Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 18th 2015 Contents A10
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In the lead-up to the 2015 general election,
the Ministry of Education will formally open
some 40 Early Childhood Care and Educa-
tion (ECCE) centres.
So said Education Minister Dr Tim
Gopeesingh at the formal opening ceremony
for the Lisas Gardens ECCE centre at Hum-
ming Bird Avenue, Lisas Gardens, Couva.
Gopeesingh also opened the Phoenix Park
ECCE centre on Phoenix Park Road, California,
and the Milton ECCE centre at Jerningham
Drive, Milton, Couva. Couva South MP
Rudranath Indarsingh also attended the cer-
emonies. Addressing parents, teachers and
students, Gopeesingh said although the Lisas
Gardens centre was completed a year and a
half ago, like many other new centres it had
not been formally commissioned.
"We have had classes here since it was
completed, but we did not get a chance until
now to hold a formal ceremony," he said. "We
currently have about 40 of the 61 ECCE cen-
tres we built since 2010 to formally open still."
Gopeesingh said he would contact the MPs
in the respective constituencies to arrange
for the ceremonies to be done before Sep-
"In the next couple of weeks we are going
to be formally opening all of these centres,
together with the MPs for the area."
Gopeesingh said the Lisas Avenue centre
consisted of a special needs area, a kitchen,
multiple student toilets, an IT room, an arts
and crafts area, a sick bay, a play area outside
and a science area.
"This centre has state-of-the-art facilities
for our youngsters to learn and grow and can
accommodate 50 students. It was constructed
at a cost of $3.2 million, costing about $800
per square feet."
He said the Government was able to save
money with the projects as the current market
rate averaged $1,500 per square foot.
Gopeesingh said the other two centres cost
approximately $4 million and $5 million,
He boasted that under the People s Part-
nership Government, T&T became the first
country worldwide to achieve universal early
"Our Prime Minister was congratulated by
the secretary general of the United Nations
(Ban Ki-moon) on becoming the first country
to achieve universal early childhood education."
In keeping with this, Gopeesingh said, the
Government intended to complete construc-
tion of another 52 ECCE centres by Decem-
Scores of employees of the Tobago Regional
Health Authority (TRHA) gathered at the office of
Chief Secretary Orville London on Thursday
demanding answers about their pending 14 per cent
The group was led by PSA president Watson Duke
and was monitored by police.
In an interview, Duke said TRHA employees were
currently working on 2010 wages and had expected
an increase in March this year. He said the matter
should be treated with some level of urgency.
"We have come to start a conversation in earnest
to ask the chief secretary when is he willing to pay?
We have heard him on television and we would
applaud him for that, that he sees workers salaries
as an emergency. Workers cannot be paid. He deems
it as an emergency and we are saying, these workers
are not being paid. We are in 2015 and their salary
right now is 2010. Five years ago he was the chief
secretary when all of this happened. The chief sec-
retary is fully responsible for the Tobago Regional
Health Authority, not partly, he is fully responsible.
Therefore, we are asking him to treat with this matter.
We want to have a letter that states when he shall
pay," he said.
Duke said workers in the Tobago health sector were
being treated unfairly and if the matter was not
addressed their protest action would escalate.
"We are going up there now to pull everybody
Gopeesingh: $12m in ECCE centres for Couva South
PSA president Watson Duke addresses protesting employees of the Tobago Regional Health Authority.
out---doctors, nurses, pharmacists---everybody who
is in charge of Tobago. We the people are in charge,
we simply allow them to rule over us according to
our dictates, but when they are going afoul, when
they are going the wrong road we have to pull them
back and this is what is happening right now. The
chief secretary is in his high tower. He doesn t care
about us," Duke said.
Tobago health workers
protest stalled negotiations
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