Creative Expressions Can Unlock Wealth – PM

first_imgPrime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said that the creative intellect and expressions of the Jamaican people, including the music, hold the key to driving economic growth and unlocking national wealth and prosperity.She was addressing the opening ceremony of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) World Cornerstone Conference 2013 on Thursday, May 30, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall. The three-day event is being held under the theme: ‘Music, an instrument for change’.The Prime Minister, in her presentation, noted that music has always been a powerful force in Jamaica’s history and culture.“In our own Jamaican experience, music became for us, the instrument of redemption and change … we sang songs of freedom and redemption, songs to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. We sang about injustice and equal rights and dreamt of the day when our daughters would become Prime Ministers, because we understood the power of the song to will into being, the impossible,” she stated.Music, she noted further has always been integral to the experience and world view of the Jamaican woman.“It was to the music of the rushing river water, that our women found meaning and comfort, as they washed the clothes of their children and men. Throughout the history of the Jamaican people, music was among the energies that allowed us to overcome our fears and achieve success,” the Prime Minister added.She said further that as a global brand and tourism capital, Jamaica has been immortalised by its music and the exploits of its people all over the world.“The Jamaican people have an intrinsic quality, which differentiates us from the rest of the world and manifests in our stellar achievements in the fields of sports, culture and music,” she stated.The Prime Minister commended the IWF for its mission and work in advancing leadership of women across careers, cultures and continents.She also hailed the local IWF chapter, led by founding president Pat Ramsay, whom she said, “has been a major force behind the staging of this premier event”.She expressed that hope that the songs of all participating nations in the conference “may be ones of celebration and determination to lift the levels of social and economic prosperity for all people, especially the least of these our sisters”.The conference brings together approximately 400 influential women from more than 30 nations for discussions on culture, business, society politics and economic change.Contact: Glenis A. Roselast_img read more

Education Transformation Programme Gets $461 Million

first_img Started in March 2010, the programme, which is being funded by the Government in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to transform and modernise the education system. The Government of Jamaica has provided $461 million for continued implementation of the education transformation programme under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. The Government of Jamaica has provided $461 million for continued implementation of the education transformation programme under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.The allocation, which is contained in the 2018/2019 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, will provide for execution of National Standard Curriculum (NSC) workshops for grades two, three, five and six; complete the revision of the National Assessment Programme (NAP) for grades two, six and nine; and commence the transition of staff to the modernised structure.It will also provide for implementation of the human resource, school management, and documentation and file management systems; and support the modernisation legislative agenda, as well as policies on special education, security and safety, school improvement and placement.Started in March 2010, the programme, which is being funded by the Government in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to transform and modernise the education system.It will seek to provide approximately 2,100 additional secondary-school spaces in an effort to support the Ministry’s policy to expand compulsory education from ages 16 to 18, operationalise new agencies that are key to improving capacity for delivering high-quality education, and set up mechanisms to mobilise additional resources for the education sector.A number of targets were achieved up to December 2017 and include roll-out of the NSC at grades one, four and seven to nine; 75 per cent completion of the National Assessment Programme (NAP) revision for grade six, five per cent at grade two and 10 per cent at grade nine; consultation on the drafted Special Education Policy; and the completion and preparation of a concept note for implementation of the ‘School to Work’ transition and APEX programme.In addition, select Ministry offices were refurbished and a new system was procured to improve efficiency at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.The programme was originally slated to be completed in March 2014, but has since been extended to December 2018. It will also provide for implementation of the human resource, school management, and documentation and file management systems; and support the modernisation legislative agenda, as well as policies on special education, security and safety, school improvement and placement. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Conservative salaries bill backed by grand chiefs

first_img(Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar MP Kelly Block shakes hands with a constituent. Photo from http://kellyblock.ca/)APTN National NewsOTTAWA–Saskatchewan’s most prominent First Nations organization is backing a Conservative private members bill that, if passed, would force band chiefs and councils to disclose their salaries and expenses.The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations said Friday afternoon that they fully endorsed Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar MP Kelly Block’s bill, which was introduced in the House of Commons earlier in the day.“I’ve had a quick look at it in terms of what it presents to do. The FSIN, again, fully endorses financial accountability and transparency of all,” said Grand Chief Guy Lonechild. “I think its just another step in the direction to ensure that first nations are accountable and a prime example of how transparent we need to be.”In an interview with APTN National News, Block said she had spoken to several First Nations leaders in the province about her bill and that she had received their support.“A colleague of mine and I have been working together and calls were made to a number of First Nations chiefs in Saskatchewan and so far the response has been positive to this legislation,” said Block.The bill, called the First Nations Financial Transparency Act, would require the publishing of all federally-funded chief and council expenses and salaries by the beginning of August every year. The Minister of Indian Affairs would publish the information if a band refused to comply.Besides salary, the financial data would include expenses for transportation, accommodation, meals, incidentals and hospitality.First Nations leaders have the power to set their own salaries and some of them are paying themselves more than provincial premiers and cabinet ministers.Block said she developed the idea for the bill with fellow Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke, who represents the riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River.“I have been made aware that this is a longstanding issue with some First Nations community members,” she said. “There are a number of examples of legislation in place for other elected officials to disclose this kind of information and I believe that it is time to provide similar legislation for members of First Nations band councils.”The bill also received the support of a northern Ontario grand chief.Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stand Beardy said he has no problems with the bill because his organization is already transparent.“I think it’s only fair to have an idea of where the money is going,” said Beardy.Block said that Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan supported the bill.The bill is expected to face second reading at the end of November. It would then be sent to the Commons Aboriginal Affairs committee for debate.Watch the full report on APTN National News at 6 p.m. ET.last_img read more