The protest was sparked by the dismissal of UTT’s animation lecturer Camille Abrahams. Truman Samerson, a lecturer at the campus, called Abrahams’ dismissal “a part of a deeper plot” by senior members of staff at the UTT.
“To date we haven’t been given any explanation as to why Ms Abrahams has been fired from the university. This is a woman who has done so much for the animation project here in Trinidad and Tobago,” a livid Samerson told Newsday.
All of the students participating in yesterday’s demonstration, wore masks as they were afraid of being victimised when they return to classes. “Ms Abrahams has worked tirelessly to give animation the attention and respect it deserves here in Trinidad,” Samerson said. “One of her students has gone on to work on the creative team of the movie ‘Ant-Man’, another one of her students got a partial scholarship to study at the Sheraton University in Canada, and this is how they treat her.
This is not the first time we are seeing such bully-ish actions on the part of senior staff members.” Samerson also accused the university of nepotism, claiming Abrahams’ intended replacement was a close friend of university head, Fazal Ali. He claimed Abrahams’ replacement has no additional qualifications, and is in no way better suited for taking on the responsibility as lecturer.
One of Abrahams’ students, who preferred not to be identified, was very upset over the dismissal. “What happened with Ms Abrahams was essentially illegal, she was dismissed without any notice, or even an explanation, and we’re all here to show our support for her.” She went on to say that some of her peers were taking Abrahams’ dismissal very seriously.
Some of them are even threatening to withdraw from the university, when the new academic year begins in September.