Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 9th 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Monday, January 9, 2017
All schools ready to re-open today---Garcia
All schools, including those
which were being repaired for
the 2016 Christmas vacation
will be opened today.
The assurance came from Ed-
ucation Minister Anthony Garcia
"The information that I have
from our school supervisors is
that every school will be in a state
of readiness to open its doors to our
students," Garcia said in a telephone
On Friday, Garcia said he met
with a team from the Education
Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) and
representative from his ministry
who assured him that all schools
were ready to be reopened.
"There are some challenges we
were told that we would overcome."
Garcia said his expectation for
2017 was to deliver quality educa-
tion to the nation's 200,000 stu-
dents at its 455 primary and 125
He admitted that a number of
schools were 95 per cent complete
due to financial constraints or work
being stopped by the contractor.
However, on Friday president of
the T&T Unified Teachers Associ-
ation (TTUTA) Lynsley Doodhai
criticised the ministry for failing
to have a meeting with its associ-
ation to give an update on the state
of readiness with regards to schools
under repairs for the vacation.
Doodhai said TTUTA could not
verify which schools were under
refurbishment by the (EFCL) and
if they would be opened today.
"We depend on updates via a
meeting with the ministry's per-
manent secretary and we were
supposed to meet last week, but
the meeting was postponed to this
week and now to next week.
Citing lack of transparency
Another Pan Trinbago
Another member of the Keith
Diaz-led Pan Trinbago execu-
tive has resigned insisting there
was a lack of transparency in the
leadership of the organisation.
Assistant Secretary Cindy Ro-
semin tendered her resignation
letter to the acting president of Pan
Trinbago Richard Forteau on Satur-
day. Last November, Byron Serrette
resigned as vice-president of the
organisation citing questionable
financial transactions and a large
and growing debt within the or-
Pan players, led by Trinidad All
Stars member, Dane Gulston have
been protesting over the past two
weeks demanding that Diaz and the
entire executive resign immediately
because of a lack of transparency
in the management of the affairs
of Pan Trinbago.
They claim that Diaz and his
executive have been treating them
with disrespect. The players are
also upset over the non-payment
of the $1,000 remittance owed to
each of them for participating in
the 2016 Panorama competition.
Culture Minister Nyan Gads-
by-Dolly said last Friday the money
was disbursed to the organisation
to pay the players but up to last
week they had not been paid. Pan
players say they received cheques
last week but was unable to cash
it at the bank. The issue remains
Gadsby-Dolly in an interview
with the T&T Guardian on Friday
said that she had to act to "pro-
tect the taxpayers' purse and the
interest of panmen, in light of the
allegations of financial impropriety
involving the steel band organisa-
tion." As a result ass funding will
go through the National Carnival
Commission and not directly with
Diaz was admitted to hospital
on Friday and underwent success-
ful angioplasty surgery to unclog
blocked arteries in his heart.
Public relations officer of the or-
ganisation, Michael Joseph, said the
emergency meeting scheduled for
Saturday was postponed because
of Diaz' health emergency.
Forteau is the substantive sec-
retary of Pan Trinbago.
Rosemin also expressed frustra-
tion over the state of affairs in Pan
In her letter , dated January 7,
Rosemin said during her tenure
she requested "on more than one
occasion some transparency with
the financial accounts of the organ-
isation, specifically all accounts,
balances and updates." She said
the requests were never met.
Rosemin said she also expressed
concerns about the "manner in
which funds were being used,"
adding that it was being done in a
Pan Trinbago was owing sup-
pliers and others an estimated $31
million, according to president of
the National Carnival Commission,
Kenny De Silva.
Rosemin told Forteau Pan Trin-
bago was a non-profit organisation
and should be run as such.
"The lavish spending and fi-
nancial inconsistencies have far
exceeded any acceptable level,"
adding that this situation was "a
bit difficult to digest."
Party goers at Tribe Ice, The Insane Cooler Experience party, at the
Socadrome, Jean Pierre Complex, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, on
Saturday night. PHOTO: CASS STUART
FIRE AND ICE
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