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UTT drowning in debts, who is to blame?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I continue to say the ad hoc decisions or political interference in our institutions by governments have resulted in debt problems. The announcement that the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) faces severe financial constraints as a result of huge debt is not surprising. Since its creation it has been plagued with problems.

This is just another example of mismanagement of the public purse and no one being made accountable. Instead, Mr Imbert is expected to pull a rabbit out of a hat and solve the money problems.

UTT was in direct response to 21st century global trends and initially focused on programmes in engineering and technology, but has since expanded into other fields. Its mandate was to educate and train nationals towards achieving the goals of its Vision 20/20 Action Plan. However, from the onset the luring of UWI lecturers to UTT created problems. Huge salaries were waved at them and many of them left in droves for the almighty dollar—yes, notable people in society who occupy high places today and are always in the media. (They are all silent on the issue).

UWI has over 50 years and UTT was a new institution; there was no comparison. However, as usual, political interference showed its ugly head with musical chairs by both the UNC and PNM party rewarding “their people” into top positions and large salaries.

Meanwhile, students paid their monies to attend the campuses across the country, only to find out their certificates were worthless. It lacked recognition abroad, while local employers as expected, showed preference to UWI certificate over UTT’s.

As usual it was a case of putting the cart before the horse. What is sad is all those who left UWI filled their pockets and some have died, while others have retired. Unfortunately, it is the present crop of lecturers who faces the threat of retrenchment, as well as students who will certainly suffer the shortfall of lecturers. The removal of GATE, I’m sure would have accounted for the shortfall of UTT intake (this was expected).

Today the current Government is saddled with insurmountable debts and declining oil prices. Tax cuts and retrenchment is inevitable. I fully believe recession is God send since so many secrets have been revealed.

Citizens how long will we continue to be passive on pertinent issues that impact the citizens? What legacy are we leaving of T&T for our grand kids?



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