…childrenThere have all the children gone?? For years and years, the Common Entrance examination, which morphed into the NGSA, was written by 16,000 or so kids. That number was pretty constant — just like our overall population. As recently as 2013, some 16,800 children between 11 and 12 years old wrote the NGSA. But every year since, the number’s been inexorably dropping: 2014 – 15,400; 2015 – 15,200; 2016 – 14,500 and this year 13,600.What’s going on? Have 3000 kids been abducted by aliens? Has our birth rate dropped precipitously since 2002?? But this would have been felt 12 years later in 2014. Is the reduction in the numbers of children writing the NGSA related to the slow fyaah, mo’ fyaah of the PNC, which segued into gang-related political violence? Is it a case of “make war not love”? Inquiring minds want to know!!Your Eyewitness wonders whether the explanation’s much more mundane and related to the issue that’s been exercising folks in the education sector – private schools. But as far as he knows, the private primary schools do have their kids write the NGSA, since most of their kids still want to enter the “premier” secondary schools. So, seriously, the Ministry of Education should launch an investigation into this drop in the NGSA age cohort.But your Eyewitness was also struck at the lack of excitement that normally accompanies writing of the NGSA. Apart from Minister Rupert making some unlucky kid become even more nervous by dropping into her school and chatting with her, the coverage was pretty muted. Was it because the VAT charge on private education has everyone in that sector so het up?But seriously, folks, the NGSA and private education are actually related. It is success or failure at the NGSA that, to a large extent, determines your life’s chances in Guyana; since the school you attend plays such a large role in determining the latter. Parents are confronted with the same question every year: If their kids didn’t make in to the top 1%, what then? Are they forever doomed to be dubbed as “failures”? After the Government denationalised the school system, private secondary schools provided another option; and not just for the wealthy, but for all concerned parents.Then the competitive demand dropped to private primary schools, which were simply the “lessons” syndrome for 6th Graders writ large. So, while there are some rich parents fostering elitism in a couple of private schools, by and large, the VAT is punishing poor people who want better for their kids.Rather than imposing a punitive VAT, all the Government needs to do is bring all public secondary schools to the same level as the public “premier ones”.Voila!! Problem solved!!…HydroA piece of news from the foreign section caught your Eyewitness’s eye. The state of Roraima in northern Brazil, abutting our Rupununi, is suffering from blackouts. As longsuffering consumers of the sporadic power GPL issues, you, dear reader, may ask, “What’s the big deal?”Well, for decades, Roraima’s been supplied with electricity from the massive Guri Dam Hydro that Venezuela built in the 1960s. But with all their recent and not-so-recent troubles, the news item pointed out, with the neglect of maintenance to the transmission lines (now where’ve we heard this before??) the supply to Brazil’s Roraima will be getting worse, rather than better.So what’s this to us? Just that when the PNC-led Government nixed Amaila Falls Hydro, they said they preferred a much larger 4000MW project in the Cuyuni basin, in which the Brazilians had expressed interest. Do they still think Brazil’s gonna put their energy-needs egg in a foreign basket? Again??…Judicial authority Do you see a pattern developing? The Judiciary’s being cornered, buffeted and challenged by the Executive and the legislature it controls in their substantive competence of Constitutional interpretation. Now new bodies like SARU and SOCU are legislatively “legitimised” to be investigators, prosecutors, judges, juries and executioners of political opponents. Is this judicial castration?
Dear Editor,I do strongly believe that the severed sugar workers must be given subsidised water and electricity due to the tremendous hardships they and their families have been facing. At this point in time, it is difficult for them to provide even the basic need of food for themselves and their families.It would also be a great boost if the Government can focus its ‘Bus’ initiative in those areas affected.It is now an accepted fact that the Government did not make any provision to support the dismissed sugar workers, even though it was planned long before the preparation and presentation of the 2018 Budget in Parliament. It is also a fact that even the payment of severance was not catered for in the Budget, even though the law stipulates that the payment must be made as soon as the worker is severed. There was fiscal space in the Budget to accommodate the severance, since there was an extra budgetary allocation of $4 billion for the GDF, the People’s Militia and National Service. However, the Government now has an opportunity to make amends.Let me be clear: this hardship of these sugar workers results from no fault of theirs. It is accepted that the profitability of the industry is severely threated, and hence its viability; but it is the responsibility of the Government to ensure their survival. The EU has made that clear in its National Adaptation Strategy that the livelihood of the workers must be protected.We must bear in mind that since Government took office in 2015, the sugar workers have not received a dollar in terms of increases in wages and salaries, even though ministers of Government have been given from 50 to 100% increases even though they had not actually started to work. Many incentives have been taken away from these sugar workers, and many have no savings, they live from paycheck to paycheck.The Government has been ‘selling dreams’ to the sugar workers, such as their being trained to become entrepreneurs, their children will be trained to work in the oil and gas sector, the workers will be given loans from a fund of $100 million (this works out to $20 thousand dollars per worker), they will be given 1 acre of land each to cultivate, they will be trained to do other skilled jobs, and the list goes on. What we need to understand is that the Wales Estate was closed since December 2016, and the sugar workers and the surrounding areas are still reeling from the fallout.It was reported in the press: ‘Closure of Wales Sugar Estate now taking toll on surrounding communities’, and that as at December 2017, the dire situation has not changed. In fact, it has gotten worse. Will Skeldon and Rose Hall be any better? No, they will not be any better off!Privatization is a long way off. The valuation by PricewaterhouseCoopers will take at least 8 months, according to the Government, and the submission of investment proposals from those investors who have shown interest in the purchase of Rose Hall and Skeldon will take another 8 months. This may take us to the end of 2019. Therefore the eventual operation of these estates will take approximately 2 years. What will the redundant sugar workers do to survive in the meantime? Moreover, it is not assured that all of them will be re-employed.It is submitted that by subsidizing the electricity and water bills of these workers, the economy as a whole will benefit, since the money saved from these bills will increase the spending on consumer goods in the economy, and it will have a multiplier effect. More jobs will be saved or created, and the economy will be able to withstand the shock of the negative effects of the redundancy, to some extent. Some revenue from VAT and other taxation will go to the Government.Furthermore, to give a paltry $10,000 subsidy to all 5,000 workers made redundant in the industry would amount to only $600 million per annum. Linden is given a subsidy of over $2 billion per annum, which they do deserve. So, to give all the redundant workers a subsidy for water and electricity will not bankrupt the Treasury. Both sugar workers and bauxite workers have made significant contributions to the economy in this country’s hour of need. In the past, the sugar workers have directly given more than $100 billion as sugar levy.In addition, the provision of free transportation to the children of sugar workers in these affected areas such as Wales, Rose Hall and Skeldon will go a far way in alleviating the sufferings of these workers and their families.The plight of the dismissed sugar workers is a test of our morals, whether we care or not for our fellowmen; and this is not about politics or race (in fact, all race is affected by this redundancy, and people from all political parties are affected) but it is about assisting our brothers and sisters and their children and their dependents in their hour of need.I do sincerely ask the Government to carefully consider this request.Sincerely,HYusufRDC CouncillorRegion 6
0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, November 21 – Harambee Stars head coach, Adel Amrouche will be given a new long-term contract, Football Kenya Federation boss, Sam Nyamweya has confirmed.The Belgian national has been in charge of the side since February and is preparing to lead the team at this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup that kicks-off on Wednesday in Nairobi. Speaking during the unveiling of the title sponsors for the tournament, Nyamweya exuded confidence that Amrouche would lead the team to attain a respectable placing in the continental map.“I have a lot of faith in the coach and as a federation we are giving him all the support he needs,” the FKF boss confirmed.During the function, MultiChoice Kenya through its product GOtv injected Sh10.7 m (USD 125,000) towards the regional tournament that Kenya last hosted in 2009.This is in addition to Sh5.1m (USD 600,000) worth of broadcast partnership, where its satellite television SuperSport will air all the 26 matches.Speaking during the official launch of the competition, Cecafa Secretary General, Nicholas Musonye, said the money will be ploughed back to the hosts for preparations of the event.“We are going to name this competition GOtv Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup 2013 and with less than five days towards the games, I want to urge Kenyans to attend the matches.“FKF cannot run this tournament without supporters going to the stadium, that’s why we have spread it to Nairobi, Machakos, Mombasa and Kisumu,” Musonye added.“The success of this event will depend on the performance of Harambee Stars, so it’s important we rally behind our national team and motivate them to win the title.“We are going to commit Sh8.6m (USD 100,000) that will go back to the host country to support specific items we have identified,” he disclosed.The Nairobi and Kisumu governors gave Sh10m (USD115,830) with their Machakos counterpart Dr. Alfred Mutua providing Sh5m (USD57,915).According to Nyamweya, gate charges will be friendly as tickets for the terraces will sell at Sh200 (USD 2.32) while VIP will retail at Sh500 (USD5.79)Other corporate that came on board include Coca-Cola and UAP Insurance who will cover all the players and officials during the tournament.Kenya will kick-off her campaign against Ethiopia on November 27 at Nyayo National Stadium with all the quarterfinals set to be played in Mombasa while the semis will be staged in Kisumu. 0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
The former African champions, who failed to qualify for this year’s competition, had previously been slated to take on the South Americans until their withdrawal.Bolivian FA president Carlos Chavez attributed their cancellation to “armed conflict and the tense political situation in Nigeria”.Nigerians go to the polls to elect a new president and parliament three days after the match, with political violence expected and the military tackling Boko Haram militants in the northeast.The NFF said they had requested compensation from Bolivia for their last-minute withdrawal.Nigeria beat Uganda 1-0 in their last meeting in the southwestern city of Abeokuta in 2007. Both teams are using the match to prepare for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.A second friendly with South Africa has been scheduled for March 29 in Nelspruit.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000ABUJA, March 19- Nigeria will now play Uganda in a friendly next week after Bolivia pulled out of the fixture citing security concerns, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced on Thursday.The association said on Twitter that the Super Eagles would take on the Cranes at the “Nest of Champions” stadium in Uyo, southeastern Nigeria, next Wednesday.
Coral’s Nicola McGeady joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds as we already look ahead to next season.Can Leicester build on their unexpected win and look to defend their title next season, or will service resume with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea boosted by the arrivals of new managers?Another Leicester win would still certainly be a shock, with the Foxes 25/1, while City – with Pep Guardiola in charge – are 15/8 favourites to claim the crown next season.Second-placed Arsenal are 4/1 and Tottenham, who impressed so much this season but just let themselves down at the last, are 13/2.But, could Liverpool be next season’s unlikely champions? Jurgen Klopp’s men 15/2 to end the club’s hunt and win their first league title in over 20 years.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
• Photo Gallery: 10/2: Shooting at Amish school • Timeline: Fatal School Shootings • Video: Amish Students ShotNICKEL MINES, Pa. – It was a scene seemingly frozen in time: a one-room schoolhouse nestled amid a picturesque landscape of horse-drawn buggies, green pastures and well-tended farms. The Amish people of bucolic Lancaster County left behind the conveniences and problems of the modern world to create a sanctuary where the living is simple and violent crime is virtually nonexistent. But they could not keep out a milk-truck driver carrying three guns and a childhood grudge Monday as he stormed a tiny Amish school and opened fire on a dozen girls, killing three of them before committing suicide. The gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, a 32-year-old truck driver from the nearby town of Bart, was bent on killing young girls as a way of “acting out in revenge for something that happened 20 years ago” when he was a boy, Miller said. Miller refused to say what that grudge was. Roberts was not Amish and appeared to have nothing against the Amish community, Miller said. Instead, Miller said, he apparently picked the school because it was close by, there were girls there, and it had little or no security. Miller said Roberts was apparently preparing for a long siege, arming himself with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a rifle, along with a bag of about 600 rounds of ammunition, two cans of smokeless powder, two knives and a stun gun on his belt. He also had rolls of tape, various tools and a change of clothes. Roberts had left several rambling notes to his wife and three children that Miller said were “along the lines of suicide notes.” The gunman also called his wife during the siege by cell phone to tell her he was getting even for some long-ago offense, according to Miller. From the suicide notes and telephone calls, it was clear Roberts was “angry at life, he was angry at God,” Miller said. Miller said that Roberts had been scheduled to take a random drug test on Monday. But the officer said it was not clear what role that may have played in the attack. Miller said investigators were looking into the possibility the attack may have been related to the death of one of Roberts’ own children. According to an obituary, Roberts and his wife, Marie, lost a daughter shortly after she was born in 1997. As rescue workers and investigators tromped over the surrounding farmland, looking for evidence around this tiny village about 55 miles west of Philadelphia, dozens of people in traditional plain Amish clothing watched – the men in light-colored shirts, dark pants and broad-brimmed straw farmer’s hats, the women in bonnets and long dark dresses. Reporters were kept away from the school after the shooting, and the Amish were reluctant to speak with the media, as is their custom. The victims were members of the Old Order Amish. Lancaster County is home to some 20,000 Old Order Amish, who eschew automobiles, electricity, computers, fancy clothes and most other modern conveniences. Bob Allen, a clerk at a bookstore in the Amish country tourist town of Intercourse, said residents see the area as being safe and the Amish as peaceful people. “It just goes to show there’s no safe place. There’s really no such thing,” he said. The shooting took place at the one-room West Nickel Mines Amish School, a neat white building set amid green fields, with a square white horse fence around the schoolyard. The school had about 25 to 30 students, ages 6 to 13. According to investigators, Roberts walked his children to the school bus stop, then backed his truck up to the Amish school, unloaded his weapons and several pieces of lumber, and walked in around 10 a.m. He released about 15 boys, a pregnant woman and three women with babies, Miller said. He barricaded the doors with two-by-fours and two-by-sixes nailed into place, piled-up desks and flexible plastic ties, made the remaining girls line up along a blackboard, and tied their feet together with wire ties and plastic ties, Miller said. The teacher and another adult at the school fled to a farmhouse nearby, and someone there called 9-1-1 to report a gunman holding hostages. Roberts apparently called his wife around 11 a.m., saying he was taking revenge for an old grudge, Miller said. Moments later, Roberts told a dispatcher he would open fire on the children if police did not back away from the building. Within seconds, troopers heard gunfire. They smashed the windows to get inside, and found his body. Miller said he had no immediate evidence that the victims were sexually assaulted. Killed were two students, and a female teacher’s aide who was 15 or 16 years old, authorities said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsAt least seven other victims were critically wounded, state police said. It was the nation’s third deadly school shooting in less than a week, and it could not have happened in a more unlikely place. After taking over the school, the gunman sent the boys and adults outside and barricaded the doors with two-by-fours. Most of the victims were shot, execution-style, at point-blank range, after being lined up along the chalkboard, their feet bound with wire and plastic ties, authorities said. “This is a horrendous, horrific incident for the Amish community. They’re good people,” state Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller said. The attack bore similarities to a deadly school shooting last week in Bailey, Colo., and authorities there raised the possibility that the Pennsylvania attack was a copycat crime.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECalifornia’s bungled $1 billion accounting system Aguilar said his company will screen the applicants and check references before coming up with a recommended list of semifinalists. The board interviews are expected to take place by late November or early December, district officials said. Open-mindedness, good communication skills, and an ability to work with a diverse community were some of the attributes desired in a new superintendent, according to input taken at a community forum. The person should have experience working as an administrator and teacher in a large district, and being able to speak Spanish also would be good, residents said at the forum. firstname.lastname@example.org PALMDALE – Fifteen people have applied for the post of superintendent of the Palmdale School District. The majority work in California as superintendents, associate or assistant superintendents, or directors, consultant Robert Aguilar said. Palmdale is seeking to replace former Superintendent Jack Gyves, who retired at the end of June. The deadline to apply was Friday. Aguilar is chief executive officer and president of International Group Education Services, a consultant search company the district hired to help select a new top administrator. (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Their run of four wins and three draws – including a 2-2 thriller at Manchester United – is the club’s best in the top flight since 1975. The only team on a better run is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils.Dyche joined talkSPORT on Thursday live from Portugal to discuss his team’s return to form, and he is thankful for the timing ahead of their clash against title-chasing Tottenham.Speaking on the Sports Breakfast, the manager said: “The game against Everton was a really tough result, it wasn’t like us. Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Burnley beat Brighton 3-1 last time out in the Premier League – they now sit 15th in the table Sean Dyche has warned Tottenham his in-form Burnley side are back to their stubborn best ahead of their return to Premier League action next week.The Clarets have been treated to a warm-weather training camp in Portugal as they prepare for the Turf Moor clash, after recovering from a nightmare end to 2018 to produce their best run of top flight results in 44 years.Burnley looked in serious trouble after a torrid run of just one win in 12 league games left them in the relation zone.But Dyche says their 5-1 home defeat to Everton on Boxing Day was the kick his team needed, with the Lancashire club unbeaten in their last seven league games. Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January 2 REVEALED REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 2 huge blow deals gameday cracker tense Tottenham will be full of confidence travelling to Turf Moor after their brilliant win over Bundesliga leaders Dortmund in the Champions League shining “I spoke with the group and these lads have been fantastic over a long period and I never question their will and desire, but we weren’t just playing with that edge, and we have to play with that.“We have to. We’re not good enough to roll around the Premier League just picking up wins when we feel like it, we’re not good enough for that. We have to play with that edge and we have to be on our game all the times.“The players deserve a massive amount of credit. They have taken ownership, they’ve got their heads down, pulled together as a group and we’ve actually played well. That edge and the belief had come back into the side.“We’ve got a tough one next week against Tottenham, who were fantastic last night [in their 3-0 Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund]. LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT no dice Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card “They’re a good team, I like Mauricio Pochettino and everything they do, but in the form we’re in at the moment we’re back to being that really hardy side, and teams find it really awkward and really difficult to play against us.“So we’ve got to continue that form.”Listen back to Sean Dyche on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above
PATSY MCGONAGLE has warned that athletics faces a ‘serious challenge’ to rid itself of doping scandals that have dragged the sport through the wringer.McGonagle, who has managed the Irish Athletics Team to four Olympic Games, including at Rio in 2016, has also called on authorities to tighten up on doping issues he believes to be prevalent in team sports.This week, sprint sensation Usain Bolt was stripped of one of his nine Olympic gold medals after his 4x100m relay team-mate Nesta Carter was found to have taken a banned substance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) released the findings on Wednesday after retests of 454 frozen blood and urine samples from the 2008 Games with Russian jumper Tatiana Lebedeva also disqualified.In December, WADA said that more that 1,000 Russian athletes in over 30 sports had either been involved in or had benefited from state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015.“Doping is in every sport,” McGonagle said.“I think there is a serious problem in some team sports at a certain level and it hasn’t been exposed very well. “We are in serious trouble in athletics and cycling was in very serious trouble. We have got to get ourselves out of it. We have a serious challenge on our hands.”RUSADA, the Russian Athletics Federation, stands suspended by the IAAF and 27 Russia athletes have been punished after the re-analysis of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.The disqualification of Carter means that Bolt cannot lay claim to winning the ‘triple-treble’ of golds in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at three Olympic Games.McGonagle said: “One of the things that helped to save our sport was Bolt. If we didn’t have Bolt and his personality and how he is perceived we would be in a dire situation.“Lord Coe has got a hard time of it but, in fairness to him, he is trying to change the culture. “Some countries, and everyone knows about them, are just very dirty countries and we have to do something about them before it’s too late.”Patsy McGonagle’s doping warning: “Athletics is in serious trouble” was last modified: January 29th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:athleticsBallybofeyDopingpatsy mcgonagleWADA
16 May 2008South Africa’s highly matured information technology (IT) services market has been growing at a healthy pace, fuelled by economic growth and national development projects, with research and advisory firm IDC expecting the market to exceed US$4-billion (about R30.01-billion) this year.In a recent research report, the agency found that IT outsourcing constituted more than a third of the services market, the largest market share of all IT services categories, followed by systems integration, deployment, and support services.This indicated a sophisticated and mature IT spending model, with a year-on-year growth of 11%, which was at odds with most of the Middle East and Africa region where outsourcing constituted a relatively a small percentage of IT services revenue.“Economic growth and national development projects are playing into the hands of IT services providers, both in terms of hardware and software implementations as well as custom development, outsourcing, and other services,” said IDC South Africa senior research analyst Pieter Kok in a statement this week.“A maturing marketplace is an important driving force behind the growth in services spending. As local companies develop their decision-making processes, the benefits of services delivered by an external provider are becoming more visible, fuelling further adoption.”Kok explained that as a result, clients were making better decisions, negotiating better terms, demanding better results, and hence, reaping the benefits of their IT investments.IDC predicts that the South African IT market will grow at an average annual rate of 11.3% to nearly $5.670-billion (about R43.13-billion) by 2011.The growth would be spurred by government projects such as adopting e-government strategies and the adoption of open source software, as well as preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, technology upgrade cycles, de-regulation, and growth in the small and medium business market.The skills shortage in the country, however, remained a major inhibitor in the IT services market.“Despite public and private sector attempts to address the severe skills shortage in the country, filling vacancies and keeping them has been a tough task,” said Pieter Kok.“Should measures passed to remedy the situation prove futile, sourcing of expensive international skills will cause a drastic increase in the cost of doing business in South Africa, making it more difficult for local companies to effectively compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material