World Teachers’ DayEducation Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said teachers must be given the right training in content, methodology and outlook in order to deliver quality education to children.If the education system fails, nothing else is likely to succeed and, therefore, if teachers fail, then the system would inevitably crumble also, the Minister noted.Education Minister,Dr Rupert RoopnaraineActing Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson“It is, therefore, imperative that teachers succeed, since they are the very foundation of the education system,” he said, noting that it was important to identify the right calibre of persons to be teachers.“They must be given the right training in content, methodology and outlook. To that must be added the correct environment and the requisite terms and conditions of service,” he expounded, highlighting that those imperatives together comprise the complete approach to ensuring that the teachers deliver quality education.“It is to the provision of the aforementioned that the Government commit, within its means, in its quest to provide quality education and its effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which it has committed,” he said.In 1994, UNESCO proclaimed October 5 to be World Teachers’ Day, celebrating the great step made for teachers on October 5, 1966, when a special intergovernmental conference convened by UNESCO in Paris adopted the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, in cooperation with the ILO.This recommendation sets forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers, as well as international standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions. Since its adoption, the recommendation has been considered an important set of guidelines to promote teachers’ status in the interest of quality education.Roopnaraine stated that the 2016 Teachers’ Day is the first World Teachers’ Day to be celebrated within the new Global Education 2030 Agenda adopted by the world community one year ago.He stated that this year’s theme, “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status”, embodies the fundamental principles of the 50-year-old Recommendation, while shining a light on the need to support teachers as reflected in the agenda’s SDGs.A specific education goal, SDG4, pledges to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”; therefore, Roopnaraine stated teachers were not only pivotal to the right to education, they were key to achieving the targets set out in SDG4.He added that this approach recognised that each child mattered and that the involvement of all of the stakeholders was also an imperative for the delivery of quality education.“Also in the pipeline are the curriculum review process and the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the education system, both of which will inform the revision of the education sector’s strategic plan,” he said.The Minister stated that the Government has recommitted itself to themaintenance of a professional teaching service that can assure the nation of quality education, the production of rounded and patriotic citizens and ultimately, the development of society.Acting Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson, in his remarks, stated thatteachers spend a significant amount of time with their students and fill gaps left by temporarily or permanently absent parents, often times performing critical roles as counsellors and confidants.“In many cases, you functioned as conveyors of non-academic (life) skills such as trust, respect, accountability and conflict resolution, all of which contribute to the creation of well-rounded students who will positively impact all spheres of society,” he said.
NTC’S criticism fallout…says officials unable to account for wealthAt the opening of the 2018 National Toshaos Conference, Government has been accused of breaking promises made to the National Toshaos Council (NTC); and Indigenous People’s Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock, in seeming retaliation, has taken a tough stance against toshaos who allegedly profiteer off public funds.Sitting emotionless throughout NTC Chairman Joel Fredericks’s speech, which lambasted Government for its sloth in keeping promises made to indigenous peoples, Minister Allicock, when his turn came to speak, issued an ominous warning to the effect that toshaos had better be able to account for personal financial gains.“I must say that we have not gone to take anybody to court because of mismanagement of the village funds. But for this next council, I would like to signal to the toshaos that we had three years to get it right. You have to prove that you got it right!” Allicock warned.“So those toshaos who have public property and homes and cannot give account for the funds they were given responsibility for, you will be called to answer for it!” he declared.“We still have some persons who do not want to hand over keys, but you were notIndigenous People’s Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock, during his address to the Toshao’s Councilput in that position on your own; people put you there. You are servants of the people. Let us talk it! Walk it! Reflect it!” Allicock charged.The minister also expressed expectations for the NTC. According to Allicock, the Indigenous Affairs Ministry has, over the past three years, worked on unifying communities and facilitating discourse. He expressed hope that the new council would continue in this vein.“In going forward as the newly and hopefully improved NTC, we must elect persons to the executive committee based on what they can and will do for all indigenous people of Guyana. We must elect people who place a high premium on accountability; not just for resources placed at their disposal, but also for their actions,” he admonished.The Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs (MoIPA) has been awarded $2.2 billion in the 2018 budget. Last year, Government provided a budgetary allocation of $16 million to the NTC. It is understood that individual communities have been crafting Village Improvement Plans (VIP).The VIP is an initiative birthed from the Sustainable Indigenous Villages and Communities Policy (SIV&CP). Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Alfred King, had last March said the MoIPA would be working with villages and communities in the Santa Rosa, Moruca Sub-district of Region One to implement their respective VIPs.King had been a member of a team led by Minister within the Indigenous Peoples Affairs Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, on a recent visit to Region One. King had explained the working of the VIP, and had claimed that its introduction was at an opportune time.During his presentation, King had said, “We are always going to use that as a model or framework to guide such development in communities; and I think the time is right now — after spending some time working on that plan in Region 9 — to roll it out as a national effort”.He had added, “It will require a number or resources, a lot of competence, a lot of technical support; and once there’s a good plan, where do you go next? Because a good plan just cannot make things happen; a good plan will just guide the process of development and/or implementing activities in a structured way.”
Mark Salkeld is President of the Calgary based Petroleum Services Association of Canada and he believes there’s a new norm in place, and $100.00 a barrel oil is an endangered species.In fact, he hesitantly says we’re not likely to see $70.00 a barrel again before next year.“I hesitated a little bit only because I have been attending so many different presentations from banks, from investment groups; from people that are smart on this kind of stuff,” says Salkeld. “And the one constancy is nobody knows for sure.”- Advertisement -Salkeld says some industry insiders are hopeful things will turn around this summer.“I’m obviously hopeful that he’s right, but I’ve been hearing too much about 2015 as being a write-off – which just about makes sense because everything is ramped down and it takes so long to get ramped back up again,” Salkeld explains.He says it’s also rumoured that Middle Eastern oil producers have secured enough of a nest egg that they can continue selling their crude oil at the current price for at least the next two years.Advertisement He was somewhat more optimistic about B.C. – citing potential LNG development.“We’ve had a lull with all the press on LNG, but I can’t help thinks it’s a calm before the storm.”Salkeld says he’s optimistic that LNG development will commence in the summer of 2015.