Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2018 Contents RHONDOR DOWLAT
As the already troubled inan-
cial situation at the University of
Trinidad & Tobago (UTT) deep-
ens, the university is now una-
ble to get $2 million to renew its
library databases and e-journals.
This new development raises
further concerns by UTT's staff
who claim that it can interfere
with the university's accredita-
tion and also hamper research
opportunities for them and stu-
In a letter to UTT staff dated
January 22, Chief University
Librarian, Martha Preddie, in-
formed that the university had
lost access to the Science Direct
database and added that they
had not been able to renew the
Naxos Digital Library.
Staffers were advised that
they should continuously back
up all of the references, search
results and documents emanat-
ing from their usage of all elec-
tronic library resources, "so that
you would have retained them,
should we lose access to a data-
base or e-journal at any point in
"This advertisement also ap-
plies to references saved in
RefWorks. At this point we are
operating via the goodwill of
our vendors, most of whom have
continued to give us uninter-
rupted access to resources, not-
withstanding their not receiving
payment, or any guarantee that
they will be paid".
Library management, sources
said, is currently engaged in a
process of determining the data-
base and journal subscriptions
that will be cancelled in order to
On completion of this process,
the UTT community will be in-
formed of those that will be dis-
Speaking with the Sunday
Guardian, UTT staffers, who did
not want to be identi ied, said
"the e-journals are databases of
research material for students
search...some of it would allow
us to save things and retrieve
them later on.
"RefWorks is a software for us
to use to import our references
and it builds or reference list
one time for us.
"If we get interrupted in the
databases then we can lose all
that we saved, which can hinder
our research...triple down effect
is that it will affect our accred-
itation because all of these are
required by the Accreditation
Council of T&T...our libraries
and what we have in our librar-
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Relative held for PVC pipe beating
Stepmom grieving after boy's death
Ishmeel Phillips begged his
stepmother, Michelle Smith, to
stay home with him on Friday
because he did not want to go
to school and participate in the
Carnival celebrations carded to
take place there.
Smith, 34, however, told him
she could not afford to stay away
from work as she had missed
work the previous day.
Yesterday, Smith told the Sun-
day Guardian she regretted that
"If I listened to him and stayed
home he would have been alive
today because I would have been
here, but now he is not here it is
all my fault," Smith said.
"I would have stayed home
with my child. It is better I lost
my job, at least I would have
had my child. If I did stay home
I could have seen about him."
Phillips said although Smith
was not her biological child, she
loved him unconditionally.
"He was my baby, I did
everything for him," she said.
Smith's entire life turned up-
side down on Friday.
When the Sunday Guardian
visited her family's home at Ry-
dale Avenue, Greenvale Park, La
Horquetta, Smith was an emo-
Friday started as any ordinary
day for Smith and her family.
While Smith was preparing to
go to work and her 12-year-old
stepdaughter was preparing to
go to school, Phillips, a pupil of
the nearby La Horquetta South
Government Primary, said he
did not want to go to school that
"He did what he normally
does when his sister and I leave
for the school van, he locked
the gate and I told him close the
door until his driver comes,"
He waved her goodbye and
she gave him a kiss.
She left Phillips home with a
close male relative who is wheel-
chair bound. The relative is said
to be a former soldier who was
discharged medically un it sev-
eral years ago.
While Smith was at work, her
supervisor came and told her to
go home as something had hap-
Smith said when she reached
back home, she realised that
Phillips was still at home.
He had been disciplined by a
relative after some money was
Phillips was beaten with a
plastic PVC pipe. Smith said she
spoke to Phillips and the relative
about the incident and ensured
that he was alright before she
left for work a second time.
"I left him good because he
came by the gate, I gave him his
tea, and he said 'Mommy you
going back, I don't want you to
"When I reached back to work
they told me to go back home
immediately because something
While on the way back home
the relative called and told her
Phillips was not breathing.
Phillips suffered from asthma,
Smith said. The relative called
Smith a second time.
"When I reached coming down
the stretch he called again and
said 'Michelle, come fast, he is
not breathing and I am not get-
ting a good pulse," Smith said.
When Smith reached home
and saw Phillips motionless, she
called the emergency services
but was not getting through.
She eventually called police
constable Thaddeus Caraballo,
a neighbour and asked for assis-
Caraballo took Smith and Phil-
lips in his private car and rushed
them to the Eric Williams Medi-
cal Sciences Complex.
"By the time we were going
down the road, I knew he was
done gone, I couldn't do any-
thing else. I tried, the doctors
also tried," she said.
"You know what it is to see
Ishmeel there and he not breath-
ing," Smith said.
A relative was taken into ques-
tioning on Friday night and was
still in police custody yesterday.
Phillips' 12-year-old sister was
also taken away by police while
the Children's Authority investi-
gates the matter. She was staying
by a relative in the interim and is
not allowed to return home.
Smith said her main focus was
getting her stepdaughter back
Portions of the broken PVC
were handed over to detectives.
An autopsy is expected to be
performed on Phillips' body on
UTT can't ind $2M to renew library database
Deputy UTT Chairman Prof Clement
Imbert told the Sunday Guardian that
he does not think the university's
accreditation will be affected in any
He said there are alternatives which
can be used and assured that efforts
will be made to provide the same
service but "not as lavishly as before".
On November 1, 2017, UTT's
Chairman of the Board of Governors
Prof Kenneth Julien announced that
UTT will not be able to continue
operations beyond January 2018.
He also noted that effective
November 10, there was expected
to be significant job cuts at the
managerial and academic levels.
Julien said this was a result of severe
financial constraints over the past
Julien further explained that the
challenges worsened with the
further 11 per cent decrease in UTT's
2017/2018 recurrent allocation to
$200 million (TT).
Michelle Smith, stepmom of Ishmeel Phillips at her Greenvale Park, La Horquetta home, yesterday.
PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ
PROF IMBERT: I DON'T THINK
ACCREDITATION WILL BE AFFECTED
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