Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 6th 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 6, 2017
$370 Audi for CEO
The North West Regional Health Authority
bought an Audi costing $370,413 for NWRHA
's CEO while a Mercedes Benz was purchased for
the previous NWRHA CEO for $249,000, Dey-
alsingh also confirmed in Parliament yesterday.
He said the approvals limits were set by the Chief
Personnel Officer (CPO) in 2014 (for the Audi) and
2006 (for the Benz).
Former health minister Fuad Khan asked if Dey-
alsingh didn't think the CEO could be less opulent
now, given the Finance Ministry's statement about
lack of funds in T&T.
Replying to another query, Deyalsingh said Govern-
ment saved $190million on construction of the Arima
Hospital in areas including halting "overinflated" fees.
TTUTA, NPTA want probe into SEA errors...
not at fault
This year's Secondary En-
trance Assessment (SEA)
exam was tailor-made for the
18,240 students who wrote
the exam in T&T, so the irreg-
ularities detected during the
exam would not have occurred
in exam scripts distributed to
Education Minister Antho-
ny Garcia said it was done in
this manner to ensure the exam
was "transparent and above re-
Hours after the exam conclud-
ed on Thursday, Garcia revealed
that three questions worth a total
of four marks had been flagged
as irregularities in the Maths and
Language Arts components.
Ministry of Education officials
said although the questions will
be removed from the marking
scheme, students will still be able
to score maximum marks.
The exams were prepared by
the Caribbean Examinations
Council (CXC) and administered
by the Ministry of Education.
President of the National Par-
ent Teacher Association (NPTA)
Zena Ramatali, who described the
irregularities as simple mistakes,
is calling for an investigation into
how the errors were made to en-
sure those responsible are made
A similar call was made by
president of the T&T Unified
Teachers Association (TTU-
TA) Lynsley Doodhai who said:
"These mistakes are inexcusable
and should never have happened."
Ramatali and Doodhai agreed
that CXC should be held respon-
sible as they prepared the exam
Speaking outside the Ministry
of Education in Port-of-Spain
yesterday, Doodhai said: "As far
as TTUTA is concerned, due dili-
gence was not followed and there
was no proper oversight with re-
spect to proof reading and editing
of the exam paper.
"Some children may have
spent more time on these ques-
tions, which meant less time to
answer other questions and this
would have had an emotional
effect on children who may have
become distraught and upset over
not being able to answer them."
Meanwhile, Education Min-
ister Anthony Garcia said his
ministry wasn't at fault in the
issue of the three errors--- but
the ministry will be meeting the
Caribbean Examination Council
to review the process of exams.
Replying to Opposition que-
ries on the error in Parliament
yesterday, Garcia said the min-
istry doesn't handle construction
of the SEA papers, but the CXC
Garcia, who said he wasn't
aware of pupils being traumatised
by the issue , however, added that
the ministry needed to look at the
final papers to prevent recurrence
of errors .
Garcia clashed with former
education minister Dr Tim Go-
peesingh who argued that the
ministry's chief education officer
has major input into the exams.
Garcia said the CEO attended
meetings of the CXC to look at
With reporting by Gail Alexander
CXC apologises for errors
CXC has officially apolo-
gised to the ministry regard-
ing the errors that occurred
in Thursday's Secondary
Entrance Assessment (SEA)
During a meeting at the minis-
try yesterday, CXC's Director of
Operations Stephen Savoury for-
mally apologised to the Chief Ed-
ucation Officer Harrilal Seecha-
ran and other officials for the
irregularities that were detected
in the Maths and Language Arts
In a release, the ministry said,
"It was agreed that those items
will not be marked as part of
the examinations. Mr. Savoury
gave the assurance that quality
mechanisms will be reviewed to
avoid any such occurrence in the
In addition, the ministry has
requested that the entire process
for the SEA be reviewed by CXC in
collaboration with them.
During the meeting, Seecharan
said while it was the responsibility
of CXC to develop the three SEA
papers comprising Maths, Lan-
guage Arts and Creative Writing,
"Going forward, the Ministry of
Education must review the final
version of the papers before they
are sent for printing."
The ministry claimed Savoury
assured that the entire paper
development process would be
reviewed by CXC and that a com-
plete review of their processes
would be done before 2018, with
any changes to be communicat-
ed in an official document to the
Ministry of Education.
After a night of revelry at the Point Fortin bor-
ough festivities Mexican engineer, Sookooroo
Sorano, met his death after being shot in a botched
robbery yesterday morning.
Sorano, 37, a tech form engineer with PACE Construc-
tion Services Ltd, died at the Point Fortin Area Hospital.
He was shot four times in the back.
A report stated that Sorano and a colleague, Cama-
cho Hernandez, a Colombian national, were returning
to their accommodation at the company's worksite at
the Lake View housing estate around 3.30 am, when the
incident happened. While walking along Church Ave-
nue, they heard someone shouted "Amigos." When they
looked around, they saw a man with his face covered
by a bandanna.
Suspecting that the man was a bandit, Sorano and
Hernandez ran off but the suspect fired several shots
behind them. As they turned as to St Anthony's Road,
Sorano fell to the ground bleeding. The gunman ran off.
A resident, who requested anonymity, said he heard
the gunshots and when he looked out he saw Hernandez
holding up Sorano who was bleeding from the chest.
Within 15 minutes police arrived and took him away.
Sorano died while being treated at hospital.
Police searched the area for the suspect, but no one
was held up to yesterday. Camacho spent the most of
the day at the Point Fortin Police Station as homicide
detectives used a translator to interview him. Investi-
gators said initial reports suggest that robbery might
be the motive but they are still examining other causes.
At his job site yesterday, a colleague told the T&T
Guardian that the staff was left saddened by the senseless
murder. The colleague said Sorano had been living in
Trinidad for the past 10 years and had found a wife. He
was described as a hard worker, who was vital to com-
pleting the company's project of building HDC houses
at the Lake View Estate.
"He was a very hard working man. Nowhere in this
earth we will get a person as hardworking as him again.
Everyone here this morning is in shock as they never
knew him to lime a lot. Usually he would just go out
there, buy whatever he wanted and return to the base."
Minister of Education, Anthony Garcia MP, answering questions posed during the sitting of Parliament
yesterday. PHOTO: (COURTESYOFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENT)
A firm has been selected to
undertake the recruitment of
a Commissioner of Police and
three Deputy Commissioners.
This was revealed by Public
Administration and Communica-
tions Minister Maxie Cuffie dur-
ing yesterday's Standing Finance
Committee meeting at Tower D,
International Waterfront Centre,
Wrightson Road, Port -of-Spain.
The SFC meet to vary the 2017
national budget and Cuffie was
responding to questions from
Opposition Leader Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar. Cuffie said the
firm was recruited but declined
to reveal its name. The firm was
selected after tenders were in-
vited between October 30 and
November 3, last year.
Some 2.5 million was yester-
day approved for the process to
He said he will provide the
name of the firm at a later date.
Chairman of the SFC, Finance
Minister Colm Imbert said the
process to recruit the four officers
cannot be completed until the
funding was provided.
Attorney General and Minis-
ter of Legal Affairs Faris Al-Rawi
dismissed claims by Opposition
MP Dr Roodal Moonilal that the
approved process for the selec-
tion of the top officers in the Po-
lice Service was effectively shut
down by the court and that there
was no process in place for the
officers to be appointed.
Al-Rawi said the process for
the selection of the officers was
settled and was being adminis-
tered by the Police Service Com-
He said a local firm was chosen
for the project. Finance Minister
Colm Imbert said the PSC issued
a tender notice for the engage-
ment of a consulting firm to assist
with the recruitment process in
the daily newspapers between
October 30 and November 3,
According to Imbert, ten firms
responded to the notice and re-
quest for proposals were sent to
the ten firms and four submitted
bids by the closing date, Novem-
ber 18, 2016. He said the evalu-
ation of bids were completed on
November 22 , 2016 .
Imbert said the PSC has given
the assurance that the project will
be completed within the current
fiscal year and within budget.
Since 2012, Stephen Williams
has been acting as Commissioner
The committee also approved a
$2.5 million increase in allocation
to the Office of the Prime Min-
ister to "support and strengthen
the Strategic Threat Assessment
Capacity in T&T."
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