Full Text Theses - STA (2022 onwards)

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    The Social Construction of Climate Change Adaptation Finance for: Epistemological, Methodological and Ontological Challenges to the Provision of Adequate and Predictable Climate Change Adaptation Financing that is New and Additional
    (2023-06-28) Best, Gary
    The objective of this research is to provide the small island developing states (SIDS) with an empirical understanding of key characteristics within the United Nations Climate Finance Mechanism and among its members that would enable more informed decisions and negotiating positions towards accessing climate change adaptation finance. Grounded in international relations theory, and the use of a multi method qualitative study with a sample of key informants triangulated with documentary information, the researcher explored the perception that actions of members contribute to the provision of inadequate and unpredictable climate finance that is not new and additional, despite an obligation and commitment by developed country Parties to raise USD 100 bn from 2020, towards that goal. The data collection methods used were in depth semi-structured interviews, document review, supported by genealogy. Thirty-one findings emerged from an analysis of the coded data. Key findings included: (1) financialization of climate change solutions is detrimental to the SIDS; (2) there is no new and additional finance; (3) doubts surround the AOSIS as an effective negotiator; (4) more adaptation and mainstreaming are needed; and (5) adaptation is not seen as an investible product. The findings were analysed using a Foucauldian influenced discourse analysis and genealogy; a Ruggie inspired constructivism; and cross-case analysis, which confirmed that power was exercised, inter alia, through decision texts, influenced by the construction of dominant discourses that produced ruptures and disjunctures in the climate finance discourse. We concluded that market-based mechanisms, as a means of raising climate finance for the SIDS, are likely to fail and recommended instead, the provision of public and grant-based sources via direct transfers to programmatic activities within national budgets.
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    Redefining Curepe Junction Based on User Perception
    (2022-03-04) Dass, Deena
    Development at transportation hubs throughout Trinidad and Tobago utilises antiquated strategies to resolve complex transportation engineering and urban design elements (TEUD), neglecting the input from the end-users. The objectives of this research were accomplished by utilising the user perception to identify the problematic TEUD elements of Curepe Junction, developing the design guidelines and assessing the potential impacts of the redesign. In pursuance of designing a successful junction, the leading successful space concepts were explored, i.e. Complete Streets, Context Sensitive Solution and Portals to Places. Three core elements were identified upon connecting these concepts: the people, the furnishings, and the network. While assessing these elements in the context of Curepe Junction, 125 hub users deemed all the elements of this auto-centric junction as below acceptable levels, identifying the most problematic elements as: 1. Accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities 2. Accessibility of transit information 3. Convenient and comfortable seating accommodations Upon redesigning the junction on the advice of the hub users and guided by literature utilising successful space concepts, the redesign generated a higher hub user satisfaction rate than the current design. This paradigm shift of redesigning for the people, by the people, illustrated that successful spaces thrive on the involvement of the end-users, ensuring the development of sustainable and practical design guidelines. Thus, concluding that the success of a space is directly proportional to the extent of the user involvement.
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    A Qualitative Evaluation of the Guidance and Counselling Programe in Selected Secondary Schools in North Eastern Trinidad.
    (2023) Jackree, Avinash
    This multi-site qualitative case study used Stufflebeam’s Context, Input, Process and Product evaluation model to explore how the guidance and counselling programme was meeting the personal/social, career and academic development needs of students. The perspectives of various educational stakeholders from four different school types in the North Eastern Education District of Trinidad and Tobago were sought. In each school a guidance officer, two teachers, two parents and four students were interviewed. A senior guidance and counselling official was also interviewed. The theory of Human Development and the Human Development Paradigm served as the theoretical framework encompassing Youth Development, Social Justice and the 5Cs of Positive Youth Development. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, document analysis, classroom observations, a reflexive journal, and emails. Data analysis revealed that the programme was meeting the students’ needs to a certain extent, however, it was hampered by several challenges, for example, it was not fully integrated into all the schools, classes were not always regularly scheduled, and there was limited stakeholder collaboration. The programme is aligned to international standards and various strategies were employed in its implementation. Minor adaptations were made to its delivery across school types. The programme helped with personal/social, career and academic issues to different extents. Mixed views about the programme’s assistance with human and youth development and social justice were expressed. Recommendations include conducting a new national needs assessment, increasing the number of guidance officers, and having a more equitable distribution of resources. The recommendations, however, may only lead to improvements if Trinidad and Tobago’s stratified, post-colonial education system is reformed since the programme is part of the larger educational framework.
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    The Implementation of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in Secondary Schools of Selected CARICOM States
    (2022) Whiteman, Pauline
    The study explored stakeholders’ perceptions about the CVQ to determine its impact on the delivery and assessment for the CVQ level 1 among secondary schools in six CARICOM states. Stakeholders’ experiences in the delivery and assessment for the CVQ were also investigated to determine the extent to which approaches employed in the delivery and assessment for the CVQ were in accordance with Competency-based Education and Training (CBET). The study employed a mixed methodology where the dominant qualitative phase explored perceptions and experiences of students, teachers, Heads of Departments/internal verifiers and principals/administrators about the CVQ level 1 programme by conducting focus group sessions and interviews. The quantitative phase surveyed students, teachers and internal verifiers to determine if approaches employed in the delivery and assessment of the CVQ were in accordance with CBET. Findings of the study were consistent with those found in the literature such as the existence of a negative perception of TVET and by extension the CVQ and challenges in timetabling and resourcing the delivery and assessment for the CVQ. The results of the study unearthed some good practices for cushioning the impact of limited resources such as implementation of the Self-Sufficient TVET School and resource sharing practices. In general, from the perspectives of students, teachers and internal verifiers, delivery and assessment approaches were consistent with CBET. While there were no statistically significant differences among teachers and internal verifiers regarding resources to support CBET, curriculum delivery and assessment practices, there were significant differences among students in all three variables. Recommendations were proposed for policy, practice and future research with a view to bolster the CVQ system for a more coherent, efficient and effective CVQ level 1 programme. Recommendations for policy focused on uptake of the CVQ level 1, clear delineation of roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, and resourcing for the CVQ level 1. Given the findings in this study, future research should focus on how CVQ level 1 can be implemented in a more economical manner, the feasibility of preparing students for the pursuit of the CVQ level 1 by implementing foundation vocational programmes in the lower forms, the potential for diverse teamteaching/ networking across institutions/industry/regions using available ICT infrastructure, the viability of e-Assessments for the CVQ and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the CVQ level 1 programme.
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    Prevalence and characteristics of Salmonella spp. isolated during broiler production, processing and sale in Trinidad and Tobago using the ‘farm to fork’ approach
    (2023) Khan, Anisa, Sarah
    Globally, Salmonella spp. is an important pathogen associated with foodborne diseases but there is a dearth on information on the occurrence and characteristics of Salmonella spp. in the country. The farm-to-fork investigation, using cross-sectional studies, determined the prevalence and characteristics of Salmonella in imported fertile hatching eggs, day-old chicks at hatcheries, broilers on farms, processing plants and chicken sold at retail outlets, using phenotypic methods and whole genome sequencing (WGS). At the level of broiler production, the prevalence of Salmonella was 0.0%, 7.6% and 2.8% for imported fertile eggs, hatcheries, and farms, respectively (p=0.006). The highest frequency of isolation of Salmonella was 28.0% and 2.2% in stillborn chicks and cloacal swabs, respectively, and the predominant serovars isolated were Kentucky (83.3%) and Infantis (62.5%). At the processing plants, the overall prevalence of Salmonella was 27.0%. S. Enteritidis, Javiana and Infantis were the predominant serotypes isolated, accounting for 20.8%, 16.7% and 12.5%, respectively, of the serotypes. The prevalence of Salmonella spp. in chicken carcasses sampled from cottage poultry processors and supermarkets was 20.5% and 8.3% respectively (p<0.001); the predominant serotypes isolated were Kentucky (30.9%) and Javiana (22.7%). Overall, all isolates exhibited resistance to one or more of the 16 antimicrobial agents tested. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 146 isolates that originated from the three levels of the industry was conducted. Antimicrobial resistance genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, peptides, sulfonamides and antiseptics were detected. Overall, virulence factors associated with secretion system and fimbrial adherence determinants accounted for 69.3% and 29.2% of the counts, respectively. Analysis of the core genome phylogenies revealed reliable clustering among isolates of serovars detected within and between sampling levels. The use of WGS confirmed the genetic relatedness and transmission of Salmonella serovars contaminating chickens in broiler processing and retailing in the country, with zoonotic and food safety implications.
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    Exploring Educators’ Perceptions about Necessary Supports for Inclusive Practice: Development and Assessment of a Conceptual Model
    (2023) Ramoutar, Amanda, Michelle
    This study addresses an area of research that has not been well described within inclusive education. In the ethic march towards inclusion in schools in the CARICOM region, educators have been left feeling less than confident in their ability to fulfill their responsibilities in meeting students’ needs due to the lack of facilitating conditions. The purpose of this two-phase, exploratory sequential mixed-methods study was to explore participant views about the provision of supports and to use this information to develop and test a model of necessary supports for educators’ inclusive practice. The first phase was a qualitative exploration of which supports are deemed essential to improve inclusive practice, in which individual and focus group interview data were collected from a sample of 10 education directors. Since there are no existing instruments to assess the provision of supports for inclusive practice, the themes from the qualitative findings were used to develop an instrument so that a series of hypotheses could be tested that relate to educators’ views about the key categories of supports necessary, and the relationship between supports and inclusive practice. Quantitative data collection for the second phase of the study was from a larger sample group of educators consisting of education directors, principals, and classroom teachers. Survey data were analyzed using basic and inferential statistical methods. The study found that five categories of supports are necessary for inclusive practice: an administrative plan of action, an educator efficacy mechanism, a coordinated response to student functionality, ecological infrastructure, and sensitization and advocacy. Further, the study revealed that these all impact educators’ inclusive practice.
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    A Finite Element Study of Steel Rafter to Concrete Ring Beam Connections Used in Trinidad and Tobago
    (2022) Daniel, Alden
    Rafter to ring beam connections are the most critical connections in a roof as their failure can result in dislodgement of the entire roof along with its framing and covering. The aim of this study was to conduct a finite element analysis study on the performance of some of the non-coded steel rafter to concrete ring beam connections used in Trinidad and Tobago. The most popular of these connections involve using steel rebars that are cast into the ring beam and subsequently welded to the rafter. Nine versions of this connection were identified and categorized as Type 2 & Type 3. The Type 2 Connections are those in which the rebars are welded to the top flange of the rafter and the Type 3 Connections are those in which the rebars are welded to the bottom flange of the rafter. The Type 2 and Type 3 connections consisted of several variations including mechanically anchoring the rebar to the rafter without welds, using one and two rebars, varying of the rebar embedment depth and using 90 degree and straight rebars. A Type 1 standard, code-compliant, bolted-endplate connection was used as the control for the investigation. The connections were analysed using “ABAQUS” and the maximum load resistances were compared with computed category 1 hurricane loads for this region. The load capacities of all the connections were found to be lower than the control connection but were still adequate for hurricane category 1 loads, with the exception of the connection in which the rebars were mechanically anchored to the rafter without welds. The Type 2 connections were less stiff, experienced larger rafter displacements, inflicted less damage on the concrete ring beam, and required less rebar embedment to prevent pull-out failure than the Type 3 connections