Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 8th 2015 Contents A25
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
"Our Service is your guarantee"
C Olivier Avenue, Coconut Drive, Cross Crossing, San Fernando
(Behind Halliburton Ltd.) TEL: 223-1357/223-1358 652-4411/12 fax: 652-4413
Medical, Surgical & Hospital Services
24 Hr Emergency Services & Admissions
• Internal Medicine
• Chest Diseases
• Family Medicine
• Metabolic Disease
• ENT, Orthopaedic &
• Sleep Study
• Coronary Care Unit
• Bone Densitometry &
• Minor Surgical
• Executive Medicals
• Ultra Sound
• Dental Suite
• Lung Function
• Stress ECG
• Holter Monitoring
(LLANOS) e Water People
19 Western Main Road, St. James
622-PUMP (7867) / 622-2880
We have the
Best Brands for your
While Gate policies may change over time, notifica-
tion of these changes should be given at least one
year before the proposed implementation date, since
the application process to the St Augustine, Cave Hill
and Mona campuses starts one year before the actual
start of the programme of study.
It is therefore unbelievable that the Government
would choose to inform the Cave Hill and Mona cam-
puses in August (less than three weeks before the start
of the semester), that students, who had already gained
entry to their programmes, would not be funded.
Even more unfortunate is that students, unaware of
this "new" Gate policy, would have travelled to the
Mona and Cave Hill campuses, settled in their dorms
or off-campus accommodation, only to be told during
their orientation programme that the Government has
decided not to pay the tuition fees for some students.
What are students to do at this stage?
The Government needs to be honourable and pay the
tuition fees of students who were accepted and would
have travelled to the Cave Hill and Mona Campuses of
the University of the West Indies.
At the same time, the "new policy" should immedi-
ately be made public so that all potential students and
their parents can make informed decisions for the
2016/2017 academic year.
Gate should be paid for the students since
(i) the website for the Gate programme states that
one can apply for Gate funding if "... you have been
accepted to a Gate-approved local or regional public
tertiary level Institutions,"
(ii) in the past, students at the Cave Hill and Mona
campuses had access to Gate funding, students apply-
ing for the 2015/2016 academic year had similar expec-
(iii) if the Government made a decision to implement
a new Gate policy, that information should have been
made available to students one year ago.
Again, the Government needs to be honourable and
pay the tuition fees of students who were accepted and
would have travelled to the Cave Hill and Mona cam-
puses of the University of the West Indies.
J Marcelle-De Silva,
GOVT MUST PAY
The situation is now long past being tol-
For the better part of 18 months, the
country has been wilting under a veritable
foreign exchange siege. Private enterprises
(small, medium and large) and citizens of all
strata of society (the sick seeking medical
attention abroad; grannies wishing to visit
relatives; parents desirous of paying school
fees; vacationers etc) have been made to
jump through all kinds of hoops to obtain
US dollars for undertaking legitimate trans-
actions. This in an economy which had long
ago abandoned meaningless restrictions!
The mantra, repetitive and nauseous, is
that US dollars in large tranches have been
injected into the system. There is no short-
age of supply. Shop around and you'll find!
This is akin to telling a hungry rural
dweller in the South Sahel: look here, there
is no need to go hungry tonight; the world
produces enough food for everyone.
Absolute hogwash as a meaningful re-
sponse to a critical human need! No devel-
opment practitioner would hold his job after
uttering such nonsense.
When will those in authority accept and
act on the knowledge that there is a world
of difference between availability and ac-
cessibility? This holds true for foreign ex-
change as much as it does for food.
Bringing it closer home, for all the good-
ies available in the large wholesale and re-
tail food outlets in T&T, a significant
proportion of our citizens will go to bed hun-
gry tonight, unsure of breakfast tomorrow
for their children and families.
Pointing to the available supplies is no
consolation. For the courts are not sympa-
thetic to the notion that the indigent may
readily access those supplies as dire circum-
stances sometimes drive the desperate so
In sum, deliberate policy and action must
be applied to transform availability into ac-
cessibility. Do ordinary and even not-so-or-
dinary citizens have unimpeded access to
those seemingly large sums of foreign ex-
change earmarked for distribution? What
are the conditions? Are some more equal
than others in terms of access? What
amounts are allocated to the different re-
tailers? Are sums siphoned off prior to
reaching the retail counter? Why were cir-
cumstances so different prior to April
Hopefully, this is a matter which would
merit urgent attention of the new govern-
Winston R Rudder
Since 2011 there has been an increasing
quantity of sargassum seaweed being de-
posited on the beaches of T&T, Grenada,
Barbados and on the beaches of all the
other Caribbean Islands.
Unusually high deposits of sargassum
seaweed is also reported from the South-
east coast of the USA and even from West
On the beaches on the Atlantic side of
Tobago the deposits are much higher this
year than in previous years.
Why has the THA not utilised Cepep
gangs to clean the beaches and to deposit
the collected seaweed in designated areas
away from habitation to be converted into
It is a much better product than the im-
ported and expensive peat moss.
Communities located near to the af-
fected beaches should be encouraged to
form volunteer clean-up gangs to collect the
seaweed which may be used by farmers
and by householders in their gardens and
flower beds and flower pots, after the salt
has been washed out. Some guidance from
THA officials in the preparation of the sea-
weed before use will be helpful.
Seaweed may also be converted into liq-
uid fertiliser after being steeped in water
for two to three months. Seaweed fer-
tiliser is big business in many countries but
we in T&T do not know how to convert it
Seaweed products imported from the
USA and the UK may be purchased from
garden shops in Trinidad and also in Tobago.
Seaweed on our beaches is free for use,
and is a valuable resource which, with a lit-
tle enterprise, could be a dollar earner for
Let us help ourselves and stop this de-
pendency on the Government or on the
THA to do things for us which we can do for
Information on the preparation and use
of seaweed in the garden is available from
the appropriate websites.
Seaweed fertiliser a big business
Limiting students despite medical shortage
On one hand the Ministry of
Tertiary Education and Skills
Training is saying that the Gate
programme was scaled back due
to the "costs of regional institu-
tions, the human resources needs
of the country, the need for spe-
cialist doctors over house doc-
In another article the principal
of UWI, St Augustine is saying
that he is "trying to clear a back-
log of 200 students trying to get
into medicine; parents are calling
him and asking why their children
have to wait so long to get into
the medicine programme."
He also said, "We need to bring
in more staff... I am appealing to
doctors to come back and help us
train world-class doctors."
So on the one hand the ministry
is saying there are too many
house doctors and not enough of
the required specialists, and on
the other hand the principal of
UWI is saying we need to teach
more, we need more teachers etc.
But don t you need to be a house
doctor first, then specialise?
We have the San Fernando
teaching hospital that has very lit-
tle staff at present; the new Chil-
dren s Hospital has no staff at all.
So what is really going on here?
Why are we really limiting the
number of students studying
medicine at regional institutions if
UWI, St Augustine cannot accom-
The foreign exchange fiasco
Links Archive September 7th 2015 September 9th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page