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Offline Flex

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Schools in T&T Thread.
« on: August 25, 2013, 06:03:40 AM »
Gopeesingh wants $1.5bn for school construction
Sunday, August 25, 2013
By Sean Nero (Guardian)

Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh has lashed out at critics who claim that under the People’s Partnership the construction sector is lagging. “It has been tremendously active. There has been a lot of work in the construction sector...all the Cabinet notes that have passed and the amount of work that we have been doing. We might not have been telling the population all the things that we have done,” he told Sunday Guardian.
Dr Gopeesingh said, “Within the next six months, we would have completed over 80 early childhood centres; completed 13 primary schools and 14 are under way. We are completing another eight secondary schools.” It was for this reason, he said, the Education Ministry will seek $1.5 billion from the Finance Ministry in the upcoming 2013-2014 budget to complete existing programmes, as well as roll-out new projects under the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).
The figure being requested has been revised upward by $350 million from the ministry’s expenditure for the period 2012-2013. Gopeesingh described the number of school construction programmes under the PSIP as “massive” and said the $700 million in last year’s budget was almost used up for this year.
“From next year, we have almost 15 more early childhood centres (to build) and we are looking to construct 47 primary schools. We have identified the schools already and then we have to complete a number of the secondary schools as well. There are about seven schools that need science blocks,” Gopeesingh said.
His Cabinet colleague Winston “Gypsy” Peters said the Ministry of Community Development is approving two new designs for 24 community centres to be built across the country. He said the allocation to Community Development was $800 million. Asked if that was enough, Peters replied, “No!”
Peters said, “We can’t get everything that we ask for because we are operating under a certain amount of constraint, but the fact remains that we have to work with whatever we get and that is most important.” Gopeesingh said, “I’m sure we wouldn’t get all that amount of money. Last year, the PSIP was $700 million. This year, we are asking for $1.5 billion which we know we cannot get, but if we get a substantial part of that we will be very happy.”
Gopeesingh, laughing, said Howai brought his banking practices into the Finance Ministry which was good for accountability and transparency. “We don’t interfere with the Minister of Finance’s work,” he said. “We can only do what we have to do. We don’t want the country to move between a debt-to-GDP ratio that is excessive and, therefore, he has his constraints to operate with and we work with him.”
Looking ahead to the September 9 budget presentation, he said, “We are a Government that manages for the present, the medium term and the long term. Whatever economic developments taking place in the country, it’s development in the context of sustainable development and human capital development. “The Government always has as its priority the people and how we can improve the lives of people. Crime, health, education, transportation, employment, all these areas are high on the agenda.
“We are guided by what the people have been saying as well, moving to the future: what it is that they feel we have been doing well, what it is we have not been doing as well as we should. We are there to deliver for the people. “The (by) election in Chaguanas West must have given us an eye-opener in a number of areas. As members of Parliament, we need to work harder in our constituencies. We are on the move to regaining Government in the next term. We just have to work a little smarter and keep together.”
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Offline Deeks

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Re: Schools in T&T Thread.
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 06:00:01 AM »
Saw this in today's internet Guardian. Not nice!

Cindy Raghubar

Published: Sunday, July 24, 2016
Prof Imbert: High drop-out, failure rate at MIC

Arnold Knights, welding instructor, MIC Institute of Technology, left, assists a student in the assimilated welding room. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER

Approximately 3,500 people sign up for technical vocational training programmes at the MIC Institute of Technology each year. Of that, 20 to 25 per cent either drop out or fail the programmes, according to chairman of the MIC Prof Clément Imbert.

Speaking to the Guardian, Imbert said, “Unfortunately the attrition rate, failure and the people dropping out is a little too high, higher than you would find at the universities, for instance. This is because many of the programmes are filled by people who we attract almost off the streets.”

Imbert said tradesmen are needed in the country and they try to encourage these students to stay and complete training even if they fail. “We try to make sure everyone who comes here and who’s willing, that we work with them until they pass.”

MIC offers a number of programmes but only four are funded by Gate. These are: the National Skills Development Programme (NSDP), Workforce Assessment Centre (WAC), Technical-Vocational Instructor/Teacher Training (TVITT) Unit, and Master Craftsman Programme.

When the Government-appointed Task Force’s report into Gate was leaked last week, concerns were raised over the impact it could have on the TVET sector.

The report suggested, “Effective August 2017, level II Technical, Vocational, Educational and Training (TVET) programmes should not be funded. Only programmes offered at institutions accredited by the ACTT should be funded. Exceptions should be made for postgraduate, undergraduate and TVET programmes that meet national needs.”

MIC is the first TVET institution to become accredited by the ACTT in the country and Imbert admits, “It is possible some of them may be affected, but I’m not sure exactly what is going to happen. The population must expect with a vast decrease in our income that all areas have to be rationalised, but I think people are getting a bit paranoid about what is going to be cut and not be cut.”

He said the country can’t expect business as usual. “Remember this particular government was not responsible for Gate for the last five years, so if there were certain things that have to be looked at you have to look at it. The country will have to decide which of the areas and which of the recipients for the Gate funding is best for the country.”

Don’t stop funding—student

Brandon La Croix, 21, of Arima, third-year student of the NSDP specialising in Machine Shop Technology, said he was able to gain more experience, more confidence and a better exposure to the world or work and a future career at MIC.

He entered straight out of high school and is nearing the end of the programme. He said, “I don’t think Gate should be cut from these programmes because some people may not have the right background and have a poorer background, unable to pursue a better education.

Tariq Khan, programme manager of the Multi-Sector Skills Training (MuST) Programme, said the MIC programmes target mainly at-risk youths, “youths that need a second chance, those that are economically disadvantaged, achievement motivated, differently abled, re-entrants to productive society and displaced workers.”

Recently, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley revealed that $750 million is spent each year on Gate.


MIC Gate-funded per student per year

Course Duration Annual Intake Annual Cost

Craftsman 1 year 25-30 $20,000 to $24,000

NSDP 3 years 160 $15,000 (3 years)

TVITT 1 year 60 $15,000

WAC One-time 500 $2,500 to $3,000


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