South Caicos school shut; possible Covid-19 exposure
#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – November 22, 2020 – Turks and Caicos now has its first school closure due to possible Covid-19 contamination; it is in South Caicos at the Marjorie Basden High school. Students are asked not to report to school tomorrow.
A statement from the Ministry of Education, posted to the TCI Government Facebook page explains: “The Ministry of Education wishes to advise the general public that face-to-face learning at the Marjorie Basden High School will cease with immediate effect, until further notice. The disruption to face-to-face learning is due to possible exposure by school personnel to COVID-19. The school will be deep cleaned and sanitized during this period and will resume face-to-face learning upon approval from the Ministry of Health. In the interim, all students will resume virtual learning commencing Monday, November 23, 2020.”
Two new cases for South Caicos were recorded over the weekend. Overall, Turks and Caicos has seen a concerning spike in positive diagnoses with 20 new cases of Covid-19 in 48-hours.
High schools returned to in-person learning in October for its fourth and fifth formers. Primary schools across the country resumed classroom teaching for grades five and six in November. All students on all islands are due to go back to physical school in the New Year. Still, it was not expected this process of returning to school campuses would go without its challenges amidst the pandemic.
“The health and safety of our staff and students are of paramount importance; hence we are taking the necessary precautions and urge staff, students and the general public to continue to practice the safety protocols prescribed by the Ministry of Health. This includes the wearing of masks, frequent washing and sanitizing of hands and practising social distancing,” said Education executives in the Sunday evening statement.
Three Days to NIB Rate Increase for 2023
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, March 29, 2023 – On April 1st, the second round of increases on contributions at the National Insurance Board will kick in for the Turks and Caicos workforce. Announced last year, the increases were instituted to keep the NIB from running out of money by 2027 as it services a population that is living longer with contributions that had not been increased in 30 years.
As the Government’s new financial year begins, increases at NIB will mean a higher cost for doing business and a higher cost for running the Government.
The private sector is expected to pay contributions at a rate of 11 percent on your taxable income. The hike is up from last year’s 10 per cent; six percent of which is to be paid by the Employer and five percent is to be paid by the Employee. For wages of $2000, this will mean a $200 improvement in income per month to the NIB. As for the burn on residents’ pockets, based on a minimum wage of $1200 monthly salary, that’s at least $60 dollars a month and $720 per year.
Public sector rates will move to 10.15 percent up from 9.15 per cent with the worker paying 4.575 per cent and the Government paying 5.575 per cent; that’s $54 a month and $648 a year at minimum wage.
The NIB rate as of April 1, 2023, will jump to 9 percent for self-employed individuals; For self-employed individuals at minimum wage, that is $108 dollars a month or $1296 per year.
As taxable incomes increase so will the contribution.
The increases follow a 2019 Actuarial review, undertaken every three years, which unearthed that the NIB was facing a dismal future, possible collapse. Contribution rates were growing at a rate much slower than NIB expenses, which included beneficiary payouts. On that trajectory, the NIB’s earnings would be eclipsed by its income by 2027, forcing the worker protection plan to draw down on money saved for economic shocks like Covid-19.
Unsurprisingly, this was deemed untenable, and an immediate increase was recommended.
Despite this scramble to boost earnings, the NIB has simultaneously increased payouts. Payouts for pensions, funeral grants, maternity grants and more will all attract bigger sums.
These incremental increases on contributions and payouts were all consultant recommendations, informed statements from the Board.
TCI Police Detective Holden Speaks Up on Blue Hills Rapes
#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – Following the announcement that several women had been robbed and assaulted in Blue Hills in the past weeks, Magnetic Media queried why the Police would wait until they had a man in custody to release an alert.
TCI’s newest addition to the top brass Detective Superintendent Dean Holden, Head of Crime, Safeguarding and Public Protection, told us that it initially appeared to be an isolated offence and not part of a series of incidents.
“The full circumstances needed to be investigated to ascertain the facts before a public alert could be considered. Misinformation in such a case would only cause unnecessary public concern and confusion and could adversely impact the investigation and the safeguarding of persons involved—” he said. “Even now there is no definitive information that these offences are linked, and investigators remain open-minded.”
Holden claimed an early alert with limited information could have hindered the investigation and they were trying to protect the women who may not have wanted to be identified based on where they lived.
As it turns out, the public concern was very much warranted, because there have been more violent sexual attacks, and more victims got hurt, forcing their hands.
“When further similar offences were committed, the overriding principle of sustained public protection was considered, hence the alert/release issued,” he said.
That alert was coupled with the news that a man had been arrested. Whether those further similar incidents could have been prevented if the public was informed earlier and taken extra precautions, is the underlying question. To date, we don’t know how many victims there are.
Police have increased patrols in the Blue Hills area and condemned the crimes as unacceptable. They have not indicated if anyone was charged for the offences yet.
Louise Garland Thomas High School are TCISS Inter-High Track & Field 2023 Champions
#TurksandCaicos, March 27, 2023 – After a festive three days of competition, the TCISS Inter-High Track & Field Championships 2023 have concluded with the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School reigning as Champions. Featuring a great turnout, eleven schools from across the Turks and Caicos Islands met to compete at the National Stadium March 9-11, 2023.
The competition was stiff among athletes, who were all competing for top spots and by extension a spot-on Team TCI’s CARIFTA 2023 team. From high-spirited invitationals to entertainment by DJ Shakes, spectators enjoyed the best Nationals competition yet.
- 1st Place: A. Louise Garland Thomas High School
- 2nd Place: Clement Howell High School
- 3rd Place: Marjorie Basden High School
Twenty athletes have been selected for Turks and Caicos Islands National CARIFTA Team, some who would have competed in the TCISS Inter-High Track & Field Championships 2023 and some living abroad.
Here are the athletes:
- Roniesha Johnson U-17 Girls CHHS
- Branary Delancy U-17 Girls LGTHS
- Krysann Williams U-20 Girls LGTHS
- Anesha Varus U-20 Girls CHHS
- Lynn Antoine U-20 Girls Unattached
- Chyna Simmons U-20 Girls BWIC
- Rayvon Black U-17 Boys Denbigh/Jam
- Renaldo Registre U-17 Boys RGHS
- Jarmal Missick U-17 Boys HJRHS
- Melique Evans U-17 Boys CHHS
- Love Joseph U-17 Boys LGTHS
- Kaeson Garland U-17 Boys MBHS
- Shamar Garland U-17 Boys HJRHS
- Alieandio Durham U-20 Boys CHHS
- Bernard Hyde U-20 Boys CHHS
- Markey Zepherin U-20 Boys CHHS
- Rayvon Walkin U-20 Boys KC/Jam
- Anthon Walkin U-20 Boys KC/Jam
- Alidavidson Higgs U-20 Boys JC/Jam
- Darvioun Rigby U-20 Boys Keiser/USA
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