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 Entrepreneurs learn the keys to success from Saint International boss http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Entrepreneurs-learn-the-keys-to-success-from-Saint-International-boss_93622 He candidly concedes that he made a ton of mistakes on his way to success, but bank staffer-turned-model management mogul and television host Deiwght Peters will gladly tell you that they have served as valuable lessons.<br /> <br /> That learning from failing, plus &ldquo;belly bottom burning passion&rdquo;, developing a &ldquo;tough outer coat&rdquo;, and a list of other gems, are among the reasons he says he and his boutique model agency Saint International Jamaica Limited have challenged established model houses and have risen to international acclaim. He has been credited with revolutionising the local and Caribbean model scene by introducing televised scouting competitions, live fashion shows, and widening the pool of talent.<br /> <br /> Peters was the lead voice in a conversation the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC)-facilitated at Knutsford Court hotel in Kingston on Wednesday. Called &lsquo;Lunch and Learn&rsquo;, it was intended to equip entrepreneurs with personal and business strategies necessary for the development of their businesses.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In my personal journey there were lessons learnt, mistakes made, certainly nuff a dat, but I am sure, like you all, I had that dream. I had that belly bottom burning passion for success. And one of the things we can all agree on here is that we will always come across people who want to put spokes in your wheel. [But] to surpass this and many of the other challenges that you will encounter, there are tenets that worked for me that I am sure could be useful on your individual journeys,&rdquo; Peters told the group.<br /> <br /> Among the keys he listed were:<br /> <br /> &bull; knowing who controls the dynamics of power in the industry; <br /> <br /> &bull; knowing the lay of the industry itself;<br /> <br /> &bull; developing a tough outer core; <br /> <br /> &bull; knowing and believing in oneself; and<br /> <br /> &bull; being bold.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is extraordinarily important as a business person ,and sometimes when we present ourselves in a certain way they say that we are cocky, show off or &lsquo;boasty&rsquo;, but I think those are all lovely things so, for me, I appreciate when people say it to me because it says that I have something that you don&rsquo;t have, &ldquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Peters also warned attendees against two thieves in business. The first he described as internalising negativity, defined by entrepreneurs allowing unhealthy criticisms and rumours to consume and later destroy them and which can ultimately lead to giving up on personal dreams in order to build other peoples. The second, he said, is the fear of falling. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Know that you will fall, but you must be ready to build the tenacity for when this happens to get up. Be ready to fight your fight,&rdquo; Peters encouraged.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A fundamental point taken from the conversation for me was being very protective of your company because there are people who are sitting and waiting to hear about someone else&rsquo;s idea so that they can run with, but we are confident in the guidance because we know that we will secure ultimate protection for our brand,&rdquo; Sasha Petrie, representative of Elsa&rsquo;s tea, a herbal tea company that specialises in relief for menstrual cramps and recently signed fresh clients of JBDC told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> Similarly, Emily Brown, a bridal designer, noted that her Achilles heel was explored in-depth and she had got the advice she needed to develop confidence in her line of business.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As Mr Peters said, you need to be confident and be bold and make it big. I also will need to research in greater depth the industry that I am in so that I can know more about the business, the expectations of systems, because it is our assumptions that put us back. My biggest handicap to date is holding back, but if I use the tips I got here today my problem is halfway solved,&rdquo; Brown said.<br /> <br /> JBDC said it initiated the intervention after witnessing one too many business fail on account of and fear of failure ,and a plethora or other challenges often cripple entrepreneurs and stymie the growth of their businesses in the absence of proper guidance.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;JBDC has recognised that business people are struggling, and sometimes it is just that they don&rsquo;t have the right attitudes or knowledge of business principles and so while we continuously support these businesses, it is important that we also facilitate their learning, which is the second of two objectives as outlined by our mandate at JBDC,&rdquo; Manager of Business Advisory Services Althea West Myers told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> She said initially the plan was to make the forum open to the corporation&rsquo;s over 200 existing clients; however, having recognised the magnitude of the challenges on a national scale a decision was made to open it to all interested entrepreneurs who were eager to learn pitfalls, challenges as well as tips to navigate them. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13734105/266563_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00 AM 1 Warders to impart skills training to inmates http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Warders-to-impart-skills-training-to-inmates_93611 AS the prison system inches closer towards a rehabilitative approach to justice, the Ministry of National Security, through the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), in partnership with HEART Trust/NTA&rsquo;s Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) will train 32 correctional officers in various skills which they will impart to inmates across the country.<br /> <br /> The programme, a train-the-trainer type, was announced at a special opening ceremony at the VDTI campus in St Andrew by Minister of state in the Ministry of National Security, Pearnel Charles Jr last Monday. It will encompass additional development of correctional officers who were previously trained and certified up to level three in National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica welding, general construction, carpentry, tailoring, electrical installation, cosmetology and other areas. <br /> <br /> While acknowledging that educational/vocational rehabilitation might not be able to cure inmates of their offending behaviours, the minister described the two-year partnership between the ministry and HEART as a holistic approach to addressing many of the problems plaguing the nation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is an established fact that education is a critical factor in transforming lives, communities and countries. Prisoners and wards should be included in our vision for an educated and productive society. [Therefore] effective and targeted correctional educational programmes should form an important part of the rehabilitation efforts in our institutions. The DCS values acknowledge education as a tool for fixing many of the problems that plague our institutions &mdash; especially behavioural &mdash; and more importantly, our society,&rdquo; the minister reasoned.<br /> <br /> He noted that with appropriate training, released offenders with exposure to certified trainers and standards-based training will be properly rehabilitated and be able to effectively use the knowledge and skills acquired to find and/or create jobs, become productive citizens, and contribute to the development of their families and communities.<br /> <br /> Charles Jr was not the only one with the belief that these training programmes could radically change inmates. At least one correctional officer set to participate in the second phase of training, having previously completed a diploma in web designing through Garmex, Charlane Williams, described the programme as &ldquo;God&rsquo;s gift to inmates&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am certainly very grateful to be a part of this cohort of officers to be trained, because now I am adept at a specialty area that is very applicable today. But I am even more heartened to see how eager the inmates here are when they know that they have classes. Previously, many of them were unemployed and this was partly because they were unemployable, and this programme is giving them an opportunity to change that,&rdquo; said the officer who is assigned to Fort Augusta.<br /> <br /> She argued that the courses offered to inmates have not only allowed them to acquire a skill, but have rendered them generally less aggressive as well. She noted too, that the facility was more likely to be incident free on days that classes were in session.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is a known fact, and the Jamaican proverb could easily be applied, the devil finds work for idle hands. I am happy that this initiative is being continued because the idle hands will be less. Inmates are now productively engaged and it is my hope that this project receives greater investments so that the programme can be expanded, that more resources will be invested to ensure the best-quality service is offered,&rdquo; Williams reasoned.<br /> <br /> Since the initial introduction of the programme following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the HEART Trust/NTA and the Department of Correctional Services in 2015, Senior Director Workforce Development and Employment Denworth Finnikin said that 173 inmates across the island have participated in several specialty areas including mixology, business, furniture and life skills.<br /> <br /> Deputy Commissioner of Corrections Joyce Stone acknowledged that the partnership with HEART has proven effective in completing a critical function of the prison system. which is to provide a quality rehabilitation framework from which offenders can benefit so that when they are released they are armed with skill sets that will make it easy for them to transition to society almost seamlessly.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13734221/266541_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00 AM 4 Teachers urged to find creative ways to teach maths http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Teachers-urged-to-find-creative-ways-to-teach-maths_93587 Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid is challenging teachers to find new and creative ways of teaching mathematics to students, including the incorporation of technology.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t be afraid of technology; don&rsquo;t feel, necessarily, that you are less of a person if you use the technology to aid the current process,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Senator Reid was speaking to JIS News following the Jamaica Public Service (JPS)/Marubeni Caribbean Power scholarship awards ceremony on Thursday, March 23, at the JPS offices located on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston.<br /> <br /> He informed that approximately 70 mathematics coaches have been placed in schools to assist teachers and &ldquo;we look forward to, over time, put in specialist maths teachers in the primary system&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He urged teachers to excite and motivate their students to learn. &ldquo;Learning needs to be fun... If we are going to make sure that our students master mathematics, the teaching has got to be fun as well. We can&rsquo;t, therefore, approach it in such a way where they lose interest,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The awards ceremony was to recognise 15 schools that received the highest ranking following tests under the Calculation Time programme. <br /> <br /> The Japanese-owned Marubeni Caribbean Power Inc, which is the parent company of JPS, presented $100,000 to each institution for the purchase of learning resources and equipment to improve the teaching and learning of maths.<br /> <br /> Introduced in 2011, Calculation Time is a collaborative effort between the governments of Japan and Jamaica, and is designed to improve students&rsquo; knowledge and appreciation of mathematics.<br /> <br /> The initiative incorporates the use of games, toys, music and other non-traditional tools as means of making the subject fun for the students.<br /> <br /> The education minister lauded the partnership between the countries in improving student achievement in mathematics.<br /> <br /> He noted that JPS will require a reservoir of quality, trained persons, so it is in the company&rsquo;s best interest to invest in a programme of mathematics.<br /> <br /> President and chief executive officer, Marubeni Caribbean Power Inc, Tatsuya Ozono, said the company is pleased to support education in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> He commended the Japanese Embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency &ldquo;which have continued this Calculation Time programme for five years&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He encouraged children to value the subject of mathematics, adding that it is the language that drives science. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is quite a useful tool to find a logical solution when you face problems. I wish that you will work hard and enjoy the art of science,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> The Calculation Time programme is now available in the form of an app at https://goo.gl/aSuP71, and is accessible to all students at the primary level. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12786926/192756_in_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00 AM 5 Second success conference this Friday http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Second-success-conference-this-Friday_93600 Students and young people from across the island are being invited to participate in a development and leadership programme which the organisers have billed The Success Conference.<br /> <br /> It is designed by Dr Velma May Brown-Hamilton to equip students with the mindset to succeed, while providing targeted mentorship and exposure to a range of career options. Using the theme &lsquo;You are in the Winner&rsquo;s Circle&rsquo;, the seminar is set for the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown, Kingston this Friday, March 31, beginning at 9:00 am.<br /> <br /> Dr Brown-Hamilton, who is president of the Children Upliftment and Restoration Foundation, spoke to the positioning of the event and the role it plays in larger discussions and actions toward sustainable development, particularly through education, attitude adjustments, and employment. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;An event of this nature can only help in the development of appropriate value systems and behaviours for our country on many levels. The minds of our youngsters need to be molded more than ever, as there are growing distractions that are very attractive but even more so, destructive to their respective futures. Programmes that encourage being gainfully engaged are a must for any society that has a vision for sustainable development,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> To achieve the desired impact, Brown-Hamilton has a slate of local and international guest speakers lined up. They will include: minister of Faith Center Ministries in Florida, Bishop Henry Fernandez; United Kingdom-based, young Internet income entrepreneur at Caribbean Linkage, Shernorva Abiona; international speaker from Dr Otan&rsquo;s Breakthrough Insiders Club, Dr Stan Harris; chief executive officer, Massy Gas Products, Rohan Ambersley; director, Aim Educational Services, Nicole Campbell; state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green; principal finance officer in the Ministry of Health, Michael Maragh; chief executive officer, Internet Income, Alicia Lyttle; executive director of Caribbean Maritime Institute, Dr Fritz Pinnock; and general manager, Jamaica Mortgage Bank, Courtney Wynter.<br /> <br /> To register, those interested may contact Mrs Tamieka Scott-Walters at (876)547-4204 or (876)824-5384 as well as via email at childrenupliftment@gmail.com. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13734087/266515__w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00 AM 5 15 schools receive Calculation Time awards http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/15-schools-receive-Calculation-Time-awards_93603 Jamaica Public Service (JPS) shareholder Marubeni on Thursday awarded 15 primary schools for their commendable performance in the Japanese-developed Mathematics programme called Calculation Time.<br /> <br /> The programme, a collaborative effort between the Government of Japan and Jamaica&rsquo;s Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, was designed to assist students at the primary level gain a better understanding of maths with the aid of games, toys, music, dots and other non-traditional tools. It was administered in pre- and post-test phases to students from 65 schools who were ranked based on their performance in both tests. The 15 schools with the highest grades following both tests were rewarded with monetary prizes for school-related supplies. They are: Kensington Primary, McIntosh Memorial Primary, Alpha Primary, Enfield Primary and Junior High, Farm Primary and Junior High, St Andrew Primary, Steer Town Primary and Junior High, Kitson Town All- Age, Boundbrook Primary, Seaward Primary and Junior High, Marverley fPrimary and Junior High, Brompton Primary, John Rollins Success Primary, Catadupa Primary and Junior High, and Port Henderson Primary.<br /> <br /> Calculation Time is now available free of cost in the form of an app at https://goo.gl/aSuP71. <br /> <br /> Tatsuya Ozono, President & CEO of Marubeni Caribbean Power Inc, thanked the maths teachers for the support shown with the programme and added, &ldquo;Maths is very important as it is the language of science.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Kelly Tomblin, president and CEO, JPS, lauded the students and encouraged them to, &ldquo;&hellip;be the best version of yourselves&rdquo;. She also stated that many people have been taught maths the wrong way. However, we should &ldquo;&hellip;try to avoid the &lsquo;Mad Myths of Math&rsquo; which promulgate that: 1. Maths is miserably hard, 2. Maths is not accessible and 3. Maths is boring.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> For his part, Minister of Education Ruel Reid said the initiative &ldquo;shows that we can leverage technology to teach&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have a responsibility to excite our students. Learning needs to be fun. It can&rsquo;t be approached in a way that causes our students to lose interest,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Calculation Time was first introduced in Jamaica in 2011 with Marubeni Caribbean Power Inc as the main affiliate of the project on behalf of Japan. Kyoko Machida, a Mathematics teacher who has worked in Japan and Singapore for 37 years and is a senior volunteer of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has been working out of the Core Curriculum Unit at the ministry and travels to primary schools to teach students how to use the programme. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13734076/266522_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00 AM 5 Rotary hosts 300 at career fair http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Rotary-hosts-300-at-career-fair_93586 With eager faces, notepads and pens in hand, over 300 students converged at the Worthington, Spanish Court Hotel Conference facilities in Kingston on Monday. The reason? The Rotary clubs of St Catherine, Kingston and St Andrew North&rsquo;s 32nd career expo.<br /> <br /> The event &mdash; which was initiated against the background of providing quality career guidance to students from schools less likely to either host their own career days, or to be in close proximity to open fairs &mdash; was this year held under the theme &lsquo;Careers in the Digital Age&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> Event chairperson, President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains Cicyln Joseph-Johnson said that the theme was in line with the reality of the current and projected global job market demands.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We recognised that as the job market demands are changing and that we, as part of our annual career day activities, had a responsibility to facilitate a formal introduction. This would expand their perspective beyond traditional jobs,&rdquo; she reasoned.<br /> <br /> Dayeshaninn Russell, a 14-year-old student of Bog Walk High School in St Catherine, was very clear on the urgency to educate students on the projected job demands. Prior to the event, however, he did not anticipate that his desire to expand on his existing knowledge would have been addressed.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To be honest, I expected it to be boring. I thought that I would sleep [but] then they started to talk about computers and why information technology is important and how it will dominate the jobs of the future and I forgot every plan to sleep.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Even though I want to become a lawyer and it is a traditional career, I know I can use technology to make aspects of my job such as research, storing information, among other things, much easier with the use of technology,&rdquo; Russell told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Keynote speaker at the event, Shereen Jones, chief information officer at the Jamaica National Group, sought to educate the students on the importance of taking special care to understand the fundamentals of information technology and its associated disciplines.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In today&rsquo;s digital age we have reached a stage where technology infiltrates everything. Technology has impacted and changed everything from agriculture, to law, to medicine, as well as computer science. Now almost every profession has been impacted in some way or another and so we want to ensure that you are making preparations for it because you just cannot escape it,&rdquo; Jones told the students.<br /> <br /> She went further to suggest that students should pursue information technology with as much enthusiasm as they are encouraged to study mathematics since it will form the centre of all interactions and engagements in the future.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As we know, mathematics is one of those subjects that is critical and applicable to almost everything you want to do in life. Well, today, Information technology or some other science related skill is the maths. It is and will be a part of all the professions that you will want to enter. My advice is: the IT may be difficult and the same may be true for the programming and other associated areas of expertise but [you must endure] if you want to have a foot in the door. Also, I hope that some of us will actually want to be the developers and not just the consumers of these applications,&rdquo; Jones said.<br /> <br /> In addition to Jones&rsquo; general advice, students were able to access career guidance in roundtable discussions with specialists and institutions including B&B University College Limited; College of Insurance and Professional Studies; University of Technology, Jamaica; The University of the West Indies, Mona; Heart Trust/NTA; and Project Management Institute Jamaica Chapter. They also received financial and personal development coaching from JN Savers, Central Traders Company Ltd and Rotary clubs. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733918/266488_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00 AM 5 What can I do with a science education degree? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/What-can-I-do-with-a-science-education-degree-_93591 Dear Career Advisor:<br /> <br /> What types of jobs can I get with a degree in science education?<br /> <br /> Yours truly,<br /> <br /> Romario<br /> <br /> Dear Romario,<br /> <br /> A degree in science education prepares you for a diverse field of career opportunities. Typically, in addition to the foundational education and science courses, the degree allows you to select an area of emphasis or specialisation, which generally includes biology, chemistry, physics, integrated science, and earth sciences. <br /> <br /> Your specialisation or emphasis will have a strong influence on the possible career options from which you might choose. Without a knowledge of the specialisation you intend to pursue, this response will give an overview of the broad field of probable opportunities a degree in science education might lead.<br /> <br /> Job opportunities may be found in the fields listed below. <br /> <br /> &bull; Teaching (Public or private schools at the primary, secondary or college/vocational institute level)<br /> <br /> &bull; Agriculture<br /> <br /> &bull; Marine Biology<br /> <br /> &bull; Forensic Science<br /> <br /> &bull; Research<br /> <br /> &bull; Manufacturing<br /> <br /> &bull; Quality Monitoring (Quality Assurance, Quality Control)<br /> <br /> &bull; Pharmaceutical Industry (manufacturing, product development, and sales)<br /> <br /> &bull; Museums<br /> <br /> &bull; Zoos<br /> <br /> &bull; Environmental (government agencies, consultancies, research, monitoring)<br /> <br /> &bull; Biomedicine (laboratory)<br /> <br /> &bull; Bio Informatics<br /> <br /> &bull; Sports<br /> <br /> &bull; Entrepreneurship (use your knowledge and skills to create your own wealth)<br /> <br /> &bull; Engineering<br /> <br /> &bull; Meteorology<br /> <br /> &bull; Telecommunications<br /> <br /> Permit me to add that:<br /> <br /> i. An earned degree qualifies you for a job, not entitles you to it. <br /> <br /> ii. Skills and competencies cut across industry lines.<br /> <br /> iii. Along with the knowledge, skills and abilities the degree in science education will foster, do not neglect to simultaneously develop and enhance good work ethic, key employability skills and a positive attitude.<br /> <br /> Finally, be prepared to take responsibility for the management of your career by developing the ability to clearly identify and articulate your abilities and strengths to a potential employer.<br /> <br /> All the best.<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 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12296093/career-advisor_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00 AM 5 Spanish-Jamaican Foundation donates $250,000 to UWIDEF in support of the study of Spanish http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Spanish-Jamaican-Foundation-donates--250-000-to-UWIDEF-in-support-of-the-study-of-Spanish_93562 The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF) awarded five bursarie each valued at $50,000 to young Jamaicans in need, who demonstrate passion and dedication in their study of the Spanish language. This is the third-consecutive year that they have made this award to the UWI Development & Endowment Fund (UWIDEF) bringing the total value of collection to $750,000 to date.<br /> <br /> Vanessa Meggoe, project manager of the SJF, visited the UWIDEF office at the Mona Campus on Friday and handed over the donation to Karl Wright, UWIDEF board director, during a ceremony to mark the event.<br /> <br /> UWIDEF has committed to continued support of the advancement of The University of the West Indies, Mona, acting as a &ldquo;bridge&rdquo; between the university and the wider community. The fund provides support for the welfare of students, including scholarships, scientific and academic research and development including ongoing contributions to the University Hospital of the West Indies.<br /> <br /> Meggoe congratulated UWIDEF for its ongoing efforts in seeking assistance in the provision of scholarships. Successful recipients of the SJF award will also be afforded the opportunity to &ldquo;give back&rdquo; as they will be made SJF youth ambassadors. In this capacity they will participate in SJF-supported community service projects.<br /> <br /> Wright expressed his sincere appreciation to the SJF&rsquo;s membership for the support and lauded their yearly contribution to the fund which provides much-needed support for those who seek to study modern languages at The UWI, Mona. <br /> <br /> The SJF&rsquo;s mandate is to foster partnerships between Spain and Jamaica through educational, cultural, environmental, and health-based initiatives geared towards community development and improving the lives of Jamaicans. <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733853/266477_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00 AM 5 After the GSAT storm http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/After-the-GSAT-storm_92817 Anxiety and nervousness would have now subsided across the island with the sitting of this year&rsquo;s Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) last Thursday and Friday.<br /> <br /> Recognised as a veritable rite of passage from the primary level to secondary level of education, parents, teachers and students execute a game plan of &lsquo;mission: possible&rsquo; to secure success. The pursuit of positive outcomes sees the harnessing of all resources and skills: all hands on deck.<br /> <br /> Reports from invigilators and administrators are that the 2017 staging of the examinations across the island was mostly incident-free.<br /> <br /> Just over 39,000 students at 1,109 centres sat papers in mathematics and social studies on day one, with day two featuring language arts, communication task and science.<br /> <br /> Minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green sought to congratulate the team, especially the Student Assessment Unit and all the regional coordinators, for the professional and efficient manner in which the examinations were conducted.<br /> <br /> He also encouraged parents to continue to support their children. &ldquo;Be sure to give then a well-earned reward for their hard work over the last two days,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer visited a number of schools at the end of the exams and noted the jubilant students, parents and teachers after a job seemingly well done.<br /> <br /> Career & Education shares some conversations from parents and students of Half-Way-Tree and St Richard&rsquo;s primary schools in the Corporate Area.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Reporting by <br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13717817/265001_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:00 AM 2 East Central St Catherine GSAT students get support http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/East-Central-St-Catherine-GSAT-students-get-support_92807 Since 2015, attorney-at-law Alando Terrelonge and his team have been engaged in a programme dubbed &lsquo;GSAT Education Programme&rsquo;. The effort was aimed at ensuring that the students in the constituency of St Catherine East Central sitting the exam all had an equal opportunity to successfully do so. Now in his first year as the official Member of Parliament (MP), the programme is in year three.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I decided on such a programme after speaking to the then principal at the Naggo Head Primary School, Principal Plummer, who indicated to me that some years students came to sit the exam without pencils and other items, which forced teachers to search for extra pencils to give the students so they could sit their exam,&rdquo; Terrelonge told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> At the inception, a partnership with Kingston Bookshop and Campbell&rsquo;s Stationery aided to provide pencils, erasers, sharpeners, and rulers to over 400 students who sat the examination at the Naggo Head Primary School.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In 2016, we were able to secure more sponsorship and extended the programme to Gregory Park Primary and Independence City Primary,&rdquo; said the first-time MP.<br /> <br /> This year, the team started a week of activities to benefit the Grade Six Achievement Test pupils. On Tuesday, Tuesday March 14, at the Gregory Park Primary School, the team shared morning devotion with 90 students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I gave them a motivational speech challenging them to believe in themselves and telling them how proud I am of them... Always have faith in yourself and trust in God to do the rest. Study hard, study well, and remember, &lsquo;if yuh want good yuh nose haffi run&rsquo;. Do not let anyone tell you that you are worthless or that you wont amount to anything. Be confident and work hard and you will realise that there is nothing that you set your mind to that you can&rsquo;t achieve,&rdquo; the team leader told Career & Education. This was followed by the distribution of stationery packages consisting of pencils, sharpeners, erasers, and rulers to each student.<br /> <br /> Similar activities were held at Naggo Head Primary School with a grade six cohort of over 400 students. The children eagerly awaited what has now become a tradition. The entire school community welcomed the gesture.<br /> <br /> The student population, from grades one to six, at Independence City Primary, shared in the exercise when the wave of encouragement reached them.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I wanted to do this to build a culture of excellence at this school and give the younger students something to look forward to when they reached grade six,&rdquo; said Terrelonge.<br /> <br /> This year, the education programme got bigger and better. Not only did the team provide stationery and supplies for the 650 students sitting the exam in the constituency, but each student, on both Thursday and Friday, received breakfast.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As the Member of Parliament, parents often come to me and ask for assistance with providing food or lunch money for their children. Many teachers have also sought my intervention in assisting with a breakfast programme for some very needy students who weren&rsquo;t able to get on the PATH [Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education],&rdquo; Terrelonge explained.<br /> <br /> He added: &ldquo;I am aware of many students who are often forced to stay home because their parents could not afford to send them to school due to lack of financial resources, so this year I wanted all of my GSAT students to sit their exam without worrying about breakfast, etc. I approached Chris Williams at Proven Investments Limited and he loved the idea. And just like that he and his team came on board and funded the breakfast for our 650 students as our main sponsor. Catherine Goodall from Lasco and Karl Wynter from Geddes also came on board and offered some assistance.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I maintain that the key to transforming any nation rests in transforming the lives of our children through solid education. To that end, I have made education the primary focus of my constituency development plan. Imagine the possibilities if we each spent an hour or two each week mentoring, educating and inspiring the next children? They would beendless.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Terrelonge thanked the principal and his staff at Gregory Park, Naggo Head, and Independence City primary schools for the hard work in preparing the students. Specific mention was made of the Fullers and team at Kingston Bookshop for providing stationery for the third year and to George Neil and his team from Index who joined the effort this year. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13717844/265055__w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:00 AM 4 Mico launches conversation series http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Mico-launches-conversation-series_92765 The Mico Universiy College announced on Wednesday that it will begin a series of public discussion fora with a view to engaging the nation in the development and implementation of education policy.<br /> <br /> The first in the series, called The Mico Education Conversation Series, is set for this Wednesday, March 23, at the Enos Nuttal Lecture Theatre, on the Mico campus on Marescaux Road, starting at 6:00 pm.<br /> <br /> The topic of discussion will be: &lsquo;Migration of Teachers: Opportunities for game-changing strategies for teacher education&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> Mico says it is using the conversation series to deepen its contribution to the education sector by adding its voice to the national conversation, adding that the series will seek to identify leaders in education, locally, regionally and internationally, who can add value to the university college&rsquo;s work to provide the education system with teachers who prepare people with world class competencies and certification.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Mico University College will be using this conversation series to engage the nation on dialogue that will contribute to education policy and initiatives towards the development of the country,&rdquo; stated Professor Neville Ying, pro-chancellor of the university college. <br /> <br /> Two additional conversations will take place later in the year and will cover themes such as crime and violence, education and economic growth. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493426/246356_72884_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Nestl&eacute; Jamaica takes on youth unemployment http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Nestl--Jamaica-takes-on-youth-unemployment_92842 Hundreds of students from university campuses across the Corporate Area flocked Alfred Sangster Auditorium at the University of Technology, Jamaica&rsquo;s Papine campus for the second staging of the Nestl&Atilde;&copy; Needs YOUth event aimed at facilitating youth development in Jamaica. <br /> <br /> A three-year programme, Nestl&Atilde;&copy; Needs YOUth lends support to young people in their transition from university to the workforce. Through this programme, Nestl&Atilde;&copy; aims to contribute to the reduction in the youth skills and employability gap, in addition to reinforcing young people&rsquo;s social integration into the workforce.<br /> <br /> Country manager for Nestl&Atilde;&copy; Jamaica Daniel Caron, addressing the gathering, said: &ldquo;There is a growing issue of companies not being able to secure good talent because, at the recruitment stage, the employability skills are not at expected levels. Poorly written r&Atilde;&copy;sum&Atilde;&copy;s, poor interviews and insufficient communications skills contribute to a delay in the time it takes to hire. <br /> <br /> The well-attended event took the form of a career journey where students were engaged in activities related to preparing for the world of work. Students were given the opportunity to participate in live, on-the-spot interviews for the chance to earn internships, summer jobs and participate in monthly career coaching workshops with Nestl&Atilde;&copy; and other corporate partners in as early as June.<br /> <br /> According to David Heath, Nestl&Atilde;&copy; Jamaica human resources business partner, &ldquo;The objective of this job fair is not only to support Jamaica&rsquo;s youth in identifying the opportunities or pathways to achieve their career goals, but to also equip them with the necessary skills to perform with distinction in their chosen paths.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Keynote speaker at the event was Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern Lisa Hanna encouraged the attendees to seize the opportunity presented by Nestl&Atilde;&copy; and work towards being the leaders of tomorrow. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13717813/265066_91290_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Teachers are therapists too http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Teachers-are-therapists-too_91821 Child<br /> <br /> abuse is more widespread and affects more social and economic groups in our society than the statistics suggest. Confronting the scourge requires intervention not only from the authorities, but from the entire community. Educators, in particular, have a major role to play in identifying and reporting cases of abuse, in addition to helping victimised students through the healing process.<br /> <br /> Nowadays, educators must take on the role of therapist as well as teacher. Children spend a large portion of their day in school, which provides a great opportunity for the educator to access and assess the students. A caring teacher is very often the most trusted adult in the life of a child. But many teachers have not been adequately trained or prepared for the complex social issues that so strongly affect abused children. The primary goal of the education system is to teach, but barriers that impede learning must be removed for this to take place effectively. Child abuse is one such obstacle.<br /> <br /> Types of child abuse<br /> <br /> There are four major types which I will discuss:<br /> <br /> &bull; Physical abuse<br /> <br /> This is a non-accidental physical injury inflicted on a child. The teacher should be observant of unexplained bruises, welts, bite marks, or even bald spots where hair has been dragged out. Be on the lookout for unexplained burns, fractures, etc.<br /> <br /> Students suffering from physical abuse usually show extremes in behaviour. They can either be withdrawn or aggressive. A common tell-tale sign is when a child seems very afraid of getting in trouble or getting a poor grade. You may even notice that they are uncomfortable with physical contact.<br /> <br /> &bull; Sexual abuse<br /> <br /> This may include exploitation, molestation or prostitution of a child. This abuse is usually perpetrated by someone the child knows and trusts. It may be overt or covert. Overt sexual abuse is any form of &ldquo;hands on&rdquo; sexual abuse of a child. Examples include unwanted touching of any body part. Covert sexual abuse is more difficult to detect, but can be equally distressing to a child. It does not include physical contact and the perpetrator may feel no sense of guilt. Examples include voyeurism, asking the child to view pornography, or taking inappropriate photos of the child. A teacher may observe that the student may have difficulty walking or sitting. These students typically suffer from chronic depression or they may be excessively seductive. They suffer from poor self-esteem and may lack emotional self-control. They may even be openly promiscuous.<br /> <br /> &bull; Emotional Abuse <br /> <br /> This includes routinely ignoring, criticising, shaming, and yelling at children. It also includes treating siblings unequally. It is often detected by observing behaviour, but it can manifest in other detectable ways. Victims may show speech disorders, bed wetting and other health problems. They may have patterns of sucking thumbs, biting, rocking, and may demonstrate anxiety, extreme emotions and suicidal thoughts and behaviour.<br /> <br /> &bull; Child neglect<br /> <br /> This is when a parent or caregiver does not provide the care, supervision, affection, and support needed for a child&rsquo;s health, safety and well-being. It usually leaves no visible scars and is therefore more difficult to detect. Nonetheless, the consequences are just as serious as physical abuse.<br /> <br /> A safe classroom<br /> <br /> A safe classroom is one in which students feel loved, cared for and comfortable. The most important feature in a safe classroom is the teacher&rsquo;s attitude towards students. To offer support, the teacher must be approachable. Positive body language must be seen for a child to confide in you as a teacher. It is important to actively listen. The teacher must be sensitive about responding. The teacher&rsquo;s response should make it clear that the child has been heard, and one must also validate the child&rsquo;s feelings without passing judgement.<br /> <br /> There are times when the student may recant a story, and this is likely due to fear, threats or increased abuse. Most experts agree that children do not have the ability to make up complex lies, especially as it relates to adult sexual behaviour. So be sure to make reports to the relevant authorities.<br /> <br /> Dr Karla Hylton is the author of <br /> <br /> Yes! You Can Help Your Child Achieve Academic Success and Complete Chemistry for Caribbean High Schools.<br /> <br /> She operates Bio & Chem Tutoring, which specialises in secondary level biology and chemistry. Reach her at (876) 564-1347,<br /> <br /> biochemtutor100@<br /> <br /> gmail.com or khylton.com. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13229783/223598_51107_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Hidden Figures inspires girls who code http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Hidden-Figures-inspires-girls-who-code_91085 Learning how to code is good for your brain&rsquo;s development and can take you to the top of your chosen profession. <br /> <br /> That&rsquo;s what Melanie Subratie, chairperson of Jamaica Girls Coding, told more than 80 girls, aged 11-14, from high schools and places of safety, at a special viewing of the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures late last month.<br /> <br /> The film, starring Octavia Spencer, Taraji P Henson, and Janelle Monae, tells the story of a group of black women who played pivotal roles in the early days of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration&rsquo;s space programme, in particular John Glen&rsquo;s landmark first orbit around the Earth. <br /> <br /> The Jamaica Girls Coding event, staged in concert with the Seprod Foundation, was designed to inspire girls from Kingston High School, Trench Town Polytechnic, Merl Grove High School, Campion College, Homestead Child Care Facilities, and Maxfield Park Children&rsquo;s Home to embrace what is possible when they enhance their skills in coding and mathematics.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re thinking of any profession, these skills can only get you to the top of that profession. And learning them is actually pretty good for your brain, as it enhances critical thinking and many other areas,&rdquo; Subratie told the girls prior to the showing of the film at the Palace Cineplex at Sovereign Centre.<br /> <br /> She said, too, that there were themes in the movie that were relevant to Jamaica today, urging the girls to take the lessons home, use them wisely and empower themselves. Some of those themes found fertile ground with the girls who spoke glowingly about the movie afterwards. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I thought it was really good because it showed how much girls can do even though we are in a genderised society where men should do this and women should do that,&rdquo; said Lauren Campbell of the LEGO Robotics Group who attended the viewing. <br /> <br /> Kadie Hunter of Merl Grove said she was inspired to work hard to achieve success, no matter how hard people tried to put her down. <br /> <br /> But the children were not the only ones moved by Hidden Figures. Lorna Green, the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Digital Transtec Limited, said she was moved to tears. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;My background is computer science and mathematics. I came out of that time when those programming languages were used,&rdquo; said Green, a member of Girls who Code and Women Business Owners. &ldquo;As soon as I saw it I put it on the table and said, &lsquo;Let&rsquo;s bring the girls and some boys to see it.&rsquo; So, I am happy, excited, and hope we continue this in terms of the very good movies that are coming out to inspire young people today.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> General secretary of the People&rsquo;s National Party Julian Robinson was also in attendance, and he, too, found the film uplifting. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was very inspiring,&rdquo; said Robinson, a co-founder of the Girls Who Code camp. &ldquo;There are so many lessons; issues of breaking down barriers, striving for excellence, not allowing people to limit what you can do, and the power of diversity and the importance of not having policies which discriminate against persons,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I hope it was an inspiration for the young ladies to show them that anything they set their minds on&hellip; they can achieve anything in life and that they can be world beaters.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> For more than three years the Seprod Foundation has funded Jamaica Girls Coding &mdash; a programme through which young girls are taught computer coding.<br /> <br /> Subratie believes that Jamaicans are creative, and that learning coding can take Jamaica to the next level.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We came on board with Jamaica Girls Coding, and over three years provided summer camps for up to 80 girls to learn computer programming&hellip;to improve on our knowledge economy,&rdquo; she said at an event in 2016 to announce 26 Seprod Foundation scholarships awarded to successful Grade Six Achievement Test students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jamaicans are creative people, incredibly entrepreneurial, so why not be creators of technology and not just consumers of it?&rdquo; she asked. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13717535/262655_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:00 AM 5 MIND starts diploma in auditing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/MIND-starts-diploma-in-auditing_92774 The Management Institute for National Development (MIND) has launched a Diploma in Auditing programme aimed at enhancing the skills and competencies of auditors in the public and private sectors.<br /> <br /> The diploma programme was developed through collaboration with the Internal Audit Directorate of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and replaces the auditing techniques programme previously offered by MIND.<br /> <br /> State minister in the Ministry of Finance Fayval Williams, speaking at the launch ceremony at MIND&rsquo;s Old Hope Road campus, in Kingston, last week, said the programme is timely, as it is in line with the Government&rsquo;s commitment to be fiscally prudent in the management of the nation&rsquo;s affairs.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Additionally, public sector transformation is a critical commitment that we have made, so now more than ever we will need auditors who can integrate performance improvement audits into the audit process and make recommendations regarding management, control processes and governance,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Emphasing that auditors are pivotal to good governance, Williams explained that the Diploma in Auditing is indicative of the seriousness with which the ministry deems its role and function.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is, therefore, imperative that we equip you with the requisite knowledge, skills and competencies to support the public-sector transformation and the economic growth initiative,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Auditor General Pamela Munroe-Ellis congratulated MIND and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for the programme and for the collaborative approach used to engage stakeholders in the development of the curriculum.<br /> <br /> She noted that the diploma programme is particularly relevant as it lends to the effort to strengthen public institutions and support the Government&rsquo;s commitment to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 16, which focuses on building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.<br /> <br /> The programme aims to improve delivery of auditing services in risk control and governance. This will facilitate an organisation improving its ability to implement and realise specific goals to enhance its credibility, profitability and competitiveness.<br /> <br /> It will be delivered by a team of facilitators who are experts in the field of auditing.<br /> <br /> Level One includes auditing fundamentals, consisting of four modules; Level Two has three modules; and Level Three is information technology audits, with seven modules.<br /> <br /> Some 130 people have, so far, registered for the first cohort of the programme in Kingston, which MIND intends to offer eventually in Montego Bay and Mandeville. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13717534/264960_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:00 AM 5 GSAT students get anti-stress lessons http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/GSAT-students-get-anti-stress-lessons_92695 AFTER months of preparing for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), students completed the first set of papers yesterday and will be free when they complete the final sitting today.<br /> <br /> While much work has been invested to ensure students were equipped with the right material for each assessment, one St Andrew-based school wanted to make sure that its students were also armed with the appropriate techniques to manage the stress and other anxieties during the exam.<br /> <br /> Last week, for the second consecutive year, Rousseau Primary invited orthopaedic surgeon Dr Rory Dixon to the school&rsquo;s annual GSAT Motivational Talk to demonstrate how students could ward off stress and anxiety by practising better sitting posture and exercises.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As soon as you wake up you can improve your brain activity and general alertness through exercise. As part of your &lsquo;wake up&rsquo; exercise, do some stretches and a warm-up march, possibly to soothing music, before showering. Then you want to do some gentle head spins, roll your shoulders and torso. Also, roll your thighs in a circular manner to improve blood flow,&rdquo; Dr Dixon advised students, who were busy writing down tips.<br /> <br /> Dr Dixon said that these exercises generally encourage alertness and confidence but in order to ensure longevity for the exams there are other exercises for students to practise so that they do not become uncomfortable or exhausted to the point that it affects their performance.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Your brain is the most important organ. It weighs 10 pounds; therefore, you want to ensure you keep it squarely on your shoulders and not lean forwards from your neck as it will cause neck pain. Next, make sure you sit down at your desk properly with your feet squarely to the ground. Sit close to the desk with feet flat on the floor with your back upright and relaxed with elbows at 90 degrees,&rdquo; Dr Dixon told the students, while physiotherapist at the Kingston Public Hospital Christopher Kelly demonstrated the proper sitting procedure.<br /> <br /> He also advised students that maximising blood flow to the brain is also important and may be achieved through stretching the basic muscles. He demonstrated a variety of workouts that do not require students to leave their seats &ndash; including hand, finger, shoulder and arm exercises, leg and calf muscle workouts, and head and ankle rotation techniques. These techniques, Dr Dixon said, has the added benefit of reducing body tension and warding off sleepiness.<br /> <br /> Dr Dixon also told the students to do deep breathing exercises to aid in concentration, focus and to avoid examination fatigue. In addition, he said students should aim for the recommended eight hours of sleep all the time but particularly before exams, as well as they should avoid sleeping with the light on.<br /> <br /> Rousseau Primary principal Owen Speid, in addressing the more than 200 students, told them that they were properly prepared and ready to tackle the communication task test which is usually administered on the second of the two-day exam.<br /> <br /> He told students that they should read through the questions at least twice before answering, to analyse and to point out keywords when they are unclear about what is being asked, or to use context clues to understand questions asked or situations presented in the exam. He also told them of the importance of using synonyms when writing stories, writing a plan before a story is written, and most importantly, reading over and checking all information written down, a principle which he said should be used as a guide in all exams.<br /> <br /> Students were also advised on the importance of using cushions to reduce pain and tiredness associated with sitting for lengthy periods and reduce sweating from direct contact with a metal chair. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13715147/264751__w300.jpg Local News Friday, March 17, 2017 2:00 AM 5 Wheatley says UTech&rsquo;s degree critical to regional cooperation on climate change http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Wheatley-says-UTech-s-degree-critical-to-regional-cooperation-on-climate-change_92267 Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley says the Master&rsquo;s of Science in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change recently launched at the University of Technology (UTech) will play an important role in Jamaica&rsquo;s collaboration with Caricom on green economy development.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is a pioneer programme that will graduate critical thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs in the sustainable energy and green economy fields,&rdquo; Dr Wheatley told last Tuesday&rsquo;s Renewable Energy Central America and Caribbean Congress in Panama.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is expected that graduates of this master&rsquo;s programme, which begins in May 2017, should grow our home base of sustainable energy and green economy sector researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs, fitting squarely into the green economy direction Jamaica is heading, and squarely into Government&rsquo;s development agenda,&rdquo; the minister said.<br /> <br /> He told the congress that as a result of growing interest in the subject, 15.5 per cent of electricity was generated from renewables in 2016, and these new plants are expected to make even greater contributions in 2017.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I believe the renewable energy bug has more than bitten Jamaica. I have visited many sites, schools and other public institutions that have been retrofitted with alternative energy solutions, such as LED lighting and PV (photovoltaic) systems,&rdquo; Wheatley said.<br /> <br /> In 2016 alone, some 80.0 megawatts of renewable energy generation were commissioned into service in Jamaica, comprising 60.0 megawatts of wind and a 20.0-megawatts solar power plant, he added.<br /> <br /> He noted that, having successfully implemented three phases of wind farm solutions up to 63.2 megawatt capacity, the Wigton Windfarm commissioned into service its upgraded resource centre in November, with a modern renewable energy training laboratory, outfitted with working models.<br /> <br /> He pointed out that Wigton has also instituted a &lsquo;train the trainers&rsquo; programme, to ensure local sustainability for the development of renewable technologies, as it positions itself to serve as a premier renewable energy training facility for the region.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In addition, I also granted a licence to Eight Rivers Energy Company for the build, own and operation of a 37.0 megawatt solar power plant to be commissioned in 2018, which will further contribute to the decreased dependence on the volatile fossil fuel,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Dr Wheatley said that between 2012 and 2016, Jamaica cut its importation of oil and, if this continues, the country will be able to save over US$1.7 billion by 2020.<br /> <br /> Wheatley delivered the keynote ministerial opening address at the second Central American and Caribbean Renewable Energy Congress, RECAM 2017, in Panama City.<br /> <br /> A news release from the ministry last Monday said that the congress, which ended on March 9, serves as a networking opportunity for the more than 350 senior renewable energy executives in the Central American and Caribbean region, and policymakers. It also places emphasis on green energy sector best practices, national policies, and case studies in the field. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13705348/Wheatley_w504_w300.jpg Local News Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Jamaica&rsquo;s Michelle Thomas up for Commonwealth award http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Jamaica-s-Michelle-Thomas-up-for-Commonwealth-award_92097 Twenty-five-year-old ttorney-at-law Michelle Thomas of Jamaica is a finalist in the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work.<br /> <br /> Thomas, who hails from Cooreville Gardens, St Andrew, is going up against 16 other young people from 13 countries across the Commonwealth, among them the founder of a youth-led organisation in Papua New Guinea that uses sport as a tool to end violence against women, and the owner of a Nigerian company which uses geo-mapping to recycle waste.<br /> <br /> For her part, Thomas is founder of &lsquo;No Crime Movement&rsquo; that provides a platform to build support for a society based on respect for human rights. The project targets over 3,000 young people including women who were subjected to sexual abuse, young people who are in prison, and those living with disabilities, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT) youth. Her work emphasises an increase in citizen involvement and community-level policing.<br /> <br /> The winner &mdash; the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year &mdash; will be announced at an awards ceremony at Marlborough House in London this Wednesday, March 15.<br /> <br /> Repeated attempts to reach Thomas last week were unsuccessful, but in an interview with our sister publication All Woman a year ago, the young woman said social involvement is almost second nature to her. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;For me, to be a lawyer and not give back to society would be the highest level of hypocrisy, because I am who I am today because of my involvement and passion to serve my country and stand out,&rdquo; she said then.<br /> <br /> She is director of Cultural Programmes at Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism, a member of the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassador Network, the Kingston and St Andrew Festival Queen for 2016 and third-place finisher in the national competition, a Governor General I Believe ambassador, special projects chairperson at Educatours Jamaica, a member of the Kingston Open Bible&rsquo;s youth ministry, mentor for the Denham Town High School debate team, and a litany of others.<br /> <br /> The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work celebrate outstanding adolescents and young adults aged 15-29 from Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Americas, Africa and Europe, who are leading initiatives ranging from poverty alleviation to peace-building.<br /> <br /> This year&rsquo;s group of finalists are recognised for spearheading projects that will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals &mdash; a set of 17 global targets that governments have committed to achieve by 2030.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Through their own initiative, young leaders in communities across the world are delivering on the ambitious agenda set by governments on everything from eliminating hunger to protecting the environment,&rdquo; said Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All of the outstanding finalists... have demonstrated that young people are central to bringing forward positive change. Through these awards, we seek to celebrate their achievements and inspire others to follow in their footsteps, and encourage high level support for youth-led development efforts.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges including representatives of Commonwealth High Commissions, Commonwealth organisations and young leaders. <br /> <br /> One of the judges, Angelique Pouponneau, vice-chair of the Commonwealth Youth Council, commented that &ldquo;each of the youth awardees&rsquo; stories has brought inspiration and faith that today and tomorrow are in good hands with young people as equal partners of development&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> In addition to The Commonwealth Young Person of the Year, regional young persons of the year for Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and the Americas, Africa and Europe will also be named on Wednesday. The shortlisted finalists are: Michael Sheldrick, Australia; Towfique Ahmad Khan and Ukhengching Marma, Bangladesh; Ishita Aggarwal, Canada; Tricia Teekah, Guyana; Michelle Thomas, Jamaica; Charles Lipenga, Malawi; Charles Immanuel Akhimien, Owobi Emmanuel, and Destiny Frederick, Nigeria; Hadiqa Bashir, Pakistan; Jacqueline Joseph and Raylance Mesa, Papua New Guinea; Krystle Reid, Sri Lanka; R Tamira L V Browne, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines; Charles Batte, Uganda; and Jonathan Andrews and Yentyl Williams, United Kingdom.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13701838/263567__w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:00 AM 1 Airy Castle readies for GSAT despite fire, no electricity http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Airy-Castle-readies-for-GSAT-despite-fire--no-electricity_92076 Less than a week before its students sit the high-school qualifying Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), Airy Castle Primary School in St Thomas has no electricity and does not know when the utility will be restored.<br /> <br /> GSAT is scheduled for this Thursday and Friday, March 16 and 17 respectively.<br /> <br /> A fire at the school razed the library, computer lab/resource room and canteen a month ago, causing extensive infrastructure damage and knocking out power to the facility.<br /> <br /> Since then, the students have had to move outside for classes, especially when overcast skies block out the sun. In instances of heavy rain, the teachers did oral or practical sessions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;On a given day like today (Thursday) where it is very overcast, the classroom was dark. We have had to even go as far as put them on the corridors because the classroom might be too dark for them to function,&rdquo; Principal Dawn Graham told the Jamaica Observer. <br /> <br /> She is hopeful that electricity will be restored in time for the exams. Otherwise, her students will have to sit the test at nearby schools such as Bath Primary and Port Morant Primary, and she is not very fond of the idea.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A change of environment now is not the best thing for them. It&rsquo;s not good to wake up and find yourself in exams sitting around students you&rsquo;ve never seen before, in buildings you have never been in before,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> Graham said the Ministry of Education and service provider Jamaica Public Service were working to have the power restored. <br /> <br /> In spite of the lack of electricity and the adjustments both students and teachers have had to make as a result, Graham said the situation has not negatively impacted the students&rsquo; exam preparation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Preparation for GSAT is going well. We have just minor setbacks, with the fire on the 13th of February. We did not allow it to affect their (the students) instruction, except for the said day. The grade six students returned the next day. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;They have been exposed to the mandated five hours a day plus additional classes are held for them on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays by their class teacher Mrs Tezeta Sterling-Wynter who is very, very dedicated. Even when we had the Ash Wednesday mid-term recently, she had class on the Thursday, Graham told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> Graham is confident that her students are ready for the exam, using the results of the national mock exam that was introduced this year as a key indicator. She said the highest grades received for mathematics and communication task were 91 per cent and 11/12 respectively. She also attributed the students&rsquo; readiness to Sterling-Wynter&rsquo;s efforts, which she said has resulted in placements to prominent high schools in the past.<br /> <br /> On the subject of the mock exam, Graham believes it is a good initiative, but thinks it would be more useful if this is done in either late February or early March, after the students are exposed to the entire syllabus. <br /> <br /> Airy Castle is currently accepting donations to fund the repairs through National Commercial Bank (NCB) account number 641001333. Donors from overseas will need the swiss code JNCBJMKX and routing number 64077.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Falon Folkes http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13701869/263621_89986_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:00 AM 2 Should I study forensic accounting? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Should-I-study-forensic-accounting_92075 Dear Career Advisor:<br /> <br /> I came across one of your columns and I believe you provide well-needed assistance to those who have concerns regarding career choices. I am also in need of your assistance. I am a third year student at one of our local universities pursuing a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in business administration. My major is accounting, with a minor in international business. A friend encouraged me to start thinking about what type of accountant I would like to become. Upon doing research, I became very fascinated with forensic accounting. I would also like to go further in becoming a certified fraud examiner. I am not sure if this is really a good option especially in Jamaica. However, I have no problem working overseas. I would really like your opinion on this career option. Looking forward to your response.<br /> <br /> Regards,<br /> <br /> R S<br /> <br /> Dear RS<br /> <br /> Thank you for your affirmation. Commendations to you on your advancement in your programme of study. Your friend&rsquo;s recommendation that you consider potential career pathways was spot-on. All tertiary level students should take that approach. Your degree combination of international business with accounting will form an excellent launching pad for your desired career in forensic accounting. <br /> <br /> It is a relatively new specialisation but one which has been internationally ranked among the top 20 trending careers. Success in the field will be enhanced by a strong business background, excellent understanding of the operations of business, and a keen appreciation for legal processes. <br /> <br /> You might not necessarily see many local vacancy advertisements for positions as forensic accountants. However, there are many areas of service for which the knowledge, competencies and skills derived from the training can be applied and are in demand. These include, but are not limited to:<br /> <br /> &bull; accounting firms<br /> <br /> &bull; law firms<br /> <br /> &bull; the justice system<br /> <br /> &bull; banks<br /> <br /> &bull; insurance companies and insurance assessors<br /> <br /> &bull; the police force<br /> <br /> &bull; teaching<br /> <br /> &bull; government ministries and agencies<br /> <br /> &bull; private investigating companies<br /> <br /> &bull; management<br /> <br /> &bull; independent investigating and consultancy.<br /> <br /> Opportunities for certified fraud examiners, though also a relatively new field in Jamaica, are increasing. <br /> <br /> You are embarking on a potentially exciting and gratifying career. Aim for excellence in your programme of study and subsequent preparation. The outcomes should be very rewarding.<br /> <br /> All the best.<br /> <br /> Career Advisor<br /> <br /> Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit questions to her at careeradvisor@ncu.edu.jm. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13701715/263492_89818_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:00 AM 3 In the fast lane with Red Lane http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/In-the-fast-lane-with-Red-Lane_92111 Montego Bay, St James &mdash; Dorothea Grant&rsquo;s grasp on team building and revenue management has led the spa at Sandals Royal Caribbean to be one of the top spas in the Luxury Included&Acirc;&reg; resort chain which spans the Caribbean, thereby securing her reign as a manager of innovation and ambition. <br /> <br /> Her journey to success started with her grandmother, with whom she, her siblings, and other younger relatives were raised. Grant admired the strength of her guardian as she maintained a happy and healthy household for her family while her mother bustled at work as a store manager &mdash; a job that would subconsciously inspire a young Dorothea to eventually pursue a career in revenue management. As a youngster, the Harrison Town, Ocho Rios-born girl dreamt of embodying her mother&rsquo;s elegance, industriousness and professionalism. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;From an early age, I saw myself as an executive, a leader. Not fully understanding what it entailed but the dress, the demeanour and everything that came with it intrigued me,&rdquo; explained Grant. <br /> <br /> After completing high school, Grant did a one year course at Ocho Rios School of Hospitality, which subsequently landed her a one-month internship at Sandals Ocho Rios (now Sandals Ochi Beach Resort) as front office agent in 1998. The quick-witted and effervescent Grant grasped the concept of front desk operations rapidly, and left an indelible mark on both her superior and peers. This resulted in her being offered a part-time position as lobby hostess. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I remember how grateful I was for the opportunity. I loved being on the forefront and dealing with guest arrivals and making them feel at home. It was the best part of the job,&rdquo; Grant, who describes herself as a conversationalist, told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> She was soon promoted to front desk receptionist in a full-time post. <br /> <br /> On her journey to professional discovery, Grant parted ways with the company for a few years, returning to Sandals Royal Plantation as spa receptionist in 2001. She continued to excel for the next eight years, pursuing on-the-job skills training opportunities and working closely with the then regional spa manager, before making her transition to spa assistant manager in 2009. Reporting directly to a regional manager who floated between resorts saw Grant owning full responsibility of the team and facility in her absence. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Knowing that I was the sole person responsible for the spa allowed me to step up and execute all that I learnt over the years. Failure was never an option. I had to be the best,&rdquo; Grant confidently expressed. <br /> <br /> Grant exceeded her colleague&rsquo;s expectations in the supervisory position, resulting in her winning awards such as Team Member of the Year as well as Supervisor of the Year at the resort&rsquo;s annual staff awards ceremony. She was soon promoted to Spa Manager at Sandals Montego Bay, with the receptionist at Sandals Royal Plantation matriculating as her successor. <br /> <br /> The journey did not stop there for the revenue guru. In 2016, the go-getter was transferred to Sandals Royal Caribbean where she continues to represent the number one income-generation spa facility in the chain. But she has not allowed her almost 20 years of experience to make her complacenct. Through Sandals Corporate University, the radiant and endearing senior manager has made use of opportunities to advance her skillsets through Harvard&rsquo;s Leadership and Communication certification and an associate degree in business management from the University College of the Caribbean. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Professional development is an ongoing process that continues throughout someone&rsquo;s career. To many, this may be the accolades that you have achieved and can add to a shelf, but to me it also encompasses the extent to which my team evolves in their work,&rdquo; said Grant. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;My journey taught me that, with perseverance, you can truly attain your goal and when you have achieved those goals, you can make new ones,&rdquo; she explained, and with this mantra she motivates her colleagues. <br /> <br /> Under her mentorship, five team members have been promoted to managers at Red Lane&Acirc;&reg; spas across the region.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13701977/263531_89906_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:00 AM 4 Correction http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Correction_92086 In a photo accompanying last week&rsquo;s publication of a story headlined &lsquo;Pathways to success: Carlos Matallana&rsquo;s story&rsquo;, we incorrectly identified host of CVM at Sunrise Raymond Pryce as an attorney-at-law. The correct caption as follows. General Manager of Global Exchange Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago Carlos Matallana (right) in discussion with host of CVM at Sunrise Raymond Pryce, following the Pathways to Success seminar at he Mona campus of The University of the West Indies. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13685860/262153_88715_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Karen Chin Quee Akin enters next phase after fulfilling career http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Karen-Chin-Quee-Akin-enters-next-phase-after-fulfilling-career_92120 When GraceKennedy Limited&rsquo;s history is written, the chapter on Karen Chin Quee Akin will be lengthy, chronicling the sterling contribution of the company&rsquo;s first in-house senior legal counsel who has made an indelible mark on the success of one of the Caribbean&rsquo;s foremost conglomerates.<br /> <br /> The esteemed Chief Corporate Secretary/General Counsel retires on March 31, 2017.<br /> <br /> Chin Quee Akin joined the GraceKennedy Group in 2003, armed with the expertise and discipline of working with the internationally renowned Bank of Nova Scotia, where she held the positions of General Manager, Corporate and Legal Services; and Corporate Secretary and Country Compliance Officer.<br /> <br /> On arrival, her colleagues took immediate note of her dedication, energetic approach to problem-solving, meticulous attention to detail and excellent powers of recall. Those characteristics have come to define her among all with whom she comes in contact.<br /> <br /> When her senior management colleagues were asked for words which adequately describe her, they sung a chorus of praises punctuated by words like: &ldquo;meticulous&rdquo;, &ldquo;committed&rdquo;, &ldquo;thorough&rdquo;, &ldquo;multi-dimensional&rdquo;, &ldquo;dedicated&rdquo;, &ldquo;respectful&rdquo;, and &ldquo;organised&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> In addition to her organisational skills, they also spoke of razor-sharp wit, sense of humour and the size of her laugh that belies the little individual from whom it comes.<br /> <br /> Professor Gordon Shirley, chairman of the board of GraceKennedy Limited, describes Chin Quee Akin as a &ldquo;special person&rdquo;, exceptional in her dual roles of corporate secretary and chief legal counsel. He acknowledged her efforts to always achieve and maintain the highest standards at all times. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;She has a good grasp of regulations and the relevant rules to be adhered to. She is a strict adherent to corporate governance codes and knows them well, often referring to them before offering her opinion,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He also said her ability to appreciate business issues and bring her legal perspective to bear on them has aided in the transformation of the GraceKennedy Group, providing guidance in its quest towards greater international transparency and visibility.<br /> <br /> In speaking to her contribution, Don Wehby, Group CEO said:<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Her legal support was very good and she proved to be a technically most competent person in whom I have the utmost confidence. She has proved to be highly capable in non-legal matters and I often consult her in this regard before making final decisions. In human resources and strategic matters, I have found her to be very insightful.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> GraceKennedy won the JSE/PSOJ Best Practices Award for Corporate Governance in 2016, a most fitting accomplishment towards the end of Chin Quee Akin&rsquo;s distinguished innings with the Company. <br /> <br /> The company also pointed to her Roman Catholic faith, integrity, high ethical standards and humanity, saying she could always be relied on to go the extra mile or offer legal advice when sought out by her team members.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She exhibited warmth and thoughtfulness, always expressing genuine care for the welfare of their family members, sharing their concerns and giving perspectives on the &ldquo;right moves&rdquo; for them to make when the way didn&rsquo;t seem very clear,&rdquo; GraceKennedy said of Chin Quee.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13701932/263584_89949_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:00 AM 5 Russia offers geological, marine mining training http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Russia-offers-geological--marine-mining-training_91816 The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) of the Russian Federation is offering five training places for candidates from developing states, under two separate training programmes, in accordance with its exploration contracts with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for polymetallic sulphides and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts.<br /> <br /> Both programmes are divided into two parts: (a) theoretical courses; and (b) at-sea training on board research vessels.<br /> <br /> Under the contract for polymetallic sulphides, the MNRE is offering two training places as follows:<br /> <br /> a) Part 1: Theoretical course at St Petersburg State University (SPSU) for three weeks during May to June 2017. The curriculum will include geology and mineral resources of the international seabed area; legal, environmental and technical aspects of marine mining; and<br /> <br /> b) Part 2: At-sea training on board the R/V PROFESSOR LAGACHEV in the area of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Trainees will participate in practical geological work. Duration: To be determined, period:To be determined.<br /> <br /> 2.Under the contract for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts, the MNRE is offering three training places as follows:<br /> <br /> a) Part 1: Theoretical course at SPSU for 15 days during May to June 2017. The curriculum will include geology and mineral resources of the international seabed area; deposits of cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts; methods and technology required in exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts; and geological and commercial assessment of the deposits of cobalt-rich manganese crusts; and<br /> <br /> b) Part 2: At-sea training on board the R/V GELENDZHIK in the area of the Magellan Seamounts of the Pacific Ocean for approximately 60 days during June &ndash; July 2017. Trainees will participate in practical geological work.<br /> <br /> For more information on these opportunities, please visit the ISA website at http://bit.ly/2mOMW0X . http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13133162/215323__w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:00 AM 6 IAJ sponsors MOE&rsquo;s 2017 Mathematics Initiative http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/IAJ-sponsors-MOE-s-2017-Mathematics-Initiative_91840 The Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ) Vice-President - Life Vernon James last Monday presented a sponsorship cheque in the amount $750,000 to the Ministry of Education for the latter&rsquo;s 2017 Mathematics Initiative, while urging the use of smartphones and social media to aid the learning of the subject.<br /> <br /> James, who spoke at the awards ceremony for Mathematics Teacher of the Year, which forms a part of activities for Mathematics Week, underscored the importance of mathematics to the insurance industry, especially for assessing and managing risk. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We also support maths education as it helps to promote the development of critical thinking, analytic and problem-solving skills so essential in both personal and national development,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> While the insurance industry has been involved in the promotion of mathematics over the last 30 years, mainly through sponsorships and the hosting of mathematics competitions, it began its partnership with the education ministry four years ago to ensure improved passes, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in mathematics at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level. <br /> <br /> James noted that &ldquo;there was steady progress&rdquo; for the first three years, but also acknowledged that there was a decline in passes last year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;... but you have gone back to the drawing board to get the programme back on track with some new strategies,&rdquo; he said to the ministry representative at the ceremony.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are particularly supportive of the plan to increase the usage of online platforms with mathematics content so that students can have easy access to information to enhance their ability to do maths, even in their spare time,&rdquo; added James, who is also the CEO of the insurance arm of the National Commercial Bank, NCB Insurance.<br /> <br /> NCB itself, through its foundation, pays for secondary students to sit CSEC business subjects for free. In 2013, the foundation paid $9.5 million to cover the examinations cost of students for principles of business and/or principles of accounts. On February 1 this year, the company transferred $13 million in bursaries to schools for the May/June 2017 sitting. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We encourage you to do all in your power so that smartphones and social media become tools of empowerment for maths and other types of education, instead of the negative things [these phenomena have] been associated with recently,&rdquo; James added.<br /> <br /> He also extended congratulations to the maths teachers who received awards on Monday, bemoaning that &ldquo;teaching is many times a thankless job, [but] the reward you will receive today means that your efforts have not gone unnoticed&rdquo;. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12277370/maths_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, March 12, 2017 12:00 AM 6