Columns

Is Peter Phillips promising a new heaven and new Earth?

PHILLIPS.. Jamaica’s economy will suffer under the current Jamaica Labour Party Administration (Photo: Observer file)

Now that the major part of the 2017-18 Budget Debate has ended, the country is in a better position to see the Government’s intentions for the fiscal year. Understandably, such intentions will not please everyone, and indeed could not. There are too many disparate interests to satisfy; too man ... Read More

When it comes to education we have the same issues, boys are given the rough treatment and we are seeing the negative results. Men under siege
Our men are under siege and are involved in a daily and oftentimes ignored fight for their lives. Wh ... Read More

Minister of Finance Audley Shaw (left) has a word with Prime Minister Andrew Holness in Parliament yesterday. Photo: Garfield Robinson Holness, Shaw still need to apologise to Jamaicans
The explanation given to the nation by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Finance Minister Audley Sha ... Read More

The Jamaican education system is a mirror of the pervasive culture which shifts blame by pointing fingers when someone is to be held accountable. Navigating the realities of the teaching profession: Chronicles of a beginner — Part 2
In my last article, published on January 31, 2017, I discussed the realities of the teaching profess ... Read More

Jamaica gets ‘bold for change’

Jean Lowrie-Chin | Monday, March 13, 2017    

Delegates at the Women in Energy Conference having a good time last week, which was Women’s Week. Jamaica felt the strength of her mothers, grandmothers, daughters, women leaders in every sphere of life. (Photo: Aston Spaulding)

It was not just International Women’s Day (IWD), it was Women’s Week, and Jamaica felt the strength of her mothers, grandmothers, daughters, women leaders in every sphere of life. We know the muscle and vision of the fearless Jamaican woman, and so the IWD slogan “Be Bold for Change” rang true as we moved through a week of discernment and affirmation. Last Saturday International Women’s Forum (IWF) sisters toured the National Gallery’s Jamaica Biennial exhi ... Read More

A crisis of the imagination

Clyde McKenzie | Monday, March 13, 2017    

PARIS, France — Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley performs in front of an audience of 40,000 during a festival concert of reggae in Paris on July 4, 1980. Many of us are still latecomers to Bob Marley and his ilk. Interestingly, Marley would make more money in death than many of those who would use it as an instrument of separation in life. (Photo: AP)

I recall being a presenter a few years ago at a symposium staged by the Institute of Jamaica which sought to examine some of the challenges to the financial viability of our music. One of the panellists, economist Ralston Hyman, spoke emphatically of the level of disorganisation which plagues the Jamaican music industry, citing it as a retardant to investment from traditional sources of local capital. I told Hyman that it would be disingenuous of me to pretend that the local music industry c ... Read More

We’re not done seeing the many faces of Peter Phillips

Garfield Higgins | Sunday, March 12, 2017    

Peter Phillips.

Virtue, as well as evil, lies in our power. – Aristotle Early this February, I said this among other things: “Members of Parliament who attend the funerals of known gangsters, euphemistically sometimes called community leaders, must not grace the halls of Gordon House in the new dispensation of politics which is needed to take this country forward.” (Sunday Observer, February 5, 2017) I stand by those comments. On March 26, 2017, 68-year-old Dr Peter Phillips will replace 7 ... Read More

Wanted: Primary school maths specialists

Sunday, March 12, 2017    

Mathematics Teacher of the Year Neisha Grant Lawrence (third right) of Crescent Primary School in Spanish Town displays her tophy in the presence of (from left) Dr Tamika Benjamin, national mathematics coordinator; Dr Renee Rattray, senior manager, learning, development and culture at the Jamaica National Group; Senator Ruel Reid, minister of education; Vernon James, vice-president, Insurance Association of Jamaica; and Dean-Roy Bernard, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information intends to strengthen the number of mathematics specialists in primary schools, thus assisting children to develop a better appreciation for mathematics at a young age. The announcement was made by the minister, Senator Ruel Reid, at the National Mathematics Teacher of the Year awards ceremony at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge at The University of the West Indies, on Monday. The minister commented that there are not enough teachers specialisin ... Read More

Brains, not brutality — smart(phone) crime fighting

Kevin Obrien Chang | Sunday, March 12, 2017    

Robert Montague

Andrew Holness is quoted as saying: “The police need your help. Information is probably the greatest weapon against criminals.” Holness is right. And most Jamaicans genuinely want to help the police. But we cannot give the police useful information if they do not provide us with accurate information. Garbage in, garbage out. Google “America’s most wanted” and you get an up-to-date list of most wanted persons in every category. Google “Jamaica’s most wa ... Read More

Homework: a necessary evil

Dr Karla Hylton | Sunday, March 12, 2017    

Dr Karla Hylton. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

Do you struggle with your kids to complete homework on a regular basis? Are you in constant battle at the mention of the word “homework”? It is very easy to get caught up in power struggles with your child on this issue, but these battles will only lead to undue stress for both you and your child. Children are more likely to complete homework successfully if they are monitored, but this depends to a large extent on the age of your child. Setting good work ethic begins at an early ag ... Read More

Transformation of the public sector — Part 1

Dr Canute Thompson | Sunday, March 12, 2017    

It has been reported that between 2010 and 2017 the Jamaican Government spent over $1.4 billion on the training of 1,453 civil servants. This figure could be a conservative estimate, according to some sources. At $1.4 billion, the annual expenditure is just under $200 million, and with the approximate 1,400 civil servants trained, the expenditure per trainee is in the region of $1 million. That is a huge investment in and massive spending on training - depending on how one looks at it. To plac ... Read More

Andrew Holness — A prime minister on the move

Raulston Nembhard | Sunday, March 12, 2017    

Andrew Holness.

When Andrew Holness was monarchically anointed head of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) by then Prime Minister Bruce Golding, I was one of the strong critics of such a move. It was not that I thought Holness did not have it in him to be a good leader. In fact, his stint at the ministry of education had demonstrated latent leadership and management capabilities which, if properly honed and directed, could augur well for him as a future leader of the party and government. My concern arose out of a v ... Read More

TOMORROW: PM ON THE MOVE

Saturday, March 11, 2017    

Prime Minister Andrew Holness talks about some of his Administration’s first-year achievements at a breakfast meeting with Jamaica Observer editors and directors last Friday at the newspaper’s head office in Kingston. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

After just over a year in his second turn in the prime minister’s chair, many Jamaicans at home or abroad have warmed up to the leadership and substance of Andrew Holness. One person willing to confess an about-turn in how he views him is columnist Raulston Nembhard. He admits being initially critical of how he was “anointed” party leader and prime minister and remembers Holness’s first arrogant missteps; however, Nembhard says the focus on growth and the steady hand of l ... Read More

Beg no murderer for mercy; just ask God’s forgiveness and kill the crook

Franklin Johnston | Friday, March 10, 2017    

The police help with white-collar crime but can’t protect from violence.

Crime is at epidemic proportions. It damages individuals, society and inhibits all the good things we desire — family, growth, peace. We no longer go for quiet walks; many practices in Government, church, school are curbed — too risky. Children are sexualised, groomed, fondled; parents silenced by fear, food, gifts. But the biggie is, we are not even organising to repel but submit to criminals meekly — why? The vulnerable grow — children, old folk. Many live alone &mdas ... Read More



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