#TurksandCaicos, March 6, 2023 – The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport and Social Services is pleased to announce the activities for Education Week 2023 under the theme, “Human Capital Development: Success for Every Learner”
The Education sector will commence the week of activities with an Ecumenical Service on each island on Sunday, 5 March at:
Revival Faith Centre – Grand Turk, 11:00 a.m.
Church of God of Prophecy – Middle/North Caicos, 11:00 a.m.
Community Christian Fellowship – Providenciales, 9:00 a.m.
On South Caicos the Ecumenical Service Will be held Monday, 6 March at Wesley Methodist Church at 10:00 a.m.
Hon Rachel M Taylor, Minister of Education, and her team will lead School administrators, Teachers, students and parents as they gather in corporate worship to give thanks to God for another year of success in the formal education process.
On Monday, 6 March at 6:00 p.m. the Education Symposium will convene at Beaches Turks and Caicos to address the topic, “Improving Teacher Retention in the 21st Century and Beyond Through Support and Development.” The Keynote speaker will be Hon Robert Hall, former Minister of Education and a panel of former and current educators will discuss the topic. The Minister of Education will bring the closing remarks.
Technical Vocational Education and Training is critical to labour force development and high schools across the country in collaboration with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College will display some of the work being done in this area. On Tuesday, 7 March, the public is invited to visit schools where they will have the opportunity to speak with students about what they are learning and see samples of work that students would have completed since the commencement of the school year.
The Ministry will also launch Phase 2 of the Notesmaster Curriculum Writers Training and Content Development Project on Tuesday, 7 March 2023. The critical components of this project involves the following:
- Stakeholder Sensitization;
- Technical Development of a standalone MOE Turks and Caicos Islands Notesmaster Learning Management System (LMS) for stakeholder access to digital lessons.
- Training of all teachers so that they are able to access the resources and remix the available content to suit the teaching and learning needs.
- Professional Development in the effective use of the technology in classrooms using live classrooms in K1 to Grade 11 classes; and
- Training of parents/guardians to help them develop a basic understanding of how the LMS platform works.
The FortisTCI Annual Science and Technology Fair will commence on Wednesday, 8 March at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex with the National Primary School Science Quiz from 9:00 a.m. until noon and the Grand Finale of the National High School Debate from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. On Thursday, 9 March the public is invited to view the Science Project and Poster Competition from 1:00 pm until 4:00 p.m. and to witness the Awards Ceremony slated to commence at 5:00 p.m. This is the first time we are staging the Project and Poster aspects of the FortisTCI Annual Science and Technology Fair since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the excitement has been building for what promises to be a memorable event.
On Thursday, 30 March the Ministry will recognise, celebrate and award the work of Teachers across the school system through a Teacher’s Appreciation Gala which will be held on Providenciales.
Guyana to build regional food hub
#Guyana, September 29, 2023 – Guyana is making moves to become the primary food production center for the Caribbean, going ahead with plans to develop a USD$14 million regional food hub.
In fact, as reported by the Observer, the facility has already been identified on the country’s Soesdyke /Linden Highway.
“We want Guyana to be the food hub, the primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean don’t have. We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water,” he said, adding that with the multi-million dollar US investment, the country can, “modernise the infrastructure, and start ramping up the productions.”
Also, the Agriculture Minister pointed out that the project is geared to make for a more competitive local Agriculture industry as well as developing high-yielding varieties, pest-resistant and climate-resilient varieties.
Additionally, in the facility’s development, Guyana, Mustapha said, will work with Belize.
In fact, with more on Belize’s involvement, Dr. Ashni Singh, Finance Minister, informed that the Government is in talks with the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley about sourcing inputs from northern Brazil and transporting them through Guyana to Barbados and vice versa.
Singh also reportedly revealed that the project will help develop the growing logistics industry in Guyana.
Considering regional food import cost, with this development, Guyana is the leading Caribbean Community country pushing ahead with plans to reduce the multi-billion dollar regional food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, the Observer says.
Cayman makes striking policy change to include more blood donors
#CaymanIslands, September 29, 2023 – The Cayman Islands overturned a policy that banned blood donation from people who visited the island from or resided in countries where “mad cow disease” existed. This was revealed by Sabrina Turner, Health Minister in Parliament, as reported by CNW Network.
People who resided in Britain from 1980 to 2001 and those who had blood transfusions in the UK after 1980, can now donate blood.
Due to recent risk evaluation, and the current protocol for blood donors, many nations, CNW reports, have re-evaluated and adjusted similar guidelines regarding blood donation, as Cayman Islands has now done.
The now initial restrictions on blood donations for the country was called for and was important as at the time of implementation, “mad cow disease” or as it’s scientifically called, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), was at-large affecting not just cows, but also people, who are able to contract “a version of BSE called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD),” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says.
The likely reason for the Cayman Islands’ targeted population of those affiliated with living in the UK or getting blood transfusion in the UK, was because most of the people with vCJD lived in the UK, as highlighted by the FDA.
Also, as BBC says in a 2018 report, 1 in 2000 people in the UK is thought to be a carrier of the disease, even though some who are carriers don’t go on to develop symptoms.
However, the change in Cayman Islands’ policy does not mean the disease is no longer out there.
In fact the FDA said, “as of 2019, 232 people worldwide are known to have become sick with vCJD, and unfortunately, they all have died. It is thought that they got the disease from eating food made from cows sick with BSE. Most of the people who have become sick with vCJD lived in the United Kingdom at some point in their lives. Only four lived in the U.S., and most likely, these four people became infected when they were living or traveling overseas.”
Bwa Kalé movement striking back against gangs, nearly 3,000 murdered
#Haiti, September 29, 2023 – In eight months, nearly 3,000 Haitian people have been slaughtered in their home country due to the upsurge and uprising of gangs in the republic which is struggling to hold its democracy in check.
‘Bwa Kalé’, it’s a vigilante movement that has sprung up in Haiti, and the UN says it is driving up murders.
A recent report following an expert visit detailed it.
“Certain groups have formed allegedly to protect their neighbourhoods from gangs. In some instances, these groups have summarily executed people suspected of being gang members. The Bwa Kalé movement demonstrates the population’s lack of trust in the State, especially in the police and the courts. The expert has learned that some members of the police and the judiciary have been complicit with gangs.”
Despite the obvious fear among residents, the UN is warning them not to take justice into their own hands. However, that is easier said than done as Haitians have demonstrated their feelings of abandonment by fleeing the island in mass numbers on illegal voyages and standing up to the gangs themselves.
In the same report, one said: “The State is absent, there are no police or other officials operating there.”
According to AP, a new report to the U.N. Security Council indicated that 2,728 intentional killings were recorded between October 2022 and June 2023, including 247 women, 58 boys, and 20 girls. Bwa Kalé is blamed partially for the increase, as life in the country is described as unbearable.
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