N Touch
Friday 17 August 2018
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Letters to the Editor

UTT drowning in debt, but who is to blame?

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

The PNM haters’ headliner is “Rowley wants to end Manning’s legacy.” This is just another example of mismanagement of the public purse and no one being made accountable. Instead Finance Minister Colm Imbert is expected to pull a rabbit out of a hat and solve the money problem.

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 2020 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 for the almighty dollar. Yes, notable people in society who occupy high places today and are always in the media 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 raised its ugly head with both the UNC and PNM rewarding “their people” with 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. UTT lacked recognition abroad, while local employers, as expected, showed preference to UWI certificates over UTT’s. As usual it was a case of putting the cart before the horse.

All those who left UWI did well 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 would, I’m sure, have accounted for the shortfall of UTT intake (this was expected).

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

Successive governments cowered to the parasitic oligarchy (in this case educated professionals or uneducated “tenderpreneurs,” as someone said, with a galloping ambition that would make Shakespeare’s Macbeth proud). They like expensive cars and talking down to people and are drunk on power (sounds familiar?).

How long will we citizens continue to be passive on pertinent issues that impact us? What legacy are we leaving of TT for our grandchildren?



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