Friday 27 November, 2020

Kamla on GATE cuts: Minister should be ashamed

Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar (left) & Minister of Education, Dr Nyan Gadsby Dolly (right)

Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar (left) & Minister of Education, Dr Nyan Gadsby Dolly (right)

Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar believes that Education Minister, Dr Nyan Gadsby Dolly should be ashamed for her ministry’s decision to make major cuts to the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) programme. 

Speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) Virtual Report, Persad Bissessar said the government disappointed many potential students in Trinidad and Tobago. 

“Effectively, thousands of students will be forced to pay for an education with no jobs available to them, their parents are struggling to make ends meet by living salary to salary. Where are they going to get money to pay for an education?” she questioned. 

With crippling economic circumstances affecting hundreds of families as COVID-19 continues to hurt businesses, Persad Bissessar said it should bring shame to the Education Minister to make getting a degree less accessible. 

“Minister Dolly as a former educator you should hang your head in shame,” she said. 

The Opposition Leader contends that the government could have made cuts in other sectors, leaving the nation’s students unaffected. She also claimed that donated devices aren’t reaching to those who need it. 

“They are begging corporate sponsors for laptops and not even giving them to the children with any kind of haste.... such is their lack of conscience. We heard just a week or two ago that of the 20,000 laptops donated only 650 given out. The term is halfway done, and the children don’t have devices,” Persad Bissessar said. 

Holding up a front page from the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, she also questioned the government’s alleged intention to shut down for campuses of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). 

“They are closing campuses in Chaguanas, Valsayn, Arima and Corinth. They have stated that they need to cut expenditure. 

“But this is another scheme by this Government, you know what their plan is? They are going to sell the buildings or rent them out! You have evicted the students from these campuses to sell it off?  Who are you going to sell it to? Is it your friends or financiers?” she mused. 

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: