Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2017 Contents A12 news
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
A ire of icer has lost his appeal
challenging the process adopted by
the Public Service Commission (PSC) for
promotions in the Fire Service over a dec-
Delivering a ive-page judgment last
week, ive British Law Lords of the United
Kingdom-based Privy Council dismissed the
appeal brought by Imtiaz Mohammed.
Mohammed's lawsuit centred around a deci-
sion given by the court in a separate case in
2006, in which it ruled that the Police Ser-
vice Commission and not Cabinet should
decide on the members of an examination
and assessment board to promote police
The PSC, which has similar functions
for the entire public service including
ire of icers, had previously used the
Public Service Examination Board and
the Fire Service Examination Boards,
which were appointed by Cabinet.
After the judgment was delivered
with respect to police of icers, the
PSC decided to arrogate responsi-
bility for appointing members of
both boards to itself.
However, it decided to
adopt the results of the previ-
ous Cabinet-appointed board
for promotions for ire of-
icers, the previous year.
Mohammed, who was re-
jected for promotion by the
previous board, complained
that the decision was unfair
as it (the board) was not prop-
erly constituted at the time.
Mohammed, a ire ighter
since 1987, was seeking pro-
motion to the rank of ire
His lawsuit was dismissed
by both the High Court and
Court of Appeal.
In its judgment, the Privy
Council held that the locals
courts were correct in their
analysis of the application of
its previous decision.
The judges said that their
decade-old decision meant
that that PSC had the sole
remit to decide on the board
members and the promotion
procedure and was entitled to
adopt the previous decision.
"There is before the Board
(and was before those two
bodies) no suggestion of any
actual executive interference
in the work of the Fire Service
Examinations Board in the
setting and marking of the ex-
aminations in 2006; and the
common sense which under-
lay the decisions irst to adopt
and later to use the results, and
conversely the complications
which would have attended any
decision not to do so, need no
elaboration," Lord Nicholas Wil-
son, who wrote the brief judge-
Mohammed was represented
Richard Clayton, QC, Anand
Ramlogan, SC, Kent Samlal and
St Agnes parents
threaten to shut
Irate parents of the St Agnes Anglican Pri-
mary School in St James are threatening to
keep their children away from school indef-
initely unless Education Minister Anthony
Garcia responds to their concerns.
The group protested outside the Educa-
tion Ministry, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
Clifton Toppin, president of the
school's Parent Teacher Association,
said despite repeated letters sent to
the ministry highlighting several is-
sues ranging from pigeon infestation
to lack of furniture, to date no response
has been given.
Toppin said another worrying issue
was lack of teachers and overcrowding of
He said there were some 25 teachers at the school
but that number had now been whittled down to
ten. Toppin said this problem had been taking place
for the past three years.
"They want two children to sit on one chair. One
class has sixty something children to one teacher and on
top of that parents have to step in and assist the teach-
ers to teach.
"We are not getting the assistance from the ministry.
For the longest while St Agnes have been ne-
glected by the ministry....the children doing
well even in sports and it doesn't be right
to see children doing so well in school
and we not getting the support from
the ministry," Toppin said.
He also chastised the Anglican
Board for its inability to assist the
school in carrying out repairs.
"We the parents come together
with the teachers when we get pay
to buy benches.....go around to beg
people for chairs....many of these chil-
dren are doing SEA.
"Those people from the Education
Ministry and the Anglican Board just sit-
ting in their of ices....everything just being
swept under the mat," Toppin added.
Saying that "enough was enough" parent Sta-
cy-Ann Wilson claimed two children contracted
meningitis as a result of a pigeon infes-
tation in the school.
"A crucial class like Standard Five
is leaking and the children are getting
sick and obviously they cannot work
under those kinds of conditions,"
During the protest, an of icial from
the ministry spoke to the group and
wrote down their concerns.
But Toppin said this was not good
enough as they wanted a meeting
with Garcia himself.
"If we don't get a response we will
shutdown the school and we will
keep our children at home," Toppin
Contacted yesterday Education
Minister Anthony Garcia said the
school was owned by the Anglican
Board, therefore recommendations
for the recruitment of teachers must
come from the board and then be sub-
mitted to the Teaching Service Com-
He said he was also meeting with the
permanent secretary to address the
Efforts to contact a representative
of the Anglican Board were futile as
the T&T Guardian was told that secre-
tary to the Anglican Education Board
of Management Merle Brathwaite was
not in of ice.
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