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Letter to the Editor: GATE must be fair to all genders and age groups

Retired Agricultural officer and mature GATE student, Yolanda Morean, shares her concerns on the new GATE changes with Wired868:

GATE must be fair to all genders and age groups. Many middle aged and elderly persons have lived lives of sacrifice taking care of others instead of themselves. It is my—albeit unsubstantiated—belief that females are the majority who sacrifice their young years when need arises, but a significant number of males also forego personal development to take care of others.

Such persons should not be denied GATE if they need it. Instead, some sort of insurance stipulation might be arranged the way it is done for bank loans.

Photo: Education Minister Anthony Garcia.
Photo: Education Minister Anthony Garcia.

Perhaps the average 50+ persons do not need GATE because they would be winding down a successful career and have provided for their upcoming retirement. However, others may be less fortunate.

Some have denied themselves educational advancement to take care of disabled charges; while others may have lost everything due to some misfortune. An elderly person who is now in a disadvantaged situation should be applauded if he/she wants to raise his/her quality of life by pursuing an education.

There are 50+, 60+ and 70+ individuals who are fully productive, and enjoy an enhanced quality of life as a result of education, whether or not it was GATE-funded.

One 50+ individual, Mrs Patricia Joseph, who recently completed a GATE-funded Bachelor’s degree in music continues her regular employment in the music department of the Nazarene College in Santa Cruz and has also had more lucrative offers elsewhere as a result of the completion of her degree.

The degree has not yet resulted in salary increase—largely because the institution is more-or-less a not-for-profit one. However, attaining the degree has expanded her worth and job satisfaction as a result of being upgraded from just a piano instructor, to a qualified music instructor who now lectures in music theory and can teach a range of music subjects when the opportunity arises.

Photo: Piano keys.
Photo: Piano keys.

At 60+, one senior librarian—not GATE-funded—continues to perform satisfying senior librarian duties at a middle management level on contract as a benefit of academic qualifications in the field of library studies.

Mr Nervin Saunders, over 70 years-old, performs a great voluntary service at the Eastern School of Pan Music in Arouca, which he himself founded to provide steel pan and basic music theory instruction to students of all ages.

It is unfair to tell an elderly person who needs GATE that it is unavailable on the single criterion of age.

GATE should be open to persons of all ages who need it. It should be a loan with insurance to cover recovery from at risk groups.

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  1. Corporate Welfare is a serious problem in T&T. They have us focused on the crumbs (Gate) from the National Pie (55 Billion Budget) whilst a select few eating the pie.

  2. And that is your choice. Most parents would do that. But doesn’t change the fact that the thinking behind this is flawed. And there are more than a few people over 50 who are contributing more to communities than people half their ages and more.
    But none of that is really the point. The point is it is prehistoric to be making anti-discriminatory rules in an era when we are actually giving rights to so many disenfranchised groups.

  3. Well boy…if somebody give me $100k and tell me I can choose to educate myself or educate my child it’s a no brainer who I’d pick…….

  4. The thinking of the government here is obviously flawed. So why not just ask the Ministers of Education and Finance to get together and create a plan to works financially and doesn’t discriminate against citizens?
    But, no, that might suggest they erred in the first place. And apparently they are infallible. So best to stick with their mistake. Right?

  5. I don’t care about GATE as much as I care about discrimination. If it must either be a discriminatory programme or nothing. Then nothing.

  6. The amount of people that see GATE as a right enshrined in d constitution eh!!!

  7. Yes screw securing the future for young! Eat ah food and then complain that the young don’t understand sacrifice

  8. If yuh so upset vote UNC and see if they will allow the gate back for 50 year olds.

    • the thread for retarded politico zombies to vomit their shit is elsewhere

    • yes Lasana, no cursing either 😉

    • Joann Charles. GATE has to be a policy that aims to develop human resource competence in order to create profitable linkages with the economy. This is an investment that has to bring rewards to the economy. I don’t see why the government has to be financing the missed dreams of over 50 people who are close to retirement. Look at the population pyramid and see the preponderance of the 16-25 year olds and you’ll see the serious constraints under which the government is operating. If there are a few cases of over 50 people who can develop much needed technical skills with a verifiable economic benefit to the economy those people can benefit from GATE.
      Why has the debate focused on age discrimination? Over 50s would have settled in and have had their jobs and stable families. Why should government be financing people’s failed dreams without any serious benefit to the development needs of the economy? As usual Trinis want a freeness. I hope the government doesn’t back down just to please a few people.

    • Mr. B I so fed up of Trini’s. A man cussing because he eh getting to finish his Masters. I did not get gate but made the sacrifices to get my Masters and my family made the sacrifices for me to get my 1st decree. They talking age discrimination when all kinda real discrimination happened with UNC and their croonies.

    • Joann Charles There was discrimination across the board with that Piss Poor government. It was Friends, Family and Financiers, all of a certain ethnic make up. Why wasn’t there a protest about discrimination then? They hired under qualified hacks with bogus qualifications bought online. Remember the PP hack who had the big Airports Authority job at over $60,000 a month and all sorts of perks? He was made to resign but did he repay the government? What about the competent Central Bank governor who was bypassed so they could appoint a pot hound?

    • Ethics is for a PNM government everybody else is a free for all

  9. things like this make me wonder if anyone else is seeing the substandard quality and competence of this attorney general.
    or if, like every other colonial enterprise, there is no integration and consultation among these people who are said to be running the country. this policy should have never seen the light of day. we should have never heard they were trying to discriminate against citizens based on age. but then again, the colonial society is one that discriminates on all levels, at varying times, in various ways, from the glaring to the subverted.

    we are blind and daft to so many things in this place, and cant seem to look out and ration logic from higher ideals and to take lessons and insights from different places.

    thanks for sharing the eoc’s late statement.

    now that they are amending one aspect of their act, i wonder if they will take the time to poll such acts from around the globe and see if they want to make all changes now, or wait for another situation to be on the back foot

  10. “Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.”
    Pearl Buck, My Several Worlds: A Personal Record (1954)

    Hubert Humphrey “the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

  11. While we are at it, call for the end of the concordat that deny some students who make the marks for prestige schools to be replaced by others. Don’t just stop at Gate. Eliminate it at Primary schools too!! Gate gives these students an opportunity to right those wrongs!!

    • I agree however once the church gets out of the education business they can close down their schools and turn their space into more profitable ventures. Therefore they use the money for a few schools and privatize them like in the states so you pay to send your child. They hirer their own teachers and let government deal with the rest

    • The primary school had GATE for a long time. It is called ‘free education for all’. The fact that education at the primary and secondary levels is no longer valued might be a precursor of what is to come with GATE at tertiary level.

    • Marcus Alexander Clarke Let’s be fair. The churches came to Trinidad, saw a need, purchased land, built schools and began education for Trinidadians that was NEVER offered prior to their entry into education. To be honest, if I were the RC Archbishop or the Anglican Bishop at that time – I would NEVER have handed over these schools. They were privately owned and therefore charged a small term fee to run their schools – and these are STILL counted as our ‘prestige’ schools. And for this you begrudge them the 10% student intake?

    • If the focal point and issue we have with gate is that it is free then remove it. My opinion. Go back to 1970 if we think that is the issue and purpose of Gate. I don’t think that is my issue.

    • Annette Dopwell you don’t get. I have never begrudge them. I am stating a point for all who say end the concordat. If the church gets out as people have been saying is because they will also take their buildings. Which would mean serious displacement within the education system. It’s only then persons would understand the reason for faith base schools

    • I attended a prestige government school that has no 10% intake. It was bad there. It is even worse in those other schools. I had a conversation with a classmate of my brother two weeks ago who told me it was always so. He said it was more blatant in form six where you saw the whose who in society whose parents are Ambassadors, politicians, etc. Imagine what takes place in those church schools away from enquiring minds? Who is being denied an opportunity? The middle class always takes the hit in this system. If the middle class don’t grow we are heading nowhere as a country. This policy will set us back by shrinking the middle class.

    • Thanks Marcus, Then ALL our children will suffer, for already the wealthy have migrated to International School, British Academy and Maple Leaf Canadian schools and they have been ‘stealing’ all the best teachers who go for higher salaries.

    • But the competition for places will never go away. Every girl in the East wants to go SAGS. That’s thousands trying to get into a school of hundreds. These days, not even 90% will get you in and that won’t change.

    • Those schools as far as I am aware doesn’t do CXC and caters mainly for the children of their citizens. The reason for the upper class parents to migrate there is obvious to me. Show me your friends and I can tell you who you are.

    • Lester Logie That’s not altogether true. I know that ‘some’ may send their children to those schools for ‘snobbery’ reasons, but I happen to know quite a few who send their children to those schools as they prepare them for SAT or Cambridge, from which, if they perform well, they gain scholarships to Universities in the USA, Canada and UK. It all depends on the parents ensuring that their children understand that they have to ‘STUDY’.

    • Hence the reason for Gate Kendall Tull. It offers an opportunity further down the education pipeline for students to be on equal footing. We must be clear on what we want from Gate by making the report public for us to examine the data . We are all talking from a lack of information and possibly skewed information to pigeon hole our thoughts on Gate.

    • Kendall Tull The competition for places in the denominational schools has always been so. That is why very early, I spoke to the Minister of Education and said that children should be zoned – it would cut out the traffic on the roads, children will have more ‘home’ time. Think of it – with those denominational schools all within Port of Spain – Belmont would’ve become ‘upscale’ and St. Anthony’s and Diego Martin Secondary would be ‘prestige’ as the children would be more evenly distributed.

    • My opinion is that it is not be about snobbery. It is about maintaining the status quo. Attending a foreign university or those schools here ensures that their children can build international networks for their use in the future. Our view of foreign schools as better will always allow those graduates to return and maintain their groups influence on our society.

    • Annette Dopwell that zoning hasn’t been working since I know of cases whereby children from Central are being sent to schools in the east west corridor. Further to that how many girls schools are there in central. Zoning hasn’t worked anywhere since people have been know to bus their children to schools of the better quality.

    • Marcus Alexander Clarke I happen to know that in New York children are ‘zoned’. So that parents actually move to the areas with better schools for the sake of their children. Children from Brooklyn aren’t admitted to schools in Long Island or Manhattan – they must go to school in Brooklyn.

    • Annette Dopwell Problem is too many schools in the POS region and in very close proximity to one another. Under zoning some of them, or all of them may need to be relocated to help with island-wide distribution of schools.

    • Annette Dopwell That is when the schools are maintained by the catchment area so people will want to live in the area where ‘good’ schools are available. I see that on HGTV all the time as one of the prerequisites for choosing a home – the quality of the schools.

    • Judy-ann Stewart You just answered your first comment. Imagine for one minute if schools were indeed zoned. In New York, in EVERY development, there must be land allocated for a school – hence, Haleland Park would’ve had a school, Lange Park, Trincity and EVERY development – so that would’ve taken care of those children. Result? Children in Chaguanas and Sangre Grande would NOT be getting up at 5.00 a.m. so as to leave for school in Port of Spain – and return home at 5.30 p.m., so there is no time for play. AND – with the schools in Port of Spain already there – Belmont, Woodbrook and East Port of Spain would’ve seen migration and those areas would’ve been pretty much more upscale than it is at present.

    • Annette Dopwell I understand what you are saying but is there room in the POS area, especially given the commercialisation of areas like Woodbrook, for migration to these areas? That’s why I suggested that there might be some relocation. Also you realise that something like this will take time and serious reorganisation of our local government which will have to deal with the schools in each area, perhaps even having to build them where they do not currently exist..

    • Annette Dopwell …zoning can mean that certain prestige schools now will go down…as u usd d ex of POS…d standard will drop…on other hand…what if in a zone there isnt already a prestige school and a child is sent to a comprehensive school…a bright child is now lost to a substandard school…zoning can only happen if there are massive and propr investment in each zone…and that is not about passing a law on paper…lots has to be done first b4 u can go that way…the schools in d zone must be brought up to stand first…

  12. Stephen John Nicole Ulerie Judy-ann Stewart Antoinette Sankar there is a very simple solution to this that I honestly can’t believe none of you nor the government can arrive at

  13. you can vote at 105…maybe you should also be allowed to enroll to do a degree at that age as well

  14. At 50 you can still vote, but the govt gets to exclude you from benefits ? …smh … T&T in general is an ageist society, it’s no wonder some of these comments…many companies restrict their employment ads to a certain age group for no good reason. “Democracy…Equality of opportunity for all…in education!” https://youtu.be/uPMTtiZEyTs?t=24s

  15. I like the insurance stipulation idea…certainly could help the situation and pacify the ones who seem to think the elderly are not worth the investment…

  16. Stephen John made the case for only paying for people who are working on their degrees. I hope one of the changes is that if you fail you have to fund yourself. I would say over 50s should be treated as special cases if they can show how the qualification will be used.

  17. I personally know the author of this article she was my classmate at COSTAATT. I also know some of the names she mentioned. I must say I agree with her. There were many young students (16-30) who wastes every cent if the gate tuition while those like myself,Yolanda, Patricia and one particular lady who was in her late 60’s diligently worked to earn our degrees. I also think this policy is unfair and there must be a system where 50+ CA access gate based on course of study, health, needs of nation, previous service and skill. People who are 50+ have knowledge that is useful and can still make contributions. Thing is our society tells us that 40 is old, you retire at 55/60 go in a home and rot till you die. This is a big lie.


  19. The GATE-way to Class Warfare

    Following his announcement on the amendments to the structure of GATE programme, Hon. Anthony Garcia was forced to make an almost immediate correction on the income amount for persons being asked to pay twenty-five and fifty percent of the tuition fees for tertiary education. Despite admitting his fault in this error, it is still unclear whether it was indeed a mistake in his presentation or an almost immediate correction amidst a barrage of poignant questioning on the part of the journalists present at the press conference. In fact, since then Mr. Garica has also gone on to admit that the plans unveiled to the nation immediately following the emergency Cabinet meeting that was convened on its behalf, the measures that were devised to regulate the facility, may in fact be amended still to correct the injustice it has bestowed upon our seniors in society. That being said however, the issue of whether or not the state should provide free tertiary education to persons over the age of fifty seems to be a minor issue when you examine the premise on which the amendment is based.

    According to the Minister, “It was this view of Cabinet that persons over the age of fifty would have already been employed and would be in a better position to contribute to their education”, hence the decision was made to cut public funding on their tertiary education. Not only does this imply that the government is of the opinion that any working class individual must have accumulated enough wealth by the age of fifty to afford tertiary education, but also determined that anyone who has not accrued enough savings should be ineligible to further their education. Justifying this by saying that everyone must make sacrifices during this time of economic uncertainty, the Cabinet has combined this decision with another that will now cut funding to any post-graduate progammes that do not align with their needs. As such, the same administration that has appointed a former retiree, who recently turned seventy years old, as our Minister of Education, is now adjudicating that anyone who is either too old or doesn’t conform to their plans will no longer receive the full amount of government assistance for tertiary education, if any at all.

    This falls in line with other such measures that either excludes the middle-class from accessing government services, such as the decrease in the qualifying income cap for persons wishing to acquire public housing, or penalizes them for their “wealth” through taxation or the increase in premium fuel prices. The recent intervention into their access to GATE funding however, send a new message that the government will no longer support the development of those who they believe should have the means to do so on their own, which is not only an attack on the middle-class, but further promotes entitlement among persons in our society who often waste and squander the opportunities presented to them. There are those who still hold out hope that the recent softening of government’s position on the matter is a sign that further changes will be made, but I am not sure whether this will be used the problems inherent within the amendments that were announced, or may instead tighten the restrictions to the point that students may face further fees for being born into a home of descent, law-abiding, tax-paying and successful parents and citizens.

    Best regards,

    Ravi Maharaj

  20. Citizens 50years an over studying at tertiary level should be exempted from paying taxes free bus pass so they can finance their educational fees

  21. I feel that deserves a fast Ravi Balgobin Maharaj

  22. Its saying that when yopu reach 50yrs “you gone through” the all the PNM should resign

  23. Wow. This is one harsh and judgemental group Maybe we should just put everyone over 50 on a barge and put them out to sea! Consider a few things 1). Persons over 50. At the begining of their career would have initially studied before there was free tertiary education. 2). Remember they have not just earned money and been hoarding it. In most cases they raised a family contributed to national productivity AND PAID THEIR TAXES that has contributed to the pool of money that funds education. Why exactly are they not allowed to reap some benefit off what they have worked for? Finally if we use the argument that ‘some ‘ people abused it. That would disqualify many a young people as well. In a world where both US presidential candidates are 70 or close to it. Why are we so quick to dismiss people who potentially still have another 20 to 25 years to contribute to society as being unworthy. While I agree some limitations needed to be put on to the system it is not by cutting out a whole vulnerable class

  24. By now you should be working and able to afford a loan to finance your education.
    How did people manage before GATE?
    Taxpayers shouldn’t have to be minding big people!

  25. In view of the current economic state, and what I’ve gleaned as mismanagement of the program, certain changes were inevitable, and one had to get the best bang for the buck. I have known of some older folks who have misused the program because it was free. My concern about the program is what returns are expected of the students upon completion. Many moons ago, the government provided loans or grants for study and one could have paid it back either by payment schedule or working in the public sector for a priod of time. Being an elderly person, some sort of financial assistance along with credit for experience could be offered.

  26. Persons fifty years and older have had a career. They have no more than ten years brfore retirement. For God’s sake, give the young people a chance to study and get a career. The old people should understand that and not want to jostle them for whatever gate funding is now available.

    • Let me burst your bubble. Some did not have the opportunity. Some had a difficult life and could not follow their dreams until very late in life. There are even children in this country who lack parenting and have to provide for themselves however they can and may only pull themselves up relatively late in life. Not everyone in Trinidad lives that average life.

  27. I agree with the Min of Ed. Yolande Morean as a retired librarian would have had years of profitable employment. As such she should have made plans for a second career, if she so desired.
    Also, isn’t Ms. Morean in receipt of a government pension and NIS benefits?

    • This is neither about any specific individual, nor about any nonexistent average 50+. You would cry if you knew about elderlies who were dealt a very difficult life and deserve opportunity. It’s discriminatory to block an entire age-group from a program. Reasonable criteria could include potential usefulness of of the qualification as well as need. misfortunes can come and go at any age, so the administrators of the adjusted GATE could assess each case accordingly.

      • One US-based Trinidadian woman who excelled in high school was trapped in an unfortunate marriage with 5 children and could not pursue tertiary education until the children all grew up. She then obtained her degree and has been recipient of awards for outstanding contributions to her community.

  28. Why spend 22 billion dollars and counting to bail out Clico whilst running deficit budgets? Where did the bailout money come from? Has Gate cost us 22 billion dollars? Thanks to Afra Raymond for keeping us on the ball with this Clico fiasco. Gate has benefited more citizens and deserve funding than the Clico bailout. 5 billion was paid out to Clico investment bank and it was subsequently closed. It is probably the fastest winding up of an investment bank we have ever seen. Would that 5 billion not cover the cost of gate from inception to present?

  29. So does that mean I can also apply for a return on mine since I do not have a state funded degree? Come to think of it ah never receive nutten from d state except my son’s obsession with box lunch!!!

  30. I am applying for a return of all my taxes paid for last 8 years (post 50).

  31. Allyuh just rough oui. I have paid all my taxes dutifully part of which I am sure went towards funding gate for those younger ones who are not contributing much to the betterment of people’s lives in this country. All those MBAs floating around and they still waiting for the Government to come up with ideas to increase foreign exchange. I wanted to study because I earned it from the sacrifices I have made along the way.

  32. I certainly think they can review the need for some of these special purpose companies because there is probably a lot of duplicated effort. The thing with CAL though is that I remember when a lot of the major airlines stopped coming to Piarco and that was one or the major reason for keeping a national airline afloat. Is anyone able to say how much, if any, this situation changed?

  33. I have two questions to ask. Should the government stop transfers and subsidies to Caribbean Airlines and all other special purpose companies such as NIDCO and UDECOTT based on our economic situation? These companies should be competing on the international market, turning a profit for their services and earning foreign exchange like Chinese state companies. Secondly, should we focus on stemming the wastage and corruption associated with contracts and the purchase of one off items such as the 53 million MV SUE ferry that never sailed (apparently it was towed to T&T). Those issues make the annual expenditure on gate look like peanuts.

    • You’re making too much sense Lester. That can get you in trouble in certain quarters.

    • No Lester Logie. this is a regressive nation state where the individual citizen, the poor and the wanting are made to carry the fat oligarchs, emperors and thieves. it dont work so. only when people wake up and start to sue, and find ways to reclaim their patrimonial, will things change.

      thank you very much for including this. i personally could not be bothered.

      i will show you the same dynamic in this gate thing
      Is it not a wonder that they are reviewing and repealing gate, and only looking at the students who are just pawns.

      Is it not peculiar they are not looking at the so called schools and institutions, so named who get this money?

      same story, different gayelle

  34. Truth is the over 50′ are are huge economic burden already… probably 75% of the health care budget already going to them

    • Let’s them round them up and put them in concentration camps. I mean retirement homes.
      Very scientific Shaun. I don’t suppose you have economic data to show benefit versus burden right?

    • Lasana Liburd.. there a reason it’s almost impossible to migrate to countries when your past a certain age… the economic return is not there to invest in folk who going to retire at 60…want GATE!?.. then agree to the removal of mandatory retirement. …then we cud talk… but that might not matter who tgey get their stroke at 58 and can’t work anyways….lol

    • The letter to the editor …which people support was not a scientific paper either eh…just saying ….but hey..if you want international data (trinidad don’t believe in that) it’s well know that the older age groups take up a disproportionate amount of health care dollars….
      The younger population takes up a disproportionate amount of educational dollars…
      That’s just life

    • And I’d say health care dollars are spent mainly for health reasons. And I don’t accept that older people need more of that considering our amount of car accidents, assaults, pregnancies and variety of health problems that affect young people more than old ones.
      So you’re gonna need science to convince me there too Shaun.

    • Lasana Liburd..the majority of health care dollars are spent on CHRONIC DISEASES… diabetes hypertension and it’s complications…who get those things bye and large…you guessed it….
      Not to mention CANCER… come nah man… let me put it this way…it cost about $200K/yr to keep a dialysis patient alive….so you live five years..that’s a million dollars
      One stab or accident ey coming close to that
      Yuh need vitrrctomy. .. yuh have peripheral vascular disease and need angiogram to save yuh foot…yuh need bypass surgery for your heart disease…ah next $200K…lol…there is no comparison really

    • And when yuh get dementia we hadda put yuh in ah home

    • The data is there …I would suggest use a country with a public health care system..like Canada. ..when ah have time I will forward to u

    • Shaun, I’ve done stories myself on seven year old children with cancer. Data is needed hoss. Let’s not speculate.

    • Oh lord….
      Lol… of course a seven year old could have cancer….for every seven year old with cancer are 15 60 yr Olds with colon cancer

    • Spending is highest on seniors but population aging is a modest cost driver
      While Canadians age 65 and older account for about 15% of the Canadian population, they
      consume more than 45% of all public-sector health care dollars spent by provinces and territories.
      However, seniors are a diverse group. In 2013 (the latest available year for data broken down by
      age group), per-person spending for seniors increased with age: $6,298 for those age 65 to 69,
      $8,384 for those 70 to 74, $11,557 for those 75 to 79, and $20,917 for those 80 and older.
      Overall, population aging is a modest driver of increasing health care costs, estimated at
      0.9% per year. The share of public-sector health care dollars spent on Canadian seniors has
      not changed significantly over the past decade — from 44.0% in 2000 to 45.4% in 2013. During
      the same time period, the percentage of seniors in the population grew from 12.6% to 15.3%.

    • I have the full document if u wish to view…it’s a comprehensive analysis of health care spending in Canada from 2015
      O choose Canada simply because it’s where I trained and it’s a public system

    • And BTW the province of Ontario and I believe Canada as a whole has NO RETIREMENT AGE…I would support GATE for over 50’s if we had such here

    • Lasana – my only comment is that the data worldwide shows health costs increases with age. There is a lot a research on this available which I won’t bother to quote. The issue is partly driven by the increase of lifespans.

    • This isn’t speculation – it’s hard fact. Shaun is quite correct and knows what he is talking about in this case.

    • Kendall, the conversation started on note that 75 percent of health budget goes to seniors. It doesn’t make sense to go forward if that is flawed. If he has data to prove, then we can proceed.
      If not, he or you can just rephrase. I can say 95 percent of data in Facebook arguments are made up. 😉

    • Oh lord..ah was exaggerating

    • Well probably 50-60% gor 50 onwards

    • Lol. Working on Olympics. So I’m struggling to keep up with the thread now. Will probably check back later.

    • My point remains that it isn’t morally and probably not economically sound either to discriminate against students on the grounds of race, age or sex.

    • I didn’t take the “probably 75%” as a precise statement. Perhaps I understood his exaggeration from the start which he has corrected.

  35. So when times are hard, we look around to see which vulnerable groups we can pick on so we don’t have to make sacrifices?
    I don’t think hard economic times should be a justification to discriminate on anyone because of race, sex or age.
    We just all have to band our bellies together. Slightly smaller pie for everyone. Not denying some group outright.

  36. Yolanda Morean as a librarian retired u can’t understand English? changes has to be made the government choose the best option at this time.

  37. I don’t get to ride PTSC buses for free- ageist? Don’t get to ride the ferry to Tobago for free-ageist? Don’t get subsidies from TTEC or WASA- ageist? I could missed by a furlong with this BS oui

    • So they should take their bus pass and hush about GATE? I think those are two separate conversations.
      Like you trying to give Colm ideas? It wasn’t Colm that lead them ride for free on the bus you know. Lol.

    • Ummmm. If them not have a benefit that younger folks have is ageist….how come them having a benefit younger folks do not have is not ageist? So wha…..ageist does only go old people way or wha?! #evenmoreBS

    • Whis says 50 is old? Free bus pass and ferry doesn’t start til 60 anyway

    • Ummmmm. How does what age it start at matter?! U get a benefit because of your age that I won’t get cuz I’m not that age…so if GATE changes are ageist then those policy are also ageist….

    • “ageism”. hm. let me go and research what that word means, might take me a long time, like a life time.
      cause then I will only be starting. then I will see what age young people have to be subjected to ageism.

      So much work for me to do, might nit be able to make it

    • Please point me to where this mentions a particular age?!

    • i will do better. have you research any age based law suit everywhere in the world and tell me where ageism applies to the young.

      there are designations and delineations: what is written and defined, is not what and how it is applied, and cases based on popular practices (precedent) indicate the bias, discrimination and prejudice against the old.

      Why? cause the default and status quo is for and to the young.

      that is the sense of the language, “ageism”


    • and, my basis and background on this discussion has not been google so forgive me if i answer on a platform beyond the snapshot you provided.

    • Nicole Ulerie, they don’t get bus pass because they are old eh. Disabled people get them too and people of certain economic standing can apply.
      In other words, you are not excluded solely based on age. And that would make it not ageist.
      If you were badly hurt and cannot work, you could apply for it and get it too.

    • So I mention 4 things of which they’re many other benefits and you pick one that others qualify for? Good going man

    • To teach y’all about ist. It goes in one direction because one side is disadvantaged or discriminated against. In this case people are discriminated against in terms of jobs, salaries and opportunities as they age. School aged children get their share of freebies as well. Nicole Ulerie

    • I don’t know that any of them are down to age at all Nicole Ulerie. Not one. Those benefits are generally either accrued by years of paying tax or for being unable to work because of the mandatory retirement age.

    • Soyini Denise : Ist goes in one direction. sigh. thanks Soyini> I just dont have any cans today

    • So someone with institutional knowledge in any of those benefits will have to come and state which groups or persons get them.
      And despite that, I don’t think it makes it a simple case of: Allyuh get this, so allyuh shouldn’t get that.

    • Where did I say that though?! I said if you’re arguing you’re not getting a benefit because of X people not receiving the benefits you’re getting because of that SAME X can argue the converse. Whe sah

    • And discrimination is not efficient from an economic perspective. Economics 101

    • That’s fine Nicole Ulerie. No problem with philosophical poser. But old people are not the only beneficiaries.
      Social services provide for different people based on certain criteria.

    • It is in our best interests to keep the elderly actively engaged for as long as they choose to do so

    • Soyini > the system dont and never did care about that.

      White Supremacy. Racism. Gunnar Myrdal. AmieriKKKA.

      they dont care…

      If they ever cared about that in trindad or anywhere, we would not have a populate of wayward males doing nothing every day, a slew of unemployeds in youth, and adutls, etc etc.

      this may even prove how economics is not real, cause it is so structured on exclusions and exploitation, transfers and political distributions. hmmm

      some deep stuff to weave and winnow here

    • So did the elderly not get engaged prior to gate?! Does a state funded degree suddenly make you more inclined to contribute? Clearly TnT did not exist prior to GATE….

    • They can cut GATE altogether if they want to Nicole Ulerie. The Government has to make tough decisions. But the Government should not indulge in discrimination.
      If they are offering GATE, it should be available to all groups.
      If they don’t want to offer it at all, then fine. That will be a different type of discussion then.

    • Or they can decide to offer it where there’s maximum return on the money spent…you start a degree programme at 50…finish at 55..retire at 60…in any body’s mind that makes sound economic sense….well boooooyyyyyyyy

    • There are many young people who waste GATE and old people who make good use of it and benefit society more. And there are many old people who continue to contribute long after 60.
      To say age alone indicates how useful resources will be used is not close to science in any way.
      The Government did not explain at all the rationale behind its decision beyond the most simplistic and non-data driven offering.

    • For instance, Akins pointed out in his column that private institutions account for five times more State funding than public institutions when it comes to GATE.
      You should be asking for more info on that if you really want to make sure we are getting bang for buck.
      The Gov’t decision is totally unscientific and therefore will quite likely not stop the wastage at all while discriminating against citizens who have contributed to society for decades.

    • And I’m still waiting for someone to tell me why is a state funded tertiary education a requirement to contribute to the society…….

    • It is an investment and not a giveaway Nicole Ulerie. But I’m happy to have that discussion too. I just don’t agree with discrimination.

    • Hahahaaaa at it not being a giveaway….but we does be quick to say Laventille people have dependency syndrome….when they get help from the state is freeness…when another strata benefit it’s an investment…the state paying….it’s ALL freeness..no matter how it swings.

    • Lasana Liburd OK Lasana, I get it. Let’s go back to the days when ONLY the 200-300 students got open and additional scholarships, and EVERYONE else pay for further education – if that will make everyone happy – fine. If I were Minister of Education, reading this thread, THAT would be my solution to all the criticism of GATE now accused of ‘ageism’ because of a cut-off at age 50. Seems as though we believe Tertiary Education is a human right! While such exists in some First World Countries (NOT ALL), maybe we could go the way of the USA and Canada – the countries most Trinis love – and give only small need based grants and low-interest loans – then EVERYBODY will be HAPPY! Right?

    • Nicole Ulerie, you will never see me picking on Laventille. I don’t make a habit of kicking easy targets at all.
      Annette Dopwell, anything is better than discrimination. Equality for all is the cornerstone of any progressive nation.

  38. Thane, plenty bush lawyers in here. What do you think of this Letter to the Editor?

  39. What about if they decided that they needed social workers and we had a glut of lawyers so they would give GATE for Social Services (or any appropriate qualification) and cease giving it for law? There are lots of arguments to be made for any choice for granting access to GATE and it just so happens this is what was chosen. They say they will be monitoring and adjusting so let us monitor them while they monitor it and also look at our economy in the meantime.

    • You think dropping an area of studies is comparable to leaving out a particular group Judy?
      What about if I said Woodbrook Secondary stopped teaching Technical Drawing?
      And if I said Woodbrook Secondary stopped accepting East Indian students?
      Wouldn’t there be a difference?
      Why are some groups excluded until “monitoring” can be done?
      If there is a small pie to share, you will feed just four of your five children? Or will you give a slightly smaller piece to all five?

    • I don’t get the impression given the voiced objections from students that they want to share the pie into smaller pieces. They seem to want a bigger pie. Choices have to be made and we do not have to like them.

    • Right. But we don’t look for the most vulnerable groups and tell them they can’t come to the table at all.
      Hard times are no excuse to discriminate.

    • I still maintain that we have to prioritise. Maybe the priority should be on literacy as too many people are leaving school as functional illiterates.

      I understand the point you are making but we will have to agree to disagree.

    • Lasana Liburd Lasana, since when citizens 50+ could be considered a ‘most vulnerable group’? I think that was the FIRST priority – families with income under $10,000 are the first to qualify! THOSE are the most vulnerable citizens, who would/could NEVER have afforded a University education.

    • Well, they were singled out eh Annette.

    • Lasana Liburd Yes Lasana Liburd, THE most vulnerable groups were indeed singled out – hence the reason for GATE relief to poorer families.

    • What about poor people over 50 who want to better their lives?

    • Lasana Liburd I’ve yet to hear of a ‘poor’ person over 50 who took advantage of GATE freeness – rather the few I do know were gainfully employed, then upon retirement sought to get a degree to occupy their time. By the time they qualified, I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, but those I know never contributed by way of using their ‘fresh, new’ degree – they just happy to have spent three years with the youth an’ dem, and showing that they CAN DO IT!!! Sorry, that’s not how I want my tax dollars spent. But if there IS such a case of a ‘poor’ person over 50, I am sure that the Committee can make an exception!

  40. Give the children a chance You had yours

  41. to Akins’ point about bs on the economics. know what i find peculiar in the vaps but equally as peculiar is that no one has yet sussed it out, at least not mention it:

    the fact that it was never the students who were making bank, making out or benefitting from gate. they think they were, but they were not. it is one of the best sham scams in trinidad.

    It is the schools and the rash of entities who spewed up to take advantage of gate. and who are the owners predominantly i wonder.

    the students are the mere pawns and currency exchange of gate. the entity raiders are the schools. you create a school, you have the vehicle and means by which to make money, you make more money by the most students, who accessing gate. it is why there are rolls of students and names of students, collecting gate but you would never find their bodies.

    so they say they fixing gate. they cut gate programs. and enrollment, but what have they done with the schools. they are leaving them to either close, fall away, or reconstruct another scheme in some way.>?

    if someone were to do an academic audit, or if actt was ever seriously doing their job, not half of those places would exist.

    i contend if actt was serious they would audit programs and courses at uwi. you cant be doing academics in 2016 using 1960 texts and material . Nah.

    just something for you all to think about in this whole gate farce

  42. Natalia, the same reasoning was used to not educate women. Because the men were generally considered the bread winners anyway.
    Some women would become housewives and not use those degrees.
    So should we not allow women access to GATE or prioritize men?
    Maybe you can find reasoning for certain groups too. Maybe Syrians are more likely to have people with money in their family so even if they qualify we should leave them out.
    Discrimination is wrong and most modern societies have learnt this.
    Every member of society should have a chance of benefitting. When the criteria becomes something a person has no chances of accessing, it is trademark discrimination.

    • There will always be a ‘good’ rationale given for what is blatant discrimination.

    • The link to the report is in my article. Everyone is bound to worl here…scholarship winners also can work for or in

    • The reason for denying women access to education had little to nothing to do with availability of public funding and more to everything to do with socially constructed gender roles in a patriarchal society.

    • Lasana I think the math in this is provoking me more than anything else. Persons who also have no data ( beacuse a lot of this discourse is based on limited data) are defending this move as economic prudence. I call BS! At the same time that GATE is being cut to save 200 milion in a 21 Billion dollar deficit we have given businesses an anmnesty and foregone Billions which we are owed…that math is making sense to some people…

    • Chabeth, what does availability have to do with it? You just have to make less available for everyone.
      You have five groups to feed so all get a smaller piece of the pie. You don’t stop feeding one group.

    • Oh they are not looking closely Akins. Oh giving the Gov’t the benefit of the doubt.

    • Her point was that resources are limited and so cuts have to be made. You likened that rationale to the reasoning for not educating women. I am saying that that had nothing to do with educating women.
      I never said I supported the move to cut funding to 50+ ppl. I asked how much it was costing the country to see if it even needs to be looked at.
      But there are problems with GATE in its current form. I don’t support funding study at other regional campuses.
      I also never understood why some ppl should get educated via GATE without any mandate to work for the country while scholarship winners have to. So basically the higher performers have greater restriction on their opportunity.
      I also don’t think those who can afford to pay should be allowed to access GATE and that goes for my mother as well who did.
      I think it should be a revolving zero percent loan fund that everybody can access to get educated wherever they want to.

    • But Chabeth there is a bond in GATE..and the number of years you have to work here is tied to how much money you accessed…regional campuses are less of a cost than local private ones which do foeign programs…a UWI lecturer has told me that GATE costs can be as much as 5 times the amount at these private instutions per student when compared with UWI…that is why we must ask for the report to be pubished to understand how they arrived at these adjusments..i do not hold the view that these changes will make the program more efficient
      .it will only cost less

    • Chabeth, I tried to show flaw in rationale of leaving out a group. Any group. Just like other groups were once excluded because it was thought to be a waste of resources.
      I do agree with you on those problems in GATE that you mentioned.

    • Honestly, this country protests when private bodies discriminate against persons from particular groups.
      I would scarcely have dreamt that people would try to justify it when the Government does it. As though those mature students haven’t paid their taxes and haven’t got a legitimate right to enjoy whatever limited resources we do have.

    • Akins, a bond in GATE for who?
      Ok to your rationale explanation, Lasana.

    • And having to work in Trinidad and Tobago is not the same thing as having to work for Trinidad and Tobago.

    • Scholarship winners get to work in if the govt is unable to provide employment after a certain period of time.

    • Lasana Liburd Looking at these comments, I agree that all discrimination is bad, therefore we must look at other countries that offer free tertiary education and see if it is doable in T&T. Germany, and many other European countries, view higher education as more of a public than a private benefit. They can afford this for a couple reasons. First, they simply agree to pay higher TAXES! Of course, we can do like those countries – continue with GATE for ALL, and to fund it, raise all taxes as in Germany and Scandinavian countries to between 40% and 51%. Also, let’s remember that Norway, an oil rich country, gives free tertiary education also, BUT they too pay far higher taxes PLUS never ONE day did they offer Fuel Subsidies. Trinis too spoilt oui?

    • Why pay higher taxes to fund Gate when 22 billion plus is spent on Clico? Why pay higher taxes to fund Gate when 300 million is used annually to bail out Caribbean Airlines? Why pay higher taxes to fund Gate when we are continuously running deficit budgets? Why pay higher taxes to fund Gate when a Highway for 7 billion plus is being built without financing? I can go on and on such as SPORT TT with lifesport, GTL plant, etc. It seems like public welfare is spent mainly for the benefit of a select few whilst a pittance is given to the majority. Why pay higher taxes when savings from the wastage and corruption mentioned above can easily cover the cost of Gate. Why not make the report public so we can examine the data used to support those recommendations made?

    • It is old school to think of the government as the fathers of the nation and the electorate as bratty little children who don’t know their places.
      We will forever remain in the dark ages that way. That is colonialism.
      I do think it is better to discuss a more equitable distribution of resources as opposed to alienating one group.
      Once, as Lester said, we cut out the wastage. Because there sure are more than a few over 50 politicians who know quite a bit about wasting public resources.
      But I dare a politician to talk to me like a spoilt child.
      I wasn’t raised in a plantation and I won’t answer to that.

    • Totally agree that ALL corruption should cease, however, I see no responsibility accepted by the nation for conserving our ‘treasure’ (the word used for ‘taxes’ some folk in those countries we want to emulate in free education). I haven’t seen a single post suggesting that we raise the income tax from 25% to 30% to provide for GATE (which is at least 10% less than in most First World countries). I can go on and on about the way we complain about our Health services, but never once heard a suggestion that our Health Surcharge be increased as it is at least 10% lower than public health insurance in every country with great health service.

    • Lasana Liburd Just re-read your post Lasana, and as you speak of politicians talking to us like ‘a spoilt child’. Isn’t that just the way we behave? Weren’t we ALL happy to stop the increase in Property Tax, and even more happy that we haven’t done so for the past SIX years? Can’t remember seeing any threads (like this one) condemning the abuse of FREE Tertiary Education which is well known by every one who has passed through these institutions. Well, we can’t have it ALL – Free Tertiary Education, heavily subsidized Fuel, no Property Tax and along with low income taxes. NOWHERE in the world does this exist – check it out now.

    • Annette, I have loads of problems with our electorate for sure. And I agree that we act like that and worst. I’m just mindful of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy where we encourage “we the people” to continue to see ourselves as silly children and politicians to keep viewing “us” that way.
      I actually don’t disagree with many of your points about our issues you know.
      But I’m just thinking of the best way to go forward. My belief is we should strive to go forward as a people. All together. Senior citizens included.
      If the only alternative is no benefits to anyone, then I’d rather that.
      But that isn’t the only alternative. Akins Olatunji Vidale, Lennox Osbourne and Lester Logie all pointed out other ways of dealing with this.
      Do you really think the Govt’s suggestion is the only way?
      Politicians didn’t come from another planet you know. They came from the same schools and communities that we did.
      We can trust ourselves to find a better and fairer way.

    • We can’t see alternatives when politicians are allowed to make decisions for us like this that takes our focus away from corruption and wastage which makes expenditure on Gate a non issue in my opinion. There are more serious cutbacks to be made that we are refusing to deal with. I see this as class warfare. Gate replaced Dollar for Dollar for a reason. It seems like we have almost reverted to that and to save what? 200 million. Publish the report so that it’s findings can be substanciated or disproved by data. I know of persons who applied for Gate and had to pay for their courses because their grades were below 2.0, and they had to pay every semester or annually according to the institution. Gate is not automatic as we are being led to believe. If persons are degree hopping from one course to a next then the corruption is in the Ministry as you cannot get Gate funding if you had not completed your previous course. The data is there to show where the wastage is. In the absence of the report I am of the opinion that Mr Akins Olatunji Vidale is correct, in that the report seems not to be data driven. I can assume in the absence of data that we are being fed recommendations which have no basis in facts. My issue is that the report is not made public for citizens to test the merit in recommendations made and contribute in recommendations of our own. No one seems to be interested in cutting expenditure on wastage and corruption which are benefitting a few. We prefer to cut Gate which all citizens have an opportunity to benefit from after touting education as the main vehicle to obtain upward mobility. Cut other expenditure and plug the wastage that is causing us to lose billions annually and only fills the pocket of a certain class.

  43. A little perspective here….these things are not FREE, to the tzx paying public. There is personal income tax. Health surcharge, VAT corporate tax, to name a few. We understood that these taxes were to fund services so it is a reasonable expectation that ones contributions are used to provide services. Their rules not ours….and yes we do like freeness, we were nurtured on it for some 54 years. Its the way you win elections. Not our rules…the rule makers. Apply some law and order to ALL the systems that rule our lives BEFORE you cut out and cut up. Like stop paying GATE fees to institutions who KNOW the students are no longer attending classes.. for a start.

    • I completely agree.
      Tax payers help maintain these services. So when we ask for the government to provide more ‘freeness’ and they raise our taxes we shouldn’t complain then?
      Each service should be regulated and monitored to better service the public. Eg… Are other ppl from neighboring countries coming to uses our healthcare and obtain free meds? That we tax payers are paying for….

  44. Limited resources…so let’s spread it thin so that everyone get’s a penny… each won’t get enough to get a degree but we avoid discriminating….We could also close GATE completely and no one gets funding…..no discrimination there…and let’s not consider in the future (or revoke) all senior citizen and student bus passes….free ptsc travel for all or none at all…

  45. I consider this a time of economic triage… We have had the luxury of copious oil and gas money following through our government coffers, and what once was a steady stream is now a trickle.

    If we were choosing recipients for organ transplants, age would be a factor. If we were applying to a bank for a mortgage, age would be a factor. Insurance? Drivers licence? Same.

    If you had limited funds in your bank account, and had to choose who you’d sponsor to go to college, would you choose your 20 year old neice or your 50 year old aunt?

    Get this through your heads Trinidad – cuts must be made, and they could have been way way harsher than this.

  46. Is there some data to show how many people over 50 are actually accessing GATE and how much it is actually costing the country?

  47. Trini have this gimme everything free attitude. Life just doesn’t work that way. We need to change our thinking and stop expecting everything to be handed to us.
    We have free transport system, education, laptops, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, housing….
    Let’s began to see what we have and not what we don’t… I honestly think sometimes we are our own enemy.

  48. To the short sighted ones: What would be the cost to the country if people read this and stop sacrificing themselves as caretakers to the sick, disabled, etc?

    Obviously these people have a strong will to study so whatever stopped them before has a high opportunity cost as well. But Trinis don’t know about them fancy thing? Just what in front then under they foot?? Sigh

  49. Bottom line to me is that GATE has to eventually benefit the country. While special cases arise where people are retrenched or there is a big technological change that causes the need for retraining then the case can be made for people over the age limit who are still working or are looking for employment to utilise GATE. It should not be for people to achieve their life long hope of getting a degree after they have retired. Consideration must be given to the fact that we need to maximise the benefits while minimising the cost and I think that we have lost sight of our current economic position.

    I’m going slightly off point here. People in their later years would not be expected to be making the kind of contribution that the younger people would make though I admit that the choice of age is possibly an arbitrary one. I would go further and say that GATE should be utilised only for areas of study that would benefit the country. We need social workers then encourage people to do that, for example and that is a real need. At the risk of being shot down, should we pay for people to do a degree in philosophy, for example?

  50. “Why should GATE be fair to all?
    Do people over 50 contribute anything to society?
    Do they pay taxes or even work?
    Most, if not all of UWI Open Campus tutors are over 50. What value do these tutors have?
    What’s the age of the guy who came up with this over 50 thing, surely he’s a young man with all his grey matter intact.”

    – Saturday Morning Rumshop Talk at Bulldog Bar

  51. I must say I agree that we are using age as a criteria for saying you can’t get GATE. Maybe if say that you pay half rather than getting full funding. Another point I would like to ask have checked into the ministries and GATE funding? I remember I was in a class with a guy form a ministry who was doing two GATE courses. The first one he was doing on his own, and the second one his ministry sent him and stating he has to go? I hope the MoE looks into that

  52. Good luck with commonwealth tort law

  53. Easy to throw lables around. Much more difficult to develop the economic case for her position

    • You know that in most modern countries it is illegal to discriminate based on sex, religion or age? And that is even for private companies, much less the government.

    • Again philosophical without proving the economic case.

    • And if there is no economic case and one insists on being philosophical then perhaps we should consider ending it.

    • I’m not talking about philosophy. I’m saying that if you are offering a service, you cannot say that anyone is ineligible for the service for any reason that they cannot change. Sex, race, religion… Age.

      • So the govt won’t bar people from accessing GATE because they are over 50…They will bar GATE to persons who chose to forego tertiary education till after they turned 50….

    • It is not offering a service at all. It is deciding to invest in persons one deems suitable to give an overall return for the dollar invested

    • Subsidising education is not the same as deciding to hand everyone a dividend cheque. Never.

    • how does a constitutional matter become an economic one? but guess what. I not colonial, so let me back out gracefully>

    • I can be selfish since I never got dollar for dollar or GATE. I paid cess in Mona. My mother stopped working due to illness when I started A levels. How I got a first degree in a foreign land I took a cess loan and my aunts sent me money every month from their salary. I use to mind the post every month looking for the cheque.

      I paid it forward and insured my sister also went Mona by that time there was Help loan so I serviced the interest she paid of the principal upon graduation.

      She returned May and I started my Masters in August same scenario got a loan so I serviced the interest trusting that upon receiving the masters I would get a job to repay principal

      So I say level the playing field let’s not discriminate pay for no one. These countries that do not discriminate based on age, sex etc also does not provide free tertiary education so let’s do everything the first world do

      As a Christian I believe God is my source so I know it would have worked out. For those who do not have my faith do what they have to do to educate their children.

      I have a friend who had boat cruises to insure she had Munroe College tuition. That is not my scene but went twice and sold tickets to friends and family. If education is important you will find a way whether is your child or you over 50.

      • Earl Best

        And there, Nicholas, is your economic justification. The starting point has to be the government’s finite resources but for many, as far as i can discern, the strong sense of entitlement that past experience has engendered in so many younger citizens, makes the starting point what the Govt owes me/us.

        Akins Vidale argues elsewhere that education is “a public good,” and an invest,ment in the future.” Who can disagree? But does that suggest to any right-thinking citizen that education must be free from the womb to the tomb” to use Tanty Kamla’s fancy phrasing?

        You would think that a historian who constantly talks about research would be more practical, more pragmatic, using current realities as the touchstone. I don’t know what is your area of specialisation, Joann, but your comparatively brief contributed comment makes much more sense to me than either of the two substantive pieces on Wired.

    • Nicholas, everything must be equitable and all people must have an equal chance. Doesn’t matter if you call it an investment, service or whatever.
      If you can’t substitute whatever you are describing with race or gender, then it won’t fly.
      If you can’t say: No women can get GATE. Then you can’t say nobody over 50 can get GATE.

    • So I guess gate only sponsors money making degrees? No social benefit to education? S m h

    • I met a guy from Nevis while at Mona the government told him what to study and he was paying. We like a pig in mud in TnT for years now.

    • good morning. i guess sleep really does work wonders for me. if people want to make this: a constitutional matter, into an economic one. fine. it can be fought on all facets.

      is who flicking money in the treasury, ostensibly by taxes, from working their whole life, that they taking out to pay gate, to make raiders, to fund corruption, etc etc> not the fifty year old?

      I am not a lawyer but please i beg let a crowd of them seek me out to file a lawsuit. Is time for regular people to raid the treasury too.. this stupidity must stop. and the only thing i wish for folk to realize is how we keep voting in top of the line beh =behs. doing idiocy as if it is an idiot pageant.

      you all been in this filth so long we no longer have a bearing of what is right, fair or just. and no amount of talking and it cant be taught by people who dont know it. is just to sue people with zero pause. and list every possible damage for payment.. that is the site of the war, a legitimate one. is too much now

    • I just found the whole thing crazy. In a land where people protest Aria discriminating on outfit, we will just screw taxpayers and voters just like that?
      No sympathy whatsoever. Just. Nah. We don’t want to waste our money on your old arse.
      Do people really think that could happen in any country that understands discrimination?
      And I think you’re very right Maven.

    • we are too erratically dissonant. mental instability range erratic. it also shows you how we as a country, as citizens, as a state are not striving, walking, living, working to any no vision whatsoever, so an educational program that is supposed to be about building citizens and country capacity can be wiped out, as a stroke of a pen. that citizens can stand for the blindside exclusion of a segment of the population. without any thought of who next, what next

      we literally just sailing. no mooring. none. nothing of laud

    • Mr Liburd. While I respect what you posit there, we have many examples of cut off points. You equate ageism to gender discrimination while another may suggest that medical insurance is an example to support the opposing view.
      If you insist on not having a cut off point for a finite resource then the alternative is to provide less for the wider population. If data shows that works for the wider goals of subsidising tertiary education then do it

    • And anytime one says economic considerations should not matter he or she automatically assumes that resources are infinite which is certainly NOT the case here. So please let me know when we plan to accept that and then advance another solution.

    • Nicholas, we disagree on what to do when resources are finite. And, btw, resources are ALWAYS finite.
      When we had times of financial shortage growing up, mom had to give all three children less. Not find an excuse to leave out a child.
      Economic shortage is not a proper reason for discrimination.

    • Ok so do you say lower the percentage contribution across the board?

    • I say establish the economic case by whatever are the appropriate demographics so that return to the society is maximised.

    • Yes. Lower percentage across the board or a formula that doesn’t discriminate based on age, sex or race. Akins Olatunji Vidale made some excellent points about cuts that can be made.
      Most of the GATE money goes to private institutions for instance. Those can be cut.
      And without knowing exactly what the committee’s research shows, it is difficult to see the rationale behind any of their decisions.

    • No. We band together in hard times. We don’t pick on the people we consider to be vulnerable. We should aspire to be better than that.

    • So please go back to my entry into this conversation
      I said the person spoke without establishing economic case. You were still speaking outside of establishing economic case just now. I shall participate when the conversation gets there.

    • Yes. We don’t have an economic case. Partly because the Government has not presented one.
      But I’m saying there is no economic case that justifies discrimination. Not in any progressive society.

    • And I don’t quite agree with that universal assumption Lasana. We have over 60 don’t pay taxes. We have under 17 can’t drive vehicles. Try getting life insurance or medical insurance or even a mortgage past 55 if you never had before. I am simply illuminating that economic considerations matter.
      I do support you if you are saying that additional disclosure is required to explain why over 50s cannot receive subsidy. Please I beg you to make no mistake that it is not education per se that is being denied. It is access to government subsidy. And please don’t say they are one and the same

    • The last time an economic case was held above all else a race was enslaved. So forgive me if I need more than an economic argument and worse yet the narrow mantra of we have to save money.

    • You can call it a Government subsidy if you like Nicholas Jackman. I won’t necessary agree. But I will say that subsidy should be available to all citizens based on criteria that have nothing to to with discrimination against any race, sex or gender.
      However you want to turn the conversation. Sure. Once we start with understand that we don’t allow or endorse discrimination in any progressive society.

    • Here comes the attempt to race bait. If one believes that slavery was the last time an economic case was held above all then one is sorely underinformed. But I am not surprised at the attempt to throw in a red herring. Moving right along….

    • Lasana how is GATE not a subsidy? Cmon man.

    • And you return to an absolute position when I provided you example in insurance in health care etc that such a position is not absolute

    • It is a subsidy Nicholas. But not a giveaway. Sometimes people view subsidies as charity. So just in case…

    • Ok
      For the avoidance of doubt when I say subsidy I mean it as defined and separate from the definition of giveaway

    • But I must depart. Carry on my good people Useful perspectives here.

    • As for insurance and health Nicholas, I think the consideration is supposed to be your health and ability to repay. A young person with poor health would also suffer. Maybe Granny Luces would be okay.
      The mortgage might also be tied into how long you will have a salary to make payments.
      Or maybe those are also things to look into.
      Nice chat Nicholas. 😉

    • Akins Olatunji Vidale ” The last time an economic case was held above all else a race was enslaved. So forgive me if I need more than an economic argument and worse yet the narrow mantra of we have to save money.” #truth

  54. Anecdotal at best. She does not examine the whole picture anywhere in this article

  55. I have a few questions for these change makers…

  56. Well said, age discrimination by the government can’t be tolerated. Short sighted in the extreme

  57. She damn right. That is so discriminatory it ain’t even funny. Sometimes I wonder if these politicians really think.

  58. I fully agree. How can a government discriminate on the basis of age? Isn’t that illegal?