UTT was established fourteen years ago. One estimate suggests T&T taxpayers have spent close to $2 billion on its upkeep. If an independent body has not evaluated UTT, it should do so and make its findings public. Citizens should look at UTT’s efficacy before government pours more money into its operations. Moreover, the following actions should be undertaken to make UTT a more viable institution: Continue reading Forged in the Bowels of Corruption: Pt 5→
This may be a far-out comparison but it bears making if only because it allows us to measure what success looks like at serious academic institutions. Fifty years ago, Jawaharlal Nehru, the president of India, created the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) with UNESCO’s assistance and funds from the Soviet Union to train his country’s scientists and engineers. On July 25, 1958, ITT Bombay, the second ITT, opened its doors with 100 students. These students “were selected from over 3,400 applicants for admission to the first undergraduate programmes.” IIT’s motto is, “Knowledge is the Supreme Goal.” Continue reading Forged in the Bowels of Corruption: Pt 4→
The development of Trinidad and Tobago’s energy sector owes a lot to the dedication and ingenuity of Ken Julien, our energy czar. Wendell Mottley, T&T’s former Finance Minister, suggests that Julien would not have been successful if he had approached his job through “the typical state bureaucracy.” He was successful because Eric Williams, the former PM, “insulated the energy investments from the hassles and delays that might ordinarily be expected in a programme of such size, complexity and duration” (Trevor Boopsingh & Gregory McGuire, From Oil to Gas and Beyond). Continue reading Forged in the Bowels of Corruption: Pt 3→
Things get mighty strange in T&T. Before President Anthony Carmona could wash he foot, he jump into de dance with the chiasmus: “I don’t feel because there is a recession that we need to have a recession in education” (Express, November 11). It sounds noble but it does not amount to a hill of beans.
When there is a recession everything recedes including educational funding for the simple reason that the government or the stakeholder does not have enough money to pay for an expensive enterprise, particularly when monies extended to that enterprise may not have been used with the necessary circumspection. However, the President’s statement sounded Solomonic in the presence of enablers of a seriously disabled system. They included UTT chairman Prof. Ken Julien, deputy chairman Prof. Clement Imbert, UTT president Prof. Sarun Al-Zubadidy, Education Minister Anthony Garcia and Chief Justice Ivor Archie. Continue reading Forged in the Bowels of Corruption: Pt 2→
The last time I heard, the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) was a public institution, which suggests the public owns it. This suggests further that the public (in this case, the taxpayers) have a right to know what’s taking place at “our national university” since the taxpayers have spent billions of dollars to establish this public institution. Continue reading Forged in the Bowels of Corruption: Pt 1→
PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday dropped several bombshells in the House of Representatives, exposing what she described as major corruption scandals which took place under the former People’s National Movement (PNM) government. Continue reading PNM SCANDALS→
I am sure that Sat Maharaj’s would say that ah follow fashion. However, the truth is that his recent discussion of UTT, its academic standards and it place in the society reminded me of questions I raised two years ago when Ghana’s former President John Kufoor visited Trinidad and I made an address in his presence. Just for the record, my speech can be found on trinicenter.com on August 6 2008. My interest in this matter goes back a long way. This contribution only adds to Sat’s concerns. At least, there are some things on which we agree. Continue reading Making UTT a National University→