Students Feted at Breakfast as Part of Diaspora Day of Service

Story Highlights The activity was undertaken in collaboration with the Optimist Club of St. Matthews, Kingston, in recognition of Diaspora Day of Service. In her address to the students, member of the Jamaica Diaspora, Elvenia Sandiford, who resides in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, reminded them to be thankful and appreciative of their teachers. Some 126 students at the infant department of the Calabar Infant, Primary and Junior High School in downtown Kingston were today (June 20) provided with breakfast by members of the Jamaica diaspora. Some 126 students at the infant department of the Calabar Infant, Primary and Junior High School in downtown Kingston were today (June 20) provided with breakfast by members of the Jamaica diaspora.The activity was undertaken in collaboration with the Optimist Club of St. Matthews, Kingston, in recognition of Diaspora Day of Service.In her address to the students, member of the Jamaica Diaspora, Elvenia Sandiford, who resides in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, reminded them to be thankful and appreciative of their teachers.“While we are serving, we have been talking to young boys and girls about being respectful, thankful and appreciative, especially to their teachers, as they spend most of their time with their teachers,” she told JIS News.President, Optimist Club of St. Matthews, Patricia Knightlet, informed that it was the biggest breakfast-feeding programme they have undertaken so far.“This is part of our club, as we venture in serving and feeding students of the surrounding area of Allman Town,” she said.The Day of Service forms part of activities for the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade from June 16 to 20 under the theme, ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Building Pathways for Sustainable Development’.This staging targets expanding and building pathways for the diaspora and Jamaica to work together to prepare effectively for the future within the context of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which incorporate the core goals of the Vision 2030 National Development Plan. read more

Work to Begin on Digitisation of Birth Records at RGD

Story Highlights Parliamentary Secretary, Senator Robert Morgan, made the disclosure while addressing a Lions Club of Kingston meeting at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Wednesday (July 3). Work is to begin on the digitisation of all birth records at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) as part of the continued upgrading of the Government’s information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. Work is to begin on the digitisation of all birth records at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) as part of the continued upgrading of the Government’s information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure.Parliamentary Secretary, Senator Robert Morgan, made the disclosure while addressing a Lions Club of Kingston meeting at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Wednesday (July 3).He said that e-Gov Jamaica Limited is procuring equipment for the RGD digitisation as well as to build out the Government’s ICT framework. The objective is to create a platform where citizens can better interact with the Government, and facilitate quicker and easier access to services, thereby enhancing ease of doing business.The work is being done under the National Identification System (NIDS) project, which is being implemented through a US$68-million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).While the identification project has been halted due to the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, which rendered the enabling legislation passed in Parliament in 2017 null and void, Mr. Morgan said the ICT component continues.“We are continuing to implement non-NIDS activities, such as the ICT infrastructure, and we will continue to develop new processes to deliver fully digital services,” he said.He noted that the majority of the funds, about 80 per cent, is being spent on the ICT upgrade, which, he noted, is crucial to transforming Jamaica into a truly digital society, keeping pace with the rest of the world. \“The Government recognises that Jamaica has been behind in relation to participating in this digital economy, and if the Government is behind, that means our people are behind. What that also means is that…we have excluded ourselves and our citizens from immense financial opportunities internationally because we are not plugged into the global information technology economy,” he said.Mr. Morgan informed that the Government will continue consultations and education about the benefits of NIDS. He said that e-Gov Jamaica Limited is procuring equipment for the RGD digitisation as well as to build out the Government’s ICT framework. The objective is to create a platform where citizens can better interact with the Government, and facilitate quicker and easier access to services, thereby enhancing ease of doing business. read more

STATIN to Conduct Crime Victimisation Survey from September to November

In an interview with JIS News, Unit Head of Special Projects at STATIN, Philone Mantock, said that the agency will be conducting the evaluation on behalf of the Ministry of National Security and will engage some 5,000 households across the island. Story Highlights The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) will be conducting the Jamaica National Crime Victimisation Survey (JNCVS) between September and November 2019 to gather people’s perception of public safety and the criminal justice system. The survey will allow for a better understanding of people’s views of safety in their communities, their confidence in law-enforcement agencies, and the socio-demographic details of the victims. The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) will be conducting the Jamaica National Crime Victimisation Survey (JNCVS) between September and November 2019 to gather people’s perception of public safety and the criminal justice system.The survey will allow for a better understanding of people’s views of safety in their communities, their confidence in law-enforcement agencies, and the socio-demographic details of the victims.In an interview with JIS News, Unit Head of Special Projects at STATIN, Philone Mantock, said that the agency will be conducting the evaluation on behalf of the Ministry of National Security and will engage some 5,000 households across the island.“The survey measures the incidence of crime from the perspective of the victim, because most of the data we have currently on crime is from police reports, and evidence has shown that a number of crimes are not reported to the police.“This survey allows us to capture crime from the victim’s perspective, as well as their perception of their safety, and the reliability and effectiveness of certain authorities related to the criminal justice system,” Miss Mantock outlined.She explained that households will be selected randomly, and one member, 16 years or older, will be chosen to complete the questionnaire.“So, we will ask questions such as if you have experienced a crime in the past 12 months, when the crime happened, the type of crime it was and if there were any other victims,” Miss Mantock noted.She added that other questions will pertain to the participant’s perception on public and community safety.“So we may ask how safe you feel in your neighbourhood, is your neighbourhood safe for children, have you installed any security measures in your household such as security grills, alarms, watchdog; are you a part of a neighbourhood watch?” she said.The questionnaire will also cover the participants’ views on social intervention programmes and their effectiveness, and their perception of authorities related to the criminal justice system.“Coming out of the actual data collection, we will do a report to be presented to the Ministry of National Security, which will show the crime prevalence in particular areas and the incidence of crime. They can use the data to see what kind of measures they may need to take in specific communities, which crimes we need to focus on, and get a true picture of crime statistics in Jamaica,” Miss Mantock explained.STATIN is now concluding a two-week pilot to test the survey process.Eighteen communities from across the island are participating in the pilot, which ends on July 12.“We trained 18 interviewers and seven supervisors and they have been across the island in different communities collecting information,” Miss Mantock told JIS News.“At the end of the week, when they wrap up the pilot phase, we will have a meeting with the field staff to assess how effective the instrument was, as they have been using tablets to carry out the survey,” she noted.She said that the meeting will also allow for identifying and correcting all issues in order to ensure a successful survey in September.Miss Mantock is encouraging persons to support the process by cooperating with the STATIN team and participating in the exercise.She assured citizens that the information they provide is confidential under the Statistics Act and cannot be provided to any other party.“The interviewers have signed an oath, so anything that is relayed to them by the respondents cannot be released to any household member, any friend, any community member, as everything is kept confidential. We do not release your name, the data is presented in such a form that it does not identify a specific person,” she assured.Miss Mantock noted that the interviewers conduct the survey in private “so when they select the respondent, we ask them to make an appointment…so if the householder is busy, they can return to do it one-on-one”.The JNCVS is conducted every three years. read more

Minister Says Significant Investments Being Made In Water Sector

He told the audience that the country is experiencing a shift in the weather pattern, with the major reservoirs being affected, and “this level of vulnerability should not be acceptable, as it poses a serious threat to our existence”, citing the need for more water harvesting. The Government is making significant investments to achieve a sustainable water sector, says Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. The Minister, who was commissioning a $9-million rainwater harvesting system at the Rock Hall Primary School in West Rural St. Andrew on October 1, said the budget for the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) has been increased from $100 million to 800 million, to ensure resilience against infrequency of supply. Story Highlights The Government is making significant investments to achieve a sustainable water sector, says Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.The Minister, who was commissioning a $9-million rainwater harvesting system at the Rock Hall Primary School in West Rural St. Andrew on October 1, said the budget for the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) has been increased from $100 million to 800 million, to ensure resilience against infrequency of supply.He told the audience that the country is experiencing a shift in the weather pattern, with the major reservoirs being affected, and “this level of vulnerability should not be acceptable, as it poses a serious threat to our existence”, citing the need for more water harvesting.“The worsening climate change, and the effect it has on our natural resources, in particular the availability of water, will affect not just our homes but our economy, our peace and security, and our development. We must look towards sustainable advancement in our water sector, to build our resilience against what is projected to come,” the Minister said.Senator Charles said the population must build resilience through changed “behaviour”, by conserving water and protecting the environment, especially the watershed areas.Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for the area, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, welcomed the rainwater harvesting system.She said that given the effects of climate change, “it is important that we have rainwater catchments in our schools”.For his part, Chairman of the RWSL, Councillor Homer Davis, who is also Mayor of Montego Bay, said the children will be more comfortable, knowing that they will have “potable water at all times”.The water project included the installation of water harvesting gutters, supply and installation of three 2,000-gallon tanks, water pumps, a standby generator, and a solar system. read more