The schooling is compulsory between 6 and 13 years and
the compulsory school is free of charge. The education
system has three levels. First comes a 7-year primary
school, which is mainly state but has a significant private
element. Then follows a secondary school with two main
types: a 3- plus 2-year-old and a 5- or 7-year-old. The
selection for this is done through the exam at the age of
11-12. Higher education is provided at some teacher training
institutes as well as a branch of the University of the West
Indies. Admission to the latter takes place after completing
sixth form, the last two years of the 7-year
secondary school. The school bears the mark of the British
colonial past. Increased admission to technical and medical
education as well as schooling for anyone up to 18 years is
prioritized. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Trinidad and Tobago.
Robinson's government pledged to reduce inflation to 5%
annually, restructure public companies, limit the number of
public servants and continue the liberalization of the
economy. To achieve these goals, the government abolished
export licenses, abolished national price controls (except
for the prices of some basic products and pharmaceuticals)
and lowered public wages by 10%.
On July 27, 1990, the first attempt at a coup was made
since Trinidad & Tobago in 1962 had become independent.
About 100 Muslims occupied parliament and demanded the
departure of Prime Minister Arthur Robinson. On August 1,
however, the rebels surrendered unconditionally.
The economy showed limited progress in 1990, mainly due
to the rising exports of oil and petrochemicals linked to
the crisis in the Persian Gulf. This allowed the government
in the first months of 1991 to lift only the 10% pay cut for
In December 1991, PNM regained power when it got 46% of
the vote and 20 out of 36 seats in parliament. Unity
National Congress (UNC) got 26% and Robinson's NAR 25%. At
the same time, turnout declined dramatically. The biggest
problems facing the new government were foreign debt of $
2.51 billion and unemployment of 24%.
In January 1993, the government's economic crisis policy
and its privatization plans triggered protests. At the same
time, public servants demanded their late wages to be paid.
Faced with the increasingly tense social situation, Manning
called on the army to "control" the situation.