Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 26th 2015 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, February 26, 2015
The Ministries of Local Gov-
ernment, Finance and the Attor-
ney General spent approximately
$15 million on advertisements
and public relations over the
three years---January 2011 to
Ministers of the various min-
istries gave the totals in the Senate
on Tuesday replying to Opposi-
tion questions on how much was
spent on ads.
Local Government Minister
Marlene Coudray said her min-
istry spent $3.4 million over the
period. She detailed the sums.
Attorney General Garvin
Nicholas said $1.6 million was
spent over the period but only
on ads for winding up of com-
panies, bailiff training, closing of
offices and job advertisements.
He said no sums were spent on
public relations campaigns.
Asked about full page ads by
his predecessor highlighting his
achievements, Nicholas said he
had not see the ads but would
look into it.
Finance Minister Larry Howai
said his Ministry spent $5.6 mil-
lion over the period on ads and
He said that did not include
budget documents and TV budget
He listed other sums for the
Financial Intelligence Unit, Clico,
HCU, promotions and ad costs.
PNM Senator Camille Robin-
son-Regis said the figures pre-
sented did not mesh with the
estimates and actual figures she
saw in budget statements.
She said for 2015 alone, $230
million was listed in estimates
for that category for ministries
and the sums presented in the
Senate were "just about $15 mil-
Howai said he would ask offi-
cials at his ministry to examine
her concerns but said while esti-
mates were initially given, final
figures were ultimately obtained
and while any figures may be dif-
ferent, it was not far off.
External students vying for entry
into the Hugh Wooding Law School
are claiming unfair treatment after the
Council of Legal Education changed
the format of the school s entrance
Unlike past years, students who have
their Bachelor of Laws from the Uni-
versity of London are now being exam-
ined on 12 areas of law. Previously
entrants had to study four topics of law
and answer two questions.
Faced with this radical change in the
examination, external students believe
they are being put at a disadvantage
compared to the University of the West
Indies law students who get automatic
law school entry.
President of the Assembly of Southern
Lawyers Imran Khan said radical changes
in the exams format may be a blessing
in disguise. He said too many people
were doing law studies and setting up
offices without having the requisite
experience to practise law.
Khan said raising the standards of the
entrance examinations might be a step
in the right direction. Over the past few
years, Khan said there had been an
increase in the number of entrants.
"Now that they have increased the
pool of people who are vying to get into
the school it is a reasonable move to
revise the exams for admission," Khan
Principal of the Academy of Tertiary
Studies Wendy Ali said the changes in
the exams should not affect students
negatively since examinable topics were
part of the Bachelor of Laws programme.
Ali said she never received any formal
notice from the Council of Legal Edu-
cation indicating that the entrance exam
format had changed.
"From what I understand from stu-
dents, this was done this week. Nobody
from the law school has contacted me
to say they are changing the format of
the exams so I don t know of this for-
"If there is a change it should not be
a problem because students have already
been exposed to these 12 areas of law,"
Saying the new format should bring
about a wider and better understanding
of law, Ali explained: "You have to know
the whole area of law to get into the law
school. If you already have your LLB it
means you have been taught in all areas
She said students would not be at a
disadvantage, adding that it was good
that the examinations were no longer
Food Production Minister Devant
Maharaj confirmed on Tuesday that
he fainted at Mt Hope Hospital a day
before and underwent a series of med-
Maharaj spoke to reporters on the
issue after the Senate session after
widespread social media reports on it.
He said his grandmother, Indrani
Maharaj, 88, had been unwell on the
weekend had been taken to Mt Hope.
He went to visit her on Monday on his
way to work but fainted at her bedside.
Maharaj said because he fainted at the
hospital, doctors ran a number of tests
on him but he was cleared regarding
blood pressure and other problems. He
said he was discharged despite doctors
wanting him to stay for a day.
The minister said he suspected the
fainting spell was associated with emo-
tional reaction to his grandmother s
situation. He said he also fainted at Mt
Hope Hospital previously when another
relative was being treated there.
Maharaj confirmed he cut his weight
from 172 pounds to 133 in the last year
with exercise. His grandmother is now
at St Clair Medical Centre awaiting a
pacemaker. (Gail Alexander)
Physically challenged temporary senator Crayann Singh takes the oath before the sitting of the Senate
on Tuesday. Looking on are, from left, temporary senator Christopher Joefield, Food Production Minister
Devant Maharaj, Senate President Raziah Ahmed and Independent Senator Rolph Balgobin.
PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
Tougher law exams
for external students
Three ministries spend $15m on advertisements
Radical change for entry into Hugh Wooding
Devant: Stress made me faint
No comment from law school
Registrar at the law school Alana
Humphrey was out of office
yesterday and was not available for
comment. Assistant registrar
Margaret Adams Stowe said she
could not comment. She directed
questions to principal Miriam
Samaroo but she also was out of
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