kamlaIt is frightening to contemplate the negative effects that cuts to GATE will have on our youth and the future development of our country and disastrous to implement such cuts before the start of the next academic year.

This is the view of the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar.

In a media release sent last evening she stated that she was deeply concerned by the recommendations presented to the Government by a special task force set up by the Keith Rowley administration to review the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme.

The report suggested that students enrolled at university would have to pay one third of their fees while postgraduate students would lose all financial assistance to continue their studies.  I call on the Government to reject these recommendations.

She said that combined with the Government’s recent moves to cut scholarships by fifteen percent, end the laptop programme for secondary school students and halt the development of the UWI South Campus, it appeared that the Rowley Administration was waging an all-out war against students.

Even worse she divulged, the Rowley Government had already cut spending on education by nearly half a billion dollars.

She opined that no serious government would allow that to happen.

The Opposition Leader called on the Rowley administration to act as a responsible government by rejecting the task force recommendations and by focusing instead on expanding GATE as they promised during the 2015 election campaign.