MAY - JUNE 2016
Change and Continuity Outgoing Principal Professor Clement Sankat
Professor Brian Copeland
MAY - JUNE 2016 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Arnold Corneal CONTENT EDITOR: Debra Coryat-Patton DESIGN & EDITORIAL TEAM: Linda HutchinsonJafar, Donna Ramsammy and Kathryn Duncan PRODUCTION: Caribbean PR Agency
WRITERS Robert Clarke Jo-Anne S. Ferreira Pat Ganase Linda Hutchinson-Jafar Omardath Maharaj Hema Ramkissoon Donna Ramsammy
Â© University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher or agent. Views expressed are not necessarily those of The UWI St. Augustine or Caribbean PR Agency
Message from The Principal
From the Desk of the Editor-in-Chief APPPOINTMENT
Optometry Department meets the need for vision specialists
New Principal Appointed UWI St. Augustine CONDOLENCES
Professor Dave Chadee
Twenty for Twenty: CETL to launch 20 initiatives to celebrate 20th anniversary
Tributes to Professor Sankat RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
AgriNeTT wins Global Recognition
Recession can be an Opportunity
Profile of Lisa Cummings - Executive Director, UWI Consulting
Jupiter takes on Herculean Task at Petrotrin
Capturing the Future . . . Transforming Society
Canada Hall gets a Major Facelift One Caribbean, Many Flavours PROFILES IN LEADERSHIP
Sir Hilary Presents Model for Reparations at Oxford University
Shifting the Frontiers UWI IN SOCIETY
Tying the Past to Present, Future
Removing the Masks from Inequality in Education
Creating a Culture of Clean
Portuguese in Trinidad and Tobago
The Stark Realities Facing Trinidad and Tobago
Message from the Principal
the Journey of a Lifetime We have all embarked on our respective journeys as we experience life as it unfolds. For many of us, it is only after we reflect upon our voyage that we realize the many invaluable lessons life has taught us which has inevitably shaped who we have become. Today I write to you for the very last time as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal; a moment in my life that brings with it mixed emotions and reflection. I see in the mirror the person that I am today, and in looking back at almost 50 years of a life that has been inextricably intertwined with The University of the West Indies, the St. Augustine Campus, and Trinidad and Tobago, I am comfortable in saying that it was a wonderful Caribbean journey. Coming from Berbice, a rural town in Guyana to The UWI St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad in 1969, I was only “a little boy’, an 18 year old, who wanted to experience the region and the world in search of education. I brought with me only dreams and aspirations, while leaving a promise to my parents, siblings and friends that I would do them proud. At that Professor Clement Sankat
time, I only knew my birth place Guyana on the mainland of South America, waking up in the mornings and seeing “Dutch Guiana” (now Suriname). The Caribbean was just a word that was imagined, but not experienced. That quickly changed, however, as my residency in Canada Hall, expanded my vision and added for the first time, a perspective of Caribbean culture, in a way that could have hardly been anticipated. I was privileged to be among young students like myself, many of whom came from various Caribbean countries, all trying to make the adjustment to a new way of life. This regional UWI environment truly became my cultural classroom, and I was able to grasp an intimate understanding of the diversity of the people of the Caribbean region, as well as their hopes and aspirations. This exposure to West Indian traditions, through interaction with my peers, was the genesis of my new incarnation as a Caribbean person. I emerged as a new individual with a regional philosophy; my insight and appreciation of our rich cultural heritage, expanded immensely.
The process of my assimilation had begun, as my understanding and respect for the many influences that were provided by my new environment started making inroads into the way I now perceived our beloved Caribbean region. Indeed, it did not take me long to embrace the fact that I was more than just Guyanese; I was a son of the Caribbean and it was The UWI that provided the mould which shaped my life in a meaningful way, both academically, professionally and socially. I think it would be remiss of me not to also say that Trinidad & Tobago has contributed significantly to my growth and development, having spent most of my life here. This country has given me new opportunities, an extended family of many and so many friends, acquaintances and colleagues. This is my home. As a committed member of The UWI fraternity for 40 years, The UWI and especially the St. Augustine Campus is one that I have grown in and with, and one that has allowed me to serve the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region in a very impactful way through my various appointments as: Campus Coordinator for Graduate Studies and Research, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies, and now as Campus Principal. I also served many rewarding years as Chairman of the Board of the Caribbean Industrial Research
Institute (CARIRI) on Campus and the Board of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) in Macoya, and on the Boards and Agencies of the State – allowing me to participate fully in national development. I am therefore grateful to all the Governments of Trinidad and Tobago, for their steady support of our Campus and University. I have been asked more recently by many, whether I would miss being Principal of The UWI St. Augustine Campus. My answer to that question is, “most certainly.” But with more remorse, I will miss being a part of the wider regional University of the West Indies, the St. Augustine Campus, and my home faculty – the Faculty of Engineering which truly influenced my desire to foster development through service. I owe much to many mentors and leaders, past and present, both within and outside of The UWI. While I am proud to have been born and educated at an early age in Guyana, I am equally as proud and grateful to the country that I now call home, Trinidad & Tobago. Everything about me is Trinidadian! My wife is from Trinidad and Tobago, my children are ‘Trinis’ and my interest and passion have resided here since 1969. I am Trini to the “flesh” not possibly to the “bone” – Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural diversity and space have truly absorbed me. In short, it has been a remarkable journey for me, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. In fact, The UWI has been my life. The friendships that I have developed
with my colleagues over the many years across the region will undoubtedly last a lifetime. My life in academia and public service are well documented and while the time has come for me to leave The UWI system, I am doing so with expectation and anticipation, of a new journey; a journey I imagine will bring with it equally rewarding new experiences and opportunities. I accept this new destiny; hopefully taking me along a path that will allow me to continue with my eternal contribution as an academic. But more precisely, I will use this occasion to recommit more of my time to my family, and provide them with the direct support that may have been subdued in having to share my focus with the University for so many of their mature years. I salute my family for their understanding and patience with me; “my time” was never “our time.” I wish all of my former colleagues, students (and I have taught many in Engineering at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels), friends and acquaintances (those from the public and private sectors, from universities and institutions nationally, regionally as well as globally), the best for the future and I express my sincerest thanks for the pivotal roles that they have all played in making my lifelong journey a gratifying and memorable one – one which I hope has brought value to our Campus and University, to Trinidad and Tobago, the region and elsewhere. Thank you and God bless you all!
From the Desk of the
We bid fond farewell to Professor Clement Sankat whose stewardship at the helm of the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies comes to an end, after serving for eight years as the Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor. We also warmly welcome Professor Brian Copeland, who has been appointed as the new Principal of The UWI, St. Augustine Campus. Professor Copeland will serve as Principal for the next five years. Both Professor Sankat and Professor Copeland have a long history with the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI. Professor Sankat has traversed The UWI over four decades as a young engineering student from Berbice, Guyana, who went on to become a lecturer, then Professor, to Dean and eventually to Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor. The incoming Principal - Professor Copeland graduated from The UWI St. Augustine in 1978 and after further studies at the University of Toronto and the University of Southern California, he returned to the St. Augustine Campus. He was Head of the Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering at The UWI from 1997 to 2007 and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at The University of West Indies from 2007 to 2015. In this edition of STAN, special tributes are paid to Professor Sankat in recognition of his sterling contribution to the regional institution as a whole, but in particular to the St. Augustine Campus. Tributes have come from Sir George Alleyne, Chancellor, The University of the West Indies; Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor, The University of the West Indies; Professor Emeritus Ramesh Deosaran, ORTT; Professor Bridget Brereton; Professor Clément Imbert; Ronald Harford Chairman, Republic Financial Holdings Limited; and Aleem Mohammed, Chairman of S.M. Jaleel. This edition of STAN presents interesting and riveting articles and interviews. We highlight Sir Hilary in his capacity as Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Commission on Reparatory Justice. Joining with civil society and black community organizations in Britain, Sir Hilary advanced the call for
reparatory justice following a meeting at the House of Commons, London, earlier this year. Hosted under the auspices of Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Diane Abbot, the meeting was designed to share information and develop strategies across Britain and the Caribbean to advance the reparatory Justice movement. STAN also reproduces Sir Hilary’s 2014 milestone speech to the British Parliament on the issue of reparation. We also profile Lisa Cummins, Executive Director - UWI Consulting. She shares with us her ideas of a triangular relationship with UWI as a knowledge centre; forming dynamic links to government and business. The STAN also gets a first-hand conversation with Andrea TaylorHanna, the recently appointed Campus Bursar at The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine. She explores the strategies that can be adopted in taking advantage of the economic downturn, to be creative with resources and managing the Campus’ annual budgeting process.
. . . we express our best wishes to Professor Clement Sankat on his retirement.
Due to the pending uncertainty of the current state of the Oil & Gas Industry, the STAN had engaged Professor Andrew Jupiter, head of the Petroleum Studies Unit (PSU) at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine. Mr. Jupiter, also the Chairman of the Board of the Petroleum Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited discusses the challenges facing the state-owned Petrotrin. He provides some comfort to this situation, and conveys why he remains optimistic about the company’s future. Dr. Terrance Farrell, the head of Government’s Economic Advisory Board doesn’t sugar-coat the realities facing Trinidad and Tobago, and says the first order of business is effecting a swift and orderly adjustment of the economy to the reality of lower oil and gas prices and lower production levels. Optometrist Dr. Subash Sharma, the clinical coordinator of UWI St. Augustine’s Department of Optometry and Visual Sciences talks about the importance of the only English-speaking Optometry school in the Caribbean. Also featured, is
Alfred Reid, Senior Project Officer II at Campus Projects Office, UWI. He gives us an update on the major renovations and upgrades of the Canada Hall; a dormitory with great history, for Caribbean students attending the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI. The launch of two books at the Office of the Principal took place recently. On May 10, the book Shifting the Frontiers: An Action Framework for the Future of the Caribbean co- edited by former Trinidad and Tobago’s Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran and Carlos Elias was launched. Shifting the Frontiers follows a 2015 Forum on the Future of the Caribbean in Port of Spain with over 400 persons, the majority of whom were young Caribbean scholars. Participants, in presenting over 100 papers, were challenged to engage in disruptive thinking. Also, at the end of May, the book, Inequality, Crime and Education in Trinidad and Tobago: Removing the Masks, by Professor Emeritus Ramesh Deosaran, was launched. Professor Deosaran’s latest book is
research-driven and examines the connection between the failures of the education system and high levels of crime and violence. Reginald Dumas, former Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister and Head of the Public Service of Trinidad and Tobago in 1991, Diplomat, and adviser to world leaders, talks about his recently published book, The First Thirty Years: a Retrospection; permanently recording the era in which he lived and served. He dedicated the book “To the young people of the Caribbean, whom I encourage to see the past as the indispensable portal to the present and the future.” There are numerous other interesting articles, features, interviews and photo features in this issue of STAN. As usual, we welcome your feedback on our articles. In closing, the editorial team of the UWI STAN magazine, once more welcomes Professor Brian Copeland as our new Principal, and we express our best wishes to Professor Clement Sankat on his retirement.
New Principal Appointed UWI St. Augustine
Former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Brian Copeland, has been appointed Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine. The appointment was announced on April 29, at the annual business meeting of the University Council held at the Teaching and Learning Complex at the St. Augustine Campus. Prof. Copeland succeeds Professor Clement Sankat who has served two terms as Campus Principal: beginning his first term in January 2008 and the second in January 2013. Speaking on the appointment, ViceChancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said: “Professor Copeland is a distinguished scholar, an experienced engineer, and a respected university administrator. He has served this University in many roles, including as Dean of his faculty. His reputation as collegial leader is well established within the Campus and throughout the University. He is known for demonstrating concern for students, and has shown deep commitment for the well-being of the University. “Within Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Caribbean, he is respected as a professional of integrity and a citizen concerned with the development of the people and communities our University serves. I have no doubt that he is most suited
to take on this important task at this time in the history of the Campus and University as leader. “ Professor Copeland graduated from The UWI St. Augustine with a BSc in Electrical Engineering in 1978, with an MSc in Electrical Engineering (Control Systems) from the University of Toronto in 1981 and with a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Control Systems) from the University of Southern California in 1990. He has been a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at The University of the West Indies from 2007 to 2015. He was Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The UWI from 1997 to 2007. He has lectured in Digital Electronics and Microprocessor Systems Design and Control Systems.
He was Coordinator of the Real Time Systems Group, a UWI unit for developing university/industry liaison through impactful R&D Projects. At the RTSG, Professor Copeland was Project Leader for design and construction of the Electronic Scoreboard at the Queen’s Park Oval. He currently co-ordinates the Steelpan Initiatives Project (SIP) which saw the development and patenting of the G-Pan, a reengineered form of the traditional steelpan, as well as the Percussive Harmonic instrument (P.H.I.), an electronic form of the traditional steelpan. Professor Copeland is Convener of the Steelpan Research Centre, UWI and is a former Member of the Board of Directors, CARIRI. Professor Copeland has won many prestigious awards. In 2008 he was the first recipient of the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and in 2007 he was joint recipient of the Chaconia Medal Gold as a member of the G-Pan development team. He received the Guardian Life Premium Teaching Award in 2002, the BP/ AMOCO Fellowship Award for Senior Academic Staff at The UWI, 2001 and a LASPAU/Fulbright scholarship for a Doctoral programme at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1987, among others. Professor Copeland’s appointment will be for a period of five years.
Dave Chadee The scholar leaves a legacy of distinguished research
The University of the West Indies mourns the passing of one of its own, Professor Dave Chadee. Known to many as “the mosquito man”, Professor Chadee was a renowned Entomologist and Parasitologist, and an expert in vector-borne diseases, whose work has positively affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the world. He led research into mosquito-spread diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and malaria and most recently, the Zika virus. His work on mosquitoes has guided the development of mosquito traps, new disease surveillance systems, and new control strategies. Professor Chadee passed away on June 21, 2016.
Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles described Professor Chadee as “a brilliant, dedicated, outstanding colleague; a superb researcher and public servant” and noted that Chadee was “always willing to serve the public of this region to his maximum.” Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the St. Augustine Campus, Professor Clement Sankat added “Dave Chadee’s work has been nationally, regionally and internationally recognized both for its scholarly impact as well as its applicability and timeliness. His research has helped position The UWI as a leader in this field of research, advising countries like Brazil, China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia on vector control programmes. A humble man from Tableland, Trinidad, he cared for his community and country. His shoes will be very difficult to fill. May his soul rest in peace—he deserves no less.” At the time of his passing, Professor Chadee was Professor of Environmental Health and Subject Leader in Bioethics in The UWI St. Augustine’s Department of Life Sciences. Professor Chadee specialised in the ecology, surveillance, ethics, epidemiology and control of vector-borne diseases. He ran the only postgraduate course in Bioethics for research students at The UWI St. Augustine Campus and was a member of The UWI Ethics Committee. Most recently, he also served as the current Chair of the campus’ Open Lectures Committee. He held adjunct professor posts at the Department of Tropical Medicine, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane
University in New Orleans; the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami and at the University of South Florida in Tampa. As a recognized authority in his field, Professor Chadee’s expertise was highly sought after. He was appointed to several international expert panels at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, DC, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna and on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to name a few. In addition, he was awarded research grants from notable entities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Fogarty, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency. He was also the recipient of numerous local, regional and international awards. Among them, a 2013 Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence (ANSCAFE) in Science and Technology, a 2015 award from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for his “Outstanding Contribution in the Area of Public Health including Vector Control” and the award for “Most Outstanding International Research Project— Biology and behaviour of male mosquitoes in relation to new approaches to control disease transmitting mosquitoes” at the 2016 UWI-NGC Research Awards earlier this month. Professor Chadee published over 300 publications in international journals and had several collaborations with scientists from the USA and the UK.
On Professor Sankatâ€™s Retirement
It is a pleasure to be able to express through this medium my appreciation for the work of Professor Clement Sankat and be able to comment on the many positives of his tenure, especially as Principal of the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies.
I knew him first as Dean of Engineering and over the past 7 years as Principal and can comment on the many developments during his tenure in that positon. If there is one attribute to best describe Professor Sankat it would be that he did not hide his passion for the University and what it stood for. He was particularly passionate about the possibilities of the Campus and the University as a whole contributing to the growth and development of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. His passion was combined with fierce pride in all aspects of the Campus. He was clearly proud of the physical development of the Campus under his stewardship. Not only were the facilities grand and gracious but
they were designed with taste and an eye to functionality for years to come. I have often complimented him on achieving this with an eye to the environment and preserving the green spaces and my favorite saaman trees. But while his passion for and pride in things physical are clear as I suppose befits an engineer, I have always felt that his number one concern was for the students. It was not only for the growth in their numbers which is impressive, but for making their experience in the University a truly transformative one. Because he is a humanist, this concern extended to all the staff and especially to those who worked closely with him.
Lasting Impact on The UWI My first engagements with him were within the context of his role as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. He was an effective Dean and was committed to the growth of his discipline and its continued demonstration of relevance to development.
Always full of energy and ideas, Professor Sankat has had a considerable impact upon the development of the University of the West Indies during his tenure as Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal.Â STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
I experienced a profound feeling of satisfaction when he was invited to join the senior management. This sensation was completed when I was privileged to welcome him to the role of principal. He brought tremendous enthusiasm to this office and signaled a determination to see the Campus grow with quality.
I witnessed how he threw his energy and enthusiasm into the leadership of the St. Augustine Campus. It was a moment in which the stakeholders of the university were in agreement that the Campus should be expanded and done so within the context of a quality procedure.Â His management of the expansion process brought him considerable credit as a project mobilizer. The Campus grew considerably in every direction and he was always there at the helm providing inputs and impetus.
9 He had and made great plans and had high hopes for the University. One of those which he would repeat often was to have more research, more innovation and more entrepreneurship. I have commented often on his introduction of entrepreneurial boot camps in the academic year. We have never had to guess the extent to which Professor Sankat wore the University on his sleeve. Luckily we have documented evidence of his thinking about his vision for the Campus and the University and the mission through which it would fulfill its role as a regional entity. His regular and stimulating columns in UWI Today, his many speeches nationally, regionally and internationally are consistent in expressing what he thought of the institution and how its several parts could contribute.
We must thank Professor Sankat for his contribution to the St. Augustine Campus, to The University of the West Indies and to tertiary education in the Caribbean as a whole. I think one of the things about which he should feel most pleased is that he has left so much to be done. This is because all good institutions, including Universities are growing, living entities and those who love them and dedicate their lives to them know that if ever everything has been done, this signifies institutional dry rot and decline.
This is not a fate Professor Sankat would ever wish for the University in which over forty odd years he grew from being a student to being a lecturer, to being a Professor, to being a Dean and being a Pro Vice Chancellor. Thank you Professor Sankat. Sir George Alleyne, Chancellor, The University of the West Indies
There is no denying that Clem has climbed many mounds along the way to being a successful principal and all those who were a part of the journey have attested to the abundant evidence that informs this judgement.Â The Campus has done very well under his watch and will continue to glow after his transitions to retirement. He has every reason to feel proud of his leadership of his beloved St Augustine. Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor The University of the West Indies
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He Came, He Stayed, He Served
Clem Sankat was born and grew up in Berbice, Guyana (still British Guiana during his childhood), the home region of so many talented and eminent Guyanese in many fields of endeavour. But he did his O and A Levels at Queen’s College, Georgetown—where else?—the distinguished school which was Guyana’s Queen’s Royal College.
As a digression, it’s remarkable how many Guyanese scholars have served UWI, and especially St. Augustine, with distinction over the decades. This campus has benefited tremendously from the harsh realities of Guyanese post-colonial history which pushed so many of the country’s best and brightest to migrate. Think of Compton Bourne, Gordon Rohlehr, Ian Robertson, Frank Gumbs, Charles McDavid—and there are others. Clem was one of this constellations. He came to St. Augustine as a brilliant 18-year-old, on a Government of
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Guyana scholarship, to do a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. This was during the pioneer days of the Engineering Faculty, the second to be created (1961) after the old Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) was merged with the then University College of the West Indies, which became The UWI in 1962. Naturally he graduated with a First in 1972. Like nearly all the Engineering students in the 1960s/70s, Clem became a denizen of Canada Hall, and he speaks fondly of his three years there. Canada Hall was the first hall
of residence built after the merger with ICTA, and it was meant mainly for Engineering students, most of whom, in this period, were from Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. Not an environment for the feeble or the timid, no doubt life in Canada Hall helped to shape and toughen the young man, as well as making him a confirmed regionalist through his friendships with students from all over the Anglophone Caribbean— something we have sadly lost over the last few decades. A UWI scholarship enabled him to do his M.Sc. in 1975, and yet another, this one from the Canadian government, took him to Guelph University for his Ph.D. So he combined a solid grounding (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) at UWI with exposure to a leading foreign university for his doctoral work, a combination which he has often praised when presiding over the campus appointments process as Principal. Armed with his Ph.D., Clem returned to St. Augustine in 1978 to start his career as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Within just a few years, Clem’s talents and drive were recognized and he began to hold administrative and leadership positions of increasing importance: between 1987 and 2007, he was in succession Assistant Dean, Head of Department, Campus Coordinator for Graduate Studies and Research (GS&R), and Faculty Dean. Yet his research and academic publications hardly suffered from these responsibilities.
11 He was the first person in the Faculty of Engineering to be made a Reader, a British academic title we have since abolished but which was awarded solely on research excellence. He received a personal professorship in 1998, and when he got the ViceChancellor’s Award for Excellence, it was for research as well as public and university service. I first got to know Clem in the mid-1990s, when he was Campus Coordinator, GS&R, and I was a member both of the Campus Committee and of the newly constituted University Board for GS&R. Along with Julian Duncan and others, we worked hard to upgrade and expand the campus effort in graduate education and research. I was impressed with his passion for this key aspect of UWI’s remit, his insistence that excellent and relevant research was what justified the spending of tax-payers’ money on the University. Even after he demitted office as Campus Coordinator and became Dean of Engineering, I remember that when Frank Gumbs, his successor as Coordinator, fell ill, he and I shared his duties for most of a semester. It was no surprise when Clem was appointed Pro-ViceChancellor for GS in 2007, though as it turned out he held that post for only a few months. The friendship we forged while working on GS&R matters continued during Clem’s tenure as Dean of Engineering; we would meet and talk over UWI events, developments and gossip from time to time. As it happened I was Interim Principal
during the last half of 2007; I had no doubt that Clem was the strongest candidate for the substantive post and was genuinely pleased when he took up office at the start of 2008. We continued to talk quite often, even after I retired in 2010. As many would be aware, the responsibilities for all Campus Principals can be arduous at times, and Clem was certainly not exempt from the considerable challenges that prevailed during his tenure. However, he always found a way to effectively manage the various stakeholder relationships that are inherent in the UWI’s administrative landscape. Ultimately his efforts were always to represent the University’s interests as strongly as any situation allowed. What distinguished Clem as Principal, for me, was first his absolute loyalty to the University and especially to St. Augustine, effectively his only employer and academic home since he received his Ph.D. while still in
his twenties. The second was his insistence that UWI was a research university and that it was the quality of our graduate education and training, and the research carried out by postgraduates and academic staff, which separated UWI from all the other tertiary institutions in the region. (Of course, this is not to ignore all his other achievements as Principal, nor to suggest he regarded undergraduate education—and we know that there was a massive increase in undergraduate enrollment under his watch—as of lesser importance.) For me, Clem Sankat is the quintessential UWI person. He came to UWI as a teenager; he stayed for nearly half a century; he served; he made a difference; he has left a positive legacy for his University and his Campus. Bridget Brereton is Emerita Professor of History, UWI, St. Augustine
Prof. Emerita, Bridget Brereton chatting with Campus Principal, Clement Sankat in 2011.
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I have known Professor Clement K. Sankat for more than 25 years. He has had a stellar career in academia and public service. He graduated from Queen’s College in Guyana with three distinctions at University of London Advanced level examinations and won a Government Scholarship to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of the West Indies. He graduated with a First Class Honours Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and later obtained a Doctorate in Food & Agricultural Engineering from the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering in Canada. He has always possessed a strong passion for academia and was one of the early pioneers in the development of the Faculty of Engineering. His teaching, research and professional activities have been in the processing and storage of tropical food crops, food and agriculture engineering, graphics and engineering design and engineering management and innovation. He has displayed outstanding scholarship throughout his University career with the publication of over 100 peer-reviewed publications in leading international and regional journals. He conducted important research on nutmeg that has positively impacted the nutmeg industry in the region. On the basis of
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his outstanding teaching and research Professor Sankat was promoted to Reader, the first academic in the Faculty of Engineering to achieve this. This position was later converted to a personal Professorship in the Faculty. Professor Sankat has made a tremendous contribution in the service of the University. He was Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Dean of the Faculty. In this later role I served as one of his Deputy Deans for 7 years as he significantly advanced the development of the Faculty. He was Campus Coordinator for Graduate Studies and Research at St. Augustine, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies and finally Principal of the St. Augustine Campus. His accomplishments in the development of the Campus are many. During his tenure as Principal, student enrollment was markedly increased with the launch of three new Faculties: Law, Science & Technology and Food and Agriculture. A major milestone for the University achieved under his stewardship was the attainment of institutional accreditation conferred by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago in May 2011. Professor Sankat’s increased focus was on impactful research and innovation through several initiatives including a
more than ten-fold increase in funding to the University. He has been involved in many projects to strengthen the regional character of the University as well as improving its financial sustainability and his strong desire for the realization of a world-class institution has positively influenced his approach to governance. He has been a leader in the promotion of Science and Technology and its application for national and regional development and has worked in the development of many related policies. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) which deals with industrial research activities and was at one time the Institute’s Chairman. He has also been a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Higher Education,
Professor Sankat’s increased focus was on impactful research and innovation through several initiatives including a more than ten-fold increase in funding to the University.
13 Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) where he was instrumental in the development of a Draft National Policy on Science & Technology for Trinidad & Tobago. He was Chairman of the Vision 2020 Sub-committee on Science, Technology and Innovation for Trinidad and Tobago which had responsibility for planning for the science & technology sector in the Trinidad & Tobago. In all of these roles Professor Sankat brought to bear his extensive knowledge of the sector and his wise counsel in charting the way forward for regional development. Professor Sankat has been bestowed with numerous honours. For his sterling contributions in Public Service, University Service and Research he was awarded the UWI Vice Chancellorâ€™s Award for Excellence
in 2001 and an Honorary Doctoral Degree in 2010 from the University of New Brunswick. He received the Career in Excellence Award from the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago (APETT) in 2010 and the Cacique Crown of Honour (CCH) at the Investiture Ceremony in Guyana in October 2011. In 2012, Professor Sankat was awarded the Gold NIHERST Award for Excellence in Science and Technology and in 2013 was made Fellow of the Canadian Society for Biological Engineering. In addition, he received the International Society for Horticultural Sciences award for his pioneering research in Controlled Atmosphere Storage of Tropical Commodities and the Caribbean Food Crops Security Honour for leadership
and commitment to developing the region. I am privileged to have worked with this outstanding West Indian academic who has blazed a trail of international-level scholarship and provided bold and transformational leadership in the service of the region. He has left an enduring legacy that I expect will motivate generations to come. We thank him for his enormous contribution and wish him continuing success as he moves into another phase of his remarkable life.
Stephan J.G. Gift Professor and Dean Faculty of Engineering UWI St. Augustine
Professor Sankat brought to bear his extensive knowledge of the sector and his wise counsel in charting the way forward for regional development.
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Job Well Done!
The St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies plays a special role in the region and, in particular, this country’s development. As such, the person who holds the critical position of principal must be widely respected as a professional, a provider of strong leadership and an effective team-builder. Professor Clement Sankat has not only demonstrated these qualities during his eight years as Principal but added a few more qualities of his own. He brought the university to a high standard in the public eye. Since I have known him as a member of the Engineering Faculty and chairman of several campus committees, he consistently displayed the style of an outstanding gentleman, always responsive to the concerns of other university members, especially junior ones. Quite notably, during his tenure as principal, the St. Augustine campus has experienced significant development in programme expansion and corporate partnership. He has also pioneered international partnerships with institutions from several countries, quite notably China. Referring to the campus Strategic Plan in 2013, he made and acted upon this commitment: “In this new Plan, we are looking to grow our campus from 19,000 students to close to 23,000. Success would also be measured in the diversity of the
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student population, by having a larger regional and international population, including non-native speakers of English.” He added: “If we can double the percentage of international students to 10 percent, then we would have succeeded. We are currently attempting to woo students from countries in the South American mainland, from the Dutch Antilles, as well as Central America.” (Pelican, Issue 12, 2013, p. 61) Such ventures reflect his lively vision, his spirit of continued intellectual enterprise and globalised interests – all brought in for the benefit of the St. Augustine campus. To me, the name “Clem Sankat” always meant a colleague to whom I could go for advice and guidance. His intellectual versatility has been exemplified quite often at meetings attended by academics from various disciplines. I
recall when I presented the proposal for the M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D, in criminology and criminal justice, he was chairman of the Campus Graduate Studies Committee. He perused the package of courses and with quickened understanding, though an engineer, he provided some helpful advice in improving programme delivery. Quite recently, in June 1, 2016 when he formally launched a new book – Inequality, Crime and Education in Trinidad and Tobago: Removing the Masks – he remarked: “I have always maintained that our university must not be seen as an ivory tower, we must be seen as an institution that communicates widely and on a consistent basis with our stakeholders in the wider public. Our research must connect with and influence the people we were established to serve.”
15 When you look around the campus now, in addition to staff development and the new programmes, the physical facilities developed during his tenure also remain a testament of his dedication. He gracefully resists the snobbishness that typically goes with high office, a quality of modesty that helped make the campus a friendly place for academic staff. Quite likely, however, his cool and friendly temperament might have unwittingly let a few staff members (academic and administrative) “off the hook” as it were. But as I learnt, such mercies encouraged voluntary reform for staff improvement.
Every principal that I knew since I entered the campus had his own style and made important contributions. Indeed, Professor Sankat not only carried on the traditions and successes of his predecessors, but as is well documented now, he raised the bar in several respects, an accomplishment that will certainly serve his own successor quite well. Three years ago, he noted: “Everything points to a university that is very productive. My hope is that success for the UWI in the next five years would see us in the top 400 universities of the world.” (Pelican, No 12, 2013).
His experience and passion for the intellect should still be available to help The UWI progress. Professor Sankat is leaving a range of significant accomplishments and cherished memories. He has made the university proud. No doubt, for those of us who know his successor, Professor Brian Copeland, the campus will continue to be in very safe hands. Professor Emeritus Ramesh Deosaran, ORTT
Distinguished Leadership The lantern bearer makes a clarion call for all of humanity to move from darkness into light. This duty does not stop on demitting office as Campus Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor of the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI). In fact, this duty is eternal. As the light of knowledge increases, there is a corresponding growth in the darkness of what we do not understand. It is therefore the duty of the Chief Academic to lead the community of scholars always in fringe activity in advancement of human understanding and enlightenment; making the world, a better place for all. Regionally the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI remains a destination for all Caribbean people desirous of reading for degrees in Government and Politics, Engineering, Law, Medical Sciences and Agriculture. Professor Clement Sankat has kept the lamp of learning lit. The UWI has expanded its presence in the Caribbean with a new Campus in
Southern Trinidad under his stewardship. I therefore wish to congratulate the distinguished Campus Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor for his dedication to duty, diligence and brinkmanship. Professor Sankat served with me on the Board of Governors of the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business at The UWI. It was during this time that I came to admire his humility. He has been an approachable Pro Vice Chancellor willing to eruditely engage the ideas of others and to accommodate points of view at variance with his own conspectus. This is a stamp of distinguished leadership for which he will always be admired by his peers. I therefore wish him every success in his next steps and I look forward to his future contributions as a leading West Indian intellectual. Mr. Aleem Mohammed, Chairman of S.M. Jaleel
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I am writing all this from memory so if I don’t have all the facts exactly accurate, I posit that the essence of the story is the thing. I wish to claim poetic licence and ask for forgiveness up front. I first met Professor Clement Sankat in 1970 when I entered the Faculty of Engineering of The University of the West Indies. I met him talking to Professor Chris Narayan, whom I had gone to see and who taught Graphics (Technical Drawing) to first year students and Engineering Design to the second year Mechanical Engineering students. I noticed that he seemed to have a special relationship with Professor Narayan and I soon understood why when I heard his accent, unmistakably Guyanese (like Professor Narayan’s), which is immediately recognizable up to today, to the discerning ear, even after living in Trinidad for over forty years and acquiring a Trini twang.
The lab was a beehive of innovation and Clem Sankat was in the middle of this. In addition to the pan research, work was being done on the mechanization of harvesting dwarf pigeon pea plants developed by agriculturist Professor John Spence, mechanization of shelling pigeon peas and postharvest technology of dried husked coconuts. Clem’s Master’s research was on the de-bonding of the kernel of the coconut from its shell which was later cracked open by impact rods attached to a rotating drum, the kernel and shell being mechanically separated by another rotating drum with protruding spikes, while the coconuts travelled through the process on a conveyor. All this after the coconuts were mechanically husked by another machine, the prototype of which was developed in the lab. I mention all this because this lab was the genesis of Clem’s continued innovative research throughout his academic career, developing several agricultural machines and mechanisms in the area of postharvest technology.
I got to know Clem much better in the following years as we both worked in one of the Mechanical Engineering labs, his supervisor being Professor Narayan who worked closely with Ron Dennis, his fellow lecturer and my supervisor. During the period 1971 to 1975 Clem was working on his BSc and Master’s projects and I was initially a summer vacation student employed by Ron Dennis for two years working on measuring the acoustic properties of steelpan notes (summer of 1971 and 1972).
The Faculty (of Engineering) was much smaller then and we all knew one another. Those of us in the Mechanical Engineering lab worked very closely with technicians in the Engineering Workshop where the components of the various innovative machines and testing rigs were fabricated. This professional relationship was transferred, so to speak, to our social interaction and Clem was a major player in these activities. His joie de vivre was infectious, not to mention his expertise at the barbeque grill and his excitement at organizing cricket limes at the Queen’s Park Oval. Some names that readily come to mind are Basdeo “Calley” Ramnanansingh who was in charge of the Welding Shop, Dipchand Padarath, a machinist and Rodney Harnarine, who worked at CARIRI for about a year after graduating in 1973.
I then worked in the lab on my BSc final year project on hydroforming small size steelpans – about 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter - and finally as an assistant to Ron Dennis and Rodney Harnarine in the fabrication of a fullsize hydroforming mould and press to mechanically sink the bowls of tenor pans. At the time I was employed as an Engineer at the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI). My colleague in research then was none other than Richard Bradshaw, later to take the name Bilal Abdullah.
The friendship between Clem and the technicians remained and continued after he returned from the University of Guelph in Canada, where he earned his PhD and joined the Faculty as a lecturer in 1978. I joined the same Department (of Mechanical Engineering) two years later as a lecturer also. He has been my colleague, Head of Department, Dean and Principal at the University; we have been on committees and Boards of Directors together, but most of all we have remained friends.
This was an exciting time in that Mechanical Engineering lab.
Professor Clément Imbert
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Engineering a Dream
“I do not sleep to dream But dream to change the world.” Martin Carter We flew over acres of lush fields of rice until we landed on an airstrip, a few miles from the Takutu Bridge. We were flying in for the ceremony at Bom Fin, a small town on the Brazilian side of the border. Both President Lula of Brazil and his Guyanese counterpart, President Jagdeo would preside over the commissioning ceremony, the historic opening of this bridge that would link the two countries. I had invited Clement Sankat to join us, knowing that he was also deeply committed to the development of our diverse region. Born in Berbice, Guyana, Clement Sankat always had a passion for learning, research and teaching. An honors student, he had travelled to The University of the West Indies, St Augustine to gain an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering before pursuing a Masters Degree, specializing in Mechanical Engineering Design. After graduating from UWI, he travelled to Canada to pursue his Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Guelph, graduating in 1978. He would then return to Trinidad, begin teaching at his alma mater and work tirelessly for the development of the institution over the next three decades. Since his appointment as Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor in 2008, Professor Clement Sankat has been focused on developing linkages and bridging gaps between key stakeholders. Although I’ve been involved in several initiatives at The UWI, from helping to raise funds for the Sport Centre, SPEC, to being Chairman of The UWI Development and Endowment Fund, it was as Deputy Chairman of The UWI Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business that I had the opportunity to work closely with the Principal and see the leadership skills that he brought with him.
He’s a balanced, discerning mediator, encouraging the meeting of very differing ideologies, the private and academic worlds to further the programmes of the ALJGSB into new markets, from Trinidad and Tobago to Guyana and Guatemala. Working closely with the Board, we were also able to develop the infrastructure and address issues of parking and expansion which are currently doubling the size of the school and benefitting all parties involved. Undoubtedly, one of the most exciting private sectoruniversity projects remains the work we have done with the Office of the Campus Principal to bring the Campus Northern Plaza project to fruition. Our small Republic Bank branch needed to expand in size and scope to provide superior customer service to the growing needs of staff and students. But we wanted to do more for the campus community – so we got to understand the needs of the Campus from the Principal and his team. Our gift will ensure that the branch is three times larger than the existing one, has an adjacent plaza with restaurants, shops and other retail outlets that can earn income for the university, and will also offer a green space, a car park with grass pavers, that can also facilitate screenings of film and multi-media projects. At another site, we are also developing a third building, a new home for the Department of Creative and Festival Arts in St. Augustine. It’s been a profound pleasure working alongside the Principal and the committed UWI team of professionals to make this dream a reality. I look forward to celebrating the opening of the Campus Northern Plaza, which is aligned to the Campus’ Master Plan, with Professor Sankat in December. One of my fondest memories is being honored in 2012 by The UWI. This unexpected award reminded me that a country can truly thrive through education, collaboration and diligence; a notion that I know my friend Clem also shares. He has left a legacy of excellence at the university and I wish him the best in his new adventure, assured that he will continue to give back to the institution and region that he loves. Ronald F. deC. Harford Chairman, Republic Financial Holdings Limited STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Research & Innovation
AgriNeTT Wins Global Recognition Recognized for contribution to SDGs AgriNeTT, an e-Agriculture project which infuses ICT into the agriculture sector of Trinidad & Tobago to build a knowledge intensive agriculture economy has been recognized by the 2016 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) for its contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The WSIS Forum, organized by the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva, in collaboration with UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, serves as a key platform for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the SDGs.
including delivering a presentation entitled ‘AgriNeTT – Empowering Farmers, Involving Youth’. The trip was sponsored by Trinidad and Tobago Network Information Centre (TTNIC), and the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Trinidad and Tobago.
The WSIS Forum includes an international contest to recognize outstanding success in implementing developmentoriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs as enablers and accelerators of SDGs. AgriNeTT was among ﬁve projects from around the world selected in the e-Agriculture category at WSIS Forum 2016 linked to Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Dr. Margaret Bernard, the Lead on the AgriNeTT project attended the WSIS Forum in Geneva, Switzerland in May and took part in several activities for WSIS Champions STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Dr. Margaret Bernard
The team for the AgriNeTT project is multi-disciplinary, consisting of academics from the Department of Computing and Information Technology, the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, as well as persons from the public and private agricultural sectors. Members include Prof. Patrick Hosein, Dr. Wayne Goodridge, Dr. Rene Jordan, Dr. Gaius Eudoxie,
Mr. Kyle De Freitas, Mr. Kiran Maharaj, Prof. Carlyle Pemberton, Ms. Omaira Avila, Ms. Shamin Renwick, Mr. Naresh Seegobin and Mr. Terrence Heywood. AgriNeTT was also selected for the FRIDA award 2016. FRIDA is the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean, a Latin American and Caribbean Internet Address Registry (LACNIC) initiative. The AgriNeTT project was one of two winning awards decided by the FRIDA Selection Committee after evaluating 551 proposals submitted this year from 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Dr. Bernard, a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the Department of Computing & Information Technology, UWI said the project provides ICT tools
for the farming community and agricultural institutions to help to drive economic growth of the agriculture sector and increase its competitiveness. Dr. Bernard, also the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, UWI with responsibility for Graduate Studies, Research and Innovation said the project aims to increase agricultural productivity and incomes of smallscale farmers, in particular women and youth and family farmers.
The AgriNeTT team developed two Open Data platforms which serve as a repository for agriculture data sets from institutions and associations. Several mobile and web-based applications have been developed for the platform. Three of the apps - AgriExpense, AgriPrice, and AgriMaps - have been made available freely on Google Play and to date have recorded about 1000 downloads.
The project funded through the UWI-RDI fund aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal of achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture. The AgriNeTT project has the watch words â€˜increasing food production in Trinidad and Tobago through collaborative ICT research and developmentâ€™.
Application of AgriNeTT by farmers and young people in the field STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
The project collaborated with several local and international institutions. Mr. Ganesh Gangapersad, CEO of NAMDEVCO addresses participants at one of the AgriNeTT workshops
The AgriExpense mobile app can assist farmers with recording their farm expenses and monitoring cost of production per unit harvested. AgriPrice lets farmers keep track of prices of various crops and be automatically notified when those prices change. AgriMaps is a spatial tool for understanding land profiles, particularly soil series to determine the best crop for particular locations. In Trinidad and Tobago, as in the rest of the Caribbean, many farms are family farms, with smallscale farming. Many farmers do not manage their farm as a business with information on revenue and expenses and profit. Farmers therefore are not able to meaningfully participate in value chain deliberations and negotiations, access loans, have financial data to support disaster payment systems, support Insurance and risk management, and private sector investment. On a national level the agriculture institutions lack real time data for decision making about land use, about the spread of pest and diseases, and about the real cost of production, according to Dr. Bernard. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Two significant problems were identified: (a) Lack of data at farm level as well as on national level and (b) Lack of ICT tools for farm management. The AgriNeTT project addresses both of these challenges, using ICT to transform agriculture through technology. Addressing the lack of accurate, current data, the AgriNeTT team developed a solution that centres on an Open Data repository, particularly to house agriculture data on a national level. Two Open Data platforms were developed to serve as a repository for agriculture data sets from institutions and associations. The project collaborated with several institutions (local and international) and conducted workshops to overcome the natural barriers that institutions have about ‘openness’ due to fears and insecurities. The second problem addressed was the lack of ICT tools for farmers and policy makers. The approach was to develop a toolbox of applications (mobile and desktop) for farmers and policy makers rather than a monolithic Agriculture Information System. These apps use data from
the platform or provide data to the platform. Three apps have already been released: AgriExpense – a farm financial management tool, AgriPrice – provides up-to-date data on market prices, AgriMaps – a Land Suitability tool which recommends preferred crops for various parcels of land. A fourth app still in development, AgriDiagnose – is a Pest and Disease diagnosis system. Web-based versions of these applications have been developed as well as several back-end Data Analytics modules. The team collaborated with several farmers’ associations in the design and testing of the apps. The apps are able to engage youth in agriculture. Many of the children of older farmers could see a future for themselves in agriculture that is more technology driven. AgriNeTT was also able to engage young ICT students who previously never considered the agriculture sector for career development. Training has been conducted for several groups including agriculture extension officers. With increasing interest in the apps, several institutions are collaborating with the team in the area of ICT in Agriculture. AgriNeTT project collaborated with several regional and international institutions, including CARDI/CTA, FAO, CABI, IICA. It also partnered with several local institutions including the Ministry of Food Production, NAMDEVCO, Agriculture Statistics Unit, Met Office, Central Statistical Office (CSO), Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Centeno, Cocoa Research Unit, and have been forging regional collaborations with institutes in other Caribbean countries.
Research & Innovation
Sitting at the helm of the state flagship company, Prof. Jupiter, the head of the Petroleum Studies Unit (PSU) at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine has been charged with the herculean responsibility of a turnaround of the troubled energy company. It’s a challenge he and the Board intend to win. In April, Prof. Jupiter led a team of high ranking Petrotrin officials to a meeting of a Joint Select Committee of Parliament. The company, like others sustained by taxpayers’ dollars, must account for the company’s performance and future prospects. In the glare of the public court he was forced to admit the doubling of the company’s losses in 2015 and from all indications the loss may be no less in 2016. The loss was attributed to mismanagement, corruption and union interference, but the Joint Select Committee revelation was the latest blow to the Petrotrin image. Professor Andrew Jupiter
Jupiter takes on Herculean task at Petrotrin
The public discussion surrounding Petrotrin’s continuing drain on government’s coffers has been brutal. “Petrotrin, the sick man of the T&T energy industry, cannot be unloaded. Nor can it be allowed to remain a doomladen albatross around the national neck,” according to a December 2015 Express Editorial. Understanding Petrotrin Many describe Prof. Jupiter as a statesman and a career UWI man. Public office, however, isn’t new to him. He served as the President of the National Energy Corporation and was a former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries.
“As long as there is a Trinidad and Tobago, as long as there is oil, there will be a Petrotrin.” This was the emphatic response from Prof. Andrew Jupiter, the Chairman of Petrotrin following revelations that the state company incurred over a staggering $500 million in losses in 2015.
How did a company, such as Petrotrin, with so much promise fail to live up to its expectation? “To understand what Petrotrin is we need to roll back our discussion not to 1993, not to 1974 but to 1906-1908. We need to understand the multinational culture in this country,” Prof. Jupiter responded.
Having dedicated over four decades of his life towards the development of the local hydrocarbon sector, the 63year old energy industry veteran may now be facing the biggest challenge of his career to date.
He describes that era and the attitude of the multinationals to the local market as “veni, vidi, vici,” a Latin phrase loosely translated to: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Prof. Jupiter believes Shell created the culture of Point Fortin. “When Shell entered Trinidad and Tobago they created and sustained a community built on oil. They created Clifton Hill, the village. There was a football league, villagers benefitted from free electricity, there were investments in roads and infrastructure.
His vision today is the same as it was then to create a profitable company, energy based, energy driven and people centred. “I hope to see Trinidad and Tobago remain a leader in the energy sector.” But from the days of over 60,000 barrels a day to the current production output of 40,000 he knows it’s a challenge.
“They (Shell) drilled, built a refinery and built a town.” He insists the same can be said about other multinationals but “maybe to a lesser degree about BP and Texaco.”
There is no other company in the sector facing similar challenges. Over 1500 miles of aged pipeline, a staff contingent of 5000 permanent employees, 98% of whom are unionized, 1000 registered contractors, land and off shore wells, all of which are producing at different yield rates. These are only some of the issues confronting the company.
In 1993 a decision was taken by the government of the day to consolidate the interests of the Trinidad and Tobago Oil Company Limited (Trintoc) and the Trinidad and Tobago Petroleum Company Limited (Trintopec). While state-owned Trintoc and Trintopec were formed in 1974 and 1985 respectively, Prof. Jupiter says, “Petrotrin’s DNA is an amalgamation of international energy companies and acquisitions.” He describes the formation of Petrotrin as the “creation of a triangle.” “Petrotrin was the attempt to merge three different cultures; Point Fortin, Palo Seco and Point a Pierre into one, “he added. Prof. Jupiter admits that some things should have been done differently. “It was an attempt to create one out of three; three different companies, 3 different management styles, 3 different visions we wanted them to be one. Three companies who never thought they would be together have now become one.” He says the decision to acquire was founded on a nationalistic and patriotic principle. “We had a vision and duty to save jobs. No one was fired. If Petrotrin was not formed hundreds of jobs would have been lost. We commenced a rationalization process to shift operations.” Then and Now Prof. Jupiter sits in a unique position today. He is formulating a vision and a path for a company facing enormous threats. For him, the Petrotrin boardroom is familiar territory. He was a director of Petrotrin’s predecessor Trintoc and then he was part of Petrorin’s inaugural board. He helped formulate the vision of the state entity and says its original purpose should remain paramount, especially in times of economic uncertainty.
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Prof. Jupiter admits that it “will cost over $9 billion to upgrade the facility.” The issues identified contribute to the increasing operating cost on the company’s books with the human resources component being the largest. “We are in the oil business, our profits are dependent on international oil prices. We cannot predict the price but we can mitigate the risks.” Open the books and talk “We will open the books and talk candidly with the union about where we are and together we will move this company forward.” Prof. Jupiter’s position goes against conventional turnaround advice which recommends a cold and clinical approach to a turnaround. “We will turn around this company and do it hand in hand with the union.” He revealed that the success of Trinmar is linked to the success of the South West Saldado field but which can only materialize with the cooperation of the union. “A team comprising members of the Board and union officials recently visited the offshore platforms and we have begun to talk. Discussions which were never happening are happening now.” Despite the criticism of low productivity, Prof. Jupiter insists Petrotrin is a poll for the best human resources in the industry. “Almost every single company locally and internationally has an employee who has been trained at Petrotrin. Its quality training and almost all top positions in Petrotrin are held by locals.”
He identifies the quality training point as one of the key competencies of the Petrotrin model, but many would argue the quality has not been properly integrated into the company’s value chain.
“I am not in the business of predicting the oil price, in fact no matter how much data you may have, the geopolitical influences on the oil price makes it impossible to predict,” he says.
Project Management This country has been involved in commercial oil production for over 100 years and with the passage of time, the learning curve may have levelled off. Prof. Jupiter, however, is candid about the deficiency in the management skill set “Currently projects are not being delivered on time and on budget. When you look at projects you see a clear picture. There is poor project management and a lack of sound management principles and good governance.”
But even with the external circumstances, can Petrotin play a winning hand? Prof. Jupiter seems to think all is not lost and that the company forged out of a patriotic dream can bring a sense of pride to the country once again.
While he boasts of the Petrotrin’s human resource model in some areas he admits there are deficiencies in others. “We need to bring into the Petrotrin structure a project management team. This team can be a blend of internal and external but there needs to be a team established to deliver projects on time and on budget.”
Petrotrin is also exploring the possibility of changing lease arrangements, introducing new leases and exploring new joint venture operations. “There are other markets as well to not only purchase from but to sell our products. Secondary recovery including Carbon dioxide flooding will be aggressively pursued to increase oil production.”
Safety “One death at the plant is too much. If you ask me my priority list, I would put safety at one of the highest.” He speaks passionately about his interpretation about the company’s mission of being people centred. “We are now moving with a focus of safety. Over the last 14 years the company recorded one casualty every 15 months.” Prof. Jupiter says it’s “not good enough” and wants to move it to zero casualty.
Prof. Jupiter added, “We intend to do things differently. We will not only talk with the union but we will involve local contractors especially those with idle rigs. We are putting Petrotrin to work. We intend to utilize and work with local entrepreneurs.”
Profitability, the Refinery and the Future He believes all is not lost and that Petrotrin isn’t a financial drain on the treasury since the company has contributed billions via taxes. “Since inception Petrotrin has paid over $65 billion in taxes. These taxes cover royalties, dividend payouts, business levy and the green fund.” But despite its contributions to the state, the microscope is on the Petrotrin led Board. “We are in the business of oil and our profitability is linked to the oil price.” The recognition of the tangible link raises a number of questions over Petrotrin’s ability to mitigate against these risks considering the challenges currently facing the company.
“We have formulated business models to adopt and implement strategies based on scenarios. These scenarios will consider plans if the oil price is under US$50, if the price is between a range of US$50 to US$70 per barrel and if it goes beyond US$70 dollars per barrel.”
To many, the odds are already against the company and calls for a sale of assets intensify. But Prof. Jupiter is unfazed. “An integrated company is the way to go and there is strength in an integrated company.” Prof. Jupiter sees the Petrotrin story as the Trinidad and Tobago story. An eternal optimist, he believes the company will one day realize his vision which is to become: “a profitable and efficient company, one that is people oriented and people driven; a company that is woven in the tapestry of our development plan; a company that pays its taxes, works with the union, a company that invests in the community, a company that is safe and a company that is viable.”
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Research & Innovation
Capturing the Future . . . Transforming Society
Campus Awards (back row from left): Most Productive Research Unit, Centre or Institute, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) - Prof. Patrick Watson; Most Outstanding Research Project, One Health, One Caribbean, One Love - Prof. Christopher Oura, (Faculty of Medical Sciences); Most Outstanding International Research Project, Biology and Behaviour of Male Mosquitoes in Relation to New Approaches to Control Disease Transmitting Mosquitoes - Prof. Dave Chadee (Faculty of Science and Technology); Most Impacting Research Project, The Impact of the Contaminants produced by the Guanapo Landfill on the Surrounding Environment - Dr. Denise Beckles (Faculty of Science and Technology); with Principal Designate, Prof. Brian Copeland, Campus Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Clement Sankat, Mr. Gerry Brooks, Chairman of NGC - sponsor for The UWI-NGC Awards, Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and Mr. Ewart Williams, Council Chairman, The UWI, St. Augustine.
Eighteen years ago, The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) undertook the lead sponsorship of the Eric Williams Memorial Collection, housed in the Alma Jordan Library at The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus. By today’s standards, its contribution of $110,000 was a modest one, especially given that it was being used to preserve for posterity the lifelong accumulation of writings STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
and papers of Trinidad and Tobago’s first and longest serving Prime Minister, also a renowned historian of international repute. This project opened the way for what was to become a symbiotic relationship between The UWI and NGC, which has deepened and strengthened over the years and which now totals an investment of some $15 million.
In part, this relationship grew out of NGC’s increasing awareness of the urgent need to conserve important historical artefacts and cultural mores before they were lost to us due to the inroads of time and the disinterest of otherwise occupied citizens. NGC calls such initiatives ‘legacy’ projects and is proud of its contributions to nurturing and promoting our unique history, music, language, art forms and research over the years.
Professor Sankat addressing the audience at The UWI-NGC Research Awards Ceremony 2016
This partnership also blossomed because NGC appreciates that educated and creative minds which thrive at institutions like The UWI represent the future workforce and consumers of our nation. Society benefits as a whole when the business sector is undergirded by the experience of academia. Guided by the thinking that an investment in knowledge gives the highest returns, in 2001 NGC provided the backing for the Engineering Faculty’s BSc in Petroleum Geoscience. The Company was also given a seat on The UWI’s Engineering Institute. Thereafter, NGC’s investment grew into multiple donations and contributions over the next decade. Support was given to: •
The UWI Development and Endowment Fund
The Trinidad and Tobago Math Olympiad
The Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies
The late Professor Dave Chadee, receiving the award for Most Outstanding Researcher, from Professor Sankat
Endowment Fund •
The Faculties of Chemistry, Engineering, and
Departments of Creative and Festival
Economics When the University’s current Principal, Professor Clement Sankat challenged the private sector to commit to investing in research if Trinidad and Tobago’s true potential for sustained growth and competitiveness is to be realized over the long-term, NGC was quick to respond. Professor Sankat indicated that The UWI has been trying to provide its researchers with dedicated funding for projects in areas linked to national and regional development and that strengthening The UWI’s research endeavours will enhance the overall competitiveness of the St. Augustine Campus in particular, and the University as a whole.
To help the University in that regard, and to deepen its relationship with The UWI, NGC assumed the five-year sponsorship of the Professorial Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Research Forum and the biennial UWI Research Awards, which represented a total investment of $7.5 million. NGC believes that research is fundamental to the birth of new ideas and the advancement of society. That is why the Company leapt at the opportunity to collaborate with this institution. NGC also recognized that such a robust partnership could generate topics of research centred on the natural gas value chain, giving rise to new and indigenous business ideas, as well as inventive products and services. It is no secret that the challenges facing our sector are multiplying with increasing rapidity. The extraction of shale gas in the USA, Trinidad and Tobago’s former largest natural gas market, has demanded a radical adjustment to Trinidad and Tobago’s marketing thrust for natural gas. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
The comfort zone of a steady, longterm market has been whittled away to a fraction of its former size, and while NGC has aggressively pursued new markets in the Americas and elsewhere, the big picture is that depressed demand generally, and the push for alternative energy, require transformative thinking. At the recent UWI/NGC Research Awards Ceremony, Chairman of NGC, Gerry C. Brooks, urged that “a small working group from both The UWI and NGC urgently meet and
consider a new menu of research areas.” This request is a priority in light of the challenges affecting the country’s economy, but it also presents a golden opportunity for students to integrate themselves into the industry’s planning process, and to become part of the solution. Another issue facing the local energy sector is a supply shortfall in the upstream, which is impacting output in the downstream and undercutting already diminished revenues. While accessing natural
Most Outstanding Researcher (from left): Prof. Dave Chadee (Faculty of Science and Technology), Prof. Christopher Oura (Faculty of Medical Science), Dr. Jerome DeLisle (Faculty of Humanities and Education), Dr. Wayne Ganpat (Faculty of Food and Agriculture, (Prof. Brent Wilson (Faculty of Engineering)
gas through the cross-border fields shared with Venezuela, Dragon and Loran-Manatee, has the potential to alleviate the deficiency, research could trigger entrepreneurial and innovative strategies to help bring marginal natural gas fields’ supplies on stream. They represent a yet untapped energy resource. The future of the gas-based energy sector rests on the country’s ability to integrate renewable and alternative energy sources into Trinidad and Tobago’s energy matrix, as is being
Most Productive Research Department (from left): Dr. Adesh Ramsubhag (Faculty of Science and Technology), Dr. Alexander Sinanan representing Dr. Nelleen Baboolal (Faculty of Medical Sciences), Dr. Wayne Ganpat (Faculty of Food and Agriculture), Prof. Boppana Chowdary (Faculty of Engineering)
(l. - r.) Prof. Sankat, Prof. Dave Chadee, Mr. Gerry Brooks, Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and Mr. Ewart Williams, Chairman of The UWI’s Campus Council. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
done in the developed world. Developing solar and wind power options liberates more natural gas for industrial use or export as LNG, while reducing Government’s expenditure on the electricity subsidy. Chairman Brooks told attendees at the 2016 Research Awards: “I believe that The UWI and its brilliant academics can help establish renewable power as a fixture in our energy landscape in the medium term. Challenge issued.”
Specifically, students were asked to do the following: •
conduct feasibility studies on
NGC’s Chairman summed up the Company’s relationship with The UWI by saying:
the construction of solar and •
“For us at NGC, the opportunity to
innovate small-scale domestic
collaborate with the University is
an important one. Charged as we
and economic impacts of the inclusion of alternative and renewable energy components
both are with the development of our nation’s natural assets, hydrocarbon wealth on the one hand, human potential on the other, there is a clear nexus and shared
The UWI and NGC. Fundamentally, both institutions sit at the core of our country with a critical responsibility to transform our society 1)
development; and 3) economic stimulation. We see an opportunity to partner with The UWI to leverage over 100 years of industry Best Research Teams (from left): Dr. Denise Beckles (Faculty of Science and Technology), Dr. Margaret Bernard (Faculty of Science and Technology), Dr. Gershwin Davis (Faculty of Medical Sciences)
experience and to package this intellectually and commercially for our mutual benefit.”
RDI Fund grantees receiving their symbolic letters of award (from left): Dr. Govind Seepersad, Ms. Cheryl Boodram receiving on behalf of Prof. Patricia Mohammed, Dr. Sameer Dhingra, Mrs. Charmaine O’Brien-Delpesh receiving on behalf of Dr. Deborah Villarroel-Lamb, Dr. Wendy-Ann Isaac, Mr. Augustus Thomas receiving on behalf of Dr. Saravanakumar Duraisamy and Dr. Junior Darsan.
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CETL to launch 20 initiatives to celebrate 20th anniversary
link best-practice standards through to the student evaluation process. “Only through knowing what ‘bestpractice’ looks like and providing opportunities for these to be assessed can CETL determine what types of opportunities should be developed to ensure our community of educators are engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,” she said.
The Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) which began as the Instructional
Unit (IDU) under the direction of
celebrated its 20th anniversary in April. Acknowledging the important work of the CETL on its milestone anniversary, 20 initiatives linked to an overarching framework will be launched in August at a campus-wide educators’ meet and greet session.
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Dr. Margo Burns - Director, CETL
“Through this carefully designed social engagement, CETL will begin the process of building a campuswide community of educators engaged in the best-practices of teaching and learning,” said CETL’s Director, Dr. Margo Burns. Her vision for the CETL is to create the process and associated opportunities that
From its tiny physical space and facilities, the IDU was responsible for sparking the awareness among St. Augustine’s teaching staff of the link between research and teaching. For its Excellence in Service to the University, the IDU received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award in 2004. Strengthening its commitment to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the Caribbean Scholar was launched in 2011 under Dr. AnnaMay Edwards-Henry’s leadership.
In late 2014 CETL moved to its new location in the Teaching and Learning Complex. During its first 20 years, the Centre positioned itself as a leader in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for Higher Education offering both a Master’s and a post-graduate certificate, CUTL. Courses and workshops have been conducted within the University and across the Caribbean including the British Virgin Islands. The Centre’s latest initiative in blendedlearning rounds out the various delivery methods offered at UWI St. Augustine. Dr. Burns explained that when teaching staff complete their degrees in their areas of specialization, most have not been exposed to effective teaching and assessment methodologies. “As a result, many young professionals struggle with engaging their students in an effective and interactive manner. Despite strong evidence that interactive learning designed to fully engage the student improves critical thinking, most teaching staff are largely unaware of the scholarship of teaching and learning.” “Instead instructional practices and curriculum design remain dominated by tradition rather than research evidence practice. Hence, the need for centres that concentrate on improving teaching and learning through the application of evidence-based practice,” she added. Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning are designed to be
CETL . . . embraces and explores how learning, teaching and technology integration impact on the learning process. independent academic units within a university, providing a variety of support services for teaching staff. The concept is to develop effective teaching practices based upon research associated with teaching, learning and assessment practices. Most CETLs provide professional development sessions, workshops and certificates aimed at improving teaching. According to The UWI St. Augustine New Employee Information Booklet, CETL subscribes to the concept of learning as the flip side of teaching and as such embraces and explores how learning, teaching and technology integration impact on the learning process. The work of CETL is enhanced by the application of a variety of learning theories that places the learner at the centre of the learning experience and the educator as a facilitator of the learning process. To facilitate this philosophy, the Centre concentrates on encouraging and providing opportunities for educators to consider the impact of course design, assessment strategies, teaching approaches and the integration of learning technologies on the learning process.
Previous programmes, training workshops, seminars and special events offered by CETL have included an emphasis on scholarship and research, the UWI/ Guardian Life Premium Teaching Award/ Open Lecture, and the online, peer-reviewed Caribbean Teaching Scholar journal. The Centre is also responsible for managing Student Evaluations of Courses and Lecturers (SECL) and approving curriculum changes to courses. Results from these activities inform faculty of their strengths and areas for improvement in course design, assessment, teaching strategies and learning technology integration. Faculty and programmes use the results of the evaluation processes to make changes to courses, programmes, and assessment. Ultimately, CETL focuses on how the deliberate design of courses, assessments and learning activities influences the learning process and in-turn how the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning influences creativity and innovation.
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Recession can be an
Opportunity “Do not let a good recession go to waste.”
and through the GATE (Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses) programme. The current challenges have resulted in the Government asking The UWI to reduce its expenditure by 7% for each of the academic years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. This means that The UWI St. Augustine has to remove approximately 100 million from its operating expenses. How to manage on a budget that is more or less 14% lower, that’s the challenge.
Andrea Taylor-Hanna, Campus Bursar at The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine, urges staff, students, their families, and suppliers to take advantage of an economic downturn to be creative with their resources. Taylor-Hanna was appointed in October 2015 bringing a 35-year career in finance, with experience in the auditing, manufacturing and banking sectors to this leadership role at The UWI.
“We are very clear that this is an issue for everyone, for all of us. We must all contribute. Each of us must give up something. What can I give up, so that everyone can have? This is a burden to be shared by all, including contractors and external suppliers. It might be painful, perhaps it will be slow, but it will be shared. And if we are willing to share the burden, we will get through it, “ said Taylor-Hanna pragmatically.
“This recession is an opportunity for us at The UWI St. Augustine.” Taylor-Hanna is speaking about her approach to the management of the annual budgeting process of what is in effect, a small city. “We have all the dynamics of supporting, serving and maintaining a population of 23,000 on our campus,” she remarked.
“How are we proceeding? We are meeting with all heads of units, all teams, to derive their bottom up budget. Guidelines have been provided. There’s a June 15 deadline for all units to report back on how they are going to achieve the reduction in expenditure.
Her priorities in the preparation of the annual budget are grounded on the principles of the university. “This recession ought to allow us to realign what we do, to protect what needs to be protected, to refine core values. We have an opportunity to look deep and to make the hard decisions that we may have been reluctant to make before. We need to appreciate what we have and determine what we can do without.” The UWI St. Augustine is almost entirely funded by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago via direct subvention STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
“There must also be innovative thinking. We have to look at all costs minutely and consider technology-based solutions. Within the bursary department, for instance, we are considering pay slips, thousands of pieces of paper being generated. Can these be delivered electronically to cut out paper costs? We are looking for real solutions one at a time: the cost of paper for receipts, for cheques.” She is clear that the university must remain true to its vision, nationally and regionally, providing quality education, competing on a global scale. “Students are our primary customers. How can we serve them better?
We compete for students. So we do not want to disrupt them, but we do want to enhance the interaction; to protect the thing that we are here to serve. Based on the history and practice at this institution, The UWI still offers the widest range of courses; students can still access the best possible education at The UWI. “What might they be willing to pay for, in the event that the Government – which has been footing the bill to 100% of tuition for almost a decade – makes another decision on the funding for GATE, partial or whole, with more conditions.” Taylor-Hanna is confident that “a good recession builds character, innovation and enterprise.” She remembers the last recession. “I started my working life in the 80s. When I think of those days, resilience and entrepreneurship come to mind. Every guy with a bike became a businessman. We had the emergence of doubles as a lucrative business upon which you could build a life. There was new respect for a dollar, respect for work, respect for relationships. That recession made us realize how hard we could work, how to save. That start to my working life has shaped my life and work.” After stints in external auditing and internal audit, TaylorHanna joined the Republic Bank group in 1994, in the Trust and Asset Management division; rising to General Manager, Planning and Financial Control. She holds the FCCA in accounting; and a diploma in Banking and Finance from the University of Manchester. When she had the opportunity to pursue a Masters course in 2013, she chose Human Resource Development: “In finance, as in all fields, you have to be a technician when you start. But as you advance, the skillsets needed are about human interaction, leadership.” Mentoring and leadership are skills she extends to all young persons, but especially her three sons who are following in their father’s footsteps to study medicine. “For young people starting their working lives in this season, the economic climate provides challenges that will build character and can only make you better. I hope it does the same for my sons,” she remarked.
“...We must all contribute. Each of us must give up something. What can I give up, so that everyone can have?”
The History of GATE Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE) of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago was introduced in 2001 as the Dollar for Dollar programme. This meant that citizens, meeting certain criteria, would be eligible and could apply for 50% of tuition fees for tertiary level education at recognized institutions. By 2006, the Trinidad and Tobago Government had announced a plan to cover 100% of tuition fees for nationals enrolled at specific institutions including The UWI (all campuses) and the University of Trinidad and Tobago. GATE has since been extended to TT students enrolled at other tertiary level institutions in the country. The objective of GATE was to increase the enrolment of Trinidad and Tobago students at tertiary level from 7% (in 2000), the lowest in the region, to over 20%.
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Lisa Cummins Executive Director, UWI Consulting
rudging through the vanilla fields of Uganda, getting mud between her toes, Lisa Cummins was not only exploring ways of adding value to the East African nation’s agri-sector, she was perhaps also finding her way back to her native Barbados, and then on to the University of the West Indies. Cummins was then the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Trade Adviser to Uganda and East Africa. And it was her breadth of international experience in trade and diplomacy that must have made her seem like the right fit to take over as Executive Director of the UWI Consulting Company, where she will attempt to build bridges between the university, the private sector and regional governments. She has been on the job since March, just enough time to assess UWI Consulting Company’s capacity and set her own priorities. Based on lessons learnt as head of the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries, she knew what she didn’t want to do, which was rush in with a well thought-out 120-day plan that proved difficult to implement because of structural shortcomings. “I came into the University with the mindset that I had to diagnose where I was first, so I didn’t have that push and pull factor all the time. So I allocated the first three months in this instance, rather than the previous occasion, to diagnosing rather than acting,” she says candidly. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
In a phone interview from Barbados (she’s yet to visit the St. Augustine campus, but plans to soon) Cummins said her initial challenge was figuring out how to take an eightyear-old organization apart and put it back together “in the best way.” Now she needs university sign-off before restructuring can begin with the important task of securing buyin from university partners. Those partners are the researchers and lecturers who have knowledge to offer to the region’s governments and businesses, on everything from enhancing food security to promoting exports. “We know that there’s a difference between research for academia and research for industry,” admits Cummins. “One of the criticisms that is often leveled at the University is it’s not necessarily an applied solution that we are providing, that it’s too theoretical. We are going to be blending the best of academia with industry to be able to provide a theoretical basis for an applied solution.” UWI Consulting also intends to help its partners access the financing to realize their plans. If the consultancy sounds like a money-making enterprise, that’s because it is. And unabashedly so. Cummins has already identified “a major deficiency” of its set-up: “There is no shareholder or revenue type relationship between University Consulting and the departments or lecturers in UWI.”
She would like to create a model similar to the one found at other consultancies attached to tertiary institutions, where revenue generated by the consultancy is shared with the departments and lecturers whose innovations and ideas are being sold. Cummins’s road to UWI Consulting began in Barbados’ diplomatic service. After a decade spent negotiating trade and development deals in the boardrooms of Washington, D.C. and New York, she moved on to Kampala, Uganda as the Commonwealth Secretariat’s trade adviser. There she was responsible for advising Ugandans on how to add value to vanilla products, with intellectual property innovations, and how a geographical indication (a marker of the geographic origin of a product that brands it as superior to similar products) could help sell pineapples and chocolates. It was less boardroom, more field work. “I’m one of those people who needs to be able to get my boots on the ground,” she says. “I want to be able to take those boots off and feel the mud between my toes, and get in touch with exactly what I’m doing. And Uganda did exactly that for me.” She also found herself with a front row seat to East Africa’s efforts at economic integration. Surprise, surprise, the East Africans were using the Treaty of Chaguaramas as their template. “They were very excited because they were like, ‘Come, Come! We need your help. You’re from the region that we’re using as our model.’” It was a not-socommon instance of South-South collaboration. As enthused as she was to be involved, Cummins was ultimately disappointed. In just a few years, she saw the East Africans deepen their regional integration beyond what Caricom had accomplished over decades. “I watched them come from behind us and leapfrog us. And that was a source of great disappointment to me because I’m a regionalist at heart.” She was lured back to Barbados by the offer to head the association that promotes the island’s services overseas, the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries. With a firm foothold at an international organization, she could comfortably have stayed abroad.
“But my heart is one to serve my region,” she says. “It’s one to serve the people who gave me everything that I am, who helped me be what I am. So that is a professional ambition of mine and it’s a personal ambition of mine.” In early July, she will be formally installed as President of the Rotary Club of Barbados. The volunteer position underlines her commitment to service and the region. The Club’s flagship project is its support for a special needs school, and Cummins intends to expand support for NGOs that deal with homelessness. It’s clear that the University’s wholly-owned consulting subsidiary will be asked to plot a new course. Cummins is considering a triangular relationship, with UWI as knowledge centre forming dynamic links to government and business. “What should the government be doing that takes due cognizance of the needs of the private sector? And how do you get the private sector to understand the way in which public policy interacts with commercial ventures? That’s the intersection at which UWI Consulting is being repositioned to sit.” The region’s stubbornly high food import bills, for example, seem like an ideal opening for the University to provide relevant suggestions on agriculture and food security. Cummins won’t reveal UWI Consulting’s partners just yet, mostly because the consultancy is repositioning itself and still has to convince internal associates of the benefits of cooperation. Yet she is undaunted. “One of the things that intrigued me about this (job) was the fact that I knew that in many instances there was such untapped potential and if I could put my hands on it, with the right support and a certain amount of wiggle room, that something phenomenal could come out of this. So that was one of the very things that excited me. So daunting, absolutely not. I would be very bored if it were easy.”
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Canada Hall gets a major facelift Canada Hall, a favourite dormitory for Caribbean students attending the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI, has undergone major renovations and upgrade with all the modern amenities to fully satisfy living conditions away from home. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
The first phase of the project on the South Block was completed two years ago and has since been occupied by students. The North Block is due for full completion and handing over by mid-June; ready for occupation in the new academic year which begins in September. â€œApart from contractor issue and delays - this project should have been finished last year - the upgrade of the infrastructure, the plumbing and the electrical created major problems because of the old infrastructure,â€? said Alfred Reid, Senior Project Officer II at Campus Projects Office, UWI.
Canada Hall has two three story blocks. It was opened in 1963 to accommodate 192 students but in 1983 some 4 rooms were converted to two kitchens on each floor thereby reducing the number of rooms to 168. Incidentally, Reid lived in Canada Hall when he arrived from Jamaica to attend the St. Augustine Campus in 1977-80. The current Campus Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Clement Sankat also roomed at the popular Canada Hall as a student from Guyana. When Canada Hall was built in 1963 it catered to the students’ needs at that time. However due to recent technological developments, equipment upgrades and degraded electrical infrastructure, the electrical supply in the hall became inadequate to meet increased demands. Breakers tripped frequently, switches were burnt out and in some areas the electrical supply no longer worked. The electrical wiring was done in the ceiling which was also the floor of the block. Wiring was also corroded and exposed. Water lines also ran in the floor slab and at times they erupted, causing major chaos. Since these lines were often located close to the electrical wiring they were hazardous to the staff and resident occupants of the building. The water storage tanks and water heaters were located on the roof and made service and repairs extremely difficult as there were no steps leading to the roof. Access
North Block prior to refurbishment
was gained using a ladder and then going through an opening in the roof which was risky and may have been in contravention of current acceptable safety standards. The rooms themselves were very small at 8 ft x 10 ft and hot since there was only one window opening for ventilation. The layout of the toilets and bathrooms also needed to be redone to make them more private. In some areas the corridor passed right through the bathroom! Reid said Canada Hall now has proper facilities and designated areas. “We installed solar water heating systems, new tanks for a more reliable supply of water and we created a much larger area for tanks. We did a lot of detailed work and landscaping, “ he added.
Also, for the first time Canada Hall’s South and North Blocks have formal entrance/lobby areas to create more secure access to the buildings. A new Canada Hall residence was also due to be constructed at the south eastern end of the main campus at St. Augustine, adjacent to the existing Canada Hall on lands owned by the University. The proposal was for a 3-storey building to be constructed, comprising 80 ensuite rooms, equiped with many of the modern amenities. It would be occupied by graduate students and residence managers. Common spaces would include kitchens, study rooms/lounges and an elevator. The total floor area earmarked for the new hall was 26,850 square feet.
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North Block inner courtyard
North Block Phase 2
Reid said the third phase of the new Canada Hall residence may be done under a different model such as a public/private sector partnership.
The girls-only Trinity dorm houses about 140 students but UWI would like to see it increased to 500 or more.
”It’s the model we are exploring with Trinity Hall,” he said. “We are being approached by investors but being the kind of institution we are, we have to ensure everything is transparent, so we are now preparing a document inviting proposals.”
“One of the things we realize is that unless you have that kind of number, it’s not economically viable for an investor. They have to recover costs, and then earn something so the scale of the project is important for them. We
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are currently looking at that option, “ Reid remarked. Campus Projects is responsible for implementing the capital development projects on the campus such as major renovations, expansions and new buildings, “We do the project, develop them, build them and then we hand them over to the Department of Facilities
Management,” he said adding that the office is kept busy with several projects simultaneously. His office is handling the South Campus Project in Debe, working on the Department of Creative and Festival Arts’ new building
and completing the Teaching and Learning Complex third floor labs after work on the entire building. Major services updates include the recent change out of the air conditioning system in the library and change out of the elevator for the Faculty of Engineering.
When the Department of Creative and Festival Arts’ new building is completed and the spot the old building currently occupies is vacated, the Campus Projects Office will start work on the Student Plaza; to be erected next to the new Republic Bank construction site.
Corridor, kitchenette, dorm room
The St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. During the past decade, the University has experienced exponential growth in the enrolment in all its programmes. Admissions to all programmes average over 5,000 per year. Total enrolment for 2010/2011 academic year exceeds 17,000, an increase of 12% over the previous academic year. On-campus housing provides 1,116 beds or 6.5% of total enrolment. The rate of growth of the student population has rendered the on-campus accommodation inadequate and has created housing shortages in the vicinity of the university. This has resulted in students accepting substandard housing at greatly inflated prices. It has also posed severe security risks to the students as they have been forced to accept housing in crime prone areas.
The University Strategic Plan 2007 -2012 states that “the thrust of the campus development effort will be to increase student accommodation” (pg. 64), while the Campus Master Plan 2008 – 2017 sets a growth target for on-campus accommodation from the current 6.5% of enrolment to 12% in five years’ time and increasing to 20% of the projected enrolment in 20 years’ time (pg. 78). The benefits of the new Canada Hall residence project are: 1. Increased stock of on-campus housing providing affordable and safe accommodation for students. 2. Upgraded existing facilities which will increase marketability. 3. Ability to attract more foreign students. 4. Because of the en suite design of the proposed new block, ability to utilize the new facilities for corporate residential programmes in the summer months.
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38 Photographs: Atiba Cudjoe
An almost mesmerizing azure sky devoid of clouds, filled with radiant sunshine with a cool pulsing breeze set the stage for the One Caribbean | Many flavours event in early April on the Campus ground. Enthusiastic final year students of the Development of Caribbean Cuisine course at The UWI were vying for the coveted top spot and bragging rights. The Development of Caribbean Cuisine course is designed to explore the history, development and creativity of Caribbean cuisine with particular reference to cooking traditions by exploring a variety of traditional dishes from various Caribbean islands. It emphasizes the role of local products in Caribbean food security and also highlights opportunities for entrepreneurial growth and development in the Food Industry and the Food Service Sector. To fulfil the requirements of the course, the students are expected to produce novel items from 100% local ingredients and market these products and produce videos of Street Foods worthy of being aired on television. Additionally, there is a practical component where the students are expected to present dishes from a number of Caribbean Islands and take individuals on a culinary journey – this year the journey was titled One Caribbean/ Many Flavours. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Many Flavours At the One Caribbean/Many Flavours event, the DJ and MC worked in tandem to provide a smooth flow of the upbeat tempo of Caribbean music which sparked an overall high-energy atmosphere. The aroma of the food from five countries had the spectators eagerly awaiting their chance to sample the authentic menus from Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Puerto Rico. A diverse panel of distinguished judges from across the culinary landscape assessed their overall presentation, tested their knowledge of preparation methods and the countries that they represented, and of course the stunning selection of food from across the Caribbean. The judges included Mr. Ottley Alexis, Mr. Noveck Gowandan, Ms. Ife Craig, Ms. Shaunelle Mieres-Aparicio and Ms. Nequesha Dalrymple. It was indeed a fierce and competitive battle, peppered with friendly humour, great food and inspirational team spirit. After assessing components related to the presentation, preparation, taste and the knowledge of the countries represented, the judges were tasked with determining the first place champion and the runners up.
First Place: Puerto Rico Second Place: Antigua and Barbuda Third Place: St. Vincent and the Grenadines Fourth Place: Jamaica Fifth Place: Dominican Republic
Special thanks to the sponsors whose contributions helped bring this event to fruition: Nestle, National Canners Limited (Matouk’s), Bermudez, Unilever, VEMCO Limited, Blink B mobile and BareFruit Juices.
Antigua and Barbuda also captured the coveted People’s choice award having won the hearts and stomachs of the spectators with their offerings.
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Profiles in Leadership
Sir Hilary Presents Model for Reparations at Oxford University
Sir Hilary Beckles (seated centre), Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Commission on Reparatory Justice, following his address at the House of Commons, England on January 28, 2016. He is flanked by Simon Woolley (left), Director of Operation Black Vote and Audrey Adams, Board Member of that organization. Standing behind are (l-r) Dr. Nathaniel Coleman, member of the European Reparations Commission; David Lammy, MP; Imani Robinson of #BlackLivesMatter UK; and Lee Jaspers, Reparations Activist & Founder of the newly formed BlakSox.
Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Committee presented a model for reparations at Oxford University, England earlier this year. He met at the House of Commons with political leaders and civil society organizations to discuss CARICOM’s call for reparatory justice for African enslavement and native genocide. This meeting was a follow-up to Sir Hilary’s visit to England in July 2014 where he addressed the British Parliament.
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Professor Beckles stated that reparatory justice is not a backward call for handouts as many believe. “On the contrary, it is a renewed call for development cooperation between Britain and the Caribbean. It is about Britain making a long overdue contribution to the economic development of the Caribbean through investments in areas such as education, health care, agriculture reform, technology and science to transfer through the universities and colleges.
programme, cultural institutions, programmes designed to improve public health, literacy and African knowledge; psychological rehabilitation, technology upgrading programmes and debt cancellation. He said that Britain had a responsibility to the citizens of the Caribbean to right the wrongs of slavery by paying reparation. “It is a vital step in the racial and political healing process,” he declared.
Sir HIlary Beckles, chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Reparations Commission during his presentation on ‘A Model for Reparations’ at Oxford University
“It concerns debt abandonments since the governments of the Caribbean have used up their scarce resources desperately trying to clean up the colonial mess Britain left behind, such as rampant illiteracy, poor health care, horrible housing, and backward attitudes to development. Britain abandoned its financial obligation, and the Caribbean citizens and governments have done very well with self responsibility, but the time has come for Britain to honour its legal and moral obligation to the Caribbean. “Every finance minister in the Caribbean should stand with the reparations movement and jointly call upon Britain to facilitate economic development and recovery since as PM Cameron said, the Caribbean has been neglected for 30 years after 300 years of wealth extraction,” according to Sir Hilary. During the lecture which was hosted by Professor Louise Richardson - Oxford’s new Vice-Chancellor - Sir Hilary suggested that Britain should establish a facility like the Jewish Reparation Fund which drives Israeli development works projects. He said a CARICOM Reparation Fund could receive reparations for development purposes and fund projects for the people of the Caribbean. Professor Beckles’ “10-point action plan” called for an apology, repatriation, an indigenous people’s
Noting that “Blacks are the only people who have received no reparations for crimes of slavery,” Sir Hilary said urgent action was required to repair damage facing the region such as the debt crisis, poor health and literacy ratios, institutional poverty, food insecurity, unemployment and more. In its invitation letter to Sir Hilary, the university said, “There is a need for a more serious discussion about reparations and curriculum diversity at Oxford.” Last year, Oxford held a joint summit where University staff and members of the student union and the studentled Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality discussed issues raised by students and agreed on a set of concrete steps, including substantial work to review its curriculum in several subject areas with an eye to ethnicity and diversity, working in consultation with minority ethnic students. Meanwhile, a group of scholar/activists in Britain is mobilizing their peers to sign a statement calling on PM Cameron to launch a Commission of Inquiry into the Histories and Legacies of British Colonialism and the British Empire. At its 34th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in July 2013, CARICOM Heads of Government agreed on the establishment of a CARICOM Commission on Reparation and Social Justice, as well as National Committees on Reparations, to establish the moral, ethical and legal case for the payment of reparations by the former colonial European countries, to the nations and people of the Caribbean Community, for native genocide, the transatlantic slave trade and a racialised system of chattel slavery.
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Below is the full text of an address delivered by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, to the House of Commons, Parliament of Great Britain, Committee Room 14, Thursday, July 16, 2014
adam Chair, the distinguished member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott, other distinguished members of the House of Lords, and House of Commons, Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corp, colleagues at the head table, Ladies and Gentlemen. I speak this evening, in this honourable chamber of the House of Commons, as Chairman of the CARICOM Commission on Reparations. My colleagues of the Commission are tasked with the preparation and presentation of the evidentiary basis for a contemporary truth: that the Government of Great Britain, and other European states that were the beneficiaries of enrichment from the enslavement of African peoples, the genocide of indigenous communities, and the deceptive breach of contract and trust in respect of Indians and other Asians brought to the plantations under indenture, have a case to answer in respect of reparatory justice. Genocide The case of genocide is not only in respect of our decimated native community. It is also important to recognize the genocidal aspect of chattel slavery in the Caribbean. British slave ships brought 5.5 million enslaved Africans into their Caribbean colonies over 180 years.
When slavery was abolished in 1838 they were just 800,000 persons remaining. That is, a retention/survival rate of 15%. The regime of enslavement was crafted by policies and attitudes that were clearly genocidal. Jamaica received 1.5 million Africans. Only 300,000 remained at Emancipation (20%). Barbados received 600,000 Africans. Only 83,000 remained at Emancipation (14%). CARICOM This case is for the CARICOM governments to present on behalf of its citizens. I am sure that in its presentation there will be due regard for the principles of diplomacy and development cooperation - for which they have long distinguished themselves. This process will bring honour and dignity to the people of the Caribbean as well as to the people of Great Britain and Europe. CARICOM governments, like the government of Great Britain, represent nations that are independent and equal. As such, they should proceed on the basis of their legitimate equality, without fear of retribution, in the best interest of humanity, and for a better future for us all. Historic Parliament I am honoured to be asked to speak in this historic parliament of the people of Great Britain. Like you I am aware that this Parliament prepared the official political basis of the crimes that defined the colonial past. It is here, in this House, that the evil system of slavery, and genocide, were established. This House passed laws, framed fiscal policies, and enforced the crimes that have produced harmful legacies and persistent suffering now in need of repair. This House also made emancipation from slavery and independence from colonialism an empowering reality. It is in here, we now imagine, that laws for reparatory justice can be conceptualized and implemented. It is in here, we believe, that the terrible wrongs of the past can be corrected, and humanity finally and truthfully liberated from the shame and guilt that have followed these historical crimes.
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We must believe in the corrective power of this Parliament to respond positively to this present challenge, and in the process free itself from the bondage of its own sins and crimes. Without this belief our journey here this evening would be lacking integrity, and without a doubt, would be a useless exercise. But I speak in this honourable House this evening, not only as chairman of a rightfully constituted commission that is peopled by some of our finest Caribbean citizens, and who have been selected by our distinguished Presidents and Prime Ministers, but as a Caribbean person with an affinity for this country. I was raised and educated here. I came from the Caribbean to this country as a child; I grew to maturity here; and was educated here in a fine university that has distinguished itself in the LiberalProgressive pedagogy of the nation. Great Britain, therefore, is my second home and I care for it as I care for my first home, the Great Caribbean. I wish for Great Britain, as I do for the Great Caribbean, peace and prosperity. I wish that their shared past, painful though it has been, will be transformed into a moral force of mutual respect and development cooperation. It is for these reasons that I have joined the Caribbean and global movement for reparatory justice. I believe we can settle this case within the context of diplomatic initiatives that are consistent with our status as equal nations. The crimes committed against the indigenous, African, and Asian peoples of the Caribbean are well documented. We know of the 250 years of slave trading, chattel slavery, and the following 100 years of colonial oppression. Slavery was ended in 1838, only to be replaced by a century of racial apartheid, including the denigration of Asian people. Indigenous genocide, African chattel slavery and genocide, and Asian contract slavery, were three acts of a single play – a single process by which the British state forcefully extracted wealth from the Caribbean resulting in its persistent, endemic poverty. Betrayal I wish to comment, as a result, on the 1833 Act of Emancipation, and how this august Parliament betrayed the enslaved people of the Caribbean by forcing them to
pay more than 50% of the cost of their own emancipation. This is an aspect of the history long hidden from public view. We know, for example, that this Parliament in 1833 determined that the 800,000 enslaved people in the Caribbean were worth, as chattel property, £47 million. This was their assessed market value. We know that this Parliament determined that all slave owners should receive just and fair compensation for the official taking away of their property. We know that this Parliament provided the sum of £20 million in grants to the slave owners as fair compensation for the loss of their human chattel. And we know that this Parliament determined that the enslaved people would receive none of this compensation. The argument made in this House was that ‘property’ cannot receive property compensation. This Parliament, in its emancipation Act, upheld the law that black people were not human, but property. What this Parliament has hid from the world is that it also determined that the remaining £27 million would be paid by the enslaved people to their enslavers, by means of a 4 year period of free labour called the Apprenticeship. This period of additional free labour by the emancipated represented the enforced extraction of £27 million by the state. It was a cruel and shameful method of legislating Emancipation by forcing the enslaved to pay more than 50% of the financial cost of their own freedom. The £20 million paid the enslavers by this Parliament was less than the £27 million paid by the enslaved to the enslavers as dictated by this House. Legal? I wish now to engage the argument of the British Government that the slavery and other colonial crimes were ‘legal’, and that they took place ‘a long time ago’, and are beyond the border of adjudication. Allow me, madam Chair, to breach protocol and to interject myself into the discourse, in order to demonstrate how very contemporary and current this exploitation of the Caribbean people is and has been. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
The truth is, the people of the Caribbean have been very courageous in their effort at self-development and self-help in respect of this terrible history and enduring legacy. Upstairs this chamber sits the Earl of Harewood. He is an honourable member of the House of Lords. But does Lord Harewood know that my grandfather after Independence in Barbados in 1966 labored on this sugar plantation, as did his father and forefathers, going back to the days of slavery? Does the goodly Lord know that as a child I took lunch for my grandfather into the canefields of his sugar plantation? Lord Harewood, and my family, go back a long way, from slavery right into the present. Take also the very aristocratic and very distinguished Cumberbatch family. It has now produced the brilliant young actor, Benedict Cumberbatch [who I would love to meet one day]. Benedict’s grandfather owned the estate on which my beloved great grandmother worked all her adult life. They enslaved my family on their Cleland plantation in the parish of St. Andrew. My great grandmother, who helped to raise me, and who we all called ‘mammy’, carried the name Adriana Cumberbatch. The actor and academic are joined therefore by a common past and present, and maybe, common blood! My case is but one of ten thousand such cases. Everywhere across the Caribbean the presence of our enslavers can be identified in our daily domestic lives. This history is not remote. It is alive and pressing upon our daily affairs. Legacy And what have our people and governments been doing with respect to this legacy since we have gained national independence? The truth is, the people of the Caribbean have been very courageous in their effort at self-development and self-help in respect of this terrible history and enduring legacy. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Our citizens have faced this past head on, and have established a vibrant culture of community self-help and sustainable regional development mobilization. We are not beggars! We are not subservient! We do not want charity and handouts! We want justice! Reparatory justice! When all is said and done, our governments these past 50 years have been cleaning up the mess left behind by Britain’s colonial legacy. Our finest Presidents and Prime Ministers have been devising projects to clean up the awful mess inherited from slavery and colonization. They must be commended for this effort, but the fact is, this legacy of rubble and ruin, persistent poverty, and racialised relations and reasoning, that continues to cripple our best efforts, has been daunting. Scene of the crime Britain, and its Parliament, cannot morally and legally turn their back upon this past, and walk away from the mess they have left behind. This Parliament has to return to the scene of its crimes, and participate as a legitimate parliament, as a legal parliament, in the healing and rehabilitation of the Caribbean. We cannot, and should not, be asked to do this by ourselves. We have done our part. This Parliament must now return, and do its part, within the context of reparatory justice, and within the framework of development cooperation. I wish to give two examples of how this reparatory justice can work:
1. Jamaica, Britain’s largest slave colony, was left with 80% black functional illiteracy at Independence in 1962. From this circumstance the great and courageous Jamaican nation has struggled with development and poverty alleviation. The deep crisis remains. This Parliament owes the people of Jamaica an educational and human resource investment initiative. 2. Barbados, Britain’s first slave society, is now called the amputation capitol of the world. It is here that the stress profile of slavery and racial apartheid; dietary disaster and psychological trauma; and the addiction to the consumption of sugar and salt, have reached the highest peak. The country is now host to the world’s most virulent diabetes and hypertension epidemic. This Parliament owes the people of Barbados an education and health initiative. It is the same for all our countries; the Bahamas, the Leewards, the Windwards, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, and beyond. The CARICOM Ten Point Plan for Reparatory Justice addresses these development issues that are central to the case Britain has to answer. It is an invitation to Great Britain to demonstrate leadership within the legal, moral, and diplomatic culture of the world, within the Commonwealth, and within its relations with the Caribbean. There can be no escaping the importance of this exchange of views about the matter before this honourable chamber tonight. It took all of the 19th century to uproot slavery from the Caribbean; from Haiti in 1804 to the Spanish sub-region in the 1880s. It took another 100 years to create citizenship, nationhood, and democracy across the Caribbean as a development framework. We have helped ourselves. 21st century This 21st century will be the century of global reparatory justice. Citizens are now, for the first time since they were driven into retreat by colonialism, able to stand up for reparatory justice without fear. Their claim, their just claim for reparations, will not go away. Rather, like the
waves upon our beautiful shores, they will keep coming until reparatory justice is attained. Madam Chair, we call upon you, and all members of this House, to rise to this challenge and to assist Great Britain to be truly worthy of the title “Great”. I urge you to do the right thing, in the right way. There is no other right time, other than right now, in our time. There is so much to gain from your leadership. The Caribbean is counting on you. In 1823, the honourable Thomas Buxton, M.P. for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, presented a bill to this House calling for an Emancipation Act with compensation for the enslaved people. His bill and vision were defeated. Instead, ten years later, an emancipation bill was passed, not with compensation for the enslaved, but with handsome and generous compensation for enslavers. Some 40% of the national expenditure of the country was handed over to slave-owners as reparations. The enslaved people of the Caribbean got nothing. Indeed, they were then called upon by the said Emancipation Act to give £27 million in free labour to their enslavers. The injustice and the cruelty of that Emancipation Act, remain today like a fish bone stuck in our throats. We urge you, madam Chair, and other members of this Parliament, to rise up and bring the Buxton vision to life. He was a noble warrior for reparatory justice; his spirit can return to this House, in both places, and the 21st century will be ours to forge a new moral order for our collective wellbeing. On behalf of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, all my colleagues across the Caribbean who have worked with our governments in order to bring this case before you, I ask that you respond with humility and openness when your government receives an invitation to meet with our governments in summit in order to discuss this matter. May the values and the spirit of development cooperation and mutual respect guide us all. Thank you madam Chair. (Standing Ovation)
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Profiles in Leadership
Shifting the Frontiers Shifting the Frontiers is about Caribbean leadership and political institutions that facilitate that leadership.
Former Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran has boldly called on Caribbean Parliaments to vigorously debate the future of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which he says is in a “state of inertia” and on “no one’s strategic agenda in diplomacy or development.” It’s a major indictment on the Caribbean region which continues to be relegated to the sidelines and remains perpetually voiceless and powerless in the international arena. “The curtain is drawn. The time for action has come and gone,” Dookeran says adding that the political leadership in the community of nations of the Caribbean is on test. While leaders are caught up with their domestic issues, the young population in the region is becoming “impatient and restless,” said Dookeran, a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, London University. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
(L. - R.) Adjunct Professor of Economics at Radford University - Dr. Carlos Elias, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat (centre) and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Dookeran.
At the same time “the Caribbean civilization is very much alive and its identity is a beautiful expression of a people ready to unshackle and embrace a new ambition.”
Framework for the Future of the Caribbean at The UWI, St. Augustine. The book was co- edited by him and Carlos Elias and published by Ian Randle Publishing Company.
Echoing the words of Haitian Anthropologist, Michel-Rolph Trouillot who noted that in the Caribbean, harmony and discord worked together in politics and in society, Dookeran said the past fuses into a future “and leaders and leadership are stalling the realization of our potential and historical destiny.”
Shifting the Frontiers is not only about economics but about the ambition of the Caribbean striving to enter the global space technology; raising performance standards of scholarship in higher education; linking markets to the provision of public goods in areas of health, environment and education, crucial incursions in measures to promote public safety and reduce income inequality and poverty levels. It identifies bold measures that are doable in these areas. Shifting the Frontiers is also about culture, heritage and the beauty of the Caribbean civilization.
Dookeran, a visiting fellow/ scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University for two years, was speaking at the May 10 launch of Shifting the Frontiers: An Action
Drawing on the French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Dookeran’s latest publication, Shifting the Frontiers revisited the explanations of the forces of inequality from Marx to Kuznets.” . . . It underpins my argument that the net outflow of funds from the region is based on the wrong diagnosis that external shocks in the Caribbean are of a temporary nature and can somehow be mitigated by ‘cash flow dynamics’ enunciated by IMF traditional prescriptions.” He made similar points at Horizons 2030: Equality at the Center of Sustainable Development at an ECLAC High Level Seminar in Mexico City in late May. Economic strategies, he said, have the dual role of ensuring ‘survivability today and sustainability tomorrow’. Hence, focus must be placed on the sequencing steps in management of the economy in a framework of a transformation perspective. Widening the economic space, he said, will create buffers for resilience and help drive the deepening process in integration. “It is the deepening process that will sequentially lead to an expansion of economic activity. This is at the heart of the argument for convergence of Caribbean economies, or what I refer to as ‘ integration without borders’.” Looking at the broad structural and institutional issues that inhibit the search for equality in development, Dookeran who was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by his alma mater, University of Manitoba, Canada, said in the Caribbean,
“It is the deepening process that will sequentially lead to an expansion of economic activity. This is at the heart of the argument for convergence of Caribbean economies, or what I refer to as ‘ integration without borders’.” economic and political structures are inextricably linked. He referred to Avinash Persaud’s profound statement about the anti-growth coalition: ‘The anti-growth coalition, is so deeply embedded in the socioeconomic and political culture in the small states of the Caribbean, it must be ‘broken’, before any growth and development can take place’. “Clearly, the implication is that the logic of economics must be synchronized with the logic of politics in order to drill down for equality, growth and development,” said Dookeran. Shifting the Frontiers follows a 2015 Forum on the Future of the Caribbean, which was held in Port of Spain with over 400 persons, the majority of whom were young Caribbean scholars. Participants, in presenting over 100 papers were challenged to engage in disruptive thinking. The Forum, according to Dookeran distilled ‘new thinking for new times’ and catalyzed disruptive thought on five key themes: capturing the ambition of the region; embracing Caribbean convergence; tackling
poverty and equality; advocating innovative financing solutions; and shaping a new global compact through diplomacy. “Hilary Beckles spoke and concluded that a wider diplomatic space is needed, one that embraces the English, Spanish, French and Dutch traditions and languages, perhaps including Portuguese, Mandarin, Hindi, Urdu and others. The Caribbean of the future must be a multilingual place that mirrors the multiplex world of the future – a big idea.” A significant feature of the forum was the active participation of Caribbean leaders including the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who called on the region to design new navigational tools. Disruptive thinking on the future of the Caribbean attracted the imagination of participants attending the forum, as they consistently exposed the current paralysis in economic integration, declared Dookeran. But as the former government minister pointed out, “the missing piece in the calculus of change is the modernizing of Caribbean institutions.” He noted that there were too many integration bodies making deep demands on the stressed treasuries of the Caribbean nations. “These bodies are largely without effective accountability and have overlapping mandates. Bold action, including closure of CARICOM and UN bodies engaged in Caribbean integration, must be placed on the agenda,” he asserted. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
UWI in Society
Reginald Dumas, diplomat, public servant and adviser to world leaders, looks at Trinidad and Tobago today. He has set himself some challenges which include completing his autobiography, which he calls a retrospection; making himself available to speak on the principles of government and governance; and seeding an “on the ground” movement to awaken citizens to their responsibilities.
Tying the Past to Present, Future
n an age of Facebook, Twitter and a plethora of digital social media platforms, Reginald Dumas has chosen to write books to provide permanent records of the era in which he lived, and served. The dedication of his recently published book, The First Thirty Years: a Retrospection, says who his intended audience is: “To the young people of the Caribbean, whom I encourage to see the past as the indispensable portal to the present and the future.” In 2000, the diplomat, public servant and adviser to governments and international organizations set out to write his autobiography. After fifteen years and intervening assignments - including representing the then Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, in Haiti – he presents a look at the first three decades of his life. But this “retrospection” as he calls it, is much more than an autobiography. He points out in his prologue that what he has in fact done is focus more on the environments in which he lived during that period than on the details of his personal
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existence. He thus provides a rich and researched context of the personalities, policies and politicking that helped shape his illustrious career and life. In the first chapter of the book, he recalls his childhood in multi-ethnic, sugar-dependent Chaguanas immediately before, during and after World War 11. We meet Reginald Dumas senior, at whose deathbed his young son witnesses an extraordinary event which he has never forgotten. We also meet the two most important influences in his life. Adeline, his mother, a hardworking midwife marks her son with an ethic of work and public service and thrift. Primary school teacher, Isaac Malcolm Sinanan, drives him to excel, with a fierce dedication to education for development. In the central plains of Chaguanas there are sugar cane plantations. Further in South Trinidad is the oil industry. Work is essential but undignified, and workers in both sectors are in open conflict with the colonial authorities, agitating for better conditions.
In 1945, Dumas earns the Government Exhibition that ends his primary schooling and guarantees him a secondary education at the Queen’s Royal College (QRC). Here, he meets young boys like Lloyd Best, Karl HudsonPhillips, Basil Ince, Denis Solomon and Michael Alleyne; minds nurtured in the liberal colonial model that’s still to be updated and improved. It is Dumas’ reflection on the history of QRC that must make us pause: after its conflicted beginning, its modeling of an education system, are we creating the thinkers for a more appropriate system for a still relatively young nation? This is the thoughtful, probing approach he brings to other environments. Tunapuna, to which his mother is transferred, is “a sea change from Chaguanas,” with electricity, pipe-borne water, social, sporting and cultural activity. Three of the four Island Scholars of 1952 – Lloyd Best, John Neehall and Dumas – are from Tunapuna, and QRC. Two years later, he would leave for Cambridge. His hand-written ‘Reflections of a West Indian Graduate’ are the observations of a young Caribbean man in “a strange society, among strange faces, strange customs.” There is a poignant universality of expression among West Indians (tropical island people) going to university in Britain, or Europe or North America for that matter. We see the other with sharpened senses. We see ourselves more distinctly too. The chapter on The Federal Experience – which might also be viewed as the path to independence – is an important one in this autobiography, since it underpins the direction of Dumas’ career, provides the big picture, and illuminates the self-knowledge and savvy he brings to international relations. By the end of his first thirty years, Reginald Dumas has trained for public service, with credentials and exposure to international relations on both sides of the Atlantic. He has a young family and is on the verge of being posted “to the other side of the world.” With an unplanned and unprecedented gesture, he stands up for himself to the Prime Minister, Dr. Eric Williams; the start of a professional relationship that does not waver. ‘The First Thirty Years, a Retrospection’ is recommended for all young West Indians, in order for us to begin to know our place in the world. It is a story that resonates with
many of us growing up in pre-and newly independent Trinidad and Tobago. Where it departs from the personal, it reveals national characteristics and environments of such significance that to be ignorant of these can only delay our progress to maturity. The writing is simple, direct; there is a reliable Index; and we note with satisfaction that it was copy-edited by Susan CraigJames. Dumas’ first book, published in 1995, is In Service of the Public: Articles and Speeches 1963-1993 with Commentaries. Following his assignment as Annan’s special envoy to Haiti in 2004, he wrote An Encounter with Haiti: Notes of a Special Adviser (2008). Reginald Dumas also writes an occasional column in the Trinidad Express newspaper. Reflecting It is probably appropriate to begin here, where Reginald Dumas ended his book The First Thirty Years. “Prime Minister,” I said, very calmly, “why don’t you sit down? You’re sending me to the other side of the world, and I must know precisely why I’m going.” That was April 13, 1965. The Prime Minister was Dr. Eric Williams. The next day, Dumas left for Ethiopia. It is this calm assertiveness, the willingness to question that might be Dumas’ signal traits, and which served his diplomatic career. He continues to ask ‘why?’ to seek information, to reflect and re-consider each situation, making progress with every bit of additional information. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Fifty years have gone by and Reginald Dumas has retired to Tobago from where he continues to have his say as a citizen. He wonders why The UWI wants to interview him for the magazine UWI STAN. He received an honorary doctorate from The UWI in 2011. He believes that inviting honorary graduands from time to time to meet and have interchanges with students might be an easy way of involving students in public affairs and recommended this several years ago to the University. He does not know if the recommendation has been implemented; certainly, he himself has never been asked. “As the major regional academic institution, The UWI has a duty and responsibility to educate and inform, not just the students; and to find ways to involve the public as far as possible. Patrick Watson is doing a good job, but he seems to be alone.” The education system at every level – from primary to university – should prepare students for their roles and responsibilities as citizens. This to a large extent is what independence is about. “Nowhere in the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago does it say that we are a unitary state. Yet, we continue to be run by the style of government put in place by Eric Williams, which he accepted from the colonial government. Fifty years after independence, we still allow ourselves to be controlled by a central government – in our case, a Cabinet – with no meaningful input from the people of the country. We have serious issues of development that people need to be consulted on. The Government, the Cabinet, cannot think of everything for all the people. Who or what would have conferred such special genius on them? Dumas continued, “We require a different style of government, a participatory relationship in which the people are actively involved. We need information to be shared, true (not token) consultation, accountability and control by the people. What we have are governments that give an impression of participatory democracy. For example, what does it mean when the Minister of Education says that we will have a consultation on education, but we must leave the Concordat alone, what is he telling us? That he has already made a decision on the Concordat? Is that consultation?
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“We require a different style of government, a participatory relationship in which the people are actively involved. We need information to be shared, true (not token) consultation, accountability and control by the people.” “We are also being told that the Tobago House of Assembly might be the model for local government reform. But even after the THA Act of 1996, all the subjects said to be the responsibility of the THA are still governed by Trinidad and Tobago legislation which has never been amended. So where is the autonomy we hear about? “If we really want to put power in the hands of the people, we have to change the legislation. Rather, if people want to take power back, to create a more participatory system of governing, we the people must act. It’s no use complaining and then taking no action.”
Resetting In 2015, Dumas started a movement with an organization which he named RESETT 1962. The proposal: is it possible to reset our independence? “We have had meetings in Port of Spain, Chaguanas and Scarborough. We say this is our country. Do we think what is happening is fine? Do we see anything wrong? If so, what? We can all be very vocal on what’s wrong. We can all point fingers; we revel in that. But when someone asks, what is your proposal for improvement, silence. In order to have proper participation, we also need to know our responsibilities. People must realize they have responsibilities as well as rights. How do we change the mindset to move the country forward?
“If we are going to move forward, we also need good information. This is where I believe that UWI, as the major regional academic institution, has a duty and a responsibility to educate and inform. The UWI has to take a more active role. Everything must not be left to the government. Maybe The UWI could set up a team to look at Trinidad and Tobago today, in the 40th year of republicanism, to consult with the population and come up with some ideas on what we the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago could do to improve our country. “Resett’s only goal is the enhancement of the welfare of Trinidad and Tobago. If we are to achieve that goal, we must all try to work together as citizens, not as mindless adherents of this or that organization.”
RESETT 1962 (From remarks by Reginald Dumas at the launch of RESETT 1962, June 14, 2015)
The purpose of RESETT 1962 is to create and foster a platform for the development, discussion and dissemination of ideas and opinions directed towards: increasing the commitment among all our citizens to the principles of participatory governance; advocating for the development of political, social and economic institutions rooted in the principles or participatory governance; insisting that our governments respect the principles of participatory governance in their policy-making and implementation. The principles include working towards a truly democratic society characterised by the fullest and widest possible participation of citizens in the decision-making processes of government, especially those which directly affect their daily lives; encouraging such participation by insisting that governments consult effectively with our
citizens on all national policy issues and major projects planned; and facilitating meaningful participation by fostering the widest possible dissemination of information and analysis on the social, political, economic and cultural issues of the day. The terms of engagement of RESETT 1962 are that we are not a political party and will not participate as a group in the elections; we are non-partisan but we are prepared to openly support initiatives undertaken by any political party to promote and implement participatory governance; we welcome anyone to join or support our initiative, regardless of race, class, gender or creed, who is not an activist in any political party and who subscribes to our guiding principles; and we are prepared to listen to and entertain any ideas and opinions on any issue relevant to our purpose.
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UWI in Society
Dr. Sharma sitting behind the OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography)
meets the need for vision specialists Optometrist Dr. Subash Sharma could well have been retired by now. “I was supposed to be traveling around the world with my wife enjoying myself,” says Dr. Sharma, the clinical coordinator of UWI St. Augustine’s Department of Optometry and Visual Sciences. Instead, he’s sitting behind his desk, making plans for the sustainability of the only English-speaking Optometry school in the Caribbean. “I’m stuck here,” he jokes. “But I enjoy it. I’ve always enjoyed optometry. I’ve always enjoyed lecturing.” The University approached Dr. Sharma to establish the department in 2009. He was then in private practice, a specialist in contact lensfitting, with experience in lecturing and lab work. Private practitioners,
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complaining of perennial shortages of qualified manpower, had finally convinced UWI of the need for a school. Dr. Sharma agreed to the challenge. Seven years later, on the cusp of graduating his fourth cohort and 100th student, he’s still at it. Tucked in beside the Seismic Research Centre on Gordon Street in St. Augustine, the Optometry Department operates from a building that boasts of visiontesting equipment available nowhere else in the country. Its staff is small, with only four full-time lecturers including Dr. Sharma. All but Dr. Sharma are foreigners. “We thought it would be easier to recruit staff,” he says. “And we found out it’s not easy. So I’m holding on.”
It’s just as well that he has. The department has begun to fill the need for local optometrists. Based on an international ratio of 8,000 people per optometrist, T&T requires 150. He says there are only 110 on the books. “And two-thirds of that are old people who are hardly working or not working at all. So we are badly off.” The department has also enhanced capacity in the public hospitals, where the number of publicly employed optometrists can be counted on one finger. (She’s in the Eastern Regional Health Authority. Her name is Petra Bridgemohan.) It’s the fourth year students’ mandatory rotations that have benefited the public sector.
Dr. Sharma says it’s very popular, and he’s hoping to realize a plan to open an optical store in the building next door by the end of summer, so patients can fill their prescriptions on site.
Student Optometrist McKeisha Dick performing Gonioscopy on patient (optometry student Raveena Ramsaroop)
Each student undergoes a year of clinical training—testing vision and prescribing lenses. “The students benefit by receiving supervision outside by senior people – the ophthalmologists – and the hospital benefits because they can offer a service which wasn’t there before,” says Dr. Sharma. Before the school was established, a hospital ophthalmologist would finish her treatment, prescribing medication or performing surgery, then letting the patient go to fend for himself in the private sector. “Now, those who could afford it would do so. Those who couldn’t afford it would remain on the side getting worse and worse.” Charis-Ann Ricketts who graduated in 2015 and returned to the school to supervise clinical sessions for the next cohort says her internship opened her eyes. “To see how appreciative they were as we were testing them and they could get
access to a prescription or glasses— something that students could do for them and they were so grateful, it kind of showed, ‘Yeah, we really do make a difference.” The department runs a clinic that offers all of the private sector’s services at reduced cost, catering to all and sundry, mostly university students and hospital referrals.
The school, which is administered by the Faculty of Medical Sciences, is confident of the benchmark it has attained. “I think personally the standard of students is quite good,” says Course Coordinator and senior lecturer Dr. Jan Bohringer. The programme is supervised by the General Optical Council of the UK. “Of course, when they graduate, they’re just starting their career, so they have to get more experience.” Melanie Mungalsingh went abroad to continue her education after graduating in 2014. “I went back to do my Masters in Low Vision and I had to do internships so I was with other Optometry students and just sitting down with them, like watching them conduct exams. Our standard is equally as high as their standard.”
Charis-Ann Ricketts guiding students on the Tonometry Procedure. Students from L-R, Nalini Marajh, Dineka Maharaj
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Student Optometrist Hannah Mohammed doing an OCT on Patient (Sean Bridgelal, optometry student)
But like all programme coordinators, Dr. Sharma has to think of the school’s sustainability as well as the quality of its output. As the university budget contracts, he’s thinking about longevity. The demand for optometrists in Caribbean islands should certainly drive recruitment. Some of our smaller Caribbean neighbours, Dr. Sharma says, don’t have any certified optometrists at all. Eye tests and lens-fitting are done by unqualified practitioners or visitors from the US who won’t be around for follow-up. “So we are trying to attract students from the islands now, to come to us to do the course,” he says. “And trying to attract governments to send at least one student a year, so they can build capacity for themselves.” The department’s ideal ratio would be 15 or 16 local students to 10 from the rest of the Caribbean. They’re being lured to a potentially lucrative career. Dr. Sharma says it’s the third highest paid in the medical field “without having the on-call label stuck on you.” STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Charis-Ann Ricketts “kind of just ended up” studying Optometry, because it’s her mother’s profession and she’s been visiting the optometrist since she was eight. “Only when I actually reached the programme, after the first year we started doing things that were related to it, then I realized, “Oh yes, I actually do like this.’ It actually wasn’t that much of my own incentive that I ended up in it, but I stayed because I grew to love it.” A broader geographical alliance could also keep the school growing. Dr. Sharma says that Central and South Americans who have visited for symposia have expressed interest in “sending their students to be upgraded to our international standard.” If the language barrier can be overcome, it would mean another income stream. But getting and keeping academic staff remains an obstacle. Dr. Sharma wants to retire, so does Dr. Bohringer. Dr. John Randall is on his way out the door after five years in Trinidad. “What we want to do is
get our grads to come back and get involved in lecturing and research,” says Dr. Sharma. “We’ve spoken to them—there are one or two helping us here, part-time. The university is willing to pay for them to do their post-grad studies, as long as you’re going to come back and work with us here. That is where we’ll get our future lecturers from.” In the meantime there are plans for refresher courses for established optometrists and advanced training in optometric specialties. But in all that is envisioned, students are reminded of their foremost responsibility—improving their patients’ eyesight. “They are told, ‘You are being trained to make a difference in society. You will get rich one day, but don’t expect to just leave here, go there and become rich suddenly. It will happen, but you have to build a name, build a service, and make sure you behave yourself in public.’”
UWI in Society
Removing the Masks from Inequality in Education Prof. Deosaran discusses secondary schools as “pipeline to prison.”
Professor Emeritus Ramesh Deosaran’s watch hangs loose from his wrist. He has lost ten pounds writing his latest book, a research-driven treatise on the connection between the failures of the education system and high levels of crime and violence. His new 375 page book, ‘Inequality, Crime and Education in Trinidad and Tobago: Removing the Masks’ was launched at the Principal’s Office at The UWI, St Augustine on June 1st. “I am not ashamed to tell you I’ve written books on the jury system, crime and policing, poverty and governance, even edited a journal and so on but this latest book took a lot, a lot, “ admits the University of Toronto-educated social psychologist/ criminologist. Although now retired from lecturing, he’s apparently as busy as ever – analysing criminal intelligencerelated legislation, writing his Sunday newspaper column, presenting conference papers, giving media interviews and responding to book-related phone calls from colleagues and other friends.
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crime. Gated communities will not stop the flow. Serious education reform and improved equality of educational opportunity would help though.
What indeed? He has never shirked public service – as independent senator, member of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), head of a cabinet-appointed researching prison conditions for policy action,, member of several other cabinet-appointed committees over the last thirty years –yet there’s some disappointments. He thought that the recommendations in 2013 from an eleven-member multisector review team to improve the administrative and legislative framework of the PSC would have been expeditiously acted upon to help raise police performance. He was appointed chairman of that review team. “Given my professional work, I have submitted so many proposals to various governments to deal with crime, school violence and delinquency, poverty alleviation, jury reform and even for racial harmony. But like quite a few others, I often get the feeling that politicians in government are either quite jealous of their territory or became committed to different policy directions.” University professors have a special duty to their country, apart from inside teaching and research, says Prof. Deosaran by way of justifying his continuing work as a public intellectual. “They have to serve the national community with their experience when the opportunity is given. As the records will show, since as a young man in San Juan, it has always been my commitment to public and community service. It came naturally.” When then Prime Minister Patrick Manning asked him to serve under Sir Ellis Clarke’s STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
Crime Committee or when then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday invited him to serve on a Multi-Party Commission, or way back in 1980 when then Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams asked for his involvement on a committee to review banned literature – “in all that and more I was willing to serve as a university professional.” The premise of his latest book is clear: As the research data (many tables etc) shows, many aspects of the government secondary school system have persistently failed us, deepening the inequalities of an already unequal society and in some ways becoming a “pipeline to prison.” These serious educational deficiencies today may well have long-term effects on the next generation of adults. Even those now living behind high walls and gated, razor-wired communities should also take heed now. The upper and middle class cannot feel safe from this rising tide of youth
As the book illustrates, given the serious implications of academic achievement and civic character, this educational imbalance should be a top priority in educational reform. A large part of the system’s imbalance began with the introduction of the junior secondary shift system in the 1970’s which Prof. Deosaran calls “the tragic beginning of entrenched inequality of opportunity.” On the other side of the fence, the bettermanaged government assisted denomination schools were in ascendance widening the gap and attracting the “brightest students” from primary schools. Prof. Deosaran notes that the genesis of crime is sociological and psychological in large measure – such as deficient parenting, schooling and deviant peers. These are “push” factors. The ‘pull” factors include ineffective policing, low detection rates and lengthy trial delays, which are the failures of deterrence. The likelihood of not getting caught is a powerful driver of crime. For effective crime reduction, we therefore have to recognise what are symptoms and what are causes. Reducing crime and violence requires a multi-pronged, sustainable approach. Prof. Deosaran’s writings and research were supported by his related enterprise – a kind of intellectual entrepreneur and multidisciplinary social scientist. For example, he was founder/director
of the Ansa McAL Psychological Research Centre, founder/director of the UWI Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, developer of the B.Sc. in Psychology, the M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice. At the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), apart from serving as Acting President, he established the Institute for Criminology and Public Safety and developed three undergraduate programmes – the Certificate, Diploma and B.Sc. He was also the founding editor of the fifteen-year old Journal of Criminology and Social Psychology. It is against this background that after examining the Ministry of Education pledge which promised ‘every child’s inherent right to an education that will enhance their maximum capabilities, regardless of gender, ethnic, social, economic or religious background,’ he asserts with statistical support that the education system has fallen far short of its promise. “The deficits from parts of the education system do contribute to youth crime. Just look at the inmates and convicts in our prisons. Many there only had a primary education or had dropped out of secondary school. The pipeline to prison is obvious. Demography seems to be shaping destiny. And when after the 11+ exam, you are sent to a school, already recognized for relative under-performance, the self-fulfilling prophesy becomes a mental trap.” So much of necessity depends on the SEA that schools feel compelled from the early classes to focus on Math, English and Creative Writing to the detriment of equal
“. . . Just look at the inmates and convicts in our prisons. Many there only had a primary education or had dropped out of secondary school. The pipeline to prison is obvious.” treatment for character-building subjects like physical education, social studies, civics and even music. “The SEA is really a necessary evil in the competitive, Concordatdriven environment,” admits the Prof. reluctantly. You see, he adds, in a system where there is gross inequality in schooling, the best way to do selection is through a merit procedure. But here is a case where without blaming the successful, this meritocracy is creating, perpetually, social injustice especially to certain social groups. Prof. Deosaran tells a story which he believes reveals the disparity in self-confidence between the socalled prestige schools and some that are managed by government. (He is careful not to stigmatise all government schools and quickly lists those that have performed above the norm). He says that at a school in a socio-economically-depressed area, he asked a roomful of Form Five students what they wanted to be. A boy pipes up that he would like to be a doctor but is quickly drowned out and laughed at by his peers. His ambition seemed too far-fetched, it seemed. Following analysis of the ways in which the education system is exacerbating inequality, Prof. Deosaran gets prescriptive. He presents several “actionable” recommendations at the end of his
new book, some 14 in all, which he hopes will be considered by concerned politicians as a means of improving educational opportunity. They range from offering financial incentives and special training for selected teachers to work in hot spot schools, to having single-sex government secondary schools, and meanwhile expanding the places at the government assisted schools. He also called for the quick establishment of a multi-sectoral, independent task force to examine these recommendations as well as having an overall policy review. He said his silent motto has always been that as a university professor and researcher, he does his duty while those who have taken an oath for policy-making should also know what their duty is. Prof. Deosaran, the recipient of the nation’s highest award, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 2013, says, “professionals like myself – and I know many - do face obstacles and even pettiness, but if your motive resorts to fairness and good purpose, you usually do overcome with determination. Doors may close but somehow, a window usually opens.” At the end of it all, Prof. Deosaran, still active and refusing to be consumed by cynicism, hopes that his new book, a red flag really, would help energise reforms.
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UWI in Society
Culture of Clean Recent reports show that Trinidad and Tobago generates approximately 14.4 kilograms of trash per capita per day – the highest in the world. Although similar reports were refuted by the Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) in 2015 and today, despite not collecting complete statistics, the physical evidence is most glaring. The fact that we have left the cleaning to be shouldered by others in society and future generations results in mosquito and other pest reproduction as well as problems with drainage and soil degradation, for example. Further downstream the nation suffers from flooding, polluted waterways and beaches. Waste, in this scenario, is harmful to the marine eco-system and tourism prospects leading to a loss of income for fishing communities and renders the fishery unsustainable. In perhaps the first public effort since the report, a group reading ‘Workplace Protocol for Students’ – a co-curricular course at The UWI which exposes students to service learning and community STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
UWI students share a moment with Minister Clarence Rambharat, Omardath Maharaj and Ramash Ramsumair – Chairman of the Tableland Pineapple Farmers’ Association
engagement - teamed up with the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, Councillor for Chaguaramas/Point Cumana Enroy Slater, National 4-H Club, Tableland Pineapple Farmers’ Association, fisherfolk and residents, to clean St. Peter’s Bay in Carenage of solid waste. The University accepts that employers are looking beyond
academic excellence and challenged students to demonstrate an understanding of the social, ethical and professional considerations that impact the workplace by planning, organizing and managing a project that reflects corporate social responsibility which, upon execution, collectively results in a positive change and strengthens their sensitivity to society.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Karen Siewnarine felt that communities need to take responsibility for their space and waste. “While it is important to understand that pollution has a negative effect on wildlife, communities and the economy, initiatives like ours can empower people to help keep our beaches clean and preserve the environment. We hope that this effort will continue along the coastline in the Carenage area.” Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Clarence Rambharat, also supported and participated in the clean-up effort. He said “I am very pleased today to join Omardath Maharaj and his UWI students in a clean-up of the St. Peter’s Bay, Carenage beach front. The initiative was supported by several stakeholders and a group from San Juan/Barataria led by Senator Hafeez Ali.
A cross-section of some of the volunteers including Minister Rambharat, Senator Ali and Councillor Slater
The clean-up highlighted the critical need for the country to develop a modern approach to waste management, particularly reducing, reusing, and recycling. Plastic bottles and other single-use containers continue to dominate the trash on our beaches and in our garbage. We must act.” The gathering appreciated the fact that this effort started within Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley’s constituency of Diego Martin West as the President of the National 4-H Council Natasha Ramkissoon accepted the challenge to lead a second instalment of the activity ahead of World Environment Day on June 5th 2016. Omardath Maharaj
All hands on deck
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UWI in Society
Portuguese in Trinidad and Tobago by Dr. Jo-Anne S. Ferreira
Abreu, Alves, d’Andrade, Cabral, de Caires, Caldeira, Camacho, Carvalho, Coelho, Correia, Chaves, da Costa, da Cruz, Cunha, Dias, Farinha, Fernandes, Ferraz, Ferreira, Figueira, de Freitas, Garanito, Gomes, Gouveia, Jardim, Lopes, Lourenço, Luz, Magalhães, Marques, Mendes, Mendonça, Menezes, Netto, N(i)eves, Noreiga, Nunes, (d’)Oliveira, Pereira, Perneta, Pestana, Pinheiro, Pinto, Pires, Querino, Quintal, dos Ramos, Reis, Relva, Rezende, Ribeiro, Rodrigues, Sabino, (dos) Santos, Sardinha, de Silva, Soares, de Souza, Teixeira, Vieira, Xavier.
Historical Background Portuguese groups reportedly came to both Tobago and Trinidad as early as the 17th century: a group arrived in Trinidad in the 1630s, and those who went to Tobago included Sephardic Jews in the 1660s. In the 19th century, other Portuguese were in Trinidad in 1811. Azoreans came in July 1834 (the first Portuguese to come as labourers to the Caribbean), and some Madeirans left for Trinidad not long after in November 1834.
These are some of the 100+ Portuguese surnames in Trinidad and Tobago, with roots likely in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, an island chain in the north Atlantic off the coast of Morocco, 1,076 km south-west of Portugal, and 5,168 km north-east of Trinidad.
Only four ships carrying 161 of Azoreans came between 1834 and 1835, with the survivors petitioning to return home in 1835. The Madeiran Archives records three ships bringing 76 Madeirans to Trinidad also between 1834 and 1835, with emigration starting in earnest to Guyana in 1835, and resuming to Trinidad in 1846.
Most of these names live on but, for the most part, the language has not - the language that was the most important post-Emancipation European language to come to Trinidad. Why and what happened to the language among Luso-descendants of Trinidad and Tobago/Portuguese Trinbagonians is our question.
Madeirans immigrated to various locations throughout the then-British Caribbean as labourers and religious refugees, particularly to Guyana, St. Vincent, Antigua and Trinidad. The 19th century Portuguese community of Guyana was 10 to 15 times bigger than Trinidad’s, and had a significant impact on that country.
North Atlantic Ocean Mediterranean Sea MADEIRA MOROCCO
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No doubt descendants of Jewish marranos (those Jews who had been forced to officially convert to Christianity centuries before) would have been among the Azorean and Madeiran emigrants to Trinidad. A number of surnames, e.g, Carvalho, da Costa, Henriques, Nunes, Pereira and de Souza, are associated with a Jewish Portuguese (Sephardic) heritage in the Caribbean, from Jamaica to Curaçao to Suriname. The names also belong to non-Sephardic Portuguese with no known Jewish background. The roots of the modern Portuguese community in Trinidad and Tobago are in the Madeiran emigrations of the 1846-1848 period. Madeira had been suffering harsh economic and socio-religious conditions in the 19th century. The Madeirans of 1846 included separate groups of Catholics and Protestants. They fled their homeland in search of economic relief (Catholics) or a religious haven (Presbyterians) or both. Emigration from Madeira to Trinidad took place over 141 years, from 1834 up to 1975, albeit in unsteady waves and in varying concentrations, with a total number of over 5,000. For example, the main periods appear to have been 1846-1848 and then the 1920s and 1940s which saw renewed emigration from Madeira (not only to Trinidad, but via Trinidad to Aruba and Curaçao because of the refineries there). A few also came from continental Portugal, in both centuries, from areas such as Porto and Lisbon. Madeirans continued to come after 1846 because of chain migration, joining relatives and contacts who had built a new life and a new community for themselves. Chain migration of families also took place among Portuguese descendants coming from Guyana, St Vincent, Antigua, St Kitts and other territories. Many came because of family and business connections and partnerships here. Most of these descendants were already English-speaking by the end of the 19th century and onwards. Onomastic Legacy Perhaps the best-known and most widespread aspect of the Portuguese linguistic legacy is family surnames. Some surnames also became street and other place names where the Portuguese settled, in villages and towns all over Trinidad. The largest communities were those that settled in Port-of-Spain and San Fernando,
The roots of the modern Portuguese community in Trinidad and Tobago are in the Madeiran emigrations of the 1846-1848 period. as well as Arima, Arouca and Chaguanas. Later some Portuguese went to Scarborough and other places in Tobago. The spellings have been mostly preserved (the pronunciations vary), except in cases of anglicisation, hispanicisation, and gallicisation. Some (sur)names were translated into their English equivalents, like Francis (Francisco) and John (João). Intense anglicisation took place regularly in the USA and other Anglophone places where Portuguese immigrants settled. Anglicised names include versions such as da Breo for d’Abreu, and Tesheira for Teixeira (which help users of English to better pronounce these names. The Portuguese spellings for d’Abreu and Teixeira are still more common than the anglicised versions, however. Govia (from Gouveia) and Jardine (from Jardim) are other examples of re-spellings that reflect Madeiran pronunciation as perceived by English speakers (these two are more widespread than the original Gouveia and Jardim, respectively). With regard to changes in names, pronunciation, spelling and even translation, a great deal depends on when the immigrant came and under what circumstances. While Portugal and Spain do have names in common (like Araújo/Araujo, (de) Castro, Franco, Garcia/García, Gregório/Gregorio, de Jesus/de Jesús, Miranda, Pacheco and Salazar, among others), some Portuguese names became hispanicised, Spanish-looking or sounding, such as Fernandez, Gomez, Marquez, Rodriguez and others. The Presbyterian Mendes (whose ancestors came in the 19th century) pronounce their name like Mendez, while most of the Catholic Mendes (whose forebears came in the early 20th century) pronounce their name like Menz. STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
(Camacho also took on the Spanish pronunciation, losing the “sh” sound represented by the <ch>.) The name Xavier became gallicised or Frenchified in pronunciation, with the <x> sounding like /z/ instead of the “sh” sound (as in Teixeira). Portuguese surnames can be recognized and identified by the following spellings, especially diphthongs, and also <s> where Spanish has <z>. These are among many others not listed here (e.g., some names beginning with <J> and <Qu>):
<ei> as in Madeira and Pereira;
<ou> as in Lourenço and de Sousa/Souza (the Spanish equivalent, where applicable, is <o>, e.g., Sousa and Sosa);
<ão> as in Brazão and Serrão;
<ç>, as in Gonçalves (which became Gonsalves, but the <s> is now pronounced as /z/ instead of /s/) and Mendonça;
<lh> as in Carvalho and Coelho;
<nh> as in Farinha and Pinheiro (equivalent of Spanish <ñ>);
<x> as in Teixeira and Xavier (<x> in Portuguese has the “sh” sound in English);
<al> as in Cabral and Quintal;
<es> as in Fernandes and Nunes (where there are equivalents in Spanish, the Spanish spelling is usually <ez>, although Portuguese has had the <ez> spellings as well), and <s>, as in Affonso and Dias;
<d’> <da> <dos> as in d’Andrade, da Costa, and dos Santos (da and dos both mean ‘of the’).
Some spelling differences have to do with changes in Portuguese orthography over the years. For example, Souza belongs to the older spelling system, and Sousa belongs to the newer system. Vasconcellos and Ornellas are the older forms and Vasconcelos and Ornelas are the newer. The older forms survive in the Americas, including Trinidad and Tobago, and elsewhere. They tell a story of the related era of arrival. Portuguese surnames are mentioned in various calypsos, such as those mentioning (J.J.) Ribeiro, (Eduardo) Sá Gomes and (Albert) Gomes. Sá Gomes was born in São Pedro, Madeira and was a pioneer of calypso recordings, and Gomes was a Trinidadian who staunchly defended calypso and steelpan, and freedom for the Shouter Baptists. Calypso, of course, was in Patois and in English, later English Creole and English. Portuguese characters with their Portuguese names and surnames also appeared in skits and plays, for example, the 1905 “Portuguese Shop in George Street”, and the 1992 “Ah Wanna Fall”, which featured Pharoah’s 1948 “Portuguese (or Potogee) Dance”, an imitation of Portuguese speech. Portuguese in the Home Historically, the picture of Portuguese language use in Trinidad was quite different from today’s scenario. The language was in regular use both inside and outside of the home in the latter half of the 19th century up to the first half of the 20th century. In most Portuguesedescended families today, very little of the Portuguese language is remembered. In the Trinidadian Portuguese community, especially in the second half of the 20th century, acquiring Portuguese had become difficult for children, especially where the only fluent speaker of Portuguese was an immigrant father who worked almost 12 hours each day outside of the home to support his family. The women spent the most time with their children at home, so acquiring Portuguese was somewhat easier if mothers or other female family members were Madeiran-born and fluent Portuguese speakers. Luso-Trinidadian or Portuguese Creole mothers themselves who spoke more English often only had partial competence in Portuguese (“semi-speakers”). In such cases, mothers were unable to pass on their parents’ language to their children, but many passed on aspects
of cuisine and other aspects of culture. If the children did become speakers or semi-speakers themselves, this was often the result of a strong relationship with an aunt, grandmother or, in very few cases, close family servants who migrated with their employer’s families. Marriages to a spouse who spoke English, whether of Portuguese or other ethnolinguistic background(s), usually swung the household language in the direction of English. If the Portuguese-speaking spouse was the wife, it was possible for the children to learn Portuguese, as did happen. In these cases, since naming practices and customs in English-speaking contexts are normally patrilineal (except where hyphenated in some cases), the surnames were not Portuguese. Since mothers often pass on their culture, the family linguo-culture would be Portuguese-influenced, so the Portuguese influence in Trinidad and Tobago actually extends far beyond a mere count of Portuguese surnames. What is remembered by families today mostly falls into the general domains of food, religion and taboo words. Some individuals recall some greetings, proverbs and song fragments (including the Portuguese national anthem for those whose ancestors emigrated after 1890). Food and drink names include (there have been at least three restaurants that featured one or more of the following): •
bacalhau (“cod” or “saltfish” or “salted fish”);
bolo de mel (a well-known Madeiran molasses cake, typical of Christmas) – the name is often mistranslated into English as “honey cake”. “Honey” is mel or mel de abelha, literally “bee honey.” Bolo de mel is made from
also gave us ceviche and Jamaican escoveitch); •
malassadas (Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras pancakes or doughnut holes);
Both taboo words and religious references are remembered by relatively few. One taboo word, which is a curse, raios te partam (meaning “damn you”), is probably the origin of rash-patash (or raish-patraish), the pejorative name for Portuguese in Trinidad at one time. Another suggested origin is raspa o tacho (scraping the bottom of the barrel). Portuguese Outside the Home Outside of the home, Portuguese was used in religious circles, cultural activities and business. Portuguese shops and rum shops were on every corner of Trinidad and later, Tobago. The Portuguese shop has been depicted by a number of artists. Portuguese was spoken by and among shop owners and clerks for many years. As Roger Camacho, president of the Associação Portuguesa, put it at the recent UWI LusoFesta 2016 and before, “They were the business pioneers and the first DOMA (Downtown Owners and Merchants Association), as it were.” And that “DOMA” was Portuguese-speaking. The last Madeiranowned shop was probably Luis de Sousa’s shop on the NW Cor. Edward and Queen Streets in Port-of-Spain, which closed in 1994. (Subway now stands there, and has preserved the exterior of the building.) Portuguese in the Catholic and Presbyterian Churches For the Catholics as a religious group, very little about language use has been recorded. It appears that the language was hardly used in public worship, except in the following instances.
mel de cana (literally “cane honey”) which is “molasses”, a word derived from Portuguese melaço. Broas de mel are also made with molasses. Madeira has played a very important role in sugar-cane production since 1425 and has its own rum; •
carne vinha d’alhos (“Christmas garlic pork”) or calvinadage;
cebolas de escabeche (“pickled onions”; escabeche
Writing of 1882 to 1884, the French Dominican missionary priest, Fr. Bertrand Cothonay, noted that there were two inscriptions in Portuguese above the principal altar in the Our Lady of Fatima at Laventille church. This was one of the churches where the Portuguese celebrated the feast of Assumption in honour of Nossa Senhora do Monte, Madeira’s patron saint (origins of the Laventille Devotions). The language was heard during the visit of the Portuguese Princess Aldegonda in 1886, who attended the laying of the cornerstone of the Laventille STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
church. Catholic Portuguese with links to Madeira still remember Nossa Senhora do Monte. The barrister Charles Reis tells us that a priest, Rev. P. McAlinney, who spoke Portuguese fluently, delivered a sermon in Portuguese at a High Mass in 1906. It is not known if this occurred more than once. There are no available or accessible records of Catholic priests in Trinidad undertaking to learn Portuguese nor any known cases of Portuguese priests being sent from Portugal for the Portuguese community in the 19th century. As we shall see, below, this was very different for the Presbyterians received a few Portuguese-speaking ministers, native speakers and second language learners. Despite the size of the small Portuguese group and of the even smaller Portuguese Presbyterian group, Portuguese was one of the few of Trinidad’s many languages to be regularly used in public worship in the 19th century, at first in Greyfriars and then in the St Ann’s Churches of Scotland (named after the St Ann’s River). (Other known ‘religious’ languages of the 19th century included Latin, Spanish, French, Hindi, Arabic, Yoruba, and probably Tamil and Telugu. In the 20th century, if not before, the list grows to include Chinese languages, Korean, and Trinidad & Tobago Sign Language and other sign languages.) In the case of the Portuguese Protestants, the Scottish keenly understood the importance of being able to relate to the newly arrived Portuguese refugee congregation in their own language. In this, they followed the example of the Scottish and Portuguese-speaking medical missionary to the Madeirans, Dr Robert Reid Kalley. The first three ministers (and associate ministers) of the Portuguese Presbyterian congregation in Trinidad were all speakers of Portuguese – a Scotsman, Rev W.H. Hewitson, who learned the language and two native Madeiran-born speakers, A.N. da Silva and H. Vieira. The latter two were specifically chosen and ordained as ministers “for the special purpose of ministering to [their] fellow countrymen” according to Rev Gilbert Earle (1917– 1929) of St Ann’s, known as the Portuguese Church. Besides the ministers, there were also supply ministers, elders and deacons who were Portuguese-speaking, most of whom had come as refugees from Madeira. Earle also tells us the former practice of bilingual services was STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
discontinued with two or three generations and “such of the old Portuguese Bibles as remain are kept as mementos of a half-forgotten romance.” In addition to the Presbyterian ministers themselves, a Baptist minister reportedly learned the language in an effort to communicate with the Portuguese, as Rev William H. Gamble tells us in 1866. It was clearly difficult for the language to survive in the church. This is because of decreasing numbers of speakers in an English-speaking church, whose children went to English language schools in an English-official territory. Portuguese in the Clubs The Associação Portuguesa Primeiro de Dezembro (Portuguese Association) on Richmond Street, was founded in 1905, as the Grupo Dramático Portuguêz. There, the Portuguese language was used for official purposes, such as Association rules, minutes of meetings, magazines and notices. It was also used in cultural activities such as drama, the purpose for which it was originally founded. The visit of the Dom Carlos in 1910 was cause for great celebration among the Portuguese, and the language was proudly used on this and other public occasions. Reis attributed the demise of the language in the Association and outside of it mainly to the growing influence of the English-speaking Portuguese Creoles (Luso-Trinidadians), but noted that the language still maintained some of its former position at the written level. The Association did its best to sustain and promote various aspects of Portuguese culture, not the least of which was the language. In 1926, Reis tells us that one of its aims was “to establish schools for the instruction of members and their children and by degrees to enrich the library.” In 1927, Eduardo Sá Gomes of the Portuguese Association wrote two letters in Portuguese (with English translations) to the Editor of the Port of Spain Gazette. The Portuguese Club was founded later in 1927. This was due to the numbers of English-speaking and Englisheducated Portuguese Creole children of Madeirans who did not speak Portuguese. Many felt less and less connected to Madeira, and were no longer comfortable at the Association.
In 1931, the then newly arrived Portuguese Consul, A. Lino Franco, approached the Portuguese Club with the suggestion of the formation of a Portuguese school. The matter was discussed by the Club’s Board and questionnaires were distributed to various members of the community. However, such a project was not considered feasible and the school never materialised. (The Portuguese Magnolias Hockey Club, now Shandy Carib Magnolias, came out of this Club, and is referred to as the Portuguese Club.)
famous Beacon group. Gomes and Mendes produced their works in English, not in Portuguese, which was the language of their parents and grandparents. In their writings, both Gomes and Mendes tried to reproduce English and English Creole as spoken by Portuguese immigrants.
Writers of Portuguese Descent There are many writers, composers and singers of Portuguese descent, but they all use English. A Portuguese immigrant, Maria Mônica Reis Pestana (1902-1996), also wrote her memoirs entirely in English.
The language died as a group marker and as a natural, spontaneous means of in-group communication for a number of reasons. Adaptation and assimilation are normal for minority immigrant groups. A few individuals and families, mostly children and grandchildren of 20th century immigrants have managed to perpetuate the language to varying degrees to this day. Those who did not come in poverty had different needs and values, and may have had the time to focus on language preservation.
In the area of literature, Jean de Boissière, writing around 1945, claimed that the Portuguese of Trinidad created what little there existed that was genuinely of Trinidad in the Trinidadian literary scene of the time. This, of course, was a large claim. He was referring to Portuguese Trinidadians such as Albert M. Gomes and Alfred H. Mendes (D Litt UWI Honoris Causa 1972), members of the
Many of those who come from families that were unable to or did not preserve the language are now willing to learn – a personal language and culture reclamation venture. They are doing so whether it be via Brazilian Portuguese courses and programmes in the UWI’s DMLL and CLL and elsewhere in Trinidad, or by going to intensive courses in Madeira, or both.
ISO language code: [por]
Other Academic Works: • Newitt, Malyn. Emigration and the Sea: An Alternative History of Portugal and the Portuguese. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. • Vale de Almeida, Miguel. An Earth-Colored Sea: ‘Race’, Culture and the Politics of the Post-Colonial Portuguesespeaking World. New York: Bergahn Books, 2004.
Approximate date of arrival: 1630; the Madeirans left for Trinidad in November 1834 onwards Main locations: Nationwide Approximate number of users (Madeiran Portuguese descendants): Unknown Current status (linguistic vitality/health): Varying levels of proficiency; only alive among a few with Madeiran parents or those born in Madeira, but of increasing interest to 3rd and 4th generation Luso-Trinbagonians Academic Works: • Ferreira, Jo-Anne S. The Portuguese of Trinidad and Tobago: Portrait of an Ethnic Minority. St Augustine: ISER, 1994. • Ferreira, Jo-Anne S. “The Portuguese Language in Trinidad and Tobago: A Study of Language Shift and Language Death.” PhD thesis, UWI, St Augustine, 1999.
Work in progress: Oral history project Novels, Short Stories and More: • Alfred Mendes’ 1934 novel, Pitch Lake and his 2002 autobiography (edited by Michele Levy), • Albert Gomes’ 1978 novel, All Papa’s Children and his 1974 autobiography Though a Maze of Colour, • Charles Reis’ two books on the Associação Portuguesa Primeiro de Dezembro (the Portuguese Association) (1926 and 1945), • Maria Monica Reis Pestana’s Travelling Memories with Tips and Jokes from 1910 to 1984 (1988, published as Monica M.P. Ries), • Writings by Anthony (Camacho) Milne, STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
José Ferreira Fernandes’ Madeirenses Errantes (2004), about the Presbyterian Portuguese, and accompanying documentary (in Portuguese, with some interviews in English), Trinidad and Tobago Readers Book Three: Where We All Came From, a primary school book which includes the fictional story of Pedro, a Madeiran boy who migrated to Trinidad with his family, and numerous 19th and 20th century accounts and writings.
DID YOU KNOW? Luso is from Lusitania, the old name for Portugal, so Lusophone is the word for ‘Portuguese-speaking’, and a Luso-descendant is someone descended from Portuguese (called Portuguese Creole by Charles Reis).
Web: • The Portuguese of the West Indies (PoWI) website • Calvinadage – The Portuguese of the West Indies, a Facebook group and The Portuguese of T&T, a Facebook page
There are Portuguese descendants and communities throughout the English-official and Dutch-official Caribbean and Guyanas.
Other media: Angel in a Cage, set in 1929, the first of a planned trilogy of films on Portuguese Trinidadians by Canada-based Mary Jane Gomes (1998)
Venezuela currently has over 400,000 Portuguese emigrants, and an active and vibrant community of Luso-Venezuelans and Portuguese with almost 70 Portuguese associations nationwide.
Selected vocabulary and other contributions to T&T language and Winer’s 2009 Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago: • calvinadage (from carne vinha d’alhos, Christmas garlic pork), and • bolo de mel (the Madeiran molasses cake) • (Bacalhau is Portuguese, but in Trinidad, the better known version of bacalao came from Spanish.)
There is also the Federação Americana de Luso-Descendentes (FEDEAMELUDE), for Lusodescendants of the Americas, based in Venezuela. The Embassy and Consulate of Portugal are based in Caracas, and Trinidad and Tobago has an Honorary Consulate, with Ignatius Ferreira as Honorary Consul, former Dean of the Consular
Other Portuguese-origin words: As Jean de Boissière noted, the mid-19th century Madeiran Portuguese immigrants in Trinidad were not from the same era or community of those continental Portuguese slave traders who had started to come to the Americas centuries before. This distinction is important since the Madeirans who came as contract labourers (not indentured, as popularly thought) and refugees were not the contributors of most Portuguese words to Caribbean languages. Those slave traders had had the monopoly on trafficking between Africa and the Americas between the 15th to the 17th centuries, and had contributed a number of well-known and widespread words found in Caribbean languages, including words such as molasses, mustee, pickney, and sabi. (Others, such as bagasse, balangene, caca, creole and mulatto, also have French and Spanish roots. All three languages belong to the Romance or Italic branch of the Indo-European family tree.)
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Jo-Anne S. Ferreira is Senior Lecturer in Linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, and coordinator of STAN’s series on Heritage Languages of Trinidad & Tobago.
LusoFesta 2016 The Portuguese Language Experience, 11-15 April 2016, was the third in a series of annual Lusophone (Portuguesespeaking) events, formerly known as Braspo Day, of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics). In 2016, the event expanded to a weeklong mini Lusophone film festival, Capoeira in the Quad (with Acanne and Cordão de Ouro), culminating in LusoFesta Day. The main event was designed to develop and showcase the language and culture learning skills and experiences of our undergraduate students in the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies programme. Over the academic year, the students researched the Portuguese
language (and other languages of the countries in focus), Lusophone cultures, customs and traditions, arts (literature, music, dance, capoeira, cuisine), history (including famous citizens), and geography of three Lusophone countries/regions. Their output was through bilingual poster presentations done as group projects, dance presentations, cuisine, and they created models of regional costumes/ traditional wear (Bahian candomblé, a traditional Portuguese dress and a Portuguese peeira, a wolf fairy). The objectives of the event were for the students to simulate an immersion experience and interrogate and research the selected countries, to interest
Dr. David Rampersad
them in postgraduate work in Brazil and Portugal, and to raise awareness on campus and among schools, four of which were present at the event. Invited to speak were: Alexandre de Azevedo Silveira of the Brazilian Embassy, Roger Camacho, President of the Portuguese Association (Richmond Street, POS), and the Feature Speaker, Dr. David Rampersad, Director of CORIA. LusoFesta 2016 was organized by the five-member teaching team – Dr. JoAnne Ferreira, Maria Teresa Costaguta Mattos (the only full-time instructor in Portuguese), Ila Martins-Padmore, Sean Samad and Heather MacIntosh-Simon, and the students of the programme. Dr. David Rampersad
Ila de Souza Martins-Padmore (Portuguese Language Assistant from Brazil) and Heather MacIntosh-Simon (Lecturer in Portuguese trained in Brazil), the bilingual MCs for the event, who exchanged national colours and languages
Roger Camacho, President of the Associação Portuguesa Primeiro de Dezembro (Portuguese Association) Acanne and Cordão de Ouro capoeira groups demonstrating capoeira in the JFK Quadrangle
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The Stark Realities Facing Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Terrance Farrell
“Our income as a country has fallen and we have to adjust to the lower level of income.” Dr. Terrance Farrell, the head of Government’s Economic Advisory Board doesn’t sugar-coat the realities facing Trinidad and Tobago. The state of the economy in light of falling oil prices continues to be the source of debate. Words such as adjustments and recession have now become part of the national lingo but many, including Dr. Farrell, believe not enough has been done. The first order of business is effecting a swift and orderly adjustment of the economy to the reality of lower oil and gas prices and lower production levels. “Adjustment requires that we spend less in real terms, that is, fewer parties, drinks, clothes, even food and especially where these are imported. Obviously those who are already on the edge, have to have their income supplemented to be able to cope,” he told STAN Is the message being received by the population about the new fiscal realities? What’s the evidence? No, according to the former deputy governor of the Central Bank, because government continues to maintain high levels of expenditure and there has been few job losses except in the energy and energy services sectors. “This will change STAN MAY - JUNE 2016
as government will have to cut spending,” he said. “The economy will contract in the short term as part of the process of adjustment. Real GDP growth will be negative, prices will rise and unemployment will rise; banks will have more non-performing loans; insurance policies will lapse, and so on until the economy rebalances itself at the lower level of oil and gas prices,” according to Dr. Farrell. What needs to be done? Successive governments have been accused of combating the issue of adjustment with kid gloves but Dr. Farrell’s approach recommends a no gloves approach - swift and precise blows. “There needs to be a reduction in aggregate demand to a level consistent with stabilization of the Balance of Payments. This can occur through price increases, reduction in government spending and a differential reduction in expenditure on imported goods and service.” Over 50 per cent of government expenditure is directed toward transfers and subsidies. The last Central Bank data released for 2014 and 2015 placed total expenditure at $61.6 billion of which $31.4 billion was spent on transfers and subsidies. In March 2016 following
a meeting with the World Bank, the Government agreed to conduct a wide-ranging expenditure review. The administration also pledged to seek the assistance of the World Bank to rationalize and reverse the unsustainable increases in spending on transfers and subsidies over the last several years “The make-work programme needs to be cut drastically, it’s a drain on the economy,” Dr. Farrell asserts. The former Central Bank Governor recognizes that the adjustments may create a ripple effect in the system. However he believes the government does have wiggle room to mitigate the effects. “We must use some of our savings to smooth the adjustment.” The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce, the parliamentary opposition, the United National Congress and independent financial analysts have all advised against dipping into the Heritage and Stabilization Fund, and should only be used as a last resort. But Dr. Farrell disagrees. He believes the “rainy day fund” if properly managed is the Phillip’s curve needed at this crucial time. He also believes foreign exchange reserves and proper management of the system is essential to the survival of the system. “Maintaining a level of foreign exchange reserves at the end of the process of adjustment is imperative. This provides the wherewithal for increased imports of investment goods thereafter and provides a buffer for any adverse shocks.”
The head of the Economic Advisory Board also warns of the propensity to borrow. “While it is expected that some borrowing will take place, the over reliance on external financing may be a slippery slope. The debt to GDP ratio should remain within an acceptable level. He identifies 60% ratio as acceptable. Fallout is expected In 2016, the World Bank projected that real GDP in Trinidad and Tobago will decline by 1% but Dr. Farrell steers clear of the prediction game. He admits the fallout is inevitable “GDP will fall. There will be higher employment, prices will increase and the debt level will rise.” The last recession, which experts put as a 7 year period of decline, predicted a shrinking middle class, defaulted loans and abandoned mortgages. The effects may be almost the same but he hopes, if properly managed, the social consequences will be minimized. “As Government domestic borrowing increases, this will impact banking system liquidity which will tighten and thus put upward pressure on interest rates. As interest rates rise, the economy contracts, and unemployment rises, wages stagnate, some persons and businesses will have difficulty meeting their loan commitments (mortgages commercial loans) and hence nonperforming loans in the banks will tend to rise,” Dr. Farrell added. Stripping the economic jargon there is a human face to the economic consequence. He admits
Photos: 69 1) Calvinadage or Garlic Pork 2) Portuguese Place Names in St James, Port of Spain “there could be adverse social 3) Alfredalso Mendes’ novel Pitch Lake of how the Value Added Tax (VAT) reformonwill impact revenues. The consequences. ” &AsTobago the job lossessupplement 4) Trinidad Guardian government also lacks a rigorous multiplyPortuguese and theArrival real income
decreases there will be increases in poverty and social dislocation. He expects the country to experience higher levels of petty and serious crimes.
Dr. Farrell is optimistic that while fallout is inevitable, with proper interventions the “effects can be curtailed” and suggests targeted social programmes to protect the most vulnerable. Moody’s red flag Moody’s has raised a red flag. The international credit rating agency, in its last analysis of the TT economy stated: The absence of key macroeconomic data and the low quality of the statistical information represent important shortcomings relative to Baa-rated peers, and suggest a high likelihood that the fiscal and economic policy response will be neither timely nor sufficient to arrest the deterioration in the government’s financial strength. Although some progress has been made to address this long-standing issue, we do not expect significant progress over the next 1 to 2 years. Even though the fiscal data are more reliable, the institutional and execution capacity of fiscal policy remains weak. Some of the limitations include lack of elements to perform sensitivity analysis on the impact of oil prices in government finances, as well as on the estimates
medium-term fiscal strategy and a clear debt financing strategy, limiting visibility beyond one fiscal year. Diversification is the way out Successive governments have been attempting to diversify the revenue stream since the advent of independence, but little success has been achieved. Even with the abysmal record, Dr. Farrell says it’s the only solution at this time. “The manufacturing and services sector must take the lead.”
Currently only ten of the two hundred registered exporting manufacturing firms in Trinidad and Tobago export beyond CARICOM. Dr. Farrell believes their scope must go beyond the Caribbean Sea. We must “leverage existing capacity and capabilities. Manufacturers who are already exporting, must develop new markets. Energy Services’ companies must also take their skills sets abroad.” While he believes the private sector must occupy a more prominent position, he says government’s role cannot be diminished. “Leverage special relationships and access new and growing markets, markets such as Cuba, Guyana, Ghana, and India. The West Indian Diaspora cannot be ignored, we must use this network to create a transfer base for skills, capital, markets and network access. We must foster ‘linkages’ and ‘hubs’ and ‘hives’. There are opportunities in the Creative industries and Agribusiness.”
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UWI Launches Global Giving Week in Trinidad and Tobago
The University of the West Indies (UWI) celebrated the local launch of the UWI Global Giving Week during a broader cocktail event hosted by the Ministry of Education, and attended by Local Patron, His Excellency, Anthony Carmona, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The UWI’s Global Giving Campaign was officially launched in April 2016 by Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, at The University’s Regional Headquarters in Mona, Jamaica, with other launches rolling out across other UWI territories. Republic Bank Limited (RBL) in its giving of approximately $80 million to various development efforts at The UWI, St. Augustine demonstrates the kind of giving in action that the campaign aims to achieve. RBL’s gift includes its contributions towards a new bank branch on the campus, developing the existing campus quadrangle, construction of a new facility to house the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) and a future commercial plaza for revenue generation. Over the years, the partnership
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between The UWI and RBL has blossomed in many ways. One such investment, the World of Work programme sponsored by the bank for seven consecutive years, has allowed hundreds of UWI students to be trained and equipped with the necessary tools for succeeding in today’s work environment. UWI Global Giving Week runs from August 1-7, 2016 under the theme “Emancipate. Educate. Donate.” It marks the beginning of an annual tradition to connect with friends and cultivate support to strengthen The UWI’s capacity to drive regional development. The University has traditionally relied on regional governments for financial support; this campaign targets alumni, public and private sector organizations, donor agencies and members of the public with an objective of bringing them closer to the University. Proceeds of the campaign will go towards research, facilities and equipment, construction and maintenance of residence halls, as well as faculty and sport programmes.
UWI Theatre Festival 2016
The Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (DMLL) hosted their 17th Annual UWI Inter/Cross-Campus Foreign Language Theatre Festival 2016 from May 17 to 18 at the Centre for Language Learning Auditorium. Students of seven languages - English, French,
Japanese, Mandarin, Patois/Kwéyòl (French Creole), Portuguese and Spanish - showcased their foreign language skills through the art of theatre, an unforgettable and enjoyable language learning experience. The Inter-Campus Foreign Language Theatre Festival is hosted alternately by three of the four campuses of The UWI on an annual basis. It is designed to stimulate interest in foreign languages, engage students in language use and study outside of the classroom and help students put into practice what they have learnt. The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) also participated in the festival. Languages were portrayed as categorised: UWI, Cave Hill (French, Mandarin and Spanish), UWI, Mona (French and Spanish), UTT students (Spanish), CLL, UWI, St. Augustine (English, Japanese and Mandarin), and UWI St. Augustine’s DMLL students, UWI, St. Augustine (French, Patois/Kwéyòl, Portuguese and Spanish). Photos: Atiba Cudjoe