Anthony Garcia-new-use-headshot

Education Minister Anthony Garcia

ONE week after Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF) announced there will be no 2020 National Schools Soca Monarch, the Ministry of Education has taken up the mantle.

The ministry yesterday said aspiring soca artistes will not be left without an opportunity to showcase their talents this year, as it will be hosting its own event called the Junior Soca Competition.

It will be held next Thursday and is titled “Terrific Thursday”.

It will be held at The Auditorium, Government Campus Plaza, Richmond Street, Port of Spain, from 9.30 a.m.

Last Thursday, the CPF announced it would spend the next few months restructuring the schools soca competition, so the event would not be held this year.

In a statement yesterday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia said the Junior Soca Competition will replace CPF’s National Schools Soca Monarch.

He said this is the second time the ministry will host the competition.

The inaugural Junior Soca Competition took place in 2018, when the CPF made a similar announcement one week before the event.

“Cultural education forms an important part of students’ education. We have a responsibility at the Ministry of Education to ensure that our culture is being kept alive. Competitions like this give students the opportunity to showcase their talents and abilities. It also represents the opportunity to value the hard work of teachers and parents working together for the benefit of our students,” Garcia stated.

He said primary and secondary school pupils will compete for the ­Junior Soca crown, while exhibiting some of the highest levels of talent, sportsmanship, creativity, intellect and raw talent.

“School Carnival competitions are examples of the effectiveness of the visual and performing arts curriculum within our nation’s schools,” Garcia said.

The Junior Soca Competition ­format will be a single round. Registration is open online until February 16 at 11 p.m. The online link to registration forms is:


Vote for incumbent Princes Town MP Barry Padarath.

This was the call of former Opposition Senator Wade Mark yesterday, as he criticised the People’s National Movement (PNM) for raising an issue about Padarath’s nomination papers.

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) is hoping “good sense prevails” today and Government announces the closure of all primary schools to prevent further Covid-19 transmission.

The validity of Barry Padarath’s nomination will not stop Princes Town voters from casting a vote for the UNC stronghold on August 10.

This is according to a number of constituents who were interviewed by the Express yesterday in the face of the PNM’s intention to file legal action challenging Padarath’s eligibility to contest the Princes Town seat.

THERE was confusion at the Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Licensing Office yesterday when more than 60 people arrived but were not immediately allowed to enter because of changes to the appointment system and Covid-19 restrictions.

It caused a back-up of people, very few of whom were practising physical distancing, in front the entrance for several hours.

Joint Trade Union Movement leader Ancel Roget yesterday lashed out at newspaper editors, using the historically derogatory ‘N’ word for African house slaves to describe them.