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Insecurity in schools

Friday, February 23, 2018

The ease with which an armed bandit entered a school, held up a student teacher and stole her Nissan Frontier pick-up on Wednesday warrants a much more urgent response from the relevant stakeholders than the usual sympathy and promises.

That incident at Jordan Hill Presbyterian School adds to a long list that includes too many cases of student violence, indiscipline, attacks on teachers and countless burglaries and acts of vandalism.

The usual responses—including promises of improvements that never see the light of day—will be of little comfort to the still-traumatised pupils, staff and parents at that school.

Most primary schools don’t have adequate security because there is no state funding for such arrangements, so parents and guardians have to dig into their pockets to pay for a single officer, usually deployed only during school hours.

Schools are supposed to be safe and comfortable places of learning. A review and upgrade of school security arrangements needs to be given priority.

Progress in corruption fight

In a rare bit of welcome news for T&T, the latest Corruption Perception Index from Transparency International shows that this country’s score has improved by six points, moving up from 35/100 in 2016 to 41/100. The country is now ranked 77th, up from 101st last year and, in even more welcome news, this is the first time in six years that T&T has crossed the 40 point mark on the Index.

However, there can only be cautious optimism as T&T is still not at the globally accepted average score of 43. There is need for more effort to strengthen anti-corruption measures on several fronts, including implementation of effective legislation and reform of systems across the public and private sectors.

Don’t miss Music Festival

The 32nd Biennial T&T Music Festival is now in full swing at venues in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando and Tobago, offering up a exciting menu of musical performances across a range of genres and age groups.

This is the 70th anniversary of the festival which has evolved over the years from five days to a full month of competition featuring the best of the country’s singers and musicians. Although originally dedicated only to classical music, the event now covers a range that includes indigenous art forms such as the steelpan, calypso and the latest addition, rapso.

Many of T&T’s top artistes had their start competing in the Music Festival, so patrons are guaranteed much more than their money’s worth.


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