Education Minister: Student Support Services to assist family of Guanapo victims

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Education Minister: Student Support Services to assist family of Guanapo victims

Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has expressed condolences on the deaths of four youngsters during a massacre in Arima on Thursday morning.

Ten-year-old Faith Peterkin, 17-year-old Shane Peterkin and Adris Crawford and 19-year-old Tiffany Peterkin, were all gunned down at their Heights of Guanapo home around 12:30am. Four other family members between the ages of 14 and 25 were wounded.

Gadsby-Dolly says the Student Support Services Division would be in contact with the grieving family to offer counselling.

She says she cannot imagine what the family is going through and notes that the friends and teachers of these children will also need the support of the ministry.

Noting that the MoE was currently engaged in a National Conversation on Education, Gadsby-Dolly said, “One of the areas I have been speaking to is cultural transformation through education. This is where the MoE is changing the curriculum to include a stronger focus on Values Education.”

She said: “We are producing citizens who see nothing wrong with committing this and other heinous acts should be deeply concerning to all of us.”

“It calls for action to turn things around and that is why at the MoE, we have made the decision, which comes out of our consultations of 2020 and 2021, and has been approved by Cabinet, to make formal time-tabling changes which will broaden our curriculum focus to developing the character of our citizens.”

She added, “We cannot continue to spend our time in the classroom focused mainly on academics. Equally critical is the character, the values, the behaviour, and the attitude of our citizens. To make this change, we need all hands on deck and that is why we are out this entire week explaining to the public what we are doing, and why it is required.”

The Minister warned, “Should we fail to transform what has become the culture and norm in Trinidad and Tobago, we can expect more of these horrible crimes.”