Daily Brief - Thursday 23rd December, 2021


Physical classes for all secondary school students in February 2022

Moments after the Ministry of Education revealed that physical classes will resume for all secondary and tertiary students as well as Standard Five pupils from February, the president of the Movement for Concerned Parents Clarence Mendoza has made it clear parents will not be sending their children to school because of rising COVID-19 cases.  “We will be keeping our children at home,” Mendoza told Guardian Media in response to the ministry’s release which notified the public about the full return of physical classes. Early childhood schools and primary schools will also be reopening for Standards 1 to 4 in April. In a five-page statement yesterday, the Ministry of Education detailed how the remainder of the school year—terms II and III will look in 2022. Read more here



JTUM after meeting AG: Withdraw vaccine policy on public workers

The labour movement is not anti-vaccine but said the Prime Minister must immediately withdraw his threat to furlough unvaccinated workers in the public service, OWTU head Ancel Roget declared on Wednesday. Roget hosted a virtual news conference with other Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) union leaders, including Clyde Elder and Letitia Cox, minutes after a virtual meeting with Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. However, Al-Rawi later told Newsday of a lack of specifics by Roget. Read more here



Buttenberg & MP keeps energy parts supply-chain moving

COVID19 has affected businesses all over the world, especially in energy where a combination of a drive to transition to cleaner, renewable sources along with the negative economic effects of the pandemic left the industry in a volatile state. In Trinidad and Tobago (TT), energy companies continue to enhance and streamline their production of oil and gas to ensure that the commodities are gathered in the most efficient ways. In order to do this, companies need a steady supply of moving parts – turbines, pipelines, valves and even PPE – that come from a reliable source and can be delivered at a reasonable time and for reasonable price. Read more here

Tourism suffers in 2021, no easy way forward warn experts

Stakeholders agree that 2021 has been a challenging year for tourism in T&T as the sector continues to grapple with the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) recently reported that the Caribbean is recovering faster than any other region in the world, with tourism’s contribution to GDP expected to rise more than 47 per cent in 2021, But UWI lecturer and tourism expert Tenisha Brown-Williams noted this has not been the reality for T&T since tourism does not appear to feature as an economic priority compared to other Caribbean islands. However, she admitted, there was likely an increase in arrivals in 2021 compared to 2020, a year where for the most part, international and regional travel was halted. Read more here



One-month tax-free bonus for joint services

As Guyana and the world over commence the holidays, all members of Guyana’s joint services will have even more to smile about, because in addition to their seven per cent salary increases, they will now benefit from the return of the year-end tax-free bonuses valued at one month’s worth of their salary. The official announcement was made on Wednesday by President Dr. Irfaan Ali in his address at the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) annual Christmas luncheon at Base Camp Ayanganna, Georgetown. “Let me be very clear on this because I want to be clear to all those who are listening; we are not returning the one-month tax-free bonus for any other reason, but because you deserve it; because you work hard for it,” the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces said. Read more here



Pillar of Shame: Hong Kong's Tiananmen Square statue removed

A famous statue at the University of Hong Kong marking the Tiananmen Square massacre was removed late on Wednesday. The statue showed piled-up corpses to commemorate the hundreds - possibly thousands - of pro-democracy protesters killed by Chinese authorities in 1989. It was one of the few remaining public memorials in Hong Kong commemorating the incident. Its removal comes as Beijing has increasingly been cracking down on political dissent in Hong Kong. The city used to be one of few places in China that allowed public commemoration of the Tiananmen Square protests - a highly sensitive topic in the country. Read more here

23rd December 2021


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