12 Jan

Education Ministry shuts down Brickdam Secondary

first_imgBy Ramona LuthiChief Education Officer Olato Sam shut down Brickdam Secondary School on Tuesday, in response to a sit-in by the teachers at the school last week. On Tuesday, Sam asked students to return home while requesting that teachers vacate the premises after submitting all school records.However, according to the teachers of the Secondary School, the decision to sit in was made after their numerous demands for better work and educational facilities fell on deaf ear. They highlighted that over the years, there have been scores of complaints pertaining to the hazardous and unsanitary conditions students as well as teachers are forced to dwell in on a daily basis, but nothing except emptyChief Education Officer Olato Sam at the PTA meetingpromises came from the Education Ministry.“The decision to close the school down came after the teachers took a stand for better working conditions and generally an environment that is conducive for learning. Teachers asked for these things. We’ve been asking for these things for years and it has reached to the point where it is overbearing. The students and the teachers have decided that we’ve had enough and we would like the Ministry to do something about it,” one teacher said.Meanwhile, a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meeting was held at St Stanislaus College on Tuesday with the Chief Education Officer, Assistant Chief Education Officer Leslyn Charles, the Principal Education Officer responsible for schools in Georgetown, the District Education Officer in Georgetown, other representatives of the Ministry, the PTA Board Chairman, scores of parents and students of the Brickdam Secondary.At the meeting, Sam highlighted that after being informed that the teachers of the Brickdam Secondary School were on strike, he, along with members of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) and other officers of the Education Ministry, met with them on Friday last to resolve the issues. The Chief Education Officer said that it was his understanding that a compromise was made between him and the teachers whereby emergency repairs would be conducted over the weekend, and teachers would resume working for the remaining three weeks of the school’s semester, giving the Ministry time to implement permanent restoration measures at the school for the new term in September.However, on Monday, he found that this was not the situation as he was informed that the teachers still refused to work. Sam asserted that it was this that resulted in his decision to have the school closed, students relocated to other schools in order to continue their secondary education, and teachers to different educational facilities.“As a result of the teachers not working, we had to devise the best plan of action in the best interest of our students so that they get an education, complete the end-of-term assessment and everything else. And that would give us an opportunity to satisfy our teacher’s demands. We cannot allow teachers to sit in at the school for the remainder of the term when our students aren’t learning anything. It’s totally unacceptable and so our teachers have all been reassigned to other schools.”According to the Chief Education Officer, the students would be admitted to Grade “A” schools such as North Georgetown Secondary, Christ Church Secondary, Central High School and North Ruimveldt Multilateral High School for the rest of the term while the Ministry assesses its options to provide a permanent solution.However, this announcement resulted in a massive disruption within the crowd of parents as they chanted “No!” to the list of schools provided by Sam.Parents and teachers angrily expressed their frustrations towards Sam, who voiced that since the teachers refused to take the option of resuming work at Brickdam Secondary for the next three weeks and be given a permanent resolution next term, it was now “off the table”.He left the meeting shortly after declaring this, since the commotion created by parents did not quiet down.Teachers of the Secondary School told Guyana Times that they were prepared to work and would have readily accepted the condition put forward by the Chief Education Officer, had he mentioned it prior to the meeting.They voiced that their only concern revolved around better facilities for the children that they teach. The teachers asserted that the decision to have students and teachers relocated was done out of spite: “The Ministry wants to make us an example because we stood up for our rights.”It was also relayed that the Headmistress of the school refused to stand up with the teachers in their fight for better facilities.While some parents agreed with the decision to have the children relocated on a temporary basis, many refused to accept it. These parents voiced their belief that their children were being subjected to unfair treatment having been transferred to schools that were considered below the educational standard.“We have no choice. This is being shoved down our throats. We have no choice. My child has been disenfranchised because they wanna send her down to a lower school. We don’t have a choice. What is this? Is this communism? Is this the change I voted for? No. No way,” asserted a parent, Tracy Martin.last_img read more

6 Jan

Keane ready to end Fergie feud IF former Man United boss says sorry

first_imgRoy Keane says he is prepared to bury the hatchet with Sir Alex Ferguson – so long as he receives an apology from the former Manchester United manager.Keane enjoyed great success as Ferguson’s captain at Old Trafford, helping the club win a host of major honours, but his acrimonious departure from United in 2005 saw the pair’s relationship break down.Ferguson went on to blast the Irishman in his autobiography, while Keane hit back in his own book by accusing the Scot of ‘disloyalty’ and of failing to honour the terms of his contract.But Keane has now suggested he could end his feud with the 72-year-old.In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, quoted in several national newspapers, Keane – asked whether he would ever go for a pint with Ferguson – replied: “Well, it would be a cup of tea. If Sir Alex apologises, then yes, I would.“If Ferguson apologises I would be happy to move on… for Ferguson to bad-mouth me after I left, I think he does owe me an apology.”He added: “It was never going to end as a pal’s act. I was never going to leave with champagne and flowers.“I saw how Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce left the club, both decent United captains, and I didn’t like the way they left.”The outspoken Irishman also made it clear he was not losing any sleep over any supporters who feel his feud with Ferguson has tarnished his legacy.“If United fans say I had a decent career, then brilliant,” he said. “If they want to say, ‘What’s gone on with Ferguson stuff?’ then f*** them.” Roy Keane with Sir Alex Ferguson in happier times 1last_img read more

19 Dec

The Evolution of Creationism and Other Intangibles

first_imgIf you are a creationist, you can’t help yourself, because evolution made you that way.  It might have also made you moral and religious, especially if you are a woman.  These and other evolutionary stories are making the rounds.Evo-creationism:  New Scientist says humans may be primed to believe in creation.  Studies show that humans tend to see purpose in things.  That can only mean they evolved that tendency, said some psychologists at Boston University.  A good education can help cure them of this and show them that the world is really without purpose or design.Evo-religion:  Robert Roy Britt speculated on Live Science why more women tend to be religious than men.  Maybe evolution made males more apt to look for short-term thrills than long-term satisfaction (like heaven).  Britt did not overtly use evolution to explain this tendency, but quoted Rodney Stark, of all people, who appealed to biochemistry: “Studies of biochemistry imply that both male irreligiousness and male lawlessness are rooted in the fact that far more males than females have an underdeveloped ability to inhibit their impulses, especially those involving immediate gratification and thrills.”  Britt remarked, “Stark may have purposely overstated the case, but you get the point.”  The point seems to be that religiousness is a function of biochemistry, which is a function of biology (see 10/26/2008).Evo-morality:  Jonathan Haidt and two of his friends are evolutionizing morality again (cf. 05/17/2007).  They published another Perspective article in Science,1 entitled, “From oral to moral.”  Their idea, reporting on a paper by Chapman in the issue,2 is that morality evolved from the disgust response.  We find certain smells and sights disgusting, and transfer those responses to behaviors.  This is a little more specific than the theory of three UCSB profs reported here in 03/04/2003.  Chapman, Haidt et al suggest that responses to “violations of divinity”, such as righteous anger at profanity or blasphemy, began in the mouth, when the human animal learned unpleasant sensations during nausea, gagging, and loss of appetite.  One can only wonder how they would explain another scientist finding this thesis disgusting.Each theory has anomalies.  A surprising anomaly appeared in Science Careers, a publication of the AAAS.  Imre Mikl�s Szil�gyi, one of the best upcoming young scientists in Hungary, is “far ahead of the average student or young researcher of his age in motivation and systematic work,” but he is a creationist.  Maybe he had a particularly beneficial mutation.  Whatever it was, he claimed it helped him become a scientist.  “My belief is very important for my career,” he said, “because this is the first thing that gives me my motivations so that I could work hard and I could achieve the best I can.”1.  Rozin, Haidt and Fincher, “From Oral to Moral,” Science, 27 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5918, pp. 1179-1180, DOI: 10.1126/science.1170492.2.  Chapman, Kim, Susskind and Anderson, “In Bad Taste: Evidence for the Oral Origins of Moral Disgust,” Science, 27 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5918, pp. 1222-1226, DOI: 10.1126/science.1165565.Szilagyi, who takes the Bible literally, according to the article, feels that the “the debate over evolution, design, creation, supernatural intelligence, etc., is not a scientific question in the first place but the collision of worldviews, the confrontation of materialism and idealism.”  Evolutionists love collisions (05/13/2004, 01/26/2007).  Maybe this smashup will bring good ideas to life, like academic freedom for critics of Darwinism, and the extinction of others, like self-refuting fallacies (02/09/2009, 12/23/2008, 10/26/2008).(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

16 Dec

Democrats Seek Extension of Tax Breaks for Renewables

first_imgFederal tax credits for wind and solar systems are to be phased out beginning next year as part of a 2015 deal that ended a ban on crude oil exports. Now, a group of Democrats in Congress would like rework the plan and keep the subsidies in place, Bloomberg reports. The 2015 agreement was a boon for renewables. A production tax credit for the wind industry, which had expired, was reinstated with a five-year phase-out to end next year. A 30% investment tax credit for photovoltaic systems also was given an extension, with a gradual reduction to begin in 2020 and go to zero in 2022. But changes in the political landscape have prompted more than 100 Democrats to sign on to a letter urging that the tax benefits be given more time.RELATED ARTICLESAfter a Long Boom, an Uncertain Future for Big Dam ProjectsA Fight Ahead For Solar Equipment Tax CreditsBill Proposes New Incentives for Electric VehiclesDitch the Tax Credits for RenewablesEnergy Tax Credits and the Fiscal Cliff The April letter, addressed to the Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, said that investments in clean energy would help the country address threats posed by climate change. It criticizes parts of the tax code that provide billions of dollars in subsidies, “many with no discernible rationale,” while leaving renewable energy companies high and dry. Among the requests: Continued incentives for wind and solar energy as a way of helping the country transition to 100% clean energy. Clarify the tax code for energy storage technologies, which lawmakers said is key to modernizing the grid. Encourage the spread of electric vehicles and vehicles that run on alternate fuels by revising a cap on subsidies for manufacturers that currently kicks in when sales top 200,000 vehicles. Support the use of biomass and wood pellets for home heating. Support policies that would continue development of the next generation of biofuels. “We are cognizant that Congress last extended many of these clean-energy tax credits with the understanding that they would eventually be phased out,” the letter reads. “However, for many of us who served in 2015 when that bipartisan agreement was reached, the facts on the ground have now changed demonstrably.” The extensions were supposed to serve as a bridge to the implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, but the Trump administration has “fundamentally altered the framework by which the 2015 agreement was reached,” it says. Reaction was mixed. Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, said he favored an extension of the incentives. Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, does not. He said that he assured opponents of the wind tax credit in 2015 that he wouldn’t be back for another extension if they went along with it then.last_img read more

3 Dec

Former RJD MP sent to jail

first_imgFormer Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP and strongman of Bihar’s Saran district Prabhunath Singh and two others were convicted on Thursday in an old murder case by a local court of Hazaribagh in Jharkhand. All three were later sent to jail. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on May 23.Additional district and sessions judge Surendra Sharma found Prabhunath Singh, his brother Dinanath Singh and one Ritesh Singh guilty of the murder of former MLA Ashok Singh. MLA killed in blastAshok Singh, the then Janata Dal MLA from Masarakh constituency of the Saran district in Bihar, died in a bomb blast on July 3, 1995, when he was sitting in the lawns of his official bungalow in Patna. “My brother defeated Prabhunath Singh in the 1995 Assembly poll and Prabhunath Singh had openly said that my brother will be killed within 90 days of becoming a legislator. He was killed on the 90th day,” Tarkeshwar Singh, younger brother of Ashok Singh, told journalists. The day Ashok Singh, 28, was killed, he had met the then Director General of Police G.P. Dohre for police protection.“It was a long battle, but I had full faith in the judiciary and I’m happy that justice has been done,” Chandani Singh, wife of Ashok Singh, told journalists.last_img read more