"It's a flagrant disregard of the law" - Education Minister fired up by hijab issue

The Ministry of Education is condemning the circumstances in which an on-the-job employee was asked to remove her hijab at the Lakshmi Girls' Hindu School as an unlawful act.

Minister Garcia says this is not the first time that this has happened and he is calling for a full report into it.

The following is a statement issued by the Ministry of Education today.

Garcia: 300-plus facing UTT axe

An estimated 300-plus workers are being cut from the University of Trinidad and Tobago. While 57 academic staffers have so far received dismissal letters, an additional 287 non-academic staff members are also expected to be dismissed, Education Minister Anthony Garcia confirmed yesterday.

Garcia was replying to queries in the Senate from UNC Senator Wade Mark on UTT job cuts.

Garcia’s figures signalled an estimated total of 346 staffers will be losing jobs.

Several Belmont Secondary School teachers stay away from classes

A number of teachers attached to the Belmont Secondary School did not show up for work today.

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) says it's because of health and safety issues.

A source told CNC3 that teachers face many issues at the school, one of them being violent students.

The source said that the teachers are afraid for their safety.

Minister of Education Anthony Garcia could not be reached this morning for comment.


Francis: Hitting students is illegal

Declaring zero tolerance on corporal punishment, Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis is reminding all teachers in the nation's schools that it is illegal to physically punish students.

His comments came a day after a Penal grandmother complained that her grandchildren were struck by their teachers in separate instances for dropping a book on the floor and for going to the wash-room without permission.

In an interview, Francis said the Ministry's position was clear.

Student allegedly beaten by teacher; grandmother calls for teacher's dismissal

With her grandchildren physically beaten and terrified of school, a Penal grandmother is now calling on the Ministry of Education to remove a teacher from a primary school in Penal for administering corporal punishment on pupils.

Mildred Farrell of Platanite Trace, Penal said her 9-year-old granddaughter was struck with a whip on her hands for leaving class without permission to use the toilet.

Her teacher was not in class at the time so there was no one to ask permission, Farrell said. 

Cabinet calls on UTT to explain process by which lecturers were dismissed

Cabinet is calling on the management of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) to explain to the public the process that was undertaken to arrive at the decision to dismiss staff.

A statement by the Ministry of Education says that while the Cabinet is aware and understands the need for this move, the UTT must be given the opportunity to fully elaborate on the process that was followed to the public.

The point was also made, that the letters of termination that have already been issued to academic staff members will stand as valid.