tim gopeesingh

Former Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh

Former Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh believes Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley must seriously consider appointing a competent Minister of Education.

In a statement issued yesterday, the former education minister said a minister with an appreciation of the dynamics, advancement and urgent essentials of the modern education sector should be appointed.

His comment follows the leak of the recommendations of a report from the GATE Task Force on the future of the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme.

It proposes that undergraduate students pay one third of their tuition, while funding for post graduate students be done away with.

The Caroni East MP believes government has taken a decision to punish “ambitious” tertiary students by the “arbitrary whittling down” of GATE, describing the matter as another onerous and atrocious education measure of the PNM regime.

Gopeesingh claims that that incumbent Minister has dismantled much of the gains in the education sector and has taken Trinidad and Tobago back by approximately 20 years.

He added that government has undone essential modern and creative programmes and policies designed to make T&T a learning society and one of human development, change and transformation.

Citing the “regressive measures” of the PNM government in its refusal to grant computer laptops to secondary school students, scrapping the Continuous Assessment Component (CAC), declining to deliver textbooks, shutdown of homework centres and cancellation of construction of schools and Early Childhood and Care Centres (ECCE), Gopeesingh said these move have undone the country’s calculated progress in meeting the challenges of the contemporary innovation-driven world.

Dr. Gopeesingh added that any systemic challenges could have been appropriately dealt with through suitable measures, rather than cruelly punishing forward-thinking and progressive tertiary students.