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Trinidad and Tobago

President leads withAsh Wednesday work

THE EDITOR: President Paula Mae Weekes in a memorandum of less than 150 words to her staff was able to wish them Merry Carnival, urged them to maintain safety, reminded them of their obligation to report for duty on Ash Wednesday, remarked that “when we play, we play hard and when we work we should work even harder,” and also appealed to them to make the office of the President the foremost office of the country.

This she was able to realise as her staff, deserving of highest commendation, turned out to work on Ash Wednesday in full force. This is the type of leadership that is, in a word, “exemplary.”

By contrast, we noted once again the poor attendance of our students. It does not appear we are serious about Ash Wednesday absenteeism.

The blame is squarely on the parents, many of whom were seen with their children out of school.

This absenteeism is more than just one day off. It shows poor “work ethics” and becomes entrenched in our children and develop even when employed in later life.

TTUTA’s explanation that with no transport and school meals the parents were not able to send their children to school is pathetic. Can parents not provide for their children for one day? The dependency syndrome continues.

Efforts to have this Ash Wednesday situation discussed at a national level with TTUTA and the National Parent-Teacher Association by me have failed. However, I must say the new executive of the NPTA seems willing to address the issue.

One should also note the “long weekend syndrome” where, when a public holiday falls on a Thursday or Tuesday, many people stay away from work on the Friday or Monday.

It should be useful for TTUTA, the NPTA, the Employees Consultative Association, the TTMA, the unions and the Ministry of Education to address the issue.

LENNOX SIRJUESINGH via e-mail

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