Holland Primary Wins SEP Competition

Defending champion, Holland Primary School in St. Elizabeth has copped the 2019 Schools Environment Programme (SEP) research competition.The school, with its research topic ‘Marine/Coastal Ecosystems’, with a focus on wetlands and their importance to the natural environment, was announced the winner during the SEP Research Day and Awards Ceremony, held on Wednesday (June 12), at The Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.The institution was among the 15 top-performing schools for the 2018/2019 academic year that participated in the annual event, which included exhibitions displaying the environmental research conducted by the teams from each institution.The displays were judged by environmental, education and conservation practitioners, as well as representatives from SEP’s corporate sponsors.Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who addressed the ceremony, commended the students and staff from the participating schools for the ingenuity and hard work put into mounting the displays.Mr. Vaz pledged the continued support of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) in the implementation of the programme, which, he said, promotes an awareness of proper environmental management in the future generation.“In this group, I see budding researchers, ecologists, scientists, academics, geologists and climate change specialists. We are going to need the help of this group in the near future as the world grapples with environmental degradation and climate change. Based on what I have seen here today and in interacting with the youngsters, they are absolutely astute in relation to environmental management,” he said.The Minister called for more private-sector support to ensure continued implementation of the programme.Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), Suzanne Stanley, said among the activities under the SEP were student workshops hosted by JET in Kingston and St. Ann throughout the month of May.The workshops highlighted the impact of improper disposal of waste on the environment and the Government’s recently implemented plastic ban.Fifty-four students and 27 teachers from 28 schools participated in the student workshops, held under the theme ‘Life with Plastic – Not so Fantastic’.Ms. Stanley, who has been an SEP judge for several years, said “by far, this was one of the most outstanding years in research that I have seen. You really did very well. We recognise all the hard work that goes into your projects”.“These young Jamaicans are tomorrow’s leaders and we really have to adequately prepare them for the future they will inherit. That requires commitment in providing the tools they need to tackle global challenges. Environmental education is an important part of creating the change we all want to see in Jamaica,” she added.In addition to Holland Primary, the overall winner in the competition, awards were presented to schools that placed first, second and third in the ‘Best Research Display’ category.First place was awarded to Mar-Jam Preparatory, St. Ann. Pisgah Primary, St. Elizabeth, was awarded second place and Vista Prep in St. Ann, third.Several schools won prizes in various categories, including ‘Campus Based’, ‘Greening Your School’, ‘Solid Waste Management’ and ‘Environmental Club’.Sectional prizes were awarded for the ‘Most Knowledgeable Students’, ‘Most Creative Display’, ‘Solid Waste Research’ and ‘Best Spokesperson’.Winners received plaques as well as printers, laptops, smart TVs, stationery, and book vouchers valued at $5,000 from Sangster’s Book Stores.The SEP promotes environmental awareness and action in students and encourages the development of environmentally friendly schools and communities.It is the flagship environmental education initiative organised by JET.In the 2018/19 academic year, SEP was delivered in 32 preparatory and primary schools across the island. The school, with its research topic ‘Marine/Coastal Ecosystems’, with a focus on wetlands and their importance to the natural environment, was announced the winner during the SEP Research Day and Awards Ceremony, held on Wednesday (June 12), at The Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. Story Highlights The institution was among the 15 top-performing schools for the 2018/2019 academic year that participated in the annual event, which included exhibitions displaying the environmental research conducted by the teams from each institution. Defending champion, Holland Primary School in St. Elizabeth has copped the 2019 Schools Environment Programme (SEP) research competition. read more

Mourners Pay Tribute to Edward Seaga

Story Highlights The mourners, most of whom were dressed in black, white and green, said although they were not unable to go inside the church or the church yard, it would be remiss if they did not stand on the streets surrounding the church to say goodbye. The former Prime Minister died on May 28 at a hospital in the United States where he was receiving treatment.  He was 89 years old.   “He was one of the best Prime Ministers because of the things he did for the poor. He built houses and helped to provide education. The day he died, it was his birthday, and in the morning I posted his photo in my Whatsapp status for his birthday. When I heard he died that day, I cried. I literally cried because I respected that man so much,” Ms. Morgan told JIS News.     Hundreds of mourners whose lives were impacted by the leadership and contribution of former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, flooded the streets surrounding the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in downtown, Kingston, during his State funeral, on Sunday (June 23), to pay their last respects.The mourners, most of whom were dressed in black, white and green, said although they were not unable to go inside the church or the church yard, it would be remiss if they did not stand on the streets surrounding the church to say goodbye.One of the mourners, Mr. Michael Robinson, who is an artist and past student of Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, said Mr. Seaga was one of the first persons who invested in his talent and encouraged him.That investment permitted him the opportunity to receive tertiary level certification, travel to other countries and show his work to the world, and for this, he is forever grateful.“I am from the community of Denham Town [one of the communities of West Kingston where Mr. Seaga served as the Member of Parliament for 43 years], and I was sponsored by Mr. Seaga to attend Edna Manley in 1995. He did a lot for Jamaica. I am a self-taught artist with painting and he invested in my talent,” Mr. Robinson told JIS News.“That investment has allowed me to travel to a lot of cities and countries, such as Belgium, Germany, United States of America and many more,” he said.Another mourner, Mr. Shawn McNamee, told JIS News that he loved Mr. Seaga as much as he loves his parents.“He implemented a lot of institutions in this country, which have benefitted a lot of my friends. He implemented the HEART Trust/NTA and I have a lot of friends who went to the Runaway Bay HEART Academy, been trained as chefs and now they are working on ships all over the world. That’s a big thing for me,” he said.Coronation Market Vendor, Ms. Pauline Johnson, who has been selling for over 30 years, said Mr. Seaga ensured market vendors were comfortable when he served as Prime Minister. That was her main reason for standing in the streets to pay her final respects before he was laid to rest.“He has done a lot for Jamaica. He saw to it that we [the market vendors] were all taken care of,” she  said.Mr. Fitzroy Graham recalled Mr. Seaga as a good Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for West Kingston.“He has done work that many still don’t know about. Since his death, I am actually surprised at many things I am hearing that he did. He was always there for poor people. We will never stop loving him and that’s why we’re here to pay our last respects,” Mr. Graham said.Another mourner, Terri-Ann Morgan, who travelled to Kingston from St. Elizabeth, said watching the State funeral on television would not be enough for her. She had to attend the funeral, even if it meant she had to stand in the street and watch it on a screen near the church.“He was one of the best Prime Ministers because of the things he did for the poor. He built houses and helped to provide education. The day he died, it was his birthday, and in the morning I posted his photo in my Whatsapp status for his birthday. When I heard he died that day, I cried. I literally cried because I respected that man so much,” Ms. Morgan told JIS News.Mourner, Mr. Henry Anderson, said he has fond memories of Mr. Seaga when he served as Prime Minister and visited his community in St. Thomas.“When my mother was alive, she loved him because of what he did for us in the community, so I had no choice but to love him too,” Mr. Anderson said.Sisters, Sharon Campbell and Veronica Mills, who embraced each other on the streets, said Mr. Seaga positively impacted their lives when they were younger, and even though one was not feeling well, they braved the heat from the sun, and came out to pay their last respects.“He did what he could [for us]. Many came after, and have not done what he did. He built houses for poor people, he built schools, he built health centres and assisted the hospitals, both in Kingston and rural parishes. He was a great man and for that I respect him,” Ms. Campbell told JIS News.Her sister gave a more personalised recollection of his contribution to her life. “When I lived in St. Mary as a young girl, I never forgot how he built a clinic for my community. He helped us to get water and electricity. I also remembered how he helped me to get a piece of land, and for that, I had to come out and pay my last respects today,” Ms. Mills said.Mr. Seaga served as Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister from 1980 to 1989 and was also a member of the first Parliament of independent Jamaica.He also served as Member of Parliament for West Kingston, where Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens are located, for 43 years.The former Prime Minister died on May 28 at a hospital in the United States where he was receiving treatment.  He was 89 years old.Mr. Seaga was buried in National Heroes Park. read more