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 Science meets dancehall http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Science-meets-dancehall_90030 The JN Foundation is collaborating with Professor Christopher Emdin to launch Science Genius Jamaica, a new education project that will fuse dancehall music with science. <br /> <br /> The project, which mirrors Professor Emdin&rsquo;s Science Genius programme that blends hip hop music with science, is part of a movement to connect youth culture and education &mdash; commonly known in the United States of America as #HipHopEd. <br /> <br /> The Science Genius Jamaica programme will seek to excite Jamaican students and generate interest in science and maths through a series of competitive dancehall clashes being aptly coined #DancehallEd, JN Foundation &mdash; the philanthropic arm of Jamaica National Group &mdash; explained in a news release on the weekend.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There is declining academic interest and performance in science and maths, and this is something that we need to address as a matter of urgency, even as we speak about improving our economic outcomes,&rdquo; the release quotes educator and JN Group&rsquo;s senior manager, learning, development and culture, Dr Renee Rattray, who is leading the Science Genius Jamaica project.<br /> <br /> She noted that investment in science and maths is vital to economic development in the current global landscape, and Jamaican students are not performing as well as they should in these disciplines. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Planning Institute of Jamaica also indicates that although performance in mathematics in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examination improved by seven percentage points in 2015 when compared to 2014, performance in the sciences and additional mathematics declined an average of 11 percentage points, with human and social biology registering the sharpest dip of 17.6 percentage points,&rdquo; the JN Foundation news release stated. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Science Genius Jamaica will introduce novel ways in which we can enthuse our students about pursuing the sciences and relate it in ways that make it familiar and relevant to them,&rdquo; explained Dr Rattray, who is also director, education programmes at JN Foundation. <br /> <br /> The project, to be launched on Wednesday this week, will involve grade nine students from 20 high schools across the country competing in clashes under the guidance and mentorship of four dancehall artistes, who will be introduced at the launch. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;When you can influence young people on the corner to create music, to create art, then they become really engaged,&rdquo; explained Emdin, mathematics and science professor at New York&rsquo;s prestigious Columbia University, and Science Genius conceptualiser. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s about taking it from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM),&rdquo; he quipped, underscoring the need for mutuality between the arts and sciences. <br /> <br /> Science Genius challenges students to produce strong, lyrical raps using very rigorous academic content. <br /> <br /> The project, which had its genesis in New York, has incorporated the likes of rapper GZA of the well-known American rap group Wu Tang Clan, and the larger #HipHopEd movement has worked with artistes such as Master P and Kendrick Lamar. The initiative has reaped success for underperforming students by creating a space in schools where they can relate learning to popular culture. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Hip hop has been such a powerful culture, but a lot of people don&rsquo;t know that hip hop had its roots in reggae and dancehall music,&rdquo; the professor pointed out, explaining that Jamaican immigrants brought the concept of DJ and sound clashes to the Bronx, New York, in the 1970s, leading to the creation of what the world knows today as hip hop. <br /> <br /> Science Genius provides a space for camaraderie, Professor Emdin expounded, as the students compete against each other in a series of music competitions, smartly termed BATTLES (Bringing Attention to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science), where their content and lyricism are judged by scientists, artistes and other leading figures in the arts. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our Science Genius Jamaica competitions will mirror the clashes we are already familiar with in the Jamaican dancehall, as individual students and teams participate in an opening round. The top five students and teams from that round will move to the final round,&rdquo; Dr Rattray said. <br /> <br /> The students and their science and music teachers will be competing for cash prizes and other rewards, which will be unveiled at Wednesday&rsquo;s launch. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;A revolution is what we want to spark in science education, and we need to identify creative ways to engage our students. We have to be different,&rdquo; Dr Rattray said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13655981/259364_86029_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, February 20, 2017 12:00 AM 4 School-based enterprises could fix bad economy &mdash; educators http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/School-based-enterprises-could-fix-bad-economy---educators_89904 Minister of Education Ruel Reid, having acknowledged the importance of social enterprises, has suggested that investing in the entrepreneurial development of students could be the answer to the economic turmoil that the country has been experiencing for decades. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;In Jamaica we have struggled for so long. We have hardly been able to achieve anything over the one per cent GDP growth. In fact, we are one of the worst-performing economies globally, so we need a whole new generation of young people who can seize the opportunities of the moment so that we can achieve greater rates of growth,&rdquo; Reid said. <br /> <br /> He was speaking at the British High Commission in Kingston on Wednesday at the launch of research conducted by the British High Commission in partnership with The University of the West Indies&rsquo;, Centre for Leadership and Governance and the Jamaica National Building Society, entitled: An Evaluation of School-based Social Enterprise Activity in Jamaican Secondary Schools. <br /> <br /> Reid also noted that the ministry has recently launched a number of programmes that are aligned with this initiative and said he is looking forward to making a number of changes that would allow more students to be exposed to entrepreneurship. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Earlier today, the National Qualification Framework of Jamaica was launched. In much the same way that it is expected that through school-based social enterprises students will receive real-life experiences and exposure to networks, businesses and sponsors, the NVQ-J allows for work experience to be used as part of the matriculation and certification for Jamaicans through occupational studies and work-based training,&rdquo; Reid said. <br /> <br /> In addition, the minister said a greater focus on social enterprises should broaden students&rsquo;s outlook and appreciation for social advancement and personal success, as well as bolster their curriculum vitae, increase the opportunities to enter higher education, improve their employment prospects, and teach them workplace values and ethics.<br /> <br /> Co-director for the Centre for Leadership and Governance, Shinique Walters, who supervised the research process, said that the most compelling impact noted from observation and research was related to the personal and professional growth of those exposed to the businesses. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was interesting to see how the activities impacted the students&rsquo;s growth and development with regards to employability and the skill sets that they learnt and the respect that they have for themselves and peers,&rdquo; Walters shared. <br /> <br /> She said that the positive developmental attributes that were observed among children who were directly involved in social enterprises could be an asset to every child and as such, efforts should be made to infuse entrepreneurial type models in the curriculum. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The material, if incorporated as part of the formal curriculum, would ensure more students have access to engaging in these activities and would be able to benefit. The reality of this stage of our development trajectory is that we don&rsquo;t have enough jobs. So, increased access to these activities will encourage the inculcation of entrepreneurship as a possible alternative for the livelihood of individuals. These students would already be ahead in the game having mastered the necessary skill set at an early age on the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur,&rdquo; Walters reasoned. <br /> <br /> Director of the Office of Social Entrepreneurship and Youth Crime Watch at the University of the West Indies Dr K&rsquo;adamawe K&rsquo;nife argued that, more than ever, the youth are interested in entrepreneurship. He noted that with Jamaicans being born with a &ldquo;natural knack for entrepreneurship&rdquo;, it is important that they are taught how to effectively manage their creativity so that it may be channelled to develop world-class business ideas. He warned that if this does not exist, then this entrepreneurial brilliance could be used to devise tactics for criminal enterprises. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13263257/226422_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 1 Irrigation commission awards 14 scholarships to employees&rsquo; children http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Irrigation-commission-awards-14-scholarships-to-employees--children_89935 Fourteen children of employees of the National Irrigation Commission Limited (NIC) walked away from a presentation ceremony in Kingston two Wednesdays ago with scholarships valued at over $700,000.<br /> <br /> The scholarships were presented for both the 2015/16 and 2016/17 academic years, as follows:<br /> <br /> For 2015/16<br /> <br /> &bull; 4 secondary awards at $40,000 each<br /> <br /> &bull; 3 tertiary awards at $60,000 each<br /> <br /> &bull; 2 board of directors&rsquo; awards at $67,500 each<br /> <br /> For 2016/17<br /> <br /> &bull; 3 secondary awards at $40,000 each<br /> <br /> &bull; 2 tertiary awards at $60,000 each<br /> <br /> The commission reported last week that the scholarship awards programme originated from a partnership in 1988 with NIC and the various unions representing its workers. It awards students who are children of permanent employees, with the selection based on academic performance. Consideration is also given to involvement in extra-curricular activities and deportment. The awards are chosen by a Selection Committee comprising of internal and external members, including representatives of NIC&rsquo;s management, unionised staff delegates, the unions representing the workers, and an educator. <br /> <br /> At Wednesday&rsquo;s ceremony, principal of The College of Theological and Interdisciplinary Studies in Jamaica, Rev Michael E Hammond, encouraged the awardees to remain focused on their educational goals. He brought to their attention Jamaican footballer Leon Bailey, who is successfully playing football overseas, who commented recently on a television programme that he was there to play football, and that that was his singular focus. <br /> <br /> In reinforcing his point, the Rev Hammond highlighted what he called the four pillars for the platform to success &mdash; dedication, discipline, diligence and determination &mdash; and urged the awardees to use these pillars to overcome whatever challenges that may come.<br /> <br /> Also speaking at the ceremony was medical doctor, farmer, and deputy chairman of the NIC, Dr Horace Charoo, who represented the chairman, Senator Aubyn Hill. He spoke emphatically about the need for rural development in Jamaica. Describing himself as a country boy, Hill said he felt that by taking care of its rural folks, Jamaica will solve much of it social problems and he is convinced that this will also solve some of Jamaica&rsquo;s crime problems. He also reassured the awardees and others present that the board of NIC was in full support of the Scholarship Awards Programme. <br /> <br /> He said he was particularly pleased with the partnership between the unions and NIC which gave birth to the awards because unions are mostly only associated with strikes, demonstrations and roadblocks.<br /> <br /> Representing the parents of the awardees, Michael Thomas, spoke glowingly of the scholarships as he said without them he and his wife couldn&rsquo;t have managed to afford their children the opportunity of a proper education. <br /> <br /> The awardees themselves played several roles at the function, from providing entertainment, introducing the guest speaker, offering prayers, to delivering the vote of thanks.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652337/259247_85832_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 3 Caribbean, Russian youth sign pact http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Caribbean--Russian-youth-sign-pact_89863 Young people in the Caribbean have signed an agreement with their peers in Russia with a view to fostering higher levels of social and cultural cooperation between the two.<br /> <br /> At the recently concluded 6th United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum at the United Nations Headquarters, the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC) and the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations - National Youth Council of Russia (NYCR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on youth Cooperation and development. The document, signed on January 30 in New York, was inked by chairperson of CRYC Tijani Christian and chairperson of the NYCR, Grigory Petushkov. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The MOU seeks to strengthen the role of young people in social inclusion, cultural diversity and multilateral cooperation in capacity building and partnership for educational and employment opportunities to facilitate the offering of cultural exchanges, scholarships, internship and job opportunities between the Caribbean and Russia,&rdquo; the parties have said. <br /> <br /> An immediate output of the partnership is the CRYC&rsquo;s involvement in the upcoming 19th World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi, Russia scheduled for October 14 - 22, this year. The festival seeks to bring together 20,000 young people from all over the world for active participation in addressing the sustainable development agenda. <br /> <br /> The CRYC will be a member of the National Preparatory Committee for the festival.<br /> <br /> To ensure greater participation of Caribbean youth delegates, the partnership agreement facilitates visa-free entry for all participants from the region, and the coverage of accommodation, ground transportation, meals and a cultural programme. &ldquo;What does this mean? You just need to pay your airfare and cover any other personal expenditures incurred,&rdquo; the groups said in a release.<br /> <br /> They advise that those interested in sharing in the partnership may contact the CRYC secretariat by e-mail at info.cryc@gmail.com if you do not have direct contact with your local youth councils. Application form for the 19th festival and its latest news are available on the website:<br /> <br /> russia2017.com. The latest information about preparations for the festival is also published on the official Facebook page:<br /> <br /> https://www.facebook.com/wfys2017. <br /> <br /> CRYC is the collective voice of national youth councils and represents the voice of young people across the Caribbean. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is a strategic youth governance and advocacy movement with one voice working towards regional representation, integration and co-operation as a platform for youth development,&rdquo; the CRYC said. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652137/259136_85764_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 3 Want to master CXC maths? There&rsquo;s an app for that! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Want-to-master-CXC-maths--There-s-an-app-for-that-_89890 A group of Caribbean professionals last week rolled out an application to help students master mathematics at the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) level. <br /> <br /> Founder of AcuExam (www.cxc-exam.com), Surendra Dhanpaul said though the app is in no way affiliated to the Barbados-headquartered CXC, it allows students to answer multiple-choice questions in preparation for a CXC exam, and will soon offer problem questions, with answers, in keeping with the maths syllabus. <br /> <br /> The app is available on Google Play Store and via www.cxc-exam.com/cxc.apk.<br /> <br /> Dhanpaul said he hopes that the Caribbean can take the production of apps more seriously, calling it &ldquo;the new cottage industry&rdquo; having the potential to earn the region significant foreign exchange. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Apps and building apps is somewhat of a new export product. Wherever it is that you are sitting, you can have an idea for an app, you can build your apps where people in other parts of the world, such as North America and Europe, can purchase it or earn revenue from ads,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Pointing to a University of the West Indies study that highlights the importance of technological mobility in teaching and learning, Dhanpaul reiterated the importance of mathematics, but figures show a declining performance in recent years. &ldquo;Mathematics is a subject that every single student must take and there is a consensus within the Caribbean that students are finding it increasingly difficult to grasp concepts in mathematics and being able to pass the exams with high rates,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Regional leaders were expected to approve Caricom&rsquo;s Draft Roadmap for Single ICT Space when they held their midterm summit in Guyana on Thursday and Friday. Sources said the roadmap would pave the way for the formulation of a work plan that would embrace app developers and jump-start much-needed interest among political directorates across the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am not sure that the applications economy is really in the minds of heads of government yet, so that they understand the benefit and the role of those important people,&rdquo; said another well-respected official in Guyana&rsquo;s ICT sector.<br /> <br /> The founder of AcuExam called on teachers and students to leverage mobile technology such as computers, smartphones and tablets as effective, mathematical, teaching-learning tools. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Use your smartphones smarter. Download educational apps such as this one. The smartphone is only as smart as the user, and it is the future of learning. It is the future of taking exams and it is the future of a lot of things,&rdquo; said Dhanpaul.<br /> <br /> His app is free to use, but the company is accepting annual contributions which can be paid by debit or credit cards, cheque, PayPal, or on Amazon. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652438/259225__w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 4 More males entering nursing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/More-males-entering-nursing_89895 Male nurses are a rarity anywhere in the world, but if the enrolment figures at the University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica&rsquo;s Caribbean School of Nursing are anything to go by, things appear to be changing.<br /> <br /> The university reported on Friday that the number of males enrolled in its nursing and midwifery degree programme this year is up 94 per cent from when the school first opened its doors six years ago. Counted among the numbers are Gillon Lindo and Romoy Richards, both 21.<br /> <br /> Lindo, who is enrolled in his second year of the midwifery programme, told the Jamaica Observer Friday that he originally planned on pursuing nursing, but the birth of his sister Gillian two years ago won him over.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to care for people, just like the midwife who delivered my mom,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I grew up with just brothers, so getting a baby sister was everything to me. She is my pride, my joy. I love her to death.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Richards, meanwhile, said he was influenced by several relatives who are health care professionals, but it was his aunt Sheneka Richards-South who had the most influence.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I always admired her. She would go to work and come home and tell these stories about how she dealt with patients with different conditions and I admired how she did all that, then came home and prepared dinner, helped me with my homework, and still had time for herself and to prepare for the next day. My love for the whole nursing profession developed then,&rdquo; he told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> As far as he&rsquo;s concerned, the female-dominated nursing profession is blessed to have men since they can do some of the heavy lifting that women can&rsquo;t. In addition to that, Richards believes men&rsquo;s general tendency &ldquo;to be more in control of their emotions&rdquo; makes them suited for the role of a nurse.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A lot of patients tend to gravitate more towards male nurses than the females [as a result],&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Richards and Lindo were among 230 students &mdash; 17 of whom were male &mdash; who were presented with their symbolic stripes at the sixth annual striping ceremony hosted by the school in their honour on Thursday, February 9. The students are enrolled in years one to four of UTech&rsquo;s BSc in Nursing and BSc in Midwifery programmes. The ceremony was held at the Christian Life Fellowship Centre, adjacent to the university&rsquo;s Papine campus. <br /> <br /> The symbolic striping signifies that the students have satisfied the academic and professional requirements of their respective levels of study and have displayed exemplary professional ethics. Acting dean of the College of Health Sciences Dr Janet Campbell-Shelly reminded the students that it was synonymous with excellence and the achievement of high standards in all areas of their personal and professional lives. <br /> <br /> Dr Adella Campbell, head of the nursing school, in her address gave a historical overview of the establishment of the nursing and midwifery programmes at UTech, Jamaica. She noted that the university has been training nurses since 2007 and midwives since 2014, following the divestment of the training programmes from the Government of Jamaica. UTech, Jamaica&rsquo;s Caribbean School of Nursing offers the BSc in Nursing (generic and completion), BSc in Midwifery (Direct Entry and Midwifery for Registered Nurses), and the BSc in Critical Care Nursing, with the Completion Midwifery course to commence in August 2017. The graduate programmes are the MSc in Nurse Anaesthesia and MSc in Trauma Studies. Completion training programmes are franchised at the Excelsior Community College and in St Vincent and the Grenadines. <br /> <br /> Referencing the current gap in the health sector caused by the migration of Jamaica&rsquo;s specialist nurses, Dr Campbell underscored that Jamaican nurses have earned a reputation for being the best trained in the world. She lamented therefore, that UTech, Jamaica is forced &ldquo;to turn away more than 600 applicants annually because of our inability to accept them for training, even though they are qualified&rdquo;. The head of school expressed hope that the university will be able to, in the near future increase its capacity for the training of nurses.<br /> <br /> She congratulated the students on earning their stripes, noting that the school continues to excel academically. She pointed out that it achieved the highest pass rate in the regional examination for nursing students in 2015, and also shared that nursing student Kaysha Foote copped the 2015 LASCO/NAJ Student Nurse of the Year award.<br /> <br /> For his part, University President Professor Stephen Vasciannie lauded the students and their lecturers on their achievement. In addressing the chronic shortage of nurses caused by their migration to &ldquo;greener pastures&rdquo;, Prof Vasciannie said, &ldquo;Jamaica can and should be training a much larger pool of nurses, not just for our local sector, but also for access to international communities.&rdquo; He shared that a recent World Bank study on nursing labour in Caricom countries showed that if current policies remain the same, the nursing shortage will grow from the present figure of 3,400 to 10,700 by 2018. He also shared that current data reveals that the USA has projected that the country will need 1.2 million trained nurses by the year 2022. <br /> <br /> Vasciannie opined that with proper arrangements with foreign governments, Jamaica could gain significant foreign exchange earnings from training nurses for the export market. He suggested that, &ldquo;through structured training agreements with overseas governments we [could] provide the required training of their own people for re-entry into their respective economies once they have been trained here&rdquo;. He also noted that, conversely, a structured arrangement with foreign governments could require their investment in strengthening our health care infrastructure so that more nurses can be trained for both countries.<br /> <br /> Noting that UTech, Jamaica &ldquo;is doing its part in helping to fill the large gap for trained nurses&rdquo;, the president reported that since 2007 the university has graduated some 678 nurses, with the yearly intake of midwifery and nursing students at both the Papine and Montego Bay campuses steadily increasing. The intake for the 2016/2017 academic year was 192 students .<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica Janet Coore-Farr, who brought greetings at the striping ceremony, stressed the importance of exercising empathy in the profession, noting that a patient may never remember a nurse&rsquo;s name but will always remember how they are treated. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652422/259293_85900_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 4 Pump it up! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Pump-it-up-_89862 The Pre University Men&rsquo;s Programme (PUMP) last week received a significant investment to help at-risk and unattached men enrolled in the programme complete their studies at the university college.<br /> <br /> The sum &mdash; $600,000 &mdash; represents proceeds from the college&rsquo;s 180th anniversary Pump It Up 5K Run/Walk.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We want to congratulate you [Mico University College] on a very successful event and we&rsquo;re actually proud that being realised today is someone who can literally become a leader in our society. We look forward to continuing our social responsibility as a bank,&rdquo; said Michael Collins, sales development and training specialist at one of the event&rsquo;s sponsors &mdash; JN Bank.<br /> <br /> He was referring to Jermaine Harris, a fourth-year primary education student who represented PUMP students at the presentation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Leaving high school with four subjects, I had ruled out college. I was however, introduced to the Mico University College where I learnt about the PUMP programme and took the opportunity,&rdquo; Harris related.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have increased in confidence and am now the president of the debating society. I never thought I would have made it this far, but I am here and I have farther to go,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> The inaugural 5K Run/Walk was held last year October in the college&rsquo;s 180th year of existence and has now become an annual fundraiser for the college&rsquo;s continuing studies programme. Another sponsor of the 5K event, Mikiayana Company Ltd, was also present at the hand-over. <br /> <br /> PUMP programme is the only one of its kind in the country; distinctly targeting at-risk and unattached young men who do not have the requirements to complete a college education, but who are willing to transform their lives through an education.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652142/259105_85769_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 4 PHOTO &mdash; Soldier boys http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/PHOTO---Soldier-boys_89964 Army careers were a popular pick for students of Glowell Preparatory in Cedar Grove, Portmore, which observed Career Day on Friday.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13653274/259248_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 5 PHOTO &mdash; Shadie&rsquo;s achievement http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/PHOTO---Shadie-s-achievement_89949 Judges at Thursday&rsquo;s young entrepreneurs pitch put on by Junior Achievement Jamaica (from second left) Francine Richards, Andre Mangue and Kevin White, all from Jamaica Public Service, seem pleased with the entry from Shadie Parchement &mdash; a canvas painting of an Air Jamaica aircraft. Parchment, who is epileptic, also makes costume jewellery and wicker baskets, which she entered in the competition as well. The pitch was part of National Careers Week observed February, 11-17.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13653273/259250_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Paediatric nursing students advance http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Paediatric-nursing-students-advance_89685 The first cohort of Caribbean nurses undergoing specialist training to care for children with cancer and blood disorders have successfully completed the first semester, the University of the West Indies (UWI) has announced.<br /> <br /> Thirteen nurses from Jamaica, Barbados, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and St Vincent and the Grenadines enrolled in a specialised one-year nursing programme at the university&rsquo;s West Indies School of Nursing in El Dorado, Trinidad and Tobago last September. They spent their first semester learning about paediatric haematology/oncology through online and in-class learning, as well as clinical practicum at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;They focused on building foundational knowledge and skills in general paediatric nursing and specialty knowledge and skills in paediatric oncology nursing care,&rdquo; the university said. <br /> <br /> Semester two began on December 5, 2016 with five weeks of online learning. In-class learning began on February 6, 2017, and will be complemented by six weeks of clinical practicum both at EWMSC and at their home institution, culminating with a final twelve-week internship component, also at their home institutions.<br /> <br /> The second cohort will begin the programme in May 2017 and will include nurses from St Lucia.<br /> <br /> The training is part of a partnership with SickKids-Caribbean Initiative and is being funded by the FirstCaribbean International Comtrust Foundation, the charitable arm of regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean. CIBC FirstCaribbean&rsquo;s partnership with SickKids Foundation extends from the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Barbados in 2013 when the bank pledged to provide US$1 million over a seven-year period to train medical professionals specialising in the care of paediatric patients affected by cancer or blood disorders such as sickle cell disease. The partnership is being undertaken in collaboration with the UWI.<br /> <br /> SickKids Foundation is a charity registered in the Caribbean, to, among other things, fund training for Caribbean medical professionals as part of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative through the Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada.The overall objective of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative is to enhance the care of children in the region who are affected by cancer and blood disorders, and ultimately increase the survival rates. The five-year plan that was developed by SickKids in association with their Caribbean partners addresses the region&rsquo;s gaps in capacity to advance diagnosis and the treatment of paediatric cancer and blood disorders.<br /> <br /> It also aims to create awareness about the conditions throughout the region.<br /> <br /> Director of Corporate Communications at the bank and Trustee of the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation Ltd, Debra King, said, &ldquo;CIBC FirstCaribbean is delighted at the progress of the participants in the training programme. We have every confidence that they will all successfully complete this vital training which will greatly increase their capacity to care for some of the region&rsquo;s most vulnerable children&rdquo;. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13652139/259221_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Black River Primary math wave gets thumbs up http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Black-River-Primary-math-wave-gets-thumbs-up_89874 Acting principal of the Black River Primary and Infant School Sharon Whyte (second right) and guidance counsellor, Michelle Spence-Kelly (second left), are all smiles as they showcase their innovative math dollars utilised as part of the school&rsquo;s Mathematics Wave Initiative. Joining them are Sandals Foundation ambassadors from Sandals South Coast Melissa Gordon (left) and Rochelle Forbes, who were visiting the school to present school supplies, backpacks and books for the school&rsquo;s library. Spence-Kelly and other teachers at the school successfully launched the Mathematics Wave Initiative to arouse their students&rsquo;s interest and improve their overall performance in the subject. With their long-standing commitment to the education of Jamaica&rsquo;s children, the Sandals Foundation was more than happy to support the initiative. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13651986/259060_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:00 AM 5 Photo: Safer Internet Day http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Photo--Safer-Internet-Day_89671 Joy Clark, Digicel Head of Sales &ndash; West (front), raps with students of Green Pond High School in St James, during the first of two interactive sessions held at the institution to mark Safer Internet Day last week. (Photo : Trescott Myers) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13646647/258620_85208_repro_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Olive Davis heads University of California programme http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Olive-Davis-heads-University-of-California-programme_84995 OLIVE Davis is flying the Jamaican flag high in California&rsquo;s San Francisco Bay Area, having dedicated her life to teaching entrepreneurship to young people in the highly successful &ldquo;innovation hub of the world&rdquo;, home to the world&rsquo;s top tech firms such as Google, Apple and Microsoft.<br /> <br /> This year, she celebrates 10 years of employment to the University of California, Berkeley, where she founded and directs Berkeley Business Academy for Youth (BBAY), a summer business programme which exposes young people to various aspects of business. Her work within the Institute of Business and Social Impact at the Haas School of Business at the university also sees her interacting with under-served young people with interest in or talent for business, especially through the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) programme. She has over 20 years of youth development and programing experience, having run several youth business programmes in universities and organisations in the Bay Area. <br /> <br /> Davis told the Jamaica Observer that her work with young people is invaluable to her.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am extremely excited that the work that I do impacts youth. And not only that it impacts youth, but it impacts youth who either have not considered business and/or are reaching out to a field that&rsquo;s growing in terms of innovation and developing products and services that make a difference in our community. That, to me, is everlasting. <br /> <br /> I can&rsquo;t tell you I often sit down and think about how many lives I&rsquo;ve touched, not only by creating this programme but in working with YEAH and just in my lifetime; but to be giving back to the community and doing it from a grassroots perspective is absolutely fulfilling. So, for me, this is not only a privilege, it is an honour,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> In addition to her work at Berkeley, she has run business programmes at other universities, including Stanford, and for several organisations including tech firm Galileo.<br /> <br /> Reaching success was not without its obstacles, but the teacher takes lessons from her experiences.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There have been many challenges that I faced on the road to success. I remember before I got my degree, knocking on doors and was told that I needed a degree to get the position that I was looking for, so I went out and got a degree. And I remember knocking on those same doors again and was told that I now needed the experience, now that I had the degree. So, yes, there are obstacles and there are challenges in life, but if we continue to look at them as such we&rsquo;ll never progress. What I did to overcome those obstacles or challenges was to just continue to be persistent [and] to build my knowledge as I went along,&rdquo; she said, using BBAY as an example.<br /> <br /> Davis said her Jamaican heritage has also helped her overcome challenges.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure there are challenges with anyone who tries to do anything out of the box [and especially] as a black woman, but I feel like I&rsquo;ve overcome them because I am from Jamaica and, in my mind, when I was raised in Jamaica there was no challenge that we couldn&rsquo;t overcome. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I always reflect on the fact that when I [come] home the majority is black and we are &lsquo;running&rsquo; things, and doing things, and achieving things. So the way that I&rsquo;ve overcome that is not only trusting in God and allowing him to lead me, but also making sure that I reflect on my roots and where I come from. I have a lot of pride inside of me and I take that with me when I step into a situation that I know is probably going to be challenging, and I pray, pray pray pray,&rdquo; she told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> Davis was nine when she migrated to the US.<br /> <br /> She said her development of BBAY was born out of a desire to strengthen YEAH, which was funded exclusively by gifts and grants.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I thought, &lsquo;We have a wonderful brand and we have a wonderful university campus and I am teaching at other universities and here we have this programme that needs funding. I could create a programme using our brand that would bring money into the university&rsquo;,&rdquo; she recalled, making reference to the Berkeley brand.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I took the idea to the dean and he initially thought it was something that wouldn&rsquo;t work out. Later on, I decided to take it to the dean of instructions and he said, &lsquo;Go for it! I&rsquo;ll give you five years to make it work&rsquo;,&rdquo; Davis recounted.<br /> <br /> Asked how she manages to stand out in the highly competitive Bay Area, the Jamaica native who hails from Kingston, said networking is key.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I knew that networking played a big part in life, and I learned from college that oftentimes it&rsquo;s not just what you know, it&rsquo;s who you know, and I reached out to a lot of people to gain more information and to gain more knowledge and to learn more about the things that I didn&rsquo;t know [whether] because I wasn&rsquo;t in the right surroundings or I wasn&rsquo;t aware of them. So I think one of the biggest ways in which I overcame those challenges was the way in which I networked with people on my level, and those above me,&rdquo; Davis told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> She began tertiary education studying mathematics at University of California, but later applied for and was accepted to the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, graduating with a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in business. Prior to that, she attended Bethune Middle School and Freemont High School, both in California. This came after Alpha Primary in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Throughout her educational and professional life, Davis has held several leadership roles and has copped numerous awards, including a national business award, one of 10 Miller Scholarships for students who are outstanding in community service in university, and most recently, a merit award at UC Berkeley. In high school, she was student body vice-president.<br /> <br /> Before teaching, Davis worked as a paralegal officer and a sales representative at a company called PeopleSoft.<br /> <br /> The BBAY director told Career & Education that her current focus is to replicate BBAY on the island, as she has a keen interest in giving back to her home country. So far, she has been scouting Jamaican high school students for placement in BBAY&rsquo;s residential summer programme and was in the island last month on a recruiting drive. Last year, she selected three students &mdash; Merl Grove High School alum Tamoyah Cherrington, and Wolmer&rsquo;s Boys&rsquo; School graduates Aldane Walters and Delmar Francis. They were among an international cohort of 50.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13635836/257841_84533_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 12:00 AM 1 Lunch and learn http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Lunch-and-learn_89107 Ten high school students preparing to sit Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams in May/June this year got a different kind of schooling on Wednesday when they sat at the feet of LASCO Financial Services Limited (LFSL) executives. <br /> <br /> In a brand new initiative the company has branded Lunch and Learn, the execs drew parallels from business to teach the students about brand development, budgeting, and entrepreneurship over lunch at the company&rsquo;s Red Hills Road offices in Kingston.<br /> <br /> LASCO previously awarded the students &mdash; two each from Dinthill, Papine, Ocho Rios, Merl Grove, and Titchfield high schools &mdash; bursaries each valued at $10,000 to cover the requisite fees to sit the following five CSEC subjects in this year&rsquo;s exams: principles of business, principles of accounts, information technology, economics and either French or Spanish. <br /> <br /> Asked how the schools were selected, LFSL said with the exception of Merl Grove, which is the managing director&rsquo;s alma mater, the others were randomly chosen, with islandwide reach in mind. As for the bursary recipients, they were required to be from low-income households, with good grades, attendance, punctuality and behaviour. Community involvement and extracurricular activities were also taken into consideration. The particular subjects, the company added, were chosen because they are directly related to the financial transactions industry.<br /> <br /> On Wednesday, Jacinth Hall-Tracey, Managing Director, LFSL pointed out the similarities between branding for companies and individuals to the students, by explaining the structure of the LASCO Group of Companies, its influence on the community and its recently launched consumer brand LASCO Money.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A brand is something that you have to build, [something] that you have to work hard at. You have to have a vision of what you want that brand to do for you and you do all the things that are required to make that brand achieve those things. And that is pretty much how your life will be as well,&rsquo; said Hall-Tracey.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is important to develop a brand. You can&rsquo;t just live and let things happen to you; you have to chart that course. By charting that course you can do things similar to what a company does. A company normally has a vision, a mission and a business plan. You can create these for yourselves, too, and your vision doesn&rsquo;t have to be an elaborate statement. It&rsquo;s just a simple thought of: Where do I see myself in the future? What do I want for me? It&rsquo;s just a simple statement in your mind, and as you go through life, you do all the events, all the schooling, all the courses and surround yourself with the friends that help drive you to that vision or dream... <br /> <br /> &ldquo;And sometimes that vision or dream is just a simple statement in your mind of what you will never do... We learn and we achieve and we chart our way as our experiences help us. But we can do a better job if you have in mind what you would like or would like to happen to you,&rdquo; she continued.<br /> <br /> Pointing to LASCO, Hall Tracey said: &ldquo;Our vision statement says ...to become global corporate leader through innovation and entrepreneurship driven by a passion for excellence and compassion for our fellowman. We will make LASCO a world name synonymous with integrity, value and service... That is what I wish for you too.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Presenting on budgeting, goal planning and entrepreneurship, Atasha Bernard, LFSL financial controller, delivered an interactive presentation with many key messages. However, the students were most notably engaged by her &lsquo;stale versus fresh&rsquo; analogy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Stale is when you&rsquo;re stressed, tired and have a lack of energy. Sometimes I really feel stale but then I try to remind myself of being fresh. Fresh is forward-thinking, always thinking ahead. Be proactive, resilient and have the ability to bounce back, things will happen... <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Try not to be stale,&rdquo; Bernard urged. <br /> <br /> Speaking specifically to the theme of the afternoon, Bernard used another analogy. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;If you are starting a fishing business but you don&rsquo;t like the water, you will have to make sure you have the resources to pay a fisherman to go into the water. So, if you want to start a fishing business or a swimming business, then maybe you need to go befriend some fishermen,&rdquo; she counselled, adding: &ldquo;Relationships are also important in business. You may start a new company. Call on your friends... it may take you a long time to access the right people [otherwise]. <br /> <br /> She also advised the students to keep their goals squarely in focus.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re going into the fishing business and you have $100,000, then why buy a stove? Remember the goal you are working with,&rdquo; she told them.<br /> <br /> The financial controller also had other sound advice for the students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Life is like a camera. Focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don&rsquo;t work out, take another shot,&rdquo; she told them.<br /> <br /> LASCO has been awarding exam bursaries for several years now, and is hoping to make Lunch and Learn a staple on its calendar.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13635676/257717_84333_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 12:00 AM 2 UCC rebrands, changes name to University of the Commonwealth Caribbean http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/UCC-rebrands--changes-name-to-University-of-the-Commonwealth-Caribbean_89170 The University College of the Caribbean (UCC) Board of Directors has announced that the institution is rebranding and changing its name to the &ldquo;University of the Commonwealth Caribbean&rdquo;, to reflect its new institutional profile and positioning. <br /> <br /> The change takes place tommorrow February 13. UCC has been operating as a university college for 12 years and currently serves more than 4,000 students annually in Jamaica and the eastern Caribbean. Students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programmes (including five master&rsquo;s degree programmes) across more than 15 disciplines.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The management of the institution has initiated the necessary steps in a transition process to secure further approval that supports the rebranding and name change from University College of the Caribbean to &lsquo;University of the Commonwealth Caribbean,&rsquo;&rdquo; the institution reported on Friday. <br /> <br /> UCC was established in 2004 as a result of a merger of the Institute of Management Sciences and the Institute of Management and Production. It has made strides in academic development over the years, most recently starting the process of establishing a professional law school in Guyana and Jamaica &mdash; The JOF Haynes Law School of the Americas. It also recently established a School of Medicine, Health and Applied Sciences. UCC is internationally accredited by the United Kingdom-based Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities, and is seeking to offer regional franchises within the Commonwealth. It was accorded formal recognition as a university college by the University Council of Jamaica last year &mdash; the first private, non-affiliated tertiary institution in the nation to be so recognised. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Moving to formal university status better reflects the successes we have had to date, expanding our undergraduate and graduate programmes and our plans to develop a university town and global campus in western Jamaica and new locations in the eastern Caribbean, as well as new programmes starting this year,&rdquo; Dr Winston Adams, the UCC group chairman, said of the new development.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13635646/257742_84330_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 12:00 AM 3 How do I dress professionally on a budget? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/How-do-I-dress-professionally-on-a-budget-_89186 Dear Career Advisor:<br /> <br /> I am final year student and I am a bit excited, as I just got a response from a significantly large company that I have been accepted as an intern for its summer internship programme. The acceptance letter says the dress code is &lsquo;professional&rsquo;. My understanding is that most of the employees wear business suits, but my budget is limited. What suggestions can you give?<br /> <br /> Yours truly, MD<br /> <br /> Dear MD:<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Congratulations on your academic advancement, and for landing your desired internship opportunity. <br /> <br /> It is good that you have some lead time to begin assembling your professional wardrobe. You do not need expensive clothing, nor do you need to have many items of clothing to be able to present yourself professionally. Below are some tips on how to build a professional wardrobe and how to dress for professional success.<br /> <br /> i. Select tailored clothing: It is better to invest in a few high-quality outfits that can be interchanged than in numerous extravagant or poor quality pieces. <br /> <br /> a. Include in your selection at least one dark-coloured suit.<br /> <br /> b. Buy simple well-made shirts or blouses, skirts or pants.<br /> <br /> c. Jackets and blazers, whether as suits or separates, are vital and versatile for mixing and matching.<br /> <br /> ii. Choose colours, patterns and fabrics wisely. <br /> <br /> a. Stick to conservative colours for suits (eg, navy blue, grey, and black).<br /> <br /> b. Cheerful colours can be used to accentuate but should not be gaudy. <br /> <br /> c. Simple stripes, plaids, and subtle patterns are accepted. <br /> <br /> d. For outer garments, avoid fabrics with heavy sheen, or those that are very thin.<br /> <br /> iii. Ensure proper fit: Your clothing should not be too loose or too tight. <br /> <br /> a. The hem of your trousers should cover your ankle but should not sweep the floor. <br /> <br /> b. Skirt length should be such that when you sit too much of your thigh is not revealed. <br /> <br /> c. Blouses should not show cleavage. The sleeves should reach the wrist.<br /> <br /> iv. Ensure that your clothing is always properly pressed. <br /> <br /> v. Undergarments should be both covered and concealed. Ladies should consider investing in lined skirts rather than having visible panty lines.<br /> <br /> vi. Avoid the tattered look: Do not wear clothing that is frayed, tattered or has visible holes.<br /> <br /> vii. Males should always wear belts with trousers that have loops. Your belt colour should coordinate with your shoe colour. <br /> <br /> viii. Ties are essential items for men. For a fresh look, vary the tie worn with shirts.<br /> <br /> ix. Simple conservative hair styles and colours for both men and women are recommended. Your hair should always be well groomed.<br /> <br /> x. Wear appropriate shoes<br /> <br /> a. Athletic, flat-soled, and open toe shoes, and flip-flops are not appropriate. Choose pumps or stilettos with medium heels (for women). <br /> <br /> b. Shoe colour may coordinate with handbag, but not necessarily so.<br /> <br /> c. Men should wear laced-up or slip-on dress shoes. <br /> <br /> xi. Limit the number of accessories; for example, no more than one ring on each hand. Tongue and nose piercings are still frowned-on in many organisations, so play it safe and leave them at home.<br /> <br /> xii. Ensure that neatness and cleanliness are always reflected in your dressing.<br /> <br /> Your clothing and deportment will be viewed as a reflection of your attitude to the job, therefore plan to characterise your professional presentation with excellence. <br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> All the best.<br /> <br /> Career Advisor<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at careeradvisor@ncu.edu.jm.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13325201/232017_59176_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 12:00 AM 4 How to enhance memory and learning http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/How-to-enhance-memory-and-learning_88408 Good memory is critical for all of us, but especially so for students, regardless of age. It is a fact that memory and learning are inseparable. Memory is the way in which we store, activate and retain knowledge and skills to be recalled and put to use at a later date. It is a highly complicated process involving numerous components.<br /> <br /> The school setting is a complex and difficult environment which puts pressure on memory and learning. Often, students, parents and teachers believe that a good understanding of a particular subject matter is good enough for one to remember, but this is not so. Understanding does not equate to memory, and vice versa. One may understand how to do something complex today, but several months later, if he/she did not practise, it is likely that he/she would have forgotten. That being said, however, if we understand something, the likelihood of remembering it increases. Therefore, understanding is important in the process of learning. To remember something, we must transfer information gathered into long-term storage.<br /> <br /> In the classroom, students are given large quantities of information to acquire and consolidate in short periods of time. They are tested and judged according to what they remember. When a student is unable to retrieve information from long-term memory, educators assume that learning has not occurred.<br /> <br /> The use of learning strategies by students to move information into long-term storage, then, is critical. Let&rsquo;s take a look at some useful approaches for improving learning and memory.<br /> <br /> &bull; Review immediately<br /> <br /> This simply means that you review information immediately after it has been taught. This will help to confirm that you understand the material. If there are areas that you do not understand, seek clarification promptly.<br /> <br /> &bull; Consistent study <br /> <br /> This is definitely the opposite of cramming. Cramming is an attempt at forcing information into your brain over a very short period of time. It is highly ineffective and does not result in learning. It is much better to employ a regular study schedule which starts early in the school year. This allows the information to consolidate in your long-term memory.<br /> <br /> &bull; Chunking <br /> <br /> This involves breaking up large quantities of information into smaller, more manageable chunks. We use chunking all the time. For example, when given a phone number to remember, it is easier when you group it into threes then fours. In school, you chunk information based on topics and this makes it easier both for comprehension as well as remembering. It allows you to create and understand relationships.<br /> <br /> &bull; Repetition and practice<br /> <br /> How did you learn to ride a bicycle? I am sure you did not learn by reading about it. Instead, you went onto the bicycle and practised (even if you fell off a couple times), until mastery was accomplished. Similarly, students need to practise answering questions or performing a task. Repetition and practice trigger neurons in the brain to become hard-wired, making it easier and easier to remember material over time. Repetition and rehearsal of information enhance the process of consolidation in the brain.<br /> <br /> &bull; Acronyms<br /> <br /> This is a series of letters that spell a word or form a phrase that helps one to remember some factual information. For example, the lines on the treble clef in music denote the notes EGBDF. The sentence &ldquo;Every Good Boy Deserves Favour&rdquo; is used to remember these notes. The first letter of each word in the sentence corresponds to each note in the correct order.<br /> <br /> &bull; Rewrite material<br /> <br /> Rewriting your notes is an excellent tool for remembering. It reinforces what you have learnt. The physical act of writing will bring the information to the forefront of the brain. This results in increased attentiveness to the topic. Make sure to add additional information as you rewrite your notes. If you prefer, you could also jot down key points in bullet form.<br /> <br /> &bull; Graphic Organisers<br /> <br /> These are effective visual learning aids used to enhance learning by simplifying ideas. It demonstrates relationships between facts, concepts or ideas. They can be used to describe learning strategies such as concept mapping or mind mapping and are especially useful in helping students structure projects and to brainstorm ideas.<br /> <br /> Dr Karla Hylton is the author of Yes! You Can Help Your Child Achieve Academic Success and Complete Chemistry for Caribbean High Schools. She operates Bio & Chem Tutoring, which specialises in secondary level biology and chemistry. Reach her at (876) 564-1347, biochemtutor100@gmail.com or khylton.com. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13635800/243586_84483_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 3:00 AM 4 GG outlines education plans for new budget year http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/GG-outlines-education-plans-for-new-budget-year_89177 Government says it will fully implement the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) for grades one to nine this year, increase spending on upgrading school plants, continue work on eliminating the shift system in secondary schools, and expand the school-feeding programme, among other things as it continues the transformation of the education sector.<br /> <br /> The NSC has already been introduced to grades 1, 4, 7 and 9. The goal of the new curriculum is to improve general academic performance, attitude and behaviour of students, which will redound to the positive shaping of the national social and economic fabric.<br /> <br /> Delivering the 2017-18 Throne Speech in Parliament on Thursday, Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen said the new curriculum is geared at building competence and skills through inclusive and differentiated learning.<br /> <br /> Under the new system, emphasis will be placed on project-based and problem-solving learning, with science, technology, engineering and mathematics/science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEM/STEAM) integrated at all levels.<br /> <br /> In the meantime, he said the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will also be increasing its expenditure on upgrading and refurbishing facilities at the primary and secondary levels as well as continue its drive to eliminate the shift system. &ldquo;At the same time, the Ministry will continue to provide more quality places at the early childhood level,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The Governor-General said the ministry will also be providing direct support to students on the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) who have met the criteria for five subjects or more. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Approximately 9,000 students on PATH will sit external examinations annually,&rdquo; he noted.<br /> <br /> He said this forms part of the Government&rsquo;s policy to ensure that all students at the secondary level exit with at least five subjects as well as to ensure that the most vulnerable are not at a disadvantage.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Governor-General informed that the school-feeding programme is being reorganised to ensure that more students benefit from a free meal for five days per week.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All financial resources allocated by the Government for the School Feeding Programme will be utilised to provide free lunches for 70 per cent or 137,000 children of the early childhood cohort, three to eight years, including approximately 10,000 PATH beneficiaries,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Sir Patrick added that the ministry will provide support for the payment of cooks, especially at the primary level to ensure that trained and certified persons are preparing nutritious meals for students.<br /> <br /> The Throne Speech was delivered under the theme: &lsquo;A Firm Foundation for Prosperity&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &mdash; JIS<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13635517/257771_84455_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 12:00 AM 4 PHOTO: Energising http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/PHOTO--Energising_89219  Using a model of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Upper White River hydro plant on the border of St Ann and St Mary, marketing officer Stacey Samuels explains the process of hydroelectricity generation to grade three students of Mona Prep School at the plant, Thursday. JPS facilitated the students on a field trip to the facility to expose them to different ways in which the utility provider serves the community, the importance of safety at the workplace, energy education, and careers in energy. The field trip was part of a lesson on community. (Photo: Aston Spaulding)<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13636458/257812_84497_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 3:00 AM 5 Paul Adams awarded outstanding principal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Paul-Adams-awarded-outstanding-principal-_89178 Principal of Herbert Morrison Technical High School in St James Paul Patrick Adams is the Jamaica Teaching Council&rsquo;s (JTC&rsquo;s) Outstanding Principal for 2016.<br /> <br /> Adams, who has been at the helm of the institution since 2002, was presented with the award by Education, Youth and Information Minister Ruel Reid during a ceremony at the school on Wednesday.<br /> <br /> He is the sixth principal to have copped the award since it was established in 2011.<br /> <br /> Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Senator Reid commended Adams on his hard work and vision, which have placed the institution among the high-achieving schools in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> He noted that Adams has not only served well as a principal, but as a former head of the Jamaica Teachers&rsquo; Association (JTA).<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We need radical thinking and transformation and Mr Adams has been a visionary and what we see now is an expansion of opportunities beyond grade 11 to having students in grades 12 and 13,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> He added that the work of Adams and his team at Herbert Morrison has ensured that students are prepared for the fourth industrial revolution, which will place greater focus on technology and will require a highly trained, skilled and certified labour force.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What is happening here at Herbert Morrison is very instructive of what we want to see happening across the education system and our country in transforming the education system for our children.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What I have said in simple terms is that we want all our students now to have education extended to at least age 18&hellip;Herbert Morrison is very much in sync with the global trends for the fourth industrial revolution,&rdquo; Reid said.<br /> <br /> For his part, Adams dedicated the award to his academic and ancillary staff as well as the 1,200 students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You would have recognised that the details of the reasons for the award are not encompassed within the leadership only of the principal, but the individuals who make the team happen in their particular ways,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Adams said the award adds value to the school, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.<br /> <br /> The Outstanding Principal&rsquo;s Award was introduced in collaboration with the National Commission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the objective of showcasing the approaches, strategies and outcomes of effective school leadership.<br /> <br /> &mdash; JIS<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13635821/257847_84529_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 3:00 AM 5 ECC calls on parents, teachers to keep children safe http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/ECC-calls-on-parents--teachers-to-keep-children-safe_89181 Acting Executive Director of the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) Karlene Degrasse-Deslandes is imploring parents, teachers and caregivers at early childhood institutions to pay more attention to the safety and security of the children in their care.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The safety of our children is our priority at the ECC and we therefore strongly urge all parents and ECI (early childhood institution) practitioners to take extra precaution in looking out for them,&rdquo; she said in a statement.<br /> <br /> Degrasse-Deslandes said the ECC&rsquo;s standards for the operation, management and administration of early childhood institutions makes provisions for child safety. This is in keeping with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to &ldquo;uphold the rights of children, protect them from harm, and ensure that all children have equal access to services&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> She noted further that Section 6 (3) of the Child Care and Protection Act mandates any individual who works closely with a child to report any situation in which they have reason to believe that child is in danger.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A prescribed person who, in the discharge of that person&rsquo;s duties, acquires information that ought reasonably to cause that person to suspect that a child (a) has been, is being or is likely to be, abandoned, neglected or, physically or sexually ill-treated; or (b) is otherwise in need of care and protection, shall make a report to the (Office of the Children&rsquo;s) Registry,&rdquo; the section says.<br /> <br /> The ECC is also reminding parents that they have a responsibility to safeguard their children, and not to leave them unattended, in keeping with the provisions of Articles 6, 11, 34 and 35 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.<br /> <br /> &mdash; JIS<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13635773/257755_84405_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 3:00 AM 5 10 different ways to say you&rsquo;re speechless http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/10-different-ways-to-say-you-re-speechless_89088 If you are rendered speechless, you&rsquo;re &ldquo;temporarily deprived of speech by strong emotion, physical weakness, exhaustion, etc: speechless with alarm&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> We&rsquo;ve all been there. You&rsquo;re on a roll with some spontaneous and perhaps potentially profound train of thought, then the train gets derailed. &ldquo;Parents and teachers share the responsibility to ensure children develop... er, uhm&hellip;, what&rsquo;s that word again...?&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Your brain freezes, and it&rsquo;s not because of a milk shake. The right word simply escapes you. You know what you want to say, but the concept just won&rsquo;t form.<br /> <br /> There are terms for this sort of thing, and we happily present a &hellip; uhm...Wait, we&rsquo;ve got this ... er, um, OK&mdash;list. <br /> <br /> Befuddled<br /> <br /> If you&rsquo;re befuddled, you&rsquo;re just clueless. No chance of pulling out of this dive. Look in Google Images for Elmer Fudd. That&rsquo;s befuddled, you wascally wabbits.<br /> <br /> Discombobulated<br /> <br /> You&rsquo;ve totally fallen apart. Dictionary.com says it&rsquo;s &ldquo;to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate&rdquo;. Example: &ldquo;She became totally discombobulated when giving her presentation.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Disconcerted<br /> <br /> This is sort of like being thrown off your mark. We call disconcerted &ldquo;disturbed, as in one&rsquo;s composure or self-possession; perturbed; ruffle. Example: &ldquo;She was disconcerted by the sudden attack on her integrity&rdquo;. Also, &ldquo;bewildered or confused, as by something unexpected. Example: &ldquo;The class was disconcerted by the instructor&rsquo;s confusion.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Dumbfounded<br /> <br /> You are completely stuck. You got nuthin&rsquo;. Dumbfounded means, &ldquo;To make speechless with amazement; astonish.&rdquo; Example: &ldquo;After listening to the president&rsquo;s speech, I was totally dumbfounded.&rdquo; (Disclaimer: the example provided may or may not necessarily reflect current events.)<br /> <br /> Dumbstruck<br /> <br /> The word dumbstruck is merely a variant of dumbfounded. You&rsquo;re &ldquo;temporarily deprived of the power of speech, as if by surprise or confusion; dumbfounded&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Flabbergasted<br /> <br /> Our definition of flabbergasted states you are totally stunned. [You are] &ldquo;overcome with surprise and bewilderment&rdquo;. The &ldquo;flabber&rdquo; part sounds kind of funny on its own, but it isn&rsquo;t a recognised word. And that&rsquo;s OK.<br /> <br /> Flummoxed<br /> <br /> Flummoxed means &ldquo;bewildered, confounded, and confused&rdquo;. This is not often used in a sentence these days. A current usage might be, &ldquo;He was really flummoxed when the boss called on him in the meeting.&rdquo; Bottom line, you know it when you see it, or worse, when you feel it.<br /> <br /> Nonplussed<br /> <br /> The word nonplussed is a term you don&rsquo;t hear a lot, but it&rsquo;s out there. When nonplussed is used as a noun, this means &ldquo;a state of utter perplexity&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Gobsmacked<br /> <br /> This word is British slang and means you&rsquo;re so surprised or astounded that you cannot speak.<br /> <br /> Tongue-Tied<br /> <br /> Remember when you met your girlfriend&rsquo;s/boyfriend&rsquo;s parents for the first time? Yeah, it&rsquo;s like that. Tongue-tied means: &ldquo;Unable to speak, as from shyness, embarrassment, or surprise.&rdquo; If you find yourself tongue-tied, you often end up suffering from a parallel condition known as flop sweat.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> &mdash; dictionary.com<br /> <br /> Local Education Sunday, February 12, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Outstanding cop http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Outstanding-cop_83541 Sergeant Nickoyon Brown, sub-officer in charge of stores at the police commissioner&rsquo;s office, is a firm believer in &ldquo;giving from the little you have because it will come back around ten-fold&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> But more than merely believing it, he puts it into practice. The 31-year-old is involved in a raft of volunteer and community development activities, and has won several awards for his work.<br /> <br /> He was recognised for stellar volunteerism in the 2014 Butch Stewart Community Award in the Protective Services Category. In 2015, he was a finalist in the American Chamber of Commerce Civil Leadership Awards, and he has twice been named the Lasco Top Cop for the Commissioner&rsquo;s Office, for 2015 and 2016.<br /> <br /> His most recent award is Most Outstanding Volunteer Tutor for 2016, which was awarded by Jamaica Youth Empowerment through Culture, Art and Nationalism (JAYECAN), an organisation that helps young people acquire the tools to tap into their intrinsic resources to improve their lives.<br /> <br /> The award was presented in late November 2016.<br /> <br /> Reacting to this latest nod, Sergeant Brown, who has been serving the Jamaica Constabulary Force since 2006, says: &ldquo;It really means a lot to me to win such an award. I am happy for awards like this as they showcase the work that people are doing. To me, it&rsquo;s like providing some hope in this dark and dangerous world&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He adds: &ldquo;I especially love helping children. I understand the value of education and I know financial restraints are one of the causes for children not receiving the education they need.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In 2015, Brown conceptualised a programme to help develop male students at his alma mater &mdash; Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High School &mdash; into positive, balanced and productive members of society. He hosts weekly mentorship sessions at the school, and he has hosted two retreats for them on the lawns of the Office of the Commissioner of Police. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Cockburn Gardens is located in a volatile section of Kingston, which makes the students vulnerable to being affected by or becoming involved in crime and violence,&rdquo; notes Sergeant Brown. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;In fact, a number of them had been impacted by the 2010 Tivoli Gardens operation. Through my interactions with the school I intend to show these boys a better way and help bridge the gap between them and the police. Major improvements have been seen in the attitude of these boys since the programme&rsquo;s start and I believe, if continued, even more significant changes will be reflected in their lives and the community in the future,&rdquo; he continued. <br /> <br /> In addition to the retreat, Sergeant Brown has also coordinated other programmes to recognise and reward the school&rsquo;s top achievers and promote scholastic excellence, such as the top performing boy and girl for each quarter, the top GSAT boy and girl and a quarterly essay competition. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am always happy to volunteer because I am a strong believer in helping others to achieve their goals,&rdquo; he says.<br /> <br /> Brown also volunteers with the Jamaica National Foundation, Youth Upliftment Through Employment, and gets involved in service activities at the University of the West Indies, where he is pursuing a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in public policy and management.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13619143/256406_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 05, 2017 12:00 AM 1 HEART launches three-year Absorptive Capacity programme http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/HEART-launches-three-year-Absorptive-Capacity-programme_88532 Approximately 10,000 HEART Trust/NTA trainees are slated to benefit from a three-year Absorptive Capacity programme which is to commence on April 1, 2017 in select tertiary institutions across the island. Students are to undergo skills training offered in industry-driven areas targeted for economic growth including Business Process Outsourcing, Agriculture, Transportation and Logistics and Hospitality Services. The programme is being implemented through a partnership between the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE) and the HEART Trust/NTA in light of demands for increased access to higher learning skills training opportunities.<br /> <br /> The announcement was made at the programme&rsquo;s launch on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at the Courtyard Hotel by Marriott in Kingston.<br /> <br /> The initiative is designed to expand access to National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) and the Caribbean Vocational Qualification(CVQ) certification programmes.<br /> <br /> Keynote speaker at the launch, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, said the Government was determined to break the cycle of poverty and the HEART Trust/NTA had a key role to play in the move to provide Jamaicans with access to income, amenities and information. &ldquo;HEART plays a big role in reducing inter-generational poverty in Jamaica as it cuts across all three dimensions. It is a critical tool of the Government in addressing poverty,&rdquo; said the prime minister.<br /> <br /> In endorsing the project Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid lauded the JCTE and HEART Trust/NTA for the inclusive programme. &ldquo;We do not want any child to be left behind and we have to provide the framework for our students to be trained and certified. I believe we have the capacity to make Jamaica the mecca for higher education in the western hemisphere,&rdquo; declared Minister Reid.<br /> <br /> Chairman of the HEART Trust/NTA Maxine P Wilson said she was pleasedTVET has gained the respect and recognition that it deserves in the Jamaican economy. &ldquo;We have infused technical vocational education and training in secondary institutions across the island and now, thanks to our partnership with the JCTE, the HEART Trust/NTA&rsquo;s TVET programmes will be offered in 17 JCTE-member tertiary level institutions islandwide,&rdquo; said the HEART chairman. <br /> <br /> The Absorptive Capacity project will be offered in JCTE institutions, including community and teachers colleges, the Western Hospitality Institute, Northern Caribbean University, MICO University College, International University of the Caribbean, College of Agriculture, Science and Education and the Caribbean Maritime Institute.<br /> <br /> In his remarks, Dr Cecil Cornwall, chairman of the JCTE, said it was important to disrupt the traditional education narrative and recognise the value of being technically competent. He stated that the programme will help to accommodate a portion of the 40-50,000 high school students who graduate annually. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13619191/256438_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 05, 2017 3:00 AM 3 Jamaica won&rsquo;t be ready for CXC e-testing any time soon http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Jamaica-won-t-be-ready-for-CXC-e-testing-any-time-soon_88521 Education minister Ruel Reid has applauded the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) on its launch last month of an electronic testing platform, even while conceding that Jamaica won&rsquo;t be ready &ldquo;any time soon&rdquo; to use the facility, especially not for exams with large numbers of candidates.<br /> <br /> At the end of January, CXC announced that 500 candidates from seven territories: Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Monserrat, and St Lucia sat the multiple-choice papers (paper one) in 12 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate subjects online. They, however, did the long-answer papers (paper two) the traditional way.<br /> <br /> Speaking with the  Jamaica Observer on Wednesday, Reid said Jamaica would have a series of challenges if any widescale use of the technology were attempted now. Among them, he pointed to a limited number of computers and computer labs in schools and insufficient bandwidth.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have some challenges, I must tell you. You have to keep the computers current; and you have to ensure that you have enough lab space. That&rsquo;s a challenge, I must tell you, because most schools are going to be hard-pressed to find more than 100 computer stations and when you have, let&rsquo;s say maths and English, with most high schools having 200 or 300 students sitting exams at one time, that is a logistical problem,&rdquo; the minister said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For maths and English, I don&rsquo;t think we&rsquo;re going to be ready any time soon to be able to do full e-exams,&rdquo; he added. <br /> <br /> Still, he is not dismissing the development. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I fully embrace it. I think it&rsquo;s forward-thinking and that&rsquo;s where the world is going,&rdquo; Reid said.<br /> <br /> In terms of solutions in the medium term, the minister suggested that schools could perhaps roster students to sit exams, or students could bring their own devices.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It could happen, but in a phased way and I&rsquo;m committed to it,&rdquo; the minister said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the way to go, and in a country where we&rsquo;re promoting BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and others for economic growth, we have to get technology right.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13613880/235917_62924_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, February 05, 2017 12:00 AM 3