Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2017 Contents A24 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, May 4, 2017
A 62-year-old man from Belmont died in a
fire at his home on Monday night.
According to reports, around 9 pm residents of Ser-
raneau Lane, Belmont, contacted the Wrightson Road
Fire Station after they noticed smoke being coming
from the Earl Lashley's house.
Almost the entire house was engulfed in flames by
the time fire officers arrived on the scene. The blaze
was eventually extinguished. During a search of the
ruins of the house, fire officers recovered Lashley's
body in the kitchen.
His remains were taken to the Forensic Science
Centre in St James where an autopsy was performed
The T&T Guardian understands that neighbours
informed police and fire officers that they last saw
Lashley stumbling home around 6 pm after liming at
a nearby bar for most of the afternoon. Lashley lived
alone. Fire investigators have not yet established the
cause of the fire. Investigations are continuing.
Opposition and Independent Senators
are calling for "red lights" to be placed
on new legislation to amend the Motor
Vehicles and Toad Traffic Act.
The proposed changes were presented for
debate in the Senate on Tuesday by Attorney
General and Minister of Legal Affairs Faris
It seeks to introduce a system of traffic
violations, impose increased fines and jail
terms for offences committed, implement
a red-light camera system, a demerit points
system and related matters.
Al-Rawi said the Government "intends
to introduce RF (Radio Frequency) identi-
fication plates in T&T."
He said that was not contained in the
bill being debated but was expected to be
brought in a new bill shortly.
According to Al-Rawi the new plates will
be introduced in T&T "on every single ve-
hicle so that you deal with the ownership
issues, fraud issues and in particular, main-
tenance of your plate and technology year
-on-year. That is rooted to managing crime
in this country." He said many crimes were
committed using vehicles in T&T.
Opposition Senator Wade Mark was the
first to speak after Al- Rawi. He told legis-
lators the bill did not appear to be aimed
at making the roads safer for all users but
rather generate revenue for the Government.
Mark said the fined proposed under the
legislation was "very draconian in many
"This measure seems to be located in a
revenue generating framework and it seems
more in line with a money bill than a bill to
deal with traffic violations and road man-
agement," he said.
He said the legislation will affect grass-
root population in T&T, which includes the
taxi and maxi taxi drivers. Mark said he was
disappointed that the Government did not
embark of the required widespread consul-
tations on the proposed legislation.
Independent Senator Dr Dhanayshar Ma-
habir said the penalties for offences commit-
ted under the legislation were inconsistent.
He recommended a review of the proposed
legislation before seeking approval in the
Male students dominated primary and
secondary school "drop-out" levels between
2008 and 2016. There were 5,492 male stu-
dents who "dropped out" over that period.
These and other figures were given by Education
Minister Anthony Garcia in the Senate on Tuesday,
following Opposition queries on "drop-out" levels.
Garcia said the term "drop-out" was defined
as students who discontinued their education
during an academic year (September to July) and
were absent from the beginning of the following
academic year up to November 30. The latter date
of each year is school census day.
Garcia said primary school "drop-outs" over
2008 to 2016 totalled 1,117 --- a respective total of
651 boys and 466 girls over those years. Secondary
school "drop-outs" totalled 9,955 between 2008
and 2016 --- a respective total of 5,492 boys and
4,463 girls. He said the mandatory age for students
attending school is 16 years --- not 12.
Garcia said reasons students dropped out in-
volved economic/financial issues including lack
of money for transport; or they were demotivated
when they failed classes.
He said some said they attended school only
when a school feeding programme occurred, con-
firming they didn't get a balanced meal at home.
He said the situation was being dealt with via
"school-based management plans" including
training in leadership and other programmes for
principals to "take ownership of schools," work
by Students' Support Services Division and in-
The ministry's work is bearing fruit, Garcia said,
since there has been a "drastic" reduction in the
2015-2016 secondary school drop-out level.
Over 2014- 2015 , this was 712 males and 458
females. In 2015-2016 it was 546 males and 356
females, he said.
Saying he was confident the level will decrease
further, Garcia noted programmes being done at
Morvant Laventille and the Mylat and Mypart
military-led youth programmes.
On violence in schools, Garcia also said there's
been a 14 per cent reduction in suspension of pri-
mary school students and a 25 per cent reduction
in suspension of secondary schools students over
He said recent social media videos concerning
students had given the impression that "things
were out of control," but data showed otherwise.
Senators seek review of new traffic laws
drop in school
in Belmont fire
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