Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 7th 2016 Contents A23
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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It is very disturbing to me why it is that parents
and children have to protest with placards etc, to
have things put in place for the Presbyterian-run
primary schools in Trinidad.
Firstly, there is the slow progress with the com-
pletion of the Woodbrook Presbyterian School
which was established since 1922 and has pro-
duced many outstanding citizens of our beloved
Next on the list is the Eccelsville Presbyterian
School where the children have to be accommo-
dated at the nearby Presbyterian Church. Then fi-
nally, the Siparia Presbyterian Primary School. Here
again, the parents and the children have to stage
another protest. I am appealing to those in charge
to take cognisance of the fact that this should not
be happening in this day and age.
Proper funding should be allocated to Presbyte-
rian primary schools throughout the country.
Come on, Mr Garcia, the ball is in your court, as
the line minister in charge of education.
Kelvin La Roche
Professor Deosaran recently launched
another of his books at The UWI
amidst a panel and audience of
respectable professionals, where discus-
sions centred around the challenges facing
education and the rest of society. As a
sociologist, and someone actively involved
in education, it is only fair that I throw
my two cents in the mix.
I too have identified the challenges fac-
ing our small nation as having its roots in
our dysfunctional education system. To be
fair, the education system didn t become
dysfunctional in the last few years. It was
dysfunctional as far back as 1966 when I
was uprooted from D Abadie and sent to
school in Woodbrook.
And shortly after the train system was
scrapped, I was faced with what I later
came to recognise as a dysfunctional
transportation system, which saw me
reaching to school late,"getting licks" for
doing so, despite having no control over
the transport woes.
I was among the "lucky ones" since I
had "passed for Tranquil," having neither
selected it, nor ever heard about before,
at 11 years old. And for the next five
years I cannot recall learning anything
from that institution. In all fairness, how-
ever, I did learn every shortcut from the
then "bus terminus" to Victoria Ave, if
only to avoid the licks.
I knew nothing of the document called
the Concordat then, and know little of it
now, save that it creates a two tier system
of students, perpetuating the class system
in this small island where one s life
chances are determined simply by the
high school one attends; later going on to
create networks referring to themselves as
"Ole Pres Boys," or "Ole QRC Boys," rein-
forcing the patriarchal system. This allows
a handful of men to run roughshod over
the rest of the population based on some
arbitrary "accomplishment" as in having
attended some "prestige" school or the
other, and coming out with "plenty pass-
es."Little do the policy makers (and I am
not referring here to the politicians) in
this land understand the damage caused
when children do not pass for "their
school of choice," understanding little of
the concept, except that which has been
badgered into them by both parents and
teachers who equate prestige schools with
success. The damage to the psyche of 11-
year-olds across this landscape is
immeasurable. Then, we act surprised
when they end up in our nation s prison.
Ironically, most don t end up in prison
but in other well-know institutions like
the public service, the police service, the
prison service, the regiment, WASA, etc.
A couple even end up in parliament,
where they have no idea what they are
expected to do. Is it any wonder that the
common denominator, the driving ethos
in the majority of our institutions is to
"eat a food?"
For too long this nation has been sad-
dled with people in positions with aca-
demic qualifications and credentials, who
are clueless. We learn about their behav-
iour and decisions both in the private
sphere and in public office. It is it diffi-
cult to have intelligent discussion in this
land, regardless of the topic. So people
who have been beneficiaries of a "prestige
school" education will swear by it that
their school was/is the best; as with their
political party, or their religion.
It has been long recognised that an
institution is only as good as the people
who work there. A health institution is
only as good as the medical and support
staff. Similarly, a school is as only as
good as the teachers and support staff.
Sadly, private hospitals in this land are
much more efficient and professional
than public hospitals. Yet often it s the
same professionals who work in both
institutions. Likewise, we know teachers
who cannot teach in crowded classrooms,
give lessons comfortably at their private
residences, often in conditions worse than
TTUTA represents teachers and PTA
the parents. The client, namely the stu-
dent, has no voice in his/her education.
Times have changed. Students opinions
must be taken into consideration, it is
their lives on the line, and their young
voices must be entertained.
Rudy Chato Paul Sr
Fix Maracas Royal Road, please
This is an open letter to the Minister of trans-
portation and the MP for St Joseph. I want to
invite you both to take a drive up the Maracas
Royal Road. Don't come in your executive vehicle---
a 4x4 is advisable.
Over the past month, maybe more, some state
agency has dug up from the middle of the Eastern
Main Road to Caiman Road. I, like others, keep
waiting for those responsible to fix the continu-
ously worsening condition of the road, but daily
the pot holes get deeper, making travelling more
difficult. Minister, MP, please intervene. This is just
another example of expenditure without account-
tries to make
a sale in
STUDENTS' OPINIONS CRITICAL
IN DECIDING EDUCATION POLICY
Why does it always
come down to protesting?
It amazes me the way some corporations are run
in this country. I am speaking about garbage col-
lection in Woodbrook. I know that the collectors
have clearly defined job descriptions as to what
garbage they must collect, but surely in this day and
age changes can be made towards improvement.
My example is the difference between what I will
call "regular" garbage and shrubbery, or in Trini
So I put out four bags of bush and two bags of
regular garbage recently, all nicely bagged in black
garbage bags and hard to tell which was which. To
my dismay, the collectors picked up the two bags of
regular garbage but left the bags of bush. I noticed
some were torn, indicating that they were in-
spected to see what was in them.
Obviously they are qualified in knowing the dif-
ference in "garbage" and clearly understand their
job description. Can't blame them for that. After all,
rules are rules.
But to the authorities, you mean to tell me that
the regular garbage goes to a different dump than
the bush? Are we so modern that we are recycling
the garbage appropriately? How First World we
have become? I hope the bush is not burnt so as to
damage the ozone layer.
I now fully understand the case of dumping of
bush---not bagged, on the sidewalk and having to
call for collection or wait the two weeks for it, and
some indiscriminate people will cut down a whole
tree and put it outside just so (I understand that
bush collection is done every two weeks in Wood-
brook so you have to plan your gardening accord-
ingly). But leaving it properly bagged for two weeks
is a bit hard to understand.
What if I mixed my regular garbage with bush in
the same bag, will they have to redefine the job de-
scriptions to decide who collects it?
Two weeks for bush
removal hard to take
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