THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICA’S EDUCATION MINISTER INSISTS SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS ENFORCE RULES ON UNIFORMS
Fayval Williams, Jamaica’s Minister of Education and Youth, has reiterated her support for allowing school administrators to enforce rules applying to school uniforms. At a press briefing, Williams said that the Ministry currently does not prescribe the length of girls’ hair or boys’ pants and has no intention of doing so. Decisions on such matters must be made by each school with input from boards that include student and parent representatives. Policies should be developed via consultation with all stakeholders, she added, and should not be discriminatory, recognized differences in culture and religion, and applied fairly.
JAMAICAN CABINET GIVES APPROVAL FOR FACT-FINDING TEAM TO INVESTIGATE WORKING CONDITIONS IN CANADIAN SEASONAL FARM WORK PROGRAM
The Jamaican government has approved the creation of a seven-member team to investigate the working conditions for Jamaicans in Canada working under the seasonal agricultural workers program. Helene Davis-Whyte, president of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, will head the team; other members include Danny Roberts, deputy chairman of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal; Wayne Chen, president of the Caribbean Employers Federation; Raymond Eytle, second vice-president of the Jamaican Employers’ Federation; Wayne Jones, deputy financial secretary of the Strategic Human Resource Management, Ministry of Finance and Public Service; Sidia Madden, chief internal auditor of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security; and Kandre Leveridge, researcher and community development specialist. The team will collect data from a random selection of Canadian farms employing seasonal Jamaican workers and interview workers to determine how well their needs are being met by the Jamaica Liaison Service in Canada and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
FINANCE MINISTER OF SURINAME SAYS MISSING SR$59 MILLION HAS BEEN FOUND
Armand Achaibersing, the outgoing Minister of Finance and Planning in Suriname, reported the recovery of SR$59 million which had been missing from his Ministry. He stated that there was no scandal involved, but only “a common theft.” Suriname experienced a serious fraud scandal in July 2022 whereby millions of dollars had been withdrawn from the Ministry’s bank account through forged receipts and other documents. The government confirmed the withdrawal after Melvin Bouva of the opposition National Democratic Party informed the Parliament of the issue. Suriname’s President Chandrikapersad Santokhi defended Achaibersing in the face of calls for his resignation, but also regretted that at least two of the people connected to the theft were able to leave the country. No replacement for Achaibersing has been named.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA’S PASSPORT AGENCY PLANS TO BRING ACCESS INITIATIVE TO UNITED KINGDOM
Jamaica’s Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) will bring its Access Jamaica initiative to the United Kingdom in October of 2022. The initiative will provide local services to individuals in the Jamaican Diaspora in Birmingham and London between October 3 and October 8, 2022. According to Andrew Wynter, CEO of PICA, the agency will provide these services in the UK became of the large number of Jamaicans who live there. The Access Jamaica initiative has previously been staged in the United States and Canada, and the goals is to provide the same level of service for Jamaicans in Toronto, Hartford, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Orlando as it does in the UK. Jamaicans in the UK will be permitted to make application for unconditional landing, citizenship by descent or marriage, and obtain new passports or renewals.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA FIRST IN CARIBBEAN REGION TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT CONSUMER PROTECTION ADVANCES
Jamaica is the first nation in the Caribbean to move forward with significant progress in developing a National Consumer Protection and Welfare Policy and Implementation Plan. The policy is headed by the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) and is designed to make sure consumers are protected from unfair business practices and unsafe goods. It also ensures consumers have the power to defend their rights. In an opening ceremony held on September 27, 2022, for a virtual validation workshop on a policy draft, Dr. Norman Dunn, State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, noted that the Jamaican government has always been a pioneer in developing and adopting policies that promote the safety and well-being of consumers.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN ARTIST POPCAAN EXPRESSES THANKS TO CLARKS FOR PARTICIPATING IN HIS “OFF TO SCHOOL” EVENT
Jamaican deejay and dancehall artist Popcaan expressed his thanks to Clarks Originals for supporting in 2022 “Off to School” event in Morant Bay. The yearly event had been delayed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was held in August 2022 with great success. Reports stated that Popcaan contributed $3 million to the event and received aid from Clarks Originals, as well as from Unruly Entertainment, OVO, Bashco, and SMA Talent. He thanked the shoe company via Instagram for supporting the Popcaan Care Foundation and included a video of children enjoying various activities at the event.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
COACH HALLGRIMSSON NOT HAPPY AT LOSS TO ARGENTINA, BUT PRAISES JAMAICAN TEAM’S EFFORTS
Although the new regime of senior men’s football coach Heimir Hallgrimsson began with a 3-0 defeat by Argentina, the coach is not especially concerned. Jamaica was shut out by two goals from Lionel Messi for a score of 3-0 in an international friendly. Hallgrimsson said he would not have chosen to play Argentina at the beginning of his tenure as coach, but believed the Jamaican team’s efforts were commendable given the limited time they had to prepare for the match. He added that he did not believe it reflects the performance of his players as a whole, but showed excellent team performance for 80 minutes. He also noted that Jamaica kept Argentina from creating chances to score goals until the 80th minute and his players “grew into the game.” He believes the team has much to build on for the future.