“Our Education Ill is Beyond Short-term Closing”

first_imgThe principal of the Ganta United Methodist School (GUMS), says the country’s education problem is beyond short-term closing although decision by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to close school as of July 31 stands. Mr. Roger S. Domah in a statement, he indicated that key stakeholders including the MOE need to sit and critically analyze the problem and identify those activities that best suit Liberian education system instead of rushing to close school, and be in conformity with educational calendar that others are using in their countries.He said the “Messy” education system needs some hard decisions that will be unpopular and should be able to affect whoever it can since the intent is to correct the errors that have damaged the system.Mr. Domah said besides the lack of competent Mathematics and English teachers in most schools as stated by the new Minister of Education, George Werner, there is a need to revisit the system of licensing schools and teachers; something he said has major role in bringing out mushroom schools that do not have the first facilities or the qualified teachers.He stressed that this aspect of failure is directly associated with government, and if changes can be made, such error needs to be identified and worked on thoroughly to make changes that will suit Liberia’s education.The GUMS Principal also said the government and stakeholders need to evaluate teachers with university degree; follow up the time spent at a university and the cause of staying for such time. “We must also study and closely supervise the admission and employment processes in our school system; the quality of supervision during the administration and marking of West AfricanExamination Council (WAEC) administer examinations; the length of time spent by individual students especially at universities and the consequences of over staying; consequences for students who will not improve their academic performances after all efforts have been exerted, and a system to receive reports on education officers’ (Eos’) and other educational officials and bodies who are involved in “unethical conducts” or performing dismal even in the remotest parts of the Country.”Mr. Dormah during last academic year fell in controversy with education authority of Nimba for booking his own student cheating on the WAEC Exam.The county authority and others took him to the provincial capital, Sanniquellie on ground that his action to expose the student brought disrepute to the county.Against this backdrop, Mr. Domah suggested that “The Ministry should also introduce an external examiner system where samples of tests from schools and universities will have second opinion especially for graduating seniors before they are given clearances.”“I must express that our educational system for the past decade has been responsible for the massive indiscipline, corruptions, bad governance and all of the vices that Liberia is suffering from. Most of those working in our various public and private sectors today are performing the way they are doing because this is how they were processed-“encouraging you to make your way out instead of meriting your accomplishments,” he said.He also indicated that the suggestion to revolutionize the education system should be intentional and must go beyond words, noting that they way the change is done may lead to failure or success.He then called on the new MOE Administration to carefully handle the school matter without rushing in order to have a fruit results as the system is being spoiled not only by teachers or students, but government, school administration, parents and others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Govt urged to introduce CAPE at other secondary schools

first_imgThe Education Ministry was on Tuesday challenged by Region Four Regional Chairperson, Genevieve Allen, to introduce Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) at other secondary schools that have been performing well.In particular, the regional chairperson said CAPE should be introduced at the Annandale and Diamond Secondary Schools – East Coast and East Bank Demerara respectively – as a result of their outstanding performances over the past years.Region Four Regional Chairperson, Genevieve AllenShe made the call at the region’s Education Department Regional Award Ceremony held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) on Tuesday.“I want to challenge the Department of Education, Region Four and the Ministry of Education, that we only have the President’s College that offers CAPE examination within our region. I am quite sure that because Diamond Secondary has been excelling over the years, along with Annandale Secondary, that want in our projection that either both of those schools or one of those schools, that it should be proposed that they begin to enter our students in the CAPE examination,” she said.Allen posited that there have been major improvements in the education sector over the years as she congratulated the officials for their hard work.Parents were also reminded of the integral role they play in the lives of their children, and that they should continue to work with them to see further improvements.Education Minister Nicolette Henry“I want to encourage all of us to work with our schools at the National Grade Six level. All of our parents will wish, hope and pray that your child is awarded a place at the Queen’s College, or one of the senior secondary schools. I want to remind us that all of us have varying levels of skills and abilities, and I want to urge us to work with our children so that they too can strive ….” she emphasised.In addition, Tiffany Favourite-Harvey, acting Regional Officer (REO), applauded the efforts of the awardees for their performances, noting that this is made possible due to the hardworking staff of the education department.Among the awardees were St Andrews Primary, for Outstanding Performance at the 2019 NGTA; Covent Garden Primary School, for Most Improved School for NGTA 2019; New Diamond/Grove Primary School for Outstanding Performance for NGFA; NGSA 2019, Swami Purnananda Primary School; and for Most Improved School for NGSA 2019, Cane Grove Secondary.last_img read more

Seven up Man City put Stoke to the sword

first_imgAll of this was achieved without star striker Sergio Aguero, left as an unused substitute after recovering from a broken rib suffered in a taxi crash just over two weeks ago.City were 3-0 up after 27 minutes before Stoke briefly threatened a revival through Mame Biram Diouf’s strike and a Kyle Walker own goal.But Guardiola’s team then powered away to secure an emphatic win that took their goal tally to 24 in their last five league games and put distance between the leaders and second-placed Manchester United.Stoke looked stretched from the early minutes, and Sane should have given the home side a seventh minute lead, lifting a shot over the bar from close range after Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from the right had flicked off Kevin Wimmer.City’s full-backs are a much greater attacking threat this season, with Fabian Delph slotting in seamlessly on the left following a long-term injury to Benjamin Mendy.It was Delph who tested Jack Butland with a long-range effort that the Stoke goalkeeper gathered comfortably, but it was right-back Walker who was central to the stylish move from which Guardiola’s team took a 17th-minute lead.Walker, played in down the right by De Bruyne’s finely judged pass in behind Wimmer, reached the byline and cut the ball back for Jesus to sweep in.Barely had Stoke absorbed that setback when they fell two goals behind, and again, the build-up play was wonderful.– Outstanding –Sane cut in from the left on to De Bruyne’s return pass, before rolling across goal for Raheem Sterling to control and steer in his sixth goal in six Premier League appearances this season.A third goal for Guardiola’s team arrived with just 27 minutes played.This time, Jesus fed Sane down the left, and the Germany international played the ball across goal for Sterling to steer back into the middle, where David Silva stretched to slot home.Stoke pulled a goal back just before half-time when Diouf surged past Delph down the right, and then received Jese’s first-time backheel to score from 15 yards.City continued to seek more goals and only a good diving save from Butland prevented De Bruyne from finding the corner of the net.Stoke pulled another one back barely 90 seconds after the interval, with Tom Edwards crossing for Diouf, whose header was deflected in off the post by Walker.Sadly for Edwards, his afternoon was ended by injury shortly afterwards, as he was carried off on a stretcher.City, having recovered their composure, then sprinted forward to extend their lead once more.De Bruyne was involved once again, haring down the right side before crossing low for Jesus to steer high into the net from six yards.It was the signal for another City goal surge; Fernandinho took on Delph’s short pass to hammer in a 25-yard shot off the underside of the bar for the fifth.The outstanding De Bruyne was involved once again for the sixth goal, splitting the Stoke defence with a sublime diagonal pass for Sane, arriving from the left, to steer between Butland’s legs.Substitute Bernardo Silva poked in his first City goal for the seventh, after Yaya Toure and Sterling had combined to set him up.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000The Portuguese ace is congratulated by the City supporters and team-mate Raheem Sterling after coming up with the goods.PHOTO/Daily MailMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Oct 14- Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Manchester City produced an outstanding display to thrash Stoke 7-2 and move two points clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday.City scored seven goals for the first time under Pep Guardiola, and for only the second time in the Premier League, as Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva were also on target at Eastlands.last_img read more

Saving albatross, on sea and land

first_imgA black-browed albatross caring for itschick. Albatrosses are attentive parents, with breeding behaviour adapted to empty and safe islands. They therefore have no evolutionary defence against insidious new threats, introduced by people, such as predatory mice. While mice eat their chicks alive, the albatross parents sit by with no sense of their chicks’ plight. (Image: Save the Albatross Campaign) A northern royal albatross in flight near its colony in Taiaroa Head, New Zealand. Albatrosses range over huge areas of ocean, spending over half their lives in flight and regularly circling the globe. (Image: Wikimedia) An infant albatross with deep wounds inflicted by mice. Gough Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean has a population of some 1-million mice, with devastating effects for the large ocean birds that breed there. (Image strictly copyright Ross Wanless. This image may not be republished or redistributed in any way.) A mouse on Gough Island with the remains of its much larger prey, a petrel chick. (Image strictly copyright Ross Wanless. This image may not be republished or redistributed in any way.)Jennifer SternWith a wingspan greater than the height of the tallest man and over half their lives spent in flight over the seas, albatrosses have a special place in the human imagination. But these great birds, evolved to fill a unique evolutionary niche, are under threat from both huge fishing fleets and the smallest of predators.Albatrosses wander the southern seas skimming the ocean rollers for years at a time. They occasionally land on the water to sleep but, it is thought, can actually catch a few winks while flying. No-one knows for sure, but scientists think that on long flights they may, like dolphins, transport themselves using one hemisphere of their brain, while sleeping with the other.On their long flights albatrosses feed on marine carrion, as well as krill and other sea-surface creatures. Their eyesight is good, but not much use for finding food over the featureless ocean – at least not until they’re almost on top of their lunch. They also dip their feet into the sea to test the temperature and somehow use the information to find out whether there’s a meal in the vicinity.Their most effective sense is smell, as most of their food is dead and floating on the surface. Albatrosses fly enormous distances to find small patches of food scattered over a vast area. This may be the remains of a dead whale, a patch of krill associated with upwelling, a plankton bloom, or even a spawning event.Animals such as squid all spawn together over a short period and then, conveniently for the albatrosses, die en masse, floating to the surface. The albatrosses’ food-finding instincts have served the bird well for millennia, but in the last hundred years or so things have changed.Deadly baitThe last century has seen a revolution in commercial fishing. Refrigeration now allows huge fleets to travel far across the sea, catching and processing enormous numbers of fish. The once-empty southern oceans are now densely populated with trawlers and long-line fishing boats. Unfortunately, these almost exactly replicate the feeding conditions of albatrosses, and other sea feeders such as petrels.Long-line boats lay enormously long fishing lines with baited hooks out the back of the vessel. The lines and bait, which is not exactly at its freshest, float on the surface, sending out deliciously attractive olfactory signals to passing albatrosses.The birds fly down and, as they have done for thousands of years, snatch the morsel from the sea surface. But that morsel is attached to a hook, so the bird is snared, dragged behind the boat, and drowned.It’s estimated that long-line fishing kills more than 100 000 albatrosses a year. That’s one every five minutes. Two albatrosses will have been dragged to a cold and lonely death by the time you have finished reading this article.Fishing trawlers are also deadly to the birds. Trawling nets are enormous – about 50m in length and filled with up to 20 tons of fish on a successful drag. As the net surfaces it is pulled to the boat, and the catch comes within reach of albatrosses and other birds – a veritable feast. The birds may survive a nibble or two, but eventually they get tangled in the net, dragged underwater, and drowned.The upshot is that the great bird’s numbers are declining at an alarming rate, with 19 of the 22 species of albatross listed in the Red Data Book, a global compendium of threatened and endangered species of plants and animals, compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.Safe on land?But it’s not only at sea that albatrosses are threatened. They breed almost exclusively on empty oceanic islands, so they have evolved in an unthreatening environment. They are totally safe in the air and, before commercial fishing, were virtually unthreatened in the water – although they could get nabbed by an opportunistic seal or shark.In 2001 a group of ornithologists spent a year on Gough Island, a cold volcanic island rising from the South Atlantic Ocean at a midpoint between the southern tips of Africa and South America and the northern coast of Antarctica. They made it a priority to find out how well the albatrosses were breeding, given the birds’ severe mortality at sea.The scientists counted the pairs of incubating adults in January and, after hatching, in September counted the surviving chicks. The figures were frightening.Expecting a 60% to 70% breeding success, they were horrified to find it was closer to 30%. More than half the chicks had died. And they had no idea why – although they had a few suspicions.Ross Wanless, a PhD candidate from South Africa’s University of Cape Town, spent a year on Gough from October 2003 to September 2004 to find out what was happening to the chicks. The potential suspects included some kind of disease, poor feeding conditions, the high mortality of adults at sea – causing abandonment of the chicks – or, perhaps, predation by mice.Mice are not indigenous to Gough. Albatrosses evolved to breed on land entirely free of terrestrial predators so, with no natural land enemies, they have no natural land defences. The odd skua may drop in to steal eggs or chicks but the albatrosses could deal with that. They’d see them flying in and, with a good deal of squawking and wing flapping, see them off in a typically avian fashion.For thousands of years there were no mammals – and certainly no humans – on the birds’ breeding islands. But everything changed with the arrival of people.People came with passengers, small companions that had a huge impact on the delicate ecosystems of the southern islands. In 1949 five domestic cats were brought to Marion Island to deal with a mouse problem at the meteorological station. But the cats found burrowing petrels tastier than mice, and their numbers exploded. By 1977 there were 3 400 cats on the island, threatening to drive the birds to extinction. The resulting eradication programme, started in 1982, only managed to remove all cats from Marion by the early 1990s.Gough Island is home to an estimated 1-million mice. Cute, harmless little creatures, one would think.Wanless found otherwise. Like his predecessors, he counted the incubating adult pairs as a basis from which to measure breeding success. But about a month after the chicks had hatched, he began to find bloodied, dead and dying little albatross fluffballs.The mice were, literally, eating the chicks alive, sometimes taking up to a week to finish one off. And all the while the parents would sit there, unaware that their chicks needed help. They had no evolutionary reference for that kind of threat.Save the Albatross CampaignIts lifetime of lonely voyaging makes the albatross resonate in human culture. It’s an agent of karma in Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner and, even, material for Monty Python. The opened wings of the great albatrosses are the widest of any bird, extending over 3.4 metres (11 feet) – a span far larger than the height of the tallest man. They are magnificent birds, and something had to be done.The Save the Albatross Campaign (STAC) is an international organisation set up to find ways to end the breeding and feeding threats to the great bird. One of its priorities is vermin control, with the mice of Gough Island soon to go the way of the cats of Marion Island.The campaign also works with the fishing industry to find an answer to the problem of “by-catch” – a euphemism for animals inadvertently killed in the efficient process of commercial fishing.The solutions are win-win because fishing boats actually do want to only catch fish, not albatrosses, which have no commercial value. Stopping albatrosses from taking bait will reduce fishing companies’ wastage, and improve their bottom line. STAC works at the levels of both the big fishing commissions, or Regional Fishing Management Organisations (RFMOs), and individual crews and fishing companies.On the big scale, the campaign’s objective is to get RFMOs to acknowledge the problem, and take action. There has been good progress. The next step is the mandatory inclusion of mitigation measures in long-line and trawling fleets. These would include setting lines at night when albatrosses don’t feed, making the long-line bait sink quickly so the birds can’t get to it, and bird-scaring lines. The last are, in effect, marine scarecrows – long lines with scary, noisy, fluttering streamers set out before the lines or nets are laid. The birds find them terrifying, and keep away.Scaring lines are another win-win part of the campaign. With STAC’s help, previously unemployed people in Ocean View in Cape Town have started small businesses to make the bird-scaring lines. STAC then buys the lines, and gives them to the fishing boats for free.Unlike dolphin-friendly labelling on tuna tins, there is currently no labelling system for albatross-friendly seafood. But if you want to help save the albatross, look out for the logo of the Marine Stewardship Council on any seafood you buy. This organisation certifies responsible fisheries, with bird-friendliness one of its criteria.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesBoulders penguins’ promised landLooking out for South Africa’s sea life Saving our vulnerable sharksUseful linksSave the Albatross Campaign Birdlife South AfricaInternational Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Southern African Sustainable Seafood initiativeMarine Stewardship Councillast_img read more