Former Education Minister Priya Manickchand, in giving the charge to the 2018 Westfield Prep graduating class, challenged students to reject prejudices that have almost become part of our culture.Westfield Prep produced Guyana’s top student at the 2018 National Grade Six Assessment.Manickchand told the graduants that they will be met daily with outdated views, sometimes from right at home, or from school, or from the community. These outdated views, she said, will insinuate that one ethnicity is superior to another, or people who worship in a particular way are strange, or that children from rich homes are better.She advised the students that at each and every time they encounter those anachronistic views, they must confront them and gently but firmly set the makers of those statements right.She told the students that they have a special responsibility to be educated, inform themselves about the issues affecting Guyana, and dedicate themselves to working to make our country better than it is now. She encouraged them to be fully involved in both the academic and extracurricular life of the high schools they would be attending.On March 28 and 29, grade six students from both public and private primary schools across the country wrote the NGSA examination so as to complete their primary education programme and gain entrance into the secondary education system. They were tested in the areas of Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science.Just one week ago, the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) results were announced, with Nalia Rahaman of Westfield Prep securing a perfect score of 529 marks at the examination. According to the Education Ministry, this was the first time ever that a perfect score was achieved by a Guyanese student at the NGSA.Meanwhile, along with the good performance, a gender gap was observed, with females acquiring more spots in the top one percent when compared to males. This year’s examination also saw 14,145 students sitting the examination, with 104 females out of the 174 students being placed within the top one percent.Additionally, a performance gap has also been present between the coastal and hinterland schools.
Zimbabwean toddler Tapera Jani at the start of his treatment for both burns and kwashiorkor at the Children of Fire shelter in Johannesburg. (Image: Irin Photo)A few months ago Tapera Jani, a three-year-old boy from a farm outside Bulawayo in southern Zimbabwe, walked into a fire. The toddler was left with life-threatening burns to his legs and, in a country with a collapsed health system, no-one to help him.Luckily the owner of the farm on which Tapera lived with his parents had heard of Children of Fire, a South African organisation which rescues and rehabilitates children across the world who fall victim to fire.In all developing countries, fire is the essential source of energy for poorer households. And whether it is in paraffin lamps, charcoal braziers or flaming piles of wood, fire will often cause accidents injuring, disfiguring and often killing those households’ children.Children of Fire was founded in South Africa by journalist Bronwen Jones after, in 1994, she met Dorah Mokoena, a toddler who almost died in a shack fire in a squatter camp. The fire burnt off Dorah’s face, eyesight and hands – leaving her blind, her features melted into scar tissue, and with stumps at the end of her arms.Jones and her son Tristan took Dorah into their home, where the girl, now a teenager, is a permanent member of the family. Unlike many, she has had the benefit of reconstructive surgery, with her nose and lips rebuilt, and some ability to communicate restored.Dorah’s disfigurement made her the poster child for Children of Fire. She has helped attract the more privileged world’s attention to the horrific physical dangers millions of children face being born into families surviving on nothing.With three-year-old Tapera, Jones and her team were ready to deal with his burns. But the toddler was also a victim of Zimbabwe’s collapse – its meltdown economy and nonexistent healthcare.A citizen of a country that recently was the breadbasket of Southern Africa, the boy was suffering from kwashiorkor, a life-threatening form of malnutrition caused by a lack of protein – and a disease unknown in Zimbabwe 10 years ago.“If Tapera had not died of his burns, he would have died of starvation in [Zimbabwean president Robert] Mugabe’s country,” said Jones, kissing the now-healthy and smiling child.“He weighed 8.5kg when he arrived. We expected him to weigh double that for his biological age.”Children of Fire, established in South Africa over a decade ago, is now registered as a charity in the UK. It has helped 70 children with severe burns and 200 from across Africa who required less complicated surgery.“We continue to help the 70 children who need complicated surgery,” Jones said.The organisation has come to expect complications in each case it takes up.“There is poverty and HIV/Aids in the region – as we help to heal the children, we have to deal with all their problems,” said Jones.Reconstructive surgery is expensive, particularly reconstructing faces and limbs ravaged by fire.“It can cost anywhere between R40 000 (US$4 123) to R1-million ($103 095) per child,” she said. The charity, therefore, takes on few surgical cases.“The ones we do, we know no-one else would help; for example, if the child is also HIV-positive.”The organisation’s focus is therefore not on expensive surgery. Its more important work is helping children damaged by fire come to terms with their disability, cope with the social stigma of their disfigurement, and develop the courage to reintegrate with family, friends and society.“I often end up being rude to people who stare at my children, despite my telling them not to do so, as it upsets them,” Jones said.“Acceptance and getting people to see the child inside is perhaps the most difficult thing.”Children of Fire works with a network of doctors, surgeons and healthcare specialists, most volunteers. The charity has never received government aid, and operates entirely on public donations, using volunteers from across the world.“My son Tristan calls us a boot-camp for spoilt European students,” said Jones. Children come and go out of the house which serves as a home and office for the charity in Melville, a suburb of Johannesburg in Gauteng province. A school near the main building, with a staff of three teachers, helps educate the children while they are in the organisation’s care.More than 90% of burn injuries across the world occur in developing countries, with 70% of these burn victims children, according to statistics from the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery in the UK and the Dow University Medical College Burns Centre in Pakistan.According to Children of Fire estimates, at least 15 000 South African children are burned every year. The incidence of burning is higher in winter, when the need for warmth means more fires, and more chance for tragic accidents.In South Africa’s five biggest cities an average of 200 people die in shack fires every year, according to Abahlali baseMjondolo, a South African shack dwellers’ movement.Besides helping children with burn injuries, Children of Fire also tries to educate people shacklands and other poor and unserviced residential areas on preventing fires.“These are simple measures such as not cooking on the ground [where children may easily walk into fires] and not allowing children to sleep alone with an open fire,” said Jones.The organisation also provides construction materials and other household essentials to communities that have been victims of fire.Jones has also been trying to get the authorities to implement a ban on the use of a particular brand of unsafe cooking stove that leaks paraffin oil.“These stoves cost only about R40 (about $4), while the safer ones cost about R200 (about $20), which few residents in squatter camps can afford.“I wish someone could help with cheaper, safer versions.”MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporter and Irin News Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.Related articlesChampioning the children of fire Useful linksChildren of Fire Irin News
The BJP-led coalition government in Assam has purchased biographies of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya worth ₹1.6 crore after coming to power in May 2016.Replying to a question by Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia in the 126-member Assembly on Wednesday, Cultural Affairs Minister Keshab Mahanta said the government bought 4,000 copies of the 15-volume Hindi biography for libraries across the State. The total number of books works out to 60,000. The Directorate of Libraries spent ₹1.6 crore for the purchase on the advice of Cultural Affairs Department, he added.Delhi-based publisher The biography has been brought out by a Delhi-based publisher, the Minister said.“We have not purchased biographies of any iconic person other than Deen Dayal Upadhyaya,” Mr. Mahanta, who represents the BJP’s regional ally Asom Gana Parishad, said.The AGP, ironically, has been vocal about the BJP’s bid to “impose” anything related to RSS and Hindutva on the “people of Assam”. The party had opposed the Sarbananda Sonowal government’s decision to name 12 new colleges in the State after Deen Dayal Upadhyaya in August last year.
View comments Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The unexpected break may yet turn out to be a blessing in disguise as Pacquiao is already primed up for his World Boxing Organization welterweight title bout against Jeff Horn on July 2.On Friday night, Pacquiao told sportswriters that he has learned to listen to his body.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Before, I can do 32 rounds and recover overnight. Now, [recovering] takes me a longer time, so I have to slow down sometimes,” Pacquiao said.Chief trainer Freddie Roach knows that, of course. Though the eight-division world champion still trains as hard as before, it now requires little persuasion for Pacquiao to stick to the training routine. MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ What ‘missteps’? Fortune agreed, wishing that Pacquiao would climb to 146.5 lb during the official weigh-in on July 1.Notes: Team Pacquiao’s use of the Air Asia chartered plane was facilitated by Eric Arejola, ground operations head of Air Asia Phil. Though the plane has a 377 seating capacity there were only 187 passengers on board for the direct flight to Brisbane.Visit Inquirer Sports’ The Pacquiao Files for news, features, and other multimedia content about Manny Pacquiao and his upcoming fights.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netGEN. SANTOS City—Intermittent rains led to the cancellation of Manny Pacquiao’s scheduled hilly morning run Saturday, hours before his chartered plane took off for Australia.To make up for that, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune made him do several laps around his covered basketball court within the confines of his mansion here.ADVERTISEMENT SMB, TNT out to break tie World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Unlike years before, when the Fighting Senator would usually request for additional rounds of gym work.Although he’s hoping for a knockout, Roach knows that Pacquiao can very well go the full 12 rounds if necessary at the 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.The only thing that poses some concern for Roach is Pacquiao’s “lightness.”Despite eating voraciously at least four times a day, Pacquiao weighed only 142 pounds Thursday, five lb below the division’s limit.Roach wants Pacquiao to be between 145 to 146 pounds at this point as Horn will definitely be at least 10 lb heavier on fight night.ADVERTISEMENT 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
LATEST STORIES Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Dumaan is second of a brood of six. Their parents are rice farmers.He worked his way up all the way to the national team because of his impressive showing in the sparring sessions.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingDumaan also competed in wushu and taekwondo but now prefers pencak silat where he won the gold medal in the tanding Class A for 45-kg-50kg division in the SEA Games.It was the Philippines’ first gold in the sport since 2005. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul The Philippine pencak silat team will compete in Korea on Sept 21 for the third Asian Pencak Silat Championship.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim NBA: Lamar Odom seeks 1-day contract, retirement with Lakers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Dines Dumaan of the Philippines after winning the gold medal in the men’s tanding putra class A 45-50 kg division of the 29th Southeast Asian Games pencak silat competition Tuesday at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES POOLKUALA LUMPUR — The first thing 2017 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Dines Dumaan wants to do when he returns to the Philippines is bond with his family back in Roxas City.“I dedicate my gold medal to my countrymen and then to my family,” said the 21-year old Dumaan, who is a full-time athlete after dropping out from college.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’
Captain Eoin Morgan called compatriot Jason Roy an intimidating batsman to play against after the England opener hammered a characteristic 121-ball 153 to guide his side to a 106-run victory over Bangladesh, who knocked them out of the 2015 World Cup.Put in, England posted 386 for 6–their highest ever World Cup score-as Jason Roy purred into life, smashing 14 boundaries and 5 sixes to get his 9th ODI hundred and also the Player of the Match award at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on Saturday.With the mammoth total, England also broke Australia’s 12-year-old record for the most number of successive 300-plus totals as they posted their 7th straight 300-plus ODI total.As the England batsman did a perfect job with the bat, the bowlers outshone in their department to all out Bangladesh for 280 in 48.5 overs with Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer finishing with the figures of 3/23 and 3/29 respectively.”The two boys at the top (openers) laid a solid platform as Jason (Roy) managed to get a significant score. It’s great to see. He’s very intimidating to play against and the impact he has against oppositions is significant,” Eoin Morgan said in a post match interview.”There’s something always that sides will throw at us. Whether it’s spin, swing, whatever – we are prepared. With Archer, Wood, Woakes, Stokes in the bowling, it’s outstanding. They’re wonderful to captain and today was no different.”England were toppled by Pakistan in their previous game but the they bounced back strong to register second win of the tournament.advertisement”I think more positives to take out from the game today. We took a lot of positives from the last game against Pakistan too. We knew we needed to improve in order to win against Bangladesh and we were outstanding with the bat,” Morgan said.Batting first, Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar departed cheaply but Shakib played a classy knock of 121, which included 12 boundaries and a six, from 119 balls. However, once Shakib left the crease, Bangladesh failed to keep their wickets together and handed a massive victory to England.Also See