CHAGUANAS East MP Fazal Karim has accused Government of systematically dismantling the education sector.
He was piloting a private motion yesterday calling on the House to condemn Government for its "gross failure in the education sector and resultant detrimental effect on generations of students."
He argued, "This motion is intended to give a voice to students, to teachers, to ministry staff and officials, to service providers, and all other stakeholders in the education system who have suffered in the past four years because of the incompetence and sometimes described as wicked and punitive decisions of the actions of this PNM Government."
He slammed Government on keeping six secondary schools, 19 primary schools and 37 Early Childhood and Education Centres closed. He also questioned why the Government denied more than 70,000 Form One students a laptop; why was the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) cut from $750 million under the People's Partnership to $435 million in fiscal 2019; and why scholarship recipients were reduced from 470 in 2014 to 376 in 2018.
"If you want to take care of your best and your brightest, do you think Singapore would do this? Do you think the US would do this? Do you think Canada would do this?"
He said the PNM Government is invested in keeping people powerless and increasing economic hardships to keep people distracted from national issues and the public purse.
"This PNM Government does not want an educated citizenry. You know why? Educated people ask questions. Educated people are not easily fooled. Educated people do not fall for fake news."
He said this administration has spent more than $21 billion on the Education Ministry in four years and only completed one school, the Scarborough RC Primary School.
"That must be the worst performance of any minister of education in the history of education in TT."