By Prior Beharry
Several directors of private tertiary institutions are complaining about a number of discrepancies within the Government Assistance of Tuition Expenses (Gate) programme.
Complaints range from ghost students and political bias to financial impropriety.
One director gave the Sunday Guardian the name of someone who, he said, was the owner of a private school that accesses Gate, while at the same time being employed at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education (MSTTE)—the ministry with responsibility for the Gate programme.
When contacted, the ministry employee denied he was still a director of the school.
He admitted to founding and owning the school, but said he sold his shares a few years ago.
He admitted that he was, indeed, employed at the ministry, but said he also had worked for the Government before going to that particular ministry.
He also said he worked for the government, but not the MSTTE, while he was a director at the school.
The man said he was still a lecturer at the school and the Sunday Guardian was able to get his cell number from staff there.
A director speaking on the condition of anonymity said: “Some schools received Gate approval for courses that they were offering for the first time, when Gate approval states that you must be offering the course for at least two years in order to access the programme.
“Political affiliations are even helping some schools to get land and office space, and Town and Country approval.
“While all costs have gone up exponentially, there is no reason for some schools to be charging $1,000 registration fees.
“There are also schools without permanent premises charging upwards of $40,000 for some courses. This is ridiculous.”
Another director said some schools were signing up for Gate approval for courses and degrees from foreign institutions to which they were not accredited.
A director of another school said those exorbitant fees were being charged to “milk” the State’s coffers.
He also claimed that some schools were signing up “ghost students” in an intricate scheme that involved birth certificate and O-Level certificates.
Minister: No comment
When the Sunday Guardian caught up with Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education Mustapha Abdul-Hamid at the PNM’s special convention at Bon Air High School in Arouca yesterday, he refused to comment on the allegations.
He said he wanted to read this article before commenting.
(With reporting by LEAH SORIAS)
This is what happens when niggas dont understand the simple basics of planning.
The UNC introduced the Dollar for Dollar programme. This mean that students would have had to foot half the fockin bill. Off course this would have kept them and their parents interested in ensuring that there would be fockin success. This strategy as well would have ensured that there would have been reasonable fees at these private institutions, as the students and or their parents would have an interest as to what is charged and how much.
But lo and fockin behold! Up come the fockin duncee PNM niggas who just want to better anything the fockin UNC do and without thinking create an environment for dem and dey family and supporters to fockin teef.
I dont know what this great effort is all about including the UTT (another PNM teefin zone), but try as hard as the fockin PNM want, niggas are not inclined to educating themselves.
Teefing from coolie people is an easier profession.