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JAMAICA: Red Carpet Welcome for St. Ann’s Bay Primary Students

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#MontegoBay, January 14, 2022 – The administration of the St. Ann’s Bay Primary School in St. Ann welcomed back its students on Monday (January 10) in fine style by rolling out a red carpet.

The entrance to the school was transformed into a glamorous space using balloon arrangements, to make the first day of face-to-face learning since the advent of the coronavirus in March 2020 an extra-special occasion for the students.

The children were greeted by school principal Trevor Cole, teachers and members of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), as they strolled down the red carpet to their respective classes.

Speaking with JIS News, Mr. Cole stated that the gesture was geared towards motivating the students and “allowing them to feel appreciated and to know that we’re here ready to facilitate them for their learning and development.

“…we welcomed them in style because we wanted them to feel special. They would have been home for so long and we believe that it is absolutely important that our students get a sense that the school to which they come to learn is excited to have them back in this space,” Mr. Cole said.

He says it was a seamless return to face-to-face learning, owing to hours of strategic planning to devise the best possible approach to accommodate the students.

The school usually operates on a shift system and has a student population of 1,066.

“We have spent long hours planning, refining, reviewing and just trying to find the best possible approach. Yes, we have always had a space challenge, and that compounded the problem… but we have had to do some retrofitting to existing spaces to facilitate our students,” he said.

“I believe this opportunity will enable us to see more of our students, so that we can continue with the business of teaching and learning and ensure that our students at a primary level are sufficiently equipped to move on to the next level, which is high school,” Mr. Cole added.

The principal informed that while a blended rotation model is being utilised, he is happy students will have the opportunity to interact with their teachers.

Three grades will be accommodated at school each day, while others will continue learning online.

“Our grade-six students will be here for the entire week but they will come on a rotational basis, meaning that group A will come one day and group B comes next day and it is rotated. So there will be a balance in terms of online and face-to-face instructions,” Mr. Cole explains.

“We have also paired grade five, with grade six to enable them to be here every day for the first month of school and then for today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) we’ll be facilitating grade one, and Wednesday and Thursday we will be doing grade two. The next week, grades five and six will continue and then we will integrate the other grades, that is grade three and grade four,” the principal said

He added that there will be strict enforcement of the health and safety protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing and proper washing of hands.

Meanwhile, students and teachers have expressed joy to be back in the classroom.

Grade-five teacher Adrian Henry was happy to interact with his students in the physical space, noting that they have suffered significant learning loss due to connectivity issues.

“It is a pleasure to be back in the classroom. One of the ways students will benefit from this is real-time feedback. No glitch in connectivity, no delay in WhatsApp messaging, no checking Google Classroom…; if there’s an issue with teaching and learning then all matters can be resolved immediately,” Mr. Henry indicated.

Grade-five student Leonardo Harrison revealed that he is happy to see his friends and teachers.

“Now that we are going into face-to-face, I can see my friends and also I can learn better because the online was no good… .  Also, when teacher is sending the work it takes a long time to come in… . So face-to-face is good; you could see the board and you could learn better,” he said.

 

Contact: Nickieta Sterling

Release: JIS

 

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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