Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 1st 2016 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Friday, January 1, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Parents are being told to keep their
children away from school come Mon-
day when the new school term
reopens, once they display cold and
flu symptoms or any other form of
This is a major precaution undertaken
by the Ministry of Education following
a request by the Minister of Health,
Terrence Deyalsingh in bid to prevent
the spread of the H1N1 influenza (swine
During a press conference yesterday,
which was held at the Ministry of Edu-
cation head office in St Clair, Minister
Anthony Garcia made the call to parents
and added that both ministries (Health
and Education) were currently still
engaged in discussions.
"We are doing everything that is nec-
essary to ensure the safety of our chil-
dren in the schools. There are certain
basic health protocols that were given
to schools by the Ministry of Health.
This goes back years. We are calling on
all members to please take a minute to
ensure that those protocols are observed
and enforced in all our schools regarding
teachers and students," Garcia said.
When contacted for comment yes-
terday, Minister of Health, Terrence
Deyalsingh said that despite that there
are 42 lab-confirmed cases of the H1N1
influenza in T&T, he maintained that
there was no need to organize the vac-
cination in the schools.
"I would only reiterate what the Min-
ister of Education said which is to keep
your children away from school only if
they display cold and flu symptoms and
also for reiterate my plea that I made
two months ago to parents, which is to
have their child/children, once they are
five years and under to get them vac-
cinated because it is the children who
are under five years that are suscepti-
ble," Deyalsingh said.
He disclosed that there are 42 lab-
confirmed cases in T&T and added that
there are also confirmed cases through-
out the Caribbean.
It was previously reported that the
Ministry of Health had placed an order
with the Pan American Health Organ-
isation for 20,000 additional vaccines.
In October, former health minister
Dr Fuad Khan called on citizens to be
cautious as there was a resurgence of
the virus in India and parts of South
Asia, which share close ties with T&T.
He noted the 2009 pandemic in
which 14,286 confirmed deaths were
reported and called on local authorities
to put the proper measures in place.
Khan's call followed the death of a
Siparia woman, Cherrie Ryce, that same
month as a result of H1N1 at the San
Fernando General Hospital.
The death was brought to the atten-
tion of the media by concerned rela-
In October, the Caribbean Public
Health Agency said it had received 284
samples for influenza virus testing, of
which 47 tested positive while 14 were
typed as Influenza-A H1N1.
Several schools throughout T&T will remain
closed on Monday and Tuesday, while some, only
the Form One and Form Two students will be
affected. This, according, to the Minister of
Education, Anthony Garcia, is to accommodate
students writing the Caribbean Secondary
Education Certificate examinations.
The following Secondary Schools that will
remain closed and will re-open for the new term
on Wednesday are:
Diego Martin North
Diego Martin Central
San Juan North
South Eastern Port-of-Spain
The following Secondary Schools that will only
affect Forms One and Two students are:
Point Fortin East
North Eastern College
Rio Claro East
El Dorado East
Princes Town West
El Dorado West
Education Minister Anthony Garcia,left, listens to the view of TTUTA president Davanand Sinanan, following a press conference at the
ministry's headquarters in St Clair, Port-of-Spain yesterday. Looking on is NPTA President Zena Ramatali. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
The Ministry of Education is to cut schol-
arships by 15% in 2016. Education Minister,
Anthony Garcia says there s need for more
discussion. "The (scholarship) cap will reside
in the area of about 400 but again we would
need to discuss with all stakeholders," Garcia
said. The number of scholarships issued over
the last five years was 1600 ---over 470 in 2015.
It means 70 scholarships will go.
The ministry is also to cut spending by more
than $118 million, that represents 1 percent of
a budget that the Guardian was told $9.8 Billion.
Garcia was speaking during a media confer-
ence yesterday at the St Clair offices of the
Ministry of Education, called mainly to clarify
the issue of textbooks in the school.
Garcia explained that the replenishing of text-
books, its three-year cycle which came to an
end has been extended to one year.
"If we had gone the way of full replenishment
that would have amounted to $138 million. The
decision that we have taking now, which is only
to replenish the books that have been destroyed,
lost and stolen will allow only an expenditure
of not more than $20 million. So, this is a step
in the right direction," Garcia said.
"I want reassure that there is no shortage of
textbooks, they are still in the system and avail-
able to all. The only difference this year is that
some of the, might be as old as three years but
we do not see this as a major problem," he
President of the T&T Unified Teacher's Asso-
ciation (TTUTA), Devanand Sinanan and Pres-
ident of the National Parent Teachers Associ-
ation, Zeena Ramatali were also present at the
Bother said they hadn't been properly con-
sulted initially, but were now satisfied with the
proper explanation given by the minister sur-
rounding the textbooks issue.
However, Ramatali raised concerns about the
storage and the quality of the textbooks in the
Both Sinanan and Ramatali welcomed Garcia's
move to reinstate the Learning Material Eval-
"The life of that came to an end in 2009 and
since then we have had no committee perform-
ing that function and we were very concerned
of the committee not being in existence or no
alternative arrangement was put in place. We
were satisfied with the minister listening care-
fully to our suggestion. We also indicated that
the committee must include representatives of
TTUTA and the NPTA as well as other stake-
holders," Sinanan said.
Prime Minister Keith Rowley told the country
on Tuesday that all ministries and state entities
would need to find 7 percent in budget savings.
He said those would come mainly from inef-
ficiencies, and that jobs would not be threat-
15 per cent
also cuts 118 million
from its budget
SCHOOLS TO CLOSE FOR EXAMS
Schools' swine flu alert
Parents warned to keep kids who show flu signs at home
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