Half-time: QPR 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0

first_imgTjaronn Chery went closest to scoring for QPR during a first half which ended with Sheffield Wednesday’s Modou Sougou being stretchered off.Chery met Sandro’s volleyed diagonal pass with a crisp volley of his own, but his effort from the left-hand edge of the penalty area went wide of the near post.Chery saw another shot deflected wide and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had a shot saved by Wednesday keeper Keiran Westwood.At the other end, Barry Bannan blazed wastefully wide after cutting inside Nedum Onuoha.And shortly before the interval, Clint Hill slipped and then poleaxed Sougou with a crunching last-ditch challenge to prevent the Owls winger pouncing on the loose ball 30 yards from goal.Chris Ramsey made three changes to the QPR side, with Hill, Massimo Luongo and Daniel Tozser coming in for Gabriele Angella, Leroy Fer and Karl Henry.QPR: Green, Onuoha, Hall, Hill, Konchesky, Sandro, Tozser, Phillips, Luongo, Chery, Emmanuel-Thomas.Subs: Smithies, Angella, Fer, Faurlin, Doughty, Hoilett, Henry.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Read More →

Half-time: Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 2

first_imgRuben Loftus-Cheek’s first Premier League goal and a penalty from Alexandre Pato on his long-awaited debut gave Chelsea a commanding lead at half-time.After a subdued opening 20 minutes, in which Chelsea were content to control possession, the visitors broke through at the end of a fine passing move.John Obi Mikel started it by upping the tempo, Pedro spread the ball wide for Cesar Azpilicueta and the Spaniard’s cross was turned in by Loftus-Cheek, via a deflection off Joleon Lescott.Pato, brought in in January on loan from Corinthians, had come on shortly before the first goal after Loic Remy went off injured.And he got his first goal from the spot in injury time, after being flattened by a falling Aly Cissokho in the box.Pedro had had Chelsea’s first chance of note, with a right-efforted that just cleared the angle of post and bar.Rock-bottom Villa were not cowed by the Blues, though, and Rudy Gestede and Carles Gil both forced Thibaut Courtois into saves.Jordan Ayew, the hosts’ stand-out player in the first half, then rolled a shot just wide of the post, while Loftus-Cheek did the same at the other end after robbing Idrissa Gueye.As well as Pato, Chelsea gave a debut to January signing Matt Miazga as part of a reshuffled back four, with John Terry and Gary Cahill both out.Aston Villa: Guzan; Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Cissokho; Sanchez, Westwood, Gueye; Gil, Gestede, Ayew.Subs: Bunn, Okore, Bacuna, Lyden, Veretout, Grealish, Sinclair.Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Miazga, Baba; Mikel, Fabregas; Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy; Remy. Subs: Begovic, Clarke-Salter, Matic, Oscar, Traore, Pato, Falcao.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Read More →

Sea Genes Multiply

first_imgA potential paradigm-shifting discovery has been made in the doldrums of the Sargasso Sea: there are many more genes in plankton than expected.  Craig Venter’s Celera team sampled the genetic content of microbes off the Bermuda coast, and in 1500 liters of surface seawater, found 1.5 million new genes.  Falkowski and de Vargas, writing about this in the April 2 issue of Science,1 appear quite surprised:Our evolutionary heritage is imprinted in the genes of microbes that live in the oceans, yet that genomic information is barely understood, let alone written in biological textbooks. … Such an enormous number of new genes from so few samples obtained in one of the world’s most nutrient-impoverished bodies of water poses significant challenges to the emerging field of marine molecular microbial ecology and evolutionary biology.The “shotgun sequencing” approach of Celera, superior to the older PCR (polymerase chain reaction) method for detecting new genes, has unveiled a previously hidden superabundance of biodiversity among ocean microorganisms.  Genomes range from 20 Mb (megabases, or base pairs of DNA) to over 2000 Mb.  Some dinoflagellates, of which there are some 2000 varieties, have genomes comparable in size to humans.    Falkowski and de Vargas repeat the usual evolutionary scenario, that “The diversity of microbes in the world’s oceans is the outcome of over 3.8 billion years of evolution.”  They discuss the “metabolic experimentation and innovation” that led to photosynthesis.  To them, this biodiversity reflects what happened after photosynthesis took over: “This accommodation has been manifested over the past ~2 billion years as biological adaptations that strive to protect nature’s investment in the old, anaerobic biological machinery.  On a macroscopic scale, these adaptations include the evolution of secondary metabolic pathways, behaviors, morphologies, diversification, and species redundancy that ensures the survival of geochemically critical biological processes.”  Nevertheless, they acknowledge ignorance: “Arguably, nowhere on Earth is this microbial diversity–poorly understood as it is–more apparent than in the contemporary oceans.”  And they admit that this latest genetic survey of the oceans raises many questions about ecology, and about evolution itself:The huge panoply of new functional genes unveiled by this first shotgun sequencing of the oceans begs fundamental questions in marine microbial ecology.  For example, what ecological and evolutionary processes maintain such high microbial diversity in the oceans?  How many new functional components are there?  Have we been missing major players, or is the apparent diversity the expression of an extreme redundancy?  What is the tempo of evolution in marine microbes?  Is their diversity the outcome of Darwinian selection through vertical inheritance, or is it due to nearly neutral modes of evolution in which the hundreds of millions of viral and bacteriophage particles in any milliliter of seawater act as major agents of horizontal gene transfer and genome scrambling?    This list of questions merely suggests that the approach described by Venter et al.  is neither a beginning nor an end to understanding marine microbial ecology.  Rather, it is a clear signpost on a longer journey that will occupy a broad spectrum of the scientific community for decades.Obviously, they remind us, “Most marine microbes are not preserved in the fossil record; hence, their evolutionary pathways can best be inferred from genetically heritable molecules.”  And this will “require substantial investments in new technologies.”  But “These efforts are critical to understanding how life evolved.”    The work of Venter’s team is published in the same issue of Science.2  The abstract states, “These data are estimated to derive from at least 1800 genomic species based on sequence relatedness, including 148 previously unknown bacterial phylotypes.  We have identified over 1.2 million previously unknown genes represented in these samples, including more than 782 new rhodopsin-like photoreceptors.  Variation in species present and stoichiometry suggests substantial oceanic microbial diversity.”1Paul G. Falkowski and Colomban de Vargas, “Shotgun Sequencing in the Sea: A Blast from the Past?” Science, Vol 304, Issue 5667, 58-60, 2 April 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1097146].2J. Craig Venter et al., “Environmental Genome Shotgun Sequencing of the Sargasso Sea,” Science, Vol 304, Issue 5667, 66-74, 2 April 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1093857].These surprising data are too preliminary for anyone to understand them satisfactorily.  They rely on techniques involving some guesswork and statistics, such as comparing similar sequences and identifying unique species out of billions of base pairs.  Still, the results so far appear to contradict evolutionary assumptions.  In a strictly Darwinian world, the fittest survive and the weak go extinct.  Yet in the oceans, where the generation rates are the fastest and the opportunities for competition over resources are plenteous, there is a superabundance of biodiversity.  Why would organisms “strive to protect nature’s investment in the old, anaerobic biological machinery,” if photosynthesis is superior?  Can the impersonal strive?  What is machinery, if not made by intelligent design?  And if horizontal gene transfer has been the rule, or neutral evolution widespread, “scrambling”’ the genomes of these organisms, how could any phylogenetic tree be constructed?  How could a scientist have any confidence that a phylogenetic tree even reflects natural history at all?  Falkowski and de Vargas would not be asking the questions if they knew how “evolutionary processes” (how’s that for an oxymoron) could “maintain such high microbial biodiversity,” or why such “extreme redundancy” should exist in a “nutrient-impoverished” environment, where Malthus and Darwin would have expected only the fittest to survive.  They see no clear “Darwinian selection through vertical inheritance” jumping out of the published data.  An outside observer might claim Darwin’s predictions have been falsified.    This is not to assert that creationists have a ready answer to explain why there would be so many rhodopsin-like photoreceptors, or why a dinoflagellate would have a genome comparable in size to a human.  We have already seen that the genome is only part of a more complex picture of gene regulation and development (e.g., see 05/23/2003 entry).  A creationist could argue the truism that each organism, by its very persistence, possesses what it needs to survive, and that this fits a creation paradigm as well as (if not better than) an evolutionary one.  Overall, however, the emerging picture of oceanic biodiversity does not appear to represent what an evolutionist would expect.  The basal life forms, prokarya and bacteria, already possess complex machinery and a diversity of functions beyond what seems needed for mere survival.  Superabundance of genetic information points to a commensurate cause: a superabundance of intelligent design.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More →

Gallery: Eastern Cape, a place of natural wonders

first_imgCross the border into the Eastern Cape, whether along the N6 or N2, and an overwhelming calm takes over. Its green hills, dense forests and warm seas embrace the visitor, revealing all that is sacred and making you feel as if you have arrived home.The Eastern Cape’s landscape is varied and suits the taste of any tourist. You can ski the alpine slopes of Tiffindell, hike the forests of Tsitsikamma, lounge on any of its golden beaches and take in the savannah culture of the Karoo. (Images: Shamin Chibba, unless stated otherwise)Compiled by Shamin ChibbaIt’s September. It’s spring in South Africa – and Tourism Month, celebrated this year with the theme “Tourism for All”. To inspire your next road trip we bring you nine galleries, one for each province, showcasing our country’s remarkable beauty and diversity.A thriving tourism industry means South Africa is closer to achieving its National Development Plan goals of skills development and creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.The Eastern Cape’s natural landscape is varied and caters for tourists of all kinds. One can ski the alpine slopes of Tiffindell, surf the Supertubes in Jeffrey’s Bay , hike the forest in Hogsback and explore the oddities in the savannah-like Karoo towns.The Eastern Cape is a storied part of South Africa, filled with people carving out a life in what is the country’s poorest province. Despite this, its people have a lot of heart and if you spend a little time with them, you will feel as if you have always belonged there.The East London beachfront hosts one of the country’s biggest New Years’ bashes each year. But between the parties, it is calm, with many East Londoners walking or running on the promenade at the end of the day.Kologha Forest in Stutterheim is the second largest natural forest in South Africa after the Knysna Forest. It can be explored by foot, mountain bike and even on horseback. For those looking to do a spot of fishing, the forest’s waterways are home to trout. Be on the lookout for the forest’s many inhabitants, which include bushpigs, bats, monkeys, duikers and numerous birds. (Image: SA-Venues.com)Built between 1860 and 1880, the Donkin Street terraced houses in Port Elizabeth are actually integrated as a single unit. The whole street was declared a national monument in 1967.Tiffindell Ski Resort, in the Southern Drakensberg, is South Africa’s only ski and snowboarding resort. Established in 1993, the resort has since become the country’s winter playground. It uses snow making and grooming machines to maintain the ski hill. (Image: Tiffindell Ski Resort)The Eco Shrine in the mystical village of Hogsback is a nod to the power of art, nature, science and the sacred. In the distance are the three ridges from which the Hogsback takes its name. Some speculate that Hogsback’s magical surrounds inspired JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Residents have run with the claim, with names like Camelot, Hobbiton, Rivendell, The Shire, Lothlorien and Middle Earth seen everywhere. When you visit, don’t forget to hike to the Madonna and Child waterfall. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)The Big Tree in Tsitsikamma is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old, stands 36.6 metres tall and has a trunk circumference of nine metres.Found in the town of Storms River, the Big Tree is a yellowwood. This species, South Africa’s national tree, is endangered. Before yellowwoods were cut and logged almost to extinction, they dominated country’s landscape, particularly in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. Today, there is just 10% of the yellowwood trees of 350 years ago.Hole in the Wall is a village south of Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast. In isiXhosa, the area is called esiKhaleni, which means ‘the place of sound’. Some say the name comes from the cracking sound made by waves slapping the rocks while others believe it comes from a legend about a young maiden who fell in love with one of the mythical ‘sea people’. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)Jeffrey’s Bay is South Africa’s number one surf spot, known as Supertubes. It attracts some of the best surfers in the world for the Billabong Surf Pro Championship, in July each year. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)The beachfront in East London is a great place for tourists to pick up arts and crafts.The N2 road runs along the Eastern Cape coast, linking Cape Town and Durban and beyond. It forms part of the Garden Route. The road cuts through some of the country’s diverse flora and fauna as well as picturesque Eastern Cape towns such as Port Alfred and Kenton-on-Sea.A man and his dog, a common sight at Nahoon Beach, East London.In Nieu Bethesda, The Owl House is a testament to the power of imagination. With its numerous sculptures of owls, bottle-skirted hostesses, mermaids, camels and pilgrims, The Owl House has become almost a required stop for visitors to the Karoo village. Depending on your outlook, the place is either weird or wonderful. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth’s city centre was declared a public space in perpetuity by Sir Rufane Donkin. It has a lighthouse and stone pyramid monument upon which an inscription was placed by Donkin in honour of his late wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city was named.The Paul Sauer Bridge, better known as Storms River Bridge, has become symbolic for travellers along the Garden Route. It was the highest concrete arch in Africa at 120 metres above the river until the Bloukrans Bridge was built in 1984. The latter stands at 216 metres above the river. Both bridges are on the N2. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)In times long past, the home of elephants and, more recently, woodcutters, the village of Storms River attracts the curious tourist with its charm and special ambiance. With little lighting, silence and few people, it is perfect for anyone in search of a bit of solitude.Whatever your taste, you can find pristine beaches void of people or touristy resorts along the long Eastern Cape coast.The East London Golf Club, one of the oldest and best courses in the country, has hosted the South African Championships six times and the Africa Open Golf Challenge. Overlooking Nahoon Beach and Nature Reserve, it is considered a must-play course by golfers.The dolerite columns of the Valley of Desolation, just 14 kilometres from Graaff-Reinet, rise 120 metres from the valley floor. The nearby Camdeboo National Park, seen in the background, is known for its biodiversity, with more than 220 species of birdlife, 336 plants and 43 mammals. (Image: South African Tourism)last_img read more

Read More →

Is Android More Open? Google Kicks Kongregate Out of the Marketplace

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement marshall kirkpatrick Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#mobile#web Kongregate is a site where independent publishers post casual Flash games. It’s a cool site. Jeff Bezos invested in it and it was acquired by a much larger gaming service called GameStop this Summer.The Kongregate Android app acts like a browser, CEO Jim Greer said. Google said that it removed the app because it was acting like an app store itself. Fortunately for Kongregate, Android apps can be distributed through independent marketplaces and websites – so the company is still promoting its Android app heavily. Getting booted from the official app marketplace can’t be good, though.“It does seem like a pretty extreme distortion to call something that plays content in a browser to be the same thing as an application store,” Greer told VentureBeat. “By this definition, we don’t see why apps like the Kindle or other music apps aren’t across the line.”Is this evidence of Google’s open marketplace perhaps being more fickle and less different than Apple’s than is believed?Greer made different statements to two different news outlets tonight that capture well the ambivalence that he’s likely far from alone in feeling.He said to Joystiq: “I’m not ready to say it’s a philosophical shift from Google; you could misinterpret our app and think those are all native experiences, but right now I’m just confused.”But he told Venturebeat: “It’s weird to me that at the same time Apple is becoming more transparent and more open about their app store policies that Google would be kind of shutting down on games.”Google hasn’t yet responded to our request for comment.Austin renaissance woman and game producer Silona Bonewald offered an appropriate response (imagine her exhaling slowly) “oof well that was awkward of Google…”What do you think? Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Google’s Android is widely considered the more open and democratic of the two leading smartphone operating systems, whereas Apple is criticized for its allegedly tight control over what apps get accepted into its app store. Perhaps contrary to that reputation for openness, tonight we learn that casual game service Kongregate has had its gaming app kicked out of the Android Marketplace.The move was reported on in-depth by VentureBeat’s Matthew Lynley, who focuses on the idea that this might be a signal that Google is finally going to make its much-anticipated big move into mobile gaming soon. That’s of less interest to me than what might be an important example of Android being less open that many people think. It might be, but that’s subject for debate. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Read More →

The Most Important Thing In Sales

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now There is nothing more important in sales than prospecting. Unless you can gain a meeting with your prospective client, there is little chance you create an opportunity. Without opportunities, you cannot succeed.Discovery is the most important part of selling well. Everyone knows that doing excellent discovery work is how you create a preference to work with you because you are giving your dream client the experience of what it is like to work with you.In a world where distinction and differentiation are diminishing at an accelerating rate, being able to pull yourself out of the pack is the most important thing. If you can’t break free from the “me too” and find “me only,” you will struggle to win clients, let alone do so at reasonable margins.What could be more important than your presenting skills? When you are asked to step up to the front of the boardroom and present your ideas, the better future state you are going to help your prospective client realize, and field all the incoming questions, your showing here can cinch the deal.All of this is for naught if you can’t resolves your dream client’s concerns. And none of this matters if you lack the negotiating skills to be able to find a deal. These two things have to be most important, or how else can you move forward.There are some human endeavors where everything is important. One of them is leadership, where you need vision, intelligence, emotional intelligence, energy, and a willingness to be accountable for difficult outcomes. Sales is another one of those endeavors where everything is important, and one where mistakes are magnified.When everything is important, we tend to look for intangibles like strength of character, intestinal fortitude, a sense of humor, resourcefulness, and the desire to grow both personally and professionally.last_img read more

Read More →

Cignal HD gets other outright semis berth

first_imgChurch, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pesky defense from Marcelino twins throws Salado off his game National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress PBA IMAGESCignal HD booked the last outright semifinals ticket after turning back a scrappy Centro Escolar University side, 96-89, in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.Jason Perkins notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while John Villarias gave Cignal a big lift off the bench with a team-high 19 points built on five 3-pointers.ADVERTISEMENT Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes MOST READ LATEST STORIES Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ “I guess we were fortunate because we had a very long preparation. We had a lot of time scouting them, but it was still a struggle against them. But the boys delivered and we got the win,” said deputy Jude Roque, who coached in Boyet Fernandez’ stead. The Hawkeyes shot the lights out from downtown, going 15-of-33 from that area.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsGuard Aaron Jeruta and big man Rod Ebondo led the Scorpions, who shot 51% from the field.Top seed Flying V, which rose to 9-0 with a blowout win over Zark’s Burgers earlier, is the first team to earn an automatic semis slot. Playmaker Pamboy Raymundo also shone with 11 points and nine assists for Cignal.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

Read More →

Back-to-School Message by Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid

first_img Together we must build on that partnership and stakeholder engagement this year as we continue to work for the educational development of our children and overall economic growth in our country. My fellow Jamaicans, as we begin this new school year 2017 / 2018, we do so with much optimism and confidence that this will be a very good year for the education of our young people in Jamaica.Much work has been done to lay the foundation for improved student performance. School plants have been renovated, furniture and other equipment have been provided and most important, the first tranche operational grants have been sent to our schools in good time to allow for the smooth re-opening of our institutions.Last year, we experienced a tremendous partnership among stakeholders – teachers, the Jamaica Teachers Association, students, parents, school board members, administrative, ancillary, and staff of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.Together we must build on that partnership and stakeholder engagement this year as we continue to work for the educational development of our children and overall economic growth in our country.So we start this new school year with a great sense of hope that our united efforts will lead to better education outcomes.The encouraging results from our students’ performance in the GSAT exams and improvements at the CSEC, CAPE, NVQJ and City and Guilds levels point to the progress being made through new initiatives to improve outcomes. With the continued excellent guidance of our teachers and application of our students we will see good results.I turn now to our plans and policies for the education system for the start of the 2017/2018 academic year.We now spend over thirty seven billion, six hundred and ninety nine million, six hundred and twenty four thousand, three hundred and sixty one dollars (37,699,624,361) on secondary education which includes Salaries, Grants, TVET, ICT, Science, Infrastructure, furniture and nutrition. That means we are spending between $176,994 and $190,000 per capita at the secondary level.We will honour our commitment to increase funding to Primary, All Age and Junior High Schools for the academic year 2017/2018 with a budget of $1B outside of salaries.In the meantime, we have adopted a non-obligatory policy towards the payment of parents’ contribution. We are however encouraging parents to contribute to their schools once agreement has been reached and approved by the Board of Governors.New policies are also in place to help schools address pressing problems and help with their cash flow.i. The first tranche has already been disbursed from June 2017.ii. The second tranche to be disbursed in the second week of September.iii. The third tranche in the second week of December.iv. The fourth tranche will be paid in the second week of April 2018All other support grants to school including STEM, TVET, Curriculum, Infrastructure repairs are being disbursed.In addition to the support mentioned earlier, we are also providing other areas of support for the new school year:These include payment for: • Additional teachers for those schools that require special support based on the nature of the students and special programmes being offered.• Twenty five (25) temporary Deans of Discipline• Over 1000 young persons to be engaged as lab technicians, Safety and Security Support Officers, Clerical Officers and environmental Wardens will be placed in selected schools.• Payment of 913 cooks across the system to the tune of 274.8 million.• Upgrading of canteens and provision of equipment to the tune of over $200 millionThis administration believes no child should be left behind because of the family’s economic circumstances. So the Government has increased funding for students on PATH to ensure they receive lunch for five days per week and literature books commencing with the grade 7, 10 and 11 in this new term at a cost of $116 million.Payment for insurance will also be made for students on PATH and wards of the State at a cost of $26M.PATH allocation of $2000 will be used to cover the cost of ID and uniform related items. Book vouchers are being provided for the neediest students up to $ 2000 per student. Total to be spent is $50M.Transportation will be provided for students on PATH in eight parishes.This will be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) as well as the Ministry of Transport and Mining. A total of $200M will be allocated for this activity.At the early childhood level, many of our institutions need help. As part of the efforts to improve standards and give our children a strong foundation as they begin their education journey, theMinistry will be taking over a number these schools. In addition with the support of the Ministry, 117 basic schools will be converted into 56 Infant Departments.Our mantra Every child can learn, every child must learn is at the centre of what we do. So we are ensuring that our children with special needs are not left behind. The Ministry’s Special Education Unit will place one thousand, four hundred and seventy four (1,474) students in special education facilities at a cost of fifty seven million, seven hundred and eighty six thousand, two hundred and forty dollars ($57, 786, 240), for 2017- 2018.Of course, among the most essential tools for students are textbooks. Therefore under the National Textbook Loan Scheme and the Primary Textbook Programme, the Ministry of Education is spending approximately eight hundred million ($800,000,000.00) on books for the new school year. The delivery of books to schools has started and will be completed by October 6, 2017.With regard to nutrition, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information School Feeding Unit in collaboration with the Nutrition Products Limited will continue to provide funds and or snacks to schools directly for the School Feeding Programme.The Ministry is happy to report that the delivery of furniture to schools primarily for students started from the second week in July and will be completed by the last week of September.To ensure that critical infrastructure issues are addressed, we have identified 172 schools for upgrades from the Schools Maintenance Project at a cost of Five Hundred and Fifty-four Million ThreeHundred and Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty Dollars ($554,303,880.00).This infrastructure upgrade also addresses sanitation concerns. Forty two schools still utilize pit latrines as the only means of faecal disposal. As such, Seventy-six million dollars ($76,000,000.00) has been allocated in the 2017 – 2018 budgets for 35 schools under the Ministry’s Sanitation Programme.Schools are being encouraged to ensure that safety and security committees are in place and that the safety and Security Guidelines are utilized within the schools to treat with this area.We began the phased roll out of the new national curriculum last year and for this year it will be fully implemented in all grades up to grade 9 in the first term of the new school year. The Alternative Pathway for Secondary Level Education will also be launched in 84 schools.In the meantime, the Career Advancement Programme has been expanded as the flagship programme for the creation of an additional two years at the secondary level. Over 123 schools have been approved to offer the programme to date and others are being processed.My fellow Jamaicans, this year we have another great opportunity to redouble our efforts to help create an education system which enables every child to achieve his or her full potential.As we do so in a spirit of unity and partnership, this will be to the benefit of all of us in the short, medium and long term. Together let us rise and build Jamaica, land we love.Thank you. My fellow Jamaicans, this year we have another great opportunity to redouble our efforts to help create an education system which enables every child to achieve his or her full potential. As we do so in a spirit of unity and partnership, this will be to the benefit of all of us in the short, medium and long term. Together let us rise and build Jamaica, land we love. Story Highlights My fellow Jamaicans, as we begin this new school year 2017 / 2018, we do so with much optimism and confidence that this will be a very good year for the education of our young people in Jamaica. last_img read more

Read More →