May 17, 2021
  • 5:49 pm Comment: Will the government HR policy please stand up?
  • 5:48 pm Training the labour force
  • 5:47 pm EOC wants dads’ rights extended
  • 5:47 pm Flexibility pays off
  • 5:47 pm HR urged to champion racial cause

first_imgDear Editor,A recent article in the media mentioned that a certain NGO has received permission from the Ministry of Education to go to all schools in Guyana to deliver training with respect to drugs and alcohol use. That is indeed highly commendable and we do wish them every success. But we also sincerely hope that the training includes the provision of the mental wherewithal for students to be able to say ‘no’ to drugs and alcohol. As well, one would expect that not only will teachers be trained to help in this respect but that a set of teachers in every school will be prepared to turnkey the training to new teachers and to parents. The bottom line is to ensure that all stakeholders are part of the process and that the information and skill sets are not phased out over time so that this current endeavour does not become a piecemeal Band-Aid.Some years ago, The Caribbean Voice had reached out to the Ministry of Education to seek similar permission to deliver our youth and student workshops that focused on mental health in general, including such issues as building self-esteem, developing coping skills, child and sex abuse, living in a home with domestic violence, self-harm including cutting and suicide ideation, bullying, safe use of the Internet, as well as drugs and alcohol use. We were told that no NGO could be given permission for all schools but that we would have to apply for permission on a school-by-school basis. And since our training is always delivered free of cost, all schools had to do were to cover cost of training materials.At that time, our Youth & Student Workshops had already been delivered and well received at many private schools and to a number of youth groups. As well many public schools had also requested our services but the principals requested that TCV sought permission from the Ministry of Education. And the Ministry of Education was so impressed by the training curriculum that they promised to incorporate it into their Health and family Life Curricula, supposedly offered in schools.From inception, TCV has made strenuous attempts to ensure that we are not aligned politically, ethnically, culturally, ideologically or religiously not only because our members reflect the gamut of politics, ethnicity, culture, ideology and religion but also because we work with people across all these demarcations, although our advocacy has sometimes being affixed various labels over the years, depending on who’s doing the labelling. In fact, at one time most of our then Guyana-based members were highly apprehensive of our advocacy as they felt that their jobs could be jeopardised, given that most of what is advocated for falls into the realm of Government undertaking.In any case, if there are conditions to be met for us to be accorded permission, TCV certainly was not informed of any such in our many meetings with Ministry of Education officials and we do have the emails and reports to prove this. So our question is this: does the Ministry of Education operate on the basis of ‘different strokes for different folks when it comes to delivery of much-needed mental health training in schools?’Sincerely,The Caribbean Voicelast_img read more

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first_imgWith a pair of first round draft picks launching home runs from the heart of the order, the Single-A San Jose Giants have received all the attention and buzz in the Giants’ minor league system this year.Make no mistake, the hype for Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos is deserved.The spotlight, however, is now being shared.It is not often that a Giants’ rookie ball team is the focus of its major league club’s fans, but that could soon change thanks to the emergence of three young international …last_img

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first_img26 October 2016The renewable energy industry is a two-fold opportunity: it offers cost- effective, environmentally friendly energy to consumers in Africa and it provides a new avenue of business for entrepreneurs. Five companies are at the forefront of making alternative energy viable on the continent.Solynta EnergySolynta Engineering Team in action! #solar#nigeria#lagos# pic.twitter.com/vcoDDeKIpo— Solynta Energy (@SolyntaEnergy) October 6, 2015Founded by Lagos entrepreneur Uvie Ugono in Nigeria in 2013, Solynta provides solar panel installations to Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. Operating with little corporate support, the company focuses on installing systems onto schools, healthcare facilities and small businesses. The company also operates a number of solar “filling stations” around Nigeria that offers consumer education, repairs and pre-loaded solar panels.Off Grid ElectricOur customers rely on their mobile devices to make payments https://t.co/3SxVFpiE6c pic.twitter.com/K8YcDs2j7t— Off Grid Electric (@OffGridE) August 18, 2016This Tanzanian small-scale power supplier uses the M-Pesa mobile money service to provide solar power systems, including LED lighting systems, to rural areas. The self-sustaining solar system complete with panels and lithium battery can be installed for as little as US$6 (about R82). It has installed over 10 000 systems in rural Tanzania and Rwanda. The company raised over $25-million (about R344-million) in 2015 that goes towards providing systems, maintenance support and technical training.Ugesi GoldUgesi Gold and EnergyNet’s off-grid energy solution starts generating power at SA school https://t.co/T4tJXNVYIA pic.twitter.com/QHrR3u8jKf— Damilola Ade (@aadedamilola) February 17, 2016A South African energy start-up, Ugesi Gold provides solar battery charging stations, called SolarTurtles, in rural areas where users can charge solar battery packs which are then carried home. In February 2014 the project was proclaimed as a Climate Solver by the World Wildlife Fund that highlights the best technologies in reducing carbon emissions and support energy access while creating awareness of the value of innovation as a tool to tackle climate change.JuabarAnother great concept for #solar mobile phone charging kiosks in rural areas – this one Juabar from Tanzania #tech4D pic.twitter.com/mpOc6zurpO— Anna Lowe (@annawillcreate) January 29, 2016Juabars, Swahili for ‘sun bar’, are becoming a common sight in Tanzania in small towns and urban areas alike. Started in 2013, Juabar travelling solar-powered phone charging kiosks use 50W solar-PV systems to charge up to 20 mobile phones or small electronic appliances at once. The company charges $600 (about R8 200) for start-up equipment and aftersales technical support to entrepreneurs who want to offer charging services to the approximately 30-million mobile users in the country. The stations are also used as mini-hubs for the community “to interact with, learn about, and create their own solar energy solutions.”[email protected] empowers the sustainable economic development of BoP communities through clean energy services and products. #CleanSolcution pic.twitter.com/6D9AGbt4MF— GoodFestival 2016 (@GoodPowWow) October 22, 2016Operating in Kenya and Ethiopia, SolarKiosk converts traditional kiosk-stores with solar panels, enabling it to run on its own power and provide additional services to consumers, including battery charging, refrigeration and internet access. The converted kiosks provide a vital connection for rural communities to the rest of the world. The concept has been featured at the global ideas hub Tedx and won several international innovation awards.Source: AFKInsiderSouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

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first_imgAbout 320 teachers in 150 schools in Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have already received teaching and learning materials during LEAP’s pilot phaseRemote and rural schools are set to benefit from the Learn English Audio Project (LEAP) which aims to help pupils improve their English listening and speaking skills.Hand-picked schools will each receive a solar-powered MP3 player for use in a classroom or language club.The MP3 player comes loaded with over 40 hours of teaching material, teacher guides and lesson plans for Grades R to 4, a book with primary songs and stories, and a set of colourful cartoon story posters.The project, a British Council initiative, was launched by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The British Council is a global cultural exchange organisation.The minister explained that LEAP would assist with developing pupils’ literacy in any language. The children would also get used to hearing English spoken in various accents.“These [listening and speaking] skills become even more important in the acquisition of a second language such as English in the South African context, where English effectively becomes the medium of instruction from Grade 4 onwards,” said Motshekga.She added that LEAP had the potential to address these often neglected skills to help “embed the building blocks of early literacy”.Motshekga said she had personally struggled to understand English spoken by white people after completing her matric.“I relied on reading to pass my modules. I had to tune my hearing to understand the accent. Sometimes that is what accounts for the failure of many first year students at universities,” she said.About 320 teachers in 150 schools in Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have already received teaching and learning materials during LEAP’s pilot phase.PRIORITISING LITERACYMotshekga said improving literacy skills was an important priority for the government.She said, “We believe that this project will also cover the tasks outlined for education in the National Development Plan, which talks to forming partnerships to improve education quality and outcomes.”She said the ministry had signed a declaration with the British Council in January this year.THE LEAP PROJECTThe teaching and learning audio material will not deviate from the current national curriculum, as it is linked to it, Motshekga said.“To complement the training package, teachers receive a training video, lesson plans and posters, and an extra SD card containing all the materials, so that they can access the materials on their cell phones, thus facilitating lesson planning at any time and location,” she added. Teachers will be trained to use the MP3 players effectively.The British Council country director for South Africa, Colm McGivern, said the council partnered with the department to promote quality education.“This is a long-term strategic partnership with the department. We signed a five-year partnership agreement, through which we aim to improve learning of all languages in South Africa.”He said the council has already received positive feedback from the project’s many beneficiaries.McGivern said monitoring and evaluation processes would be put in place for the council to measure the tangible benefits for teachers and pupils in time.“By the end of our five-year partnership, we will ensure that we help the Department of Basic Education train all 400 000 teachers in South Africa in the better use of the material to improve the learning of all languages in the country,” he said.About 7000 solar-powered MP3 players have been distributed into nine sub-Saharan countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, South Sudan, Senegal and Ethiopia.From: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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