Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley makes a point during his interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the apparent current upsurge in sex crimes against children and young girls in particular is horrendous.

However, he says the number of cases being reported to the T&T Police Service is as a result of the systems that are being put in place to help protect victims.

In the past seven days, 11 cases of sexual assault against minors have been heard in the local courts.

On Monday, five men appeared before courts in Port-of-Spain and San Fernando respectively, to answer to various such charges and yesterday, two more appeared.

Rowley was asked about this situation during an interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew with Natalee Legore yesterday.

“I think it is the level of activity that exists now and the systems that are in place now that brings out some of these things in the way that they are coming out. A lot of it was happening before,” Rowley said.

However, the PM described the situation as “horrendous.”

“I think what you are seeing here is that some of the systems are working and wrinkling out and identifying,” he said.

With respect to the ongoing national conversation about education reform, Rowley said there has been a lot of talk about getting rid of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination but said so far, he has not heard a suitable replacement for it.

“I have not heard yet what is the replacement, because there has to be some process by which you move children from the primary schools to the secondary schools,” he said.

Rowley said Government currently is looking at finding usable options to address the education system.

He also defended the Government’s handling of the scholarship programme, where scholarships available were cut from 400 to 100.

“One hundred will get the scholarship as you know it and 400 who will be supported separately on a means test, so at the end of the year 500 will be helped against 400 by using that new system,” he said.