"Prepare yourselves for hard work and commitment!" The words of Education Minister Dr Tim Goopeesingh to the newly appointed members who will make up the board of T&T's National Commission For Unesco. Goopeesingh who is president of the Commission, officially installed the new members for the 2011-2015 term at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre on Wednesday evening.
He said the installation of the new members took some time as he had to search deep and wide to find a team that would not only carry on the legacy of the National Commission but a team that would push the envelope, coming up with fresh and new ideas that would serve the people of T&T.
"Each person here was selected on the basis of your demonstrated expertise, commitment and ability to serve the people of T&T. "I can say with confidence that this augurs well for the continued and improved functioning of the National Commission and the implementation of initiatives that strive for peace and harmony," declared Goopeesingh. He urged the members that performance, efficiency, cost effectiveness, delivery of service, accountability and transparency were paramount as the public is watching and any failure to live up to those expectations could result in rapid condemnation as far as state boards and Government institutions go.
He added also that with the Unesco National Commission, the challenges were even more significant, since the body has been entrusted with upholding and executing the tenets and aims of an esteemed international body. Citing the number of achievements by the former board, Goopeesingh said under his stewardship the Ministry of Education has set a tremendous mandate for change and development.
He indicated that it would now fall to the members of the National Commission to ensure that the local body of Unesco matches and complements these changes and progressive development.
"In light of the national challenges that we face, you are in a position to embrace Unesco's ideals and be instrumental in engendering a culture of peace, human rights, equity and democracy," he said. The Cabinet approved membership of 20 people to the National Commission will represent the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology and Tertiary Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the People and Social Development, Arts and Multiculturalism, UWI, Niherst, Nalis and people with tremendous experience in education, sciences, culture and communications and information and technology.
Members of the new board
Chairman: Dr Kris Rampersad (Media, Culture and Literacy Consultant)
Shayphan Smith (Acting Operational Research Officer II, Ministry of Science Technology and Tertiary Education)
Jacinta Bailey-Sobers (Deputy Permanent Secretary , Ministry Of The People and Social Development)
Laura-Marie West (Director Multilateral Relations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ingrid Ryan-Ruben (Director of Culture, Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism)
Dr Grace Sirju-Charran (Senior Lecturer, Plant Sciences, UWI)
Dr Avril Siung Chang (Non-formal Education)
Alfred Aguiton (Managing Director All Media Projects Ltd)
Maureen Manchouck (President of Niherst)
Marcia Riley (Social and Human Sciences)
Elizabeth Crouch (Principal, Maria Regina Grade School)
Dr Sandra Gift (Head Quality Assurance Unit, office of the board for undergraduate studies, UWI)
Annette Wallace (Executive Director, Nalis)
Iqubal Hydal (Key Stakeholder)
Vashti Singh (Key Stakeholder)
Khemraj Pundit (Key Stakeholder)
Reynold Ramlogan (Key Stakeholder)
Irving Hoosainie (Non-formal Educational)
Susan Shurland (National Commission Secretary General)