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What’s the plan for UTT?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Although there have been broad references to a restructuring exercise at the University of T&T (UTT) the lack of pertinent details leaves plenty of space for the speculation and confusion that have been swirling around the institution.

This home-grown tertiary level entity, with 12 campuses spread across the country, is going through one of the most challenging periods in its history. The news that the current retrenchment exercise will result in more than 300 staffers being retrenched is already the source of considerable turmoil, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty that does not augur well for the institution.

There are also reports that the restructuring of UTT may result in the closing of some campuses and there had already been indications many months ago that some programmes would either be scaled down or cut completely.

Given the role of the UTT, described on its website as an entrepreneurial institution mandated to “discover and develop entrepreneurs, commercialise research and development, and spawn companies for wealth generation”, care must be taken to ensure that decisions and actions don’t result in a watered down entity not aligned with the country’s developmental goals.

It is time to hear from UTT’s board of governors about a comprehensive plan for its future.

Long silences and absences

Chief Justice Ivor Archie is becoming well known these days for prolonged silence and absences as the judiciary continues to be buffeted by controversies that are now the subject of lawsuits.

Just a few days after cutting short his initial six-week leave—he originally wanted to go on a six-month sabbatical but did not succeed in that bid— due to the death of his mother, Justice Archie is once more off for a further six weeks, much to the dismay of many in the legal fraternity. Not surprisingly, there have been expressions of outrage from some quarters and not a few questions about this latest tranche of leave which comes at a difficult time for the judiciary.

Controversies have been raging for months and there is a need for closure, which relies to some extent on decisions and actions that should be taken by Justice Archie.

The mentoring masters

Congratulations to cultural icons Wendell Manwarren, Eintou Pearl Springer, Meiling, Felix Edinborough and Dr Suzanne Burke for signing up for the Ministry of Culture’s 2018 Mentoring Masters programme.

Their proven expertise in various art forms will certainly advance the programme, established in 2013 to inspire and promote growth for aspiring artiste and others involved in the cultural sphere.


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