Friday, December 13, 2013

Kids 5-16 must be attending school: PM Kamla

"I have decided to bring legislation to extend the mandatory age of school enrolment: it will now be 5 to 16 years..."
In the speeches and hoopla over the return of the Trinidad and Tobago delegation from the Mandela memorial we might have missed one very important fact contained in the statement by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

The item of importance has nothing to do with Nelson Mandela or the new sense of unity that the trip generated not only at home but within CARICOM. It had to do with education.

The Prime Minister, who as education minister in the Panday UNC administration introduced universal secondary education, spoke about the need to keep children in school.

And she announced that she will soon be presenting legislation to make it mandatory for all children between ages 5 and 16 to be attending school. The present legislation states that kids 6-12 must be registered in school.

This is what she said:

"I will continue to be committed to establishing a society of equal opportunity and we recognise that such an endeavour is rooted in the education of our children.

"This is why I have decided to bring legislation to extend the mandatory age of school enrolment: it will now be 5 to 16 years, an increase from the present obligatory attendance of children between the ages of 6 to 12. 

"As we equip our future leaders with the tools to guide us into a brighter era, Mandela’s wise words again echo: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

The move would keep young people in school and won't cost parents money because education is free in Trinidad and Tobgo

Persad-Bissessar has already demonstrated in her three and a half years as PM that she has a deep commitment to education. The distribution of tens of thousands of laptop computers is only one of several initiatives that her government has taken to educate the children of Trinidad and Tobago.

Others include the expansion of financial assistance programs for tertiary education, building and refurbishing schools and a move to create universal early childhood education.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai