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Ministry of Education Prepares for 18th Annual National Academic Awards Ceremony Friday, December 12th 2014

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Providenciales, 08 Dec 2014 – On October 28th 2014, the National Academic Awards Council on External Examinations accepted the recommendation of the Sub-Committee for the list of awardees that will be recognized at the 18th Annual National Academic Awards Ceremony. The Ministry accepts the recommendation of this committee and congratulates all the students on a job well done.

The basic criteria guiding their selection is that each student had to pass Mathematics and English A as a part of a minimum of five (5) subjects passed over four external examination sittings; two in fourth form and two in fifth form.

One hundred seventeen (117) students from eight secondary schools around the country qualified to be recognized at this year’s ceremony. Twenty-seven more students qualified to be recognized this year as opposed to the total from last year. Our students are therefore working to attain the new standard and this is very encouraging.

The performances of the students will be recognized in five (5) award categories. They are as follows:
Presentation 1 – Student’s passing 5 to 9 subjects (86 students)
Students passing 10 or more subjects (26 students)
Presentation 2 – Students Passing English A and Mathematics
Presentation 3 – Best Performing Student By Category (Business, Foreign Languages, Hospitality, Humanities, Science, Technical/Vocational Education, Prevocational/Career Development Education (3 students))
Presentation 4 – Students Attaining 5 or more General 1’s or A’s at one sitting
Presentation 5 – Best Performing Students – (the recipients of National Scholarships)

The honour of hosting this year’s ceremony goes to Wesley Methodist School on the strength of the performance of Leroy Penn. He amassed fourteen passes over the period of his eligibility. Natalia Williams of the H.J. Robinson High School captured second place and third place goes to Devonte’ Smith of British West Indies Collegiate.

Worthy of recognition are Natalia Williams of the H.J. Robinson High School and Krischan Cox of Marjorie Basden High School who earned positions on the CXC Regional Merit Lists. The lists highlight the top ten performers that sat examinations in the entire region in the various subjects for a particular sitting. Natalia Williams tied for tenth position in Food and Nutrition out of ten thousand one hundred fourty six (10,146) students. Krischan Cox tied for seventh position in the subject Building Technology : Woods out of a total of two thousand three hundred eighty (2,380) students.

Students from Government schools sat examinations in thirty (30) subjects; up from twenty-nine the previous year, the additional subject was Economics. Out of thirty (30) subjects sat twenty three (23) subjects had pass rates between 70 % and 100 %. While Mathematics did not fall into that category the pass rate improved to 54.72%.
Generally we continue to perform exceptionally well in the practical areas, the Pure Sciences and Business Studies. In the practical areas, with the exception of Visual Arts which was already attaining 100% passes, Building Technology: Construction and Woodwork, Technical Drawing, Food and Nutrition, Clothing and Home Economics Management all improved upon last years pass rate. Collectively, the pass rate for the subjects was 92.84%
In the Business area, Principles of Business, Office Administration, Electronic Document Preparation and Management and Information Technology all improved upon last years pass rate. Collectively, the pass rate for the area was 88.71%.

When we add the performances of students from non-government schools, which continue to show improvement in the quality and quantity of the passes earned, clearly and undeniably, our schools despite their challenges are making strides in the right direction. They are accomplishing it through hard work and dedication, and anchored on the guidance, encouragement and wisdom of dedicated and committed teachers and parents. This is a trend that the National Council hopes will be the norm for the majority of students attending our educational institutions around the country.

While this is encouraging, what is also undeniable is that there is still room for improvement. As a result, on our end, we will continue to take initiatives geared towards encouraging our students to strive to continue to improve the quality of their results.

In closing, the National Academic Awards Council congratulates all of the awardees that will be recognized at this year’s ceremony. We also encourage the administrations of the various schools, in conjunction with their teachers and supported by parents to continue to foster an environment that encourages students to strive for excellence.
Further, the Council extends an invitation to the public to join us at the Wesley Methodist School, in Providenciales on Friday, December 12th at 10:00 am as we recognize the accomplishments of our students.

ENDS

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Omicron results in 267,000 case record for USA, eclipsing even Delta

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, December 31, 2021 – The US has broken its record for most daily coronavirus cases with a massive 267,000 cases recorded on Tuesday. The information was courtesy of data prepared by the New York Times about infection rates.

The Omicron variant now accounts for more than half of the cases in the country.

Information the Times released said, “The country is averaging more than 260,000 new cases a day, surpassing the peak levels from last winter. Infection rates are especially high in parts of the Northeast and Midwest. Though breakthrough infections are common with Omicron, scientists say vaccinated people, especially those who have received booster shots, have protection against severe cases and death.”

Despite the steep increase there is a silver lining. The same data that shows the increase also shows that hospitalizations and deaths remain at a steady rate and that rate is much lower than variants like Delta.

Amidst the drastic increase the Centers for Disease Control has slashed its recommendations for quarantine days in half, after which a COVID patient may leave quarantine without testing. There has been much controversy surrounding the issue with accusations of capitalism being slung toward the entity.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky defended the decision saying, “What we do know is about 85 percent to 90 percent of viral transmission happens in those first five days, which is why we really want people to stay home during that period of time.”

She said masks should be worn for five days after quarantine to prevent the final 10 per cent to 15 per cent of possible transmission.

Walensky did not explain the efficiency of a 10 quarantine vs the new five day quarantine or say if this was expected to lead to an uptick in cases.

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Deadly Salad Mix Recall in US; TCI seems unaffected

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#December 24, 2021 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating an outbreak related to packaged salads that have killed about three people, and 22 have been hospitalised due to fears over Listeria infection.

As a result, Fresh Express has recalled salad products from approximately 19 states on Monday.

Recalls were made in Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Indiana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Massachusetts.

The brands recalled are Fresh Express, Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic.

The CDC advised that anyone who has purchased the recalled items should discard them and properly sanitise their refrigerators to avoid contracting the associated bacteria called listeria.

Listeria may cause headaches, stiff neck, confusion, and fever.

Local grocer, Sunny Foods confirmed that the recall does not impact his store and it may be the same for others in country.

The TCI Government had not replied up to news time to a query about whether the recall affects this market.

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TC Reef Fund gives a Financial & Projects Report

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, the local environmental non-profit, announced a successful fiscal year.  Approximately $114,058 dollars was raised in 2021. The expenses of the organization, however, outweighed the revenues. For the fiscal year, it was about $128,984 dollars.

The largest source of revenue came from donations designated for specific projects. Nearly half of the fiscal year’s revenue came from individual donations and memberships.  Don Stark, Chairman of the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, said the ongoing success of fund-raising contributed to hiring their first full-time Executive Director in 2021, Mrs. Alizée Zimmermann.

“I have been very happy to become a major part of the TCRF as the Executive Director,” said Alizée Zimmermann. “TCRF has accomplished so much since 2010 and I hope that we will continue to be a leader in environmental advocacy not only in the TCI, but also regionally. We are already considered a regional leader in the battle with SCTLD. I am also happy to say that in 2021 we have expanded our volunteer network to over 100 residents who donate their time to assist TCRF with our various projects.  We could not accomplish the things we do without the support we receive from these generous volunteers.”

Since 2010, when the organization was founded, $1.4 million dollars have been raised without the government’s contribution.  About $924,000, which is, 67 per cent of the money, has been used to support environmental projects in the TCI.

Its largest project, which started in 2012, is installing and maintaining dive and snorkel boat moorings. Stark said the project’s cost is now at 287 thousand dollars.

“That’s $287,000 that TCRF has essentially donated to the TCIG, since once we install a mooring in a marine park, it becomes Government property,” said Stark.

He added that over $43, 000 had been invested in education and outreach programs.

Alizée Zimmermann, Executive Director of the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, said they expanded their volunteer network to over 100 residents.

The Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease project, which dominated the expenses, came to almost $37,000. Also, moorings which were over $24,000 accounted for a large part of the project expense.

The third-largest project expense was the Smith’s Reef Rehabilitation and Improvements project. It was about $10,585 dollars for the year.

 

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