Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 27th 2017 Contents news A13
Monday, March 27, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Garcia now mum
on Beephan case
Education Minister Anthony Garcia refused
to comment on the ongoing investigation in
the murder of Waterloo Secondary school Jesse
Bheepan last Friday.
The issue came up during the Parliament sitting, when Gar-
cia was asked by United National Congress MP Fazal Karim
whether Waterloo High School had a school-based man-
agement plan that includes
Garcia said all schools
have such a plan.
"We've been talking
with principals to ensure they un-
derstand the plan. The safety of
students is the paramount respon-
sibility of principals," he said.
Karim asked if they were aware
of a hole in the Carapichaima
school's fence through which
students might have left the
school or unauthorised peo-
ple might have used to enter
But Garcia said the issue
of the boy's death was being
investigated and he couldn't
comment as a result.
Prior to Parliament, reporters had asked Garcia about
his recent comment that Beephan's death wasn't
school-related. He also said then he couldn't com-
"The police are investigating it, let it rest with them,
I can't say any more," he said.
Beephan's body was found in a drain behind the school
on Wednesday after he went missing the day before.
Garcia also maintained the Teaching Service Com-
mission was responsible for delays in appointing deans,
principals and other officials.
" ... Next week interviews start... I don't know why they
take so long," he said.
Minister in the Ministry of Education Lovell Francis mean-
while says he's aiming to have the Ramai Trace Hindu School
open before the September term.
Francis told this to parents and students from the school
who were protesting outside the Parliament. Carrying plac-
ards, some displayed pictures of the poor toilet facilities which
students are using in the current location.
Francis said the school - started in 2014 - is almost com-
pleted but the contractor ended work due to non-payment of
invoices. He said the bill is $31 million.
He said discussions will held to allow the Education Fa-
cilities Co Ltd to get the project moving, either by the same
contractor or another.
Garcia also said the Sonny Ladoo Early Childhood Centre
in Couva cannot be opened since it lack approvals and $9m
in payments are owed to the contractor.
Resist calls for
TT dollar: Suruj
Tabaquite MP Dr Surujrattan
Rambachan is calling on Govern-
ment to resist the recommenda-
tion of economist Roger Hosein
to depreciate the TT dollar.
Rambachan is advising that Gov-
ernment should instead look at
other ways to conserve and earn
"The level of devaluation
which is being proposed
by economists is, in my
view, not necessary if the
problem is properly un-
derstood by the population
and if Government moves
to engage in policies that
and substitution. It
will be a far worse
situation if the deval-
uation route is chosen
as the only alternative,"
Rambachan said in a
He argued that the
hardship which will
be caused to the lives of
citizens, in what is a high-
ly import-oriented econo-
my, will be devastating and
will increase poverty levels as
well asdecrease the standard of
"This will happen because it is
unlikely that there will be wage
increases to compensate for
the rise in the cost of living
as a direct result of deval-
uation," Rambachan said.
Rambachan said the
Government must also
explain to the population
the necessity to save foreign
exchange andencourage local
substitution as far as possible.
He said the population
must be inspired to engage
in consumption patterns
which will save foreign
exchange, but this would
requirea national conversa-
tion and education to developa
heightened level of awareness of
the forex issue.
Rambachan said theGovern-
ment should also prioritise the
use of foreign exchange, en-
suring that the manufactur-
ing and export sectors, which
earn foreign exchange, are ad-
He also suggested the health
sector being placed on that pri-
He said while these measures
might very well mean that luxury
goods will have to be foregone, it
is a small price to pay rather than
have the bitter social consequences
of a devaluation.
In terms of food imports, he said
there is an absolute need to grow
and eat more local foods and rec-
ommended a much more support
for the farmers, in addition to the
launch of a "Green Thumb Revolu-
tion" to encourage food production
at the level of the households.
Parents of children attending the Ramai Trace Hindu School
protest outside Parliament on Friday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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