Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 24th 2013 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, August 24, 2013
Citizens must consider their neigh-
bours well-being and clean up their
property to prevent fatal consequences
as in the case of dengue victim Haniff
Ali.So said Couva South MP Rudranath
Indarsingh on Thursday during a tele-
phone interview with the T&T
Ali, 58, of Calcutta No 1, died from
dengue at the Intensive Care Unit at
the San Fernando General Hospital
(SFGH) on Wednesday morning.
A revenue officer and former school-
teacher, he was laid to rest at the St
Clement s Cemetery, Princes Town yes-
terday after a funeral at his home.
The grandfather of one and father
of three was diagnosed with dengue
last week Saturday. He was taken to
the ICU last week Tuesday after his
condition deteriorated drastically.
Yesterday, Indarsingh said after Ali s
death, the Public Health Department
of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo
Regional Corporation engaged in house-
to-house spraying in the area.
"They have promised within the next
week to (do) fogging with the
machine...Cepep and so on have cleared
the area and the drainage and grass,"
Indarsingh expressed concern after
public health inspectors went to the
area near Ali s home and found a num-
ber of abandoned lots with overgrown
He said discarded tyres were also
found in the area.
"It is not a situation that you want
to be occurring. I have been liaising
with the Public Health Department and
Corporation to become more aggressive
on the issue of eradication of litter and
unwanted garbage that is creating this
situation and breeding the mosquitoes,"
Indarsingh appealed to owners of
vacant lots to take responsibility for
"You cannot be owning land and
property and leaving it in an unwar-
ranted state or an environment that is
not maintained, bringing a sense of
harm and destruction in this case to
these families and their loved ones," he
"We have to be responsible, whether
it is front of your home or not. I still
clean my drains, I go down in the drains
myself and clean in front my house."
He said citizens must show concern
for their neighbours.
"They have to own up to their
responsibility. As MP, I drive around
and I am very aggressive about things
like this. People just cannot abandon
their lots and leave it to the whims and
fancies of anything.
"In all religious books they say you
must look out for the well-being of
your neighbours and so on," he added.
Keep your area clean
MP to dengue victim's neighbours:
Education Minister Dr Tim
Gopeesingh is going after the
school principals who are asking
parents to spend money on addi-
tional textbooks, especially after
the Government has spent $124
million to provide students with
texts from their booklists for this
"We have been checking to
determine which principals have
created undue pressure to our par-
ticularly poorer parents," he said
Speaking to reporters after a cer-
emony in Couva for newly-
appointed school safety officers,
Gopeesingh said the Government
purchased textbooks on the basis
of recommendations by teachers
and principals, so there should be
no instance where parents are
asked to buy additional textbooks.
"We have had to call all school
principals and ask them for their
booklists that they have given to
their students," he said.
He said the ministry was check-
ing to determine why parents have
to buy multiple textbooks for one
subject, when principals and teach-
ers were the ones who chose the
relevant text in the first place,
which the Government has already
provided for students.
"Every textbook, every subject,
in our school system has a textbook
purchased by the Government, and
therefore no parent should have
been made to buy another textbook
for any subject."
He said the only subject that
may have an exception would be
He added that an additional $40
million was being spent to replace
textbooks that were defaced, lost
or destroyed through wear and
"Parents ought not to have to
spend the amount of money that
they been asked to spend in the
past...it is not acceptable," the
Gopeesingh said each principial
must provide parents with a com-
prehensive copy of the booklist,
indicating which books were
already bought by the Govern-
"When on a yearly basis we are
hearing of students and parents
having to buy thousands of dollars
in textbooks, that is not necessary
at all," he said.
"This is where we at the min-
istry are checking and double-
checking and checking to make
sure the process has not been
Asked about reports that pub-
lishers had not been paid for the
books, Gopeesingh said the min-
istry had some difficulty in paying
off the $33 million outstanding,
but was working on it.
He said Cabinet released about
$40 million to pay outstanding
"I think it s almost there."
He said the Education Ministry
was working with the Ministry of
Finance, and he believed the sit-
uation would be resolved "very
quickly so that publishers will be
paid their remaining balance that
was owed to them."
Don't make parents
pay for extra books
Gopeesingh warns school principals:
Patrons at play in a wading pool at the Aqua Fun Park in the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain,
Thursday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
The Bookman, a traditional Carnival character, took the stage for the
Homeland Gardens Folk Performers in the Prime Minister's Best Village
Trophy, Independence Folk Festival finals in a presentation called From Then
To Now -- Nah Leaving, written by Roger Johnson, at the southern campus
of the National Academy for the Performing Arts on Wednesday night.
PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
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