Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 23rd 2015 Contents A4
There are approximately 20 schools that remain
closed since the new school term officially began
on September 8.
According to Education Minister Anthony Garcia,
"It is something that we are very concerned about."
During a brief interview at the celebration
hosted by the University of Trinidad and Tobago
(UTT) on the occasion of World Maritime Day,
yesterday, at the Chaguaramas campus, Garcia
deemed this "totally unacceptable."
Confirming the number of unopened schools,
Garcia said he would soon be meeting with his
ministry s permanent secretaries and the Chief
Education Officer "to discuss a strategy as we
Asked if he intended to review the scope of
works by the Education Facilities Company Ltd
(EFCL)---the sole entity with responsibility for
school repairs, renovations and upgrades---Garcia
was cautious in his response.
He said, "EFCL is a company we have to look
at very closely. I don t want to make any defin-
itive statements right now, but it is something
we need to look at very closely."
Also calling for the EFCL s portfolio to be
decentralised was president of the T&T Unified
Teachers Association (TTUTA) Davanand
Sinanan who agreed that the company s remit
needed to be scaled down.
Highlighting the current process via which
school officials must report any problems and
also request assistance to resolve issues affecting
their schools operations, Sinanan said the
inherently bureaucratic process could not be
allowed to continue.
Calling for the EFCL s role to be redefined,
Sinanan said by divesting the company of some
of its responsibility, school repairs and upgrades
would not be held up or drawn out, thereby
He explained that if school principals were
trained in facility management and given the
autonomy to make certain decisions, then small
repairs could be done without any long delays.
Additionally, Sinanan said, this move would
also eliminate the possibility of corruption relating
to the award of contracts, and a more transparent
and accountable system could be implemented.
Focusing on the denominational boards,
Sinanan said it was also unfair for them to con-
tinually call on the Ministry of Education to effect
any and all repairs to their respective schools.
"It cannot be that you own the school, deter-
mine who is the teacher and who is the principal,
and when the school is falling apart, you blame
the ministry and ask them to fix it," he said.
Declaring that it was "an inconvenient truth"
and that he didn t have an axe to grind with anyone,
the TTUTA head said the denominational boards
needed to take responsibility for their schools
physical structures and carry out simple repairs
before calling on the ministry for assistance.
See Page A8
As 20 schools
Question: What impact
do you think a day
of prayer can have
on the spiralling
It definitely will help
the nation on a
whole, not just with
crime. I opened my
Bible today on Joel
Chapter 2 and this was a
call for leaders to fast and
pray and come to God.
This is my confirmation that a day of prayer is
needed to help this country and help guide the
protective forces to be more effective.
I agree with the new
leadership that prayers
will effect positive change
on the crime rate and a
lot of other negative
things happening in this
country. I may not attend
the function at the
Savannah, but I will do my own prayers and
encourage my family to do the same.
It is difficult for the crime
rate in this country to
lower. People have to
initiate on their own,
along with religious
groups and prayers to
We are looking at all ills of
society to shift. I think it is the
most positive move the Prime
Minister could have made on
taking up office. Nothing can
happen without God's consent.
God can't vote and his name
was not on any electoral list, but
A day of prayer will see so much
change even those who
doubted will understand after.
Crime will go down, but it has to
be continued. They should even
consider making it a monthly
It will help. I really can't see
anyone saying otherwise or
having an issue at all with an
initiative that will, no matter
what religion, have a positive
effect on the country. It will
affect not just the crime rate,
but all negatives in the country.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 23, 2015
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