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Private Pan Group Asked to Relocate Because of Space Constraint

MOE News
Apr 10 2018

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Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago


Education Towers, No.5 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Phone: 868-622-2181

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Private Pan Group Asked to Relocate Because of Space Constraint


The owner of the Old Tech Steel Orchestra was asked by the San Fernando West Secondary School to find alternative accommodation for their pans and other equipment because of severe space constraints on the compound. The school is also preparing for the new intake of Form One students, following the Secondary Entrance Assessment SEA) Examination.

Since 1994, then Principal of the school allowed band leader, Sean Ramseya space to store the pans and to practice. However, in 2008 fire destroyed fifteen (15) classrooms, the staff room, library and audio visual rooms at the school. A prefabricated structure was later built to accommodate seven classrooms, however, the school continues to utilize rooms allocated for the Guidance Office, Local School Board for classrooms because of severe space constraints. Over the years, the Principal has also reported to band leader Sean Ramsey, concerns about vandalism, indiscipline and the non-supervision of persons on the compound after school hours for practice sessions.

A meeting was held on February 27th, 2013 with officials of Pan Trinbago, band leader, Sean Ramsay and the then principal, where a decision was taken to terminate the school’s relationship with Old Tech Steel Orchestra. In addition, a request was made for the early removal of pans and other equipment from the compound with proper documentation. On August 22nd 2014, another meeting was convened and a deadline of mid-October, 2014 was agreed upon by both parties for the removal of all pans and equipment belonging to the band.

In a letter dated January 27th, 2015 to then Principal (Ag) from Attorney-At-Law Ernest H. Koylas and Company, it was stated that the Old Tech Orchestra needed until July 15th, 2015 to relocate as they were unable to secure an alternative site.

The Ministry of Education responded to Ernest H. Koylass & Company on December 27th 2017 advising that it was unable to accede to his client’s request for an extension of time for a further six (6) months for use of the San Fernando West Secondary School. The Ministry further advised that all instruments and/ or other items belonging to Mr. Ramsay and the Orchestra be removed no later than 12th January, 2018. 

Meanwhile, Education Minister, Anthony Garcia says the Ministry of Education continues to invest heavily in the Steel Pan in our schools through initiates such as its Multi-Cultural Music Programme Unit and continues to collaborate with the Pan in the Schools Committee. The Ministry also continues to host the National School’s Panorama Competition and similar Cultural initiatives, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.  



 Released on 10th April, 2018 



For further information please contact the Ministry’s Communications Division at 622-2181.