Every Child Must Be Given Equal Opportunity to Learn – Samuda

Delivering the keynote address at the opening of a two-day Higher Education Summit, on June 12 at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew, he said as children commence early-childhood education, opportunities must be at their disposal for growth and to prevent them from developing an inferiority complex. Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says every child must be given equal opportunity in the pursuit of education. Story Highlights “Every child in Jamaica must have equal opportunity from the start, and I look forward to the day when the fears that surround placement of the child is removed because of the improvement in all the schools,” he said. Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says every child must be given equal opportunity in the pursuit of education.Delivering the keynote address at the opening of a two-day Higher Education Summit, on June 12 at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew, he said as children commence early-childhood education, opportunities must be at their disposal for growth and to prevent them from developing an inferiority complex.“Every child in Jamaica must have equal opportunity from the start, and I look forward to the day when the fears that surround placement of the child is removed because of the improvement in all the schools,” he said.Mr. Samuda emphasised that schools should not be stigmatised because they do not have brand names.The Minister argued that once every child is given an equal chance for educational advancement at the beginning, and they are not beset by non-inclusion, their chances at success will be greater.He pointed out that the “appropriate formula” needs to be found to enable students to have better access to tertiary education, adding that he has seen the potential in scores of young people, and they must be given every opportunity to succeed.The Summit brings together key stakeholders of the education sector to discuss issues impacting tertiary students and to broaden awareness on funding, housing and security. read more

NWC to Conduct Audit of All Water Supply Systems

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the Government is to conduct an audit of the island’s water supply systems, to find solutions for the challenges being experienced by citizens. “We want to know exactly where the issues are and begin to take the necessary steps to fix them,” Senator Charles Jr. pointed out. In his message read by Member of Parliament for Central St. James, Heroy Clarke, during the commissioning ceremony for the National Water Commission (NWC) Section H Norwood Water Supply Improvement Project in St. James on August 23, the Minister said he has asked the NWC and other entities that provide water to citizens, to conduct an audit of all the systems. Story Highlights Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says the Government is to conduct an audit of the island’s water supply systems, to find solutions for the challenges being experienced by citizens.In his message read by Member of Parliament for Central St. James, Heroy Clarke, during the commissioning ceremony for the National Water Commission (NWC) Section H Norwood Water Supply Improvement Project in St. James on August 23, the Minister said he has asked the NWC and other entities that provide water to citizens, to conduct an audit of all the systems.“We want to know exactly where the issues are and begin to take the necessary steps to fix them,” Senator Charles Jr. pointed out.The Minister said that as the Government moves to implement solutions, the NWC continues to undertake islandwide infrastructural works to upgrade several of the country’s water systems.The Norwood Section H Water Supply Improvement Project forms part of the NWC’s strategic plan to extend access to water in the community.The development falls under Phase One of the Commission’s multimillion-dollar Norwood Water Supply Improvement Project, which is being done through contractors Frederick Rodrigues and Associates Limited.It is also intended to lay the groundwork for regularising the community’s informal network.Meanwhile, Senator Charles Jr. said he hopes the project will “identify where the challenges are in having the system in operation, so that we can provide the requisite services to the citizens of this community (Norwood)”.The Minister emphasised the importance of residents accessing the service through the proper channels.“When the system is completed and citizens start to benefit from the supply, please ensure that you get connected to the system legally,” he said. read more

Education a Priority at Mount Olivet Boys Home

Education continues to be a priority at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, as the administration of the State-run residence pulls out all the stops to provide an environment conducive to the development of the wards in the institution’s care. “The boys are doing very well. We have 10 boys who were placed between first and 10th in their classes,” the Home’s Director, Patrick Newman, told JIS News during a recent career day event at the facility in Walderston, Manchester. “When you look at some of the cases, when they came to us, they were out of the formal school system for three, sometimes four years,” he noted. Education continues to be a priority at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, as the administration of the State-run residence pulls out all the stops to provide an environment conducive to the development of the wards in the institution’s care.“The boys are doing very well. We have 10 boys who were placed between first and 10th in their classes,” the Home’s Director, Patrick Newman, told JIS News during a recent career day event at the facility in Walderston, Manchester.“When you look at some of the cases, when they came to us, they were out of the formal school system for three, sometimes four years,” he noted.He said that for this academic year, one boy is registered at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), after passing seven subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, and others at the HEART Trust/NTA.Mr. Newman noted that Mount Olivet is a place of choice for boys in State care and expressed gratitude to entities such as the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) for the support provided to the Home over the years.“This didn’t happen as an accident. It happened because we have people like the JIS who are so committed. Your presence and commitment to Mount Olivet is paying off. I don’t want you to stop anytime soon,” he said.At the career day, professionals from various fields provided guidance and advice to the wards as part of their preparation for the new school year.There were representatives from law enforcement, dentistry, entertainment, journalism, science and Government. The day’s activities were organised by JIS, which adopted the Home in 2009.Sergeant Deane Cover of the Community Safety and Security Division highlighted the importance of staying on the right side of the law.“You must ensure that as a youngster growing up you have a good record; that is important. Once you are over the age of 12, then, by law, you can be charged. So your record is important because once you have a criminal record, you cannot walk through the back door to join the (police) force,” he pointed out.Sergeant Cover encouraged the boys to “exhibit good mannerisms, conduct and show that you respect authority” even while they are in the care of the State.President of the Jamaica Dental Association, Dr. Oswald Dunn, in his presentation, pointed out that dentistry is a rewarding field, with the greatest satisfaction coming from restoring smiles.He encouraged the boys to think beyond their current circumstance and pointed out that they can achieve any of the goals to which they aspire.“A lot of times the door might appear closed or locked, but sometimes it is not locked. If you push a little bit harder it can open up,” he said.Assistant Superintendent, Jamaica Fire Brigade, O. Bryan, in outlining the entry requirements and the benefits available for members, said that a career in the service can be fulfilling.“You can start… move up the ranks… . Our Commissioner, now, is coming from the ranks of firefighter right through [to the top job],” he said.He urged the boys to dream big. “Don’t just enter an organisation for the money. Instead, aspire to be leaders and represent your country well,” he advised.For his part, JIS photographer, Michael Sloley, explained that a career behind the camera requires not just skill and dedication but discipline as well.He noted that every assignment is as much an opportunity to learn as it is to earn.Meanwhile, Director of the Road Safety Unit, Kenute Hare, in a candid presentation to the boys, urged them to stay in school and focus on their studies.He cautioned that if they are not wise in selecting the vehicles in which they travel and think “it is cool to be a ‘shotta’ or ‘hothead’ driver, all these dreams that you have will come to naught”.Other presenters included Daniel Gillings, a scientist from the University of the West Indies, Mona, who performed experiments; and musician and graduate of the Edna Manley School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Leon Campbell.The boys also benefited from haircuts done by barbers from HEART Trust/NTA.Sponsors for the event were YB Afraid, Wisynco, Sagicor Foundation, Sammy’s Shoes; Cooper’s Delights; CB Chicken; Jamaica Urban Transport Company as well as private individuals, including staff members of the Jamaica Customs Agency. Story Highlights read more