For the past 25 years Alta has delivered literacy instruction to adults in Trinidad and Tobago. Alta students come from a wide range of backgrounds and come to Alta for many different reasons.
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Upon my return I requested reports from the said Minister and the relevant authorities. Having read these reports and after meeting with the Minister I have arrived at a decision on the way forward.
All my considerations are character driven. I hold no brief for any man or woman save the greater public interest. I am always aware of the higher expectation upon which this government was elected and the immense responsibility each of us has to uphold public trust in all we do every single day of our lives. It is not a responsibility we can choose to have one day and lose the next.
I am reminded of Gandhi’s identification of one of seven social sins as being “politics without principle.” I have insisted from the moment we took office that everyone of us must display a sound character of public integrity, fairness, humility, compassion and human dignity. No man, nor woman for that matter, has been allowed nor will be permitted to deviate from the very principles upon which we were elected by the people into office.
I know there will be arguments put forward by some as to what was condoned in the past administration to allow for continuity but I disagree. There must be no compromise on integrity, no allowance for arrogance, no room for violation of mutual respect; there will be no sacrifice of our values on the altar of political expediency. Regardless of whether the decisions I take hurt me politically or not, I have the strength and courage and independence of mind to measure every tough decision on the basis of what is right and just.
As I have always said, regardless of the consequences, I remain resolved to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. My decisions in the past demonstrate this consistency regardless of whether you are in my Cabinet or not. No one is exempt from the measure of value based leadership.