Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh said yesterday citizens must not accept what he described as deliberate and mischievous propaganda that the People’s Partnership Government was not working in constituencies held by the People’s National Movement (PNM).
Gopeesingh was speaking at the opening of Kanhai Presbyterian Primary School in Barrackpore and the ribbon-cutting ceremony at St Mary’s Early Childhood Care and Education Centre in Moruga.
He said the Opposition had accused the People’s Partnership Government of not working in PNM constituencies.
They claimed, Gopeesingh said, centres were not being built in their areas.
Gopeesingh said the Government had spent $165 million in repairs and maintenance in the constituencies held by the Opposition where a number of ECCE centres were constructed.
He said in three and a half years—“because the first year was a learning curve for this Government”—the Partnership had 100 ECCE centres which were constructed or were under construction, whereas “the last administration built 22 in nine years”.
Gopeesingh said Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley and Member of Parliament for Diego Martin East Colm Imbert, did not build schools within their areas while ministers in government.
However, “it took our Government to construct new schools for the people of Paramin and in Cumana”.
Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Clifton De Coteau also attended the event.
Dr Tim Gopeesingh said the Government has spent over $600 million for repairs and maintenance over the last four and half years, where 80 per cent of the schools are more than 50 years old.
n More than 100 parenting education programmes have been undertaken by the Ministry of Education, with the ministry creating a parenting academy.
n Thousands of teachers have also trained in ICT (information and communications technologies).
n More than 60 schools in Trinidad and Tobago have never formally opened.
n Gopeesingh said because of the efforts of the Government, the country can enjoy international recognition for the high standard of education.