‘Energy companies must help areas in which they operate’
OIL and gas companies making billions of dollars have a corporate responsibility to help lift the academic performance of children living in the areas in which they operate.
This according to economist Dr Roger Hosein who said underdeveloped areas that suffer from low education performance, were raking in the country’s largest profits.
Hosein was speaking at a pre-budget breakfast forum at the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) headquarters in San Fernando on Wednesday.
The forum was hosted by the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-governmental organisations (FITUN).
Hosein said the pass rates for secondary schools in southwestern areas were “totally unacceptable”.
“The pass rate in Point Fortin East Secondary is four per cent in mathematics. The pass rate in Point Fortin West Secondary is 11 per cent in mathematics. The pass rate in English language in Point Fortin East Secondary is about 15 per cent and it about the same thing in Point Fortin West Secondary. The pass rate in mathematics in Cedros Composite is about eight per cent. You could never develop this economy unless we could find the pass rate of mathematics to become more reflective of an (information and communication technology) globalising world.”
He said the pupils who were not doing well in academics were the ones fighting for unsustainable employment such as the Community Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) and the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP).
Hosein said the Government was responsible for the unemployment rate figures and instead of creating short- term job opportunities, more investment was needed to train people in skills other than “the art of grass cutting”.
Hosein, a senior lecturer at The University of the West Indies (UWI) said because the country was receiving large profits from the oil and gas sector, not much was being done to diversify the economy and bring in profits from other sectors.
Hosein said proper financial investments should be put in place now for the future.