Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 18th 2016 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, February 18, 2016
A hint of tension between the two min-
isters in the Ministry of Education reared its
head yesterday at the second instalment of
the National Consultation on Education, as
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education
Dr Lovell Francis referred to himself as "the
stepchild of the ministry.
The comment came as Francis mounted
the podium at the Southern Academy of the
Performing Arts (SAPA) where the consultation
was taking place
before an audience of
politicians and other
"It is me, the
stepchild of the min-
istry once again. I
was given a short
speaking period on
Monday. Today, I am
actually down for an
address. I am not
sure what that means
but once again I will
try not to be lengthy,"
he began his address
which preceded the
feature address by the
When Garcia took
to the stage, the con-
flict seemed to be
compounded when in
his introduction, he
referred to Lovell as
stoic as Garcia immediately corrected himself
saying: "Sorry, in the Ministry of Education.
I always make the point that Dr Lovell is
not a junior minister. He is a full fledged
minister in the Ministry of Education. The
only difference is, I have to account to the
An unsmiling Lovell looked up as Garcia
turned to him seated at the head table in the
company of vice-president of the National
Parent Teachers Association Raffiena Ali
Boodoosingh, permanent secretary Gillian
Macintyre, TTUTA s president Devanand
Sinanan and uttered: "Dr Lovell, I recognise
you. I welcome you and I listen very attentively
and I congratulate you on your presentation."
In his address, Lovell pointed out that he
was a passionate and fervent believer in edu-
He suggested that in T&T "we need to stop
saying education is free. It is not free. It is
tremendously expensive. It is State supported.
We said free for too long," he added.
Lovell said the education system was trou-
bled but not in shambles. Saying "we took an
education system that was not meant for us
and made it work for us," he added "the one
critical mistake made was that we did not
make it ours."
New Port-of-Spain Mayor Keron Valentine says
he intends to give his "best shot" to complete
projects started by his predecessor Raymond Tim
He said so during his swearing-in ceremony at
City Hall yesterday.
On Tuesday Tim Kee resigned following his con-
troversial victim shaming statement about the death
of Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya whose body
was found in carnival costume at the Queen s Park
Savannah on Ash Wednesday last week.
Valentine said he had assumed the new position
in uncomfortable circumstances, adding such devel-
opments can be expected in politics. That was an
obvious reference to the sudden resignation of Tim
He said he intended to continue with the projects
started by Tim Kee for the remaining eight months.
They include the relocation of street vendors,
getting homelesss people off the streets, illegal
parking and the introduction of parking meters.
Valentine and Tim Kee discussed those projects
"I will give it my best shot," Valentine said
moments after receiving the mayoral chain.
"For me going forward is just a matter of keeping
the ball rolling on what has been happening within
the city and I also gave Tim Kee the commitment
that I will see to it that all his plans, projects and
visionary ideas will be implemented as soon as we
can," the new mayor added.
Responding to questions from the media, Valen-
tine, who was deputy mayor for almost six years,
said he did not expect any challenges over the
remaining eight months.
Local government elections are expected by
Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Terry
Rondon was among the small audience in atten-
dance for the short ceremony which began one
hour later than it was originally scheduled.
I will give
war of words
Newly-appointed Mayor of Port-of-Spain Keron
Valentine receives the mayoral chain from city
police officers during a swearing-in ceremony at
City Hall yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Dr Lovell Francis
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