Cabinet still considering increases – Public Infrastructure Ministry

first_imgPPP criticises decision to increase tollsAs cabinet continues to consider proposals on increasing the tolls for the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB), the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has heavily criticised the move for such increases. During a news conference on Thursday, PPP/C Parliamentarians Gail Teixeira and Bishop Juan Edghill observed that the pending decision to increase the DHB tolls will only add to the financial burdens of commuters.Teixeira contended that there needs to be consultations before such a decision is made, especially with commuters who traverse the bridge on a regular basis.“People are hurting…if this is the direction that government wishes to go into it would make things harder for people coming to work,” she stated, noting the complaints of several taxi operators that they will have no choice other than to impose increased fares on passengers.Bishop Edghill opined that government has once again flip-flopped on an issue, pointing out that prior to this revelation they denied that tolls would be increased.The former Junior Finance Minister noted that in February he questioned government over the consideration of a $150 million subsidy where he asked if it meant there would be no toll hikes. Edghill was of the view that if taxpayers are providing money to the bridge by way of the subsidy, it would be deceptive to then “turn around and charge” increases.“If when seeking the subsidy of $150 million to do capital works at the bridge, you have a $150 million for expenditure, then you turn around to increase the tolls, then you have deceived the nation,” Edghill postulated.He also contended that it is “discriminatory” for government to increase the tolls for the DHB but fight vociferously to reduce the tolls for the Berbice Bridge.According to media reports, Director of Public Information Imran Khan had disclosed that motorcyclists will now pay $40 instead of $20 and the toll for cars will be raised from $100 to $200. On Wednesday, the publically owned Guyana Chronicle published that Cabinet had cleared the way for the toll increases.But in an issued statement on Thursday, the Public Infrastructure Ministry disputed the article and it was pointed out that there has been no increase in tolls at the Demerara Harbour Bridge. It was in this statement that the ministry disclosed that Cabinet has not yet approved the increases.Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson noted that the details surrounding the proposal are still “being ironed out”. It was further emphasised that the ministry and the DHB will relay any official notice of increases in tolls.It was on Wednesday that many car drivers bemoaned the reports of the 100 per cent toll increase. Some taxi drivers who ply various routes to Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) from the outskirts of Georgetown viewed the increase inappropriate.One driver, Moses (only name given) noted that passengers who cross the bridge will be burdened. He noted that 20 per cent increase would have been more appropriate. Petwam Singh, a father of four operating taxi for over seven years decried high maintenance costs, gasoline, added to the increased tolls.It was also explained that at present, passengers pay between $500 to $700 to cross the bridge by taxi, but with possible increases in the tolls and gas, fares could be hiked to as much as $1000. However, some were of the view that there is imbalance between the toll of the Demerara Harbour Bridge and that of the Berbice Bridge.Aubrey Sanko a driver for 15 years indicated that he does not see the problem with the increase, noting that toll hikes are in keeping with “development”. He also observed the gap between the Demerara and Berbice tolls. Some persons selling around the Harbour Bridge also noted that increase is justified because that toll has “remained the same” for many years.The 37-year-old bridge linking East Bank and West Bank Demerara is accounting for millions of dollars in maintenance on a yearly basis. While the bridge raked in some $519 million in 2015, over $2 billion was allotted for its maintenance between 2010 and 2015.last_img read more

150 nursing students to resit exams

first_imgThe 150 students who wrote the 2016 nursing exams, which were allegedly compromised, will be rewriting the exams later this month.According to Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence, her Ministry sought assistance from the Education Ministry in making a decision on the matter.As such, the Education Ministry was tasked with preparing and executing the exams. The Ministry will also be responsible for marking the papers. This, she noted, was done in consultation with her Ministry.The students are scheduled to rewrite the exams on February 21 and the results are expected to be available by February 28.Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence at the press conference on Monday“The Education Ministry will act on behalf of the Ministry of Public Health to one, engage its personnel, to prepare the multiple choice question, to administer those questions on the 21st of February, to have a group of persons recruited to mark the essay part of the question and so on the 28th of February, it is expected that the results from the examinations will be presented,” the Public Health Minister explained.Following the disclosure, Vibert Stewart, a nursing student representative, revealed that the situation has taken a toll on the students, leaving them in a ‘disturbed emotional state’.However, the Minister announced that the Health Ministry will be hiring a teacher to tutor the 150 students who are expected to sit the exams. This will ensure that the students are well equipped.Moreover, when questioned about the investigation into the alleged leaking of the multiple choice section of the exam papers, Minister Lawrence could not provide an answer and instead directed further questions to Crime Chief, Wendell Blanhum.“I have been in contact with the Police, I do not want to say much about that aspect, but what I can say is that the investigations are continuing,” Lawrence said.An investigation was launched after it was reported that the nurse’s examination papers were leaked before the sitting and assessment of 250 nursing students on October 19 and 20, 2016.The Principal Tutor of the Georgetown School of Nursing, Cleopatra Barkoye had announced to the students that they will be required to rewrite the exams following the development.However, the nurses were outraged at this and staged multiple protest actions calling for an alternative decision.However, after lengthy debates and discussions within the Public Health Ministry, it was determined that having the nurses rewrite the examination would be wiser.last_img read more

Barca records nothing without titles – Enrique

first_imgVictory restored Barca’s eight-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of the table with Real Madrid now 12 points adrift after losing 1-0 to Atletico on Saturday.And it is Madrid’s record of 34 games unbeaten from the 1988-89 season which will fall if Barca avoid defeat at Rayo Vallecano on Thursday.“The record tells me nothing. If we win titles then fine, but if not it doesn’t tell me a thing,” said Luis Enrique.“We have wanted to retain the title since the first day of the season. That is the primary objective and we are in better position.“Now we need to win the points necessary to be champions.”Barca have been far from their brilliant best in many of their recent league games with fatigue starting to set in from an already gruelling campaign of 46 games across six competitions.However, Pique highlighted their resolve to put themselves on the brink of a sixth league title in eight years.“We have suffered against Las Palmas, Malaga and other matches, but we have managed to win the games,” said the Spanish international.“I think you win leagues like that if you can suffer and continue to win.”Sevilla have consistently caused Barca in three games so far this season.The European champions edged a thrilling UEFA Super Cup 5-4 after extra time in their first game of the campaign before Sevilla inflicted Barca’s last defeat in all competitions back in October.“I think they are the opponents who play us best,” added Luis Enrique.The sides will meet for a final time in the Copa del Rey final on May 22 and Sevilla boss Unai Emery admitted Sevilla need to be almost perfect to lift the Cup at the Vicente Calderon.“You have to get the fine details right to get close to them,” he said.“We created chances and defended well when they started to pass the ball, but to beat Barcelona you need a little bit more because we are possibly talking about the best team in the world.“There is a fourth game to go this season in the Copa del Rey final and we need to take that extra little step.” 0Shares0000Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (L) shoots a free kick to score a goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Sevilla FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on February 28, 2016. PHOTO/AFPBARCELONA, Monday 29 – Barcelona boss Luis Enrique insists he will only be satisfied once his side have delivered another La Liga title after equalling a Spanish record by stretching their unbeaten run to 34 games.Barca were forced to come from behind against Sevilla on Sunday as a brilliant Lionel Messi free-kick and Gerard Pique’s winner overcame Vitolo’s early strike for the visitors. 0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Vickery: ‘New Zico’ would need to work hard to be a success at Leeds

first_imgtalkSPORT’s South American football expert Tim Vickery believes Leeds target Adryan Tavares, who was once labelled the ‘new Zico’, could be a success at Elland Road – but only if knuckles down to rebuild his reputation.The 20-year-old attacking midfielder is currently on loan at Serie A outfit Cagliari from Brazilian side Flamengo, but the Whites have been linked with a move for the Brazil Under-20 international.And Vickery is cautious about how the creative star would fare in the hustle and bustle of the Championship.“Flamengo are the club that produced Zico and every young playmaker who’s come along since has had this new ‘Zico’ tag,” he told Hawksbee and Jacobs.“Adryan has been playing for Flamengo since the age of 17 and with huge expectations and he never lived up to them. He was very much a dreamboat, it all came a little bit too soon, but that’s not to write him off totally.“He’s been with Cagliari and I don’t think he did a great deal with Cagliari. But there is some talent there and he strikes the ball very well.“I think the Championship from a physical point of view might give him a test, although he’s quite well built. The big thing that will be tested, if this move comes off, is his attitude.“How does he cope with the fact that three or four years ago he was being talked about as a wonderkid and he’s now outside the top flight, albeit if he goes to Leeds it is a club that has size and tradition.“How do you cope with that? Does he have the strength of character to dig himself back into the top ranks or does he settle for mediocrity?”last_img read more


first_imgEarly Childhood Care and Education students all over Donegal this month are caught in the middle of the latest bureaucracy bedlam over Garda Vetting for placement in early childhood services.Donegal Childcare Manager, Avril McMonagle has this week confirmed that this issue was flagged earlier last year as having the potential to bring training placements to a standstill if a solution wasn’t agreed by January 2014.This is proving a significant challenge for training organisations, students and Donegal’s 151 childcare providers and will impact negatively on the delivery model of early childhood degree and FETAC training programmes offered to an estimated 400 students across the county. Traditionally, Garda Vetting was carried out by colleges, IT’s and training organisations for early childhood students before going out into childcare services.The previous practice of confirmation by individual letter that Garda Vetting had been undertaken and that there are no issues arising, no longer meets HSE requirements.New HSE inspection standards now require Garda Vetting forms to be held on site by the childcare providers otherwise the service will be deemed non-compliant under this particular regulation.“This all sounded fine, well at least until the Data Protection Commissioner was thrown into the mix,” says Ms. McMonagle. The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner have informed training providers that they cannot, under the Data Protection legislation, share Garda Vetting forms with a third party that is, the childcare provider.A common sense solution was then put forward to query whether the student could pass on the clearance evidence obtained by training organisation to the childcare provider directly themselves – but no, this practice has been deemed unacceptable also.Understandably, early childhood service providers do not want to have a recorded non compliance through no fault of their own and are currently forced to refuse student placements.Some students have commenced vetting procedures independently through allocated agencies in an attempt to get around the chaos. However existing delays of 14-16 weeks will prohibit second semester placements and no doubt cause a snowball effect in an already inefficient vetting system.Ms. McMonagle concludes ‘If this debacle was created so that children would be better protected from harm or abuse, then every professional involved would exercise tolerance and understanding. However, when this shambles of officialdom has been caused by the physical location of a piece of paper – it’s difficult to exercise any tolerance at all’. DCCC are currently working with training organisations and childcare providers to form a collective response to be put to the appropriate agencies at the end of January.BUREAUCRACY BEDLAM OVER GARDA VETTING FOR DONEGAL STUDENTS was last modified: January 20th, 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:Avril McMonagleDonegal Childcare Committeelast_img read more

Expatriates ‘still South African’

first_img6 December 2005The majority of South Africans living abroad remain connected to their home country in various ways and intend to return in the future, according to a survey commissioned by Homecoming Revolution.The research, conducted by Research International, found that 46% of South Africans living abroad source local news on a daily basis, and that 77% have some form of investment in South Africa.Over 1 000 South Africans living abroad were interviewed for the survey, with 81% saying they intend to return to SA in the future.The research sample was made up exclusively of people with ready internet access. Although representing a diverse group, “this sample cannot be considered to be conclusively representative of the country’s population or of those South Africans abroad,” Research International noted. Homecoming Revolution is a non-profit organisation, sponsored by First National Bank, that encourages and helps South Africans abroad to return to the country.Homecoming Revolution MD Martine Schaffer said the findings were especially significant in the light of the recent message from the government that South Africa needed more skills to grow its economy.Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka told the Sunday Times two weeks ago that the government was looking to recruit skilled white South Africans at home and abroad as part of its programme to boost economic growth to 6% of GDP by 2014.Research findingsAccording to the Research International survey, South Africans living abroad are still very interested in what is going on in SA, with 46% sourcing news on SA on a daily basis and 18% sourcing such news at least two to three times a week.Of those who took part in the survey, 77% still have some form of investment in South Africa: 69% have a bank account, 32% still own a house, and 29% still maintain their SA retirement annuity.Eighty-one percent of those who participated in the survey intend to return to SA in the future – 35% because SA is “home / where they were born”, 34% because family and friends are still in SA.One in three of these people say they aim to start their own business on their return. Sixty-nine percent of all respondents believe the entrepreneurial climate in SA has improved, while 33% believe there are many opportunities in South Africa for people like themselves.Sixty-three percent of those surveyed believe the country will be better off in 10 years’ time; 48% believe South Africa has “a fantastic future” in store. The majority (62%) are more positive about SA than they were five years ago, compared to 22% who are now more negative about the country.Of those who said they would not return to SA, 44% cited crime as a deterrent. Other reasons given were lack of job opportunities (15%), poorer quality of life (20%), and affirmative action and black economic empowerment (19%).Seventy-one percent of all those surveyed said they were proud to have been born South African; 61% said they would really like to “give something back” to South reporterlast_img read more

New governor for SA Reserve Bank

first_img20 July 2009 South African President Jacob Zuma has appointed Absa Group chairwoman Gill Marcus to take over from Tito Mboweni as governor of the SA Reserve Bank on 9 November 2009. Marcus, who has held a number of executive positions in the private sector, served as deputy finance minister from 1996 to 1999, and as a deputy governor of the country’s central bank from 1999 to 2004. Mboweni, whose contract ends on 8 August, was re-appointed by the President, but he indicated that he did not want to stay on. “As the term of office of the current governor, Mr Mboweni, is due to end on 8 August 2009, I initiated a process of consultation on the position,” Zuma said at a press briefing in Pretoria on Sunday. “I have reappointed Mr Mboweni. However, he has indicated he wishes to leave in November to pursue other interests.” Zuma said that, given Mboweni’s choice, he had decided to appoint Marcus as governor with effect from 9 November. “Ms Marcus will assume responsibility for an institution that is held in high regard in South Africa and among its counterparts across the world,” Zuma said. The primary objective of the Reserve Bank, he said, was to protect the value of South Africa’s currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth in the country. He added that the central bank performed its functions independently, without fear, favour or prejudice. Zuma praised Mboweni, saying that, during his tenure, the Reserve Bank “has undertaken its constitutional mandate with diligence and prudence. It has made a critical contribution to the country’s sustained economic stability, and has persued monetary policies that have fostered economic growth.” Zuma said he was confident that Marcus, who possessed the qualities of proven leadership, sound judgment and integrity, would be a worthy successor to Mboweni. “Ms Marcus has extensive knowledge of the institution she is now called upon to lead, having served as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2004.” Mboweni, who has held the position of governor for nearly 10 years, described his successor as an excellent leader who was no stranger to banking. “It’s a very good choice, she will do a very good job,” he said. Mboweni thanked the government for having offered him an opportunity to serve South Africa as its central bank governor. “I have enjoyed an excellent working condition with the Presidency, the former finance minister [Trevor Manuel] and the current one [Pravin Gordhan],” he said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Oyama Matomela flies South Africa’s friendly skies

first_imgCatch Oyama Matomela and other inspiring South Africans playing their part to build a strong South Africa in the Play Your Part TV series on Sundays at 9pm on SABC2. Matomela was born in 1991 in Port Elizabeth and it was there, in the friendly city, that her aunt would take her and her cousins to the Port Elizabeth International Airport to watch aircraft take off and land. • Brand South Africa +27 11 483 0122 • Ellis uses sport to build a better world • Ginwala helped shape South Africa’s history • Mam’ Khanyi rescues Hillbrow’s forgotten children • Graça Machel is a heroine in her own right • Bassie is a beauty with heartMelissa Jane CookAt just 23 years old Oyama Matomela is flying high as a female pilot in South Africa.Matomela was born in 1991 in Port Elizabeth and it was there, in the friendly city, that her aunt would take her and her cousins to the Port Elizabeth International Airport to watch aircraft take off and land.“These Sunday afternoon visits unveiled an incomparable passion and love for flying at a young age. Research and extensive hard work in my high school years led to me being awarded a bursary by the Department of Roads and Transport of the Eastern Cape to begin my flying training at the renowned 43 Air School [in Port Alfred],” she says.“I chose this career because it’s unlike any other. I’ve had these aspirations from a young age…” she says.The Collegiate Girls School alumnus is the fourth student to have been awarded the provincial department bursary, and the first woman.“The year and eight months I spent training was probably one of the most difficult yet rewarding things I have ever done,” she says. She adds: “The training was challenging and 110% effort was required – which is what I was willing to give to reach my goals at this age.”After passing her Private Pilot Licence (PPL), she later obtained an instrument-rated commercial pilot licence in August 2011. An instrument rating grants her licence to fly across international airspaces.Matomela passed the PPL in just 20 months; the average time to complete the course is between one and five years, depending on how frequently, and what aircraft, students fly, and in what weather.In March 2012 she wrote and passed all the airline transport pilot licence examinations, which then upgraded her licence to a frozen airline transport pilot licence. She commenced training towards a Grade III flight instructor rating in September 2012 and successfully completed the course in December 2012.Oyama Matomela on inspiring new waysMatomela then moved to Johannesburg in June 2013 to begin work as a flight instructor at Superior Pilot Services at Grand Central Airport in Midrand, where cadet pilots from South African Express airline are trained.A few months later she was invited for an interview with South African Express for a junior first officer position. The interview was successful and she joined the team in January 2013. She is currently training to fly the Bombardier Dash Q400 aircraft.Matomela hopes to earn a command on the jet fleet and become a training captain, and says her family, especially her mother, is proud of her accomplishments in such a male-dominated field. She gives special thanks to her mother, who she says “has been with her every step of the way throughout her training, in good and bad days”.last_img read more

The Road to Healing Takes Time

first_imgOriginally published on Pocketful of Chelles blog. On February 14, 2018, the world witnessed a tragedy that has become all too familiar, another school shooting. On a day that was supposed to be about love and peace, turned dark and cold for so many.How could one person take seventeen beautiful souls? We ask ourselves why did this have to happen, we say prayers for the families who now have to learn how to move on without their child, and we call on congress for change, yet again. It’s hard to imagine how you go on after such a devastating tragedy. Simple things like going back to work seem like mountains to climb. While we look for answers, one thing is for sure; time doesn’t stand still for the ones who need it to the most. Instead, you learn how to compromise with time, and make the most of what he gives you. Time doesn’t wait for no one – this is why there is more to life than the nine-to-five grind.Last week was tough. Sometimes you don’t get a “do over”. What you do get is a chance to put things in perspective, and not take the life you’ve been blessed with for granted. With a nine-hour drive on a long weekend getaway, I had time to reflect, time to think, and time to write…I asked myself, how can employers and HR support employees through grief and loss? Are bereavement leave policies enough? In a time of unspeakable loss, what are some things that HR can do to support their employees and organization?1. Have a plan, not just a policy:To my fellow HR professionals, let’s work together with management and executives to create a plan to support employees in their time of need. Let’s do more than just contact the employee and share information about our organization’s bereavement policy. A great example is from Ernst & Young. EY provided dedicated HR support to the family of one of their employees who was critically hurt in the Las Vegas mass shooting tragedy. Thankfully, this EY employee survived, and her story showed us that an employer can really champion for their employees when they need them the most.2. It’s time to lead the way:What can we do to prepare fellow employees for a grieving employee’s return to work?  The employee will be dealing with emotions that come with grief. Even on the simplest of tasks, there will be lack of focus and difficulty with concentrating. HR and management can partner with one another to lead the way in helping the employee navigate back into the workplace.3. Give space, it takes time:The single most important thing we can do to help an employee return to work is to give space. What if we created a private place where the employee can go to take a break when she is feeling overwhelmed with emotions? Sometimes the littlest things we do can go a long way.last_img read more

Google to Envelope All Knowledge on November 5th, 2007

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… I don’t think that a meeting like this was held 6 weeks before launch in order to develop the plans; I think they got industry luminaries together to talk messaging. That’s something Google needs some help with. We are very early in the total information we have within Google. The algorithms will get better and we will get better at personalisation…The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ‚ÄòWhat shall I do tomorrow?‚Äô and ‚ÄòWhat job shall I take?‚Äô‚ÄâWhat’s at StakeGoogle holds our search histories, our email, our calendars, the view of earth from the heavens (soon sharper than ever!) and the meaning of our spoken words. Google’s invested in Sergey Brin’s wife’s gene cataloging startup and they’ve prototyped software that will serve up content online that’s contextual to the ambient audio from the room your computer is sitting in. Steve Hodson pulls out the requisite Cory Doctorow dystopia excerpts in a post on his blog.The OpennessSo bring on the new openness! We and others have long called on Google to open up our own data to our own access. These new APIs may be a way to do that. Will they be read-only APIs, limited to letting 3rd party applications leverage (with our permission) the information that Google holds about us? Or will they be read/write APIs that allow outside third parties to write to our Google profiles as well? A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#web Related Posts Michael Arrington has convinced several high level sources to disclose discussion at a top secret Google meeting where the company discussed plans to release on November 5th a new set of APIs. Those APIs will make access to the data it holds fundamentally open to outside parties, starting with a limited number of Google applications and expanding. Arrington framed the discussion as aimed at making Google more open than Facebook but I’m not so sure that’s what’s going on. There’s good reason to feel positive about this move, but there are also a number of reasons to be very concerned. This is about putting Google all the more at the center of our lives by plugging outside applications into it and making it the key reference point for applications that want access to us. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting That Brad Fitzpatrick, the Father of OpenID, is said to be a guiding force behind Google’s efforts is a good sign. Google’s activities in China, like Yahoo! and Microsoft’s recent self-discipline pact, is not a good sign. Ultimately, Google’s only responsibility is to its share holders.Is Facebook Really The Issue?Michael Arrington says that the analogy literal target here is Facebook, but I’m not so sure. (Update: He says that was very clear, so it sounds like I’m in part wrong here.) The recent opening of Facebook to outside applications stirred no end of excitement, but in reality the vast majority of those applications so far have been of objects of trivia sitting unused on public profile pages. There’s a lot more at stake with Google than a couple of pokes and some music sharing. Facebook’s momentum with huge amounts of users is because of privacy controls (so far) and the brilliance of the news feeds – almost in spite of the applications, which have been widely derided as MySpace-ish.We Need OpenID, Not GoogIDArrington says that Google’s social networking software Orkut is what will lay over the top of all its services. I think what’s needed is a federated ID system like OpenID to tie everything together, not one corporate body that can already claim near omniscience. We need the attitudes of Brad Fitzgerald’s old employer, Six Apart, not the arrogance of Google. I don’t want to ask Google, “What shall I do tomorrow?” Ultimately, even with all my own shortcomings in data processing and rational thought, I only want to ask that of myself. Recall the words of Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a May interview with the Financial Times: 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more