December 9, 2013 By
December 9, 2013 By
The labour market has gotten a significant boost in the various fields following the graduation of 115 persons from the University of Guyana, Institute of Distance and Continuing Education Anna Regina Centre on Friday.
The students graduated in supervisory management, language and communication, computer training programme and community courses.
The courses had a duration of seven months. The graduation was held in the Anna Regina Town Council’s boardroom.
Delivering the charge to the graduates at the 26th graduation and prizing giving exercise, senior education officer Deodat Singh urged the graduating students to be determined in whatever they do.
He encouraged the graduating class not to lose hope, faith and to aim for higher heights. Singh charged the students to build on what they would have achieved and strive for excellence in their future endeavours. He told them to respect authority and display a sense of charity, serving others with pride.
The education officer advised them to give of their best when at work and uphold a good character.
IDCE Director Barbara Thomas Holder congratulated the students, noting that she is proud of their achievements and encouraged them to further their education at the University of Guyana.
She urged those who did the supervisory management course to apply for promotion and those who did the community courses (catering and home management) to become self-employed.
The IDCE director also encouraged the graduates to dream big and to be the best they can be. She said IDCE was established 33 years ago to provide educational training, thereby giving persons a second chance to unlock their dreams and potentials.
Presenting the centre report, IDCE tutor Parmeshwar Lall said the academic year 2012\2013 can be deemed satisfying, despite the many challenges faced. He said the centre continued to play its usual multifaceted role in organising programmes that address specific needs of individuals in Region Two. He said some of the subjects taught are computer software, English and mathematics at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level, introduction to sociology, supervisory management, catering, cake decoration, pastry making, language and communication.
He also said the centre needs extension and renovations, furniture and a clerk\typist. Also attending the graduation was Region Two Vice Chairman Vishnu Samaroo and Regional Health Officer Allison Brown.
December 9, 2013 By
The Planning Committee for Mashramani celebrations in Region Two on Friday officially launched its programme of activities at the Anna Regina Fire Station compound.
The launch was held under the theme “Cultural folklore: Celebrating 44” and featured various cultural items, including dances, poems and calypso.
The activities were declared opened by regional Mash representative Portia Jocobs.
Regional Mash Planning Committee Chairman Humane Odit thanked those who made the launch of Mash 2014 possible.
He said a number of activities have been planned, all of which will showcase the young talents in the region.
Meanwhile, Region Two Vice Chairman Vishnu Samaroo said Mashramani is an important event in Guyana, and early planning is needed to kick off the celebrations.
Some of the activities planned for the Mash celebrations next year include children’s art and essay, dramatic poetry, calypso, dance, masquerade, costume, physical display, road relay race, steel pans in the street, best decorated and illuminated buildings, folk and patriotic songs and differently-able competitions; cultural shows; and a flag-raising ceremony.
Mashramani is an annual festival that celebrates Guyana becoming a republic in 1970.
The festival, usually held on February 23 – Guyana’s Republic Day – includes a parade, music, games and cooking and is intended to commemorate the birth of the republic.
The word “Mashramani” is derived from an Amerindian word and in translation means “the celebration of a job well done”.
December 9, 2013 By
I must commend the Education Minister Priya Manickchand for considering and brainstorming the idea of establishing a national sixth form school. Students who wish to undertake the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) can now make use of this new initiative to adequately prepare themselves for better opportunities.
For the purpose of clarification, I must ask, is it standard for all students who write the Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) to automatically become eligible for entry into CAPE or is it just the higher achieving students that have this option?
The answer to this question will determine whether or not we should make amendments to the present secondary school system further enabling it to allow for the additional years required for CAPE. The establishment of the CAPE school will require all the relevant provisions to be made, inclusive of staffing and logistics. It will evidently be seen as a continuous work in progress.
In the meantime, CAPE subjects can possibly be taught through the University of Guyana (UG) and even through the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) on weekends. This will allow the institutions and their staff component to be fully maximised.
I think that more emphasis and awareness should be placed on CAPE. Many students are unaware of the benefits that it offers and so they embark into the working world or onward to UG just after completing CSEC.
Some universities offer a three-year degree programme instead of four. Whether or not the University of Guyana allows for a one year exemption for those students who have completed CAPE is uncertain to some.
We must familiarise ourselves with the advantages of CAPE and its capacity to offer exemptions in courses and, therefore, a shorter academic duration at the university level. Students who undertake CAPE after CSEC will now be able to earn their degree in a shorter period of time.
December 9, 2013 By
Trainee teachers from the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) recently found themselves involved in a protest that attracted the attention of the media and the general public. The protest was meant to establish awareness of the disgraceful conditions under which the trainees are subjected to.
CPCE currently provides lodging accommodation to approximately 200 students. Many of them have complained about the unhygienic conditions that they are forced to dwell in. Additionally, concerns were raised regarding the quality and quantity of food that is being offered to them.
Chief Education Officer Olato Sam stated his overall disappointment in the manner in which the matter was dealt with, and has subsequently embarked on a mission to alleviate the concerns of the students.
CPCE offers individuals the opportunity to embrace teaching as a profession. It is the only institution of its kind in Guyana and is located at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown.
People of varying personalities and peculiarities can often be encountered and though it may not be an easy task to manage CPCE, the relevant authorities need to ensure that proper facilities are put in place to accommodate all students.
December 9, 2013 By
Two suspected bandits were on Saturday evening killed in Golden Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD) during an alleged shootout with police minutes before they had planned to invade the property of a miner.
The incident occurred about 22:30h. One of the men has been identified as Paul Bascom of Diamond Housing Scheme, EBD while the other is Alberto Grant, 27, of Meadow Brook, Georgetown. Guyana Times understands that there might have been a third person in the robbery, who managed to escape.
Police in a statement disclosed that they were acting on information received that a robbery was planned on a gold miner; hence, ranks staked out an area at Golden Grove, EBD on Saturday night.
According to the police, about 22:30h, ranks challenged two men who were approaching on foot when one of them pulled out a handgun and opened fire on them.
In retaliation, the police returned fire and killed the two men. “A .38 snub-nose revolver with two live rounds and two spent shells, along with one 9mm. round and two 7.62 x 39 rounds were recovered by the police,” the statement added.
The bodies were taken to the Lyken Funeral Home awaiting post-mortem examinations.
However, contrary to the police’s reports, persons in the neighbourhood told Guyana Times that the en were shot in cold blood. Based on information received, the three men who were armed, invaded the property of Ravi Dookram, a businessman of Lot 756 Golden Grove.
The bodies were removed from the businessman’s yard about 02:00h, some four hours after the shooting. When Guyana Times visited the man’s home on Saturday morning, a young man, who claims to be a relative of the businessman walked down the stairs, took out a cigarette and lit it before he enquired the purpose of the visit.
Upon asking for the owner of the business, he disclosed that Dookram was not home. The man refused to give his name and a contact number to the media for the businessman while claiming that he does not know anything about the shooting. He claimed that he returned from the interior a few hours before this publication arrived.
Several spots of blood were seen close to the gates and under the house next to a black Toyota vehicle. Some neighbours were tight-lipped about the incident and while some of them spoke, it appears as though they were hiding information.
One neighbour, Toressa Williams said she was asleep when she was awakened by rapid gunfire. She said surprisingly she did not hear any talking, not even from members of the police force. Williams said she immediately ran for cover along with her brother and son.
At the time of the shooting, Guyana Times understands that the businessman, who is a licensed fire armed holder, his wife and three step children were at home. The woman said she was scared as she has never seen anything of this nature before.
Another neighbour told media operatives that he was also asleep, and when he heard the rapid gunfire, he jumped out of his bed, along with his wife and three children, to seek cover. He said that he did not come out of his house until Sunday morning.
The neighbour also said that he did now see the Dookram family while noting that they are reserved.
Singh explained that from the sound of the gunshots, it appears as though high-powered weapons were used. He said after the first few shots, he saw a few policemen and felt much safer.
December 9, 2013 By
The Finance Ministry has debunked an article in the Kaieteur News captioned “Finance Minister fails to account for $8000 million in five years”.
The report claims that for the past five years, more than $8 billion from the revision of wages and salaries budget is unaccounted.
The report further claims, including the level of salary increase that can be paid as provided in the national budget.
In a response on Sunday, the ministry said that the article in question clearly demonstrates that the Alliance For Change (AFC) is unfamiliar with the purposes and uses of the revision of wages and salaries allocation as the methodology used to determine the proposed salary increases for public servants is fundamentally flawed.
As a point of clarification, the uses and purposes of the revision of wages and salaries allocation in the national budget are a matter of longstanding public record, the ministry said. According to the ministry, as a matter of policy, and of practical necessity, the national budget only provides allocations to meet the cost of posts filled in budget agencies at the time the national budget is finalised.
“Should a budget agency promote or recruit new staff, increase salaries or otherwise adjust salaries during the course of a year, that budget agency must revise its budgeted allocation to meet its shortfall,” the ministry statement said, adding that the shortfall is met by what is described as an inter-departmental warrant of funds provided by the Finance Ministry from the revision of wages and salaries allocation to the agency where the shortfall has arisen. The ministry said this treatment of financial allocations for positions that are unfilled at the time of preparation of the national estimates or other employment cost shortfall is long established and honoured by time.
“These facts are well known to the National Assembly and its members. In addition, this information has been provided every year during consideration of the national estimates. This very explanation was offered as recent as Tuesday, April 2, 2013 during the budget debates in response to a similar question posed by Mr Carl Greenidge,” the ministry stated.
“Therefore, the AFC’s claim that the difference between what is allocated and what was actually paid to public servants is inaccurate and unfounded, as is the claim that the 2013 budget catered for a 15 per cent salary increase.”
December 9, 2013 By
President Donald Ramotar said the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) stands willing to establish the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), but the Public Procurement Act of 2003 must be amended to allow it to retain its no-objection power.
On November 7, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh tabled the Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill 2013 with the intention of preserving Cabinet’s role in granting its no-objection as it relates to the awarding of contracts, subsequent to the establishment of the PPC.
The PPP/C is hoping to garner the National Assembly’s support in amending Section 54 of the 2003 Procurement Act by deleting subsection six, which transfers the responsibility of the Cabinet in the procurement process to the PPC.
In the presence of stakeholders, drawn from all parts of the country, the Caribbean and North America, at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry‘s 124th annual gala and awards ceremony, President Ramotar reiterated his government’s position to establish the PPC.
“Let me make it clear, that we want to have a Public Procurement Commission. We are ready to set it up now, but we have concerns,” the president said, emphasising that Cabinet should be granted the opportunity to retain its no-objection.
The PPC is expected to be a monitoring unit, but Ramotar asked who will oversee it if Cabinet’s no-objection power is taken away.
“Guyana, as it stands, now has given up more authority in that area than any other government in the Caribbean. We are the only Cabinet that does not award contracts,” he lamented.
But A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) shadow finance minister Carl Greenidge said “we are absolutely unprepared to entertain such amendments”, during an interview with Guyana Times on Friday.
APNU is pushing for the PPC to be established under the current PPC Act (2003). “The government is trying to roll back its decision by not implementing a portion of the Constitution and thereby maintain the no-objection. I don’t see either of the opposition parties being prepared to entertain it under any circumstances,” Greenidge said.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) has echoed similar sentiments. It has repeatedly indicated that the PPC must be put into operation using the existing law.
December 9, 2013 By
– accuse caretaker of mistreating them
The three girls who were sentenced to four years at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) on the charge of wandering have refuted claims of them running away from the Camal International Home.
They said they were being ill-treated at the home and when they refused to do whatever they are told to do, the caretaker would verbally and physically abuse them and also limit their food.
The girls said they had to go to the home of the caretaker to do her housework when they come home from school.
The girls ages 15, 13 and 11 made an appearance at the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court unrepresented last Monday, where the sentence was handed down by the magistrate, and to date, they are still at the Albion Police Station awaiting a probation report.
According to the girls, they were never found on the road and the police collected them from the home after a call was made about them wanting to commit suicide and their refusal to stay at the orphanage.
One of the girls told this newspaper: “When I come from school the afternoon before, she start lashing me and asked me why I went to school and I said aunty Shalo son is a waste man, I told her I did not do that, the next day she tell me to weed the grass, I take the cutlass and chop when I ask for some water, she told me to stay right there and weed. I got upset and chopped up the dirt and she told me to continue and when I done go sit in the corner, when it was meals time I was given very little food.”
She said when the cursing starts; she would go and hide in a secluded area of the home. The young lady related that she got tired and fed up of the orphanage and wanted to leave as the caretaker would accuse her of going to school to have relations with men.
The teenager said the night when the police came, about eight of the girls were in the secluded area, and they were taken to the police station.
The others were sent home and they (the three)were kept back. She thanked the police for taking care of them, noting that they are being treated better than when they were at the orphanage.
The young lady said prior to Friday, the police would buy them lunch or dinner as they have no one to care for them.
Another one of the girls said “the aunty” would take them to her home to do work and because they refused, she has been picking on them. They have been at the orphanage for four years and have been getting along fine until they refused to do the housework of the caretaker.
Teachers at the Corentyne Comprehensive High were alerted of the girls’ plight on Friday after a probation officer visited the school to enquire of them.
The teachers visited the girls the said afternoon and were shocked to find out that they are in police custody since last Monday. The caretaker has reportedly seized their belongings.
Probation Officer Philina Singh said she was unaware that the children were still at the police station as she was under the impression that they were sent to the New Opportunity Corps.
When Guyana Times contacted the caretaker Carmen Kissoon, she was very upset and verbally abused the reporter.
“Shut up, and listen, because of ya’all and these girls, I have been taking hundreds of calls, people accusing me of mismanaging the home and their funds. The girls want to go away, I can’t stop them,” she said before hanging up the telephone.
As word spread of the dilemma facing these girls, several persons including their teachers, the Poonai Bhigroog family and the Anamayah family visited and ensured that the girls were properly fed, clothed and provided with basic personal hygiene items until the situation is resolved.
There were commitments for pro bono legal services as well as finding a home for them where they can be cared and counselled.
Several persons from the diaspora have reportedly made enquiries regarding adopting the children.
December 9, 2013 By
BY UTAMU BELLE