Turks and Caicos, June 7, 2017 – Providenciales – The Attorney General’s Chambers would like to announce that with effect from Monday, June 5, 2017, Mr. Cyprian Smith, will assume the post of Director of the Survey & Mapping Department. After a tireless search locally and in the Caribbean, Mr. Smith was chosen from among 5 candidates from across the Region. Mr. Smith’s selection was unanimously endorsed by the interviewing panel, supported by the Public Service Commission and has been formally appointed by the Deputy Governor.
Mr. Smith is a 2008 graduate from the University of Technology Jamaica, from which he obtained a Bachelor’s (BSC) degree in Surveying and Geographic Information Sciences. He also holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA), with specialization in Project Management from the University of Wales, United Kingdom.
Mr. Smith began his Land Surveying career two (2) years upon his enlistment to the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) and achieved the award for top performing student in the Land Surveying Technician’s course at the University of Technology, for both years of the course.
He later pursued undergraduate studies in Surveying and Geographic Information. Upon completion of his Bachelor’s degree, Mr. Smith was appointed JDF’s Chief Land Surveyor, and he served in this capacity for approximately 7 years. During his tenure, he introduced new policies, procedures and operating systems and encouraged the implementation of new technology to improve the operational standards of the land surveying arm within the military. He also led the JDF’s introduction of GIS in mapping and analyzing crime data. His appointment also saw him administering crown lands occupied by the military and lecturing various courses at the diploma level at the JDF Technical Training Institute (TTI).
Mr. Smith subsequently worked as a Project Manager for one of the leading land development companies in Jamaica, where he had overarching responsibility for the residential and commercial land development projects undertaken by the company.
Mr. Smith has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of surveying and land administration. The task of Director, though challenging, is openly accepted by Mr. Smith. He is most grateful and excited to be afforded the opportunity to lead the Turks & Caicos Government’s Survey & Mapping Department.
As Director, Mr. Smith has statutory responsibilities that include authentication of all legal plans, mainly comprised of Fixed Boundary surveys and General Boundary surveys and the maintenance of GPS coverage of the islands and the control network which is vital to the cadastre. The coordination of the Departments survey services, including legal surveys, road surveys, control surveys, topographical surveys also fall under his remit. He will have responsibility for the maintenance and up-date of all spatial data, including the National Cadastral Framework, in both digital and graphical format. He will oversee the Survey and Mapping units of the Department and will interact on a daily basis with the Land Registry and the Crown Land Unit. In addition, he will have contact with other government departments including Public Works and Estate Management Departments, the Department of Physical Planning, Agriculture and others.
Commissioner of Lands, Mrs. Tatum Clerveaux, noted that; “Mr. Smith comes with outstanding credentials. He brings a reputation for effective management and team-building, and a first-class academic background, with complementary experience in the military and private sectors. I am therefore confident that he will be a catalyst who, with the support of his team, will help steer the Survey & Mapping Department into a new phase of professional excellence.”
Press Release: TCIG
Education Minister announces Platinum Partnerships for internet and tablet program amidst COVID surge
By Shaniek Smith
#TurksandCaicos, January 15, 2022 – Schools did not resume in person learning in the Turks and Caicos on January 4, instead it was back to virtual classes for 7,400 children in the British overseas territory due to an omicron-driven surge in Covid-19 infections.
It was announced on the New Year’s Day holiday for TCI, January 3 in a press conference hosted by Rachel Taylor, the Minister of Education, and attended by Jamell Robinson, Minister of Health and supported by Premier Washington Misick, who was also at the live event.
In a promised update, parents got the not-so-good-news, virtual classes would resume at least until the end of January due to the surge and staff shortages being experienced. Turks and Caicos, up to Thursday January 14 had over 800 active cases, five new deaths and a 600 per cent increase in hospitalisations. The Minister said the decision was in the interest of safety.
The Minister also promised to get devices and internet to students in order for them to participate in learning during this virtual-only season. The press conference on January 13, welcomed partners Flow, Digicel and the Pine Cay Project.
In her address, chair of the Pine Cay Project, Marie Landel, said that an urgent call from Dr. Carlton Mills, a member of their board of trustees revealed that about 750 students would be without internet connection and devices.
The Pine Cay Project responded to that information and has agreed to pay for internet for 30 days students, with its partner in the initiative, DigicelTCI. It is an $18,000 investment in education continuity for hundreds of children.
“We had strong discussions on what we should do with the money that we collect every year, so yesterday we agreed to the funding in emergency situation of 300 internet connections and devices that are going to help the students in need, and we’re very proud to be able to act quickly,” Landel expressed.
Additionally, the Marketing Manager at Digicel TCI, Mr Drexler Smith, said Digicel has partnered with the Ministry of Education to provide about 1,000 tablets for public schools. Smith added that 75 MiFi devices valued at 7,000 dollars were provided; they come with free data services for up to three months for students in need.
Digicel has also created a special education plan for e-learning with specific zero-rated sites and applications. The company partnered with Pine Cay and other private entities in this regard. Various schools and educational facilities in South Caicos, Five Cays, and Providenciales have benefitted from laptops, data plans, MiFi’s, and e-learning kits.
Marketing Executive Flow TCI, Darron Hilaire, also shared the contributions Flow made to the education sector since the pandemic.
“Within the last three years, Flow TCI, through our charitable foundation, would have donated $130,000 worth of ICT equipment to 2 schools respectively in Grand Turk and in Providenciales for the outfitting of the new computer labs to help facilitate the ministry’s vision to foster an efficient e-learning environment for students,” he said.
Mr. Hilaire added that within the first year of the pandemic, Flow responded to requests from the Ministry to increase the bandwidth to public schools in the TCI. Hilaire said Flow home internet speed doubles automatically at no cost to its customers in early July.
He said that within the last 60 days, Flow TCI announced a recent donation of $25,000 dollars to two schools in North Caicos and one in Providenciales. The donation was in aid of increasing connectivity and infrastructural upgrades.
“As we come to the end of this phase of the project, our objective is to look at doing the same for other schools in the second phase of the projects to further arm our schools with the access to technology to provide the best quality education to students,” Hilaire added.
Amanyara Resort, not present at the press event, was said to be working on additional laptops for hundreds of children despite having already donated to several schools in Providenciales.
Minister Rachel Taylor and her team, including Eugene Grant, ICT Education Officer at the Ministry of Education and Mark Garland, Deputy Director of Education thanked the donors; they were labelled Platinum Partners by the Minister.
Over 5000 COVID cases on Cruises, CDC investigations launched
By Dana Malcolm
#January 15, 2022 – Cruises have continued across the Americas despite the US Centers for Disease Control dire warning that even vaccinated individuals should be wary of them. Now the CDC informs that Coronavirus cases have been reported on every cruise ship sailing with passengers in U.S. waters.
According to the CDC, all 92 ships with passengers have met the threshold for investigation by the public health agency. In every case, the CDC has either started an investigation or has investigated.
The CDC warned travellers including those who are vaccinated to avoid cruising in December, following the announcement videos surfaced of jam-packed cruise ships with unmasked passengers ringing in the New Year.
Meanwhile, Grand Turk is still welcoming cruise ships. Eleven cruise ships are scheduled to dock at the Grand Turk Cruise Center throughout January, according to the port schedule.
Jamell Robinson, TCI Minister of Health has confirmed that ships have been allowed to dock in Grand Turk with positive COVID cases on board.
He said. “Now in each ship there are stations or places for isolation on board…Just because a vessel has people with Covid-19 on it doesn’t necessarily mean we wouldn’t allow them to disembark.”
The minister explained the number of positive cases recorded on cruise ships that had arrived in Grand Turk was .001 per cent of all guests and they were not allowed to disembark.
So far, Turks and Caicos has turned away at least one cruise liner due to fears of COVID exposure in the capital, which has gone from a handful of active cases to now 111, as of January 14.
The US Centers for Disease Control reported on Tuesday that COVID-19 cases on cruise ships have increased to 30 times what they were in mid-December.
New York, US Epicenter for Omicron “turning the corner”
By Shanieka Smith
#USA, January 15, 2022 – Today, New York is seeing a downward trend in Covid-19 cases, as officials revealed, “we are turning the corner” on Friday in updating on the state of affairs in the city, labelled the epicenter of omicron for the United States.
Before, data from the New York State Department of Health showed that the number of new coronavirus infections per 100,000 vaccinated residents in the State, rose from 29.8 in the first week of December to 222.3 last week. Also, the rate of new cases in unvaccinated adults rose from 239.6 to 1,583.1 per 100,000.
New York is a key source market for the Turks and Caicos and much of the Caribbean, which is heavily reliant upon winter travellers. The data showed, too, that vaccine effectiveness against severe infection remained high.
Only 4.59 fully vaccinated adults out of 100,000 were hospitalised with COVID-19 in the week of December 27. However, that number increased, and the hospitalisation rate for the unvaccinated is nearly 13 times higher.
New York’s rolling positivity rate fell below 20% in recent days, but media reports indicate the death toll in the State hit a startling high of 195 for the first time since the mass vaccination rollout.
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