No to HPV vaccination                                                   Tuesday, January 29 2013

SAYING that the Government had not consulted with it prior to making a vaccine available to combat the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) yesterday called on parents of children attending RC schools, not to let them be vaccinated.

In a release yesterday, the board said that the RC Churches are strongly against the use of Gardasil, which is the vaccine being used to prevents girls from developing cervical cancer.

CEBM, further stated in its release, that it was not consulted by the Ministry of Health on its vaccination drive, which started last Wednesday.

On that day, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan went to the Sacred Heart Girls’ RC Primary School to launch the vaccination at which several students were vaccinated. Dr Khan spoke about the advantages of being vaccinated early in life against the cancer causing HPV.

“The CEBM cited serious dangers from the use of the vaccine, including death, which has been associated with Gardasil,” the release said.

President of the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA) Zena Ramatali yesterday said it “was most unfortunate” that the Catholic Education Board of Management was not consulted about the vaccination drive.

However, she also said that the NPTA is fully supportive of the ministry’s drive to have young girls vaccinated against cervical cancer. As such, Ramatali believes that despite the possible oversight of the CEBM not being involved in the consultation process, the board and Ministry of Health should come together and work out a resolution since this would benefit the children.

          More: http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,172698.html

NPTA: Improve security

Friday, February 8 2013

Zena Ramatali, president of the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA), has called upon the Ministry of Education to improve security in schools.

This after an attempted rape of an infant student on the California Government Primary School compound earlier this week.

“We are very disappointed about that situation. We want tighter security in schools. Put the welfare of the children first,” Ramatali told Newsday at the Second National Patriotism Fair where the NPTA had its own booth.

Ramatali said parents send their children to school expecting them to be safe. But the attack on the student would be both traumatizing for both the child and parent. She now wonders how parents could feel secure about sending their children to school.

Ramatali said the first priority of any principal is to ensure the safety of students, but a principal should never be attacked.


         More:    http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,173199.html

Address teacher absenteeism

By CLINT CHAN TACK Monday, April 8 2013

NATIONAL Parent Teachers Association (NPTA) president Zena Ramatali yesterday called for an urgent meeting of all stakeholders in the education sector to address the longstanding problem of teacher absenteeism in the country. Ramatali issued this call as she commented on a Sunday Newsday special report which highlighted this issue, particularly in the case of Government schools.

Disclosure about higher rates of absenteeism in Government schools as compared to denominational schools was made during a meeting between members of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and a parliamentary joint select committee at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre last Friday.

               More:      http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,175944.html

NPTA on school fee ultimatum                                        Charles Kong Soo                                                                                                                                   

Saturday, July 13, 2013

While the National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA) is supporting Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeeesingh’s directive to principals to stop charging registration fees, there must be clear-cut guidelines set by the ministry on the schools’ requirements, what parents should pay for and accountability by schools for receiving such funds to avoid confusion. 

So said NPTA president Zena Ramatali yesterday. “If it is the Government’s responsibility to provide free education, the necessary infrastructure, text books and other equipment through the State, principals should not now go over that and add additional requisitions,” Ramatali told the T&T Guardian in a telephone interview. “No parent should have to pay $1,500 to $2,000 to enter a school and children should not be victimised.

More:    http://guardian.co.tt/news/2013-07-13/npta-school-fee-ultimatum

Zena Ramatali re-elected NPTA president

Sunday, November 10 2013


Zena Ramtali, re-elected as president of the National Parent Teacher Association, NPTA for a sixth consecutive term, is vowing to tackle urgent problems plaguing the education sector.

Ramatali has been at the helm of the Association since 2001 but served therein for the past 25 years in other capacities.

Speaking with Newsday following her re-election as president at the 53rd annual conference of delegates of the Trinidad and Tobago National Council of Parent Teacher Associations Inc held at La Romaine Secondary School yesterday, she called on both the Ministry of Education and the Teaching Service Commission to address the issues plaguing education in the country.

Among her list of concerns were schools that have continued to remain closed over two months into the September term.

“It is unbearable that some schools continue to remain closed especially when a large percentage of the affected children come from the lower end of the socio-economic ladder.

I want the Minister of Education to have a plan for repairs and construction of schools,” she said. Turning her attention to delinquent teachers and principals Ramatali noted that students at a Port-of-Spain secondary school will have to re-write CAPE because the teacher (s) failed to submit the School Based Assessment (SBA) papers. She also wants the Ministry of Education to look into the problem of teachers signing the register and leaving students unattended. The newly elected NPTA president is also urging principals to properly manage their schools.

“Some of the principals are not managing well and they leave everything to fall apart and then push the parents in front to protest.

In fact, some of the parents even blame the NPTA and ask what we doing about it, but we are not in every school,” she said. Ramatali is advising principals to send in their request for repairs early so they could be dealt with and alternative accommodation provided early.


       More:  http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,186290.html

Ramatali: STDs on the rise in schools

By Kim Boodram


Story Created: Feb 6, 2014 at 11:49 PM EC


STATISTICS coming out of some treatment centres have indicated an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among school pupils, National Parent Teachers’ Association (NPTA) president, Zena Ramatali, said yesterday.
Ramatali also confirmed teenage pregnancy figures publicised Tuesday by Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh and said the association was alerted prior to that to a rise in teenage pregnancies.
The warnings came from schools, showing a growing number of pupils dropping out of school to have babies.
Gopeesingh, speaking in the Senate, said about 2,500 teenagers are getting pregnant annually.
Many of these, he said, are also below the legal age of consent, which is 16 years, and also below 18, the legal age of adulthood.
Ramatali said the figures could actually be higher, as these were the cases that the State was aware of through medical and other records.
“I think that figure is more or less correct, but it could be more,” Ramatali said in a telephone interview.
Most of the statistics on increasing cases of STDs among pupils and teenagers are coming out of the Family Planning Association (FPA) and the Queen’s Park Counselling Centre, Ramatali said.
With regard to STDs, Ramatali said: “We understand that it is on the rise and the ages of the children being affected are getting younger.”
She added that the recent findings have only made a stronger case for a proper sex education programme in the nation’s schools.
During a nationwide consultation last year on sex education, conducted by the Ministry of Education, Ramatali and the NPTA made clear its position that a proper programme was imperative.
“We are very concerned that so many students are dropping out school, with no proper training, sometimes with very poor pre-natal care,” Ramatali said.
“And nobody is being held accountable.” She added: “Our position remains that sex education should be taught in schools.”
Ramatali said it was time for the Ministry to put “specialists” to work with teachers in implementing a new curriculum that brings “values and character training” into the schools.
And a media statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service yesterday issued some advice to parents—pay attention to children’s lives.

  More:  http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Ramatali-STDs-on-the-rise-in-schools-244130951.html


NPTA: Students pregnant all over the country


The President of the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA), Zena Ramatali, says the Ministry of Education should seek to work with her group to address the problem of pregnant teenagers in schools and other incidents of adolescent misbehaviour.

Speaking on CTV's First Up Programme on Tuesday, she said the Ministry is looking to pass the buck on her and the NPTA for its lack of awareness or action on teen pregnancies.

"From my information, there are teens in schools, students pregnant all over the country. Recently in St. George, we have a school that there are about four girls pregnant there. Four girls in one school. We have in Sangre Grande, Sangre Grande area according to research, and FPA has that research, will tell you that has one of the highest incidences of teenage pregnancy. Also we got a letter from North about teenage pregnancy and high school drop outs. Then we have the information coming from the school in San Fernando."

Ms. Ramatali vehemently defended her Association's response on the issue of pregnant teenagers in schools.



Ministry missing mark on school pregnancies!

  Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Sharlene Rampersad


President of the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA) Zena Ramatali says Education Minister Tim Gopeesingh is trying to use her as a scapegoat to avoid addressing the issue of pregnancy in schools. Speaking to the T&T Guardian yesterday, Ramatali said the minister would not help addressing the real issue facing the country’s schools by assigning blame. “The point here is not who reported whom, the ministry is totally missing the mark on this. What the NPTA is calling for is sex education to be taught in schools,” Ramatali said. She was responding to an Education Ministry release on Sunday which claimed that contrary to her statements to the media, Ramatali did not report the incidence of eight teenage pregnancies at a school in south Trinidad to the ministry. 


The Ministry labelled Ramatali “grossly irresponsible and negligent,” adding she had “a duty to the parents, students and by extension the public of T&T.” Yesterday, Ramatali fired back at the Education Minister, saying she was not supposed to report anything as this was the responsibility of the principals and teachers at the school in question. Rather, she said, it was the minister who was behaving irresponsibly by not meeting with the stakeholders. “The principal of the school reported the matter to the Mon Repos police. How could the minister not know that?” she asked. She said the NPTA had been calling for meetings with Gopeesingh since March 2013 but he had refused to respond.