There is a compulsory school for children aged 5 to 12
years. Primary and secondary school is free. The primary
school is 6 years old. High school is 5 or 7 years old.
There are several colleges and the West Indian University
with headquarters in Jamaica has faculties in the country.
There are also a number of private colleges. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Trinidad and Tobago.
Manning won the parliamentary elections in October 2002 -
the third victory in less than 2 years. The election gave
PNM 20 of the 36 seats while Panday got 16.
Maxwell Richards was inducted as president in March 2003,
after being nominated by the Electoral College.
In August 2003, 8,000 workers lost their jobs when the
state-run sugar factory Caroni was closed. It was one of the
largest in the country.
In February 2004, an initiative was launched to make the
Port of Spain bilingual. The city is a candidate to become
the headquarters of the American Free Trade Initiative, and
18 of the 34 countries on the American continent have
Spanish as their main language.
In September 2005, Manning asked for help from the London
Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom and the FBI in the
United States to fight and resolve a wave of homicides in
the country. In October, at least 10,000 people participated
in a so-called death march against the rising number of
homicides in the country.
Former Prime Minister Panday was sentenced in April 2006
to two years in prison for concealing information about his
own bank accounts abroad while serving as Prime Minister.
In July 2007, the United Nations Economic Commission for
Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) published a report
on the economic predictions for the region in 2008.
According to The report says growth in Trinidad and Tobago
will be the highest in the Caribbean with 8%. Oil and
petrochemical products continue to be the mainstay of the
country's economy, and the contribution from this sector
will begin to decline in 2018 at the earliest.
Prime Minister Manning declared elections in October
2007, and in the November elections, his PNM won 26 of
Parliament's 41 seats.