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We demand better treatment for local experts

Published: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017

We cannot sit by and say and do nothing when things affects us at the core. We will be as just as culpable!

The word “national” has very significant, deep and emotional meaning to most of our population. For example, there are the national anthem, national flag, national bird, national songs, national pledge, etc. Then, there are national buildings like the national library. Further, there is the national instrument. And, there is the requirement that many positions require nationals to fill like Members of Parliament.

In Trinidad and Tobago, we are blessed with a national university, The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), that is filling the gap in tertiary education that UWI cannot deal with. Can the Minister of Education or the Board of Governors at UTT or the Cabinet explain to the population how on earth we could not have found a national of this country who lives here or is abroad and willing to return to serve as the President of its national university?

The one chosen seems quite qualified in his field. But to have a non-national leading and representing our national university is certainly a slap on all of our faces by those who made this appointment.

We are not talking about a lecturer from another country who has expertise in a subject matter and was hired. This is the head of a national institution that we are speaking about!

I note with deep appreciation that the current drive to recruit a Commissioner of Police for the TTPS specifies that applicants must be nationals. Certain things must remain in our own hands like the head of our national university, the head of our police service, etc.

Can you imagine the new non-national head of national UTT having to deal with local officials on agriculture, fashion, environment, crime, etc? What local standing does he have? Are we back to the colonial days? Is it that in 2017, we still think foreign is always better?

CAROL SEENATH-JOHN