Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 19th 2016 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, September 19, 2016
General secretary of the Sanatan
Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), Sat
Maharaj, has described the Govern-
ment s proposal to implement a dress
code for teachers as a political dis-
"I consider this to be a political dis-
traction," Maharaj said. "In the educa-
tion system it is chaotic. The schools
are closing down all over the country.
"The Education Facilities Company Ltd
(EFCL) is non-existent. The schoolbooks;
they have disappeared, the feeding pro-
gramme has almost come to a standstill. All
these things are affecting the education sys-
He said instead of talking about dress code
the failing school system should be addressed.
Maharaj added, however, that he would
welcome a memo being issued to teachers
regarding their attire instead of a mandatory
"A persuasion is different from imposing,"
He said in the protective services uniforms
are provided by the Government and, if a
dress code is to be implemented, teachers
would now request a uniform allowance.
Maharaj said while there was no issue of
teachers dressing inappropriately at Hindu
schools, he had problems with parents---in
particular mothers---dressing improperly to
collect their children after school.
"In my Tunapuna Hindu School we had
a problem with the dress code of the
mothers, so the principal put up a big
sign regarding what would be tolerated
from parents," he said.
The proposed dress code has
received support from president of
the National Parent/Teacher Associ-
ation (NPTA) Zena Ramatali, who
complained that teachers are wearing
short skirts, tight pants and other
inappropriate attire at their work-
On Saturday, chairman of the
People s National Movement
(PNM) Franklin Khan announced
that Education Minister Anthony
Garcia is in discussions with the
T&T Unified Teachers Association
(TTUTA) and the NPTA about imple-
menting a dress code for teachers.
Stakeholders invited to a presentation/
discussion today by Sandals International
Resorts on a concept for development of a
750-room hotel in Tobago are asking for
more than an hour to raise their concerns
about the proposed project.
The issue was raised by Patricia Turpin,
president of Environment Tobago, who was
invited by the Tobago House of Assembly
(THA) to a 10 am presentation at Coco
Reef Resort by representatives of Sandals,
including deputy chairman and CEO Adam
Sandals is owned by hotel mogul Gor-
don "Butch" Stewart who has a chain
of hotels in Antigua, Bahamas, Grenada,
Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia and Turks
Following the presentation, a round
table discussion will take place among
officials, including THA chief secretary
Orville London, Minister in the Office
of the Prime Minister Stuart Young and
Minister of Tourism and Transportation
Taking part in the discussion will be the
Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association, Tobago
Agricultural Society, Bon Accord Community
Council, Crown Point Community Partnership
Association and Buccoo Community Council.
Turpin objected to Golden Grove Estate being
advertised as the proposed site of the hotel. She
said Clico owns the estate which partially sur-
rounds the Bon Accord Lagoon and includes a
strip of pristine, white-sand beach called No
Man s Land.
She said they are not against development,
which must be properly done "especially in this
area which is restricted. It s a marine park and
a Ramsar site.
"They said it was a presentation. They did
not say it was a consultation so that is going
to cause an issue. We want them to answer all
Turpin also objected to the hour-long meet-
ing which she described as absurd.
"We want the time extended so we can get
some answers. People are not going to leave
there without answers. They would have to
give us some extra time. I just hope good
Turpin hopes Sandals and the THA will
come clean since she believes everything
was handled the wrong way.
"If this is a three-year project, how is
this supposed to help us immediately? I
am a hotelier and we need immediate
relief with air lift, not three years from
now. This is not going to save us. I find
their thinking is a bit skewed."
Dedan Daniel, who in June organised
an online petition which garnered 3,000
signatures, is calling on the THA for full
disclosure of the project and said stake-
holders would demand answers on the
commercial arrangements between San-
dals and the Government.
"We would want to know how the link-
ages in the tourism value chain could
benefit from such an arrangement," he
Sat: Talk of
dress code a
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