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Minister and Government’s Plan for TCI Tourism is a Pipe Dream:

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#TurksandCaicos, February 7, 2023 – The Hon. Minister for Tourism is intentionally misleading TC Islanders about her Government’s plans for Our Country’s leading industry, Tourism, and about the treatment of the Tourist Board’s staff.  The only thing the staff of the Tourist Board has received so far from the organization, along with their separation letters, is complete demoralization. How does the minister expect the staff to feel and perform over the next four months? Why not give the staff their monetary package now so they can invest it or use it to prepare themselves for their transition into their own business or new employment? That is thoughtful and the humane thing to do at this time, Madam Minister.
The Hon. Minister’s assertion that the new DMO, which will be a Public Private Partnership (PPP), is the answer and not the further marginalization of our people, is a Pipe Dream.  At best the assertion is theoretical and not based in TCI reality.
We have had a number of PPPs here in the TCI and no one can point to a single case where our people haven’t been screwed by them – so much so, that our country cannot enter into a PPP arrangement without the expressed communicated approval of the British Government (HMG). This position taken by the British with respect to PPPs in the TCI, I suspect, was not taken because PPPs are bad things (they have their place and purpose). However, in Our Country’s case, this is a requirement perhaps, because we have been taken to the cleaners every time we have entered into PPP agreements with the Private sector. Has TCIG secured the blessing of HMG for this proposed PPP and did it sign off on the funding mechanism for the PPP? Is this not using public funds to promote in part private interest?
 Hon. minister as soon as possible let us see the proposed make up and structure of the proposed DMO/ PPP. Show us how our people will maintain control or retain the final say in how Tourism develops in Our Beautiful Country.
 No country dissolves a successful public agency, especially one with an acceptable track record, to privatize it.  Such action is viewed with cynicism and is quite often associated with political cronyism.
Hon. minister it is true that some destinations in the region have restructured the way tourism is marketed and managed in their country. However, I am not aware of a single country in the Caribbean, or in the world for that matter, which has seen the growth that TCI has realized on the small budget the Board has had to work with, then demolish the said organization like you and your government are proposing.
I am all for working closely with the Private Sector when there are areas of common interest and mutual benefit. But we must remember that the  vast majority of the private sector is all about Bottom Line and beholden only to its shareholders, even at the expense of our people and the destruction of our environment.
Hon. Minister, I am sure that you are aware that there is very little left in the Turks and Caicos Islands which is Ours, or that we control. Almost all of our prime land, for tourism development, is out of our hands; our economy is largely owned and driven by others. Everyday we are becoming more irrelevant in our own country. Please remember or be aware that he who owns the land, owns the country. He who owns the economy controls the country. And he who owns the land and controls the economy at the same time, is king. We are lacking in all of these areas and one day it will manifest itself undeniably so. Be warned.
Regards,
Ralph L. Higgs

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Paid internship opportunity in Energy Data Collection,  Application DEADLINE is April 19

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April 19, 2024 – The Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in cooperation with the Energy and Utilities Department (EUD), Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities (MPSU), is looking for a motivated intern to work in close collaboration with regional and national institutions to survey and collect energy-related data that will be used to create the Energy Report Cards (ERCs) for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A stipend for the intern will be provided by CCREEE.

The intern will be based at the EUD/MPSU. The internship program will provide students and/or young professionals with a unique opportunity to work with the energy sector institutions and stakeholders in TCI, gain practical experience in the energy sector, and contribute to the knowledge management functions of the Regional Energy Information System within the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH).

SCOPE OF WORK

The CCREEE in collaboration with the EUD/MPSU will collect specified data and information that will be used to develop the TCI Energy Report Cards which will be made accessible through the CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH). The hub may be accessed by registering at https://cekh.ccreee.org. The Energy Report Cards will also offer important support to the CCREEE work program, including support for energy planning and the development of sustainable energy projects.

DESIRED PROFILE

  • Bachelor’s degree or on course for completion of one by December 2024.
  • Interest in the energy sector and willingness to learn about the socio-economic, technical and environmental aspects of the energy landscape; studies in sustainable energy, environmental sciences or related fields are an asset but not a National or resident of one of the relevant countries.
  • Proficiency in English.

INTERNSHIP TIMEFRAME

The internship will run for a period of eight (8) weeks from May 27 to July 19, 2024.

APPLICATION

The intern applicant should send their application (motivation letter and CV) on or before April 19, 2024 to recruitment@ccreee.org and copy eud@gov.tc.

 Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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Earth Day 2024: Planet vs Plastics – A Call to Action for Reducing Plastic Waste

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As Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, the DECR is rallying the community to join the global movement towards reducing plastic waste and safeguarding our planet’s future.

Plastic pollution remains one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, threatening the health of our oceans, wildlife, and ecosystems. With an estimated 8 million tons of plastic entering our oceans every year, the need for action has never been more urgent.

This Earth Day, the DECR urges you to take meaningful steps towards reducing plastic consumption and waste. From single-use plastics like straws and bags to microplastics that infiltrate our ocean and food chain, every piece of plastic avoided makes a difference.

By embracing reusable alternatives, recycling responsibly, and advocating for policies that prioritize sustainability, we can all play a role in mitigating the plastic crisis. Together, we can create a cleaner, healthier planet for future generations.

Join us this Earth Day in committing to reduce plastic waste and protect our precious environment. Together, we can make a difference.

Tune into the DECR’s social media by following us on Instagram @DECR_TCI or on Facebook at DECR Environmental Education & Outreach Group.

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Senior Teacher Endorses Robot to Assist in Educating Infant and Primary School Students

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KINGSTON, April 17 (JIS):
Senior Teacher at Alpha Infant School, Sabrina Raymond-Hunter, has endorsed the ‘ICHEETAH’ robot, a smart educational AI-powered tool that will advance the way young children learn and interact with technology.
The robot, developed by CHEETAH Toys and More, LLC, is designed to engage and educate children at the infant and early-primary levels of education in a fun and interactive manner, supporting their cognitive development and preparing them for future academic success.
Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on April 16, Mrs. Raymond-Hunter recognised the potential of this cutting-edge technology and its ability to enhance the learning experience for young children.
“I am really excited about this product. I was able to get this into my classroom of 23 students and they are super excited about this. We have had it for three weeks and this is a game changer,” she said.
The Senior Teacher, who also serves as the school’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Designate, added that the students’ learning has been enhanced since incorporating the technology into her teaching.
“It has enhanced it a lot because you know the boys, especially, once they are happy and find something that is fun, they will want to do it. My boys started off a little bit rocky, but since they got this robot, they are spelling, identifying words and reading,” she noted.
Having yielded positive results from utilising the technology, Mrs. Raymond-Hunter is encouraging other schools who are not yet on board to do so.
“I’m encouraging all the other schools to get on board, and if for any reason you need a demonstration, come to Alpha. I’ll show you exactly how we use it to get our students on board and on level with everyone else. Learning should be fun, and with iCHEETAH it definitely is,” she shared.
The robot is outfitted with several interactive features, including voice recognition, games, and educational content, making learning engaging and exciting for young learners.
CONTACT: SHERIKA HALL

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