#Barbados, August 29, 2023 – Barbados is enhancing the safety of students with the introduction of a comprehensive national schools’ safety policy in September, which will address safety, security and wellness concerns in schools throughout the island.
The policy is built upon four pillars namely safety, security, health, and ongoing maintenance, according to Joy Adamson, Deputy Chief Education Officer.
Adamson highlighted that efforts are being made to see the success of the policy, that is, active collaboration by the Ministry with stakeholders including unions, principal associations, the police and the fire service.
She referred to the stakeholders’ involvement saying, “the School Safety Policy is expected to generate a greater sense of awareness among our stakeholders, so that we clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each…[and] create that safe school environment.”
She later emphasized the importance of having safety embedded into the education system, being a part of the system rather than just a detached factor, incorporated from time to time.
Safety is a full-time job and not a part-time practice,” she maintained.
She pointed out that they wanted to engender a community approach to safety and further create and develop a culture of drills at the nursery, primary and secondary levels.
A part of the policy is fire safety which is seen as a vital aspect, especially in light of the Mahdia school fire in Guyana, that claimed 19 lives, just a few months ago.
Considering this, Adamson recognized and applauded the work of the Barbados Fire Service, for their efforts in extending the Fire Cadet Program which she expressed compliments the ministry’s comprehensive safety agenda.
Additionally, she informed that schools have created and implemented School Safety Plan which includes a Fire Safety Plan.
She stated that “These plans require the schools to conduct regular fire drills, have well-maintained fire alarm systems and to keep exits clear,” adding that they “will be renewed annually by the schools’ Health and Safety Committee.”
The Deputy Chief continued to pinpoint the link between having a safe environment and effective learning as this is the aim of the Ministry’s efforts.
Officers for Haiti multinational force more than 2000, close to 5000 mark
#Haiti, December 11, 2023 – The number of officers for the multinational force to be deployed in Haiti is over 2500, not too far from the 5000 requirement as declared by Kenya.
Ulrika Richardson, the United Nations resident Coordinator in Haiti, made the revelation recently, expressing hope that the deployment will be made before April, in the first quarter of 2024.
While the worsening humanitarian crisis in Haiti continues to evoke concern globally, Kenya has been barred from deploying officers due to an ongoing court conflict regarding the constitutionality of the promise to lead the multinational force.
In fact, in November, following earlier decisions in October to block the deployment of officers, Judge Enoch Mwita, reports say, informed that the orders preventing the deployment will remain in place until he gives a ruling on January 26th.
However, despite this hindrance in Kenya, according to Richardson, authorities continued preparations for the upcoming mission.
This comes as gang violence recently spread across Haiti into areas initially considered safe, as revealed in a new UN report, an indication of the need for swift decisions and actions to help the republic.
Mottley’s speak on Antimicrobial resistance importance.
December 11, 2023 – Antimicrobial resistance is an important development globally for the near future, and Mia Mottley highlighted the seriousness of this amid climate change effects.
Mottley highlights this, acknowledging the new development of health being at the center of climate efforts.
She points out that focusing on health gives the world a chance to be steps ahead of what can happen due to the changing climatic conditions, and she specifically refers to “new pathogens.”
“There’s a strong possibility of new pathogens that will develop, and we expect that we need to be able to ensure that we are in a position to treat people when and if these new pathogens become a reality across our globe,” she said.
She continued to speak of her support for the Health Global Initiative, which focuses on antimicrobial resistance, a necessity, as she points out, adding that it’s the third largest killer in the world, hence the importance of resistance.
Mottley further underscores the grave nature of antimicrobial resistance, expressing the prediction that it is the largest reason for deaths by 2050, reversing a century of medical progress, she says.
In fact, the level of seriousness runs so deep that Mottley says acts such as going to the dentist and having a baby will be high-risk if stronger efforts aren’t made regarding resistance.
Expressing that more needs to be done for antimicrobial resistance, Mottley referred to the number of firms doing research in the year 2000, compared to now.
“In the year 2000, the world had 20 firms doing research on antimicrobial resistance and looking for new antibiotics; today there are four firms.”
Next year, in 2024, there will be a General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance, and Mottley maintained that it might hopefully reignite and reposition in people’s minds the need for more financing for antimicrobial resistance. She emphasized this by highlighting that this COVID-19 pandemic was a lesson, showing the world what happens when it’s not prepared for new pathogens.
Caribbean mourns death of literary Giant
December 11, 2023 – Edward Alston Cecil Baugh, a Caribbean literary giant, sadly passed away on Sunday, December 10th, 2023, leaving behind a rich legacy in the literary world.
Baugh, born on January 10th, 1936, in Port Antonio, Jamaica, which made him 87 years old, lived a successful life not only as a renowned Jamaican poet and scholar but also as a professor at the University of the West Indies (UWI), teaching at the Cave Hill campus first, then at the Mona campus.
He is regionally recognized for his work on pieces by Derek Walcott, who was a Saint Lucian poet and playwright. Baugh edited Walcott’s Selected Poems (2007).
Additionally, his other notable works include West Indian Poetry 1900–1970: A Study in Cultural Decolonization (1971) and Derek Walcott: Memory as Vision (1978).
Commenting on his passing, Professor Emeritus Dr. Norval Edwards described Baugh as an “intellectual giant,” reports say, adding that his passing is an “immense loss” for the wider Caribbean.
“Jamaica and the wider Caribbean have lost an intellectual giant, an erudite and brilliant scholar, an exemplary teacher, and anyone who has been taught by him would have been touched and inspired by his brilliance. He transmitted a love for the subject,” Norval said.
The Honourable Andrew Holness, prime minister of Jamaica, briefly gave remarks regarding Baugh’s passing on Facebook.
Holness spoke of the poet’s exceptional work in literature.
“Professor Edward Baugh’s impact on Jamaican literature and insightful contributions to postcolonial Caribbean poetry have left an enduring mark on our cultural heritage. As a nation, we were blessed and privileged to have witnessed the immense talent of Prof Baugh. I express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of our revered poet, orator, biographer, and prominent scholar in postcolonial Caribbean poetry,” said Holness.
“May the enduring legacy of his literary contributions and profound insights offer solace during these challenging times, and may his soul find eternal peace,” Holness added.
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