Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 30th 2013 Contents A10
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A few concerned parents of students
at St Anthony s College kept their chil-
dren at home yesterday, fearing they
would be harmed by "thugs" waiting out-
side the school.
One worried mother said at least five
other parents from Diego Martin let their
children miss school because of an incident
A form two student said a group of men
armed with pieces of wood attacked
another student outside the school.
"They came looking for a certain stu-
dent, and the guards told them they could-
n t come in," said the boy s concerned
mother by phone yesterday.
She said after school was dismissed,
the men hit the student they were looking
for with a piece of wood and he ran back
into the school. The men followed him
in. The school guards could not stop the
attack on the student, but called in the
Contacted yesterday, school principal
Maurice Inniss said, "As far as I know,
there s no incident that affected the school.
The police are aware of what happened."
He suggested the T&T Guardian should
contact the Ministry of Education for more
information, but communication personnel
at the ministry said they were unaware
of any incident
The parent who spoke to the T&T
Guardian yesterday said this was not the
first instance of crime near the school.
"On many occasions there are guys who
rob children outside of school. They take
their cell phones and money," she said.
She added that staff and the principal
were fully aware of the problem, and reg-
ularly warned students to walk in groups
"It s an incident they hiding. Somebody
child going to get damage, and I don t
want it to be mine."
Another parent took to Facebook to say
her son and five of his friends were robbed
two months ago.
In a message to the T&T Guardian, she
said: "My son and five of his classmates
got robbed by a group of young fellahs
while awaiting transport to get home at
Westmoorings. This took place between
the vicinity of Cocorite and the Diego
Martin exit.They were robbed of money,
phones and a book bag containing books."
She said the school issued a general let-
ter" to all students about areas to avoid
walking through after school.
Contacted yesterday, National Parent
Teacher Association (NPTA) president
Zena Ramatali said she had no information,
since St Anthony s College had dropped
out of the association last year. She said
parents should form an official body to
look at the issues affecting their children.
She added that the school should not wait
for things to escalate before taking mean-
ingful action to prevent further incidents.
Police at the Four Roads Police Station
said they had received a report of the inci-
dent and would step up patrols after school
in the hope of rectifying the problem.
will meet with
on a plan to allo-
cate ten per cent
of Housing Devel-
tion (HDC) hous-
es to the
this yesterday in
he elaborated on the ten recommendations
of the Prof Ramesh Deosaran Prison Com-
The team submitted the recommendations,
which were largely approved, to deal with the
urgent issues plaguing the prison sector affect-
ing both prison officers and inmates last week
and Cabinet discussed it on Thursday.
George said the proposed use-of-force
training for prison officers as part of the policy
will not be undertaken in such a way to cause
undue injury to inmates.
He also said Cabinet had agreed to review
the eastern facility at Santa Rosa with a view
to it being used as a short-term facility to
provide temporary relief.
Among other recommendations, he said
land at Golden Grove, Arouca, has been iden-
tified to build a new remand facility and it
will take an estimated 18 months to two years
to build. Udecott is the managing agency, he
added. (Gail Alexander)
HDC housing for
Appealing to Government to build the
Point Fortin Hospital, Point Fortin MP
Paula Gopee-Scoon has said she cannot
return to constituents and ask them for a
third term as a People s National Movement
(PNM) MP without the hospital being built.
"If not by this administration, any other,"
she added in Parliament yesterday.
Speaking on a motion calling for the hos-
pital to be built, Gopee-Scoon said the Point
Fortin Hospital should have been built by
the former PNM administration.
"But it was not done," she admitted.
Gopee-Scoon said she had met nothing
"on the table" when she entered government,
but by the time the PNM left office she had
brought the matter to a certain point.
"I admit I m at fault on the basis of col-
lective responsibility, but my duty is to get
this Government to do it," Gopee-Scoon
Saying she was putting her political life
on the line over the issue, she said she cannot
again approach the residents of Point and
ask them for a third term if the facility were
Gopee-Scoon, who traced the origins of
the issue, appealed to the People s Partner-
ship (PP) administration several times in her
contribution, saying all she wanted was a
two-minute statement from the Health Min-
ister on it. Several ministers assured her
across the floor that it would be done.
She said the PP s 2010 manifesto listed
the construction of the Point hospital as
policy. But she said despite placing that hos-
pital first, the Government, over the term,
brought up construction of other hospitals
in Siparia, Penal and Arima. She noted that
during the local government election cam-
paign, building facilities in Arima and Sangre
Grande was priority as the PP targeted those
seats, but ended up otherwise.
"You placed us (Point Fortin) first, but
never fulfilled it," she said.
She said former health minister Therese
Baptiste-Cornelis paid no attention to the
issue, adding she had invited Baptiste-Cor-
nelis to tour the current facility but she
sent a team instead. Gopee-Scoon said cur-
rent Health Minister Fuad Khan, however,
did come to the area and examined sites
and proposed alternatives. She said then---
in October 2011---he promised it would be
Gopee-Scoon noted changes in Khan s
subsequent public statements, however,
including talk of "upgrading the current
My political life at stake
Gopee-Scoon begs for Point hospital
Thugs targeting St Anthony's students
MP for Point fortin Paula Gopee-Scoon makes a point during her presentation in
Parliament yesterday. PHOTO:SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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