Shutting the GATE: What’s in store for education now?

Decades after our first Prime Minister, Dr. Eric Williams told the nation that our children “carry the future of the country in their book bags,” Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, seeing those very bags bare of books indeed understood what those empty bags meant for the future of our country.

The UNC gave to our secondary school children a chance in this expanding digital age, the gift of, a laptop. Imagine how many students during this pandemic would have been able to stay in school and continue their education had the laptop distribution not been stopped by the present government.

Mrs. Persad-Bissessar also undertook an education revolution. We saw more school and university campus construction begin that had not happened in generations. Then came GATE; free tertiary education for students for more than 65% of secondary graduates. 

As of 2020, came the PNM’s decision of slashing GATE funding, and tripling the fees at University of Trinidad and Tobago. So much for the education transformation!

Now, thousands of needful students are unable to access tertiary studies. 

Trinidad and Tobago is staring at an education crisis caused by the cutback in investments in the country’s most prized resource – our youths, the next generation on whom we depend to hold the reins of our future. Where will they be at? How many professionals will be created of our own? Would we have to import them? Or shouldn’t the PNM have kept this reform in education alive and continue creating our own? 

Vol. 1, Issue 1