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Jack calls on Mark to give up degree

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

Give up your degree.

Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner has written House Speaker Wade Mark asking him to explain the “gaps” surrounding his Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) and advised that he give up his degree to restore respect in the country’s university.

Warner is the second Member of Parliament to have written Mark on the issue. Last Friday, Sport Minister Anil Roberts also wrote the Speaker seeking clarification.

The Sunday Express has reported exclusively that programme director at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (GSB) Brian Ghent tendered his resignation over the awarding of the EMBA to Mark.

Ghent has alleged Mark did not fulfil the requirements to obtain the degree and concessions were made to accommodate him.

“What this imbroglio is doing is casting aspersions on our highest academic home and it now raises questions on the quality of the degrees that are offered by the Arthur Lok Jack Institute. One no longer can respect the institute of learning as long as questions remain concerning your MBA,” Warner stated in the letter.

“Maybe the time is now for you to do the honourable thing, Hon Speaker, and give up this questionable degree, because to hold on to it will raise questions on all degrees issued by the Arthur Lok Jack Institute, and by extension The University of the West Indies, and as well question the value of all degrees this university offers,” the letter added.

“For the sake of the children of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr Speaker, please give us answers to these questions or give up this degree which is raising questions about your integrity across Trinidad and Tobago. Do not let your good name be destroyed in these last few months of your stewardship as so many of your other parliamentary colleagues’ names have been,” stated Warner.

Warner stated there were too many “gaps” in the awarding of Mark’s degree and which only the Speaker can answer.

“At a time when the youth of our nation are looking for role models, it will be very sad if the Speaker of the Highest Court in our land falls short of these expectations and so against this background I am calling upon you to defend your integrity and remove all doubt concerning the conferral of your degree,’’ stated Warner.

Warner pointed out he offered congratulations to Mark in the Parliament when he was awarded his degree but “the circumstances which have now come to light have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many and suggest that all may not be well in our most hallowed academic institute in Trinidad and Tobago.”

For the sake of transparency, Warner listed a number of questions for Mark to explain as follows:

• Who suggested the idea that you should be separated from the class to write your exams? 

• Who determined who was to supervise you? 

• Can you tell this nation how long you signed up for this degree, how many courses you failed, how many courses you had to repeat and whether the course under review was one of the courses you failed? 

• As a former trade union leader, one who believes in fairness and equity, can you explain how come a student whose final was given orally and different from that of the other students could have been elevated to the position of top student of the class? Isn’t that a case of comparing apples with oranges Mr Speaker? 

• Did you really complete all the course work fairly and according to university standards, Mr Speaker, and if yes why did Brian Ghent resign from the Arthur Lok Jack Institute, on principle, if everything you did was above board? 

Contacted yesterday by phone, Warner confirmed to the Express he did send the letter to Mark seeking explanations on his degree.

Pressed further, Warner said he did not wish to say anything as he awaits Mark’s response which he hoped would be before the Parliament sitting this Friday.

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