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Jamaica: Administrators complete online Child-friendly Schools Leadership Course

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Signing of Agreement in June 2019 - JIS File Photo

#KINGSTON, Feb. 4 (JIS): Twenty-seven school leaders have been certified after completing the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) online Child-Friendly Schools (CFS) course.

The programme was offered in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The presentation ceremony was held on January 30, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, under the theme ‘Developing Globally Responsible Leaders for Child-Friendly Schools: A Vision of Transformational Practice’.

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Participants, who are from infant, primary and secondary-level public schools in the Education, Youth and Information Ministry’s six regions, learned about application of CFS principles to guide school design and construction; the principles of child-friendly schools; key characteristics of child-centred pedagogy; positive behaviours and a safe school environment, and leadership in child-friendly schools.

The course was held from November 1 to December 12, 2019.

Keynote speaker at the presentation ceremony, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, lauded the NCEL for developing yet another culturally relevant programme, which seeks to support the ongoing professional development of principals and improve the teaching and learning process.

Dr. McLean explained that child-friendly schools focus on children’s emotional, psychological and physical well-being.

“Under this programme, they are protected from verbal and emotional abuse and the trauma of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, prejudice or intrusion by teachers and peers. Child-friendly schools are child-centred and inclusive safe havens for our children,” the Acting Permanent Secretary said.

Meanwhile, Director/Principal, NCEL, Dr. Taneisha Ingleton, said in addition to creating safe, positive learning environments for children, the CFS Jamaica initiative is a response to the growing demand to leverage technology to reach every Jamaican child and to build the digital capacity of school leaders across the island.

UNICEF Jamaica photo – Back to School Sept 2019

“The programme seeks to support the professional development of principals, thereby providing readily accessible avenues for educators to retrieve and access digital content on child-friendly learning environment and processes,” the Director explained.

Deputy Country Representative, UNICEF, Vincente Teran, said the initiative seeks to give school leaders the support they need to create child-friendly schools.

“Over the past few months, we have used best practices and solid research to build the course. We built on UNICEF’s online global child-friendly school course to create the Jamaican leadership training component that focused on creating inclusive, gender-balanced and interactive child-friendly learning environments,” he said.

“It is our hope that this will have a national impact, because we firmly believe that the Principal sets the tone for the teaching and learning that takes place at any school. Strong Principals make strong schools,” Mr. Teran added.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between NCEL and UNICEF on June 4 last year. Under the $6-million agreement, course material content will be made available to school leaders free of cost.

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Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Government Revenues Soar

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#Kingston, November 25, 2022 – There has been a jump in Government revenue collection, with tax revenues for the first six months of the fiscal year exceeding budget by $35 billion.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that the out-turn is as a result of higher-than-expected economic performance.

“The first quarter growth came out at 5.7 per cent… and all categories of revenue are over budget. Revenues from income and profits are up by nearly 13 per cent or $10 billion,” Dr. Clarke said.

In addition, he noted that revenues from production and consumption are up by seven per cent or $7 billion and revenues from international trade are up by 15 per cent or $18 billion. Revenues from motor-vehicle licences for the first six months of this year are 16 per cent higher than budgeted.

Dr. Clarke was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 22) where the First Supplementary Estimates for 2022/23 were approved.

The approval reflects a revised expenditure of $971 billion, from the previously approved budget of $912 billion for the financial year.

Minister Clarke said the First Supplementary Estimates come within the context of positive overperformance of the economy.

“As a result of this revenue overperformance… we are able to come to this Parliament six months after and put a Budget that proposes $60 billion in new expenditure,” Dr. Clarke said.

The largest component of the supplementary budget is the allocation for public-sector salaries and wages in keeping with the restructuring of compensation.

“We are allocating $16 billion there and there is another $2 billion to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and then about $3 billion for statutory deductions, making a total of $21 billion,” the Minister said.

 

Contact: Latonya Linton

Release: JIS

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