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The Jamaat Al Muslimeen compound at Mucurapo Road, Port-of-Spain.

Government is providing financial assistance to the Jamaat Al Muslimeen primary school at Mucurapo Road, Port-of-Spain, to cover its monthly utility bills, teachers’ salaries and operational costs.

This was confirmed yesterday by the acting leader in the Senate Clarence Rambharat in response to a query from Opposition Senator Wade Mark about reports of an agreement between the State and the Jamaat Al Muslimeen for financial assistance.

Rambharat didn’t have information on when the Jamaat applied for the assistance but said following a Cabinet decision, a memorandum of understanding was done on January 16 between the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Jamaat leader Yasin Abu Bakr.

It was agreed that from January 2020, financial help would be provided, including $400 monthly for telephone, $300 for electricity and $200 for water and sewerage. There is also a monthly grant of $6,483 to be used towards the payment of salaries for GCE-certified teachers registered with the ministry, a $5,000 monthly grant for teachers who meet minimum requirements and a flat sum of $1,000 for operational costs, Rambharat added.

He said the agreement was on the condition that the school follow the Ministry’s curriculum and the Ministry assign teachers after consultation with school management. The school must also be subject to ministry supervision.

In response to another Opposition question, Minister in Ministry of Finance Allyson West said T&T’s relationship with the US Department of the Treasury on the Tax Information Exchange Agreement hasn’t been affected in any way by Government’s March meeting with the Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodriguez. West said the agreement “is in place, fully functional.”