UTT on the brink of collapse …”GARCIA TO THE RESCUE”

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Ever since he was appointed Minister of Education in 215, Anthony Garcia has turned out to be the champion of the poor and downtrodden.

Anytime there is a major issue with the education system, Garcia pops up and goes to the rescue.  The former school principal and TTUTA President, sees himself as a shining light to improve the education system.

He never knows the problems until it is highlighted.

The latest issue which apparently Garcia did not know was that the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) is on the brink of collapse if it does not get the necessary funding from Government.

Why didn’t Garcia address this matter before Professor Kenneth Julien sent out a memo to staff last Wednesday pointing to an imminent collapse?

Garcia said he was not totally surprised at reports UTT is facing financial constraints and will not be able to operate beyond January 2018. However, Garcia says he has had a discussion with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley about a way forward and expects to meet with Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, for further discussions.
Garcia said he has been speaking almost daily with UTT’s vice-chairman about the situation as it is important for students to have access to affordable tertiary education.

He added, “We have been discussing all these challenges for quite some time now so I wasn’t totally surprised.”

In a memo to staff on Wednesday, UTT chairman Professor Kenneth Julien announced plans for restructuring of the cash-strapped university.

“This development, if left unaddressed, will see the university experiencing a huge cash shortfall of the order of $190 million at the end of the fiscal year, and an inability to meet its payroll liabilities beyond January 2018,” Julien said.

UTT is proposing to reduce staff of the academic and academic support functions of the university. But a source at UTT said yesterday it has not yet been decided whether any of the campuses will be closed.

Should UTT be forced to close, a number of departments will collapse. Many buildings will become white elephants. Hundreds of staff members will be sent home, and what will become of the thousands of students in the middle of their degree programmes?
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