Haynes slams gov’t for reversing its own policy on GATE

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Haynes slams gov’t for reversing its own policy on GATE

UNC Member of Parliament for Tabaquite, Anita Haynes, has described the Government as short-sighted, for reversing a decision it made only in 2020 regarding the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses Programme, (GATE).

During her contribution to the Budget debate in parliament on Friday, Haynes reprimanded Government for reversing its own policy on GATE and announcing it as a new plan.

Haynes said it was the same People’s National Movement that imposed the restrictions on tertiary students in 2020.

The Finance Minister’s budget presentation on Monday saw government adjusting the criteria for accessing GATE to permit students in good standing, enrolled in institutions and programmes accredited by the Accreditation Council of T&T, to qualify for GATE if they have completed an initial programme of studies such as a diploma, associate degree or the N1 level at UWI, and wish to upgrade to a bachelor’s degree.

Haynes asked: “Do you know when those changes happened to GATE Mr Deputy Speaker? Early after winning the election of 2020, this Government, this PNM administration, embarked on the systematic closure of the very GATE they are now claiming to open.”

“I think the messaging here is obscene at this point, coming from the Government,” she said.
“I am listening and I am appalled by the level of shamelessness that you can come here with.”

In her contribution before Haynes, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly urged young people to take advantage of the opportunities being provided in education in this country.

“Do not waste it, break the cycle,” she said.