Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 28th 2014 Contents GAIL ALEXANDER
While Government has not yet
spent any funds to repair laptops
given to secondary school stu-
dents, $10 million will be spent
this year to issue tenders for
repairs and maintenance, plus
extension of warranties, says
Education Minister Dr Tim
Speaking in the Senate yesterday,
Gopeesingh said consideration was
being given to seeking warranty
extension for the laptops from one
year to three years.
Government has supplied
73,200 laptops to students from
2010 to 2013 at a cost of $253 mil-
lion, he added.
He said by September, Govern-
ment would have supplied students
at Forms One, Two, Three, Four
and Five with 92,000 laptops.
Gopeesingh said 150 information
communication technology (ICT)
personnel at the ministry currently
service laptops and no money had
been paid to repair the equipment.
He said some computers have sus-
tained water damage or cracked
He said Cabinet had approved
spending of $10 million to tender
for a company to do repairs on
non-functioning computers and
maintenance as well as the war-
He was unable to say how many
were not working. The ministry
would be looking at both local and
international companies regarding
repairs, he added.
Gopeesingh said the laptop ini-
tiative was among the People s
Partnership s (PP) fulfilled prom-
ises. Last Saturday, Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the
PP had fulfilled 252 of its 260
Yesterday, Gopeesingh said Gov-
ernment had, overall, invested $500
million in tools, with the laptop
cost, and other equipment costing
$250 million for students.
He said laptops were provided
by Hewlett Packard in 2010 and
2012 and Lenovo in 2011 and 2013.
Cost for Government has dropped
from $4,100 a unit to approxi-
mately $3,000 each.
Tendering was under I-Gov TT
for the first few years but due to
delays, it was done in 2013 under
the Central Tenders Board for
transparency, he added.
Government T&T students
would receive 18,500 laptops and
1,500 also would be provided to
primary school teachers,
Gopeesingh said. He said the
equipment would aid teachers to
use a more scientific thrust to plan
Gopeesingh said the ministry
had audited the success of the lap-
top initiative, including how many
students brought them to school
and used them and that had attest-
ed to its "big success."
He said Samsung had partnered
also with TSTT to launch its tablet
product for the smart-classroom
initiative, which the ministry was
pioneering and which would also
be taught to regional and Latin
Gopeesingh said he also had
talks with 30 publishers on plans
for electronic textbooks, on-line.
He congratulated winners of the
President s Medal programme, not-
ing it was held for the first time
in Tobago recently.
He said the Tobago House of
Assembly s Chief Secretary was
happy at the event. Gopeesingh
was also congratulated yesterday
on the effort by Independent Sen-
ator Ayesha Edwards.
Gopeesingh said US Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton, at a recent
IDB conference, singled out T&T s
education system for praise, noting
it was "seamless."
Govt spends $253m on laptop initiative...
Acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams yesterday
announced a new strategic plan for
the Police Service centering around a
"hotspot policing" initiative which
was piloted last year.
The new strategic plan, which pro-
vides a new mission and vision for the
service, would be implemented this
year and a pilot project had already had
a 41 per cent success rate, he said.
Williams announced the plan while
making a presentation at a three-day
symposium, called Prayers Plus, aimed
at finding solutions for crime, at the
Hilton Trinidad, St Ann s, yesterday.
He addressed the audience with a
repetition of news that serious crime
was trending downwards despite high
levels of murder.
"For 2014 we have had a record high
in the recovery of firearms. It still is
not stopping the murders but over 280
firearms have been recovered in under
five months," Williams said.
He outlined the four strategic goals
of the police: To reduce and detect
crime, to increase safety on roads and
in public spaces, to establish citizen-
centered service and to strengthen the
He said the service s top priorities
moving forward would be murders and
violent crime, gun recovery, police con-
duct and customer service.
"We have to move from a reactive
to proactive method of policing. People
come to police stations to make a report
and sometimes if an officer has time
they will take the report. We want them
to go out in the community," he said.
Williams also said the police were
moving forward with evidence-based
hotspot policing, which they experi-
mented with last year.
The experiment was done using 40
police stations in Trinidad and showed
decreases in crime in the areas which
used the hotspot policing method of
increased patrols and police visibility
in communities, he noted.
He added: "The difference in terms
of crimes committed in these exper-
imental police stations and the control
group was a 41 per cent decrease.
"Hotspot policing can work. This
experiment has demonstrated that it
has worked in this country. Crime start-
ed to go down in the experimental sta-
Fifty of the 77 police stations in T&T
would activate hotspot policing this
year, he said.
Williams said once that yields pos-
itive results the remaining 27 stations
would activate the method.
"We are taking this from a scientific
approach and we can drive crime
downward," he added.
Williams said in terms of the move-
ment of drugs, a national discussion
on fixing the "porous borders" was
Adding to statements made by Chief
of Defence Staff Major Gen Kenrick
Maharaj earlier that vulnerable points
of entry were not the only problem in
terms of the drug trade, Williams said
stronger measures needed to be in place
"We don t have container scanners
at the Port of Port-of-Spain and Point
Lisas. Everybody knows that. Scanners
have been acquired but are not yet
operational," he said.
CoP will target
There has been an
overall 22 per cent drop
in road fatalities as a
result of various initia-
tives, Transport Minister
Stephen Cadiz said yes-
Replying to questions
in the Senate, Cadiz said
for the first quarter of the
year there also has been
a 15 per cent drop in such
fatalities over the corre-
sponding period for last
Citing factors respon-
sible, he listed cable barriers, which
have prevented 87 fatal accidents,
walkovers, traffic wardens, high visibility
of highway patrol police and cameras
at red lights.
Cadiz said there was a camera testing
station at the Wrightson Road traffic
light near the Parliament, which takes
a picture of a car s licence plate if it
breaks the light but he said no tickets
would be issued to drivers in the mail
since legislation for that
was still in the works.
He said legislation for
laser speed guns to track
speeding vehicles would
be brought to Parliament
in the next couple weeks.
The laser was an
improvement on radar
guns, which were limited
in scope, he said.
Lasers would target a
speeding vehicle out of a
group, take a photo of the
plate and note its speed
and the speed limit for
Cadiz said procurement for that
would be via public tender with the
Vehicle Maintenance Company of T&T
(VMCOTT) as procurement agency.
The cost in this year s budget for this
was $12 million to $14 million. Spec-
ifications would be determined by police
and police would undergo certification
training to use the devices, he added.
Cadiz: 22 per cent
drop in road deaths
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Opposition Senators display their traditional East Indian outfits in commemoration of Indian Arrival
Day, which will be celebrated on Friday, during yesterday's sitting of the Upper House at the Parliament
Building, Tower D International Waterfront, Port-of-Spain. They are Faris Al-Rawi, left, Avinash Singh,
Diane Baldeo-Chadeesingh, Stuart Young and Foster Cummings. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Links Archive May 27th 2014 May 29th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page