Thursday 26 November, 2020

Opposition MP warns of possible job cuts with proposed GATE changes

The Government is once again coming under fire for its proposed changes to the GATE programme which has led to reports of downsizing by schools which are not accredited by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago.

Former Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh issued a statement on Wednesday, where he slammed the Government for the “illogical” cutbacks made in the education sector.

He boasted that under the Peoples Partnership Government, tertiary participation rates increased from 40% in 2010 to 62% in 2015.

Gopeesingh said, however, under the Dr Keith Rowley-led regime, the Government has regressed and is now responsible for the downsizing of the School of Business and Computer Science (SBCS).

The Carnoi East MP further said he anticipates the closure of other tertiary education institutions as a result of the proposed GATE amendments by the Government.

“The expected closure of other tertiary institutions directly result from the sadly, myopic and tunnel vision decision to significantly curtail funding of the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme. This development confirms earlier clear warnings by the United National Congress (UNC) that the haphazard and retrograde slashing of GATE support will severely hurt the country’s educational aspirations,” he stated.

Gopeesingh added that he foresees more public sector retrenchment as a result of cuts to the GATE programme.

“There will also be further job losses at the tertiary institutions, adding to the thousands of workers who have been thrown on the breadline as a result of retrograde, inept and absent policies and measures of the Rowley regime,” he said.

The Opposition MP called on the Government to rethink and reevaluate its position on the education platform.

He said there is an urgent need for a continued thrust for excellence and leadership and added that this is necessary, particularly when significant gains have already been achieved as a worldwide leader in early childhood education amongst other significant accomplishments.

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