As Minister heads to Mayaro …TIM: EDUCATION IN SHAMBLES

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As Minister of Education, Anthony Garcia, heads to Mayaro on Monday to deal with a case of bulling, his predecessor, Dr Tim Gopeesingh says the education system is in shambles.

Gopeesingh has issued a media statement:
“The threat by Minister of Education Anthony Garcia to take legal action against protesting teachers of Ste. Madeleine Secondary School is deeply troubling.

As a former long-serving President of Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA), the bargaining body for the country’s educators, Mr. Garcia would be aware of the legal right, guaranteed by the Industrial Relations Act, to engage in peaceful public protests.

Mr. Garcia’s threat of legal action is further glaring evidence of his gross ineptitude as Minister of Education.

Even in a weak, non-performing Cabinet, Mr. Garcia stands out by his singular incompetence and uselessness.

His threat is also another example of the Government’s anti-worker agenda and its oppressive, dictatorial nature.

The Government continues to callously throw State sector employees on the breadline without even nominal consultations with the representative trade unions.

Also, despite repeated promises, the Government has not amended the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act.
Promises date back to one year ago, when scores of workers of Arcelor Mittal were retrenched.

The Rowley regime has also not honoured a tripartite agreement and a pre-election pact with trade unions.

All of this is taking place under the hand of a Labour Minister who is also a former veteran trade unionist.

Mr. Garcia’s threat against law-abiding teachers highlights an authoritarian Government that is also seeking to silence the Parliamentary Opposition by altering the three-fifths majority essential for legislation that amends the national constitution.

In addition, the autocratic Attorney General has insisted that citizens do not have a right to privacy.

The Parliamentary Opposition strongly denounces the dictatorial tendencies of the Minister of Education and other Ministers of the Rowley administration.

The Opposition urges teachers – and workers generally – not to be intimidated by the repressive actions of the Rowley regime.

Indeed, the Government may display more and more authoritarianism as it continues to fail in the service of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.’
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