Jamaican News

Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories for the week ending May 5th, 2017

Jamaican and Caribbean News
Written by Staff Writer

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THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS  STORIES
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PRIVATE EARLY CHILDHOOD INSTITUTIONS TO GO PUBLIC, SAYS GOVERNMENT
The Jamaican government will convert private early childhood institutions to public operations, according to Senator Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information. The conversion process is slated to start in September 2017 at the Jamaica House Infant School. Under the project, at least half of the early childhood institutions on the island will be publicly run by 2020. Reid made his announcement at an awards ceremony for the Project for the Advancement of Early Childhood Education (PACE) Canada in St. Andrew. He said that, for years, the government has been contributing to more than 2,400 privately operated schools for years by providing stipends, materials, training, and nutritional support.

JAMAICAN HEALTH SECTOR TO SEE MAJOR CHANGES
The Jamaican government will use $3.5 billion from the National Health Fund (NHF) for the repair and upgrading of critical infrastructure throughout the island. Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health, stated that the problems experienced by Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James are a symptom of the current approach to health infrastructure maintenance. Early in 2017, the hospital suffered the release of noxious fumes from its air conditioning system, which had severe effects on staff and patients and caused all outpatient services to be relocated. Some 600 patients are now getting their care at other facilities while the main building is undergoing repairs. According to Tufton, taking funds from the NHF will not affect its operations as it has $10 billion in reserves. The Ministry is “comfortable” that revenue streams will improve due to pending reforms, he said.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
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SENATE IN HAITI REQUESTS DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY
The senate in Haiti has requested that the  executive branch of government declare a state of emergency in regard to country’s southern regions, which are still trying to recover from the effects of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the more recent torrential rains in the area. The senators turned in a unanimous vote in favor of a resolution calling for the executive to issue a state of emergency for the Departments of the South, Southeast, Nippes and Grand’Anse. They also called for a declaration of a state of environmental emergency for the whole national territory. A state of emergency declaration allows for easier disbursement of funds for aid. The senators also demanded that the executive provide an operational plan and budget regarding the matter to the Parliament.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
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JAMAICANS RECEIVE PROFESSIONAL TRAINING IN INDIA
Over 290 professionals from Jamaica have reaped the benefits of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program sponsored by the government of India. The program’s goal is to help developing nations by creating bilateral relationships. ITEC focuses on training and building of capacity. Mitsy Beaumont-Daley, the senior legal officer of Jamaica’s Ministry of National Security, praised India as an amazing country and endorsed the program following her experiences as a participant in the ITEC Certificate in Legislative Drafting program held in Parliament House in New Delhi. This course, among others, was designed to give professionals the skills needed to act in an increasingly globalized world.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO BE ADDED TO SCHOOL CURRICULUM
In order to create a nation of entrepreneurs, Jamaica will offer classes in entrepreneurship to ninth grade students at 168 high schools. The plan is part of the Junior Achievement Company of Entrepreneurs (JACE) Secondary Early Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) program. A three-year agreement between Junior Achievement Jamaica and the United States Agency for International Development (USA(D) offers students real-life business experiences that will add to their knowledge, capacity and confidence in starting their own businesses. Floyd Green, Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, said the government wants to address joblessness by developing new opportunities for young people. The 14-week SEED program will be taught once or twice per week by trained teachers and volunteers and will feature in-class lessons on how to start a business and how to keep a job in high-growth career sectors.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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MCGREGOR TO RECEIVE SILVER MUSGRAVE AWARD
Singer Frederick “Freddie” McGregor, will be presented with the Silver Musgrave Award on May 25, 2017, at the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston. He said this is an important award for him as it “comes from within” his own country. He thanked the Musgrave committee and said he was humbled by their action. McGregor has been in the entertainment business for over 50 years. He released his album “True to My Roots” in 2016. He believes that the “younger generation” could learn somethings about surviving in the business from foundation artistes like himself. According to McGregor, it takes patience, persistence and humility to succeed while managing to stay current. He believes that artistes have a responsibility to represent their country well when they attain success.

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THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
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NEW NATIONAL SHOT PUT RECORD MADE BY DANNIEL THOMAS-DODD
Danniel Thomas-Dodd, 24, set a new Jamaican national record in the shot put. She also broke Jamaica’s indoor record twice during the past season. As a result of her achievements, she was named Mid-American Conference (MAC) Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. A senior at Kent State University, Thomas-Dodd broke the Jamaican national and Kent State records at the Ashland Open. She had a personal best of 18.49 meters, two meters further than Taryn Suttie, who threw 16.35 meters for second place. Thomas really broke the record with her second attempt of 18.32 meters, but then surpassed that on her sixth and final try. This was the second best mark in the NCAA season, only 0.2 meters behind the throw of 18.51 meters made by Raven Saunders, Olympian and three-time NCAA champion.

About the author

Staff Writer