Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, November 2, 2013
V Warehousing Complex
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Almost two months into the school term, 14 pri-
mary and secondary school in T&T are yet to reopen
as a result of repairs and other problems, said Edu-
cation Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) chief oper-
ations officer (COO) Kiran Shah yesterday.
He blamed the delay on the tardiness of school
principals in reporting problems to the Ministry of
"The problems we were challenged is that with a
lot of schools, the reports came in late, especially
with the primary schools, where two days before the
school opens we get further problems that occurred
were brought to our attention.
"Some have resulted in some schools having to
remain closed. With others we have continually fought
to get them opened again," Shah said.
From the company's point of view the programme
was a success, since 98 per cent of the schools were
completed, he added.
Among the schools yet to reopen are Lower Morvant
Government Primary, St Augustine Secondary, Tuna-
puna Secondary, Malick Secondary, South East Port-
of-Spain, St Joseph Government Primary School and
Barataria RC, which was damaged in an earthquake
He said the issue with Malick was that it required
air quality testing which has started and results were
expected soon from Caribbean Industrial Research
Institute (Cariri). Shah said some of the repairs should
take no more than a week or two and South East
Port-of-Spain, he said, would be completed this
Shah was at a meeting at the Ministry of Education,
Alexandra Street, St Clair, to discuss recent events
related to Longdenville Presbyterian School.
Students have stayed away from the school since
the new term reopened on September 2 and recently
teachers stayed away, prompting Education Minister
Dr Tim Gopeesingh to say the matter was referred
to the Teaching Service Commission by the Chief
Education Officer, Harrilal Seecharan, and acting
Improved customer service is the top priority as
the Adult Emergency Department (AED) at the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) is
So said Health Minister Fuad Khan yesterday after
a tour of the department, led by Dr Shehenaz
Mohammed, chair of the North Central Regional
Health Authority (NCRHA).
"Customer service is going to take the forefront
of a lot of the change behaviour and change attitude
of the staff in this region (NCRHA)," he said.
The authority has retained the service of the T&T
Hospitality and Tourism Institute (TTHTI) to develop
a plan for customer service training.
He added: "At the end of the day, I think this is
(what) our vision of the People's Partnership for
health care and we always believe in service.
"Although we are building hospitals and infra-
structure, the overall plan will be that of infrastructure
development, as well as service-oriented medicine."
About $1.8 million was saved during the refur-
bishment project, as Khan explained the work was
done in-house at a cost of $250,000 for the purchase
of materials and equipment.
Asked whether the facility had enough resources
in terms of doctors and nurses, Khan said there was
"a lot but we always need more."
He said there were 2,000 nurses being trained at
present and some were coming from St Vincent and
the Grenadines and Grenada, "plus we will be going
to Cuba once again to get some more nurses."
He said that would happen by around November
During the afternoon tour Khan observed and
commended the new pharmacy, laboratory services,
improved infrastructure and the new e-patient man-
He said "without reservation" that when he made
an impromptu visit of the facility a year ago, it was
"an extremely horrible place for a patient to go into."
Khan specifically stressed the state of customer
service, saying even though one existed by name, it
was not functioning.
He described the changes as "wonderful. It has
now become patient friendly, customer-service friend-
ly."He said the pharmacy would eventually be open
around-the-clock and a pilot study was underway
for keeping electronic medical records.
During the tour, emergency services brought in a
patient with a gunshot wound, who immediately
went to triage. Khan said it was a first-hand look at
the new rapidity of the upgraded triage system and
A plan also was being developed to extend the
hours of the St Joseph Health Centre in order to
transfer non-emergency patients who could receive
faster treatment there, he said.
"We have St Joseph health office right next door
which can take care of those patients who don't need
to be sitting in a waiting room waiting for service
when they can get service right next door," he added.
Khan said a shuttle, donated by state-owned bank
First Citizens, would be used.
According to a release by NCRHA, in 2005 70,000
patients visited the AED, compared to 125,000 in
2011, making it one of the largest catchment areas
in the country.
The next phase, he said, would be to improve on
the infrastructure of the patient treatment area, also
called the "engine room" of the AED.
Also, focus would be on providing hospitality train-
ing for nine new customer service representatives,
as well as upper-level management and junior staff.
This training would take place over six months, start-
ing next week, he added.
Faud: Mt Hope
looks to boost
permanent secretary Jennifer Daniel.
At St Augustine Secondary, Shah
said, there was an ongoing problem
with the sewage treatment plant, which
was being resolved. He said the con-
tractor was awaiting a part for one of
He said Tunapuna, where the septic
tank collapsed, was being "scoped" and
tender documents were to go out to
have the works done.
St Joseph Government Primary
School, he said, was one of the schools
scheduled to be done during the vaca-
tion repairs programme but the report
came to the company late.
The students, he said, were being
moved to other areas and the job was
tendered out and a contractor on site.
That was expected to take four weeks,
He said during the vacation repair
programme, the company had 229 jobs
At Pt Cumana RC, he said, construc-
tion of the new school was on the way
and the contract was awarded.
Shah said Lower Morvant Govern-
ment, which also has been closed,
would be moved to the Church on the
Rock, Morvant, which has been leased
for $40,000 a month.
Late reports leave
14 schools closed
Soca artistes Bunji Garlin,
left, Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez,
international R&B recording
artiste Ne-Yo and Machel
Montano, right, pose for a
photo during a press
conference at the Hyatt
yesterday. Ne-Yo is in
Trinidad to perform at the
RedLight series concert
tonight at the Hasely
Crawford Stadium, Port-of-
Spain. Gammy-award artiste
R Kelly is also scheduled to
perform at the concert.
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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