Education Ministry, Liberian Schools and the Case of the Foolish Virgins

first_imgThe Liberian government announced last weekend the resumption of academic activities, beginning Monday, January 12, 2015.  The Ministry of Education (MOE) said registration of students would commence that day,   followed by teacher orientation and other preparatory activities.  Classes will commence on Monday, February 2.This announcement immediately received mixed reactions from school authorities, especially in Monrovia.  Some for various reasons expressed un-readiness.  They cited teacher availability, as some have resigned and moved on.  Others wondered about money for buckets, Clorox and thermometers to enforce Ebola-preventive measures; and other emergencies associated with school reopening. Still others argued that the notice was too short. Many school authorities also raised the burning issue of transportation. But two leading Liberian educators, both of them women and heads of private institutions, reacted differently.  Sister Mary Laurene Browne, head of the Roman Catholic-run Stella Maris Polytechnic, told our Education Correspondent C.Y. Kwanue that yes, times are tough, but Liberians and their partners should make the sacrifice and proceed with school reopening.  She gave two primary reasons: first, waiting any longer for the resumption of academic activities would cause the country’s education system to “go from bad to worse.”  The longer we took, she reckoned, the more difficult and more expensive it would be to reopen schools.  Secondly, she feared that should we wait until Liberia is declared Ebola-free “our school-going children would become over-aged for their current classes.”The renowned educator suggested that all of us—government, schools, including all staffs and the students— “should ensure strict observance of the preventive measures . . .” Madam Hesta Katakaw, probably the nation’s leading education entrepreneur, lamented that many of the school authorities were behaving like “foolish virgins.”Remember the story Jesus told about the bridegroom’s coming, and how the Kingdom of Heaven would be like unto that?  There were ten virgins who were told to prepare for the bridegroom’s coming.  Five of them were wise, five were foolish.  While the bridegroom tarried (delayed), all of the virgins slept.  But before then, the wise virgins prepared themselves by filling their lamps with oil.  The foolish five, however, never bothered to prepare themselves or their lamps.  When at midnight it was announced that the bridegroom was arriving, the foolish virgins rushed to the wise ones saying, “Give us some oil, for our lamps are gone out.”  But the wise replied, “No, lest there be not enough for ours.  Go ye therefore to the shops and buy oil.”  By the time the foolish virgins returned, the bridegroom had arrived and the door had been shut.  They cried to him to open the door, but it was too late. Jesus then told his disciples, “Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man   cometh.”  Surely, like Sister Laurene and Madam Katakaw, there is not a single school principal or authority that did not know that it was only a matter of time when   all schools would be declared reopened.  So while the government waited for   the deadly Ebola virus to go away, all educational authorities, beginning with MOE, and even the parents, should have been preparing for school reopening.Alas! The hour has come when President Sirleaf has declared the time ripe for our students to return to school.  Which MCSS school is there that has not, during all these months of waiting,  cleaned its yard and building, repaired its broken benches, refurbished its bathrooms and made ready its classrooms, laboratories and libraries for school reopening?In the Ebola interim, which commenced   in March 2014, the Ministry of Education itself should have been engaging all public school authorities and helped them get ready for the eventual school reopening.    We hope that has been the case, and that MCSS and all other government educational institutions in Monrovia and around the country are ready.  And as Sister Laurene has reminded us, every school should be equipped with all the utensils, buckets, thermometers, etc., and materials—Clorox and other needed chemicals and soap for the bathrooms—to ensure that all the measures are strictly observed.School authorities may reject the notion of being foolish virgins; but surely in times of crisis—any crisis—no one should sit supinely and do nothing.  If it is no more than keeping the surroundings clean or repairing the broken benches, that would have been something.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ST. Matthew Vows to Capture LMDI Pop Quiz Contest

first_imgThe semi-finals of the ongoing Liberia Media for Democratic Initiative (LMDI) quiz contest will kick off today Monday, June 29 at the Tubman High School campus in Monrovia.The Paynesville based St. Matthew Lutheran High School has vowed towin the competition and team captain Solomon Nah says that his team is sure to qualify for the finals.“It is just a matter of playing the game against J. J. Roberts and I am bold to tell you we are already qualified for the finals.“I watched J. J. Roberts’s last three games, the questions they answered and the way in which they attempted the questions. They cannot be compared to my team,” Solomon Nah noted.Nah said in spite of lack of support for his team from his administration, his players are fully prepared to knockout J. J. Roberts and defeat their opponents in the finals. “Although one of our disappointments is the lack of support from the administration, I can assure you that my boys are in high spirits for the match against J.J Roberts.” Nah added that his team is also prepared for any opponent he meets in the finals. “I have also watched Christian Mission Fellowship International and Ricks Institute performing, but I trust my boys and we are going to defeat any of them we meet in the finals,” Nah said.The previous meeting between the two sides was on April 23, 2013 at the Royal Christian Foundation Institute in Paynesville, where J. J. Roberts won the game by a 55 point margin in a one day knock-out quizzing commemorating the 19th gala anniversary of Royal Christian Foundation.The pop quiz competition, organized by the Liberia Media for Democratic Initiative (LMDI) under its child sensitive program platform, TOMORROW’s PEOPLE, seeks to ignite positive competition for academic excellence and sway the attention of school going young people from European football league which has attracted many young people’s attention.The final competition is scheduled for July 7.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Guyana Times journalists shine at GPA awards

first_imgTwo journalists Guyana Times journalists were recipients of various awards as the Guyana Press Association hosted its second annual dinner and awards ceremony on Sunday evening at the Georgetown Club.Guyana Times Journalist: Lakhram BhagiratShemuel Fanfair, who reports primarily on agriculture, political and legal issues received the second prize for young journalist of the year as well as the third prize for the best political story. Meanwhile, Lakhram Bhagirat, who principally specialises in health, human rights, community issues and featuring writing, secured the third places prizes for the young journalist of the year category and for best coverage of human rights issues. Both winners are West Demerara natives.The Young Journalist of the Year Award for which the two reporters secured second and third respectively required that entrants submit five stories of a consistently high quality. Fanfair’s five entries ranged from a Wales father of four pleading for his severance pay to the social ills that abounded in Wakenaam owing to challenges in the rice industry.Guyana Times Journalist: Shemuel FanfairAnother delved into the challenges the Wales market vendors were facing following the Estate’s closure while the other related to a High Court civil matter which dealt with a miller indenting to pay rice farmers monthly installments of $20,000 even though almost $10 million in judgement and court costs were earlier awarded. Fanfair’s third place winning political story focused on range of issues surrounding sugar workers not receiving their severance pay.Bhagirat’s third place prize for best coverage for human rights stories focused on his in-depth reporting on the Mental Health Unit’s plans to roll out suicide surveillance system. Therein, he reported that teachers would be trained to identify children with psychological trauma.For his five entries that secured him the third-place prize for Young Journalist of the Year, the journalist work included the September 2017 report where parents of three-year-old Anisha Singh were calling for a probe into their daughter’s death. Bhagirat was one of the reporters, who went to the interior community of Chenapau and his story on the plight of miners being arrested for allegedly mining in protested areas was recognised. Additionally, he reported on Charity Market Vendors refusing to relocate and another story where a first-time mother recalled a horrifying experience at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation’s Maternity Ward. His final entry in this category concerned Berbice businessmen laying off sugar workers in preparation for the closure of the Rose Hall Estate.Attorney at law, Nigel Hughes was the guest speaker at the media awards. Giving brief remarks, he highlighted the importance of journalists in several sectors but especially in the political arena.“You possess the unrivaled talent to shape the development of our country – use it for this purpose rather than lend support to taking heads which are sometimes focused on making political points spreading doom and gloom without spreading alternative solutions and approaches,” Hughes implored.Meanwhile, the president of the GPA, Nazima Raghubir observed that the 2018s ceremony was organised to give the much-needed credit and recognition for outstanding performances in media fraternity. She said too that work of journalists is key to holding members of civil and political society accountable.Vanessa Braithwaite from the State newspaper emerged at the top awardee after copping a total of seven awards, including Young Journalist of the Year.More than 30 journalist entered stories print, television and online categories. There were more than 180 entries across 11 categories which exceeded last year’s ceremony.last_img read more

Minibus association threatens fare hike

first_imgSkyrocketing fuel prices…calls for meeting with Govt… as Corentyne hire car drivers seek 40% increaseThe President of the United Minibus Union (UMU), supported by leaders and representatives of several minibus routes, on Friday threatened to hike public transport fares as they plan to meet with the Government to decide a way forward, as fuel prices continue to escalate.President of the Association, Eon James, said plans are being put in place to meet with subject Minister, Dominic Gaskin, to draft a way forward.James noted that the Union would be unwilling to lower the proposed fare hike even if the price for gasoline decreased, since they are faced with many burdensome expenditures, which are also compounded by the fluctuating gasFrom right: James Cowsil, head of the 32 minibus zone; Eon James, President of the UMU; and Sookdeo Singh, a representative of the 44 minibus zoneprices.“The prices that we would have agreed to must remain the same… until such time we negotiate anything further. I say that to mean that it is not for the minibus union and its members and I think that the minibus industry to just decide that they must and should just raise fares. We think that there must be discussions. Things must be done in a civil manner,” James explained.It was further noted that he was made aware of the fact that drivers and conductors of the buses being used for public transportation have been overloading the busses with passengers, which they are afraid may very well become a norm if the Government does not step in and agree to the proposed hike of $20 and as much as $40 in some routes.The President of the Union, who represented 13 routes, on Friday however did not hesitate to announce that these proposed fares are not to be implemented by the drivers, until the Government would have agreed.James pointed out that the proposed hike for transportation fares comes as a result of drivers complaining bitterly about their livelihood being adversely affected by the climbing fuel prices. The drivers also said they are also burdened with the new hefty prices they are being made to pay for their licences, fitness for the vehicles, other necessary documentation, in addition and maintenance of the vehicles, which remains a major burden especially since Government recently took a decision to ban the use of used tyres.The Union asserted that they will continue protest action until a resolution is made to the burdensome issue they are forced to cope with. On Thursday, minibus operators who ply their trade at various routes along the Georgetown to Mahaica, East Coast Demerara route continued their strike action, demanding that Government give immediate attention to the rising fuel prices.As a result of the increase in fuel prices, a group of irate minibus operators on Thursday morning blocked the Vryheid’s Lust access junction along the East Coast railway embankment. There, several tyres were burnt, and an old car was set on fire to garner the attention needed with the hope of addressing the situation.The minibus operators posited that they were adversely affected by the sudden hike in the price for gasoline and diesel at gas stations across the country.They said too that they are already struggling to run profitable enterprises when one looks at the various expenses they are faced with on a daily basis.Others said over 100 minibuses are supporting the strike action while others are finding it difficult to physically support the action because of their dire financial situation.Gas station prices for fuel have increased rapidly from $215 per litre last week to prices ranging from $230 to $250 per litre this week.That situation continues as the Government remains indifferent and mum on the matter. Nevertheless, the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Thursday issued claims of price structures which appeared to be cheaper than what recent reports suggest.This comes after the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana urged Government to act swiftly on the matter.On Wednesday, the trade union said this sudden hike in fuel prices will burden consumers. In a strongly worded statement to the media, the union said Government must stop “turning a blind eye to what is taking place” and proactively act in the interest of people.However, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin had disclosed that the matter was still to be addressed by Cabinet.last_img read more

Flyers drop third straight to Spirit River

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Senior Flyers have now lost their third straight game.The Flyers hosted the Spirit River Rangers last night at the North Peace Arena. Fort St. John outshot Spirit River 19-6 in the first period, but it was Spirit River that would open the scoring late in the first.The Rangers made it 2-0 just fifty-nine seconds into the second period, and they didn’t look back from there, scoring three more goals in the frame, despite being outshot 20-8 by the Flyers.- Advertisement -In the third stanza, Spirit River scored another goal to make it 6-0 before the Flyers finally got on the board. Cole Calliou broke netminder Michael Teslak’s shutout eleven and a half minutes into the period on a feed from Daylen Pearson and Brennan Giroux. Giroux himself would score five minutes later, assisted by Calliou and Jake Ebner. That would be all she wrote, as the Flyers fell 6-2.The Flyers are back on the road for one more game in 2016. The Flyers will be in Valleyview on Saturday night to play the Jets. Earlier this week, the Jets won their first game to break a 35-game losing streak. Though they did take a three-season hiatus from the North Peace Hockey League, the Jets had gone 1,792 days between wins, previously beating High Prairie 8-2 on Groundhog Day 2012.last_img read more

Huskies back in the hunt

first_imgWashington (16-8, 6-7 Pacific-10 Conference) kept its flickering NCAA Tournament hopes alive by winning for the fifth time in six games. The Huskies have won nine of their past 10 home games against ranked teams. “I think we’ve put ourselves within striking distance. Before, we were just trying to dig ourselves out of a hole,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We’ve almost dug ourselves out.” The Cardinal (15-8, 7-5) lost for the third time in four games since beating then-No. 3 UCLA. SEATTLE – Spencer Hawes scored 18 points and Jon Brockman added 14 points and 10rebounds as Washington defeated No. 25 Stanford 64-52 Sunday. Hawes started for the first time in seven games and outscored plodding Stanford 8-4 during the first 10 minutes of the second half, when the Cardinal made just one of their its eight shots. He also finished with seven rebounds. Hawes fouled out after just six points in 29 inconsequential minutes the last time the teams played – a 78-77 loss by Washington on Jan. 11. “It’s like two different people,” Hawes said. “I feel refreshed. My energy’s back.” center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

SOARING HEAT, SNOW AND A LANDSLIDE – ALL IN A DAY’S WORK FOR THE DONEGAL ROADERS!

first_imgThe lads cross a road just hours after it had been covered and then cleared by a landslide.The Donegal Roaders are still on the road despite a near miss with a landslide.The boys who traveled to the Arctic last year are currently tackling searing heat and terrifying road conditions.We drove into the Amazon Jungle on Tuesday and from there drove the North Yungas Pass aka The Death Road, the most dangerous road in the world. There they encountered thousands of feet drops off the edge, the road the width of the jeep, waterfalls falling on the road and to end it all 5km from the end a land slide.“We had to wait for an hour until the workers cleared the debris and then we were the first to drive over the temporary road they made (and yes, we nearly s*** ourselves),” admitted Paul Doherty.The water in Bolivia has given some of the Donegal team magical jumping powers!On Wednesday they travelled 400km towards Chile and stayed in a mud hut in a village of a tribal community to get ready to ascend the volcano on Thursday.“After a lot of hard work and trogging, swearing, spinning and almost wrecking the good land cruiser from Kellys Toyota we made it to the summit shelf at 17,541ft where it was no longer possible to go further. It was a magnificent achievement to reach this altitude in an unmodified Toyota Land cruiser. “We went from 23degrees at the bottom to snow at the top and there’s not many clothes you could wear at both temperatures but Carhartt proved that they are top quality and performed brilliantly.”At the top they were faced with the challenge of coming down again but thankfully made it back down to the village and the Toyota Land cruiser didn’t give a moments trouble which leads us to believe that Toyota are the best built cars in the world!We followed the motto of our sponsor “Travel the roads less travelled” and we certainly did that!The lads travel beneath a waterfall in their Toyota given to them by Kellys. SOARING HEAT, SNOW AND A LANDSLIDE – ALL IN A DAY’S WORK FOR THE DONEGAL ROADERS! was last modified: April 23rd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BoliviadonegalKelly’s ToyotaThe Donegal Roaderslast_img read more

Council expected to urge different sewer route

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Earlier this month, Burbank rejected a proposed hybrid alignment because of residents’ concerns about noise, odor and traffic. They maintain the impacts were not adequately analyzed in a draft environmental impact report. Burbank officials have requested that Los Angeles study those concerns and extend the public comment period for 90 days to give more time for residents to comment. Burbank City Attorney Dennis Barlow said Burbank could sue Los Angeles if it builds along the hybrid route without first fully analyzing the environmental impacts. However, he believes Los Angeles will ultimately choose a route away from residential neighborhoods. “We take the position that they really have not analyzed the hybrid, and from a legal standpoint, from an environmental quality standpoint, they need to do that,” Barlow said. “We don’t have any indication they won’t.” Last week, the Los Angeles Board of Public Works voted 4-0 in favor of studying the environmental impacts of the hybrid alignment. That route was proposed by Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes Toluca Lake. LaBonge was unavailable for comment Monday because of the Cesar Chavez holiday. Los Angeles officials are seeking input on the project through Friday for a final environmental impact report as part of a 20-year blueprint for treatment plant expansions, water recycling and new sewers to handle future growth. If the Los Angeles City Council approves a final environmental impact report this summer, work could begin on the project by 2010. Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306 jason.kandel@dailynews.com IF YOU GO The Burbank City Council meets at 5 tonight in City Hall, 275 E. Olive Ave. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BURBANK – Still fuming over the sewer debate, the Burbank City Council is expected tonight to urge Los Angeles to consider an alternate sewer line that would not impact local residents. Officials could recommend that Los Angeles route a sewer line under the Los Angeles River rather than a “hybrid” alignment that would snake under homes and businesses along the Burbank-Los Angeles border near Clybourn Avenue. “We need to find an alternative that doesn’t impact our residential neighborhoods,” said Councilwoman Marsha Ramos. “It just doesn’t seem to make sense to me to impact the lives of people going and coming from their homes every day with noise, the dust, the potential settlement on their properties. “If we don’t have to impact residential neighborhoods, then let’s not do it.” last_img read more

New Liverpool signing ‘trying to convince’ Kylian Mbappe to join him at Anfield

first_img Fabinho and Mbappe during their Monaco days But Fabinho quipped that he is hoping to tempt the France star to Liverpool instead.When asked about the 19-year-old forward, the Reds midfielder said on Thursday: “Kylian Mbappe sent me a text message congratulating me for coming to Liverpool.“Unfortunately I have not had a chance to congratulate him for what he did during this World Cup.“What France did was fantastic. What Mbappe did in two years of professional football is amazing. He is a phenomenon and needs to be congratulated, and as soon as I have the chance I will.”The Brazilian was then asked if he would also ask Mbappe to come to Liverpool, and he said with a smile: “He has already said for this season he will remain at PSG, but I will try slowly to convince him to come over.” Mbappe then moved on to Paris Saint-Germain, who made him the second-most expensive footballer of all time, and won the French league and cup treble last term before lifting the World Cup with France this summer.The tournament saw the youngster emerge as a worldwide star – scoring four goals and earning the best young player award.Mbappe’s extraordinary form in Russia has seen him linked with a move to Real Madrid, who are searching for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo after his surprise move to Juventus. 4 Fabinho and Mbappe became close friends at Monaco – where they were crowned champions of France Fabinho says he has been in touch with them, too, and has promised he will be “a bit harsh on them” should they face each other.Asked if he believes the Reds are genuine title contenders this season, the new signing said: “I believe so.“I believe we have a very good team and we will be able to fight for the title.“I understand we have excellent players. We have an excellent manager (Jurgen Klopp). I understand also that City are the champions and last season they produced excellent football.“We will do our best to get the title from them and make everyone happy here.” New Liverpool signing Fabinho has said he “will try to convince” good friend Kylian Mbappe to join him at Anfield, after revealing the 19-year-old World Cup winner congratulated him on his summer move to Merseyside.Fabinho joined the Reds in May in a £45million deal from Monaco – where he played alongside teenage sensation Mbappe and together won the Ligue 1 title in 2016/17. Mbappe was one of the stand-out players at this summer’s World Cup 4 Fabinho was speaking after Liverpool’s 2-0 pre-season victory over Blackburn.The new Reds star has impressed in his few appearances since joining the Reds in May, and he believes Jurgen Klopp’s rebuilt squad – which now also boasts Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and goalkeeper Alisson – can challenge for the Premier League title this season.He will also face two more of his former Monaco colleagues in England this season, with Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva now at champions Manchester City. 4 Fabinho is expected to play a big role in Liverpool’s midfield this season 4last_img read more

‘He is leagues above Lamela’ – Spurs fans crying out for star player on Twitter

first_imgPeople still question how important Eriksen is to this team. He’s in a league above Lamela.— Luke Herbert (@lukeherbert) November 28, 2018 Latest Football News 1 MONEY This game is crying for Eriksen! Lamela only one not on it so far! Winks and Sissoko have been fantastic! Always great to see SuperJan back— Ryan Madden (@RyanMadden1991) November 28, 2018 Lamela has been pretty useless, winksy not exactly good. Lucas anonymous. Be nice to see eriksen come on— jon aka jon (@JonNeal) November 28, 2018 According to these Spurs fans on Twitter, a substitution can’t come soon enough.Here are the best tweets: Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury no dice Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? REVEALED Needs son and eriksen at half time lamela very lucky to still be on the pitch no creativity in midfield lucas lamela off son eriksen on— Paul Corr (@paulcorr22) November 28, 2018 ADVICE REVEALED BEST OF center_img Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Erik Lamela was given the nod instead by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and he has failed to impress.The winger was lucky to remain on the pitch after what appeared to be a deliberate two-footed challenge and his play in the final third has been wasteful. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Positive intent from Spurs but a lack of spark. Lamela very lucky to still be on the pitch and don’t think it will be long until Son and Eriksen are introduced if things stay the same.Just missing that cutting edge. Ps – Jan hasn’t missed a step. #THFC #COYS— Marc Benamram (@MarcBenamram) November 28, 2018 Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Lamela was not at his best during the first-half Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade We can’t afford to drop Eriksen. We just don’t have the guile without him. Lamela and Lucas are impact subs, nothing more than that.— Paul Ferguson (@Fergz16) November 28, 2018 Tottenham could really do with a player like Christian Eriksen in their crucial Champions League match against Inter Milan.The Dane was named on the bench for the must-win clash, which is currently goalless after a first-half of few chances for either side. RANKED huge blow Lamela and Lucas have been poor today, need Eriksen— Henry (@henryfair) November 28, 2018 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Poch need to take off Lamela and bring on Son or Eriksen— k0ce (@kingk0ce) November 28, 2018last_img read more