School as normal next week

The school term, which is scheduled to begin on September 5, will not be affected by the country’s State of Emergency.

This is according to Education Minister Dr. Tim Gopeesingh.

He said schools begin at 8 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m. so a State of Emergency will not affect students’ and teachers’ movements for transportation, getting to and from school.

Dr. Gopeesingh was speaking at the national symposium on the “Threat of Chronic Diseases to Childhood Futures” at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain yesterday.

He said that Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs had promised increased patrols around the nation’s schools on mornings and evenings.

He added that there will be student- support officers in schools, together with health and safety officers who will increase their activity in and out of school.

The Minister also said that the school construction programme has not been affected by the state of emergency, with many crews adding more workers to daytime shifts to complete all 236 projects in progress.

Dr. Gopeesingh said that what was really critically important is the psychological impact of crime on the children, especially those from high-risk areas and who have been affected by crime, with the need for more school counselling and the intervention of student-support systems at schools especially at high-risk schools rather than the State of Emergency.

He said it has really had an impact on households, but I think the general community feels a state of relief with the State of Emergency to stem the tide of this rampant criminal activity.