The trinidad Guardian / Education Minister Anthony Garcia yesterday confirmed that several school children from hurricane-ravaged Dominica are already in the T&T system receiving their education. Over the next few weeks several more are also expected, as principals and teachers have agreed to open up their classrooms.

“The numbers may be small still. Some of them (Dominica students) we have already placed in the school system and we expect many more through the Catholic church. Those who are here already, from the information I have received, the arrangement is working out well,” Garcia said.

In the latest move, through the Catholic Church, Holy Faith Convent in Couva have agreed to accommodate about 60 Dominican students (30 boys and 30 girls), although the logistics are still being worked out.

Speaking to the T&T Guardian yesterday, principal Sister Theresa Vialva said a teacher had agreed to make available her three-bedroom home, whilst a parent agreed to open up her six-bedroom home to the students.

“This arrangement is being made along with the Couva cluster – the Couva, Chaguanas and St Mary’s Parishes. Even a parishioner has extended a four-bedroom house. We are all in agreement along with Fatima College and the Holy Ghost Brothers to have these children,” Vialva said.

“One teacher said she is willing to accommodate as much as 15 of them in her subject class, while another, who rents a property for extra lessons on evenings, is willing to have it available for day classes (8 am to 2.30 am). The logistics are still being planned out though.”

The T&T Guardian understands Garcia held a meeting with principals from the Caroni district where most of them gave a favourable response to the initiative, which was sparked by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s recent call for Trinidadians to open their doors to Dominicans left homeless after the passage of Hurricane Maria.

Garcia yesterday said he has received tremendous support from principals and teachers and thanked them for opening up their classrooms.

Earlier this month, the Director of the Ensafe (Institution for Health, Safety and Counselling Training) and New Vision Learning Centre on Coffee Street, San Fernando, Hassim Ali, announced the school would offer scholarships to 10 Dominica students valued at $56,000.


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