first_imgDear Editor,Few politicians have the courage, capacity and ability of Bharrat Jagdeo; people shower praises on his leadership against the Government for early elections. “He is we boy”, they say. There is virtually no comparison to Jagdeo on either side of the political divide. There is hardly any charismatic alternative in the Opposition PPP save one who is engaged in the legal battle for constitutionalism. That is the overwhelming view of people around the country as the Opposition Leader carries the struggle for constitutional rule and early elections.As almost everyone noted in a survey I am conducting on varied issues, other political leaders would have abandoned this intractable struggle long ago; it is a tough fight with insurmountable challenges. But Jagdeo has stayed the course, and for this, the party’s supporters, and even some on the other side, are most grateful. Even his critics and some within the party who oppose him lauded his fight for elections. They themselves recognise they lack the skills and acumen to lead a struggle the way he does. As people commented, the man has the mettle to lead a fight for adherence to the Constitution and democratic governance. There is hardly any Opposition to his strategy to get early elections.The Caribbean Court of Justice ruled almost two months ago that elections must be held, in accordance with the Constitution; the Constitution dictates elections be held within three months of a successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion. The motion was passed on December 21. A court challenge put a pause on the date. The pause ended on June 12 with the final verdict of the CCJ; the pause was lifted on that date. However, the body that is responsible for holding the elections says it is not ready. From December to now, some seven months later, preparations for elections have barely started. The President says he will not call elections until GECOM says it is ready. The CONSTITUTION says the President fixes a date and GECOM will advise if that date is practical. The Opposition Leader is carrying the struggle like no other to enforce the verdict of the court for early elections. Other Opposition figures from outside the party have also joined in the battle for respect of the Constitution.People (party supporters and some on the other side) love Jagdeo; anyone who does not accept this fact is fooling themselves and they lauded his leadership. As people noted, Jagdeo has inherited a leadership (General Secretary of the PPP) some four years ago just after the party was reeling from “two defeats” in general elections. They say the party was perhaps at its worst position when he took over the mantle. Jagdeo has worked conscientiously to restore the party’s shattered stocks like when he was President. He carried the party to two landslide victories in local elections. Whether he can lead the party to victory in general elections is too early to tell as the focus right now is on an election date.Will the struggle by Jagdeo and others for constitutionally due elections pay off? All legal scholars are unanimous that elections must be held. The overwhelming view among the population at large is elections must, should, and will be held as per the Constitution. But as the President stated a few days ago, GECOM has to advise him when it is ready so he can announce a date. That announcement from the GECOM Chair could come soon after Chief Justice George’s ruling on August 14. The CJ herself is also likely to reiterate the view and order elections.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram(On the ground amongvoters)last_img read more

first_imgThe report, released in Johannesburg on Wednesday, compared the NSC certificate with the Cambridge International Examinations and the International Baccalaureate Organisation as well as the Namibian Senior Certificate. “Our findings are that this qualification [NSC] is pitched at the correct level. It has got the necessary requirements of a robust qualification .the learners who pass this certificate can compete favourably with learners from other education systems,” Umalusi CEO Rakometsi Mafu said at the release of the report. Equitable admissions policy Hesa manager Cobus Lotter said the research compared the NSC to the Cambridge International Examinations because it had a footprint in South Africa. Data indicates that it has more than 40 centres in the country and over 150 worldwide. 12 August 2010 Source: BuaNews “The South African public can be reassured that the NSC is a good, solid, robust qualification,” said Burroughs. ‘Good, solid qualification’center_img She added that one of the recommendations of the report was to highlight the importance of good teacher training “so that we maintain our credibility in the international education landscape”. Based on these findings, Hesa will then formulate an equitable policy that will lead to consistency in admission decisions. Hesa’s criticisms do, however, hint that there is a clear need for well-qualified teachers in South Africa. Liz Burroughs, a senior manager at Umalusi, said the main aim of the study was to establish the continuity of standards between the old and new qualifications. The NSC replaced the Senior Certificate in 2008. Already, South Africa was the eighth most favourable university destination in the world, he said. The report will further assist in determining the minimum requirements for admission to degree, diploma and higher certificate admission status in the country. A new report issued by education quality assuror Umalusi and Higher Education South Africa (Hesa) finds that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and its curriculum are on par with international standards, and are favourable when compared to other international qualifications.last_img read more

first_imgSteve Andrews, CEO of SolarAid believes he is lucky to be leading this extraordinary NGO; bringing clean, renewable energy to the world’s poorest people. The pico-solar light makes clean, safe light accessible in remote rural areas. (Images: SolarAid) MEDIA CONTACTS • Elly White Communications Coordinator SolarAid elly.white@solar-aid.org RELATED ARTICLES • Light for Africa • Light shines for Team Emulsified • African sun could light world’s citiesWritten by Melissa Jane CookHundreds of millions of rural Africans have no access to electricity. Productive hours are lost and study time reduced because when the sun goes down, they must stop. But solar-powered lights are a safe, renewable, cost-efficient and effective answer.With the ambitious goal of eradicating the kerosene lamp by 2020, SolarAid, a charity based in London, is shipping its solar-powered lights to Africa. They not only protect the environment, says the charity, they also transform lives.Charged by the sun during the day, the small, hand-held solar lights offer a simple, economical solution for free light at night. They are dependable, reliable and early research shows, have had a remarkable impact on peoples’ lives. Already available in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Senegal and Zambia, the lamps have yet to land in South Africa.SolarAid’s philosophy is “One small light, one big idea”. According to Lighting Africa, a joint International Finance Corporation and World Bank programme set up to improve access to lighting in areas not yet connected to an electricity grid, nearly 600 million Africans have no access to electricity and many rely on toxic kerosene for lighting. “These brutal lamps emit noxious black smoke and burn up to 25% of the household income – locking millions into poverty. By contrast, solar lights cost as little as $10 (R98.75), pay for themselves after 12 weeks, and last for five years,” says SolarAid chief executive Steve Andrews.The goal of the charity is to make sure that by the end of the decade, every person who needs a light has one. “We are proud to be an international charity combatting both poverty and climate change with one simple piece of technology – the solar light.”The hard factsAs much as 91% of the rural population of sub-Saharan Africa does not have electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. “Energy is the thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity and sustainability,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. “But widespread energy poverty still condemns billions to darkness, ill health and missed opportunities for education and prosperity.”Each year, about $10.5-billion is spent on expensive, dangerous, toxic kerosene for lighting. The burning of this harmful hydrocarbon liquid contributes to indoor air pollution, causing respiratory diseases, eye infections and often fatal accidents. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, using kerosene has huge consequences for the environment, with a single kerosene lamp emitting up to one ton of carbon dioxide over five years.Elly White, the communications co-ordinator at SolarAid, explains that more than 290 million people in Africa use kerosene as their main source of lighting. “Each kerosene lamp emits over 2.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide per litre burned, as well as black carbon, or soot, which adds even more intensely to global warming.”The way forwardA step away from kerosene to the more positive lamps that are freely lit by the sun appears to be an obvious choice. Schoolchildren and students are able to study for longer at night and read books under safer conditions. Without light, opportunities for earning, learning and socialising are severely limited. The productive day is cut short so that children cannot study, parents cannot work and families have little time together.According to SolarAid, early research has found that on average, children in homes where solar lights have been installed are doing double the amount of homework every evening. In Malawi, two-thirds of head teachers said the performance of children with solar lights had improved; there had been increased attendance at school, and motivation and concentration in class.These solar lights increase available income in that less household money is used for power. The socio-economic benefits are numerous. The saved finances can be used to buy essential food and agricultural equipment, and fund children’s education, leading to an improvement in health and educational prospects. Andrews says that government grid expansion predominantly benefits a wealthier, urban population, and the micro solar market benefits poorer people in rural areas – those for whom grid access remains a pipedream, even with major investment in grid expansion.“Despite the name, SolarAid does not give ‘aid’ in the traditional sense of the word; we do something far more ground-breaking. We are driving forward a fair, sustainable market for solar technology through our social enterprise in Africa; making solar lights accessible to people living in the remotest corners of the continent,” he explains.White says that SolarAid works to get rural African families access to pico, or small, solar lights. “They do not require costly installation or maintenance and provide instant light in remote rural areas the electricity grid might never reach.” SolarAid has already made access to this safe, clean light a reality for over three million people.“Statistics show that in sub-Saharan Africa, indoor smoke causes around 400 000 deaths a year. In addition, the danger of fire from open flames and kerosene lamp explosions is substantial. Inhaling the fumes from just one kerosene lamp is the toxic equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes a day,” she says.SolarAid’s research shows that seven in 10 solar light users have noticed an improvement in health since buying their solar light.“Poverty is not just about money; the dignity that comes from having choices and an improved standard of living gives families hope for a better future,” concludes Andrews.last_img read more

first_imgLATEST STORIES Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises “He does something different in every game,” Suarez said of Messi. “He was spectacular again. The fans who came to the stadium were able to enjoy the best player in history.”Suarez has also been impressive.The Uruguay striker also scored twice against Betis, reaching 100 goals with Barcelona in 114 matches. He is the league’s second-best scorer with 15 goals, and has found the net 10 times in his last eight matches.His first goal on Sunday was a neat volley from inside the area, and the second was a well-placed shot into the top corner after a set up by Messi.Barcelona had been unbeaten in 29 matches until a 1-0 loss at Espanyol in the quarterfinals of Copa del Rey last week, when Messi failed to convert a penalty kick in a rare miss. Suarez began that game on the bench. The second leg is Thursday at Camp Nou, when the duo is expected to play from the start.Messi and Suarez helped Barcelona open an 11-point lead at the start of second half of the Spanish league, its biggest advantage after 20 matches since the 2008-09 season.Barcelona has a 19-point lead over defending champion Real Madrid, which it beat 3-0 at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium late last year with Messi and Suarez each scoring once. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers MOST READ FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates with Luis Suarez, right, after scoring the fourth goal of his team during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Real Sociedad, at Anoeta stadium, in San Sebastian, northern Spain, Sunday, Jan.14, 2018. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)MADRID — It turns out Barcelona had the solution to its problems right at home.After starting the season surrounded by doubts following failed attempts to bring in a top player to replace Neymar, Barcelona showed it can do just fine regardless.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez proved they can get the job done by themselves, leading Barcelona to an impressive first half of the season.With the talented duo thriving, Barcelona became the runaway leader in the Spanish league and stayed alive in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMessi and Suarez have combined to score 34 goals in the Spanish league, more than the total tally of all but three other teams.There was concern when Barcelona failed to sign Philippe Coutinho after Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain in the offseason, but the duo took over the attacking responsibility and made sure the team stayed highly competitive despite not having the extra forward. The Catalan club added young France forward Ousmane Dembele, but the France international got injured and hasn’t been able to play much. Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City ONE Championship partners with Global Citizen to fight poverty John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Messi has been on a level of his own, leading the league in scoring with 19 goals. He has scored nine times in his last 10 games.The Argentina forward had a mesmerizing performance in Barcelona’s 5-0 rout at Real Betis on Sunday, scoring twice and being applauded by some of the opposing fans.“We are lucky to be able to see him play,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “I suffered when I was on the other side, now I can enjoy it. It’s a spectacle to be able to watch him. He is the best who will ever play.”Messi’s second goal on Sunday was one to admire, with the playmaker entering the area and going past two defenders before calmly finding the net.He also impressed late in the game by escaping from three defenders after being pressured near his own area, changing direction several times while coolly controlling the ball. He finished the play by putting the ball through the legs of one of the defenders.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

first_imgThe Government will be investing in the training and education of animators, to ensure that the country has the requisite skills, in sufficient numbers, to meet the demand for the expertise both locally and internationally.This was disclosed by State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, during an interview with JIS News at the closing of the KingstOOn animation conference and film festival on June 22, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI).He said that already, discussions have been held towards introducing animation education in the school system. The intention is to train students to become animation artists for film, television, video games, and the internet.“We have met with the Ministry of Education and they have actually started putting together a curriculum for animation. We are going to ensure that the curriculum is consistent with what the industry actually wants…,” he told JIS News.Mr. Robinson said the staging of the conference and film festival, which sought to give visibility to the pool of talented young Jamaican artists, will provide the catalyst for the development of animation as a major industry in Jamaica.He informed that follow-up discussions have already commenced with the World Bank and Montreal-based Toon Boom, which is a major software development company, “about linking us with companies that are looking for opportunities to outsource to Jamaica, so we have already started the follow-up kind of actions.”The State Minister expressed pleasure at the huge turnout and participation in the two-day event. “It has really been heartwarming to see the kind of turnout and enthusiasm that has been displayed here,” he told JIS News.He praised the animators for the stellar work they produced in the various categories of the competition held, noting that the pieces were judged by a panel of internationally acclaimed adjudicators.“I think it affirms to us that there is an abundance of talent and creativity out there in animation in Jamaica and we just need to put in place the systems and mechanisms to translate what is raw talent into an industry that can earn for Jamaica, foreign exchange, and provide employment for a lot of people, so it has really energised us,” he stated.Over 135 entries were received in the categories of Best Final Animation Product or Advert; Best Experimental Animation; Best Storyboard/Script; and Best Character.“Down to Earth” by Kira Clayton, was adjudged the Best Final Animation Product or Advert; Tanya Batson-Savage’s “Endeavour” won forBest Storyboard/Script; “Red Locks – The Village Ram”by George Hay, was the Best Character; while “HelloKingstOOn”by Kemar McInnis was the Best Experimental Animation.The winners were presented with an array of prizes including scholarships, internships, and free internet service.The two-day KingstOOn conference and film festival was organisedby the Government in partnership with the World Bank, the Canadian High Commission, and JAMPRO.By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporterlast_img read more