The progress of any country, nation, society is driven by its human resource and the development of such; its citizenry, its people, its skills and talents. Noting that, growth industries and job creation are as a direct result of investment in ideas, and the only true source of ideas is the human being. A population that is educated, healthy, well adjusted as a society, contributing in the community, supporting culture and the arts, participating in competitive sport and encouraging the youth, will build and maintain a happy, respectful, caring and sharing nation.
The Human Development category in Trinidad and Tobago consists of budgetary allocations, 28.90% of the nation's total annual estimated expenditure down by 0.31% from the previous period revised estimates, to execute policies, strategies and initiatives of the ministries of health, education, social development and family services, community development, culture and the arts, and sport and youth affairs.
The ministry of health declared zika a national public health emergency and has had some success via its insect vector control unit, in collaboration with local government bodies, in cleaning and spraying, to manage the mosquito population, mosquito borne disease similar to malaria or yellow fever and other public health hazards, in communities across the nation.
This intervention became more essential as research linked the zika virus to Guilliain-Barré Syndrome in some adults and the severe birth defect, microcephaly, spread by mosquitoes invaded and threaten the citizenry. In the previous period, the ministry of health also had to deal with shortages of essential pharmaceuticals, availability at the nation's hospitals, clinics and dispensaries.
The ministry of education executed its mandate, while having to reassess and adjust the government assistance for tuition expenses (GATE) system, to remain relevant, easily accessible and available to all citizens who need it. The ministry had to develop strategies to deal with cases of students violently disrupting schools' operations, suspensions, expulsions and youth imprisonment were employed. The main challenge of this ministry was to get legal and financial control of its school building, restoration, renovation and repair projects and contractors retained by its Education Facilities Division.
The ministry of social development and family services has review and tighten all its initiatives to ensure it reaches the less fortunate member of society. The Social Welfare Division of the ministry is responsible for the equitable, transparent and timely provision of services to meet the social and financial needs of assessed members of our society. Among the suite of services offered in this division are senior citizen’s pension, public assistance grant, disability grant, and other general assistance.
The ministry of community development, culture and the arts, extended its annual events, with the launch of its peer mediation, which gives students the knowledge and skills to resolve their own conflicts in a supervised controlled environment and its reach mentorship programme, which seeks to promote a new generation of women leaders by cultivating skills that are critical for goal attainment and success.
The ministry of sport and youth affairs, along with its standard support for annual programmes, was engaged in the promotion of sporting icons locally and internationally, hosting initiatives to motivate young citizens and reforming laws to end child marriages.
The ministry of health, with 33.69% of the Human Development funding, must remain vigilant to ensure the safety of the citizenry, especially pregnant women. Citizens are therefore urged to continue working with authorities in the eradication of mosquito breeding sites and to take all necessary precautions to avoid being bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The ministry is upgrading and strengthening its Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division, which is responsible for the administration of the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations and the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Act and Regulations. The ministry also continues its many initiatives and prevention (wellness and healthy lifestyles) programmes.
The ministry of education, allocated 32.59% of the Human Development estimated budget, through its Teaching and Teacher Development Division offers a fundamental chance to orient, condition and to fundamentally teach young people, preparing them for life and for citizenship. The ministry will continue a comprehensive, efficient, targeted, timely and sustainable school maintenance programme to cope with the ageing school infrastructure, utilizing local government bodies to implement the works.
The ministry is currently engaged in outfitting all schools to benefit from technological innovations and all students in all schools have free and easy access to fast broadband internet, while incorporating tablet computers and internet access into the curriculum.
The ministry of social development and family services, 29.09% of the Human Development funding, continues to place focus on the vulnerable, marginalized and indigent in our society by ensuring that those targeted persons are able to receive help - on time and in appropriate measure when they reach out to the ministry. In particular, the ministry has, as one of its priority areas of focus, persons with disabilities, given the recently ratified UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities.
The ministry of community development, culture and the arts, 2.64% of the Human Development estimated budget, operates Community Action for Revival and Empowerment (CARE), Community Centres/Facilities, Community Development Fund (CDF), Export Centres Company Limited, Community Mediation, National Commission for Self Help Limited and the Prime Minister's Best Village Trophy Competition.
The ministry of sport and youth affairs, 1.99% of the Human Development funding, is focused on opening a number of multipurpose facilities and selling or entering into management contracts with private operators for the benefit of the entire population.
Terrance A. Jennings