Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 20th 2015 Contents A12
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Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 20, 2015
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Plans to relocate workers from the
former Ministry of Tertiary Education
and Skills Training (MTEST) offices to
the spanking new $179 million building
equipped with state-of-the-art facilities
and technology, in Chaguanas, are now
Staff was expected to move out of
Levels 16, 17 and 18 at Tower C of the
International Waterfront Centre on
Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, this
month, former tertiary education min-
ister Fazal Karim had said. The building
was officially opened by former prime
minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar during
the height of the general election cam-
But according to Education Minister
Anthony Garcia on Friday, he was
unaware of such plans.
Garcia confirmed that tertiary edu-
cation fell under his ministry and so did
Garcia said, "I don t know of any
plans at all to move staff from Tower
C. That has not been discussed at all.
"We have an expanded Ministry of
Education now and we will look at the
resources, including our physical
resources, and we will utilise those
resources to the best of our ability and
in the interest of education."
Asked if plans to house the agencies
under tertiary education would continue,
Garcia said tertiary education was now
"a decision" under the Ministry of Edu-
"So if any part of tertiary education
is housed in that building, it falls under
the Ministry of Education.
"The Ministry of Education will
utilise the building as it sees fit."
In 2012, the People s Partnership
modified the Ministry of Science, Tech-
nology and Tertiary Education, which
was later separated into the Ministry
of Science and Technology and the Min-
istry of Tertiary Education and Skills
Training. There were more than one
dozen agencies which fell under the
previous MTEST. Under the People s
National Movement administration,
there is just the Ministry of Education
with one line minister.
State-of-the art facility
On Thursday, workmen were seen at
the back of the building where they
were sheltering from the rain under
sheds, but work seemed to continue.
The National Training Agency (NTA),
under its chairman Kelvin Mahabir,
oversaw the construction of the MTEST
building. Mahabir, via email, stated that
the cost of the building was $179 million.
He said the other phases of the project
included buildings for the housing of
other agencies that were under the min-
istry, but at this time these were only
at concept stage with no final costing.
The new building is outfitted with
modern facilities including a gym,
library, day care, reading rooms, con-
ference rooms, wellness rooms, board-
room, kitchenettes, close to 250 parking
spaces and computer lines.
Mahabir stated, "The work on MTEST
phase one is completed with snagging
being done on minor fixes as needed.
The cladding at the back should be com-
pleted within two weeks. Any other
changes will be dictated by the ministry
as they see fit. They would have been
involved throughout planning and exe-
cution so this should be minimal."
• Continues on Page A14
Scaffolding remains erected as work continues on the unoccupied MTEST Administrative Complex in Chaguanas,
which was formally opened in the run up to the September 7 general election. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
$179m MTEST building...
Plans to relocate PoS
workers in limbo
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