Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 6th 2016 Contents A6
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CHARLES KONG SOO
Residents on Welcome North
Road, Cunupia, and environs say
they are being affected by dust and
debris and experiencing respiratory
problems since road works were
abruptly terminated in January.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian
on Wednesday, councillor for Long-
denville/Talparo, Ryan Rampersad,
said: "A number of contractors were
hired by the Ministry of Works and
Infrastructure under its Pure (Pro-
gramme for Upgrading Roads Effi-
ciency) initiative primarily for build-
ing box drains, preparation of
roadways and paving around June
"At the beginning of the year, the
last contractor came---Seereeram
Brothers Ltd---work was stopped
and they demobilised.
"What happened now is the road
has been converted into a dust bowl
with the crusher run material
exposed to the elements and daily
traffic disintegrating it into billowing
He said apart from the affected
residents there was a kindergarten
with 35 children in the area who
were subjected to the dust daily.
Rampersad said he contacted Pure
director Hayden Phillip and project
engineers about the residents' sit-
He said Phillip indicated to him
the ministry's lack of funding, but
Rampersad's priority is the health
of the residents as there are several
senior citizens with respiratory ill-
Residents said they can't leave
their doors open, hang laundry or
wash their cars because of the dust,
while air condition units had to be
serviced every month.
We'll ease the discomfort
When Pure director Hayden
Phillip was contacted on Wednesday
he said Pure wet the road on Tues-
day and continued to do so.
He said since the election con-
tactors hadn't been paid and he was
trying to get a contractor to pour
some oil over the crusher run.
Phillip gave his assurance to the
residents that measures would be
undertaken to ease their discom-
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Serious allegations have been levelled against
staff and students at the Chaguanas North Sec-
ondary School connecting them to Isis operations
and other high-scale illegal activities.
The Sunday Guardian received information from
sources within the institution after the Central school
made headlines in mid-February.
Alleged reports of criminal behaviour among a
core group of students have since led to two students
being charged and about two dozen others removed
from the school.
However, the levels of criminality are escalating
and staff is deeply concerned for its
Students carrying out blatant acts
in the system were said to have come
from primary schools and that the
larger secondary school environment
was reason for them to enhance their
already acquired skills.
This newspaper was told that there
was an Isis sleeper cell operating out
of the school and that students were
being recruited, mainly Form Four
However, this allegation was
immediately dismissed by former
senior superintendent of the Central
Division Johnny Abraham when con-
He said: "Nah, that has to be ole
talk. I have no information about
Sunday Guardian was told that the Ministry of
National Security and Special Branch were alerted
to this information around the start of the school
term in September 2015.
"The school is living in fear," the source said.
The school, which sits on nine acres of land, has
a staff of 90 and roughly 900 students. MTS personnel
were reduced from eight to four in the last few years.
However, their complement has since gone back up
following the Minister of Education's visit.
So far, the days have been "normal" and police
patrols have been continuing.
"Whenever they stop the police patrols, teachers
will stop work," said the source.
Other students have been preparing for examina-
tions in May.
ISIS 'student' recruiters
Apart from the 24 students who were removed
from the school since the incident happened, the
source said there was another group deemed "rogue
elements" who were still in the system, and said to
be recruiting Form Four students.
"They have been recruiting all the time. The 24
we know of are those who were up front.
"For instance, the 16-year-old who issued the
threat to the teacher was not one of them."
The source said the situation began taking a turn
for the worse and was seen more as a national security
matter than an education one.
"It's all about the money."
In order to be taken seriously by the relevant min-
istries, the source said staff were forced to stop teach-
Bullying is a main trend among the delinquent
and rebellious group and while talks about gun pos-
session were in the air last term, none was found on
However, Sunday Guardian was told three AK47s
were said "to be involved" in all that is happening
at the school.
Asked what was being done about these students
who were turning to a life of crime, the source said
they came from the primary school system that way.
complain of the
dust from the
Chag North students linked
to Isis sleeper cell in school
"When they come to a large school such as Chagua-
nas North, the only thing you can do is to improve
"I hope the Ministry of Education and the Ministry
of National Security do the correct thing and quick.
We were sitting on a time bomb and we tried to quell
it in our own way.
"This time we could not. This was the breaking
point and the Isis matter has made it even more dif-
ficult and I understand that there are Isis connections
at other schools, so I am paying attention."
Heightened criminal behaviour
One day after a student was attacked inside of a
toilet cubicle, CCTV footage was allegedly
removed from the corridors. The source
said footage is normally deleted seven
When we asked who would remove
the footage, the source said: "Let us just
a say a member of staff."
Sunday Guardian was told that teachers
abandoned classes since November
because of the daily disruptions by stu-
dents engaging in violent acts.
This was after two teachers suffered
burns on their bodies when students
allegedly threw scratch bombs in the
The male and female teachers were
unable to make official police reports
since it would have been difficult to prove
which student threw the scratch bomb.
However, the teachers could have
sought redress by pursuing legal action against their
employer, the Ministry of Education, which they did
"Teachers are genuinely scared.
"If the ministry did not step in when it did in Feb-
ruary, they would have started using up their days
to avoid being on the compound.
"Students' violent behaviour went up a notch.
This is now criminal activity. They have moved up."
The source said, last year the school had 750 sus-
pensions while in 2005, there were around 60.
On Carnival Friday, a female student suffered a
"buss" head as a result of a stone-throwing war
between the Chaguanas North and South schools.
Last year, a student suffered a broken nose and
received a gash when the "Isis group of students"
thought the student made a report against them.
Dillon could not be reached for comment
Efforts to reach Minister of National Security
Edmund Dillon on his mobile proved futile.
Apart from the 24
students who were
removed from the
school since the
the source said there
was another group
elements" who were
still in the system,
and said to be
recruiting Form Four
students. "They have
been recruiting all
the time. The 24 we
know of are those
who were up front.
Dust in their face
at Welcome Road
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