THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA TEACHING COUNCIL PROPOSES FINES FOR TEACHING WITHOUT A LICENSE
Teachers in Jamaica who work without being registered and licensed with the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) may face large fines or prison time under the provisions of a new bill. The JTC Bill has caused consternation for the teachers’ union for some time, and now it has advanced to Parliament for debate. The bill would regulate the teaching profession and make teachers more accountable to the public. It is approved, it would be the fulfillment of a recommendation from the 2004 Task Force on Education Reform. The JTC would become the body responsible for improving teaching standards and the quality of education delivered to students. Teacher registration has been in place since 2008, but a legal bill to establish it has languished. Under the proposed bill, licenses will be valid for five years, with the authorization to teach limited to two years at a time. Renewals could be made three months prior to expiration. Failure to have a license could result in fines up to $500,000 for teachers.
JAMAICA’S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES APPROVES NAMING PORTMORE AS JAMAICA’S 15TH PARISH
Approval of a motion to designate Portmore as the 15th parish in Jamaica was given by the Jamaican House of Representatives. This is the first time since 1867 that a new parish will be created in the country. The approval followed a debate on the issue in which Dr. Andrew Wheatley, Member of Parliament for St. Catherine South Central, argued that it was time for the people of the municipality of Portmore to have their own parish in order to upgrade the infrastructure. There are currently more than 200,000 people living in the area. The new parish will have a hospital and upgraded roads. It has been recommended that the parish be named “Portmore.” The new parish’s designation will correlate with celebrations of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of independence.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
BRITISH ROYALS EXPECTED TO VISIT CARIBBEAN ON OVERSEAS TOUR BEGINNING IN MARCH 2022
There are rumors that Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will be making a tour of the Caribbean in the near future in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. While it is unknown as yet which Caribbean countries they will visit, they are expected to travel to many communities to focus on ecological and environmental issues. According to sources, representatives of the couple were seen at Ambergris Caye island in Belize, prompting rumors that they will make a four-day visit to Belize in March. It is also unknown if their children will accompany them on the tour. Prince William has personal ties to Belize as it was where he completed his training for the Welsh Guards.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN CENTENARIAN HONORED BY CITY OF MIRAMAR IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Keturah “Grammie” Wright, who currently lives in Miramar, Florida, was born Keturah Lelmar in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, on December 21, 1921, and was raised in the Pedro Plains. On January 26, 2022, the mayor of Miramar, Wayne Messam, proclaimed the day as “Keturah ‘Grammie’ Wright Day.” Wright watched the ceremony from her home. She is the widow of Charles DeCordova Wright, a pastor and the first Member of Parliament for St. Elizabeth South Western, serving from 1959 to 1972. Wright worked at the Black River branch of the National Insurance Scheme. Messam, whose parents are Jamaican, presented her granddaughter Alison Smith with the official proclamation in his office. He noted that it is important to honor and recognize Jamaicans in the Diaspora for their “courage, resiliency, and tenacity” and for serving as examples for those who come after them. Smith, a former deputy Miramar city attorney, have worked together professionally for a decade. Smith, who has lived in Miramar for more than 25 years, will become the first Black president of the Broward County Bar Association in its 99-year history when she takes office in June 2022.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
INTERNATIONAL CANCER AND CHRONIC PAIN INSTITUTE OPENS IN KINGSTON
Apollon Formularies, a global medical cannabis pharmaceutical firm based in the United Kingdom, announced the official opening of its International Cancer and Chronic Pain institute (ICCPI) in Kingston, Jamaica. The facility is designed to focus on Complementary and Alternative Medical (CAM) treatments for cancer patients, including Apollon’s medical cannabis products. With the new center, Apollon plans to expand its program of patient treatment for both local Jamaicans and international medical patients. The facility also offers the opportunity for the collection of patient data related to the firm’s medical cannabis products. Apollon opened its doors to the first cancer patients to existing Jamaican facilities in December of 2021. It has now expanded access to its two facilities, one in Negril and one in Kingston.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
DAUGHTER AND GRANDSON OF BOB MARLEY VISIT “ONE LOVE EXPERIENCE” IN LONDON
Cedella Marley and Saiyan Marley, the daughter and grandson of reggae icon Bob Marley, were on hand at the opening of the “One Love Experience” exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. The exhibition features photographs, personal items, and memorabilia related to Bob Marley, including original handwritten lyrics to the shoes the musician wore in the 1970s. The curator of the immersive Marley experience is hoping that it will give the feeling of Marley and the spirit of One Love. Cedella Marley helped to curate the exhibit and expressed her support for its interactivity, particularly in the space dedicated to her father’s sports interests. She also took time during her London visit to see where Bob Marley lived in Chelsea in the 1970s while he was recording his music, a place she had never visited before. Saiyan Marley, 18, noted that London must have been a special place for his grandfather, since he chose to travel there after he was the victim of an assassination attempt. He said that he feels like he learns something new about Bob Marley every year and that he wants to carry on the legacy of his famous grandfather.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
THOMPSON HERAH MAKES SEASON DEBUT AT 2022 WORLD ATHLETICS INDOOR TOUR
Jamaican Elaine Thompson Herah is set to make her 2022 season debut on February 19, 2022, at the fifth staging of the World Athletics Indoor Tour (Gold) in Birmingham, England. Thompson Herah, twice a double-sprint gold medal winner at the Olympics and the fastest woman alive at the 100-meter distance, will make her start in the 60-meter event at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in the Utilita Arena. Thompson Herah ran a personal best time of 6.98 seconds in the 60-meters at the same venue in 2017. She said she is excited about racing in Birmingham to start her 2022 season. The sprinter is now being guided by a new team that includes her husband.