Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Javanney Campbell proves them wrong http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Javanney-Campbell-proves-them-wrong_77946 BY ALDANE WALTERS Career & Education writer WHEN Javanney Campbell brought home news that he was placed at Clan Carthy High School after sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in 2011, his family, especially his father, was devastated.<br /> <br /> So upset was the elder Campbell that he refused food for two whole weeks. In his mind, the youngster who had showed so much promise throughout his youngest years had let the family down. They had expected him to join his elder brother Shakeil at the &lsquo;traditional&rsquo; Kingston College.<br /> <br /> Fast-forward five years. With his son at the end of his journey at Clan Carthy, Jason Campbell&rsquo;s gross disappointment has morphed into an inexplicable happiness. This, as Javanney silenced all of his naysayers, emerging the first student in Clan Carthy&rsquo;s 36-year history to obtain eight grade ones in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, and with six straight &lsquo;A&rsquo; profiles to boot.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think I can explain the feeling. The feeling is like a pandemonium,&rdquo; the father told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer by phone from his home in the Cayman Islands.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When he called me the night, I had just left work and was eating dinner. He video called and said, &lsquo;Daddy, your son is legendary,&rsquo;&rdquo; the elder Campbell reported. &ldquo;The entire family was just so proud of him.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Javanney obtained grades one in: English A, geography, human and social biology, information technology, mathematics, principles of business, social studies and Spanish. The son admits to being very disappointed when he was placed at Clan Carthy, saying that he lost focus because of the friends that he made in grade five. However, in retrospect, given the chance, he wouldn&rsquo;t change a thing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;After coming here and seeing the passion by my teachers, it inspired me to work harder. I don&rsquo;t regret coming to Clan Carthy. I strongly believe that it&rsquo;s not where you go, it&rsquo;s what you want to do and what you want to achieve, and your drive for where and what you want,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Since then, he has always performed at the top of his class and has set standards for his classmates. This standard, he says, formed part of his motivation to do well at the external examinations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I wanted to inspire people and set a standard because, over the years, I&rsquo;ve been setting standards here so I just wanted to leave something behind as a legacy for them to follow. I&rsquo;m just happy that I did that,&rdquo; he told<br /> <br /> Career & Education.<br /> <br /> The motive was to prove everyone who berates non-traditional high schools wrong, including family members who constantly compared him to his older brother.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It took determination. It took dedication to your work. [I] had to have a mindset that I wanted to be successful. I wanted to prove the entire Jamaica wrong, that good can come out of Clan Carthy and I really wanted to prove my family wrong that I am up to the standard of my brother and I am better than my brother. And I did prove that,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At one point I obtained an 88 per cent average and they were saying that my 88 per cent here was 20 per cent at KC, so I really wanted to prove them wrong. That drove me to just push myself,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> An integral part of his success, Javanney says, has been the competitive but loving relationship between himself and his older brother.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My brother also played an integral role in making me into who I am today. He has always been setting standards for me to break. He has always been there for me when I needed him, he has never told me &lsquo;No&rsquo;. I think he was very interested in my well-being and education as much as my parents and myself. I always refer to him as my &lsquo;local father&rsquo; due to fact he plays the fatherly role in the absence of my father. I love him and he has always motivated me to just do me and aim high, and he is a part of the reason for my success in the recent CSEC exams,&rdquo; said Campbell.<br /> <br /> Attaining this success was not easy, however. Not only did the 16-year-old have to contend with the negative stigma attached to his school, he recalled days in lower forms where there was no lunch money for him to attend classes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was very poor. On some days I didn&rsquo;t have lunch money but my grandmother was there. My grandmother would always give me $100 to go to school. That was just my bus fare just to come to school, up to nine grade,&rdquo; said the teen who lives in Bull Bay, St Andrew.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;But I came here and did my best,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> In addition to regular timetabled lessons, he attended review classes at school and woke up in the wee hours of the morning to complete assignments, all of which helped him to prepare for the exams. He also maintained a balance between his academics and the many extra-curricular involvements he was a part of. He was president of the JPS Energy Club and the Debate Club and was also a member of the Interact Club and Spanish Club. This, while being a senior prefect. How did he balance his school work, co-curricular involvements and his student leader responsibility? Javanney said he focused on the tasks that were most urgent first.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I just tried my best to devote time. When things are to be done, I tried my best to get it done,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> And although the young man has consistently performed well, he didn&rsquo;t think he could have produced as good a result as he did.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve always said it, but I didn&rsquo;t really think it was possible. Throughout the years I&rsquo;ve emerged as top student, but for CXC I didn&rsquo;t think it was possible for me to get eight ones. Not because I am not bright enough, but I just thought that there must be some errors,&rdquo; he said, confessing that he had somehow allowed the disparaging comments about non-traditional high schools to seep into his psyche. <br /> <br /> Still, in retrospect, Campbell, who wants to become an entrepreneur and a flight dispatcher, believes he could have pulled off eight straight &rsquo;A&rsquo; profiles &ldquo;if I tried harder&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> His list of intra-school awards include subject prizes, principal&rsquo;s honour roll, top student and the title of Mr Clan Carthy in 2015. Externally, he has won the Peace and Love in Schools Scholarship twice (2014, 2016), won gold medal at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commision festival competition in 2014 and was selected last year to participate in an exchange programme between Jamaica and China. The programme was however, cancelled. In November, he will receive the top student award for his school from the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools. <br /> <br /> Clan Carthy Principal Hazel Cameron said that Javanney&rsquo;s achievement shows the progress being made by the institution and the thrust to produce quality graduates.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It signals that we can produce students who are of traditional high school calibre and quality. It means that we are growing and progressing as an institution. It means that our teachers are committed and continue to work hard to ensure that our students reach their highest potential... So it means that we have some way to go because we do not want [a single] outstanding student, we want to have many more outstanding students and it is achievable,&rdquo; she told<br /> <br /> Career & Education.<br /> <br /> She said that in her 11 years as principal, the institution has done much to help students to fulfill the motto of &ldquo;hit[ting] the star at the highest point&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Right now we are doing all we can to ensure that students do their best. We put programmes in place [such as] feeding programmes. We assist them with take-home meals. We give free classes on Saturday, Sundays, late evenings and so on. And those students who are committed are usually the students who do well, because we have that sort of programme to facilitate,&rdquo; she explained.<br /> <br /> The principal said that the school administration expected nothing less than excellence of Javanney.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I admire him because he is well-mannered, principled, respectful and if he continues to plug into his own life the sort of diligence he shows in his school work then I am sure he will continue to do all the best,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Campbell hopes the stigma associated with non-traditional high schools will soon evaporate. In his view, it is having detrimental effects on the students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Because of what people have to say about the school and say to students out in the society, they might feel a little depressed and not confident about themselves because they believe that, judging by the history of the school, it (excellence) is unattainable,&rdquo; says the teen, adding that he often receives comments of disbelief and even doubt that he obtained eight ones while attending Clan Carthy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;No one is brilliant and no one is dunce. You just have to try and work hard for what you want,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Do not beat down your child for passing for a &lsquo;non-traditional&rsquo; high school.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The youngster is currently pursuing five CAPE subjects at Kingston College, as Clan Carthy&rsquo;s programme doesn&rsquo;t offer some of the subjects he wishes to do. At the end of sixth form, he hopes to attend Mona School of Business at The University of the West Indies. As for advice to students who attend non-traditional high schools, he says: &ldquo;Just do your best, work very hard and never mind the circumstances. Just try to do your best.&rdquo; <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13375418/235999_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374689/236002_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374688/236004__w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM Crystal Dennis wins Garvey scholarship http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Crystal-Dennis-wins-Garvey-scholarship_76490 Basil Walters Career & Education writer Crystal Dennis&rsquo;s introduction to the world of Black civic leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Tacky and Kwame Ture started in 2008 when, as a student entering Tacky High School, the institution required that the entire grade seven cohort submit essays about the man after whom the school was named.<br /> <br /> Over the years her interest in the subject matter deepened, culminating this past summer in her copping the Brian Henry Foundation Marcus Garvey Scholarship valued at $1 million.<br /> <br /> The scholarship, named in honour of Jamaica&rsquo;s first national hero, is offered to an individual to pursue a degree in either business or the sciences. The individual, the foundation says, must have shown outstanding academic achievement but cannot afford to advance his or her learning. To qualify, the candidate had to write an essay about Marcus Garvey, in addition to supplying recommendation letters from past teachers or principals and completing an application form.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am extremely happy!&rdquo; 19-year-old Dennis told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer after the presentation of the award on the occasion of the 129th anniversary of Garvey&rsquo;s birth in the courtyard of Irie FM in Ocho Rios, St Ann.<br /> <br /> Dennis, who graduated Tacky in 2013 and did sixth form at St Mary High, is now enrolled in the banking and finance bachelor&rsquo;s degree programme at The University of the West Indies. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Between 2013 and 2015 I applied for numerous scholarships to no avail. I decided to do a stint in the working world until a scholarship came through. I have been working since September 2015. During that period I continued researching scholarships and bursaries...Sometimes I got despondent after trying a number of scholarships and getting nowhere. I knew that unless I took out a student loan, it would have been nearly impossible for me to further my education. Now I can pursue my goal and I am happy about that,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am just really thankful to the Brian Henry Foundation, to the Irie team, Andrea and Shamara, my family, friends and past teachers for making this happen. And I am really looking forward to being a UWI Pelican,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> As Dennis explained it, her interest in black history developed as she progressed through high school. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Perhaps one of the greatest influences came as a result of my batch of grade seven all being asked to write an essay on Tacky prior to our grade seven orientation. This pushed me to research the actions of the man for which the school was named. In so doing, I learnt about many black activists, or freedom fighters if you will. When grade nine came around, I was only too happy to be introduced to the subject Caribbean history, which I pursued in grade 11 as a CSEC subject. My interest in black/Caribbean history continued into sixth form where I made history one of my CXC CAPE unit choices. <br /> <br /> The teen said she learned about the scholarship from a friend who heard it advertise on a programme on<br /> <br /> Irie FM called Running Africans.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was unfortunate that I missed the programme that day, but I was fortunate to have friends looking out for me. I listened the programme the following week and nearly every week after that,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The essay was particularly difficult to write, not because I knew nothing of Garvey, but because I wanted to write in a way that would speak to who I am and capture the best of Garvey for the world to see. Much of the information was readily available, but I did a bit of research just to ensure I was going on the right path. Also, I wrote with the knowledge of history garnered at the CSEC and CAPE level, as well as from my own interpretations of Garvey&rsquo;s ideoloies etc,&rdquo; she told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> There were 49 applicants, but it came down to two finalists; the deciding factor being a letter outlining why each candidate thought they should be awarded. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was ever so nervous, particularly when the other finalist, a young man who later introduced himself to me as Marlon Smith, a graduate of Green Island High, was introduced...When Amina Blackwood Meeks started talking about education and Ms Preston invited me to go on stage, it was only then that I was fully convinced that I was in fact already chosen&hellip; <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I went on stage where I was awarded this cheque for $1,000,000 by MrHenry. That was just perhaps one of the happiest moments of my life, and I was just struck by the suddenness of the entire situation &mdash; no money for university one minute, one million [dollars] the next. Even now I can&rsquo;t stop smiling, or being amazed for that matter,&rdquo; the young woman said. <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374325/235924__w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM Wolmer&rsquo;s third formers nail CSEC EDPM http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Wolmer-s-third-formers-nail-CSEC-EDPM-_77990 BY ALDANE WALTERS Career & Education writer Nearly 250 third formers at Wolmer&rsquo;s Girls&rsquo; School sat and passed CSEC electronic document preparation and management (EDPM) this year, earning 190 grade ones, 47 grade twos and four grade threes.<br /> <br /> It is the best result to date in the seven-year-old programme which makes it mandatory for third formers to sit the subject.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We wanted our students to develop a skill and also to increase their marketability,&rdquo; head of the Business and Information Technology Department Whaunchia Rhoden told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; When they leave here, they are well-rounded, because one of our principles here is to produce well-rounded students. So we decided that we wanted to increase their marketability by including that skill as well as that will improve their ability to produce documents when they come to the fourth and fifth form, where they have to produce SBAs; that&rsquo;s a lot of document production going on.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Principal Colleen Montague said that the move to do EDPM at third form was a natural progression, as the school has made information technology (IT) compulsory.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All students do IT from first to fifth form, so it was a natural progression from second form into third form where they were being tested. They were doing it already so we said, &lsquo;why not do the exam in it [and] actually examine them with an external body?&rsquo;&rdquo; said Montague.<br /> <br /> The principal argued that IT is a vital skill in the 21st century, hence making the subject mandatory.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We feel that it is a necessary skill for students to graduate with from high school. All students should be computer literate, information technology literate. Because every place of employment, every market that is available requires that skill. And so our students need to be prepared for that market that they will enter, whether it be tertiary or the workplace,&rdquo; Montague said.<br /> <br /> The school said that since the introduction of the programme, which is the brainchild of former department head Kareene McCallum-Rodney, there has been an increase in the number of grade ones, in addition to the consistent 95-98 per cent pass rate. There has also been marked improvement in the presentation of SBAs.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When the SBAs are given, the students are better able to prepare more professional documents to present to teachers. Before, we used to have many instances where we had to be helping students putting the documents together, tell them how to outline and arrange it. Now they have come to the table with that sort of skill, so it makes life easier for everyone,&rdquo; said the department head of 11 years.<br /> <br /> The school said that there is usually a bit of anxiety about the efficacy programme at the start of each third form year, due in part to the varying academic levels at which students enter third form. However, Montague said the track record of the staff over the years quickly abate any fears, as they worked to ensure that each child was ready for the exam.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The thing about is that success begets success. So we have the track record of success in the subject and so one year group tells another. So over the years, the students have gained confidence that this is doable because of the success rate over the past seven years. And the teachers themselves are comfortable in what they&rsquo;re teaching, they have rather expansive knowledge of the syllabus and the students,&rdquo; she told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> In addition, having a CSEC subject to think about at this level has caused the students to display more maturity at a young age.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For many years, we have found that the third form is that group that is most challenging. And what we have found now is that there is a behaviour change. They are far more focused [because] they are challenged to produce and because they have to manage their time very well. So it&rsquo;s managing their time, carrying 13 subjects internally which includes EDPM and be doing it at the CSEC, but they manage because they are brilliant students. We feel like they are capable and when we did it, we said, &lsquo;Challenge them, challenge the students to do more&rsquo;,&rdquo; she continued.<br /> <br /> For the students, it began with uncertainty but ended with success. Jayan Morgan, who obtained a grade one with a straight &lsquo;A&rsquo; profile said she was very nervous when she was introduced to the programme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I first heard about it I was like &lsquo;Wow, I&rsquo;m gonna do a CSEC exam!&rsquo; And it was really nerve-racking at first because in Jamaica CSEC is a big thing and for my standards I had to pass. It was nerve racking because I was doing this big exam and I have to be prepared for it and I don&rsquo;t know if it&rsquo;s gonna be very challenging that I can&rsquo;t pass,&rdquo; Jayan recalled.<br /> <br /> However, having got into the preparation phase, they said it was all about hard work.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What accounted for our success was the work put in by our peers. We took it very seriously and had good teachers. Between the students, we helped each other out with the computer and understanding how to manipulate certain software on the computer. We taught each other and the teacher would also help us and give us activities on Schoology,&rdquo; said Ashley Evans, who also obtained a grade one. Schoology is a school management software that is used by the institution, and which is also employed in EDPM lessons for practical application of knowledge.<br /> <br /> For Shavelle Shaw, who also obtained a grade one with a straight &lsquo;A&rsquo; profile, the early exposure to the subject will help in her planned career.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;EDPM has really helped because it gave me the understanding of the computer and the different software. I&rsquo;m actually going into the business field so I&rsquo;ll need to know all of those things like Excel and Access. So it has helped to steer me into the business field,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Montague, who is in her 13th year as principal of the institution, said that the programme shows that if students are challenged to a higher standard, it can be achieved.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It has proven to us that we need to challenge our students to aspire to greatness; aspire to another standard. So, once we feel that we are satisfied; we are comfortable with anything at all that we are doing, we are always looking as a school, as a staff, &lsquo;What else can we do?&rsquo; &lsquo;How else can we continue to improve on the standards and the performance of our students?&rsquo; and this was just one project that we had.<br /> <br /> We are [also] looking at what to do in first and second form to just keep them focused because it is important for them to be engaged and to be focused in school and we have to find things to do,&rdquo; she told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> Photo: Aston Spaulding http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374556/235962_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374554/235964_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374557/235963_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM UCC launches creative institute http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/UCC-launches-creative-institute_77644 BY PENDA HONEYGHAN Career & Education writer honeyghanp@jamaicaobserver.com WHEN local digital media company eMedia Interactive Group Limited founder and CEO Tyrone Wilson conceptualised the business, he dreamed of making it a global brand. What he wasn&rsquo;t particularly sure about was how to do it. <br /> <br /> But with the launch two Wednesdays ago of a certificate media programme at the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), called iCreate Institute, Wilson&rsquo;s dream appears to be within reach. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is a big milestone in the journey for eMedia Interactive. We always aim to create opportunities for students, especially with various creative interests, which is why we started the internship programme and we were able to draft talented university students, some of whom are still with us now under the iCreate internship programme. Having seen the progress and recognising that we have a knack for teaching and developing talent, we thought, &lsquo;Why not transform this into an institute?&rsquo;&rdquo;<br /> <br /> iCreate will begin operation in January next year and will initially offer three-month- long certificate programmes in advertising, video production, content marketing, animation, and project management. However, Wilson said that with the relevant accreditation from local and international bodies, he envisions offering masters degrees in short order. <br /> <br /> To be accepted into the programme, individuals will need a minimum of five Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate subjects and a portfolio displaying relevant creative abilities. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This partnership will enable many talented and creative individuals to gain access to the programme that will equip them with knowledge relevant to their programmes of choice,&rdquo; Wilson told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer following the programme launch. <br /> <br /> Dr Winston Adams, Group Executive Chairman at UCC, described the partnership with e-Media as an example of their commitment to the institution&rsquo;s motto of fostering leadership and innovation. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have partnered with eMedia to create UCC&rsquo;s iCreate Institute, the first of its kind in Jamaica I daresay. It&rsquo;s exciting times. This partnership is a direct response to labour market demands for knowledgeable and skilled individuals to take advantage of opportunities in the technology-driven creative industry that has been our impetus and motivation. The partnership also further underscores UCC&rsquo;s link with business and industry,and therefore the programmes will undoubtedly promote entrepreneurial skills. Through the establishment of the iCreate Institute, UCC is also broadening its programme offerings and increasing the opportunities for young people to fulfil their true potential. It is a game-changer in Jamaica,&rdquo; Dr Adams told the audience. <br /> <br /> The eMedia head said it was focus on entrepreneurship that attracted him to UCC.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We chose UCC because of two things. One would be that media institutes already exist at universities such as at UWI [The University of the West Indies]. There is CARIMAC [Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication], BCAT [The Communication Arts and Technology Unit] at UTech [University of Technology] and so we wanted to find an institution that would do us justice while we tried to execute our dream. While looking at the institutions, we had our eyes on UCC. We have watched it evolve and witnessing that evolution, we realised something that we have been wanting to see in several institutions &mdash; they were entrepreneurial and we didn&rsquo;t just want an academics-based institution. So we knew they would make the perfect ally,&rdquo; Wilson said. <br /> <br /> He told<br /> <br /> Career & Education that while the existing media training outfits have made a significant contribution to the development of the creative economy, he feels that they failed to make graduates market-ready.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We believe like other established local institutions there is a place for us to do just that, to add value to the creative industry. How we intend to do this is by targeting the technical, creative and entrepreneurial aspects of training and that is what is missing with so many of the individuals who are coming out of training. eMedia will also infuse in its curriculum information on how to start a business, structure of business fundamentals of business and how to start one, because students ought to be taught to be independent,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Wilson added: &ldquo;We will really focus on students getting access to industry-standard equipment from day one. We will have them in our studios, in the fields, on workshops, talking to industry leaders and entrepreneurs to ensure that they are adequately educated on the demands that will be made of them when they go into companies after graduation.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> The man who was given the task of vetting the proposal, Senior Director, Strategic Business and ICT Development Dr Maurice Miller, said that he too was bowled over by how implementation-ready the document was. In fact, he said that the university was so impressed that it snatched up the opportunity before any other player got wind of the programme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We at UCC agree with the United Nations that the creative industries are becoming an increasingly important component of modern post-industrial knowledge-based economies. Not only are the creative industries thought to account for higher than average growth and job creation, they are also vehicles of cultural identity that play an important role in fostering cultural diversity. At present, the creative sector is the third-largest contributor to GDP [gross domestic product] and has a significant multiplier effect on the Jamaican economy through seamless linkages with other industries such as tourism and manufacturing. Let&rsquo;s act fast so that we can add quality graduates to this growing industry,&rdquo; Dr Miller urged. <br /> <br /> Sagicor Group has undertaken to provide financing for students to attend the institute. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374538/235974_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374537/235973_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM Protecting our children in the digital http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Protecting-our-children-in-the-digital-_77975 Dr Karla Hylton Our children are growing up in a digital world far different from when we, as parents, were growing up. The use of media has skyrocketed. Whether it is the television, Internet or video games, there is always competition for our kid&rsquo;s attention. Entertainment is literally at our kids&rsquo; fingertips, making books and studying seem trivial and unappealing.<br /> <br /> This digital world presents many benefits, and if used in moderation, can be very useful in the quest for academic success, but media and digital devices also present new challenges for parents. It can teach negative values, distract from meaningful activities and consume time. Media influences the psychosocial development of our kids and studies show that excessive media use can lead to attention problems and poor performance at school. Helping our kids to learn healthy habits when using technology to avoid self-harm as well as harm to others must therefore be a priority. <br /> <br /> Television <br /> <br /> Television can be a valuable and powerful teacher, but it could potentially also influence negatively. Many of us grew up watching<br /> <br /> Sesame Street, for example, which taught many prized lessons and helped in improving reading and learning skills. Nowadays, while there are many similar programmes, there is easier access to inappropriate ones. Therefore, our jobs as parents is more difficult.<br /> <br /> The number of violent and sexually explicit shows are on the rise. There are even shows on so-called &ldquo;family&rdquo; channels that I personally find age inappropriate for the rating given. It can be quite shocking. Television also glamorises the use of alcohol and smoking and may influence our teens to experiment. In addition, it can reduce time for play and physical activity and may turn our kids into &lsquo;couch potatoes&rsquo;. Physical fitness is important for effective learning. <br /> <br /> Music Videos<br /> <br /> These can be accessed from most digital devices and have significant effect on behaviour, especially in teens. Some of them expose teenagers to sexually explicit and violent material, which often portray women in a condescending manner. It is alarming that in many instances popular music lyrics have become X-rated. Parents must be on guard as these lyrics will influence your kids.<br /> <br /> Video Games<br /> <br /> Video games can be useful in teaching kids fine motor skills and coordination. It&rsquo;s also excellent for recreation and destressing. However, overuse will lead to inactivity and could affect your child&rsquo;s mental development. Video games also present exposure to violence. Parents should not rely on ratings. Make the judgement yourself. Many kids get hooked on seemingly harmless games and spend hours playing. Parents must set rules and enforce them.<br /> <br /> Internet<br /> <br /> Access to the Internet is readily available through smart phones, tablets, gaming devices and computers. We all agree that it is a remarkable invention and can be an amazing resource for kids. They can use it for research, communication, educational activities, gaming, and the list goes on. It puts the world at their fingertips, but in so doing it also brings many hazards. <br /> <br /> Parents, guardians, teachers, institutions and government must work together to create a safe online environment for our kids. In fact, I believe the wider populace needs to be better informed of the dangers as well as the safeguards which can be taken. We must protect our kids from pornography, online predators, online bullying, scams and solicitation. <br /> <br /> What you can do<br /> <br /> It will be a difficult task protecting your child from the dangers associated with media, simply because they are not always in your presence. But there are some steps to help reduce the likelihood of exposure to negative influences.<br /> <br /> &bull; Become educated about media usage.<br /> <br /> &bull; Communicate with your child about the dangers as well as the benefits of media. Explain why rules are necessary and encourage feedback. Talk to them about online threats.<br /> <br /> &bull; Do not allow kids under a certain age to be on social networks. When you have granted permission, you must check their online activities.<br /> <br /> &bull; Use ratings for television, music videos and games with caution. Assess the content yourself to ensure that it meets your standards in terms of violence, sexuality, language and values.<br /> <br /> &bull; Set limits to screen time. This includes all forms of media and monitor what they are viewing.<br /> <br /> &bull; Install parental control software on televisions, PCs and tablets. <br /> <br /> &bull; Encourage physical activity rather than the sedentary lifestyle associated with media use.<br /> <br /> Dr Karla Hylton is a graduate of the biotechnology programme at the University of the West Indies. She operates Bio and Chem tutoring, a Kingston-based teaching programme which specialises in secondary level biology and chemistry. Reach her at (876)564-1347,<br /> <br /> biochemtutor100@gmail.com<br /> <br /> , or<br /> <br /> www.khylton.com.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12782842/192551_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM Seprod awards $7m in scholarships http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Seprod-awards--7m-in-scholarships_78050 THE newest batch of Seprod Foundation scholars were on Thursday presented with their awards at a handover ceremony at Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel in Kingston.<br /> <br /> The group includes 27 students who sat the most recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and five students from the College of Agricultural Science and Education (CASE). The GSAT scholars are: Patrick Sterling Jnr, Karrie-Ann Tapper, Nivek Palmer, Dominic Atkinstall, Tetra Innis, Antonio Thompson, Gabrielle Fletcher, Calvin Barrett, Jordel Ellis, Ceford Patterson, Rasheed Millwood, Desean Hines, Devido Tate, Oswald Brown, Ashlee Tinglin, Jada McPherson, Ashema Waldron, Brian Miller, Britanya Stewart, Shuwanna Williams, Danielle Goldson, Keneil Jones, Dejonay Brown, Fernanado Stewart, Chavanese Patterson, Alwayne Arnold, and Charise Young &mdash; who received the Byron Thompson Award for Academic Excellence, having the highest overall average of the new scholars.<br /> <br /> They attend a mix of traditional and non-traditional high schools across the island. <br /> <br /> The awards cover auxiliary fees for each year of high school, provided that the students maintain a &lsquo;B&rsquo; average. As it stands, there are 148 students from first to fifth form who benefit from the programme valued at over $4 million annually.<br /> <br /> This year, only children of Seprod employees were invited to apply, but the company says it will be open to external applicants next year.<br /> <br /> The CASE beneficiaries received a share of $3 million per year to cover tuition and books, as well as research and technical assistance that Seprod will be providing to the college each year, according to a memorandum of understanding between the two. The awardees are: Samantha Baudoo, Debra-Kay Hedge, Oshin Gayle, Jahmaine Parkinson, and Chadwade Anderson.<br /> <br /> Chairman of the foundation Melanie Subratie told the young scholars that their life is their story, and that they are merely at the opening chapter.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is really the start of your story. Let&rsquo;s make the new chapter of this story one that makes your parents, and, most importantly, yourself proud,&rdquo; she encouraged.<br /> <br /> Minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Senator Floyd Greene, while encouraging the awardees to dream big, commended Seprod Foundation for its investment in agricultural education through the CASE scholarship programme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to commend the entire Seprod Foundation. You have been doing excellent work in the area of education. If we are serious about transforming agriculture, we have to provide more support for young people who want to pursue agriculture,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> As part of their scholarship, the CASE students will also benefit from internships at Seprod.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, 2002 Seprod scholarship recipient O&rsquo;Dayne Plummer gave the GSAT students some advice to take them through high school.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had to ensure that I maintained excellence in everything that I do; maintain excellence not only academically, but you have to be a rounded student,&rdquo; he advised.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Continue to make your parents proud and pursue greatness. It&rsquo;s in all of you,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> For the past 10 years, the foundation has awarded over 300 students under its GSAT scholarship programme. This is the first year that scholarships have been awarded to CASE students.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Aldane Walters http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374368/235938_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13374369/235936_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM Tertiary scholarships for Academic Year 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Tertiary-scholarships-for-Academic-Year-2017-------_77927 &bull; The Chevening Secretariat is accepting applications for 2017/2018 Chevening Scholarships and some Chevening Fellowships via www.chevening.org/apply from August 8, until November 8, 2016.<br /> <br /> &bull; The National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan is offering full scholarships to exceptionally quailified candidates to pursue a Master of Public Policy, a Master of Public Administration, and Master of Arts in Public Policy<br /> <br /> Application deadline: November 11, 2016<br /> <br /> Admissions notification: May-July 2017<br /> <br /> Enrolment: October 2017<br /> <br /> &bull; International Seabed Authority Endowment Fund and the Interridge Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme is inviting applications from interested persons wishing to pursue graduate or post-doctoral studies in marine research activities.<br /> <br /> Details at: http://www.isa.org.jm/files/documents/EN/efund/AppGuide.pdf<br /> <br /> &bull; Germany offers a wide range of scholarship opportunities to citizens of devloping or newly industrialised countries.<br /> <br /> Deatils available at: https://www.daad.de/deutschland/stipendium/datenbank/en/21148-scholarship-database/?status=&origin=124&subjectGrps=daad=&q=&page=1&back=1<br /> <br /> &bull; Short-term courses are offered throughout the year on an ad hoc basis by the following countries/agencies:<br /> <br /> Governments of China, Japan, India (http://itec.nic.in/), Singapore, Israel, Sweden, The Organisation of American States (http://www.educoas.org/portal/en/oasbecas/announcementpd.aspx?culture=en&navid=282), Malaysia (http://www.intanbk.intan.my/) The Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation in collaboration with the Commonwealth Member States.<br /> <br /> These courses may range in duration from two to 24 weeks and are usually advertised via course announcements or circular letters as they become available at different intervals throughout the year. Announcements usually identify a specified target group for participation.<br /> <br /> Details at www.mof.gov.jm/sau<br /> <br /> &bull; On an annual basis the Government of Spain offers the opportunity to teachers of Spanish to participate in a summer programme designed specifically for them.<br /> <br /> Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM My supervisor has the sting of a serpent http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/My-supervisor-has-the-sting-of-a-serpent-_78025 Carolyn Marie Smith Dear Career Advisor:<br /> <br /> I feel like I am about to lose it at work and say or do something I&rsquo;ll regret. My supervisor is extremely critical. She has the sting of a serpent in her tongue. To make matters worse, she does it publicly and often loudly. She is always loud. I often wonder if criticism is the only thing on her job description. <br /> <br /> What can I do? If this continues I am bound to explode.<br /> <br /> GP<br /> <br /> Dear GP<br /> <br /> Workplace criticism can lead to an unpleasant work environment, particularly if it&rsquo;s based on overly negative personal attacks instead of well-intentioned, constructive feedback. Since you have not cited any specific examples that could provide a cue to the type of criticism you are receiving, I am going to encourage you to view your supervisor&rsquo;s behaviour as an attempt to provide you with feedback on your performance. It could just be that she has not mastered the skill of balancing praise with disapproval or censure.<br /> <br /> In that case, here are some strategies that could help you deal with the situation:<br /> <br /> i. Listen. Don&rsquo;t interrupt, allow the speaker to complete what she is saying.<br /> <br /> ii. Try to understand. Focus on the essence of what the speaker is saying. Ask questions to get clarification and rephrase to ensure you understand.<br /> <br /> iii. Stay calm. Maintain mental and emotional composure.<br /> <br /> iv. Assume good intentions. Mentally give the speaker the benefit of the doubt that she means well.<br /> <br /> v. Don&rsquo;t take it personally. Remind yourself that this is work and therefore the criticism is about the quality or output of your work and not about you as a person.<br /> <br /> See continuation in next week&rsquo;s publication<br /> <br /> Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student affairs at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at <br /> <br /> careeradvisor@ncu.edu.jm<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11975061/CAROLYN-SMITH_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM Branson Centre seeks mentors, coaches http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Branson-Centre-seeks-mentors--coaches_77293 Branson<br /> <br /> Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean is seeking mentors, strategic and financial coaches, and professional service providers to support its pool of entrepreneurs.<br /> <br /> The centre, which was established in 2011 as a partnership between Virgin Unite &mdash; the not-for-profit foundation of the Virgin Group &mdash; and Virgin Holidays, the UK&rsquo;s leading long-haul tour company to the Caribbean, assists entrepreneurs to launch or scale their businesses for long-term growth.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re constantly on the lookout for highly experienced business people to help us nurture the next generation of talented Caribbean entrepreneurs. We are looking for people who have held senior management positions or have significant entrepreneurial experience with a desire to make a difference in business,&rdquo; the centre said.<br /> <br /> Specifically, that includes people who are: <br /> <br /> &bull; Committed and available to meet virtually or in person on a regular basis;<br /> <br /> &bull; Patient and responsive;<br /> <br /> &bull; Attentive to detail;<br /> <br /> &bull; Able to explain difficult concepts in simple terms; and <br /> <br /> &bull; Able to communicate honest feedback tactfully.<br /> <br /> As mentor, one will have to commit a minimum of two hours per month for 12 months. <br /> <br /> A strategic coach &mdash; who will assist Branson Centre Caribbean entrepreneurs to create strategic objectives and goals to drive the overall performance of their business &mdash; will need to commit a minimum of three hours per month for 12 months.<br /> <br /> Finance coaches will be required to dedicate a minimum of two hours per month to advising entrepreneurs who have either already received funding through the Branson Centre Caribbean, or those seeking funding for the first time, on areas such as bookkeeping, cash flow management, budgeting, and projections. <br /> <br /> Professional service providers, meanwhile, who are defined as having expertise in a specific area of business, such as accounting, marketing, commercial law or other, are urged to donate 1-2 pro bono hours per month to help guide the budding entrepreneurs.<br /> <br /> Volunteers can register on the Branson Centre&rsquo;s website &mdash;<br /> <br /> http://bransoncentre.co/caribbean.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Branson Centre Caribbean is on a mission to change the prospects of entrepreneurship for good and we need your help to do it,&rdquo; the centre states on its website.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13377479/Branson_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 23, 2016 12:00 AM Flying high http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Flying-high_77265 BY PENDA HONEYGHAN Career & Education writer honeyghanp@jamaicaobserver.com ONE rejection after another is how Selena Chin, then fresh out of the University of Technology, Jamaica with a business administration degree, spent the first eight months of her job hunt. <br /> <br /> But then her luck changed, or perhaps she changed it, having convinced the recruiters at Sagicor Life Jamaica &mdash; one of the country&rsquo;s leading life insurance groups &mdash; to give her a shot as an agent for the company.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the field of marketing you require several years of experience, but I had just left university so I didn&rsquo;t have that. Nothing was working out for me and then I applied to Sagicor. I never had links or anything at all. I didn&rsquo;t know anybody. I went the old fashioned route and after a short wait Sagicor responded and I was invited for an interview,&rdquo; the marketing and international business major said. <br /> <br /> The interview, Chin recalls, forced her to market herself like products she had years before practised to get on supermarket and store shelves.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Close to end of the interview I was told that I was too young and I would fail,&rdquo; two words that still make Chin cringe, but which inspired what she did next. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;First, I begged them to give me a chance, but not before putting it all on the table. [I told them that] if I proved them right (by failing) then they wouldn&rsquo;t even have to tell me to go. I would have packed my things and I would leave. I always keep my word,&rdquo; she told the Jamaica Observer. <br /> <br /> That was seven years ago. Chin has been number one in the company for four of those seven years and has broken three records &mdash; including that of most cases in a month.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I keep breaking my own records and nobody has come close. I have promised myself that I am not stopping,&rdquo; shared Chin, who is obviously determined. <br /> <br /> The 30-year-old young woman was selected as this year&rsquo;s top performer among a cadre of 74 Sagicor Life Jamaica employees in the company&rsquo;s annual High Flyers programme which aims to highlight and celebrate exceptional work in the areas of premium income and number of cases. The High Flyers and a client of their choice were feted at a luncheon at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on Thursday. <br /> <br /> The competition runs for six months (February &ndash; July) each year. This year, President and CEO Richard Byles said he was especially excited because not one but two records were broken, and over 70 insurance advisers qualified and were subsequently welcomed into the High Flyers club. Twenty of them were new advisers. Each new member received a 14-karat gold Sagicor induction pin, while all 74 received cash awards. <br /> <br /> As for Chin, who is now well on her way to 5,000 clients, two additional titles which she has not yet copped &mdash; most commission for the year and most behaviour analysed premium in a year &mdash; are locked in target. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am a woman on a mission, and the love of my clients, the desire to improve the quality of life for individuals whom I now know to be family, all form a very big part of what I someday hope to attain, which is being at the top and maintaining my stay,&rdquo; she told Career & Education. <br /> <br /> Her guest at the High Flyers function was deputy superintendent training officer of the Jamaica Fire Brigade Joshua Davis, who has been with Chin for six of her seven years at Sagicor. He described her as the Usain Bolt of insurance. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;She is the best, the greatest. She is supportive, she understands my individual needs, and she provides advice that is always in your best interest. If I were to be asked would I chose her as my agent I would tell you a million &lsquo;yeses&rsquo; because with her we are treated like family,&rdquo; Davis said.<br /> <br /> Her colleague and fellow high-flyer, 46-year-old Nicholene Taylor, who made it to the top three, shares a different story about her entrance into Sagicor.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had served in many companies as sales representative and doing various forms of marketing for different companies before I came to Sagicor. It, therefore, was not difficult to demonstrate the kind of value I could add to the company. I must, however, say that it would be remiss of me not to say what value this company has added to mine,&rdquo; Taylor said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;(Sagicor has) provided me with a family away from home, a group of people I could protect, I could assist, that I could encourage and help to explore options that would better them. I had to make sacrifices, yes, but I was doing something that I love and that I am passionate about,&rdquo; Taylor added. <br /> <br /> Her guest, Guardsman Group Limited recruiting officer Godfrey Collins, defended her claim of valuing her clients. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hard-working, dedicated, caring and supportive. She doesn&rsquo;t only call us to remind us about important policy information and dates, but she checks on you, she wants to know how the family is doing and she just wants the best for you,&rdquo; Collins said of Taylor. <br /> <br /> Guest speaker at the event was transformational leader, coach and trainer Paul Bryan who specialises in sales force development, peak performance, self-mastery and leadership. He commended the High Flyers on their accomplishments but urged them to dare to be better than they are now. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Let us engage in a game of greatness. Today, I challenge you to be better than you are. Today, I challenge you to be great. Perhaps a great starting point would be looking at someone dubbed as the greatest there ever was and perhaps we could adopt a similar approach that ever needs insurance and those who have it are underinsured and it was not just good for him to ensure that they were protected but it was his duty to ensure this. This is the place where we should all be,&rdquo; Bryan charged.<br /> <br /> Byles, obviously still in celebration mode from the business that his advisers have brought to the company, also had a message of encouragement. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Insurance is not just a business proposition. The clients are an important part of what we do. It is important for us to help our clients to manage what they do, to share with them the best advice that would yield the best results, so an adviser-client relationship is very important, and we encourage that. Secondly, I must congratulate our High Flyers who have soared to a number we have never seen before &mdash; 74. This, of course, is an indication that Sagicor has among them the best agents and is doing well and we can expect to have Sagicor around for a very long time,&rdquo; Byles said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13355672/234596_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13355674/234593_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13355675/234594_61690_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13355676/234595_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 16, 2016 12:00 AM Jamaican tops UK high school http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Jamaican-tops-UK-high-school_77171 You would probably be hard-pressed to find a Jamaican who cannot recite the gem, &ldquo;Labour for learning before you grow old, for learning is better than silver and gold. Silver and gold will vanish away but a good education will never decay&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Sixteen-year-old Lij&Atilde;&copy; Johnson, is no different. In fact, the teen said it has permanently imprinted on her to the extent that it guides her study even today, years after learning it in kindergarten.<br /> <br /> Johnson, who migrated to the UK in 2010, wowed her family and peers with her outstanding performance in this year&rsquo;s sitting of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exams &mdash; equivalent to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate. The former Clapton Girls&rsquo; Academy student boasts 12 A&rsquo;s in biology, statistics, Spanish, drama, English Language, English Literature, religious education, mathematics, chemistry, physics, sociology and history. What&rsquo;s even more impressive, is that she attained A* (pronounced A star) &mdash; the highest in the British grading system&mdash; in eight of these subjects.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am extremely happy with the results, especially as I&rsquo;ve earned the title &ldquo;top scorer&rdquo; of my secondary school, and have gained the grades required at GCSE to go on and study medicine after sixth form.&rdquo; Johnson told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer via e-mail from her home in London. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;As soon as I learnt the word &lsquo;paediatrician&rsquo; I knew that was what I wanted to be. Of course there has been vacillation over the years, but my ambition always comes back to medical sciences. My grandmother used to call me her &lsquo;little doctor&rsquo;.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Her grandmother, Sonia Lewis, lives in Barbican in St Andrew. She helped raised Johnson, who attended Trafalgar Christian Prep at the time, until she migrated.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was on top of the world!,&rdquo; she told Career & Education. &ldquo;The entire family expected it (great results) from her.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When she was growing up she was always putting stuff back together. Like if a doll was broken, you know how dolls can pull apart, she would put on back the head and make bandages. She always said she wanted to be a paediatrician,&rdquo; Lewis added. <br /> <br /> As for Johnson&rsquo;s mother, Patrice Hamilton, the GCSE success was a birthday gift like no other.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was my birthday so I said to her &lsquo;this is the best gift you could have given me&rsquo; and I gave thanks to the Lord Almighty,&rdquo; Hamilton said. <br /> <br /> Johnson&rsquo;s results were much better than she thought they would have been. She was particularly impressed that she scored a A* in English Literature, which she said was always a difficult subject. But she put in the work. She sat extra classes during the holidays and weekends, spent hours at different libraries in the evenings after school, and schooled relatives on different subjects as a means of revising. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I found that a particularly effective method of revising is by explaining it to someone else, which allows the knowledge to be cemented. For example, one of my family members who didn&rsquo;t know at all what I was talking about, by now should certainly be able to get an A* if they took the test themselves,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She was always coming with pop-ups of information, even from childhood,&rdquo; Hamilton, who was one of her daughter&rsquo;s &lsquo;students&rsquo;, shared. &ldquo;She would always pop up with her interesting facts. It was comforting to know that she was retaining her own knowledge and to such a high level that I myself could recite it.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Halfway through our exams we were given study leave, which permitted us to only come into school when we had an exam. However, with all the free time, it became slightly difficult to focus. I found myself at the library almost every day of the week to ensure that I was focusing on revision, for if I had stayed home I would most certainly have slept away my revision opportunities,&rdquo; Johnson confessed.<br /> <br /> Her own temptations in perspective, the teen shared some advice for students preparing for exams. &ldquo;I would very much advise a separation from social media as the pressure to stay in the loop with social events very easily distracts from focus on (school) work and revision.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> The &lsquo;little doctor&rsquo;, who accredits her exceptional results to her work ethic and continuous support from her family, is currently studying for her &lsquo;A&rsquo; levels at Mossbourne Community Academy and hopes to pursue medicine at Imperial College London. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13357916/234511_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13357919/lije_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 16, 2016 2:00 AM Immaculate teen bags 11 ones and a two http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Immaculate-teen-bags-11-ones-and-a-two_76255 BY PENDA HONEYGHAN Career & Education writer honeyghanp@jamaicaobserver.com Extraordinary results require extraordinary effort. That&rsquo;s the philosophy which 16-year-old Kianna Freeman says catapulted her to an almost perfect transcript, boasting 11 grades one and a grade two earned at the recent Caribbean Examination Council-administered Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate examinations.<br /> <br /> Freeman scored straight &lsquo;A&rsquo; profiles in mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, Spanish, English A, English literature, food and nutrition, human and social biology, missing an 11th with an A- in information technology. The teenager secured the 12th subject, additional mathematics, as an independent candidate with assistance provided through extra lessons.<br /> <br /> The Immaculate Conception High sixth former said she was confident that she would not fall below her usual A-grade bar.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have always worked very hard. I knew that getting extraordinary results meant that I was required to invest an equal amount of effort. I always made the honour roll at St Andrew Preparatory and I made sure it was no different at Immaculate. Special thanks to my family and friends who believe in me,&rdquo; Freeman told the Jamaica Observer recently.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I love challenging myself so that I can stretch myself to see my abilities. For me, my decision to do additional mathematics independently I would say was the biggest. In order to leap over this challenge I always had to put in the extra effort to enforce a constant focus on this subject,&rdquo; Freeman said.<br /> <br /> All the while, Freeman remained heavily involved in clubs and volunteer work and admits that the commitment each required, coupled with her extensive academic requirements were at times overwhelming. She couldn&rsquo;t have done it, she said, without her family, and an abiding belief in the divine.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am a part of nine clubs, including Angels of Love, math, science, environment, interact, octagon, tourism action, and modern languages alongside the honour society. I am also a part of the prefect council at school. I take a keen interest in volunteering whenever I have spare time, so of course, it was going to be a little tough,&rdquo; Freeman said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was elated!&rdquo; she said of the moment she received her exam results. &ldquo;I recall, as soon as I saw the results, running to my mom and shared with her and we started sharing with family and close friends. But I also remember stopping to express my gratitude to God because He played a vital role in my success,&rdquo; Freeman shared.<br /> <br /> Her parents, Ileen Davis and Levan Freeman, whom she said place a very high value on her education, making great sacrifices to ensure an uninterrupted educational journey, said that they have always tried to support Freeman&rsquo;s &ldquo;advanced learning abilities&rdquo; because she has always been eager to learn and seemed to possess knowledge beyond her years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As early as prep school we recognised that she would do well by her strong determination. She has always kept focus and has been highly motivated. I believe that success is determined by who you have around you and she always associates herself with those who want the best for her,&rdquo; Davis said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;From an early age, she has always been doing well. She is a well-balanced child and takes her school works seriously,&rdquo; her father weighed in.<br /> <br /> While still in prep school, Freeman told her parents that she knew what she wanted to pursue as a career and committed to pursuing the subjects, four more than the recommended eight because the Kingston-bred teen has always believed in holistic development and exposure to varying disciplines facilitates this.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Since grade five while attending St Andrew Prep and having been on a field trip to Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) I knew what I wanted to do. My dream, having been inspired by the engineers there, was to become a petroleum engineer. I would also welcome the opportunity to explore another career in the energy industry,&rdquo; Freeman told Career and Education.<br /> <br /> The teen said that her love for engineering was cemented when she got the opportunity last year to intern at PCJ.<br /> <br /> Freeman is now pursuing pure mathematics, geography, chemistry, physics and communication studies at Immaculate. She is also, through AIM Educational Services, preparing for the SAT, an American standardised reasoning test which qualifies students for university. She intends to do well enough to earn a scholarship to either Stanford University or Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340891/233408_60489_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340890/233406_60490_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 16, 2016 12:00 AM MICO hosts 6th special education conference http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/MICO-hosts-6th-special-education-conference_77254 BY ALDANE WALTERS Career & Education writer MAJOR issues of concern affecting children with special needs in education were focal points of The Mico University College College Child Assessment and Research (CARE) Centre&rsquo;s sixth Biennial Special Education Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Thursday and Friday last week.<br /> <br /> Under the theme, &ldquo;Empowering Teachers: Taking Action to Deliver Quality Education&rdquo;, the conference focused on five broad areas: reading difficulties, mathematics difficulties, gender-based learning, behaviour management, and quality education from quality teachers.<br /> <br /> Conference chair and quality assurance manager at Mico CARE Allison McGraham said that the conference is a part of the CARE centre&rsquo;s intervention strategies to help make the educational landscape better for children with special needs, following assessments that they do in the schools.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is our mandate to provide service of the highest quality to not only Jamaica but to the region and we do that through our assessments. We follow up the results that we find with workshops for the teachers and conferences such as this,&rdquo; McGraham told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The teachers colleges can&rsquo;t do it on their own. There is no other organisation that is really going out there to assist the teachers who are already in the classroom in a very deliberate and intentional way. So we see that as a part of our responsibility, and so every two years we put on a major conference where we try to focus on the areas of weakness in our education system. And so we have stepped in as an educational institution,&rdquo; she explained.<br /> <br /> McGraham said that many of the referrals at The Mico CARE Centre come from the school system, and that is when they do their assessments.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And out of those assessments, we have noticed certain things: the students who are referred to us are underperforming. They are functioning several years below their grade level. And the teachers who teach them are finding that they are not fully equipped to assess the children to help them perform at the level at which they can perform,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> McGraham told Career & Education that the aim of the CARE centre&rsquo;s work, and by extension, the conference, is that the children are helped.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is really about the children. The teachers are there [to] facilitate the process of children maximising their potential so they have to have the right skills and the understanding that is required to achieve those goals that is within them. A lot of the children really have it within them and they just need the help to get it out, and that is how Jamaica is going to move forward,&rdquo; she noted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is now incumbent on the teachers to go out and apply it. The have now been given many tools that they can use to make the education system better.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Over the two days, the 321 teachers who participated heard presentations from Minister of Education Ruel Reid, Educational Psychologist and Lecturer at University of Virginia Abigail Norfleet-James, Commissioner of Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission Maxine Henry Wilson, Dr Howard McKnoff, and Director of Project Achieve and Mico Lecturer Carlyn Thompson. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13357917/234525_61604_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 16, 2016 2:00 AM Profiling the meteorologist http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Profiling-the-meteorologist_76545 Jamaica&rsquo;s near miss of Hurricane Matthew last week and the ensuing discussion in some quarters about the accuracy of the storm&rsquo;s forecast by trained meterologists has put the science of meteorology into sharp focus. We&rsquo;ll guide you through what it is, what it takes to qualify you, and how much it pays. <br /> <br /> The most basic definition of a meteorologist is someone who observes, reports and forecasts weather conditions. They also study the characteristics and processes of the atmosphere and how they affect the environment, as well as studying climate and climate changes. Those wishing to embark on a career in meteorology must have a hunger to understand how the physical world works, especially with regard to the atmosphere and oceans.<br /> <br /> According to the World Meterological Organisation (WMO), &ldquo;Meteorology is a tough subject, which requires pre/co-requisite knowledge in higher mathematics, advanced physics and chemistry, as well as a good computer proficiency. The basic requirement is a BSc degree in Meteorology or Atmospheric Sciences. Another option is to first get a BSc in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, or Engineering and then follow with an MSc course in Meteorology.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Teaching, research or management positions, it says, usually require an MSc degree or a PhD.<br /> <br /> It advises students to include environmental meteorology (eg, air pollution, climate change, ozone depletion, harmful solar radiation) classes in their course list. Journalism and mass-media communication courses are also critical if one wants to work as weather broadcaster.<br /> <br /> Internships are also an essential training ground for meteorologists and can be done at any point during your schooling &mdash; whether it&rsquo;s in high school, your bachelor&rsquo;s, or your graduate work.<br /> <br /> There are several different kinds of meteorologists, including:<br /> <br /> &bull; Operational meteorologist &mdash; responsible for forecasting the weather<br /> <br /> &bull; Climatologist &mdash; gathers and examines the seasonal changes that occur over time <br /> <br /> &bull; Physical meteorologist &mdash; conducts research on the atmosphere and different physical properties<br /> <br /> &bull; Synoptic meteorologist &mdash; uses mathematical models and creates different tools such as software for forecasting weather<br /> <br /> &bull; Environmental meteorologist &mdash; studies problems like air pollution which affects the Earth&rsquo;s atmosphere<br /> <br /> &bull; Forensic meteorologist &ndash; provides meteorological information, data, and consulting for legal cases<br /> <br /> There are also meteorological technicians &mdash; who collect and report observational weather data &mdash; but they do not need to possess an academic degree. Their qualification is usually obtained through completion of technical-level courses of a varying duration, from a few months to one to two years, depending on the envisaged work. <br /> <br /> Meteorologists can work as researchers in atmospheric sciences, storm chasers, consultants, lecturers, and weather broadcasters. They can work for government agencies, such as the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, or NASA, NOAA, and the National Weather Service in the US. They can work in the private sector, such as with airlines, shipping and insurance companies. <br /> <br /> In terms of conditions of work, the WMO says meterologists may be required to work nights and/or weekends if they are involved in any area of weather forecasting. There may also be pressure to meet deadlines during times of weather emergencies as the ability to analyse data accurately and quickly, and to take sound operational decisions is essential. <br /> <br /> The average meteorologist in the US grosses approximately US$51,000 a year, according to payscale.com which gathers its data from surveys of people employed in the profession. There is potential for bonuses and profit sharing &mdash; peaking near US$10,000 and US$43,0000, respectively. That means total cash payment can bottom out near US$31,000 or peak near US$103,000 depending on individual performance. <br /> <br /> The Bureau of Labor Statistics, meanwhile, said meteorologists averaged as much as US$136,120 per year, or US$65.44 per hour, as of May 2011. However, some earned less than $47,950, or US$23.05. Mean salaries were at US$90,860, or US$43.68 per hour. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Career length is the main element affecting pay for this group,&rdquo; accordign to payscale.com. &ldquo;The specific employer and location are driving factors as well. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The majority of meteorologists claim high levels of job satisfaction. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340817/233367_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340818/233369_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340816/233368_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 16, 2016 2:00 AM Entire class at Wolmer&rsquo;s Girls&rsquo; gets 1 in CSEC maths http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Entire-class-at-Wolmer-s-Girls--gets-1-in-CSEC-maths_77215 BY ALDANE WALTERS Career & Education writer An entire class of 33 students at Wolmer&rsquo;s Girls&rsquo; School has entered fifth form, the traditional exam year, having already bagged grade ones at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) mathematics. But more than that, all 33 attained straight &lsquo;A&rsquo; profiles, after only one year of preparation.<br /> <br /> The girls are: Danae Anderson, Gardine Brooks, Britney Brown, Tamoy Campbell, Shadine Cunningham, Kimoy-Marie Douglas, Giselle Downer, Deandra Dyte, Jada Francis, Alyssa Graham, Shemaelia Greensword, Shanice Hardie, Howiecia Hunter, Toni-Ann Hunter, Nichaelia Hutton, Michelle Jackson, Lauri-Ann Johnson, Chevonna Lewis, Dacia Lyttle, Mikayla McFarlane, Tiana Morgan, Simone Murray, Kelsey Randal, Annieka Reno, Jhonniel Skellton, Ashli Smith, Tannekee Strachan, Lorianne Thomas, Kimari Tyrell, Shedeeka Watson, Samantha Williams, Jheanel Whyte, and Oneilia Yearde.<br /> <br /> Head of the Mathematics Department at the school, Master Teacher Ava Brown-Mothersill explained that the students were hand-picked to be involved in a pilot programme that sought to bridge the gap between CSEC mathematics and mathematics at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level. The three-year project has the girls prepare for and sit CSEC mathematics in their fourth form year, additional mathematics in their fifth form year, and pure mathematics at CAPE.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We wanted to bridge the gap between (CSEC) maths and CAPE. They weren&rsquo;t doing as well as we wanted them to in the CAPE and it&rsquo;s just because of the great difference between CSEC maths and CAPE and the step up to get it. So, we said, &lsquo;Okay, let us try and do the maths in fourth form&rsquo;,&rdquo; said Mothersill who, along with Principal Colleen Montague and third year coordinator Chester Allman, came up with the idea.<br /> <br /> She says that they could not have wished for a better result. The level of achievement, in her mind, was never a question; it was the quality of the ones that were of concern to her.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I feel very, very good. Simple words will do for me. It could not have been better&hellip; They did it, and it&rsquo;s just super. Well done, girls!&rdquo; she expressed in congratulations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They are special, consistent, hard workers. They are well-rounded girls. They are independent girls. To have that combination in a batch of 33 girls, that&rsquo;s power,&rdquo; she said of the students.<br /> <br /> She also had kudos for their teacher, Lance McFarlane, the other members of the department, as well as the administrative body of Wolmer&rsquo;s Girls&rsquo;. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Mr McFarlane carried the anchor leg of a four-leg relay, but I want to give kudos to the other members of the relay and that would be the other members of the department,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, McFarlane, who has been teaching at Wolmer&rsquo;s Girls&rsquo; for the past six years, said he never doubted for a second that the ladies would have all obtained grade ones, and made that very clear from the very outset and throughout the preparation process.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;From the first class we had with him, he was like, &lsquo;All 33 of you are going to get distinctions&rsquo;,&rdquo; said Mikayla McFarlane (no relation).<br /> <br /> The teacher would also name a WhatsApp group in which he shared information with the girls &ldquo;33 Distinctions&rdquo; and would use that name in any and all references to the group.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In teaching, a lot has to do with how well you relate to your students, and you have to be confident for them to be confident,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer. &ldquo;In calling them that, they take it on and they become more and more confident. They also know that that is the expectation. And I showed them that it&rsquo;s not an unrealistic expectation, and didn&rsquo;t put pressure on them.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> He reports it was a combination of diligent students, class control, everyone involved working toward a single objective, and his experience preparing students in one year through his business Sophomore Academics that accounted for the huge success. <br /> <br /> Sophomore Academics is McFarlane&rsquo;s advanced extra class programme that he and business partner Duane Burke started in 2010. They boast much success, with most of their students attaining passes in CSEC after a one-year accelerated programme.<br /> <br /> What makes the success of the Wolmer&rsquo;s Girls&rsquo; stand out even more is the fact that, save eight extra hours in the second term of school, the girls received the same four-hour-per-week instruction time as the students who were preparing to sit the exams in two years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had to do everything in those four hours per week, and I had to do it in such a way that it doesn&rsquo;t come across as stressful, because you don&rsquo;t want to turn them off of the subject. And all of those things are crucial. You have to know how to relate to them, motivate them, inspire them,&rdquo; said McFarlane.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t be boring. So class has to be action-packed, class has to be fun, but you&rsquo;re still managing the class. Sometimes we pause and we reason about life; find out what&rsquo;s going on in society and their opinions on it so they gain even more confidence in you. So you become more than a teacher; you become a role model, you become a preacher, you become big brother. It&rsquo;s a team at the end of the day,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> They also had a Saturday review class and were invited for a Sunday session at Sophomore Academics.<br /> <br /> Another preparation technique involved doing and reviewing CSEC papers over the past 10 years. The teacher also created<br /> <br /> YouTube playlists of certain topics and shared them via WhatsApp. The students would make their own notes and take their questions to class. They also utilised CSEC exam reports to point out the areas which needed focus.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We always had to bear in mind the pace at which we were going. Fast enough to complete the syllabus, but slow enough that even the weakest person in the class is not too pressed,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> McFarlane also noted that they also had to battle with lack of confidence from some parents at the outset, as well as some students getting distracted by internal exams very close to their external exams. Even so, he never lost faith.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In August, when the results came out, they started sending me screenshots of their results, I wasn&rsquo;t surprised; I just started counting. When I never heard from some of them, my business partner said, &lsquo;Look like some never got the distinction so they are afraid to WhatsApp you&rsquo;. I said, &lsquo;No man, they&rsquo;re probably overseas or can&rsquo;t access their results.&rsquo; When I got an e-mail from Wolmer&rsquo;s, and saw that all got straight &lsquo;A&rsquo; profiles, I just smiled,&rdquo; McFarlane reminisced.<br /> <br /> For the students, some admitted to being somewhat anxious going into the exam, but they said the motivation from their teacher made them confident.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I wasn&rsquo;t nervous. I was just anxious to get into the exam and see what the paper was like. I was excited and confident because I got the motivation from my teacher and my parents. So I was just ready and raring to go to execute,&rdquo; said Shanice Hardie.<br /> <br /> They think the achievement has given them an edge over the other students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It helps because we are going to do additional mathematics next year. Even though additional mathematics is a more complex, having experience with another CXC subject will help,&rdquo; said Mikaylia.<br /> <br /> Hardie says the group of girls is exceptional and that it was hard work and diligence that made them so.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Of course, they are exceptional! They understand the topics well. And they followed the teacher&rsquo;s instructions. If they had problems they made sure that when they come to class they were answered, and they understood what the answer was and how to get the answer so they could apply it to other questions,&rdquo; Hardie told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Nothing is impossible if you put in the hard work. And if you fail 100 times, try again 100 times, because you can get better. We are not very different from the other students, so I think if another person doesn&rsquo;t get similar results, it&rsquo;s because they are not willing to put in the effort or enough effort to get it,&rdquo; she said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13358881/234435_61549_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13355748/234449_61562_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13355747/234447_61560_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13355751/234443_61561_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 16, 2016 12:00 AM PHOTO: Engineered for management http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Engineered-for-management_77275 Sandals Resorts International (SRI) recently welcomed its newest batch of management trainees &mdash; a group of 10 who all specialise in Engineering and Facilities Management. They have completed a week of training and orientation ahead of their two-year journey in the company&rsquo;s much sought-after Management Trainee Programme, which is the centrepiece of SRI&rsquo;s management succession planning strategy and one component of the company&rsquo;s ongoing efforts to invest in capacitybuilding throughout its operations. Here, the new recruits share camera time with SRI senior executives and training team, including human resource director Ingrid Emmons (back row, centre) and director of business processes and administration Wayne Cummings (left). http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13358882/234569_61671_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 16, 2016 2:00 AM Employ more blind people &mdash; Tufton http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Employ-more-blind-people---Tufton_77282 Minister of Health Christopher Tufton has urged employers to hire more blind and visually impaired people.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Let us not use a lack of sight or vision impairment to judge the competence of individuals who more often than not, are trained, competent and able to add value. I think as a country we need to do more to provide opportunities for them,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Dr Tufton was addressing a World Sight Day health fair at the Jamaica Society for the Blind, Old Hope Road, St Andrew, on Thursday.<br /> <br /> He noted that too many blind and visually impaired Jamaicans are discriminated against in the working world and that this &ldquo;is something that we must work diligently to overcome&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that less than two per cent of blind and visually impaired people in Jamaica are employed, and mainly by State agencies.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I believe that you are likely to get greater levels of productivity out of an individual who will remain more focused on their job and not be distracted by other things in their environment and, therefore, it may actually be an advantage,&rdquo; he added.<br /> <br /> Dr Tufton said the Government is committed to partnering with agencies to increase availability of eye-care services and promote awareness among the general population about issues related to visual impairment. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have a duty to ensure that we take care of those who can see, those who have an impairment but can partially see, and those who can&rsquo;t at all. We have a duty to ensure that society functions in a manner that allows for recognition, that allows respect and that allows the normal functioning of individuals who have to confront this particular challenge,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> World Sight Day, observed annually on the second Thursday of October, focuses global attention on blindness and vision impairment. <br /> <br /> It aims to raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment as a major international public health issue, influence governments/ministers of health to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes, and educate target audiences about blindness prevention.<br /> <br /> Approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13261094/Chris-Tufton_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 16, 2016 12:00 AM A passion for Maths http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/A-passion-for-Maths_76643 Aabuthnott Gallimore High School teacher Leesan Salmon has dedicated the last four years of his life to teaching math and he is happy with the results he is now seeing from his students.<br /> <br /> Most recently, three of his grade nine students &mdash; Jodane Stewart, Akalia Jarrett and Jordan Parke &mdash; sat and passed the challenging subject at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level. This is the first time the school has had students passing the subject from that grade.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Coming up, I wasn&rsquo;t the strongest in math; I said if I can pass math, I can get others to pass. That was my motivation,&rdquo; he told the Jamaica Observer North and East<br /> <br /> on a recent visit to the school. <br /> <br /> Salmon said he also chose math as his focus of study because he always loved a challenge.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I love the Sciences; people always want to do the easy stuff, but I wanted to do something challenging,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He said people always expressed surprise when he told them his focus of study was mathematics.<br /> <br /> Salmon said he believes that people are now realising the demand for maths and mcience teachers and that is why so many are now motivated to become teachers of these subjects.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now that persons are seeing the impact; more persons will pursue math at the college level,&rdquo; Salmon said. He added the prospects of getting a job when they leave college are higher for teachers who focus on mathematics and the sciences.<br /> <br /> He also pointed out that these teachers are also likely to be employed overseas.<br /> <br /> Salmon said that he is dedicated to seeing the students at Aabuthnott Gallimore High succeed and has vowed to continue working with other members in the Mathematics Department to increase passes.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13344174/233552_60662_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, October 10, 2016 12:00 AM Tertiary scholarships for AY 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Tertiary-scholarships-for-Academic-Year-2017_76500 &bull; The Chevening Secretariat is accepting applications for 2017/2018 Chevening Scholarships and some Chevening Fellowships via www.chevening.org/apply from 8 August until 8 November, 2016.<br /> <br /> &bull; Applications are invited for Commonwealth Scholarships to participate in one-year taught Masters programmes and doctoral programmes at an eligible university in the United Kingdom with effect from October 2017.<br /> <br /> Organisation : Commonwealth Secretariat<br /> <br /> Field of Study : Open Scholarship<br /> <br /> Deadline:Extended to Friday October 14, 2016 <br /> <br /> &bull; The National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan is offering full scholarships to exceptionally quailified candidates to pursue a Master of Public Policy, a Master of Public Administration, and Master of Arts in Public Policy<br /> <br /> Application deadline:<br /> <br /> November 11, 2016<br /> <br /> Admissions notification: May-July 2017<br /> <br /> Enrollment: October 2017<br /> <br /> &bull;International Seabed Authority Endowment Fund and the Interridge Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme is inviting applications from interested persons wishing to pursue graduate or post-doctoral studies in marine research activities.<br /> <br /> Details at: http://www.isa.org.jm/files/documents/EN/efund/AppGuide.pdf<br /> <br /> &bull; Germany offers a wide range of scholarship opportunities to citizens of devloping or newly industrialised countries.<br /> <br /> Deatils available at: https://www.daad.de/deutschland/stipendium/datenbank/en/21148-scholarship-database/?status=&origin=124&subjectGrps= &daad=&q=&page=1&back=1<br /> <br /> &bull; Short term courses are offered throughout the year on an ad hoc basis by the following countries/agencies:<br /> <br /> Governments of China, Japan, India (http://itec.nic.in/), Singapore, Israel, Sweden, The Organisation of American States (http://www.educoas.org/portal/en/oasbecas/announcementpd.aspx?culture=en&navid=282), Malaysia (http://www.intanbk.intan.my/) The Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation in collaboration with the Commonwealth Member States.<br /> <br /> These courses may range in duration from two to 24 weeks and are usually advertised via course announcements or circular letters as they become available at different intervals throughout the year. Announcements usually identify a specified target group for participation.<br /> <br /> Details at www.mof.gov.jm/sau<br /> <br /> &bull; On an annual basis the Government of Spain offers the opportunity to teachers of Spanish to participate in a summer programme designed specifically for them.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340881/233330_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 09, 2016 12:00 AM How to increase attention in the classroom http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/How-to-increase-attention-in-the-classroom_76486 Educators know that it is a challenging and frustrating task to keep students&rsquo; attention in the classroom. A typical session in high school is 35-40 minutes. Many classes are double sessions, which means that a teacher has to hold students&rsquo; interest for over an hour. This is not an easy undertaking. <br /> <br /> It is natural for human attention to wander but teachers must be able to engage students for effective learning, and students must be kept interested in order to remain attentive. A student&rsquo;s attention and focus will vary depending on the time of day, motivation, emotional well-being, health, etc. Often students may appear to be listening but they have actually &lsquo;tuned out&rsquo;. They are caught up in daydreams, social issues, or have just completely blanked out. Teachers need to be able to pick this up and implement remedial action because, again, if attention falls, learning decreases. The teacher, therefore, has to become a master of creativity for effective delivery of subject matter.<br /> <br /> Twelve Tips for Teachers<br /> <br /> 1. Arrange classroom effectively<br /> <br /> Arrange desks and chairs that allows you to move around easily and for students to focus on you. Occasionally, change the structure of the classroom so that they are facing you in a different direction.<br /> <br /> 2. Use your voice as an instructional tool<br /> <br /> Change the expression, volume and tone of your voice when introducing new concepts. Employ enthusiasm. <br /> <br /> 3. Add humour<br /> <br /> A good, appropriate joke gains attention. Try to incorporate humour into the material being taught. This will add energy and passion to the group. The positive effect of laughter can increase learning. It also bonds the teacher to the class.<br /> <br /> 4. Plan lessons carefully<br /> <br /> It is important not to bore your students, as well as not to overload them with too much information. Classrooms contain a mix of fast, slow and in-between learners; therefore, a mix of techniques must be used so that students do not disengage from the lesson. There should be an introduction to a topic as well as a conclusion followed by a review. At the same time, there should always be room for flexibility.<br /> <br /> 5. Use prime time<br /> <br /> Prime time is when your students are at their sharpest. This is usually the first 15 minutes of class. This period is best used to introduce new information. The down-time segment is more effectively used for practice. Practice can be in the form of worksheets, case studies, discussions, presentations, etc.<br /> <br /> 6. Use the 10:2 method<br /> <br /> This involves two minutes of question and answer for every 10 minutes of instruction. This breaks up the monotony of the session and ensures understanding of topic. It brings a mix of learning and inquiry.<br /> <br /> 7. Storytelling<br /> <br /> Nothing captures the attention of students as much as introducing lessons with a relevant story. For example, if introducing the topic of potential energy, you could talk about a rock sitting at the edge of a cliff or a roller-coaster ride.<br /> <br /> 8. Get students involved<br /> <br /> Passive listening often leads to boredom and distraction. Student participation promotes attention and focus. Group competitions or debates are fun ways in which students can get involved in their own learning. It encourages peer interactions and breaks up the routine.<br /> <br /> 9.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Vary teaching styles<br /> <br /> Students&rsquo; learning styles can be diverse. Incorporate different teaching devices to cater to more than one learning style. These may include charts, maps, dance, drama, experiments, projects and field trips.<br /> <br /> 10.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Use<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> cues<br /> <br /> Depending on the age group of your class, visual or auditory signals can be used to gain attention. For example, auditory cues such as a tambourine or a bell could be used to gain your students&rsquo; attention. Visual signals such as flashing lights or raising your hand are also valuable in directing focus to you.<br /> <br /> 11.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Provide<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> feedback<br /> <br /> It is not a good idea to berate students for not paying attention. Instead, commend them when they are focused. Stay away from disparaging criticism. This has a negative effect on a student&rsquo;s self-esteem. Positive reinforcement is the way to go. The student will feel better about himself and the class and will likely be more alert.<br /> <br /> 12.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Movement<br /> <br /> Consider incorporating exercise at the beginning of a class. A couple minutes of jumping jacks can re-sharpen students&rsquo; focus. This is particularly useful for younger students but I have seen that it works just as well for teens.<br /> <br /> Maintaining student focus in the classroom is not a new challenge but remains an obstacle to learning. Effectively engaging students requires a multi-pronged approach. As teachers, we must become inventive and proactive in the classroom to guarantee student success.<br /> <br /> Dr Karla Hylton is a graduate of the biotechnology programme at The University of the West Indies. She operates Bio and Chem Tutoring, a Kingston-based teaching programme which specialises in secondary level biology and chemistry. Reach her at (876)564-1347, biochemtutor100@gmail.com, or www.khylton.com<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12677987/186929_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13229783/223598__w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:00 AM Schools should plant trees &mdash; Reid http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Schools-should-plant-trees---Reid_76572 Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid is encouraging educational institutions across the island to plant trees to protect the environment.<br /> <br /> The senator, who was participating in a tree-planting at Charles Chin Loy Basic School in Kingston on Friday, in observance of National Tree Planting Day 2016, said that promoting environmental awareness among the youth is important to conserving and protecting the country&rsquo;s natural resources.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are trying to get all institutions to participate in tree planting, which helps to make the environment healthier. Educational institutions have to deal with not only the theoretical part of delivering the curriculum, but, in a very practical way, demonstrate and have the students participate in an activity like (tree planting), which socialises them and teaches them the value of protecting the environment and the efficacy of planting trees,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> The minister argued that the activity must be a &ldquo;national imperative&rdquo; in the face of the serious challenges associated with climate change, noting that activities of this nature must be done in a sustainable manner to have meaningful impact.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have challenges with global warming and climate change, and all this can be part of teaching students why it is important to plant trees. It&rsquo;s not about doing things just one time; you need to make it a habit and have a culture of protecting the environment,&rdquo; Senator Reid emphasised. <br /> <br /> The annual exercise, which is spearheaded by the Forestry Department, aims to highlight the role of trees in the sustenance of life, while providing an opportunity for the public to contribute to increasing the island&rsquo;s forest cover and beautifying surroundings by planting trees.<br /> <br /> Members of government ministries and agencies, representatives of educational institutions and the business community, and the general public are invited to participate in the national initiative. <br /> <br /> Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie and members of the Early Childhood Commission also assisted the young students with the tree planting.<br /> <br /> Trees were also planted at Penwood High School, Dupont Primary and Infant School, Seaward Primary and Junior High School, and Kingston High School in the Corporate Area. Other participating schools were Mount Alvernia High School in Montego Bay; Happy Grove High, Portland; Munro College, St Elizabeth; and Moneague Primary, St Ann.<br /> <br /> The Forestry Department is distributing seedlings free of cost to the public until this Friday, October 14. <br /> <br /> This year&rsquo;s National Tree Planting Day was celebrated under the theme &lsquo;Trees Today, Trees Tomorrow, Trees for Life&rsquo;. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340951/233420_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340948/233417_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:00 AM Extra-curricular strategy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Extra-curricular-strategy_76497 By NICOLE MCLAREN CAMPBELL Highly competitive US colleges report that up to 85 per cent of all applicants are academically qualified for their university yet admission rates can be as low as four per cent. So, while grades and courses are the first filter, extra-curricular impact can also be a deciding factor. <br /> <br /> One myth that persists each year is that competitive colleges seek a well-rounded student in terms of extra-curricular activities. The truth is that most Canadian, European and UK universities don&rsquo;t care what non-academic activities students do because they are focused on students&rsquo; grades and external exam results. <br /> <br /> (NB: Those universities also don&rsquo;t require SATs or ACTs from students in non-American high schools). Competitive US universities, on the other hand, do seek students with depth and impact in terms of their extra-curricular involvement so it&rsquo;s very important, for students to seek and create opportunities in alignment with their innate interests. <br /> <br /> Many students say they do not know what they are interested in. My recommendation is that parents encourage and facilitate their children in exploring as many activities as possible, starting in kindergarten, so that they can discover what speaks to them. Colleges don&rsquo;t necessarily prefer one activity over another, but whatever the activities are, they must reflect leadership, impact, achievement, commitment and initiative. <br /> <br /> By fourth form, students should settle into three or four activities and take them to the highest level possible. Don&rsquo;t see what you&rsquo;re interested in at your high school? Start it! One of our students recently stated a TedEd club at her school and has since supported the start of another branch at another high school. She learns so much from Ted talks that she wanted to share their impact with her peers. It&rsquo;s a win-win, because as she develops as a person and leader, she also builds a #winning college profile. <br /> <br /> Colleges use what applicants have done in the past as a predictor of what they might do in the future. US colleges look to build communities of students who will create the campus experience. <br /> <br /> Therefore, they have to be convinced that students are active in their pursuit of whatever interests them and will continue to be active as college students. While colleges value good school citizenship, they also value activities done outside of school, for example at church, self-initiated, and very importantly, during the summer. <br /> <br /> It doesn&rsquo;t have to be on your transcript to &ldquo;count&rdquo;. The important thing is what you learn, achieve, and how you impact others AND how you&rsquo;re able to articulate those on a college application. <br /> <br /> Two students can have similar achievements and receive very different admissions results because of the use of language. The application must be presented in the most compelling manner possible, describing extra-curricular activities and role using active, clear, succinct language. Most college admission officers take about 20 minutes to review each student application, inclusive of grades/transcript, teacher and counsellor recommendations, essays, ACT/SAT reports, and any additional information. This is not a lot of time, so make it count!<br /> <br /> Nicole McLaren Campbell is the founder and CEO of Aim Educational Services, an independent college admissions counsellor, and public speaker. Contact her at nicole@ aimeduservices.com. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13097642/212102_60443_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:00 AM MICO goes cashless http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/MICO-goes-cashless_76543 The MICO University College (MUC) will be the first tertiary institution to eliminate the use of cash on its campus. As of this month, over 2000 students enrolled to the more than 180 year old institution will enjoy the convenience of cashless transactions at all major payment points on the campus.<br /> <br /> We see this initiative as a natural progression in our bid to offer the best opportunities to our students, the use of technology to automate much of our administrative functions which will afford a redirection of resources to enhance our performance,&rdquo; says Dr Asburn Pinnock, president of institution.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It shows that the college is committed to the use of technology in all spheres of school life,&rdquo; he added, pointing out that other forms of technology-driven infrastructure are already in place at the school's library and other areas.<br /> <br /> Dr Pinnock said, too, that ePay fits with the ministry&rsquo;s strategy to transform the education system and forms part of the school&rsquo;s thrust to become a &ldquo;smart centre of technology&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> MUC students will enjoy a wide range of features with the ePay facility, from campus access to settling payments and making purchases both on and off campus. The implementation of the ePay cashless school programme will also allow administrators to effectively manage and direct the institutions resources with more control over admissions/registrations, payment and meal management.<br /> <br /> The move, the university college said, represents a commitment to the introduction of first-world technologies to the organisation where students gain the experience of electronic transactions and the use of Internet reports to better manage budgeting, spending and saving.<br /> <br /> ePay technology is owned and operated by Alliance Payment Services Ltd and is approved by the Bank of Jamaica to operate a pre-paid card system. There are over 18,000 cardholders using the technology to pay bills, buy food, groceries, call credit etc. The technology is customisable and provides users with access to their accounts and reports of their expenditures online at any time.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Alliance is elated to be partnering with such an important institution as The MICO University College. Our technology will save the university time and money, while providing the security, safety and efficiency that a cashless system brings to an educational institution,&rdquo; said Peter Chin, Director, Alliance Payment Services Ltd.<br /> <br /> The company&rsquo;s projects manager, Stacy-Ann Jarrett, said the programme will, among other things, improve fiscal management, allow for the tracking and management of meals, and improve student security by eliminating opportunities for theft or loss of money.<br /> <br /> At the launch of the initiative last Wednesday, Education, Youth and Information Minister Ruel Reid endorsed the move, saying he supports any &ldquo;honest and locally relevant measure that would enhance efficiencies in the education system.<br /> <br /> The Mico University College is setting an example for other teachers&rsquo; colleges by implementing this cashless system. This is the way of the future,&rdquo; he said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340787/233419_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:00 AM Sagicor inspires tertiary students in new project http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Sagicor-inspires-tertiary-students-in-new-project_76548 Sagicor Group Jamaica launched its inaugural Inspire Project on Friday, aimed at strengthening the leadership and life skills of some 120 specially selected tertiary-level students.<br /> <br /> The students will be taken on a weekend motivational retreat at the Sagicor-owned Hilton Resort and Spa in St James from Friday, October 21 to 23.<br /> <br /> The event was launched at the new Toyota Jamaica Showroom on Hope Road, Kingston. <br /> <br /> Speaking on the basis of the selection of the students, Vice-President Group marketing, Ingrid Card, said in a news release that &ldquo;these amazing young people were selected because they have set themselves apart on their respective campuses through their exemplary leadership or through their academic achievement. They have all worked very hard!&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Students with the highest grade point average in their respective faculties at the University of the West Indies and the University of Technology were invited as well as the presidents of the Guild of Students from each college and university across Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The youth retreat will serve to empower youth leaders by complementing their educational experience with discussions, motivational talks and other activities purposed to stimulate and motivate them toward continued excellence. <br /> <br /> The Sagicor Group through this project will use their President and CEO Richard Byles, along with Sagicor&rsquo;s board members and the executive leadership team, to engender a culture of excellence in the participants and further inspire them towards excellence. <br /> <br /> According to Byles &ldquo;the Sagicor Group will continue to present initiatives such as this to deliver positive messages into the lives of the next generation&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> Such initiatives, he said, will serve to build Jamaica and deliver future leaders that will be inspired to contribute to its development. <br /> <br /> The Sagicor Group Leadership team as well as a cadre of motivational speakers will be available to student leaders throughout the three- day event. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13286910/228487_w300.jpg Local Business Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:00 AM Travel leader calls for urgent investment in Caribbean human resources http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Travel-leader-calls-for-urgent-investment-in-Caribbean-human-resources-------_76493 PUERTO RICO &mdash; CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, Gerard &lsquo;Jerry&rsquo; Inzerillo, known for his innovations and relationships in the tourism, hospitality, and entertainment communities, called for an urgent investment in the next generation of Caribbean travel and tourism leaders in order to elevate service standards within the region.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have the soul, to do it. This region has soul and that is a bankable commodity more than the beautiful turquoise waters,&rdquo; Inzerillo told a packed audience at the opening of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association&rsquo;s (CHTA&rsquo;s) Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) in Puerto Rico.<br /> <br /> The forum ran from September 30-October 2.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Importing (talent) is not an excuse,&rdquo; he contended, underscoring the importance of training local workers. &ldquo;It is (our) obligation to develop our own people...and talent,&rdquo; said the chief executive, who started his career as a busboy.<br /> <br /> Inzerillo, who celebrates 50 years in the industry next year, asserted that tourism, now 10 per cent of global GDP, is &ldquo;the single greatest ambassador of humanity in the world because it celebrates all the stuff that&rsquo;s in our soul.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is not growing incrementally, it is exploding...we are in the right place at the right time. What is going to happen in travel in the next five years is breathtaking,&rdquo; he remarked, highlighting trends such as multi-generational family travel, women travelling in groups and millennial travel.<br /> <br /> However, he lamented that it has never been more difficult to run a tourism entity, citing low margins, increased competition, the development of human resources, and a diversity of other challenges.<br /> <br /> Inzerillo, who was instrumental in the success of some of the world&rsquo;s most famous hospitality brands such as Atlantis, One&Only Resorts and Ian Schrager Hotels, and who has held leadership roles with Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, underscored the importance of guest satisfaction. He encouraged attendees to wow them with gracious and anticipatory hospitality service.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Sophisticated travellers will reward you for that, (others) will feel it,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> Inzerillo was president of Kerzner Entertainment Group, where he raised the visibility of the company and the profile of its properties in the Bahamas, Dubai, the Indian Ocean, Mexico, Morocco, Africa, Mauritius and Maldives. He oversaw the production and launch of several legendary properties, including the opening of the billion-dollar Phase III of Atlantis in the Bahamas in May 2007 and the $1.5 billion Atlantis-Dubai on Palm Island in 2008, which received worldwide media coverage and was featured on the cover of Newsweek. He also served as chief operating officer of Sun City, the unique South African resort complex built by Sol Kerzner.<br /> <br /> &mdash; CHTA<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340493/233251_60216_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340492/233250_60217_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, October 09, 2016 2:00 AM