The results for the first cohort of grade-six students who sat the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination are now available for principals, teachers and parents to access. The results were released by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information on Friday (June 21). The results for the first cohort of grade-six students who sat the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination are now available for principals, teachers and parents to access.The results were released by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information on Friday (June 21).PEP has replaced GSAT as the national secondary school entrance test. It is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education.The grade-six students were tested in three stages with a Performance Task Test on March 27 and 28, an Ability Test on February 26 and a Curriculum Based Test on April 16 and 17.During a press conference at the offices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information today, Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, said based on the students’ performance, it is evident that the education system at the primary level is moving in the right direction.“The results from students’ performance in the various subject areas show that less than 10 per cent of all students are at the Beginning Level. This means that less than 10 per cent of the students who sat the examination demonstrated limited or no evidence of the required competencies and skills for readiness in grade seven in all subject areas,” Mr. Samuda said.Some 42,846 students were registered to sit the exam, of which 22,298 were males and 20,538 females.Mr. Samuda said that based on an analysis of the students’ performance per subject, 40 per cent of students who sat Mathematics demonstrated proficiency or advanced proficiency in the concepts, procedures and application of skills required by the National Standards Curriculum; 55 per cent of students for Language Arts; 49 per cent of students for Science, and 63 per cent in Social Studies.Parents of grade-six students will be given a new Student Summary Report with a standardised scaled description of their children’s performance in all subject areas of the examination. PEP has replaced GSAT as the national secondary school entrance test. It is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education. Story Highlights
The 2012 CCOVI Lecture Series will wrap up its season this week with a free talk on the cost-benefits of vineyard operations in Niagara.Don Cyr, Interim Dean, Faculty of Business at Brock, will deliver a talk, entitled “A cost-benefit analysis of entering and exiting vineyard operations in Niagara: 1997-2010.”This presentation was co-authored by Chris Simes as part of an undergraduate thesis in the Oenology and Viticulture (OEVI) program at Brock.This lecture takes place Wednesday, April 25 at 3 p.m. in IH313. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.The lecture will also be available via live webcast.
A Perth-based company is at the forefront of the technology revolution enabling reliable online services to remote mining sites through fast, effective satellite technology. Satellite internet and technology company Orion Satellite Systems has provided internet and telephone services to regional and remote locations across Western Australia for 13 years. But its acquisition by IPSTAR Broadband Satellite – part of the telecommunications giant Thaicom – has seen an increase in its ability to engineer unusual solutions for its customers.Orion Managing Director Chris Ockwell said mining companies had grasped the potential of automating operations, but fast, reliable internet was crucial for customers to get the most out of automation. “Orion is one of only two satellite service providers in Australia to claim end-to-end ownership – from modem to dish to satellite,” Ockwell said.“This means we have both unprecedented access to satellite bandwidth combined with the hands-on know-how that comes from working with mining, construction and civil engineering companies operating in some harsh, remote areas.”Orion has sought to carve out a point of difference in the industry by offering flexible, tailored options rather than off-the-shelf solutions.That includes looking at how the Internet of Things (IoT) might be used to monitor sites that might not be in full production but remain important.“We have one customer who has deployed one of our solutions to 16 different sites to monitor fuel levels at the site generators.”Satellite remains one of the most secure and reliable options for remote connectivity, Ockwell said, but it requires clever and precise implementation. “We frequently talk to people in remote sites who are using VPNs to encrypt satellite traffic for secure communications but who experience very slow connection speeds because of that.“To counter this, we have had great success in developing a number of workarounds for different requirements, all of which take advantage of Orion’s state-of-the-art infrastructure. It means remote monitoring and automation, and even just ordinary work functions and operations, can be delivered quickly and securely.”Another advantage of satellite is that small exploration camps on the move can set up and deploy satellite services in a short space of time.“We have relocatable and portable satellite communications in various forms to suit short-term camps or exploration teams, which is vital if you are on the move,” Ockwell said.As an example, one gold mining customer needed to be able to set up camp and have access to internet services in under an hour, with camps shifting every few weeks.“They need to unpack and have access to phone and data lines to make sure they can get data to and from site quickly and efficiently,” Ockwell said. “When you are working in some of the most remote parts of the world, every hour you are without communications is a cost. We get them closer to where they need to be.”Satellite internet communication had come a long way in the last 15 years and was today possibly more reliable than regional NBN services, according to Thaicom Chief Commercial Officer Nile Suwansiri.“Satellite communication used to be slow and expensive, but with new technology this has changed,” said Suwansiri. “One thing we know is that if clients are using the internet for remote monitoring or other business uses, they need the internet to be reliable. Technology has made an enormous difference.”Suwansiri added that mobile satellite internet technology would be the next major game changer.“Traditionally, satellite services have been fixed but more and more we are wanting mobility services – in trucks, trains and boats. People are mobile, they want to be able to make transactions on the go,” Suwansiri said.“As technology matures, those services will come on line and we will be doing all we can to deliver these to our customers across Australia, Asia and New Zealand.“There is endless application for mobile satellite technology. We have already started seeing driverless trains in resources.”The picture if from international gold producer AngloGold Ashanti. Its exploration teams require flexible, reliable connectivity. “We are looking for gold in the Western Australian desert, sometimes hundreds of kilometres from the closest town,” says Exploration Operations Manager Simon Tucker.“These camps move on every few weeks so we need a service that is not just reliable but also flexible. Orion provides phone and data lines to make sure we can get data to and from site quickly and efficiently.”
A NUMBER OF individuals from across Irish society have banded together in an attempt to save the Seanad.Democracy Matters! is calling for a “radical reform” of the second house of the Oireachtas – not its abolition. A referendum on whether to keep or get rid of the parliamentary chamber is due to take place later this year.The group, which launched its campaign this morning, argues for a strong Senate with new powers to “ensure we learn from the mistakes of a failed political system”.According to the campaign, a broken system of government and governance has failed Ireland. It has also “exacerbated the economic crisis, dramatically increased social welfare queues and hit hard pressed taxpayers and pensioners in their pockets”.“Abolition only strengthens the old political system, which has already failed us. It will silence dissenting voices, limit debate and give the government even more power to ram through legislation,” said Professor Gary Murphy, who chairs the group. “Abolition is not reform and true parliamentary reform in both the Seanad and the House is what Ireland needs today.”Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin, added: “A radically new type of Seanad could make a serious and meaningful contribution to the process of reforming and modernising an Irish political culture that is excessively centralised, closed and distrusted. Abolishing the Seanad instead of reforming it will just further erode democracy and copper fasten the interests and power of a tiny elite.”Members of the campaign steering group include John Dolan, Suzanne Egan, Michael McDowell, Joe O’Toole, Feargal Quinn, Noel Whelan and Katherine Zappone. The organisation says it has no affiliation to any political party.Last month, Quinn and Zappone launched a Bill which would mark the biggest reform of the Seanad in modern history. The proposals would also require the Seanad to retain a gender balance by ensuring that an equal number of men and women were elected from each of the five vocational panels – which are required to be retained under the current constitution.The legislation would impose a pay cut of nearly €20,000 for Seanad members – defining their pay as being half of that for a TD. This would mean the current wage of over €65,000 would fall to €46,336.The system for electing TDs could be about to face a massive overhaulMembers launch plan to reform Seanad and prevent abolition