Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 14th 2018 Contents news A11
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Education Minister Anthony Garcia
says some 445 primary schools and 125
secondary schools are ready for Mon-
day’s reopening of school.
At a press conference yesterday at
the ministry’s head office, St Vincent
Street, Port-of-Spain, Garcia said stu-
dents will continue to receive quality
education. He said all infrastructure
issues were addressed.
“The feedback from principals and
school supervisors will indicate that all
our schools are in a state of readiness
and as with the sewer, we can’t pred-
icate because they are underground.
We had inclement weather last year
and we have been monitoring this,” the
He said there were unforeseen cir-
cumstances but schools will be ready
and sanitation issues were in the clear.
Garcia said this term was important
for pupils writing Secondary Entrance
Assessment (SEA), Form Five students
writing the Caribbean Secondary Edu-
cation Certificate (CSEC) examination
and Form Six students doing the Car-
ibbean Advanced Proficiency Examina-
He said that Student Support Ser-
vices and the Parental Support initiative
were available. He also said a meeting
with stakeholders and the T&T Unified
Teachers Association is expected soon.
When asked about the items stolen
recently from the Arima Central Sec-
ondary School in Arima, Garcia said he
did not want to make the schools into a
“jail” with added security guards.
“Our schools must not be seen as
jails. We have initiated measures to al-
leviate the problem and we have MTS
guards. I don’t like the idea of a whole
cadre of security guards,” he said.
Garcia said the nation’s schools
should be an atmosphere of learning
institutions and not jails.
Members of the Imprexis team arrange their Emoji pillows on display during the RBC’s Junior Achievement Day at
Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
PICTURE SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Act on vessels to address seabridge woes
The Inter-Island Traders and Truckers
Association is hoping that the National
Infrastructure Development Company
(Nidco) acts on a list of vessels which
was submitted by the association and
the Inter-Island Transport Committee
of the Tobago Chamber to address the
problems which they face on the sea-
President of the Truckers Associ-
ation Horace Amede told Guardian
Media that the Cabo Star, which had
been the lone vessel on the route,
has limited passenger capacity and
over the past few months has slowed
down considerably. The T&T Spirit is
expected back on Monday.
A trip, which took four hours when
the Superfast Galicia was servicing
the route, is now taking close to eight
Amede said, “People are frus-
trated,” as recent as Wednesday night,
he said, “tempers flared at the Scar-
borough Port because people were in
Trinidad since 4 am and they put their
vehicles on and did not get their vehi-
cles off until after 11 pm (Wednesday).
That has people stressed out.”
In addition to the length of time
the sailing now takes, he said, there
is a further delay since marijuana was
found on a vehicle recently.
“They doing a detailed check, so if
you start to check at 11-12 you must run
into problems. If you leaving Trinidad
at four you will get into Tobago min-
utes to twelve, it takes seven to eight
hours, that is what is happening, she
getting later and later,” a frustrated
Amede said truckers were “not
happy” that the contract for the Cabo
Star had been extended “because on
the 22nd of January when we met
with the Prime Minister he said in no
uncertain terms the vessel will not be
extended, but they extended the con-
tract so we not really happy because
what we had recommended was a
vessel that could carry at least 400
passengers. That is what we recom-
mended to them.”
He said the Truckers’ Association as
well as the Tobago Chamber’s Inter-Is-
land Transport Committee, headed by
Diane Hadad, had made recommenda-
tions to Nidco to address the problem.
“We gave Nidco 10 vessels that they
could choose from when we met with
them on the 15th of last month, but
nobody has got back to us to say yes
or no, we have not heard from them.”
Vice president of the association
Samuel Applewhite said the vessel is
“totally unsuitable” for the seabridge.
“I would like to see a different ves-
sel because they can’t do anything to
make things better with this vessel.
The boat is slowing down every week.”
In addition to taking seven hours to
sail to Tobago, Applewhite said it takes
almost another hour to get their trucks
off the vessel.
“I drove my truck off just before
nine yesterday (Thursday) morning, I
had to load to get back on the vessel
for two o’clock.
But they start checking in at 11.30am
and chances are if you late they will
tell you there is no place for drivers.
The boat no matter what they do is not
right for the seabridge.”
Tobago stakeholders tell Nidco:
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