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 Copping the law http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Copping-the-law_82440 It goes without saying that employed people who choose to pursue higher education have to juggle studying with the demands of their jobs.<br /> <br /> But for a group of nine police personnel who recently graduated from the University of Technology&rsquo;s Bachelor of Law degree programme, the stakes were even more threatening &mdash; ranging from simultaneous high-intensity detective training to arrest and interdiction.<br /> <br /> The officers, five of whom were awarded the JCF&rsquo;s 2012/2013 Law Scholarship, are: Deputy Superintendent Jason Anderson, Deputy Superintendent Fitzroy Williams, Deputy Superintendent Odean Dennis, Sergeant Patrae Rowe, Detective Sergeant Dewayne Jonas, Detective Sergeant Orville Morgan, Detective Sergeant Akeem Guy, Woman Corporal Sherrie Thomas and Constable David Scarlett. They are being celebrated for their accomplishment, which the JCF says feeds into its strategic priority to enhance the professionalism and morale of members.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is aimed at inspiring our members towards greater productivity and innovation, rewarding excellence and promoting a culture of uncompromised professionalism,&rdquo; the force&rsquo;s corporate communications director Nathelie Taylor told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The JCF heartily congratulates these graduates who determinedly pursued and realised their dream,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> They join 20 other serving members, ranked from Detective Corporal to Assistant Commissioner of Police stationed at various JCF units and divisions across the island, who hold law degrees from local, regional and international institutions.<br /> <br /> Sergeant Rowe told Career & Education that &ldquo;it took sleepless nights balancing a full-time job, being a husband and a father while attending school&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> His resolve to achieve was strengthened when he remembered his humble beginnings. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Coming from a poor family, I know what it is like to sleep on the floor and I did not believe that university was for me, due to affordability. I thought working was the best option to escape poverty and so I started working immediately after graduating high school. But I had a drive to succeed and here I am today,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> The lone female graduate in the group, Woman Corporal Thomas, can relate. She was raised in a rural community by farming parents and though poor, they taught her sound work ethic. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I did not know this day would come as one semester I even missed an exam due to lack of funding and had to re-sit that course. However, I threw partners and took loans in order to finish my law degree. I was determined to succeed,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Two of her colleagues overcame even more daunting obstacles on their journey.<br /> <br /> Deputy Superintendent Jason Anderson of the Major Organized Crime and Anti-corruption Agency (MOCA), shared his story.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My journey was very challenging as I was arrested by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) in October 2015, and eventually cleared of all charges. But, balancing that stress, plus work at MOCA, school and family had its ups and downs. I am very ambitious, however, and I would not stop.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> For Detective Sergeant Morgan, who has served the JCF for 21 years, the experience had valuable lessons.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I did not expect to reach this far. While studying, I had a matter before the court, and was placed on interdiction for four months. The case was later dismissed. The entire journey was a transition though, teaching me the art of balancing,&rdquo; he told<br /> <br /> Career & Education.<br /> <br /> For others, the hurdles might have appeared less arduous, but were no less effective in prompting them to develop a will of steel to reach their goals. <br /> <br /> Detective Sergeant Jonas had to juggle an 18-month high-intensity internal development course called the High Potential Detective Training Programme while pursuing his law degree.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I did not think I would be able to manage both the High Potential Detective Training Programme and a law degree. The High Potential course was tedious and even caused me to miss many law classes, but I got the notes and studied and I am victorious without ever failing a course,&rdquo; he said, proudly. <br /> <br /> As for Detective Sergeant Guy, several personal joys &mdash; including marriage and the birth of his first child &mdash; often competed with his studies for his attention. But he too prioritised and made it happen. <br /> <br /> The cops were part of more than 1,800 students who graduated from UTech&rsquo;s three colleges and five faculties in a ceremony for the Presentation of Graduates held on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at the National Arena.<br /> <br /> They are each looking forward to taking the next steps towards being called to the bar and launching law careers as prosecutors, civil attorneys, and even ajudges.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13476658/244911_71378_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, December 04, 2016 12:00 AM Abrahim Simmonds named Queen&rsquo;s Young Leader 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Abrahim-Simmonds-named-Queen-s-Young-Leader-2017_82476 Twenty-two-year-old Abrahim Simmonds, co-founder of the Jamaican Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism (JAYECAN), is among 60 young people from across the Commonwealth who have been selected to receive a prestigious Queen&rsquo;s Young Leaders Award.<br /> <br /> The awards recognise and celebrate exceptional young people aged 18 to 29 in the Commonwealth who are driving change within their communities and transforming people&rsquo;s lives. Now in its third and penultimate year, the 60 young people announced on Wednesday become part of the growing network of influential young change-makers who are coming together and being supported to become an even greater force for good. They will receive their award from Her Majesty The Queen at a ceremony in London next year.<br /> <br /> This year, award winners are leading projects tackling global issues, including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health, and disability equality. <br /> <br /> Simmonds has been chosen in recognition of his work using the arts to help develop the skills of young people. His group JAYECAN helps young people to identify a skill or talent that they can use to help the community and create programmes which use the arts to drive positive change. These include ArtReach, where volunteers visit children&rsquo;s homes and rehabilitation centres to provide music, art and drama sessions; and Herstory, which encourages young women from disadvantaged communities to use the spoken word and writing to help them to explore their past.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am excited to receive the Queen&rsquo;s Young Leaders Award and look forward to gaining new skills in areas of leadership, research and planning,&rdquo; Simmonds said. <br /> <br /> The Queen&rsquo;s Young Leaders Awards programme was established in 2014 by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief, The Royal Commonwealth Society, and the University of Cambridge&rsquo;s Institute of Continuing Education, in recognition of The Queen&rsquo;s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. Each year for four years, 60 young leaders receive bespoke training, mentoring and networking opportunities, and take part in a week-long residential programme in London to empower them to build on the work they are leading in their communities which is changing the lives of others for the better. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are delighted that these incredible young people have been selected as Queen&rsquo;s Young Leaders, and wish our warmest congratulations to each and every one of them. The Queen&rsquo;s Young Leaders Award is designed to inspire and nurture the talent of exceptional young people from all over the Commonwealth so that they can create and lead others towards securing positive change in communities. The work being undertaken by the latest cohort of Queen&rsquo;s Young Leaders is addressing some of the most crucial issues facing the Commonwealth today. We cannot wait to see how their impressive endeavours grow and develop over the course of the year to come and beyond,&rdquo; said Dr Astrid Bonfield, CBE, chief executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13478168/ZZ4D3A54C8_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, December 04, 2016 12:00 AM &lsquo;Believe, have passion, work hard&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/-Believe--have-passion--work-hard-_82378 Three of the most important things young entrepreneurs must bear in mind as they strive for success are: believing in one&rsquo;s dream, being passionate passion, and working hard.<br /> <br /> This is according to Garth Walker, owner of Adam & Eve Day Spa, Creative Media & Events, and Wealth Access Financial, who addressed a group of young entrepreneurs at the Jade Garden Restaurant in Sovereign Centre in St Andrew. The luncheon was one in the Around The Table Dialogue series organised by the Ministry of Youth, Education and Information as part of activities for Youth Month.<br /> <br /> Walker used his experiences trying to get his businesses off the ground, especially Wealth Access Financial, which houses<br /> <br /> Business Access TV and Wealth Magazine as examples to motivate the youngsters.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You have to believe in your dream. When we launched the Wealth brand in 2009, a lot of persons said, &lsquo;You&rsquo;re launching a magazine in the heart of a recession,&rsquo; &lsquo;People don&rsquo;t read anymore&rsquo;, &lsquo;Everything is online,&rsquo;&rdquo; he related, adding that despite the naysayers he and his team went ahead with the magazine. The result was a quarterly-turned-bi-monthly publication that grew from 64 to 164 pages by issue three.<br /> <br /> From Wealth Magazine, he created two television programmes &mdash;<br /> <br /> Wealth Magazine&rsquo;s Business Access and<br /> <br /> Wealth Magazine Home Sweet Home &mdash; until, according to him, the demand in the business community got so great that they had to have their own platform; thus, the creation of the hugely successful lifestyle and business cable channel,<br /> <br /> Business Access TV.<br /> <br /> It was here that he was almost derailed by discouragement.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There was a time when we just launched our first programme from the Wealth brand, called Wealth Magazine&rsquo;s Business Access. I&rsquo;ll never forget, we went to a sponsor and the vice-president at the time sat back in his chair and he looked at us, and he pretty much scoffed at us &mdash; me and my partner at the time &mdash; and said to us [that] we are not journalists, so we can&rsquo;t come and charge that type of money. And he pretty much rushed the meeting and rushed us out.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And I&rsquo;ll never forget, I went into the elevator and turned to my business partner and said, &lsquo;Bwoy, a better wi pack up this ting enuh.&rsquo; If I wasn&rsquo;t a strong person I would&rsquo;ve cried, I mean literally,&rdquo; Walker recounted. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I remember I called my wife and I told her about it and she said, &lsquo;Don&rsquo;t worry.&rsquo; And we went back to the office and we re-grouped and we called another company, went to them with the same proposal and they jumped on board. And I lived to see that same person and that same company signing contracts for Business Access Television,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The car that I first drove: when I called to find out the price of it in 2000, I said to myself that I would never be able to buy that car; never. And I never forget I cut out that car out of the magazine and every night I looked on it and said, &lsquo;I want this car&rsquo;. And within a year-and-a-half I bought that car. So when I look back, everything just starts with a dream. Most people don&rsquo;t believe in their dream,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> As his story teaches, the road to success isn&rsquo;t without pitfalls, but for that Walker prescribes perseverance.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s very easy to give up, &lsquo;cause I can tell you, business has its ups and its downs. It&rsquo;s like a roller coaster; you have very good days and you have very bad days. So it&rsquo;s for you to believe in your dreams, persevere and work hard for it,&rdquo; he advised.<br /> <br /> From his days at Jamaica College, Walker knew he wanted to become an entrepreneur, he said. After high school, he went on to do a first degree in professional management at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, after which he did a Master of Business Administration at the University of New Orleans. Before forming his own businesses, he worked at Mainland International, where he occupied several posts including sales and marketing manager, group executive, and vice-president of marketing.<br /> <br /> He said among the other difficulties young people will encounter as entrepreneurs is taking risks and facing responsibilities; and for this, the passion will drive them.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A lot of persons want to be entrepreneurs because they see other persons in business and don&rsquo;t really understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur. To be an entrepreneur it takes risk, and not many persons have the ability to accept risk and be able to manage risk. Risk comes with a lot of headache. Many people don&rsquo;t like the idea of having payroll on the 26th of the month. It&rsquo;s a big responsibility. So you&rsquo;re talking about if you have 10 people working for you, 20 people working for you, 200 people working for you, these 200 persons are in your hands. Their families are in your hands. It&rsquo;s nothing to be frightened about; it&rsquo;s just something to accept,&rdquo; he counselled.<br /> <br /> As for hard work, it is not even a question.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Nothing beats hard work...Nobody will do anything for you. Take nothing for granted. Nobody will call you and give you a contract. You have to go out there and fight for it. You have to work hard and you have to prepare to burn the midnight oil. Now, when you mention about family, your family, whether it&rsquo;s your spouse, your boyfriend, girlfriend, your mother, father, sister, if they don&rsquo;t believe in it, they are going to discourage you and sometimes the family situation will have to go on the back burner a little, because it&rsquo;s going to take hours upon hours to get a business off the ground; long hours too. So sleep is overrated,&rdquo; he noted, adding that the 5 o&rsquo;clock cap to a workday is not the case for entrepreneurs.<br /> <br /> Critically, Walker told the young people that even when they take his advice and practise the three steps, success may not come immediately, but it is almost guaranteed.<br /> <br /> Asked why he decided to participate in the Around the Table Dialogue, Walker said: &ldquo;I was mentored when I was younger and I got help, so I believe it&rsquo;s time to impart whatever knowledge and experience I&rsquo;ve had during the course of my tenure in business. So today was important for me...I believe it was worth it. It resonated well and I&rsquo;m looking for big things from them in the future,&rdquo; he told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Around The Table Talk was beneficial. We heard a lot of motivational, inspirational advice from Mr Walker. The general feel of it was energising. I think the advice given was very, very rich and very, very invaluable for those of us who would like to venture out on our own business,&rdquo; said Andre Blackwood, president, Kingston and St Andrew Parish Youth Council.<br /> <br /> He added that he hopes the forum continues beyond Youth Month.<br /> <br /> Jahmeila Reid couldn&rsquo;t help but agree.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I believe that today&rsquo;s session was a well-needed one, especially for persons who don&rsquo;t have access to persons who are very prominent and very popular in the business space. I am definitely energised. I feel like I can go out and conquer the world; not necessarily today, but with the tips and advice that we&rsquo;ve gotten I can definitely create a plan of action,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Chrishauna Christie said that Walker&rsquo;s advice will help her to become a better entrepreneur.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Currently having companies that I am focusing on and thinking of starting, and some in the process of, it&rsquo;s nice to get that confirmation that you need sometimes that you need to take a risk and step out there and have a passion and feed that passion and focus on what you really want to achieve,&rdquo; she told Career Education.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13476683/243512_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, December 04, 2016 12:00 AM Petrocaribe provides $402m for engineers training at CMI http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Petrocaribe-provides--402m-for-engineers-training-at-CMI_82466 The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has received $402 million in grant funding from the PetroCaribe Development Fund for the establishment of a Festo Authorised and Certified Training (FACT) Centre for specialised engineers.<br /> <br /> The centre, which is slated to become operational in September 2017, will be the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean and will offer world-class training and certification in robotics, mechatronics and automotive engineering. <br /> <br /> It will be the fourth school of the CMI, which is located at Palisadoes Park in Kingston. <br /> <br /> Minister of Transport and Mining Mike Henry said the facility will advance skills development in the country and add to the Government&rsquo;s growth agenda.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are now going to be in a position to train and certify students for high-tech jobs in production (sectors) such as bottling companies and the automotive and biomedical industries,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> The Minister&rsquo;s remarks were delivered by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dr Janine Dawkins, at the official signing ceremony held on Wednesday at the Ministry&rsquo;s offices located at Maxfield Avenue in Kingston. <br /> <br /> He noted that the FESTO certification is a global stamp of approval for specialised engineers such as those who will be trained at the CMI. <br /> <br /> Executive Director, CMI, Dr Fritz Pinnock, said the establishment of the centre will bolster the institute&rsquo;s capabilities to deliver international certification in mechatronics and automation to meet the changing needs of the engineering industry.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This will create certification and training for the new type of engineer, which is now being demanded,&rdquo; he pointed out.<br /> <br /> Dr Pinnock noted that significant opportunities exist within the sector, informing that 4,307 Festo job openings exist in Singapore alone, with salaries starting at US$5,000 per month.<br /> <br /> He said interests and requests have already been expressed by local and overseas players for training and certification in the specified areas.<br /> <br /> Chief Executive Officer, PetroCaribe Development Fund, Dr Wesley Hughes, said the project represents an investment in technological advancement, which augurs well for the continued development of the country. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;PetroCaribe, as a fund, has to be strategic in its investment and we have put a lot of money into this project, which is going to be the largest single discrete grant project that we have invested in,&rdquo; he said, adding that the fund also invests in areas of social development. <br /> <br /> Ground for the facility was expected to have been broken last Friday, December 2.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10860807/CMI_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, December 04, 2016 12:00 AM Abstinence or condoms? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Abstinence-or-condoms-_82488 HIGH school students lent their support to advocacy efforts to ramp up attention to issues surrounding adolescent sexual and reproductive health when they participated in a debate organised by the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN) and the United Nations Development Programme last Friday.<br /> <br /> It was part of activities leading up to World AIDS Day, observed December 1.<br /> <br /> The debate, hosted at the Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, Mona, saw Wolmer&rsquo;s Boys&rsquo; School and Ardenne High School debating the motion: &ldquo;This house would require that all adolescent health and development programmes in schools use an abstinence-only approach.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Ardenne, which supported the motion, argued that the most effective way to stop teenagers from having sex is to promote abstinence, with no alternatives.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The &lsquo;If you find yourself in this situation&rsquo; scenario is like giving young people a bulletproof vest to have sex,&rdquo; the team contended.<br /> <br /> They went further, discounting the promotion of safe sex using condoms, arguing that the popular barrier method is not 100 per cent safe and therefore does not offer full protection.<br /> <br /> Wolmer&rsquo;s, on the other hand, argued that young people nowadays are having sex, so policymakers should face up to the reality and take a comprehensive approach to sex education.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You are out of touch with reality; our youth are having sex. We need to empower them to make wise sexual choices, then we might see a decrease in the HIV transmission rates,&rdquo; Wolmer&rsquo;s argued.<br /> <br /> In addition, the team said that Jamaican citizens are not truly healthy until their sexual and reproductive health is up to standard.<br /> <br /> There was also an argument as it relates to the religious status of Jamaica and how that influences policy.<br /> <br /> Ardenne touted the popular belief that Jamaica is a Christian society, which results in certain policies, but Wolmer&rsquo;s disagreed, saying that we now live in a diverse society. Wolmer&rsquo;s went on to say that it is the youth, not religion, that should form the basis of public policy.<br /> <br /> In the end, Ardenne won and Wolmers&rsquo; first speaker, Shiyan Barnett, was named best speaker.<br /> <br /> In the post-debate panel discussion that ensued, the overwhelming view from the audience was in support of a comprehensive approach to sex education in an age-appropriate manner.<br /> <br /> Project officer at JYAN Dervin Osbourne said that it was important to engage young people on this issue of national discussion.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is important to hear the views of the youth as this issue directly affects them. Young people need to hear the correct information from the correct sources, because if not they will seek it elsewhere, and not all of this information might be true. For example, there are many myths being circulated about sex. We also need to take a comprehensive approach to teaching our young people about their sexual and reproductive health. This is much more than sex ed, but also includes self-esteem and hygiene,&rdquo; he told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Aldane Walters<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/10890383/condoms-_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, December 04, 2016 12:00 AM Congrats! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Congrats-_82461 Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid presents Avrill Crawford, CEO, eLearning Jamaica Company Limited, with the Special Pioneer in ICT in Education Award at the recent ICT in Education Conference held at Moon Palace in Ocho Rios, St Ann. Crawford has had a long and distinguished career in IT and education in Jamaica and the UK in organisations such as the former College of Arts, Science and Technology &mdash; now the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) &mdash; The University of the West Indies (UWI), National Sugar Company, USAID, National Housing Trust, Fiscal Services (EDP) Ltd, Applied Cutting Edge Technologies International (ACE Ltd), Instruction Technology Institute and the Jamaica Computer Society Education Foundation. The ICT in Education Conference saw attendees from every major college and university in Jamaica discussing ICT in Jamaica from every angle, concluding that the country was on the right path in utilising the technology for economic transformation. The conference, which was held under the theme &lsquo;ICT and the Human Factor &mdash; Agents of Social and Economic Transformation&rsquo;, was staged with the collaboration of e-Learning Jamaica Company, the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission, The UWI, UTech, Jamaica Teachers&rsquo; Association (JTA), HEART Trust NTA and ICT-4D<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13476631/244938_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, December 04, 2016 12:00 AM &lsquo;Created for excellence&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/-Created-for-excellence-_82374 Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town, St Catherine has been diligently changing its narrative by improving the academic performance of its students and crafting a new identity for the school. <br /> <br /> In the recently concluded 2016 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams, more than 170 students attained five or more CSEC subjects, with 102 of those passing both English Language and mathematics. More than 80 passed seven or more subjects while more than 50 students obtained four or more Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) passes.<br /> <br /> Some students also gained major achievements in the region. They included: Jowaine Jones, who placed seventh in Caribbean Food and Nutrition in CAPE and Abigail Brown who placed 10th. <br /> <br /> This follows on the school&rsquo;s 2014 performance in CSEC when Shemar Jackson placed first in mechanical engineering in the Caribbean, while his peer, Tajae Samuels, placed 10th; and Samantha Samuels was third for agricultural science. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Dr Ankle would say: Words of affirmation!&rdquo; acting principal Cheryl Shippey chanted to the graduating Class of 2016 at a ceremony held last week at the Open Bible Church in Twickenham Park, Spanish Town. <br /> <br /> In response the students declared: &ldquo;I am created for excellence!&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Guest speaker at the graduation, Earl Jarrett, general manager of Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), noted that under the leadership of principal Dr O&rsquo;Neil Ankle and his vice-principals, Jonathan Grant had been transformed. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The written history of Jonathan Grant will speak about a school which recognised the reality was that many persons perceived it as being a &lsquo;failed institution&rsquo; and so it had to change,&rdquo; Jarrett said. <br /> <br /> He stated that by setting goals and executing plans to achieve those goals, Jonathan Grant had placed itself on a new path. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Today, this change makes Jonathan Grant High School a centre of excellence,&rdquo; he said highlighting how through transforming leadership at six non-traditional rural high schools, his own institution and the Victoria Mutual Building Society also witnessed a transformation in the administration and educational output, to craft new identities for the students and uplift the profile of the institutions. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jonathan Grant, through your school leadership, you have displayed all the attributes of a centre of excellence school,&rdquo; Jarrett told graduates. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;This school has crafted a positive identity for itself which includes having its students properly groomed for school; thereby setting a standard which many other schools in St Catherine and the Kingston Metropolitan Area have adopted,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> The JNBS general manager underscored that Jonathan Grant&rsquo;s achievements dispelled the notion that, &ldquo;Jamaicans who are poor are not good enough, not capable, not ambitious, or not worthy&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Centres of Excellence model instils the sense of a positive identity, which proves the truth that you...the students are great people, born in the image and likeness of God, and imbued with great possibilities,&rdquo; he emphasised. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;And what better way to affirm this than through your positive statement: I am created for excellence,&rdquo; the JNBS boss concluded. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13476628/244952_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, December 04, 2016 12:00 AM Denbigh High wins Caribbean Child Research award for fifth year http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Denbigh-High-wins-Caribbean-Child-Research-award-for-fifth-year_81751 MAY PEN, Clarendon &mdash; Denbigh High School sixth form student Nicholas Nelson emerged winner of the 11th staging of the Caribbean Child Research Conference held in Mandeville earlier this month.<br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s the fifth victory for Denbigh in six years.<br /> <br /> In addition to being named the 2016 Outstanding Caribbean Child Researcher, Nelson walked away with three sectional prizes: Best Written Paper, Best Methodology and Best Oral Presentation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an incredibly humbling experience,&rdquo; said Nelson on his win. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a validation of all the hard work I&rsquo;ve put in, and the unwavering support from my coaches and family throughout the process.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Nelson&rsquo;s research paper was titled &lsquo;The Cougar/Teen Boy Phenomenon Among Boys Aged 15-17 in a Rural High School in Jamaica.&rsquo;<br /> <br /> Former Denbigh High students Ashleigh Barnes, Raejean Porter, Rashida Byfield, and Kemeisha Ellis won the title for four consecutive years from 2011 to 2014 respectively. In 2015, Shannon Annakie received the Top Female Researcher Award and was awarded second place. The students have been coached by educators Janice Julal and Everton Annakie since 2011.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Denbigh High School family is proud of Nicholas for bringing the award back to the school once more,&rdquo; said Julal, who is acting principal. &ldquo;We have a tradition of excellence in the competition because our students look at topical issues impacting child rights, and every year we use sound research principles to ensure that these issues are brought to the fore.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The child research conference is a regional event that covers a range of child-related themes. It is hosted in Jamaica by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies in collaboration with the United Nations Children&rsquo;s Fund, the Planning Institute of Jamaica, the Early Childhood Commission, the Office of the Children&rsquo;s Advocate, the Caribbean Child Development Centre, the Office of the Children&rsquo;s Registry, the Jamaica Coalition on the Rights of the Child, the Child Development Agency, the Ministry of Education, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13460109/243588_70109_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM 25 chase US$75,000 in CARICOM-based mobile app competition http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/25-chase-US-75-000-in-CARICOM-based-mobile-app-competition_81726 US$75,000 in cash and prizes will be up for grabs when teams from Jamaica and Trinidad, which together account for 14 of the 25 finalists, vie for honours with other regional hopefuls in the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge tech entrepreneur competition, scheduled for December 2-3, 2016 at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre in Port of Spain.<br /> <br /> The finalists, who were selected from over 70 entries from across Caricom, include eight teams from the host country, six from Jamaica, three from Barbados, two from St Lucia, and one each from Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana, Montserrat, St Vincent & the Grenadines, and Suriname. Seeking partnerships, funding, and even buyers for their enterprises, all competitors will pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of regional and global investors.<br /> <br /> Following the intense two-day competition, five winners will each be awarded a coveted spot in PitchIT Caribbean business accelerators located in Barbados, Dominica, St Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago, as well as US$5,000 in seed funding to help develop their businesses. The acceleration services will include mentoring by business and technology experts, networking opportunities, working space and facilities, expense-paid trips to international conferences and competitions, as well as intense product development and investor-readiness training.<br /> <br /> Commenting on the process and the finalist selection, Project Manager Bianca Welds explained that &ldquo;tech entrepreneurs, both those in our training programme and the wider Caricom, responded very well to our invitation to the challenge. The quality of ideas presented made our job of selecting 25 very challenging, but we are excited by the diversity shown and believe that we have a strong set of finalists and the showcase in December is highly anticipated.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The finalists by country are: TickeTing from Antigua & Barbuda; Rivver, Fix Device, and Data-Bus from Barbados; Buzzshop from Dominica; Click-n-Learn from Guyana; Tikkiz, QuickPlate, Driving Change, Shopmobi, Atendify and The Interview JM from Jamaica; IndeTours from Montserrat; Teacher&rsquo;s Pet and Dev758 Restaurant from St. Lucia; Oversea from St Vincent & the Grenadines; A Creative Person from Suriname; and Optimo Cloud, SKED, AmAthletes, Communicare, Tech4Agri, D Carnival scene, EveDrop and The Billionaires League from Trinidad & Tobago.<br /> <br /> The finalists will participate in a pitching bootcamp on November 30 and December 1 to prepare for the key competition days &mdash; December 2 and 3.<br /> <br /> PitchIT Caribbean is aimed at enhancing the mobile app development ecosystem across CARICOM. It is designed to accelerate mobile app entrepreneurs through the start-up life cycle, which runs from ideation to pitch, from pitch to market, and from market to maturity.<br /> <br /> It currently supports four hubs, one each in Barbados, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago. PitchIT Caribbean is the central operation of the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project, which is part of the Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), an initiative funded by the Government of Canada and executed by infoDev/World Bank Group, through a three-party Caribbean consortium led by UWI Consulting Inc, working along with Mona School of Business and Management, and Mona Business Support Services. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13459927/243567_70081_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM Government names youth advisory council http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Government-names-youth-advisory-council_81745 BETWEEN the newly established National Youth Advisory Council and the recently reintroduced National Youth Parliament, young people in Jamaica can expect to have more representation in high- level decision-making, according to minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green.<br /> <br /> Green told the Jamaica Observer that the roles of both groups have been linked to ensure that youth participation is meaningful, not merely symbolic, especially as it relates to the National Youth Parliament.<br /> <br /> On Thursday, 16 young people were installed as the inaugural cohort of youth advisors at a special ceremony at Jamaica House. The National Youth Parliament, meanwhile, reconvened at Gordon House on November 14 to much kudos from senior parliamentrians.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It used to be that the (youth) parliament just sits and they go their own way,&rdquo; said Green. They now serve as youth parliamentarians for an entire year and the idea now is that from the proposals that they would have made in the parliament, they are going to put together, first and foremost, a document so that I can lay a statement in the House so that the parliamentarians will know what are some of the things that the young people are proposing. Then they will now work with the youth advisory councils as, let us say, a research group,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> He indicated that the Ministry of Education has already been mandated to consider some of the proposals made in the youth sitting, and added that though there will not be another formal sitting for this group of parliamentarians, the scope of their work transcends that.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As it is now, it&rsquo;s one sitting, but the parliamentarians continue working. It&rsquo;s part of the process for people to appreciate that parliament isn&rsquo;t only about a sitting. Remember, even when something is laid in Parliament, normally you would have a committee that analyses, that fleshes it out, then that would go to Cabinet for the Cabinet to make a determination, and then it would come back to Parliament for the final thing and then brought into law or action. So...they are now in the committee phase. They are already in their groups, so they will take the proposals, they will then flesh them out &mdash;as what happens in the &lsquo;real&rsquo; Parliament and they will decide on the ones that they want to push forward; the cause they want to champion,&rdquo; the junior minister further explained.<br /> <br /> The advisory council, which sits for two years, has been tasked with four thematic areas: climate change, youth unemployment, psychosocial care, and sexual and reproductive health. Its members assisted the 74 youth parliamentarians in their one-month preparation for this year&rsquo;s sitting, and will now work within the education ministry on the thematic areas for the first half of their tenure, before turning to other areas.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The National Youth Advisory Council now will work in conjunction with youth from other successful programmes from the ministry, such as the National Secondary Student&rsquo;s Council, The Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students, the Jamaica Youth Ambassadors Programme, and the National Youth Paliament, as well as the individual organisations youth represent, to continue work toward youth development and mainstreaming in Jamaica, and ensure that youth development is a fully inclusive process in every way. The council will also have a key role in finalising the revisons of the youth policy,&rdquo; senior director, youth and adolsecent policy division in the ministry, Michele Small Bartley told<br /> <br /> Career & Education.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Now the good thing is that because the youth advisory council sits for two years, there will be overlap. So [for instance], this Parliament reaches this far on an issue of climate change, they might want to raise it again in the next parliament to forward the discussion. So the idea is that the issues don&rsquo;t go away, the issues keep running,&rdquo; Green added.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Green said that the young people will have to ensure that their work is of such a high quality that the Government has no choice but to accept their proposals. He, however, cautioned that not all of their propsals will be accepted.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Part of what we want them to appreciate, as the prime minister said, is the process of decision-making. Oftentimes there are a number of contending issues. So let us say the youth perspective is that you should do &lsquo;x&rsquo;, &lsquo;y&rsquo; and &lsquo;z&rsquo;. They often are not privy to other perspectives in relation to [their perspective]. So let us say finance has one perspective; international partners have another perspective. So let us use youth parliament and advisory council: an idea comes forward, it&rsquo;s fleshed out at the advisory council, then the advisory council sits with ministers, permanant secretaries and put this on the table to start the dialogue. We will have to, as a ministry, come back to say to them: this is what we thought about your proposal, this is why it can work, or this is why it can&rsquo;t work, this is the tweak.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So for the first time, their voices will be laid in Parliament. That has never happened. So we have expanded the amount of young people that can participate, plus we&rsquo;re showing them how they can truly effect change. Some things, I&rsquo;m sure, will come to fruition, some things may not, some things will be tweaked,&rdquo; the minister said.<br /> <br /> Critically, he said, the young people will be exposed to and will come to appreciate how Government functions. Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM UK, US or Canada? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/UK--US-or-Canada-_81757 In an increasingly interconnected world, the value of exposure to different ways of thinking, being and operating cannot be underestimated. As such, many schools are now encouraging their own local students to study overseas for a semester or a year, or otherwise engage with the world at large. So, how can you determine the best place to pursue further studies? <br /> <br /> By considering key factors and weighing the pros and cons of each system against your needs and preferences from an academic, financial, social and emotional perspective.<br /> <br /> First, let&rsquo;s talk financial since without the ability to pay for your education you can&rsquo;t obtain the requisite visa to study overseas.<br /> <br /> Overall, the US offers the most financial and scholarship opportunities to students across a wide range of disciplines. Larger scholarship amounts tend to be available for students studying traditional fields, with less being available to those interested in the creative fields. There is a disconnect here since the creative industries &mdash; including video game design, animation etc, are some of the fastest-growing industries globally.<br /> <br /> Many universities in Europe actually offer tuition-free study at the undergraduate and masters levels, but students are responsible for covering room and board, and of course, transportation. This is a truly phenomenal opportunity IF the student can find his or her programme, taught in English (or their native language) and navigate the application process which can tend to be confusing / cumbersome versus the US, UK and Canadian apps.<br /> <br /> As it relates to large scholarships and aid, Canadian university offerings tend to be relatively slim and are offered primarily on the basis of academic achievement. Still, the cost of studying in Canada is less than half of what a similar strength university in the US may cost, so the value for money is truly unparalleled. As with most things in life, it is really important to research and research well! A few large scholarships do exist, example a special scholarship for a student planning to major in civil engineering at Dalhousie University. <br /> <br /> ?The UK is a bit worse than Canada? in terms of funding - at least for undergraduate studies. More opportunities for substantial bursaries and stipends exist for postgraduate studies.So, if you have no money at all, but excellent grades and a strong extra curricular profile and standardised testing, focus on the US? for undergraduate studies?.. <br /> <br /> If y?our budget is US$20,000? or more per year?, then look to the? US, Canada and possibly the UK.<br /> <br /> ? If your high school record and exam results are not stellar and you have no financing and no special athletics or other ability, then your best bet may be to study locally, then pursue a Chevening scholarship for Masters study in the UK or a funded PhD programme anywhere in the world.<br /> <br /> From an academic perspective, it is important to understand the difference across educational systems and approache. Schools in Canada, the UK and Europe tend to expect students to know what they want to study, and to apply for that programme. In the US, most universities allow students to explore various areas for two years before declaring a major (except for engineering of course). The US does NOT offer medicine or law or professional degrees at the undergraduate level, and instead expects students to complete a four-year degree before applying to those programmes. In the UK, like Jamaica, students can apply directly to law or medicine. <br /> <br /> In terms of the actual academic experience, in Europe and the UK universities tend to be test focused with progression from year to year often depending on a single set of exams at the end of the academic year. If you&rsquo;re not a great exam taker, think twice about studying in the UK and Europe. In the US, assessment tends to be more discussion, presentation and coursework focused. Of course, exams are part of the mix but it is just that - part of the mix not the entire assessment. Canada tends to be a mixture of both the UK and US approach, depending on the university in question.<br /> <br /> The choice depends largely on what students plan to study, and at what level (undergraduate versus postgraduate). For example, the US is generally not a great choice for students wishing to study renewable energy. So, it is very important for students to consider what they want to study, then look at the countries and institutions that are strongest in those fields, and that, of course, fit into the student&rsquo;s budget.<br /> <br /> Nicole McLaren Campbell is the founder and CEO of Aim Educational Services, an independent college admissions counsellor, and public speaker. Contact her at nicole@aimeduservices.com.<br /> <br /> Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM HEART launches upskilling programme http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/HEART-launches-upskilling-programme_81719 THE dynamism of the workspace, characterised by constant change especially in the context of technology and competition on the global market, is the reason that underpins the HEART Trust/NTA&rsquo;s decision to partner with the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE) in launching the Upskilling and Retooling programme.<br /> <br /> Launched at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel two Fridays ago, the programme was designed to enhance marketplace productivity by ensuring that employers, employees, retirees, students, as well as other individuals can broaden the scope of their knowledge to better meet the demands of those they serve.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There was a concern about the widening gap in the number of members of the workforce that we were seeing in several industries across the island that were not up to date on the new developments in their various disciplines. A number of these employers, employees had a direct interest in being brought up to speed so that they could be on par with what the rest of the world is offering,&rdquo; Nicole Berry Stanford, Technical Vocational Education and Training manager at HEART told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The programme offers a total of 28 short courses &mdash; 16 through the JCTE Leadership Academy and 12 through HEART Trust/NTA&rsquo;s Professional Skills Academy &mdash; and has already attracted over 2,000 people since its July start.<br /> <br /> This has forced programme planners to revisit the 3,000-cap that was initially agreed on.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are aware of the demand and people have taken to the programme well. Looking at the number of people that are already enrolled we will definitely have to increase the capacity and we are working to get funding to do this. We are prepared to deal with it,&rdquo; HEART Trust/NTA chair Maxine Wilson offered as a solution to the programme&rsquo;s greatest challenge identified to date.<br /> <br /> Chairman of the HEART Trust/NTA Dr Wayne Wesley, in addressing the importance of such a programme, said that he is not only encouraged by the response to the programme, but by the fact that participation will result in the improvement of service and efficiency across various industries, as well as growth of the country&rsquo;s economy.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This programme is significant because upskilling is essential to making Jamaicans more marketable, adding value to industry, and creating a more prosperous country. Indeed, it will be key to plant in the Government&rsquo;s five-in-four strategy, that is, five per cent economic growth in the next four years. Also, at the end of the programme, we anticipate that participants will be armed with the skills and attitudes to be able to add greater value to their respective enterprises or to begin their entrepreneurial journey,&rdquo; Dr Wesley said.<br /> <br /> Education minister Ruel Reid noted that the upskilling programme is in line with the Government&rsquo;s thrust to promote lifelong learning, economic progress, and the ability to access as well as to be on par with the global job market demands and new developments.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am excited because it [the programme] demonstrates the creativity being brought to the education sector in offering relevant and practical programmes to our young people. The upskilling project falls in that category of programmes that offer continuous learning to expand the skills set of employees in response to a changing work environment and new developments,&rdquo; Reid said, noting that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has made it a priority to promote lifelong learning as policy.<br /> <br /> Further, Reid said that the ministry is of the conviction that Jamaica&rsquo;s economic progress lies in the people&rsquo;s commitment to pursue education and training beyond the secondary level. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13171977/218521_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM Digicel Foundation launches phase three of mobile science lab initiative http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Digicel-Foundation-launches-phase-three-of-mobile-science-lab-initiative_81763 Nine high schools will receive a major boost to their science programmes with the gift of state-of-the-art mobile science labs from the Digicel Foundation.<br /> <br /> This adds to the 32 which have already been outfitted with the modern hi-tech facilities.<br /> <br /> The announcement was made at Jose Marti Technical High School on Thursday, November 10 at the launch of phase three of the Foundation&rsquo;s Mobile Science Lab Programme, which began in 2014.<br /> <br /> Phases one and two have impacted over 3,000 students in Grades 7-9, the foundation said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The much-applauded programme has helped to address the recurring challenges of space, resources and technology that Jamaica&rsquo;s education sector faces. This low-cost solution provides a simple yet effective opportunity for schools to convert any space into a scientific environment with tools that teach across multiple disciplines, namely physics, biology and chemistry,&rdquo; the foundation said.<br /> <br /> The units, which come with standard lab tools &ndash; beakers, microscopes, test tubes, trolleys, pipettes, funnels, scalpels and flasks &ndash; are equipped with a Mimio device which allows teachers to turn any surface into an interactive whiteboard.<br /> <br /> Head of the science department at Jose Marti Lenford Johnson, expressed pride at the improvement that he has seen in the grades of students who have been introduced to the mobile science lab.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The impact and feedback have been tremendous as the lab has generated a lot of interest among the students and we see marked improvements in their grades so we are very grateful to be a part of this excellent initiative,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Educators have named increased access to labs across the system as one factor that contributed to the improved 2016 CSEC science examinations. The highest percentage increase of 12.3 per cent was recorded in biology. There were also improvements in Human and Social Biology, of 4.9 percentage points; and Physics, 0.7 percentage points.<br /> <br /> According to chairman of the Digicel Foundation, Jean Lowrie-Chin, the continuation of the programme has reinforced the organisation&rsquo;s mandate to create more opportunities for practical teaching and learning experiences around Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in secondary schools. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Foundation recognises that the way forward for our youths is to equip them with efficient and forward thinking tools in order for them improve life as we know it through science and technology. We are happy to be providing so many schools with these labs,which will aid their teaching process significantly,&rdquo; said Lowrie-Chin.<br /> <br /> In this third phase of the project, the following high schools will receive labs this academic year: Annotto Bay, Fair Prospect, Bog Walk, Mile Gully, Lacovia, Hopewell, Merlene Ottey, Albert Town and Brown&rsquo;s Town.<br /> <br /> The Foundation has invested some $10 million in the programme to date. <br /> <br /> Digicel Foundation has also announed that it will be helping schools to reduce their energy costs through the creation of renewable energy solutions in 15 institutions. This is expected to impact the operational costs associated with running and maintaining those institutions. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13460169/243598_70140_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM Should I use a video r&eacute;sum&eacute;? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Should-I-use-a-video-r-sum--_81680 Dear Career Advisor:<br /> <br /> Will a video r&eacute;sum&eacute; enhance my chances of landing a job? I am a recent graduate who has been seeking employment in Jamaica, the Caribbean and in North America, for almost a year now, but without success. I&rsquo;ve even begun the process of applying for my Caricom Skills Certificate. A friend suggested that I use a video r&eacute;sum&eacute; instead of the traditional r&eacute;sum&eacute;, do you think I should?<br /> <br /> Yours truly,<br /> <br /> Lance W<br /> <br /> Dear Lance:<br /> <br /> A video r&eacute;sum&eacute; allows you to go above and beyond what the traditional r&eacute;sum&eacute; and cover letter could. In our highly competitive job market, using technology and the novel approach of a video r&eacute;sum&eacute; can be advantageous in marketing yourself.However, the jury is out as to its level of acceptance with traditional employers and in some jurisdictions.<br /> <br /> Typically, a video r&eacute;sum&eacute; aims at giving a concise multi-media presentation of your value proposition to the company. Note, however, that it should not be seen as a total replacement of your paper-based application documents.<br /> <br /> Before deciding on using a video r&eacute;sum&eacute; you should carefully weigh the potential pitfalls against the probable benefits. Below are a few of the arguments presented by both sides.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> POTENTIAL BENEFITS<br /> <br /> * Excellent avenue which can lead to the formation of a lasting impression.<br /> <br /> * Great way to demonstrate your creativity and your willingness to step outside the box.<br /> <br /> * Very suitable for, though not limited to, the creative professions (eg media and communication, and visual and performing arts.)<br /> <br /> * Provides the latitude of including aspects that would not be on your traditional paper-based r&eacute;sum&eacute;. For example, you might be able to sneak in an endorsement from a supervisor or incorporate a piece of work or relevant award you have received.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS<br /> <br /> * Traditional employers might be reluctant or too busy to view it.<br /> <br /> * A poorly conceived and produced video can be destructive to your presentation.<br /> <br /> * It can be time-consuming to produce.<br /> <br /> * Raises &ldquo;protected class&rdquo; issues. A video r&eacute;sum&eacute; is likely to reveal personal detail such as gender, age, race, or disability at the onset. Therefore, for fear of being accused of not providing equal employment opportunity, some recruiters are reluctant to use them.<br /> <br /> * People form impressions based on appearance. If a recruiter has an &ldquo;ideal candidate&rdquo; in mind (for example, someone who looks assertive), although you might have the requisite skill and experience to testify, if your self-presentation appears less than bold it might not work in your favour.<br /> <br /> * There could be misinterpretation of non-verbal communication. For example, if you are not video savvy, non-verbal cues such as eye gaze might be misinterpreted as a lack of confidence.<br /> <br /> * The video r&eacute;sum&eacute; will very likely provide cues or lead the recruiter to form impressions of your personality type.This could then be used as a pre-screening tool to evaluate you against the organisation&rsquo;s cultural norms.<br /> <br /> If you do decide to go ahead with the video r&eacute;sum&eacute;, consider the following tips:<br /> <br /> * Keep it short<br /> <br /> * Don&rsquo;t just read the contents of your paper-based r&eacute;sum&eacute;; be creative<br /> <br /> * Ensure the content, including setting, speech and music, is appropriate.<br /> <br /> * Highlight relevant skills &ndash; show how your contributions can be of value<br /> <br /> * Capture snippets of relevant experience (eg, internships and/or previous employment)<br /> <br /> * Carefully select which prospective employer you send it to.<br /> <br /> Be sure to have the final production reviewed by a professional career coach before sending it out. If you&rsquo;re still unsure, consider posting it on your social media site and including the link on your traditional paper-based r&eacute;sum&eacute;.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Sincerely,<br /> <br /> Career Advisor<br /> <br /> Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student affairs at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at careeradvisor@ncu.edu.jm.<br /> <br /> Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM Single-sex primary education? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Single-sex-primary-education-_81735 DESPITE clear evidence that males and females learn differently, and in spite of continuing challenges with the performance of male students, separating the sexes doesn&rsquo;t appear to be the answer, according to some leading educators.<br /> <br /> In Jamaica, some of the most successful high schools have been single-sex institutions. At the primary level, however, with the exception of all-girl Immaculate Preparatory, there are no single-sex schools.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The [performance by sex] gaps in GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test), for example, is not excessively wide and if you take all of that into consideration, I really don&rsquo;t see any place and benefit to separate the genders in the primary level,&rdquo; Education Minister Ruel Reid argued.<br /> <br /> Pointing to the co-ed high schools that are performing as well as single-sex schools, Reid &mdash; who was principal of all-boy high school Jamaica College before being appointed education minister &mdash; said that what the ministry is encouraging is differentiated instruction, not separation of sexes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a matter of instruction within the same environment, which is called an inclusive environment. There is no one approach that is superior to the other, because the very same strategy that we want to achieve for boys could be done within the same classroom, because even within the spectrum of gender you still have to have differentiation; because what the query also speaks of is the different learning styles. Because some people are visual, some are auditory, some are kinesthetic, and some are hands on,&rdquo; he said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> He argued that large class sizes, and not mixed genders, is the problem.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The challenge with education is that what I call mass education. Once your class size becomes very large, then that is when we need to do something like separation. So it&rsquo;s not a gender issue, it is rather the size of your class&hellip; There is also a relationship between the size of your classroom and the kind of instruction that you can achieve. And one of the reasons why you tend to have a lot of problem in schools is because within the very large class of 40, 50, 60 students, then you&rsquo;re gonna have a problem in terms of diversity because you already have diversity of gender and within the gender, you have diversity in terms of learning styles because learning really should be customised and individualised,&rdquo; the minister said.<br /> <br /> In June 2010, then minister of education Andrew Holness, who is now prime minister, appeared to be conflicted on the subject.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What the data is saying, so far, is that it does help to separate (the genders), but in the long term it would be better to have co-ed education &hellip; And, given the performance gap that we have, would it be an advisable policy position to build institutions that are more male-oriented to deal with your extreme underperforming population?&rdquo; Holness was quoted in a Jamaica Information Service story dated June 28, 2010.<br /> <br /> President of The Mico University College Asburn Pinnock agrees with Minister Reid on the need for differentiated instruction and said that co-ed education at the primary level is beneficial to the development of the students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The world is a world of family and groups which are made up of both males and females, so the earlier they learn to get along with the opposite sex, the better. So is a matter of how we socialise them and not the separation of males and females that has shown to make any huge difference.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t have to separate them to teach them differently. That&rsquo;s why I started by talking about differentiated instruction, where you diversify your instruction and your strategy because there is value in them learning from each other. Some of the qualities that ladies have, men need them, and ladies also need some of the qualities from men. The answer is how you treat them when you have them before you,&rdquo; Pinnock postulated.<br /> <br /> The Mico president said that the problem of male underachievement in the classroom is caused in part by the absence of male teachers at the primary level.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It really is gender imbalance in the educational sector that is a part of the problem. What they are saying is that the boys don&rsquo;t have many persons for their role models so if the single-sex is gonna address that issue then fine, but I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s a single-sex matter. I don&rsquo;t think my primary school was any worse off because I had female teachers. In fact, most of the teachers I remember were female teachers, but I did crave the attention of the males because they are the ones who took us to sports, took us to the farm on a Thursday and to PE and all those things, and you really wanted the role model but you also wanted the softness of the female around you, and I wanted my female classmates beside me, so we had to learn to live,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He further underscored the multiplicity of factors that determine how students learn.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t believe that because you have a group of just male or female it makes it so easy to have a uniformed instruction because you have different levels of development before you: different experiences, different cultural backgrounds, different ethnic backgrounds, different religious backgrounds, so it&rsquo;s a dynamic process,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, gender-based learning specialist, University of Virginia professor, Dr Abigail Norfleet said that separating boys at the primary level may be beneficial to some children, but not all.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It depends on the child,&rdquo; she told Career & Education. &ldquo;Some boys are developmentally really not connected with the average kids and they probably would benefit from an all-boys school at the primary level. Same way with some girls, and it&rsquo;s just easier. For most kids, they do fine in co-ed education.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The ultimate point, according to her, is that a single strategy will not address the needs of all students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think there is one size fits all in education, in any kind of education. That&rsquo;s the whole problem with education; that no one style fits every kid. And so the problem is that educators try to find &lsquo;the best way&rsquo; to educate and they find the best way to educate some kids, but not all kids. And then those kids end up in special ed because they don&rsquo;t fit the mainstream. If we just divided it up a little bit, we&rsquo;d be able to meet every kid&rsquo;s needs,&rdquo; said Norfleet-James.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13342697/233511_60603_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM Digicel awards first &lsquo;Girls in ICT&rsquo; scholarship http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Digicel-awards-first--Girls-in-ICT--scholarship_81730 Eighteen-year-old Davia Smith from Bamboo, St Ann, can now pursue a career in information technology with some financial relief, thanks to the Digicel Business &lsquo;Girls in ICT&rsquo; scholarship.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This scholarship removes a huge burden for me,&rdquo; Smith shared. &ldquo;I was determined to go to university and study so I had applied for a student loan. But now I don&rsquo;t have to rely on them for all the funding and that&rsquo;s a huge relief because it&rsquo;s not so stressing now when I think of the repayment.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> She added, &ldquo;More importantly, I&rsquo;ll be studying something I&rsquo;m really passionate about and I look forward to making a mark in ICT when I&rsquo;m done. I know a lot of women are scared to take on ICT seriously because it&rsquo;s a male-dominated field, but I hope to inspire young women like myself and show them. What the field needs is new, young, innovative minds and we have that; we just need training and an opportunity to show the world.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Smith is in her first year at The University of the West Indies where she is reading for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.<br /> <br /> Valued at US$3,000 for a total of three years, the Digicel Business &lsquo;Girls in ICT&rsquo; Scholarship was designed to assist young Jamaican women looking to pursue careers in the field of information communication technology. The programme was launched at the celebration of International Girls in ICT Day hosted by the Office of Utilities Regulation in April.<br /> <br /> Speaking at the event, Lesley Miller, head of business strategy and assurance at Digicel Business, said, &ldquo;At Digicel, we understand the opportunities that are available in ICT for women and we want to encourage and support young women who want to pursue studies and build a career in the field. Sometimes, though, they just need a little help and motivation and that&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;ve introduced this programme.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Pointing to the European Union, Miller noted that the ICT sector continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas, creating over 120,000 jobs globally each year. This, according to Miller, is a tremendous opportunity for Jamaican women.<br /> <br /> Currently women account for 49 per cent of Digicel&rsquo;s workforce across all its Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific locations. Additionally, women hold some of the top ICT-related roles at Digicel.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13459948/243532_70050_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM JPS to cover CSEC exam costs for electrical, electronic tech http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/JPS-to-cover-CSEC-exam-costs-for-electrical--electronic-tech_81688 Students who will be sitting the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Electrical and Electronic Technology examination in June will have the cost covered by the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation.<br /> <br /> The foundation will pay more than $1.36 million to the Overseas Examinations Commission (OEC), which administers CSEC in Jamaica, on behalf of 426 students from 30 schools across the island.<br /> <br /> The JPS Foundation CSEC Electrical and Electronic Technology Exam Fee Sponsorship Initiative was formally launched at St George&rsquo;s College in downtown Kingston on Tuesday. St George&rsquo;s College is one of the beneficiary institutions.<br /> <br /> A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalise the arrangement was signed by Education, Youth and Information Minister Ruel Reid, OEC Deputy Director Sharon Burnett, and JPS President and Chief Executive Officer Kelly Tomblin, who also made a symbolic cheque presentation to the examination body. <br /> <br /> Minister Reid described it as the &ldquo;finest example of corporate social responsibility&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He said it reinforces the importance of partnerships in addressing some of the more urgent needs in Jamaica, particularly in education, and indicated that the programme&rsquo;s objectives are in &ldquo;perfect alignment&rdquo; with the ministry&rsquo;s policies, programmes and priorities.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I welcome the JPS Foundation&rsquo;s commitment... [and] congratulate [the beneficiaries] for the diligence with which you have applied yourselves. It&rsquo;s a great opportunity and I wish you well as you pursue your dreams,&rdquo; Reid said.<br /> <br /> The JPS Foundation initiative seeks to support the national mandate to ensure that each student leaves secondary school with skill-based knowledge and certification. It will serve to increase the number of students exiting the system with a practical subject by at least 1,000 each year.<br /> <br /> To qualify for support, schools must have attained an average pass rate of 60 per cent or more over the past two academic years and a candidate entry rate of 90 per cent or more. Schools that fall below the 60 per cent average, by 10 per cent or less, will be assisted with curriculum enrichment through qualified JPS Foundation volunteers, among other interventions.<br /> <br /> New-entry schools (institutions entering the exams for the first or second time) must have an overall CSEC average sit rate of 90 per cent over the past two years until they have accumulated two years of data on electrical and electronic technology, and students sitting exams should have an average of 60 per cent or higher and must be full-time enrollees.<br /> <br /> Only public/government-aided high schools and private high schools in which the Government has placed students will be considered. <br /> <br /> Tomblin, in noting JPS&rsquo;s long history of support to Jamaica&rsquo;s education sector, said the company is proud to assist in an area deemed pivotal to national development.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am really happy that JPS can contribute to providing the opportunities that willspur many children to really contribute to Jamaica,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13459897/243484_69954_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 AM PHOTO: Deaf children get tablet computers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Deaf-children-get-tablet-computers_81058 Dr Paul Golding (third left), dean, College of Business and Management, University of Technology, Jamaica, presents a tablet computer to Lister Mair Gilby High School student Lorraine Strachan (second left) during a presentation ceremony at the school recently. Golding handed over a first set of 100 tablets to teachers and students, which will be used with the innovative e-learning multimedia software, U-Touch. The software was developed by Golding and a research team to aid deaf and hearing-impaired students to understand prepositions and conjunctions to enhance their reading and comprehension skills. Sharing in the presentation from left are Carol Williams, teacher, and Audrey Watson, principal. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13449314/242211_68779_repro_w300.jpg Local News Monday, November 21, 2016 2:00 AM Teaching success: The Lance McFarlane story http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Teaching-success--The-Lance-McFarlane-story_80972 LANCE McFarlane &mdash;the teacher who led an entire class of fourth-formers in an accelerated exam programme at Wolmer&rsquo;s Girls&rsquo; to grade one in maths this year &mdash; began his teaching career as a matter of circumstance. It was in 2008, his fifth year at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, struggling to complete a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in electronics and computer science, with the Students&rsquo; Loan Bureau breathing down his neck.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I needed a job. I was looking to see what kind of job I could do. Mommy said try teaching. She saw it in me from before. And I sort of saw it in me from before. I said to myself &lsquo;Lance, you know you could teach for a couple years, one or two years&rsquo;. So I had it in the back of my head but not as a primary career goal,&rdquo; McFarlane told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> And it were it not for the insistence of his then-girlfriend, now-wife Sherika, he might not have heeded.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There was a job fair going on at the assembly hall at UWI. I told my girlfriend Sherika that I was going to look a job. By the Wednesday I got a shave and &lsquo;line up&rsquo;, but by Friday I still hadn&rsquo;t gone. I was putting on my boots and shorts to play some football and Sherika said to me, &lsquo;Lance, the job interview down by assembly hall, you need to go to one&rsquo;. I said, &lsquo;By now they should have already found who they&rsquo;re looking for.&rsquo; She said, &lsquo;Lance, you said you were going to go&rsquo;. And she pressed a shirt and pants for me and I borrowed a brethen&rsquo;s tie and went down to the hall and saw St Hugh&rsquo;s advertising for a maths and physics teacher,&rdquo; he recounted.<br /> <br /> McFarlane spent a year at St Hugh&rsquo;s High, where English teacher Duane Burke interested him in a business partnership to teach mathematics on weekends. And thus his extra-class business, Sophomore Academics, was born.<br /> <br /> After St Hugh&rsquo;s, McFarlane went on Institute of Academic Excellence for three years before landing the position at Wolmer&rsquo;s Girls&rsquo;. He has enjoyed much success in the classroom, with an average Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) pass rate of 99 per cent in his six years there.<br /> <br /> McFarlane acknowledges that when he just started teaching, he wasn&rsquo;t nearly as sharp as he is now, especially since he lacked class-control skills. However, he has learned from his experiences.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was between IAE and Sophomore Academics that I really started learning the syllabus, really started learning what the exams looked like. So ever since then, I&rsquo;ve been doing the syllabus in one year, with both adults and children. That&rsquo;s where I learned a lot of class management, with students who are rough. It takes a whole heap of inter-personal skills, a whole lot of confidence,&rdquo; he explained, saying that he became so good at what he did that IAE students would flock to his classes, and he was even approached by a competing remedial institution but declined.<br /> <br /> His success in the classroom contrasts with his university life, McFarlane admits. He told the Jamaica Observer how he lost focus, and ended up spending six years trying to complete a three-year degree programme that he had little interest in.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;[Leaving high school] I wanted to become a pilot. I wasn&rsquo;t aware of any way to do it except you pay for it, or the JDF; and I wasn&rsquo;t interested in the JDF. I remember thinking, &lsquo;Lance you have a brain, just go and do a three years at UWI; do something that&rsquo;s marketable&rsquo;. So I did an electronics major and computer science minor,&rdquo; he said, noting how strange it was considering he didn&rsquo;t know the first thing about computers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I never ended up liking it and I ended up losing a lot of interest. I ended up also being distracted while at UWI. I just went through a bad phase at a bad time,&rdquo; he added, noting that he skipped many classes, especially mathematics, and cared more about socialising than academics.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I failed a few courses [and] ended up having to do a fourth year. During my fourth year I had a lot of courses outstanding and I started to do them one at a time part-time,&rdquo; he said, explaining how the SLB withdrew its funding and how that caused him to spend six years at university.<br /> <br /> Financial struggles were not new for McFarlane. In his early years, his family relocated often and could barely make ends meet. His father, who was a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force until 1996, was the only breadwinner in the family of six, which consisted of his mother, and three other siblings.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The struggles were primarily financial. Some of the time bus fare was an issue, but he (father) would still find a way to put us on the bus on our way to school. There were several days when we didn&rsquo;t have lunch money. The plan was my father would pretty much try to get the money to bring to the school. And this was a regular practice. There are days you would end up going without lunch because not every time it would be sourced. Some of the times it comes late so you eat lunch after school. But it&rsquo;s not a case where we&rsquo;ve ever gone one full day and not eaten,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> There were also days when, while a member of the Kingston College track and field team, he trained on a empty stomach, but it had little or no effect on his academics and leadership involvements.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;After first form, I was in the &lsquo;honours class&rsquo; where I was usually in the top ten. I did nine CSEC subjects, did well at track. I have two champs medals: 100 metres hurdles bronze and 400 metres silver, both in class three,&rdquo; he said listing some of his achievements in high school.<br /> <br /> McFarlane was also deputy head boy at the North Street-based school, and while at Mona, founded The UWI chapter of the Kingston Old Boys&rsquo; Association.<br /> <br /> While he made it to the &lsquo;honours class&rsquo;, he described himself as an average student, with mathematics being the obstacle between him and the Masters Club, initiated by his third form maths teacher Mr Burke for the high achievers in the subject. He didn&rsquo;t become a strong mathematics student until fourth form, and passed the subject at CSEC with a grade two.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My first real test at teaching actually came when I was in upper six. My little brother, Mark, had been failing maths. As a matter of fact, his mock exam grade before CSEC was five per cent. My mother came to me about two weeks from the exam and said, &lsquo;Lance you have to help your brother&rsquo;. I said, &lsquo;Mommy, he cannot be helped, he is going to fail&rsquo;,&rdquo; he recalled.<br /> <br /> Mark got a grade three.<br /> <br /> The &ldquo;awesome responsibility&rdquo; of teaching was not lost on McFarlane.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I remember being introduced to the school population at a devotion at St Hugh&rsquo;s. It dawned on me the responsibility that I have to really be their teacher; to show them the way. You&rsquo;re looking at those students and you know that it is your duty to educate them, it&rsquo;s your duty to guide them and take care of them during school hours. It&rsquo;s your duty to inspire them; and that society demands all of this from you,&rdquo; he told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> Having shouldered this responsibility in the public system for just about eight years, the 31-year-old is seeking growth in the private education system as an entrepreneur. He recently handed in his resignation at Wolmer&rsquo;s and is now focused on growing Sophomore Academics in the next five to eight years.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My aspiration is not to be in the classroom forever. I&rsquo;m not satisfied with just being a regular classroom teacher. That was never the plan. Sophomore Academics is our (him and Duane Burke) brain child. [Though] people like my style of teaching and people want Mr McFarlane to teach them, eventually I want somebody to replace me. There are good teachers, and others who I can train and show them the ropes; create the formula, share the formula,&rdquo; he reasoned.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Had teaching been a more attractive offer, I would have probably stayed longer. I know that things are rough, but if it is that the Government can&rsquo;t pay more, [they should] create more benefits for the teachers, attract the brighter minds, make the profession a more respectable profession. A lot of the teachers can&rsquo;t afford a car, and if they don&rsquo;t find a partner in life, they can&rsquo;t own a house,&rdquo; he argued.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If you ask the honours students, none of them are saying they want to be teachers. It attracts the lower grades of students. Jamaica is not attracting the brighter minds because the brighter minds think they can earn more,&rdquo; McFarlane continued.<br /> <br /> On the subject of entrepreneurship, the teacher encouraged young people with that mindset to strike while they are young.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Timing is important. Create the platform and wait for the right time to launch out. And make the step while you&rsquo;re young. Don&rsquo;t try to take too many responsibilities. Try and create a platform that you can live from and then you take on responsibilities,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> He also advised that people should spend their youthful days getting qualified.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Education is the way to go. Get that paper. It&rsquo;s not necessarily the route to wealth, not for most of us, but it is a safeguard against poverty,&rdquo; he counselled. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13444582/242014_68600_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 20, 2016 3:00 AM Econ lecturer takes 2017 Rhodes Scholarship http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Econ-lecturer-takes-2017-Rhodes-Scholarship_80906 When economics educator Shakeba Foster applied to the Jamaica Rhodes Scholarship Committee earlier this year, the only people she told about it were her aunts with whom she lives and a few close friends.<br /> <br /> She didn&rsquo;t want to potentially disappoint people, she said, especially not her mother who she described as &ldquo;a crier&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the back of my mind there was some doubt that I would get it even though I fit the academic criteria. Even on the day when I stepped into the (interview) room with nine other people who are as brilliant or possibly more brilliant than I am [the doubt lingered],&rdquo; she told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Folks have a tendency to get too excited when they hear about my achievements or potential achievements. I didn&rsquo;t want to disappoint them, so I waited until it was over,&rdquo; Foster added.<br /> <br /> But no disappointment was on the cards, for on Thursday the 23-year-old economics educator emerged as the top seed of 10 shortlisted candidates after a nerve-racking day of interviews at King&rsquo;s House, and was named the 2017 Jamaica Rhodes Scholar.<br /> <br /> Her mother&rsquo;s reaction?<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Well, as expected, she cried. She cried even more when it came over the news,&rdquo; Foster said of her mother who migrated to the Cayman Islands many years ago.<br /> <br /> Foster, a University of the West Indies (UWI) assistant lecturer, graduated at the top of her class with a masters degree in economics this year, and plans to pursue a master of philosophy in the field while at Oxford. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have two main passions,&rdquo; she told Career & Education after accepting her award, &ldquo;the first, of course, being teaching. I take every opportunity to teach, whether it&rsquo;s via my job of lecturing, whether it&rsquo;s by helping other students throughout courses at the university, whether it&rsquo;s at church; every opportunity that I can I take to do teaching&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Apart from lecturing in the economics department at the university, a post she has held since August, Foster runs CXC mathematics classes for her church and community members whenever she can.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The ability to impact the minds of people; the ability to impact through giving knowledge, through encouraging greater levels of analysis, through encouraging open-minded thinking, through exposing young people to the world and the issues that are right now, is something that I consider a great privilege. Even without money, the fruits of it are enough payment,&rdquo; she said, acknowledging that many teachers, particularly in the public system, feel underpaid.<br /> <br /> For Foster, a St Jago High School alum who hails from Riversdale in St Catherine, being named Rhodes Scholar is a great responsibility and one which she attributes to God.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Given the wealth of history that comes with the Rhodes Scholarship and given the magnitude of positive impacts that Rhodes scholars before have had, this means that there is a great responsibility on my shoulders to ensure that I live up to that tradition to ensure that I make as much as a mark as others have made before me. It means I have to do something worthwhile; it means all the investments that have been made in me, the fruits have started to show and I&rsquo;m grateful,&rdquo; she told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My story is one of God&rsquo;s favour and faithfulness. The past few years have proved to me that if one puts God first, the possibilities are endless,&rdquo; she continued.<br /> <br /> It was encouragement from her friends, including last year&rsquo;s winner, reggae girl Sherona Forrester, that motivated Foster to apply for the award this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Rhodes Scholarship was always something I&rsquo;d heard about but not taken a lot of interest in. However, last year a few of my friends applied, including Sherona. And when Sherona won, I thought, &lsquo;Well, this is something that makes sense for me.&rsquo; I&rsquo;ve always wanted to do a PhD in economics and I thought, &lsquo;This is a good route to take. Let me apply and see what Rhodes has for me.&rsquo; And here I am,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> In addition to being part of the women&rsquo;s football and hockey teams and president of the social sciences honours society while at The UWI, Foster is youth president at Riversdale Pentecostal Church and regional president for the youth department of her church organisation&rsquo;s Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Ja, Inc. This involvement with youth forms her other passion &mdash; impacting young people.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m all about youth, she told Career & Education. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m all about teaching and so, however that fits into positively impacting Jamaica, however an Oxford education helps me to do that and do that to a better extent, or on a greater scale, then that&rsquo;s exactly what I will do.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In the meantime, she is excited about her future.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m still trying to soak it all in. I&rsquo;m excited about what the future holds. I definitely am grateful to God and grateful for the Rhodes selection committee for giving me this opportunity,&rdquo; said Foster.<br /> <br /> The Rhodes Scholarship was created as per the last will and testament of British politician, Cecil John Rhodes to provide funding for aspiring, international young leaders to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13444134/241889_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 20, 2016 3:00 AM Denise Daley is Young Scientist of the Year http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Denise-Daley-is-Young-Scientist-of-the-Year_80936 As the years passed, Daley&rsquo;s interest deepened, ultimately settling on the use of plants as medicine.<br /> <br /> Her efforts culminated on Wednesday, when the National Commission on Science and Technology named her - a pharmacognosist (natural product scientist) and programme director at the College of Health Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica - Young Scientist of the Year 2016 for her work with the eucalyptus plant.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I always loved plants, but in second form my biology teacher inspired an even greater interest in science. My inquisitive mind was developed and I just loved learning about how the body works or how a plant makes its food. As a result, I began doing even better and that zeal never left.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;[In fact] my first university essay in the course Foundation English at the University of the West Indies, Mona, was on traditional medicine, its use, and relevance, and it was after that research I knew that for sure that I wanted to work with plants as medicine,&rdquo; Dr Daley told the Jamaica Observer following the National Medals for Science and Technology awards ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.<br /> <br /> She won the award ahead of her colleagues Dr Stacey Stephenson, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at The UWI, Mona; and Dr Nickeisha Stephenson, a lecturer in the department of Chemistry, also at The UWI, Mona.<br /> <br /> The former Dr Stephenson&rsquo;s work highlights approaches to addressing the increasing incidence of urinary tract infections through innovative approaches in controlling the causative agent &mdash; E-Coli &mdash; using advanced molecular techniques. Dr Nickeisha Stephenson, meanwhile, focused on a non-invasive approach to diagnosing, staging and detecting diseases such as cancer, heart, and disease linked to the central nervous system using a new methodology referred to as Positron Emission Tomography.<br /> <br /> At least nine local scientists working in several STEAM-based areas (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) were also awarded for new or improved innovations.<br /> <br /> These include: Oswald Smith in the area of Education and Popularisation of Science, Technology, and Innovation for the Google Transit implementation for JUTC; Conrad Brown in the area of energy for LED street lamps; Paul Jackson and Ceretsie Rowe-Campbell in Environmental Sustainability for the environment focus recycling Machine and sustainable food cart (Maroon Kitchen) respectively; Oral and Allison Turner for Agriculture, Food and Agro-processing with the sorrel harvesting machine; Chadwick Barclay in the area of Youth Innovation for a low-cost navigation system for the visually impaired or blind; Omar Samuels for ICT and Electronics (with special focus on cyber security) for his safety forecast system - Chaperon; Mark Bennett, in the area of Engineering and Manufacturing for the Active Regulator Generator Plus (ARG); and Dr Henry Lowe for Health and Safety.<br /> <br /> Dr Lowe also copped the award for Innovator of the Year for the production of the drug Alpha Prostate Formula II, formulated with the extract from the Jamaican Moss Ball (Old man beard) which has shown significant bioactivity against prostate cancer cells and negligible toxicity against normal cells. The product also promotes good prostate health.<br /> <br /> The awards were established in 2005 and are now a biennial event intended to celebrate achievements, stimulate creativity and energise the growth and development of innovations in science and technology which can in turn support and enhance the Government&rsquo;s science and technology policy. The awards also seek to identify, recognise as well as facilitate intellectual property and protection and the commercialisation of innovations originated from individuals and institutions in and of Jamaica.<br /> <br /> For Daley, being named Young Scientist of the Year serves to further her goal of &ldquo;validating Jamaican bush medicine and the use of plants as medicine via research&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> Her research is entitled: The Development of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods from Hypoglycaemic and Hypotensive Compounds Isolated from Eucalyptus. It was thought through even before her admittance into the post-graduate biochemistry programme at The UWI, Daley said, as she has always dreamt of a way to help her grandmother and others who suffer from diabetes.<br /> <br /> The programme, which was under the supervision of Dr Ruby Lisa Alexander-Lindo, Dr Trevor Yee (co-supervisor) and Professor Paul Reese (advisor), a team which she credits for support, allowed her to explore and later discover groundbreaking information that would cement her belief in the oral traditions of herbal medicinal prowess as well as create new hope for people who suffer from diabetes and hypertension.<br /> <br /> She noted that type II diabetes is prevalent in a wide age range across the world and affects people between the ages 15 and 74 years in Jamaica. However, Dr Daley pointed out that this gap is still widening and said her goal was to address what is an area of growing concern through a fusion of traditional medicines and science and technology.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Basically, I wanted to do plant research for new medicine. I also wanted to prove or get evidence that brings truth to the use of the plant [eucalyptus]. Is it really helping or is it &ldquo;mind over matter&rdquo;? This study involved the use of animals (rats), where the rats were given the eucalyptus extract and the blood glucose and blood pressure observed and recorded. After data analysis, this corroborated its use in herbal medicine for these ailments,&rdquo; Dr Daley reported.<br /> <br /> She noted that having established a clear principle and trajectory for the path of the research within years of her starting date she had answers that catapulted her to the PhD programme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the PhD programme I was able to broaden the scope of my study. I identified all the other parameters, active compounds, dosages and other related information, this time again within record time. The research, [yielding the results it did] received a patent from the United States of America with over 40 claims,&rdquo; Dr Daley told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> But even with her remarkable results and commendations she struggled to source funding for her project. Still, the experience gifted her a valuable lesson.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If I had more funding much more could have been done in that time frame, such as purchase equipment, but it taught me as a graduate student to prioritise, execute strategic plans and make realistic goals to meet the objectives. Once each objective was met, the project would eventually take its form. It was the end product that mattered most and regardless of the time in which it took form, the important thing is that it was all happening like I anticipated,&rdquo; Dr Daley said.<br /> <br /> It was these exciting results that led her to submit her research to the Scientific Research Council to be considered, and Wednesday&rsquo;s win has whetted her appetitite.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Honestly, after getting some exciting results after an experiment, I said to my lab colleagues I want to be known for contributing to research. I want my work to be known, to impact and to help control or treat diabetes and I was so serious. I want to help so [many people] affected [by] diabetes, including my grandmother, so I worked to achieve this using plants and will continue,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> In terms of her career goals, Daley intends to not only be a natural product or herbal consultant but also a clinical consultant for the use of plants as medicine.<br /> <br /> In the meantime, she says in an effort to stay true to one of her passions, which is to inspire science, she has started to set the stage for a foundation dedicated to empowering students through science via a weekly commitment of four hours teaching young people at Quality Academics. She is also seeking to enter the commercial space with products which have been formulated to meet the health demands of those with diabetes and hypertension. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am also looking to procure sponsorship and major investors for the mass production of items such as the diabetic margarine, cooking oil, mayonnaise, blended eucalyptus teas, tincture, and capsules which assist with the lowering and control of blood glucose concentration and the lowering or stabilising the blood pressure as well as natural exfoliating soaps,&rdquo; she said, noting that she hopes the search for financiers this time around will be a lot less challenging than the experience while completing her research.<br /> <br /> See related story on Page 9. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13444619/241968_68557_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 20, 2016 12:00 AM MICO students fund bursary http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/MICO-students-fund-bursary_80969 ON the morning of November 1, 2016, soon-to-be graduate of The Mico University College, Anna-Kaye Bromfield stood outside the Eli Matalon Gymnasium on the college&rsquo;s Marescaux Road campus. Lecturer Stephen Meghoo, one of the panellists who interviewed her for a second scholarship award at the school, walked up enquiring, &ldquo;Anna-kaye, what are you still doing at Mico? Are you still a student?&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Bromfield replied, &ldquo;No, I&rsquo;m not a student, today I&rsquo;m a donor.&rdquo; The 23-year-old, in conjunction with her classmate and best friend Damion Harrison, both outgoing Mico students, offered a bursary and would award it to one of their colleagues at the college&rsquo;s annual scholarship event that morning, making good on their promise to give back.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He was really taken aback because one of the questions he asked me in the interview was &lsquo;Why should I select you?&rsquo; and I told him &lsquo;It&rsquo;s a worthy investment. You won&rsquo;t regret it and I will give back&rsquo;,&rdquo; Bromfield recalled.<br /> <br /> Meghoo would further quiz Bromfield on how she could afford to be doing this, having not yet officially graduated from the school and being unemployed. The student replied:<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Well, I have enough to share.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Bromfield/Harrison Bursary awards $30,000 and a laptop computer to the successful second- or third-year student of the guidance and counselling department. The inaugural recipient is fourth year student Petagaye Graham.<br /> <br /> Bromfield and Harrison said that although they are barely through Mico&rsquo;s gates, they couldn&rsquo;t leave without being &ldquo;active change agents&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Even though I have other expenses, I had to do this. It was like a rite of passage. If I didn&rsquo;t do it, it would&rsquo;ve taken away from my philosophy of leaving a space better than the way I found it,&rdquo; Bromfield told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The students explained that coming from humble beginnings, they understand what it is like to lack and receive assistance, being the only two guidance and counselling students to receive financial aid in their cohort. They pooled monies that they made working overseas on the work and travel programme to fund the award.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;When I started university, I had to take a student loan. Even though I had a loan, I had to go without a laptop. I spent lots of time at the library. It was hard,&rdquo; said Bromfield, who indicated that she didn&rsquo;t have a laptop until her third year in college.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The $30,000 represents a $30,000-book grant that I was afforded on my very first year at Mico. The $30,000 was exactly what I needed to sit my exams,&rdquo; Bromfield said of the bursary award.<br /> <br /> She also said they chose to offer the scholarship because there were not many scholarship opportunities for guidance and counselling students.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And so we understand the story behind maintaining a high GPA and applying for a scholarship, and also sometimes not qualifying for a scholarship because you can&rsquo;t afford to, based on the fact that you don&rsquo;t have certain necessities, certain resources. Not having a laptop paralyses you in a sense,&rdquo; she said, noting that at the time when they offered the bursary she had just paid the rest of her own fees.<br /> <br /> They encouraged anyone who can to help make a student&rsquo;s life better.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s important for any person to make better an opportunity for someone who is less fortunate because someone helped you. It&rsquo;s a way of life. It&rsquo;s a proud philosophy. If you can help to make a space better than the way you found it, and if you can impact others, you are helping yourself, particularly as it relates to education. It&rsquo;s a worthwhile investment to make if you want a better Jamaica: to help those that would make worthwhile contributions but just can&rsquo;t because they can&rsquo;t afford to. It&rsquo;s not fair to not be able to finish school because you can&rsquo;t afford to. If you can help then you should,&rdquo; Bromfield told Career & Education.<br /> <br /> This year, 38 Mico students received scholarships from over 20 donors from alumni and corporate Jamaica. Guest speaker, Allman Town Primary School principal and Lasco Principal of the Year Khandi-Lee Crooks also encouraged the recipients to make a return on the money invested in them.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;You owe us and you need to give back,&rdquo; she urged. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13444585/242000_68575_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 20, 2016 12:00 AM Wheatley: Science and technology integral to economic growth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Wheatley--Science-and-technology-integral-to-economic-growth_80965 Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley says greater focus must be placed on innovation and science, as they have great potential to deliver economic growth for Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The minister, who was addressing the 2016 National Medal for Science, Technology and Innovation Awards ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, in New Kingston on Wednesday, noted that when innovation and science are harnessed, there is growth without harm to the environment.<br /> <br /> Several people were recognised for their creativity in engineering, agriculture, education, food and agro-processing, energy, health and safety, as well as other areas.<br /> <br /> Wheatley described the awards as the &ldquo;pride of a nation&rdquo;, given as recognition of the value placed on scientific research.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is very important that we celebrate the achievements of our people, as innovation holds tremendous possibilities for the sustainable development of this country,&rdquo; the minister said.<br /> <br /> He noted that while innovations enable economic growth, they are also crucial underpinnings of all developed countries, and especially so for countries like Jamaica that are in the developing mode.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;They have the potential to build capacity, increase employment opportunities, and boost the earning power of our citizens. They are also important in creating the necessary linkages and synergies that will significantly aid in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,&rdquo; the minister said.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Minister of Science and Technology in the Republic of South Africa, Naledi Mandisa Pandor said her country has invested in fully funded South African research chairs which attract scientists from all over the world, and Jamaicans could benefit.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have established 198 of these research chairs, and when we issue calls, I hope that scientists from Jamaica will also apply,&rdquo; she said, adding that the facilities are geared toward training scores of young people.<br /> <br /> Researcher Dr Denise Daley won the Young Scientist of the Year award, Professor Errol Morrison received the 2016 National Medal for Science and Technology, and Dr Henry Lowe won the Innovator of the Year award. Local Education Sunday, November 20, 2016 12:00 AM Is your high-schooler ready for internal exams? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Is-your-high-schooler-ready-for-internal-exams-_80960 It&rsquo;s hard to believe that we are almost at the end of the first school term of the new academic year. In a couple of weeks some secondary level schools will be administering their internal tests or examinations. These exams often swoop down on us, catching us off-guard and can be a source of much distress to parents and students alike.<br /> <br /> Exams or tests should certainly not be seen as a burden or a hardship. They are an inevitable part of school life. They are an important way for teachers to assess learning, and they offer benefits to students as well. By taking tests, kids develop valuable study skills and they learn from the mistakes that they make. By practicing and preparing, kids acquire competence and outcomes should be positive.<br /> <br /> If your teenager does not feel prepared, there is no point in getting upset and waging war. Make an effort to fix the problem and offer assistance along the way even if they show resistance. Your child&rsquo;s brain is still developing, a process that will continue until about age 25. Therefore, as adults and as their parents, we have to ignore their demeanor and attitudes most of the times and simply offer love and assistance.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> WHAT PARENTS SHOULD DO NOW<br /> <br /> Communicate &mdash; Discuss with your high-schooler his/ her various subjects. Evaluate what are the most troublesome subjects. Devise an action plan which should include extra time for those deemed difficult.<br /> <br /> Talk to the teacher &ndash; Teachers often offer a study guide for the exam. This would include the format of exam as well as topics that will be tested. Encourage your teen to talk to the teacher if this information was not already given.<br /> <br /> Quiz your child &mdash; Many of us parents do not remember or perhaps did not even learn much of the material being taught at school these days. Do not let this deter you. Take the textbook and ask questions from it. This will reinforce your interest in your child and will also foster a good parent-child relationship. <br /> <br /> Practice - Obtain workbooks, worksheets or past papers which will help your child become competent at answering questions. Many worksheets can be obtained online at no cost. Practice builds confidence.<br /> <br /> Hire a tutor &mdash; If your child is having real difficulty in particular subjects, do not delay in finding extra help.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ACTION PLAN FOR TEENS<br /> <br /> Treat exams as a job to be done. This is where you show &ldquo;your employer&rdquo; what you know. Here are some tips:<br /> <br /> Keep a positive attitude &ndash; At this time, internal exams would only be covering 13-15 weeks of learning. So, looking at it realistically, it&rsquo;s really not a lot of material. Reassure yourself that it can and will be done. It is also advisable to avoid other students who would rather complain than study. Stick with positive-minded peers.<br /> <br /> Rewrite your notes &mdash; Spend time rewriting notes given in class but in addition to these, add extra information that you can obtain from textbooks as well as reliable online sources.<br /> <br /> Leave the distractions - This is the time to turn off the cellphone and to stay clear of social media. Social media as well as texting apps are simply a waste of your time. You want to maintain clarity and focus.<br /> <br /> Get plenty of sleep &mdash; Memory formation depends on sleep. Make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Remember that you cannot perform to your fullest potential if you are tired.<br /> <br /> Keep moving &mdash; Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. If you already have an exercise programme in place, you may be tempted to give it a break in lieu of studying. Do not do this. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. Even more important is the fact that exercise increases the blood supply to your brain cells, promoting clarity.<br /> <br /> Seek help &mdash; Do not be afraid to ask your teacher for clarification if necessary. If you come across questions and you are unsure of the answer, definitely find your teacher and discuss. You could also seek assistance from peers who are competent in that subject.<br /> <br /> Teach your friends &mdash; This is a great way to share your knowledge as well as reinforce ideas in your own brain. When you explain to or teach someone, your own understanding increases.<br /> <br /> Test yourself &mdash; It&rsquo;s not enough to simply review your notes. Try testing yourself. You could write questions as you go along and then close the book and attempt these questions.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Dr Karla Hylton is the author of Yes! You Can Help Your Child Achieve Academic Success and Complete Chemistry for Caribbean High Schools. She operates Bio & Chem Tutoring which specialises in secondary level biology and chemistry. Reach her at (876) 564-1347, biochemtutor100@gmail.com or khylton.com.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13444613/241991_68573_repro_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 20, 2016 12:00 AM Teacher seeks career change http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career/Teacher-seeks-career-change_80758 Dear Career Advisor<br /> <br /> I read with interest the response given last week to the reader who wants a career change, and I see where I can benefit as I too have found myself in a similar situation. I am a trained teacher of English, but I no longer want to continue with teaching. My desire to change is not because of the students, as I love them dearly and rejoice in their successes. I also get on very well with their parents. It is just that I don&rsquo;t feel that as an individual I am growing professionally and capitalising on my potential. I don&rsquo;t want to become a school administrator.<br /> <br /> What would you suggest I do? I fear that future employers might consider me a quitter. What else could I do?<br /> <br /> Yours truly,<br /> <br /> Ingrid Mc<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Dear Ingrid:<br /> <br /> We are happy you have found the suggestions useful.<br /> <br /> Many successful people began their professional journey in teaching. You will not be alone in this transition as multiple career changes is common among professionals, even more so now than ever before. Being engaged in a job you love does not mean you have to do that job for the rest of your life, and making a career change from teaching does not make you a failure. However, be prepared to state your reason(s) for desiring the career change in positive terms.<br /> <br /> There are many rewarding careers that will allow you to work directly with children or with people in general. One option is to become an entrepreneur by providing direct teaching or educational support services. There are many parents who desire to have their children home-schooled, but who are not able to adequately cater to the wide-ranging needs of this option. There is also a niche market for children with special needs, as well as for after-school support and care services.<br /> <br /> Outside of education and teaching, there are several possibilities that you could explore. As was discussed in the last edition, do a self-assessment to identify your transferrable skills. As a teacher, your training would have allowed you to develop strengths such as:<br /> <br /> &bull; Communication (speaking, writing, listening)<br /> <br /> &bull; Creativity (designing, decorating, spatial layout, and utilisation)<br /> <br /> &bull; Analysis (data gathering, survey development, research, and data analysis)<br /> <br /> &bull; People skills (interpersonal, motivational, persuasion)<br /> <br /> &bull; Technical skills (computer skills, etc)<br /> <br /> These and other skills are very applicable and needed in a number of professions and industries.<br /> <br /> Your next task will be to explore areas in which you might have interest and perceive that you would enjoy doing with a level of satisfaction. Among the possible options are:<br /> <br /> &bull; Sales, and customer support services<br /> <br /> &bull; Media and communication (journalism, public relations, marketing, news and feature writing, etc)<br /> <br /> &bull; Administration and management<br /> <br /> &bull; The legal field (judicial support services, and legal assistance)<br /> <br /> &bull; Author, editor, or publisher<br /> <br /> The possibilities are endless, really. Think about the kind of growth you are seeking &Ntilde; your dreams, your aspirations, the void you seek to have filled. Think about what it is you wish to accomplish and identify routes to getting there. Follow your heart and live your dream.<br /> <br /> Good luck!<br /> <br /> Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student affairs at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at careeradvisor@ncu.edu.jm. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11975061/CAROLYN-SMITH_w300.jpg Local Education Sunday, November 20, 2016 12:00 AM