About the Country

Trinidad and Tobago

Country in the Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), a former British colony, rediscovered by Christopher Columbus in 1498, attained independence in 1962 and 14 years later became a twin-island Republic in the Southern Caribbean, located near Venezuela. It has distinctive creole traditions and cuisines. Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain, hosts the most unique of carnivals in the world, featuring costumed bands parading in  the main streets of the capital and towns two days before Ash Wednesday.

T&T is the home of the only new musical instrument, the steelpan, developed in the first half of the 20th century. It is also the home of calypso, soca music and limbo. At one time T&T was known to have the largest number of butterfly species. Numerous bird species inhabit sanctuaries such as the Asa Wright Nature Centre and the Wild Fowl Trust.

The smaller island of Tobago is known for its beautiful beaches and the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve, which shelters hummingbirds. Its total population is less than 1.4M, consisting mainly of East Indians and Africans together with a “rainbow” colour of other races. T&T was first inhabited by Caribs and Arawaks and the only vestige of this past is reflected in a small Carib community in Arima and the names of certain towns and villages. The country is mainly Christian with the major religion, Roman Catholic. The main international airport is located in Piarco which is less than 20km from the city.

T&T joined the GLOBE family in July 1996. Henry Saunders, a member of the Education Working Group (2017), a GLOBE Master Trainer and former Ministry of Education (MOE), Curriculum Coordinator, has served as Country Coordinator from the inception, except for a short period in 2011, when Mr Hollis Sankar served for a few months.

St Augustine Girls’ High School was the first T&T secondary school, in 1997, to submit GLOBE Data. The GLOBE Program (GP) was not sustained at this school and after a few years was discontinued when the GLOBE teacher left. Over 120 schools were provided with GLOBE kits and training by Energy Companies, like Petrotrin, British Gas (now SHELL) and the Business Sector (PLIPDECO, Royal Bank and a few Private Companies) to initiate the GP.

Primary schools were introduced to the GP in 2000 of which Waterloo Presbyterian stayed the course for a few years. Only a few secondary schools persevered with the GP for more than one year. Among them were Iere High, Couva Gov’t and Arima Central. In 2008 Brazil Secondary School started the GP and has sustainably continued the GP. Brazil Sec attended GLOBE Learning Expeditions (GLE) in South Africa (2008), India (2014) and is expected to attend the next GLE in Ireland in July 2018. This school has been transformed through the GP which provided authentic learning experiences to strengthen the curriculum delivery.

The success of this country school is largely due to the support of the school Principal and the Laboratory Technician, and GLOBE Master Trainer Kameel Mohammed-Ali. He has been supported by the Biology Teacher, Mrs Roshen Madoo and Safety Officer at the school, Mr. Michael Slater. The CC wishes to thank these dedicated workers who continue to support him.

In 2010, Mr Saunders created GLOBE Partner Trinidad & Tobago (GPTT), a non-profit Environmental NGO to assist the MOE in the implementation of the GP in schools. GPTT is made up representatives from Gov;t Ministries and State Institutions, teachers and professionals, willing to serve GRATIS and  having an interest in protecting the environment. (To be Continued)

 

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