JC back to basics

first_imgONCE the school of choice for some of Jamaica’s brightest minds and a bastion of sporting prowess, it saw a period of decline in the 1980s and 1990s. But over the last decade, Jamaica College (JC) has moved to recapture its glory days.The school last week won the 2015 Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW Olivier Shield title, a week after winning the Manning Cup – their fifth since 2007 – not long after the school started to make a turnaround.In 2011, the school won the ISSA Boys’ Championship title, 100 years after it first won a Boys’ Champs.The school has also been successful in hockey and cricket and are three-time defending Under-19 Manning Cup football champions.Academically, the school, which has produced three political heads of states, was ranked 34th among Jamaican schools in the 2015 Caribbean Secondary Examinations Council (CSEC) results, with 59 percent of its grade-11 cohort passing five or more subjects.Chairman of the school’s sports committee, Ian Forbes, told The Gleaner that just around 10 years ago a decision was taken to change things.”Stakeholders came together and determined that it could not be business as usual. That was spearheaded by R Danny Williams, who became chairman of the board in 2006,” he said, adding that the strategy has been maintained by board chairman Michael Bernard.”He (Williams) led from the front in the constitution of the board and the strategic direction that we wanted to go. We had the commitment at the highest level, which filtered to the other areas of the school,” said Forbes, adding that Ruel Reid was hired as principal as part of the strategy.Forbes, who represented the school in track and field, football and was a captain of the Sunlight Cup cricket team, as well as a former coach, said the breakdown in the family structure in the wider society had helped in the demise of the school.”What was happening in the wider society would have impacted that. There was a period when things were not as we had hoped it to be.”Forbes, who attended JC between 1969 and 1977, said hundreds of millions of dollars had been spent on improving the school’s environment.”Physically, it had deteriorated somewhat so we revitalised the environment. Lots of infrastructural work was done to make the surroundings as aesthetical pleasing as possible and you know the impact environment can have on behaviour,” he noted.Among the improvements was the building of the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, a museum, the Frank Hall Gym and refurbishing of Heritage Trust-listed buildings on campus.Plans for boardingThe school was founded as a boarding institution. There is a plans to re-establish the boarding aspect, with a dormitory to accommodate approximately 100 students – now in the final stages of construction.A sticking point for some may be the balance between sport and education for student-athletes, but Forbes said the school has also been offering academic support.”It’s not that they are left. We offer support programmes; that continues to be a work in progress. We have seen major improvement in that area where our student-athletes are improving. A number of them in football, track and field and basketball have received scholarships for local and overseas.”We are striving for (balance) and we think we are on the right path. We have tremendous focus on improving the academics and we think we are getting there. That is trending in the right direction,” he said.JC, he added, is once again becoming a school of preference for boys around the country.”We have far more applications than we have space. Places at JC are highly sought after,” he said.last_img read more

SA welcomes SADC infrastructure plan

first_img20 August 2012 South Africa has welcomed the adoption of a regional infrastructure master plan by Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders who met in Maputo at the weekend. The SADC Heads of State approved the plan, which is expected to boost regional trade, following their two-day summit in the Mozambican capital. The plan, to be implemented over a 15-year period beginning from next year, will serve as a key strategy to guide the creation of efficient, cost-effective trans-boundary infrastructure connecting all SADC member states in areas of energy, water, ICT and transport. The region’s infrastructure in critical sectors is said to be so poor that a deficit was estimated to be to be about US$100-billion. Speaking to SAnews in Maputo, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies noted that the new plan would put emphasis on the cross-border infrastructure that South Africa identifies in its own Strategic Infrastructure Plan, adopted recently by the government. “Our own infrastructure programme, particularly the 17 SIPs, will be strongly supporting the SADC plan, and we have already identified a few projects that we are highlighting, and the SADC plan will help us to get a bigger broader picture,” Davies said. He welcomed the fact that a connected SADC infrastructure would strengthen regional integration and add meaning to the free-trade area agreement that many countries in the region were battling to implement. “As South Africa we have always argued that the biggest barriers to promoting a more equitable pattern of inter-regional trade … has always been a lack of a common plan that links all of us. “We think that the way forward now is to address the supply capacity issues as well as infrastructure challenges that are blocking inter-regional trade,” Davies said. “This means we have to find agreement on a whole host of things within the SADC region as part of SADC’s supported infrastructure programme, with the main focus on cross-border projects.” It’s still not clear how funding for the infrastructure plan will be structured, considering that countries are still battling to put together even the Regional Development Fund (RDF) that was agreed to in previous summits. The RDF was intended as a financial mechanism to mobilise resources from member states and the private sector to finance projects for regional development and integration. Last week, the African Development Bank proposed that a funding mechanism in the form of an infrastructure bond be established to speed up the plan. The bank asked SADC countries to put five percent of their foreign reserves, estimated at US$22-billion, towards the establishment of the initiative. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

SA minister to head UN tourism venture

first_img3 June 2013 South Africa’s Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has been selected to lead a new United Nations World Tourism Organisation commission on tourism and development, the department announced last week. The working group will examine how to leverage official development assistance (ODA) resources available globally towards tourism development. Members include France, Germany, Kenya, Jamaica, Egypt, Mexico, South Korea, Mauritania and Belgium’s Flemish community. “I believe it will be possible to unlock meaningful new financial resources to further our work in the tourism sector by dramatically scaling up our share of official development assistance,” Van Schalkwyk said at the UN World Tourism Organisation meeting in Belgrade, Serbia last Tuesday. He also identified four priority areas of the working group. They are identifying the reasons why ODA allocation to tourism is low; identifying priorities the development community will find attractive for sustainable tourism development; develop proposals to build on the group’s relationship with donor countries, development banks and UN agencies; and design a matchmaking mechanism to link bilateral donor support to ODA-eligible tourism projects. “There is a sweet spot at the intersection of the three policy imperatives of tourism development, social inclusion and green growth that we have been ignoring to our detriment and that could hold the key to substantial new resources,” Van Schalkwyk said. The group will also look at building good governance in tourism, fostering the poverty reduction impact of tourism and encouraging human resources development in the sector. “As a sector, we have a major task ahead of us to convince the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) development assistance committee, the World Bank, regional development banks, developed country donors and other United Nations agencies of our sector’s important contribution to poverty eradication, the green economy and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,” he said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Top 50 South African brands to be announced

first_imgJohannesburg, Monday 29 August 2016 – Brand South Africa, in partnership with Brand Finance will on Thursday 15 September 2016, announce the country’s top 50 South African commercial brands.Announced annually, the Brand Finance approach to brand valuation involves valuing ‘brands’ at three different levels, each reflecting the different definitions of ‘brand’ commonly used in the market place.  These levels include: branded business value, brand contribution and brand value.South African commercial brands are a key component of a strong nation brand and how this is experienced by both domestic and international audiences.  As such commercial brands are key messengers in positioning the country competitively.Media is invited as follows:Date: Thursday 15 September 2016Time: 09h00-10h30Venue: Brand South Africa103 Central StreetHoughtonRSVPs: Tsabeng Nthite on 076 371 6810Brand South Africa will be pleased to facilitate requests for interviews.Participate in the conversation on #Top50Brands2016 #SANationBrand.last_img read more

Delhi to shut down on CWG opening day

first_imgA view of the figurines installed at the illuminated Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi on Friday evening.You should stock all your daily supplies on Saturday as markets and shopping malls across the city have been ordered shut on Sunday, when Delhi hosts the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.A Delhi government order on Friday – prompted by security concerns and worries over heavy traffic if the markets stayed open – said all shops and commercial establishments, including neighbourhood grocery stores, liquor shops, hair cutting salons, meat shops and malls, will remain closed.Shops at Connaught Place to be closed for opening ceremony.Police sources said security will be tight for the opening ceremony that required heavy deployment of forces across the city.This could mean few police personnel to guard public places.”The Delhi government has notified that all shops and commercial establishments in Delhi will remain closed on the day of the opening and closing ceremony (October 14) of the Commonwealth Games,” an official statement from chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s office read. The government exercised special powers under the Delhi Shops and Establishment Act of 1954 to order the shutdown. Violators could be issued a fine of Rs 250, the statement read.All big and small markets like those at Sarojini Nagar, Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Karol Bagh, Kamla Nagar, Rajouri Garden, and INA will be shut, as will be the DDA and MCD markets. However, chemists and grocery stores are expected to stay “partially open”. A senior official of the labour department said a notification for closure such as the one issued on Friday usually superseded all exemptions extended to chemists during special closures.advertisement”But we will not go after them since they offer an essential service,” the official said.The announcement caught several market associations off guard. Their representatives said they had not got official word on the closure till late on Friday. The announcement is likely to pose double-trouble for the shopkeepers and shoppers alike. The closure of shops and commercial establishments will extend to two consecutive days as October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, is a national holiday.Jagmohan Sethi, president of the Greater Kailash-I, M-Block market, said several markets, like the one he represents, will also be shut on October 2.But it will not be all dismal news on the day that the longawaited sporting extravaganza kicks off. Restaurants, movie halls, hotels, clubs and public amusement parks will stay open.Market associations said the government’s failure to issue specifics about the order was creating confusion. Manish Gupta of Greater Kailash-I, N-Block market association said the local police verbally told them to keep the market shut.”We don’t know whether it’s allowed but we will keep chemist and grocery stores in our market open for a few hours in the morning and evening,” he said.The Delhi Police had last month moved the proposal for shutting down the markets on October 3.Special commissioner of police (administration) Neeraj Kumar had written to chief secretary Rakesh Mehta on September 8.The police had argued that crowded market places that require heavy security cover had to be closed since police personnel will be diverted for the opening and closing ceremonies, said a senior government official who quoted from Kumar’s letter.While the opening and closing ceremonies for the Commonwealth Games will be held be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in south Delhi, the police proposed a blanket closure across the city.Traders said the closures were upsetting because they come at a time when they register the highest sales. Gupta said monthly revenue could dip by at least 10 per cent because of the closure since the opening ceremony is on a Sunday.”The loss will be more since both the ceremonies are in the first fortnight of the month when people typically shop more since they have money to spend,” Gupta said.Bansi Lal Grover, president of the Sarojini Nagar market association, said traders would have to bear ” considerable loss”. “The government should have asked us to open the shops for late hours as there are a lot of guests in the city.” Vijay Budhiraja, president of the Kamla Nagar market association, said, “Some markets, like the ones at Kamala Nagar and Karol Bagh, will be affected because they have the heaviest rush of customers on Sunday.”last_img read more