Letters November 30, 2012

Have your say

Moshi trip facts very misleading

THE editorial published in the Echo regarding the Moshi trip is very misleading and untrue.

 I was born in Kenya and studied in Nairobi up to A-levels and I came to Sunderland in 1963.

 After my further education, I worked on various projects in Tanzania from 1979 to 1982.

 The education system in East Africa – Kenya, Uganda and Tanganika and Zanzibar (Tanzania) – has always been the British Education System, commonly known as Cambridge Education, GCSE and A-levels.

 Moshi is not a village. It is a very prosperous town/city with an international school established in Arusha. (I studied there in 1959 and transferred from Duke of Gloucester School in Nairobi for one year.)

 Classes have 35 to 40 pupils and a school day lasts seven hours with the option of a half day on Saturday. Lessons are an hour each with break time after three lessons, lunch etc. Lessons subjects are English, maths, biology, chemistry, history, art, second language, PE etc. All pupils must take 10 subjects.

 Teachers who specialise in their chosen subjects rotate around different classrooms to teach different groups. All teachers get paid. In fact, education is more intense and advanced in East Africa than in the UK.

 You may not find running water or proper sanitation but even in a small village one would find a school.

 Regarding HIV – yes, big stigma. This has been a major issue among various tribes. It is common for Masai or Turkana tribes to have up to 20 wives and sexual illnesses are common. International health authorities are working very hard on HIV awareness.

 I wish both the students well and will also donate for their 12-day trip. They will really enjoy the beauty of Kilimanjaro mountain at sunrise and Sarengeti National Park, high season for wild life.

Name and address supplied

A right to choose

MAY I say something controversial about James McClean’s refusal to wear a poppy at the Everton v SAFC match?

 As a nation we normally support our armed forces, whether they are fighting Afghans, Iraquis or the IRA. But something awful happened in this country on January 30, 1972. British troops fired on unarmed civilians on the streets of a British City and killed 13 of them.

 The Catholics of Derry call it “Bloody Sunday”, a day of shame for the British Army.

 Fighting terrorists is one thing, but shooting dead innocent demonstrators is another. What made it worse was that for years afterwards the Parachute Regiment lied and lied again that they were fired at first.

 Eventually the truth came out and the Prime Minister had to apologise to the families of the dead and wounded.

 James McClean is a Derry Catholic and I understand his decision not to wear a symbol of British militarism.

H Whipple,


A lack of respect

I WAS walking through our short cut to the shops on Saturday at lunchtime.

 A gang of youths were passing by, or so I thought.

 A tall guy, leader of the pack, pulled the poppy out of my lapel. I asked him why he did that and I told him what a nasty young man he was and did he know what that poppy meant? Men and boys died to give you a better life.  He laughed.

 One of his mates said: “you dropped it missus.”

 No I didn’t. He pulled it off me and threw it on the ground – no respect.

 I was very upset and other people, I am sure, will feel the same.

 I contacted the police and they were really good, but I know at times police hands are tied.

Margaret Jones,


Proud of parade

I ATTENDED the Remembrance Day Parade in Sunderland and would like to say how pleased I was that the city council has finally got its act together and put the running of this parade in the hands of a professional soldier.

 The Coldstream Guards Company Sergeant Major did an exceptional job running this parade and should be commended for his smartness and devotion to duty. The parade went smooth as silk with no hiccups or complaints.

 I was really pleased and proud to have attended the parade.

Alan Bilton,

Railway Terrace,

New Herrington

It should be me

I VOTED for a Police Commissioner.

 I know the names of the candidates and the parties that nominated them. I know that this post has a salary of £100,000 and, no doubt, because it is a political appointment, perks.

 I don’t know what they actually do for this extremely generous reward. Is it a full-time job? Or is it one of those three or four times a year jollies with the opportunity for inflated expenses claims?

 There should have been an additional box which said – none of the above I nominate me.

 The others have already got their noses in the Government trough.

J Jones,