Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 12th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt July 12 - 2017
Enjoying Marriage - Couples Therapy
"Marriage is a sacred
bond designed to be enjoyed
This is the guiding prin-
ciple governing a group of
married couples here on the
island, determined to
demonstrate that marriages
The group called "Com-
mitted Couples in Marriage"
recently celebrated their first
anniversary by hosting a
three-day retreat at the
Rovanel's Resort, Canaan.
One of the group's leaders,
Simone Woods, said the
group's main purpose " is to
nurture, heal and rejuvenate
marriages brought together
She noted that the group
addressed concerns that lead
to the rapid breakdown of
marriages especially in young
people who are either being
faced with divorce, infidel-
ity, dishonesty and lack of
affection or simply a lack of
Woods, one of the group's
founders, said she felt com-
pelled to do something after
she observed a number of
marriages were failing.
"Studies have shown that
marital education, family
counselling, and related sup-
port can improve couples'
communication and prob-
lem-solving skills, and assist
with persons being able to
enjoy their marriage and, in
some cases, avoid divorce,"
The group also believes
that successful marriages
will benefit the entire com-
"Marriage can only ben-
efit children only if the mar-
riage is a healthy one. It is
important that children wit-
ness parents interacting pos-
itively, with little or no con-
flict because unhealthy
marriages pose a clear risk
to a child's well-being,"
Woods also said.
She added: "Studies have
shown that marital hostility
is associated with increased
aggression and disruptive
behaviours in children,
which cause academic fail-
ure, and other antisocial
Comitted Couples Marriage Retreat session
She said since the group came togeth-
er in June last year they have held sev-
eral couples- focused events.
"Since our launch last year we have
had a Dinner and Movie Night, our
Live Love and Laugh Christmas Dinner,
a Garden of Love Valentine's Dinner as
well as Talking it Out Sessions. It's
important that couples know that sup-
port is available and it's not just about
counselling and workshops it's also
about having fun together and enjoying
the relationship outside of the family
She said the group provides a heav-
en for couples to rekindle their rela-
tionship. The couples were also exposed
to sessions on intimacy, sex and ways
to keep their relationships physically
and emotionally passionate.
According to Woods, since its incep-
tion, the group has almost tripled in
"We have vowed to keep our group
very active not only through activities
but through social media such as Face-
book where we are generating a lot of
interest as well. We don't have a denom-
inational criteria or age restrictions and
all married couples are welcome."
The group is currently planning their
upcoming romantic couples cruise.
Creative writing scores lower than last year's
Education Minister Anthony Garcia said
the creative writing scores for this year's
SEA examination were low when compared
to last year and one resulting factor was
the regurgitation of essays.
He was responding to questions from
members of the media after delivering the
feature address at the opening of the Knowl-
edge Marketplace titled Re-envisioning Edu-
cation in T&T; Evidence at Work for improved
policy and practice- Researching now;
Impacting the future held at the Hyatt Regen-
cy, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
"The marks the students made this year
were somewhat lower than the marks the
students made last year. However, the creative
writing component last year stretched over
a period of two years where the students
were asked to write ten essays and during
that process they were approached on how
to write properly and five of those top scripts
were sent for assessment.
"It is a totally different method of assess-
ment that was entered into this year," Gar-
The CAC Component focused on report
On whether the low marks could be
attributed to narrative writing being rein-
troduced at a late stage to effectively prepare
students for this year's exam, Garcia said,
this was not the case.
"What has happened in many cases was
that children regurgitated what they have
learnt or have been forced to learn.
"Even when I wrote the common entrance
exam we were given a model essay and I
remember up to this day some paragraphs.
What has been happening is in many cases
children are given some model essays and
therefore there is panic if there is some shift,"
Asked to identify what schools scored
below 30 per cent this year the minister said
he he did not have that information available.
Pressed as what areas performed low Gar-
cia said, "It is spread over the seven edu-
cational districts in Trinidad."
Regarding the querying of this year's results
by many parents Garcia admitted that many
were still seeking transfers for their children.
"In fact I personally have been receiving
a number of calls from parents seeking trans-
fers for their children," Garcia said, adding
that it was still too early to determine wheth-
er the number of parents who wanted trans-
fers were more than that of last year as
registration was only completed late last
"There is a process which must be followed
whether people are seeking transfers and
firstly the child must be registered at the
assigned school. That information must be
passed on to the school supervisors and to
the officers in the Education Ministry who
are dealing with transfers and depending on
the availability of space and the performance
of the child... these are some of the consid-
erations," Garcia added.
On criticism made by former education
minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh about the cur-
rent education system Garcia said, " He
(Gopeesingh) seems to have a big problem
in understanding that he is no longer the
Minister of Education. In spite of what he
says I stand firm in the belief that our edu-
cation system has been moving forward and
he has been disingenuous in some of the
statistics he has been producing."
Garcia added that under his purview there
has been a tremendous reduction in indis-
cipline in schools and an improvement in
the quality of work among students.
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