(Sports, Drama, Music, Art, etc.), Social
Studies (Caribbean History, Geography,
Commerce etc.)

The establishment of School Boards to manage
all Secondary Schools .. including State schools.
Principals to serve as the Secretaries of Boards.
The Ministry will solely deal with Boards.
The Boards can serve as the instruments of
community mobilisation. This rising among the
people is evidence that we are ready for that.
Vigilance is the price of freedom.
The Boards to be represented at the national
level on a National Council for Education as proposed
in the UNESCO Report.
The Boards can also serve as from which Local
Education Advisory Committee, can be created.

Possible postponement of the School Year until
January 1, 1976 in those schools listed for experi-
mentation, in order to facilitate the administrative
arrangements which will be necessary.

Next Week we shall
present a full statement
of position on the Educa-
tion Question.

--- g

~Silr ~'~

,vot. S, Not. 30c

SUNDAY JULY 27,-1975

-=Sa '
UIjim sii IH.



THOUSANDS upon thousands of
us youths, in the main thirty-
four and under,joined the cortege
that witnessed the burial of Clyde
Blondell. Glory Guys us all, we
stalked death along the way.
'Mercy, mercy, who next?' was
the question stamped on the
backs of the sporting gear we
From one walk of life we
came to pay our last respects.
And in droves we returned from
Lapeyrouse Cemetery breathlessly
making haste in the dusky grey-
blue of dying light. We walked
eastwards to our homes in the
East of Port-of-Spain. To Bel-
mont in the north. To John John
in the south. We descended to
our poverty in fact poorer, not
just by one -but by Blondell.
Shot at point-blank range.
Dead. But he was one of Us.
Black, going on thirty-three
(33), foster-son of Tantie Ivy,
early wrop out of the education
system, maestro on the double-
tenor, keen amateur footballer,
an additional member of at least
seven extended families, city slum


dweller, landless, commonlaw
husband of 19-year-old expectant
mother community leader, and,
notwithstanding all that, un-
Dead. But he was one of Us.
Neither was it by guess nor
was it by design that we turned
up and spilled out in our thou-
sands to morn his death. For as
an issue Blondell ignited in our
collective conscience that old and
familiar chord of blackness en-
snared, and without protection,
and dominated in a vicious circle
of poverty.
Without protection! But he
was one of us.
His immediate com-
munity was a neighbourhood of
some seventeen families with a
total population of sixty-five
persons made up of men, woman,
and a majority of children, and
all located on the upper Edward
Street area.
The apartments which his

neighbours overcrowd look unto
a narrow courtyard which they
ring. Crouched, as it were, before
the newer constructions, these
apartments are so old and delapi-
dated that at any moment we
can hear of them razed to the
ground. Sinks, wash-tubs, steel-
band instruments, kitchens, toilets
and bathrooms occupy the center
of they yard in-an unsightly
and disorganised humble.
That is the kind of situation
where personal privacy is virtually
non-existent where once you are
awake you are forced to live in
the yard or to play in the street..
Yet that existence is not at all
strange to the large majority of
us. Blondell too was a part of
Until the Police shot him
Through his death we all
awoke once more, could we
have been asleep to all that
and to even more. Now we

are firmly satisfied that there
exists a new extension of the
limits to the vicious disregard for
the life and limb of all who
course that circuit of poverty and
chance the risks necessary to
As a mere figure Blondell
was one among 70 per cent of
us who live below the poverty
line. At 30 in mid-1972 he was
one of 57,500 persons between
30 and 34. At 31 in the end of
1973 he .was one of 65,900
persons walking the streets job-
less. Neither as sportsman nor as
pan-beater was there a guaranteed
income for him. If Blondell had
to push on the blocks to live in
spite of all that he was, we know
We know too that National
Security is not for the poor. That
it is "advantage" ever more. The
marks of his wounds are upon us
too. It therefore behoves us to
take charge of our communities
now, to rebuild and to protect
them and to civilise our Police
in the process.
Remember Blondell?
He was one of us.

Our printing-plant is open at
The Tapia House 82-84 St. Vincent
Street, Tunapuna.
Kindly phot.e orders to: 662-5126.

N IKS^- ,. .: .____________________________

"We are in the midst of a gigantic revolt against the
effects of North Atlantic technological civilization,
against the inability of civil society to harness
technology to human ends. This revolt is the funda-
mental cause of the conflict, it is at the root of most
international and domestic problems. "


:,~iiD;Q~ ~"rlag~ %7~ 49i

This is how Tapia begins its manifesto.
In the next few pages we highlight some of the
philosophical as well as practical elements in
the revolt against an oppressive technology, a
revolt which, whatever its outcome, will
inevitably change the lives of all people.

THE task in Trinidad and To-
bago, the Caribbean and in most
areas of the world is to develop
the use of a technology appropri-
ate to the resources of the place
and resulting in full employment
and a better life.
Unfortunately, attempts to
achieve this state, have been
marked in large part by the
wholesale importation of metro-
politan science and technology
inappropriate to the peculiar cir-
cumstances of the receiving
Post-political independence
attempts at economic transfor-
mation have been marked by a
fixation with grandiose projects
of industrialisation which read
well on paper and in annual




The Path to IS PANT


reports but not on the evidence
of the living standards of Third
World peoples.
In the Commonwealth Carib-
bean, attempts at industrialisation
have been marked by the high invest-

ment cost of creating jobs, by the
foreign ownership and the high propor-
tion of foreign materials.used in the
final touch of industrial products
manufactured. This is in fact an
international phenomenon a, the post-

independence euphoriahas turned sour
in the face of large-scale and increasing
This has led to some rethinking
of the goals and means of develop-
ment of transformation of Third
World economies. From one angle
there are calls for the paramountcy of
the political revolution to replace
corrupt and unimaginative regimes
which are too susceptible to the
urgings of the imperialist powers.
It is the lack of imagination, of
understanding of the process of trans-
formation, which have forced several
regimes into increasingly repressive
actions in defence of their power.
Many of the now condemned I'aders
began with ideals, with zeal, with
genuine desires.
Colonial politics, however, puts
a premium on the ability to agitate,
to articulate popular resentment
Continued on Page 9

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----------- -- 1








Recapturing the

Human Spirit

MARX spoke of one spectre; we
are faced with another the
prospect of an entirely mechan-
ised society or "megamachine",
and the paralysing paradox of
"rational state", in which scienti-
fic discoveries and material out-
put may increase but privacy,
personality and the pursuit of
final ends will wither and perish.
A manipulative, "techno-
tronic" state, aided by the latest
knowhow and mass media -
such a prospect is far from
pleasing. But having, brewed the
poison, we must drink it. We are
paying for false and pernicious
philosophy of life of our own
making. Insight is conspicuous
by its absence.
How did this happen? Did it
grow unnoticed, haphazardly, or was
it the result of deliberate and dia-
bolical options, a series of false
choices? No knowledge can be evil
and yet applied science,a and its
limited models, have much to answer
Power-drunk, we had forgotten
the ancient warning that power cor-
rupts. It is part of the reckoning that
with all the scientific achievement
man has become a cosmic or evolu-
tionary "dropout", and his history a
tale told by an idiot.


Today's situation is highlighted
by the difference between the first
and the second industrial revolution.
The first based itself on the use of
mechanical energy in place of the
human and the animal. In the second,
human thinking is being replaced by
the "models" made with the help of
machines, Cybernetics and automation.
Humanism is lighting its own funeral
The situation was not wholly
unanticipated. Mill and Marx held
opposite political views but there was
not much difference in their anticipa-
tion of dehumanization in the modern


Later events have proved their
worst fears to be true. Mixing terror,
threat, indoctrination and personality-
cults, revolutionary regimes and some
of the affluent western democracies
are alike -engaged in turning man into
a faceless cypher, till one feels like
saying: "Plague on both your houses"!
Or, better still, repeat Henry Adam's
prayer to the Virgin:
"I feel the energy of faith,
Not in the future science but in you."
Our task in the next quarter
century should be to resuscitate and
strengthen the "energy of faith" not
in science but in the invisible moral
forces around us. Technology should
not be allowed to triumph over man;
it must be tamed.
What are the animating ideas,
the guidelines of the technocratic
system that it should be thus and


The ideas are mainly two.
First, whatever is technically possible
ought to be acted upon. "Can im-
plies ought", that is how Hasan
Ozbekhan enthused an audience
devoted to celebrating the "triumph
of technology". Possible to build a
megation bomb? Then why don't we
do it? To use the language of an
older psychology, the fine point of
inhibition and the law of conse-
quences is wholly overlooked by the
neophytes of technique.
Technological development, the
source of a new life style and its
appropriate ethics, has become its
own end. The second hypothesis,
another act of faith, is maximal out-
put and the worship of efficiency,
both treated as ends in themselves.
Sandwiched between these two ideas,
it is not surprising that men experi-
ence breathing difficulties.
Excess breeds its own undoing.
The time has come to assert the
human factor against the fetish of
growth economics and -an impersonal
efficiency. Thanks to the substitutes

for living, anxiety, alienation and
passivity have become the marks of
our age, marks of woe, marks of
shame. The sullen, bored individuals,
men with resentment, so many of
them, are ready to blow up the
establishment any day. The world-
wide campus revolt is, no doubt, part
of that pattern.
The adoration of objectivity,
the dissociation of emotion from
intellect, heart from head, and the
rejection of transcendentals have con-
tributed to a widespread schizophrenia
and general meaninglessness from
which more people suffer than are
perhaps willing to admit it. Instead
of a reverence for life, for interde-
pendence and wholeness, the "non-
alive", the less for the more, the
myth of the machine have become
our ruling philosophy of life.
The Gorgon's stare has petrified
our will and we are waiting to be
snuffed out. Will genocide and pollu-
tion provide the nirvanic catharsis and
rid the planet of Frankenstein's
But apart from these melancholy
musings, how to be human in an
anti-human society? This will be
possible only if we change our image
of man and believe him to be a moral
agent. The question of scientific
progress cannot avoid the sphere of
morality. We must also insist on the
priority of the whole, distinguish
between ends and means.
Certain factors in our evolu-
tionary antecedents seem to offer a
clue: a decrease in instinctive deter-
minism and the reality or needs of
values other than material; what Erich
Fromm has called the need for a frame
of orientation and a frame of devo-
tion. The need for a free, joyous
relationship with the cosmos and the
community may be another. Hqw to
work out these values, not wholly
unfamiliar, and how to be a man in
the kingdom of machines this is
the core of all questions.
Man today seems poised on the
edge of unprecedented conflicts and
choices. So far greed and ego have
been the mark of our individual as
well as collective life. But the socializa-
tion of man implies the domestication
of the archaic and the regressive.
At a higher level one experiences
tenderness, charity, love,justice, never
more needed than now. Compassion,
disinterestedness are not merely
euphoric feelings but a form of know-
ledge, perhaps the only kind of
knowledge that matters. "Thou art
that", said one of the earliest for-
mulations of wisdom. All is perhaps
in "that" an antidote to modern
poison. It is the surfacing of this
neglected norm that alone can contain
the challenge of cynicism and cyberna-
As Merleau-Ponty has pointed
out, if the ideology of cybernetics
were to spread, if we were to set out
to construct men and history on the
basis of a few abstract indices, then,





since man really becomes the mani-
pulandum he takes himself to be, we
enter into a cultural regillknn where
there is neither truth nor falsity con-
cerning man and history, into a sleep,
or a nightmare, from which there is
no awakening.
What can we do to be saved?
Tbynbee has an answer that comes
closed to the Indian intuition. "The
damage that modern industrial man
has inflicted on the habitat, and on
himself cannot be repaired, by using
the same tools";he says:
Technology cannot be enlisted to
save us from its consequences. Man
needs to reintegrate himself into the
nature of which he is, in truth, an
integral part, and he can do this
only through ecstasy or contempla-
tion through religion or philosophy.
The way of ecstasy is illustrated by
St. Francis of Assissi's canticle, the
poem in which he expresses his
feeling of brotherhood with the rest
of nature, which he put into practice
in his daily life. The way of con-
templation is illustrated by the
Hindu conviction that when a being
looks inward, with his mind's eye,
and plumbs his self to its depth, he
finds that it is identical with the
ultimate reality that is in and
behind and beyond the phenomenal
universe. Such is the vision modern
man needs to regain.


How to humanize the machine?
Is it impossible? Possibly only through
violent revolution? Can we preserve
the gains from cybernetics without
sacrificing personality and wider
human purposes?
Computers have not to be
thrown away; only they have to be
life-oriented, tuned to a larger con-
sciousness instead of denying all
consciousness. Maximum production.
may be retained but in terms of man's
real needs, which will not be left to
the tender mercies of politicians and
advertisers. A blending of a reason-
ably high standard of living with
serious living should not be beyond
the range of what is possible. Then
the terror might become a blessing
indeed, the furies become Gumenides.
All this takes for granted non-
material factors and values. Here the
loss of a theistic framework is obvious.
The pantheon of living politicians is a
poor substitute. But the urge to
worship and to transcend, to exceed
himself, is unlikely to disappear.
Robespierre's idolatry of time
and posterity (shared by secular and
political revolutionaries the world
over) and Comte's rejection of meta-
physics have not stood the test of
time. In some ways marxism itself
has been a "religious movement", the
"religion" of revolution.
The quest for meaning and for
shared values is part of our being, the
structure of human experience. The
capacity to enlarge awareness, to
mitigate loneliness will one day assert
itself. New rules for the game will be
found. "To him that is joined to all
there is hope." The day we learn this
will be the day of our salvation, the
terror exorcised.

_ ---------- --

__ --

ii SUNDAY ABJILY 27, 1975


SUNDAY JULY 27, 1975
_. -- "-----



Building From

the Bottom up

I SHOULD like to begin
with the parable of
Robinson Crusoe. One
imagines this castaway,
his eye threading the
seascape to the point of
despair. Alone with his
God, he sighs his last
hope. And then he turns
to the land.
There, with all his in-.
genuity he sets himself
to master the elements.
He must win food and
shelter, perhaps one day,
even leisure and comfort,
At first, he does no more
than cope. But soon he
develops tools and skills,
discipline, routine, order.
'Now he is in charge.
Let him reflect on his
experience. What has he dis-
covered? What does he know?
He knows that there are
some things .which he can
do, some which he cannot
yet do! That, in other words,
there are tasks for man and
tasks for God.
With his materials, his
tools, and his skills and his
organisation, there is room to
advance room that the
other animals do not have. It
is in recognizing these pos-
sibilities and limitations that
man forms his cultural tradi-
tions' and finds the key to
his religion.

If he is not animal, equally
he is not God. He is a person.
Thus it is in the elemental
task of tool-making that he
discovers himself and achieves
some harmony with the uni-
verse. Tool-making is at the
centre of this entire process.
The great civilisations have
been those which have suc-
cessfully addressed themselves
to technology appropriate to
their environment.
Science is said to be a
comparatively recent inven-
tion. We may wish to dispute
this as another piece of
arrogance of Western Civilisa-
tion. Yet we cannot deny
that science has its roots in
technology, in tool-making
and in the experimental atti-
tudes which surround the
search for new tools. Today
we live in a world of complex
technology driven on by
scientific experimentation
and speculation.


But this could only have
arisen out of the elemental
processes of hammering,
cutting, splitting and scraping,
piercing and boring, measur-
ing and marking, grasping,
holding and grinding.
All of these preoccupied
man in his early days and
much of what he has done
since, is mere elaboration.
Hammer, knife, rule, pincer
and grindstone are basic to
technology and by extension,
to culture and religion. But
we are talking here of course,
about cultures which enioy
sufficient harmony between
their different aspects to be
able to continue to explore
the environment and to admit
social and cultural develop-

If technology helps to
shape the ways of doing
things, it also affects the
relations between men, social
relations and political rela-
We know for example,
that the technology of war
admitted slavery and serfdom;
and that the way in which
Western culture harnessed the
means of production resulted
in great rifts between social
classes. Again, in India, the
division of labour created
large caste distinctions which
were further complicated by
religious organisation.
Thus the social harmony
which permits continuing
cultural development and
enduring political peace is
no more than an ideal
approached by some societies
from time to time. More
often than not, society is in
a state of dislocation.
The Caribbean today is
one such case. Let us go
back and see how this has
come about. Return first to
our parable and allow Robin-
son Crusoe to have his Man
Friday. Crusoe is a castaway
hankering for his connection
with his former home.
Instead of producing what
can be used on the spot, he
seeks to produce for export.
He tries to earn the exchange
to be able to buy the good
things which he remembers
from another place.
This immediately sets up a
conflict of interest between
Man Friday and himself for
Friday cannot accept this ex-

ploitative relationship with
his own native place. Instead
of joining Friday in a com-
mon effort to master the ele-
ments and the land, he
enslaves him and makes him
a hewer of wood and a drawer
of water. We now have one
dispossessed man and his dis-
possessor. But both are de-
graded by the relationship.
Friday is subjugated and
loses his contact with reality
- his capacity for discipline
and for work. Crusoe leads a
lordly and luxurious life and
he too degerates into barbar-
ism. Not having to address
himself to the opportunities
and limitations of the situa-
tion, he invents nothing,
creates nothing. They both
lose the basis of culture and
In our Ocean Sea which
Columbus christened the
Caribbean, this is precisely
what happened after the
Europeans came and suppres-
sed the Arawak and the
Carib. The Africans, East
Indians, Portuguese and
Chinese who came here later
were 'fitted into this mould
of degradation into which
the Europeans had first cast

Slavery, indenture, unfree-
dom. The consequence of
these has been distorted cul-
tural development, twisted
social development, economic
stagnation, disharmony and

misery, Whenever they could,
our population revolted
against this unnatural order
of things and three hundred
and fifty years after Colum-
bus, the system collapsed
under its own weight.
This collapse precipitated
the Emancipation of the
African slaves. But when the
slaves were freed, the system
survived in a modified form.
Some might say it survives to
this day. The traditions have
been very deeply rooted. The
damage of three hundred
years cannot be undone in
Indeed, it took another
hundred after Emancipation
before the West Indian people
could make further advance.
In the 1930's the population
once more rose against the
brutality and degradation of
Crown Colony rule, sugar-
plantation economy and
Colonial culture.

The riots of 1934 to 1937
then opened the gate to
Independence. Bustamante,
Manley, Adams, Marryshow,
Butler, Payne and Critchlow
led the way in. It is in this
new situation that we must
now discover ourselves.
How? How do we find out
who exactly we are?
The answer, perhaps, lies
in the parable. We have only
one option: we must address
our intelligence to our land
and our place. We cannot


Tomorrow we may clinch
another bargain yet but
only if we work at our
trades. For along that path,
lies the mastery of science
and organisation. It is the
blacksmith who fathered the
metallurgical physicist, the
wheelwright who sired the
space technologist.
It is true that mastery of
the trades does not guarantee
our success. That depends on
the way w& master them and
on the kind of ingenuity we
show in handling the accom-
panying political and social
relations. But the mastering of
the trades and the conquest
of the environment may well
give us the confidence we
need to handle them with
care and humanity.



OF StePAIN hens


develop by importing tecn ol-
ogy, by importing 3:,,. i-<
or by importing capital. This
is the major fallacy ;n our
public policy.
Instead we have to build
from the bottom up though
this does not exclude select-
ing what we wish to borrow
from abroad. This means
tools; it means trades. Tools
and trades are the foundations
on which we may one day
erect a set of values, and
from that, a set of religious,
political and cultural tradi-
tions appropriate to ourselves.
Here we have many races
and fragments- of culture
drawn from every Continent.
We have had a historical ex-
perience in many ways unique
in recent human history.
Either we can continue to be
divided among ourselves or
we can establish a basis for
But unity will not be
achieved by competitive con-
sumption. It has to be accom-
plished through creative acts
of production which teach us
what we can and what we
cannot do. One hundred years
ago we never suspected that
the liquid in our backyard
could yield petrochemicals
and fuel. Today we know
that through other men's
efforts even if we are being
exploited in the bargain.




THE Arab-Israeli war of 1973
resulted in a dramatic rise in the
cost of oil. The heavy industrial
nations of the Western World
were made to realise that oil is a
wasting asset and that it should
not be squandered on two ton
motor-cars which burn a gallon
of fuel every eight or ten miles
and carry one or two people
most of the time.
This so-called energy crisis
has made us realise that we
should be developing our renew-
able energy resources for that
time in the near future when all
the oil is exhausted or is so close
to that point that it is too valu-
able to burn.
As a result there is now
renewed interest in such power
sources as geothermal energy,
wind energy and solar energy
which were formerly regarded as
Solar Energy and Wind Energy
are particularly interesting in that they
can be harnessed with relatively inex-
pensive equipment. They can therefore
be readily utilised by Third World
Countries in a low state of industrial
The total amount of solar energy
received by the earth is very large.
About 1.3 kw of power are received .
by each square metre of the earth's
surface. Due to the presence of the
atmosphere and weather conditions,
only about 700 of this ever reaches
the ground. Because the planet spins,
this 70% is really the maximum pos-
sible and is only obtained when the
sun is almost overhead, that is between
11.00 a.m. and 1.00 pmn. At night one
gets nothing.

--- -------- /

For this reason Dr Peter Glaser
of the U.S.A. has suggested that a
sattelite be used as a solar power
station. He would place it in orbit
about 22,000 miles above the earth
and so would have sunlight for nearly
all the time. He proposed that the
power station be a large one, about
5,000 ,megawatts (This is about 20
times the generating capacity of
T&TEC) and that the power be
beamed to earth by-microwave radia-
This idea was presented'at the
International Solar Congress on
Energy in Paris in July 1973. The
Third World delegates to the confer-
ence were worried about the Ameri-
cans using this high energy beam for
military purposes if this power sat-
telite were put into orbit. Even though
Dr. Glaser assured the audience that
the satellite would not be used for
ilitar\ purposes and that safety

devices would make accidents virtually
impossible, the non-aligned delegates
on a whole did not like the idea.
This illustrates one approach to
solar energy utilisation, i.e., use of
high technology for making large and
sophisticated machines in an effort to
keep highly trained technologists in
industrial nations employed. The
Americans have proposed spending
one billion dollars, ($2,000,000,000
T&T or twice our yearly budget) on
solar energy alone to find substitutes
for imported oil.
In the Third World we need not
use solar power on this scale. Indeed
we can use it on any scale we like so
long as we use simple devices built by
local craftsmen like carpenters, weld-
ers and plumbers.

This approach is called Inter-
mediate Technology and the general
rule is that the most expensive piece
of equipment used should be an oxy-
acetylene welding set. For the poorest
among us even this is too expensive,
and cheaper methods of construction
may be used.
Dr. Maximilano Duran of Peru
makes water purification units which
distill contaminated water to give pure
drinking water for the indians
in remote parts of his country from
bamboo and polythene. He uses black
polythene to line the bottom of the
still where he has the raw water and
he uses transparent polythene for the
cover which is sloped and collects
distilled water on its underside. For
collecting troughs and pipes he uses
These units are extremely cheap,
their only disadvantage is that they
only last about 6 months to one year
at the longest since the polythene
splits and the bamboo rots. If one
spends a bit more money one can
make the cover out of glass with
aluminium frames, the basin out of
concrete lined with black rubber and
the collecting troughs out of PVC.
The resulting unit is more expensive
but will last about 20 years and is
therefore cheaper in the long run. A
bit more skill is required since one now
needs welders and masons but these
are available in virtually all Third
World Countries.
The very low level of income in
certain parts of rural Peru forced Dr.
Duran to use these very cheap
methods of construction. Per capital
income among the peasants in these
areas is $20 30 U.S. per year so the
purchase of fairly cheap capital equip-
ment, say a good power drill for $50
U.S., is beyond them.
In Trinidad "we passage that stage".
We can afford to fabricate our domes-
tic solar energy devices in metal and
glass or hardwood and glass for long

life. A solar water heater is about the
easiest to make. All one needs is a flat
plate collector, a tank and pipes.
The collector is really a black-
ened metal sheet under or along which
the water circulates to get hot. It is
covered by glass since glass lets in
light and stop the heat from going.
back out. The blackened metal sheet
turns the light into heat and the
water either runs in the space between
this sheet and one below it or in pipes
soldered or brazed to this blackened
sheet. One usually puts the flat plate
collector into a box full of insulator
e.g. glass wool, and runs pipes from
the collector to the tank.


The author displays a solar still r distilled water located on the St. AugustineC pus.
The author displays a solar still jbr distilled water located on the St. Augustine Cmnpus.

The collector is usually sloped
facing south since the sun is in the
southern sky for most of the year. The
slope angle is usually close to the
latitude of the site, i.e. 10% in Trini-
With one pipe running from the
top of the collector to the top of the
tank and another pipe running from
the bottom of the collector to the
bottom of the tank, the water will
circulate by itself, or rather by natural
convection. The sun's heat will do the
pumping since hot water rises and
cold water falls.
One can therefore collect hot

midday you will need about 500 sq ft.
of collector assuming you could col-
lect all the solar power, which you
cannot. At night and during cloudy
periods the thing would be useless
unless you had some device for storing
the power, which is what the taliks are
for a water heater.
The University of Florida's solar
energy research group have a car which
is solar powered but they use solar
cells to charge batteries then use these
batteries to run the car. However, lead
acid batteries are much too heavy to
be seriously considered for powering
a normal car at acceptable speeds and

-- ---h


a changing technology

Solar Power to

the People

water from the top of the tank and if
one fits a. toilet valve to add cold
water to the bottom .:ind so keep the
tank full automatucalv, one has a
complete water heate The best place
is on the roof beca,:,e then one can
feed the house by giavity, keep
shadows away from the flat plate
collector and stones away from the
glass cover. 'The author has just in-
stalled such a heater on his own house.
Everything should be well in-
sulated, i.e. flat plate, tank and pipes
otherwise the water in the tank will
cool down too much overnight. A flat
plate of about 30 sq ft (6 ft x 5 ft)
will heat a 45 gallon drum of water to
about 50 C (120% F) which is just a
bit too hot for a bath so one will some-
times have to mix hot and cold water
when bathing. During the rainy season
you would not get too much hot
water, but after all the thing is virtually
free and a good handyman could build
one for less than $200 TT.
An interesting observation aris-
ing from the above is that a black top
on a car in Trinidad is madness! At
midday a 25 sq ft car top can collect
over 2 kilowatts of power. The wind is
going to blow some 'away but a lot
will find its way into the car to make
you uncomfortable.
Unfortunately you cannot col-
lect enough power to drive the car
because even a small engine like that
fitted to a Datsun 120 Y or an Austin
1300 gives about 60 horsepower which
is nearly 45 kilowatts. So even at

ILY 27, 1975
with a normal cruising range. A tank
full of gasoline gives 200 400 miles
of driving whereas most battery
powered vehicles, e.g. milk distribu-
tion floats in the UK, have a range of
about 50 miles. In any event this is an
area of high technology and : there-
fore of no immediate interest here.
Solar distribution for water purifi-
cation is one of the oldest applications
of solar energy. The Chileans built the
first large scale unit at Las Salinas in
1872 and are still very active in the
field. In Trinidad research is in pro-
gress at the U.W.I. on solar stills and
they are currently used by several
departments to provide distilled water.
The normal water supply of Trinidad
and Tobago, is good enough to make
desalination unnecessary at the pre-
sent time.
For distilled water production,
careful design and fabrication can lead
to very high product purity. Glass
covers and stainless steel collector
troughs give purities as high as 0.5 to
0.1 parts per million of dissolved
solids. Furthermore, certain contami-
nants such as chlorine which occur in
distilled water obtained from electric-
ally heated stills do rtot occur in solar
distilled water.
Several solar stills are now
undergoing field evaluation at Second-
ary Schools and at the Headquarters
of the Water and Sewerage Authority.
Some units at the \University have been
in operation for as long as four years.
In view of our inherently good water

supply (distribution is an altogether
different matter) solar stills are not of
very great interest to the average
citizen who will not usually be making
his own distilled water since he prob-
ably uses about 1 gallon per year in
his car and his wife probably uses
about 2 or 3 gallons per year for her
steam iron if they are sufficiently
affluent to afford these consumer
Solar driers are much more
important. These simplest drier may
be a wooden box fitted with a tray
and covered with a sheet of glass or
transparent plastic. A simple drier of
this design when \rell insulated can

Example of a solar water heater on roof-top.

reach temperatures of over 1000 C.
Such temperatures are too high for
most purposes, so one usually provides
such driers with variable apertures so
that one can vary the rate at which
the outside air flows over the crop
and so reduce the temperature.
The Solar Energy Project in col-
laboration with the Root Crop Pro-
gramme at UWI, St. Augustine has
dried a wide variety of crops including
yam, sweet potato, cassava, ripe
bananas, sorrel. bodi and tobacco.
Yam and sorrel have been dried
on a fairly large scale, over half a ton
of each being dried during the seasons
when they were readily available. Yam
is usually dried in a closed cycle drier
where the heated air circulates through
the flat plate collector, over the yam,
through the dehumidifier where it'loses
water and back to the flat plate col-
lector. This drier is so designed that
the sun's heat drives the air move-
ments by natural convection and no
external power is required.

Several of these driers are now
in operation at UWI, St. Augustine, in
Grenada and Barbados. When built in
wood, they can be constructed and
maintained by any country farmer
with a reasonable knowledge of car-
pentry. After the design was described
by the author at the International
Solar Energy Conference in Paris in
1973, E;. Maximilano Duran of Peru
constructed one on his return home.
He has dried fruit like pawpaw, and
bananas and has even concentrated
orange juice to a syrup for later re-
constitution. This drier is designed for
operation in remote areas and is very
suitable for Third World conditions.
Solar air conditioning and refri-
geration have been used on an experi-
mental basis in several countries. The
University of Florida actually has a
solar refrigerator in operation which
produces ice, while the University of
Queensland in Australia has an air-
conditioned house.
Most solar energy studies now in
progress in the USA are integrated
projects in which one heats the house
in winter and air-conditions it in
summer using solar energy. The main
advantage of solar air-conditioning is
that when one needs maximum cool-
ing, i.e., at midday, one has maximum
solar energy available.
It's main disadvantage is that it
requires the use of relatively expensive
components and cannot be built by a
rural farmer in the same way as a solar

water heater or a solar drier. Most of
the development work will probably
be done in the metropolitan areas
or the more advanced areas of the
Third World. In Trinidad, the Faculty
of Engineering at UWI is working in
the field of solar air-conditioning.
In the Sahel region of Africa,
just south of the Sahara proper, several
solar energy pumping stations are in
use. These use solar energy to drive
engines to pump water. Since the effi-
ciency of such an engine is low, one
needs a large collector of 50 to 80
metres (about 500 to 800 sq ft.) A
fairly common design is for the whole
roof of a school to be used as a flat
plate collector. With the pumped water
irrigation is possible and crops can be
grown in areas where there is too little
surface water for this to be normally
possible. These pumps are now com-

Bla k Power & National Reconstruction
Gov't and Politics of the W. Indies
Prospects for Our Nation
The Political Alternative
Whose Republic?
Freedom and Responsibility
The Afro-American Condition
Honourable Senators

Democracy or Oligarchy
Participatory Democracy
The Machinery of Government
Black Power in Human Song
We are in a State
A Clear Danger
Your Turn to Choose (out of print)

mercially available in France and have
helped to improve living conditions in
certain parts of Niger and other areas
of the Sahel.
Solar cooking is also used in
many Third World areas. One either
usesa reflector to concentrate the
rays of the sun on the pot (r one uses
a solar boiler which is a triply glazed
flat plate collector containing a small
amount of water which boils and the
steam is used for cooking. Reflectors
can only be used in areas where there
are few clouds and the air is clear
since reflectors only use direct sunlight.
Flat plate units utilise both the direct
and the diffuse parts of sunlight and
are more suitable for use in places
where cloudy and overcast conditions
are fairly common. All of these devices
are characterized by simplicity of
operation and some aresimple enough
to be built by the semi-skilled in rural

In conclusion one can say that
even though conventional energy costs
have increased, there are enough
simple solar energy devices currently
available to meet a large fraction of
the energy needs of the rural poor in
Third World Countries. The major
problem is not discovery of new
devices but dissemination of existing
technology and adapting it to local
Some Third World Countries
have agencies which do this and cer-
tain International Agencies such as
UNESCO and the Intermediate
Technology Development Group
actively encourage the development
and distribution of suich technology
The solar power is there, falling like
manna from heaven. All we have to
do is collect it and use it.

- Lloyd Best

- Vernon Gocking

- Denis Solomon
- Syl Lowhar
- Ivan Laughlin
- Michael Harris
- Raffique Shah

Tapia House Statements

Our Nation at the Crossroads
Tapia Constitution
Tapia's New World
Power to the People


The Failure of the 1950's Movement
The High Season of Crisis 1975
Letter to CLR 1964
,Benevolent Doctatorship

Krishna Ramrekersingh
Lloyd Best
-Allan Hariis

The Tapia House, 82-84 St. Vincent Street, Tiiapluna,



40 Cents Each




appropriate technology



Need For People

AT present we are in the midst
of acute worldwide instability -
economic, social and political.
Among the main contributing
factors are international short-
ages of agricultural, industrial
and financial resources, partly as
a result of indiscriminate ex-
ploitation of scarce resources in
the past and, unfortunately, even
at present.
Most economies are facing
unprecedented inflation and
industrial stagnation. This situa-
tion, of stagflation, is a threat-
to the economic and political
relations among the countries. It
has had the wholly undesirable
effect of accentuating differences
between the "haves" and "have-
While stagflation is an incon-
venience that rich nations can live
with, it is a disaster for most develop-
ing countries. To add to their misery,
drought aqd floods have devastated
several developing countries in Africa
and Asia. Negligible world food reserves
due. to bad crops in traditional grain
exporting states have resulted in
unprecedented grain prices, heighten-
ing the woes of deficit countries.
If you add to this the energy
crisis, the plight of developing coun-
tries can be well imagined. Our-own
country is experiencing more than its
normal share of these problems'.
Inflation, unemployment, industrial
.unrest and social ferment are at a
peak not scaled so far.
Throughout the world and at
home, economists, politicians and
industrialists are engaged in heated
debates, to seek a respite, if not lasting
solutions, to these problems.


The nature and role of technol-
ogy is very much in the thick of this
debate. Contemporary technology and
the manner of its evolution have been
accused as prime contributors to these


problems. Its damaging effects on
ecology and the environment, its
exponential consumption of scarce
capital and diminishing natural re-
sources, its alienating effects on
society these are some of the
charges that contemporary technology
finds itself unable to answer.
In developing countries such as
India there is deep questioning whe-
ther contemporary western technol-
ogy which needs massive amounts of
capital, whose results must await long
gestation periods, and which often
seems to perpetuate dependence, is
relevant at all.
On the other hand, we have
large unemployed and underemployed
populations, little capital and even less
of foreign exchange. We require rapid
development and solutions of socio-
economic problems, and we naturally
yearn for independence and self-
reliance in all spheres.
Both in developed as well as
developing countries technology finds
itself at crossroads in the search for
relevance. We are therefore at a
historic juncture where we must take
hard decisions on the course which we
wish to adopt. In the developed
countries where contemporary
technology is enmeshed in their social
fabric, concern for the irreversible and
hazardous environmental damage will
sooner or later force a decision.
In developing countries dis-
appointing results of large and costly
experiments with contemporary
technology, coupled with a growing
desire for options that are consistent
with our needs and conditions, point
towards a hard reappraisal of the
course taken over the past few decades
If necessary, developing countries
must strike a new path by evolving
what is now termed as "alternate
technology" or "appropriate technol-
Today appropriate technology is
a live issue among concerned thinkers
in various fields throughout the world.
It is fast becoming a practical and
purposeful movement. In the project
report of a recently established
technological university, I came across
a passage which defines aptly what I
mean by "appropriate technology". I
Our country stands on the threshold
of a period wherein our engineers
and technologists will be required to
boldly innovate and create truly
Indian technologies capable of solving
our problems with our own resources
and in the context of our own
social and economic aspirations.
Contemporary technology has
evolved due to historic reasons in
more or less the same pattern in
different countries. The course has
been set with inventions in one country
imitated or adapted in others, includ-
ing the developing countries.
Relatively rapid sharing of such
technological developments aided by
the tremendous improvements in
communications, wholesale imports
of contemporary technology and the


vested interests created as a result,
have led to the basic uniformity of
the nature of technology we see today.
However, this is by no means a
fundamental law or an inevitable
consequence. While scientific know-
ledge is universal, its conversion to
technology can follow many different
paths. There is no single optimal path.
Nor is the course of contemporary
western technology necessarily the
most appropriate for our purposes.
Those who support a uniform style of
technological civilisation tend to forget
that the choice must necessarily
depend on local or regional factors
such as the inherent socio-economic
structure, indigenous pattern of re-
sources and local culture.


Apart from the economic and
environmental criticisms of contem-
porary technology, social criticisms
include poor working conditions in
industries, which are in many cases
harmful to the health of the workers.
There are several occupational and
health hazards peculiar to certain
industries. For instance, miners have
to contend with silicosis apart from
frequent accidents.
Another criticism of mass pro-
duction technologies is its over-
emphasis on supposedly efficient
functionalism to the detriment of
cultural variety. How should we
respond to these problems? It would
be futile to act in the manner of the
Luddites wiro rebelled by wrecking
newly introduced textile machinery in
the early nineteenth century, because
the machines were replacing men and
Lasting solutions can be found
only by evolving "new technologies"
which are flexible and adaptable, pay-
ing attention to industry's compatibil-
ity with man, society and environ-
ment. In the rational evolution of
such appropriate technologies, new
disciplines such as operational re-
search, cybernetics, information


Continued on Page 10



Iheor.,y and n;; i old Cs ::es ..ithii :6
social sciences, psychlt-i'y and even
anthropology would givw, us many
helpful clues.


We need not overreact to the
problem and take a negative approach
that the very existence of technology is
harmful and we must do away with it.
It is rather the form in which it has
evolved and its unconsidered and
hasty adoption that are often at fault,
A rational approach would be to
examine the nature of technology
used today and suggest alternative and
appropriate forms where required. If
necessary they must be invented. We
must also examine the future relation-
ships likely to evolve such alternative
technologies and our society.
It is known how pollution and
environmental degradation are forcing
developed countries to review their
priorities and think about alternative
technologies. From the point of view
of developing countries, pollution,
though undesirable, may be a small
price to pay if contemporary technoi-
ogy can help to bring about abiding
economic progress. However, we find
that some of the main weaknesses of
western technology are in its economic
The type of mass production
and large-scale technologies used by
developed countries and vigorously
promoted by them for adoption by
developing countries, are extremely
capital intensive so capital intensive
that they tend to become prerogatives-
of the richest countries, and whether
consciously or unconsciously, a means
for widening the gulf between the
"haves" and "have-nots", a means of
economic exploitation, sometimes
even blackmail.
In a labour-intensive economy
such as ours it takes perhaps the
equivalent of six months salary to
buy the equipment required to
provide work for one man. In a
capital intensive advanced technology
economy such as in the United
States, the equivalent figure is 350
months' salary of an average American.
This indicates why develop-
ments based solely on imported
western technology can make pro-
gress only at a snail's pace in the
third world. There is some justifica-
tion, therefore, in saying that western
technologies are designed so as to
slash the need for people and maxi-
mise the need for capital.
Can we therefore indiscrimin-
ately continue the large scale importa-
tion and adoption of capital intensive
and so-called sophisticated technol-
ogies? I believe the answer is no.
These technologies may not only be
misfits in our socio-economic structure
but may even have a retrogressive
impact on our society.



SUNDAY JULY 27, 1975

SUNDAY JULY 27. 1975

From Page 3

rather than to conceive of the task of
transformation. Additionally, the
colonial education of most of the
leaders left a psychological hang-up
for the trappings of metropolitan life.
In the end, industrialisation has
proved to be a rainbow at the end of
which there is no pot of gold but a
quagmire of corruption, inefficiency,
demoralisation and oppression.
The task of the second genera-
tion post-independence leadership is
to understand the reasons for the
failures and build new movements,
more resilient to the demands of econ-
omic independence.
One area which requires reassess-
ment is that of technology and this is
the area dealt with here in so far as
one can abstract from the interwoven
mesh of politics,economics, sociology,
psychology, a unidimensional force or
influence affecting transformation.
Internationally, the reassessment
of the role of technology takes several
forms. There is the view that the
only path to development is through
the emulation of modern technology
as seen in the metropolitan countries.
As the argument goes, traditional
economies are stagnant because they
don't possess the dynamic of modern
economies. To skip some step requires
wholesale importation of metropolitan
technology, allied with entrepreneur.
ship and marketing outlets.
Alternatively, there is the view
that metropolitan technology should
be rejected totally and as the Jamaican
reggae goes "everyman stand on he
own bottom."
S A somewhat similar view is held
by others who argue for an "Intermedi-
ate Technology". The argument here
is that Third World countries should
develop a technology somewhere in-
between, metropolitan high-level tech-
nology and traditional technological
In a sense, the positions held
above and the differences outlined

can be considered as evidence of a
dialectic movement: each new position
contradicting the last but in fact
growing out of it. At present, the
synthesis rests on the advocacy of an
Appropriate Technology.
Advocates of this view, argue
that it is futile to speak of modern or
intermediate or grassroots technology.
The crucial issue is the development
of a technological base which maxi-
mises the use of the most abundant
resource which just happens to be
labour power at this histoncal moment
- and minimise the use of the scarcest
and most expense resources which
happens to be capital.
This approach, which draws on
the economic history of metropolitan
countries, sees that one must begin
with the agricultural sector which is
the predominant employer of Third
World labour. The agricultural sector
must be transformed in order to
provide a food base for the popula-
tion and reduce some of the drudgery
of peasant cultivation;
This means a highly imaginative
combination of labour and capital,
fertilizer and manure, ox and tractor,
pesticide and weedicide.
At the same time, the artisan
crafts must be upgraded and the shoe-
maker transformed into the shoe
factory and penny banker into com-
mercial banking, friendly society into
insurance company, the massala ven-
dor into the curry powder manufac-
This requires a complex of
financial institutions and governmental
incentives which will not be discussed
here since theoretical discussions
generally weave themselves into webs
of.never-ending causation.
The moot point is that the
technology utilised would depend on
the circumstances of the particular
economy. There are a nurhber of
examples where this approach was
ignored or used. In one case mentioned
by a researcher in the field a particular

country imported two plastic injec-
tion moulding machines, which work-
ing three-shifts and employing 40
persons, produced one-and-half million
pairs of plastic sandals and shoes a
,At $2 a pair they were better
value (onger life) than cheap leather
footwear at the same price. Thus
5,000 artisan shoemakers lost their
livelihood which in turn reducedtthe
markets for the suppliers and makers
of leather, hand tools, cotton thread,
tacks, glues, wax and polish, eyelets,
fabric linings, laces, wooden lasts and
carton boxes, none of which was
required for plastic footwear.
All the machinery and the
material (PVC) for the plastic foot-
wear had to .be imported, while the
leather footwear was based largely on
indigenous materials and industries.
The net result was a decline both in
employment and real income within
the country.
Fortunately, there has also been
positive work. In Zambia, a machine
has been developed, by British techni-
cians, to use Tepulped waste papers to
produce a wide variety of packaging
trays and punnets including egg trays.
In Nigeria, cassava grinders and corn
threshing machines have been designed
based on locally available materials
including bicycle parts.
If a particular country possesses
an iron base, then it will make sense
to develop allied industries. Similarly
if a country like the one mentioned
above has an incipient leather goods
industry, it does not make sense to go
into plastic footwear; at least in com-
petition to leather.
One has to begin by questioning
the validity of Western technology
which is not the same as a rejection
of science. As E.F. Schumacher of the
Intermediate Technology Develop-
ment Group of England argues:
"lt is too often assumed that
the achievement of Western
science, pure and applied, lies
mainly in the apparatus and






The Path to


Ambulance developed in Nigeria for use in rural districts.




machinery that :--. '
developed from it. aln.
rejection of the ,apparatus and
machinery would be tantamount
to a rejection of science. This is
an excessively superficial view.
The real achievement lies in the
accumulation of precise know-
ledge, and this knowledge can
be applied in a great variety of
ways, of which the current
application in modem industry,
is only one. "
Western technology can and
does have a part to play. It can pro-
vide technical know-how with little
or no capital element. For example
methods of making or growing a
product based on research into its
chemical biological or physical proper-
Technology in which mechanical
operation does not affect the overall
employment situation can also be of
some use. For example oil exploration
cannot be carried out with a shovel or
hoe but requires a certain minimum
scale for operation. Thus machines
which take the place of human skills
which either cannot be developed or
have notbeen developed can serve an
important role in exploiting a coun-
try's physical resources.
The discussion of technology is
oftimes confused with that of small
scale versus large scale and labour-
intensity versus capital intensity. In a
sense, one can deal directly with the
appropriate technology and the ques-
tion of scale or capital/labour propor-
tions fit into place.
It is possible to define three
situations. One in which small scale
industry cannot compete. For example,
heavy industry like the Petroleum
industry. This is not say that there
cannot be some division of the capa-
city of petroleum activity but that
there is some minimum scale, which
by the standards of Third World
countries is large scale, below which
petroleum industries cannot operate.
There are also a number of
situations where small scale industry
can compete with large scale industry
such as the textile industry or tools
and die industries. Finally, there are
a number of industries in which the
small scale operation can dominate
like the crafts industry or the food
In the final analysis the ques-
tion of scale and capital/labour inten-
sity will bedecided on these bases.
Naturally, there is some room for play
along the line.
Small scale industries are part-
icularly attractive because of the social
and political advantages. There is not
that alienation of the worker which
faceless large scale industry allows.
There is no concentration of economic
power a monopolistic few and the
smallness allows in the hands of a
personal touch lost in the elevators of
large operations.
It is crucial, however, to under-
stand that in most instances, this is
the only way that indigenous creativity
and entrepreneurship can flower on a
scale and level where the individual or
small group of individuals can build
slowly their talents, their skill, the
reputation of their products and, in
the long run, contribute to the growth
of income in the entire economy.
As it stands, there are research-
ers in various parts of the world trying
to tackle the reality of their situation.
More frequent contact and interaction
would develop a pool of relevant
information and expertise available
to all Third World countries, who if
they need honest and democratic
political regimes, also require technol-
ogy appropriate to the social situation,
without which rock, the political
house can only flounder into a sea of
repression and corruption.


SUNDAY JULY 27, 1975

-and-white contoured, it
looked a little fantastic
among the sun-baked
brick and rusty sheet-
metal of a Bangladesh
village. It was a new
primary school made
entirely of plastic
strengthened by incor-
porating native-grown
Developed jointly by a
Dacca unit of the Co-opera-
tive for American Relief
Everywhere (CARE) and a
Unesco team of school facili-
ties specialists, the innovative
structure was recently inau-
gurated in the village of East
Khilgaon by Bangladesh's
Secretary of Education, Mr.
M. Mokammel Haque. It re-
places a brick school, one of
4,000 destroyed or damaged
on 12 November 1970 by a
violent cyclone that took
The unusual schoolhouse
offers numerous advantages

for Bangladesh and potenti-
ally for many other develop-
ing countries as well. It cost
little, was easily constructed
and is virtually maintenance-
Equally important: it can
stand up to cyclones. For the
entire coast of Bangladesh,
on the northern margin of
the Bay of Bengal, is always
at risk from these storms; the
savaging of 1970 was but one
incident in a long history of
An impressive techmcal
achievement, the new school
is also a happy example of
international collaboration.
The wood for furniture and
the equipment were provided
by UNICEF and the funds
which paid for developing
the building technique came
from donations to the
Unesco Gift Coupon scheme,
made by citizens of the
Netherlands, particularly from
the city of Grorlihgen the
United States and Switzer-
land. And there was a $5,000

contribution from CARE.
The prototype school will
be followed by 40 others
CARE will erect in coastal
villages. Costs will be shared
by the Government of Bangla-
desh and the United States
Agency for International
Development (AID). For
buildings destroyed by
cyclones or in the country's
war of independence, UNI-
CEF will instill the furnish-
The plastic school idea
was born in the mind of an
English architect, David J.
Vickery, in 1973, following
the Bangladesh. war. The
fighting had demolished large
numbers of school buildings,
intensifying the already acute
shortage caused by the 1970
Vickery, who is an old
Asia hand, heads the Educa-
tional Facilities Development
Service at the Bangkok
Unesco Regional Office for
Education in Asia. The new
type of school building is the



appropriate technology-

The Need For Peonle

From Page 8
This they can do by promoting
alienated and isolated pockets of
affluence and prestige in a sea of
poverty, that is rapidly getting satur-
ated with social and economic aspira-
The only positive alternative lies
in developing and promoting technol-
ogies that are consistent with our
socio-economic structure and aspira-
tions, technologies that would, need
and encourage wider and closer
participation of our people in an
active manner.
A serious limitation of modern
technology concerns its use of limited
and non-renewable natural resources.
The earth's mineral resources have
taken billions of years to accumulate,
but at' current and projected rates
of consumption and population
growth, they are likely to be substan-
tially exhausted in, a matter of
An organisation of eminent
scientists, technologists and econom-
ists called the club of Rome has made
an exhaustive study of this aspect and
come out with doomsday predictions
in its publication, The Limits To
Growth, The recent escalation of oil
prices, shortages of natural resources
and stagflation are some of the
symptoms of the relentless pursuit of

exploitive technology during a very
short period of human history in the
recent past.
As a natural resource gets
depleted, poorer quality reserves are
progressively exploited till the cost of
obtaining a unit approaches its utility
value. This breakeven point for fossil
fuels will be reached in a matter of
In primitive agricultural tribes
a single calorie of energy used in farm-
ing produces about fifteen calories of
food. In contrast, the situation is
reversed in developed countries, be-
cause of farming, food processing
packaging and distribution technol-
ogies that consume large amounts of
energy. The appropriate alternative for
farming technology in developing
countries should be a via' media
between these two extremes.
In India there is vast scope and
potential for innumerable small and
intermediate industries throughout
the country, based on local resources
and indigenous skills. Many of these
could meet almost their entire needs
of inputs within the particular taluka
or district where they are located.
Where gaps exist they can be made
self-sufficient and self-sustaining by
equipping them with technologies that
are relevant and appropriate to the
local context.

Appropriate technologies are
being evolved for both rural as well as
urban situations. Bamboo reinforced.
building structures and low-cost
designs for dwellings using local
resources are being promoted by the
central building research institute,
Roorkee, ard other institutions.
Scientists in the Bhabha atomic re-
search centre have developed strong
and durable bamboo-polymer com-
posites by radiation-induced cross-
linking. Biological pest-control
methods and urban sewage utilisation
schemes and some other relevant
technologies that come to mind.
Other technological institutions
as well would have to play a signific-
ant role in fostering the growth of
attitudes, skills and technologies that
are appropriate to our needs. There is
greater need for developing the skills
of entrepreneurship and educational
systems need to be geared for this
purpose. In our present context we
need more creators rather than seekers
of jobs. The challenges and satisfac-
tions of entrepreneurship are prob-
ably the greatest amongst professional
Some technological universities
are now planning to have their own
industrial estates to foster the spirit
of entrepreneurship and to provide
opportunities to put to test what is

sought to be learnt. The technological
park of the MIT along the now
famous route 128 in Boston is an
example of a successful industrial
estate using the skills and resources of
a university.
Links between university and
society could also take the form of
community science centres to propa-
gate, scientific knowledge and culture -
among the general public. Curricula
and training should be relevant to
contemporary and future needs. There
is a great deal of sustained effort yet
to be, committed to this aim. Inter-
disciplinary courses are being develop-
ed by some technological institutes in
the country in view of the emerging
importance of boundary areas over-
lapping biological and physical sciences.
Similarly, the impact of technol-
ogy on society and the reverse impact
are of great importance in our search
for relevant technology, and our
budding technologists would benefit
from exposure to suitable courses that
enhance the understanding of their
unique role in society.
High technology can be misused
as a hard drug that promise but
denies industrial salvation. We must
carefully weigh the inputs- with the
outcome and bring out hidden social
costs before we make a choice. Our
introspection and enquiry must
include a close examination of the
basic nature of contemporary technol-
ogy, concern over the preservation
and judicial use of scarce resources
and with the quality of life that we
are going to experience and bequeath
to others Who follow, and commit-
ment to the attainment of social
equality and justice through our
own efforts.


a changing technology

School Building

Without Pain

- --- --- ~ -~ `~sr~"^"~~"l~~'"~~~"~~'

law 1boo m %.0 0 a %NO%0 r

result of his being asked if he
could put to, use $10,000
donated for reconstruction
in Bangladesh.
Aware the CARE had put
into operation a pilot plant
for the manufacture of plastic
building elements, he took
the money and sank it into
the co-operative arrangement,
with the endorsement of the
Ministry of Education.
The school had to answer
difficult conditions in this
new nation which resemble, if
in graver form, those in many
other developing countries:
lack of skilled construction
labour at the village level;
shortage of funds, and especi-
ally foreign exchange; and
scarcity of construction
materials. Cement, iron and
steel, sheetmetal, and of
course, plastics, must be im-
The answer, as conceived
by Woudenberg an imagina-
tive plastics engineer from
Prospect Park, New Jersey, is
a structure made of relatively
small, tough, lightweight,
easily-assembled elements.
There are just two basic
elements, a wall panel and a
roof panel. The wall panel,
however, is. made in three
varieties: plain; with an inset
plastic window; and with an
inset plastic door.
The elements are pro-
duced by the same simple
technique as is used to manu-
facture glass fibre-reinforced
boat hulls. liquid polyester
resin (coloured, if desired),
jute cloth, and a small per-
centage of glass fibres are
~combined in a mould of the
required shape. When the
resin hardens, the panel is

trimmed, assembly hu'es
drilled, and it is ready for
Two roof panei, and two
wall panels joined, together
make module, wlilch looks
like a great inverted U. Link
21 modules together the
way slices of bread make up
a loaf close in the ends,
and you. have the East
Khilgaon schoolhouse. Mea-
suring 77 feet by 2.0 feet
(23.5 by 6 metres), it accom-
modates 150 children in
bright and airy conditions.
The total cost of a plastic
school, including the rein-
forced concrete platform to
.which it is bolted, is 80,000
Takas (approximately $10,
000). This, even now with the
greatly increased price of
synthetic resins,is 11 per cent
and 25 per cent cheaper than
traditional brick schools with,
respectively, a: corrugated
sheetmetal roof or a rein-
forced concrete. roof.
Flexibility is a key feature
of the design. For a smaller
school, use fewer modules,
for a bigger one, add modules.
The absence of interior walls
assures the most efficient use
of space. Division into class-
room areas, three to five of
them, is done with partitions,
which can(be- shifted accord-
ing to need.,
The plastic construction
worked out by Woudenberg
is applicable not only for
schools but for other struc-
tures as well. Vickery says,
"It is perhaps the most excit-
ing and important develop-
ment in the search for new
building materials and
structural forms in the Asian
region in this decade."

of Hon. Shanm

Broken Chass

AS readers 'of Tapia will
recall the "Honourable
Sham" of shamage fame
has been trying to
bramble the long suffer-
ing taxpayers and mem-
bers of the public into
believing that he is serious
about providing a proper
public transportation ser-
Tapia recently made an
analysis of figures which
escaped when Sham last posed
at the Transport Corporation's
POS -headquarters, which
revealed that there was at
present only about a quarter
of the necessary service being
produced and that, further-
more, there was no possibility
of a proper service being
offered to the nuhlic for at
least two more years even if
several unlikely conditions
were fulfilled.
Stung, Sham went to
Tobago where, in his master's

voice style, he re)
captive audience of u
nate. civil servants
plethora _of statistics in
to flood the medi;
hence fool the pop
into believing that he
fact doing the job for
he is drawing his ha
Unfortunately for
facts have a nasty h
-creeping out from un4
carpet and coming to
the posers who try
stitute bombast and
rhetoric for hard wo
The latest report
PTSC that of 40 new
least recently de
(March 1975) Thomas
buses at San Fernando
in the garage with crack
even broken chasses
others are also sufferir
similar defects and,
Sham's chest thumping
a year's supply of spa
there is an extremely

SUNDAY JULY 27, 1975

The story

i and the


galed a shortage of spare parts.
mfortu- Perhaps Sham should let
with a the public know that all of
tended his plans are really "ole talk"
a and more appropriate to a rum-
ulation shop than to a so called
was in responsible government min-
which sister. Perhaps he could even
ndsome honour the "honourable" so
prominently placed before his
Sham, name and do the honourable
.abit of thing by admitting his incom-
der the petence and resigning his
haunt post.
to sub- This latest report makes it
empty even more imperative that the
irk and Government gives us an
account of its stewardship.
on the Our money is jumping up in
v, or at steelband and being scrabled
slivered, everywhere with reckless
Nissan abandon.
,13 are If a new bus can have its
cked or chassis cracked or broken in
and 3 as little as one month's service
ig from then certain questions must
despite be asked.
g about For example, were the
re parts,- previous chassis guaranteed
serious by the manufacturers? Were

the chasses properly inspected
and tested on receipt? Were
the chasses suitable for the
pothole trails which the gov-
ernment passes off for roads?
Were the buses properly
assembled? What arrange-
ments have been made for
redress in circumstances such
as these?
In its latest Variation of
Appropriations, Government
has given Sham yet more tax-
payer's money to play with.
Of course, there is no gua-
rantee that he will spend it
constructively. In fact, there
is every likelihood that he
will squander in true PNM
fashion. But the public is
footing the bill and must be
give an account of where
their money goes.
It is time- that the Minister
of Public Shambles tells his
"come and go" master that
the first step towards an
efficient public transport ser-
vice must be the raising of
the morale of the workers.
As good a place as any for
him to start would be for him
to start would be for him to
get together with TIWU and
approach the 200 plus work-
ers vindictively fired in 1969
and invite them to return to
work, at the PTSC.
With such a display of
magnanimity, probably be-
yond the little men of this
government, something con-
structive could be started.
leading grad'- "; to a lasting
improvement in -the service
offered to the public.


PAGE' ...-



PEOPLE in Curepe are
wondering whether there
is a WASA conspiracy
against them. Since Satur-
day a muddy liquid has
been flowing from the
taps. Residents are quite
worried about the situa-
One man who called
WASA on Sunday afternoon
inquired whether the water
was safe to drink. The WASA
man at the other end of the
line replied that though the
water was in fact treated,
it would be better to boil the
water before drinking.
The man became quite
worried and asked what was
the reason for this state of
affairs and wanted to know
how long it would last.
WASA replied that- the
main had burst in Tunapuna
and dirt and mud seeped into
the pipes. The caller was
assured, however, that the
problem had been taken care
of earlier on Sunday after-
noon and -as a result the
water would be back to
normal by about 6 pnm. that
In spite of that assurance
the muddy brown liquid has
continued to flow and the
people of Curepe have been
drinking a lot of mud and
dirt over the past week.

I. 1

Tapia team finds

political awareness

high in Debe

busy schedule around the
country, a team was in
Debe last Monday rapping
with a group of young
people in the Old Com-
munity centre at Debe
The meeting was lively as
Debe turned out to be a
highly politicised community.
Many issues were raised about
the nature of imperialism and
about the role of the multi-
national corporations, in the

The Tapiamen were at
pains to point out that con-
trol of the state was absolutely
necessary in order to deal
with these forces and explain-
ed in detail Tapia's plans for
localisation of the oil industry
and the Banking sector as
well as other plans for econ-
omic reorganisation.
The question of violence
was also raised. Again, the
Tapia team of Beau Tewarie,
Anan Singh and Augustus
Ramrekersingh had to point
out that the fact that a repres- \
sive regime now controlled

the power of the state meant
that one had to be cautious
about violent confrontation.
Recent events, they
pointed out, had confirmed
that disorganised confronta-
tion and sporadic violence
could not work.
The Tapiamen warned that
there was no easy.answer or
simple solution. The key to
political change, they stres-
sed, lay in th>, building of
permanent polite, d organisa-
tion in every community
across the nation.
This meant hard work and
a high degree of commitment.
It is only solid organisation,
the team pointed out, that
could prepare the people of
the nation to deal in power
and to make real change
when they should take con-

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Ph. JT-h-igh 5 8448.





Augustus Ramrekersingh

SINCE the West Indies
won the Prudential cup
the morale and confi-
dence of players and
supporters have risen
considerably. It was in
this atmosphere that our
team for Australia was
announced last weekend.
The wealth of talent
which- the West Indies
possess at this time made
it a difficult team to
select. This was reflected
in the fact that the selec-
tors had to name 17
instead of the 16 for
which they had originally
Even moreso our abun-
dance of talent is demon-
strated by the calibre of
players whom the selectors
have had to omit. Foster and
Jumadeen are top class play-
ers by any standards yet they
were unable to find a place
on the team.
Albert Padmore, after a
mediocre tour of India.
retained his place on the
team. This place could easily
have gone to either Foster or


The decision to rely on
pace is an emminently sensible
one. Quick bowling has
almost always been the deci-
sive factor in Test cricket in
Australia where the pitches
afford a few extra yards of
pace. Young Michael Holding
has been brought into the
team. He is quite quick and
strong and on past perfor-
mance it may be said that he
uses the ball intelligently.
Even if he does not
immediately become the
regular opening partner of
Andy Roberts, the fact is
that a reasonably good first
tour could eventually see him
there, for Holder and Boyce,
though still bowling well,
have reached the age when
quite clearly we need to be
thinking about grooming
players to succeed them.
In this. context the selec-
tion of Holding is an excel-
lent one. It is almost certain
that in the test matches the
West Indies will have to use
Sat least three pacemen,leaving
room for only one specialist
It is therefore fortunate
that we have five from which

Andy Roberts

to choose so that our pace-
men will be well rested for
the rigours of the tests.
Our batting strength is well
known and is quite capable
of dealing with the Australian
pacemen even on the faster
The one question mark is
Lawrence Rowe. This bril!iniiI
batsman is at the crossroads.
First an ankle injury incapaci-
tated him when we toured
England in 1973. Then eye
trouble caused him to return
from India and later to miss
the Prudential series. He needs
to be nursed back into big
cricket. He has all the skills
necessary to make a success-
ful return.
What he needs is really
good fortune. In concrete
terms, it is important that
he overcomes his eye trouble.
Every West Indian hopes that
all will be well with him not
only to strengthen our batting
for the coming series but for
the years ahead.
It would be profoundly
sad if this potential batting
genius is lost to West Indian
cricket, indeed cricket, at so
early an age and after such a
short career.


The selectors have on the
whole done a very good job.
It is unfortunate that Foster
and especially Jumadeen have
missed selection but for
Jumadeen there will be other
chances soon.
The Australians are not
going to be easy to beat at
home. Even in the World
Cup series, they fought gal-
lantly in spite of their in-
experience in tht kind of
cricket. Five day cricket is a
completely different kettle of
But our team goes to
Australia with three major
assets: high morale, pace to
match the Australian speed-

Vanburn Holder

sters and a previous triumph
over the firm of Lillee,
Thomson, Gilmour and
Walker, albeit on the slower
English wickets.
The faster wickets in Aus-
tralia will cut both ways. If
we add professional efficiency
and a little luck the West
Indis p, lseiss ill the in l red-
ients for victory.
If the Australians win
their present series against
England it is going to increase
their confidence too. But one
is not too sure how good a
yardstick the present series is.
While our players have
confronted the Australian
pacemen with great boldness
and competence, the English
batsmen continue to allow
fear to get the better of them.
This could be seen not
only in the result of the first
test but in Mike Deriness'
decision to send Australia in
to bat. Possibly he thought
that there might have been
something in the wicket for
his bowlers on the first morn-
ing. It seems more likely
that he wished to postpone
the confrontation between
the Australian pace and his
In attempting to jump from
the frying pan he fell right in-
to the fire so that his batsmen
found themselves face to
face with Lillee, Thomson
and Walker after the wicket
had been ravaged by rain.
It would have been interest-
ing, though, to see how the
Australians would have per-
formed on that wicket. I am
not sure that. they would
have negotiated Snow and
Underwood very successfully.
The first match of the
present Test series in England
is therefore not a good
criterion for judging the
Australians. Fear, which
accentuated incompetence,
and difficult batting condi-
tions resulted in Australia
having things their own way
and may possibly have led to
an inflated view of Australian

Michael Holding

The series down under is
going to be close and-hard
fought. It is going to bring
together fast bowlers with
real speed, a gathering the
like of which has not been
seen by our generation. This
is not to say that the bowlers
0re oin I o b,- e it t-eir o\n
way, for there are going to
face some very good batsmen.


If we have a question
mark against Rowe, the Aus-
tralians probably have one
against Walters. His proven
ability on hard wickets could
be a critical factor in the
Australian batting.


B 'L
Bernard Julien




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