Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 30th 2015 Contents A7
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The parent of a second year student
of Jordan Hill Presbyterian Primary
School is claiming her child was phys-
ically assaulted by a teacher last
The incident allegedly took place
after classes were dismissed when her
six-year-old daughter was kept back
to copy notes off the board. However,
it is alleged that the child s hand, shoul-
der and arm was badly bruised when
the teacher forcefully wrung it.
A source speaking on behalf of the
child s family explained yesterday the
injuries were noticed later that evening
by her mother.
The mother subsequently took the
child to the Princes Town Police Station
where a report was made.
The school s principal and the Edu-
cation Ministry were notified of the
Officers at the station yesterday told
the T&T Guardian there were not at
liberty to confirm the parent s report.
This, however, is reportedly the third
such incident in which the female
teacher was involved.
Contacted yesterday, chief education
officer Harrilal Seecharan said he was
unaware of any new issues at the school
and assured an investigation would be
launched into the allegations.
Last year, the teacher was reportedly
assaulted by a student who was sub-
sequently suspended and placed on
probation after appearing before a mag-
istrate. The teacher suffered injuries to
her neck, arm and elbow and was
placed on injury leave but the student
has since sat the SEA examination and
left the school.
A source said about four months ago
the teacher was named again in another
incident which was reported to the
Education Ministry, Presbyterian Board
and the Child Protection Unit of the
T&T Police Service.
That matter is still reportedly under
"Parents are concerned the author-
ities will continue to turn a blind eye
and not recognise that not one incident,
two incidents, but now three incidents,
means there is an issue with the teacher
and not necessarily the students.
"They are calling on the ministry
and relevant authorities to address their
concerns before a child is seriously hurt
by this teacher," the source added.
If that failed, the source said, the
parents would consider staging a protest
outside the school s compound.
Contacted yesterday, principal
Marcelyn Ali said she could not com-
ment and referred the T&T Guardian
to the Ministry of Education.
Calls to the mobiles of T&T Unified
Teachers Association (TTUTA) pres-
ident Devanand Sinanan and second
vice president Lynsley Doodhai went
Teacher accused of
assaulting girl, 6
International Labour Organisation (ILO) deputy director, Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean,
Dagmar Walter, left and HIV/Aids Advocacy and Sustainable Centre (HASC) manager, Tania Parrott, chat at
the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development's public consultation on the national workplace
policy on HIV/AIDS at Angostura House, Laventille, yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Approximately 65 per cent of all new HIV/Aids
cases recorded from 2007 to 2011 in T&T occurred
in people between the ages of 25 to 49 years.
According to officials of the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) and the Ministry of Labour and
Small Enterprise Development, this could have a neg-
ative impact on the national workforce currently esti-
mated to be around 700,000.
Delivering the opening remarks at the first of four
public consultations on the revision of the National
Workplace Policy on HIV/Aids at the House of Angos-
tura, Laventille, yesterday, Tania Parrott admitted the
policy which governed behaviours in the workplace
had not been reviewed since it was first adopted by
Cabinet in 2008.
But Parrott, manager of the national HIV/Aids Work-
place Advocacy and Sustainability Centre (HASC),
"The revision of the National Workplace Policy on
HIV and Aids will ensure that it remains consistent
with national and international HIV and Aids priorities,
new trends, research and guidelines with respect to
the HIV epidemic."
Claiming a multi-sectoral approach to manage HIV
and Aids within the labour force was critical, Parrott
urged the stakeholders present to move forward together
to update national guidelines that would govern the
workplace response to dealing with employees who
were diagnosed with HIV/Aids.
She said in the absence of legislation, that policy
was necessary to promote structures and programmes
to reduce stigma and discrimination, as well as provide
decent work opportunities for employees regardless
of their medical status.
Acknowledging the policy must also address the
needs of the employers, Parrott revealed the HASC
had already signed over 25 memoranda of understanding
with organisations across all sectors for the development
of HIV/Aids workplace policy and programmes.
Deputy director of the ILO, Dagmar Walter, likened
the workplace to that of a home, as she said a greater
portion of a person s work day was spent at the office,
which should be free from stigma and discrimina-
Reaffirming the ILO s support for T&T, Walter said
individuals had a responsibility to make sure their
workplaces were healthy and stigma-free while employ-
ers and trade unions needed to make sure that com-
prehensive policies were formulated to treat with per-
sons diagnosed with the disease.
She added that Government also had a part to play
in providing a modern framework for the development
of workplace responses.
Calling for amendments to the Equal Opportunity
Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the
Workers Compensation Act to encompass HIV/Aids
in the workplace, Walter said significant strides had
been made in the past 15 years relating to the prevention,
detection and treatment of the disease.
"HIV/Aids is no longer dealt with as a stand alone
or in isolation. It is one of the infections/diseases that
we can be exposed to, among others," Walter said.
The ILO has joined UNAids in its goal to attain the
global target set for 2020, of having 90 per cent of
those living with HIV/Aids become aware of their sta-
tus.Walter said of the 90 per cent of people living with
the disease, only 41 per cent of them were accessing
Adding that figure had to reach 90 per cent in order
to reach viral suppression, Walter said she hoped if
that was achieved the elimination of the disease could
become a reality by 2030.
65% of new HIV/Aids
cases are young adults
ILO worried over workforce burden
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