Teachers Differ with MOE New Calendar

first_imgBarely 24 hours after reporting that authorities at the Ministry of Education (MOE) have planned to close down schools across the country without promoting any deserving students, some private school teachers, have strongly disagreed with that decision. The teachers, under the banner “Concerned Private School Teachers, are represented by the chairman, Larry Howison and secretary-general, Johnny Hopkins.The teachers have united to also advocate for post Ebola funds, which they claim are intended for private school teachers. In a strongly-worded statement issued late Sunday night, the Concerned Private School Teachers overwhelmingly disagreed with the MOE’s reported “proposal for change of academic calendar,” a policy which according to the teachers, is suggesting a premature closure of schools on June 30. Based on that decision, deserving students will not receive promotion statements.“This is not in the interest of parents and guardians who have paid huge amounts in school fees without getting the desired results,” the Concerned Teachers declared.They have meanwhile recommended that school administrators work with their respective teachers to keep all schools open and avoid their premature closure as the MOE has announced.The teachers also suggested that a quick adjustment be made for academic activities to come to a formal end around September and a new academic year begin in October, thereby putting the country back on track with other countries in the sub-region.“The MOE must work along with stakeholders to draw up a comprehensive school calendar that will complete the academic year, 2015.” The Concerned Teachers also recommended that the government pays the private school teachers their Ebola relief money as soon as possible, the statement noted.A leaked document in the possession of the Daily Observer indicates that schools will close on June 30 for Early Child Development (ECD), Basic and Secondary schools, and there will be no promotions for all grades.This suggests that tuition paid by parents and guardians amid the economic hardship caused by Ebola would be only for what is being termed as a “study class” period from February to June, 2015. The document further states that the writing of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams is suspended until 2016. But the WAEC National Monrovia Head office is yet to make an official comment on these momentous developments.A source at the WAEC Congo Town office told the Daily Observer via mobile phone that they are yet to receive word from the Ministry of the Education as to whether the exams have indeed been deferred until next year.“We are under the authorities at the MOE and whatever they desire is what we at WAEC will do, but as of now, we have no official word from MOE concerning this year’s WAEC exams, even though students have paid their WAEC fees,” our source said.MOE has not commented officially, but the Assistant Director of Communication, Sannor Goe, has repeatedly told this newspaper that whatever decision the Ministry intends to arrive at would be announced by the Ministry of Information.As per the leaked document, Mr. Sannor referred to it as “mere speculation.” The mobile phone of the new Education Minister, George Werner, has remained mute since the report landed in the office of this newspaper on Sunday, while his Deputy for Administration, who promised to call back when our reporter contacted him, has not returned the call since Sunday evening. However, according to the new academic calendar, no exams will be administered by WAEC for 9 and 12 graders. Hereafter, “Saturday Clubs Enrichment Programs” will be encouraged in all schools, especially at the basic and secondary levels. This initiative, according to the document, is recommended to be conducted every Saturday beginning October 2015 for grades 9 and 12.The document states that Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Reading Comprehension and Writing specialists from WAEC will develop aptitude tests for teachers who will teach the Saturday classes. These classes will be open to all students in grades 9 and 12. Additionally, the document said, contracts will be signed by students for punctuality and conduct, while schools will also sign up to ensure their participation. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

Read More

January 14, 2020 | by

Teens mourn 17-year-old slain in NoHo shooting

first_imgNORTH HOLLYWOOD – A trail of bloody footprints marked the spot Monday where Randy Almanza died on the sidewalk after fleeing what police said was a gang-related attack. As the sun broke through somber clouds, teens gathered to mourn the happy-go-lucky North Hollywood High School junior killed Sunday afternoon after being shot numerous times near his home. Almanza was the latest victim of a wave of gang-related killings in the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles. He had just turned 17. “He was a great kid,” said his sister, Stacy Almanza, 20, of North Hollywood, her voice breaking. “We’re sad that they killed him and took him away from us. He had his whole life ahead of him. We weren’t ready to let him go.” Police say Almanza was shot at 12:30 p.m. Sunday after a man approached him and two other youths in front of his apartment building in the 6700 block of Vineland Avenue. His sister said Almanza had just returned home and had been called outside to join two friends. Then neighbors heard up to five shots. The lanky teen managed to run across the busy avenue before he collapsed a block away in the 10900 block of Archwood Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene. While family and friends insisted Almanza was not a gang member, police said the shooting was gang-related. One teenage neighbor said he heard that the shooting came after a dispute over graffiti that was crossed out on a nearby fence. “Essentially, there were two rival gangs who got into some dispute, and the suspect returned with a firearm and shot at three people and killed one,” said Detective David Holmes of the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood Division. “The bottom line is these tag crews … are becoming more violent and turning into gangs, (and) as a result, we’ve got somebody who died.” Last year, there was a 30 percent spike in gang-related homicides in the Valley, and some of those crimes were linked to rival graffiti tag crews. Last fall, police say, taggers gunned down an 18-year-old North Hollywood man on a street where he had scrawled his nickname, “Reefer,” in black spray paint. Almanza, a native of East Los Angeles, had lived in North Hollywood eight years and had once played football at North Hollywood High. Described as generous to a fault and as funny as they come, he was also popular with the girls and a dancing sensation at neighborhood parties. News of his death raced through the community via text messages, cell-phone calls and MySpace.com. More than three dozen teens gathered around makeshift shrines near his home and where he died to leave flowers, light candles and shake their heads over three bloody footprints on the sidewalk. One teen sprayed a goodbye graffiti tribute: “Always in our hearts … R.I.P. … I miss U Randy.” Another hinted at possible reprisals. “He didn’t deserve it,” said Bobby, 17, of North Hollywood, who declined to give his last name. “It’s gonna change a lot of things, change a lot of things. All these gangs that drive around here, when they hear about the crew that did this, it’ll change a lot of things.” dana.bartholomew@dailynews.com (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Read More

January 11, 2020 | by

Quake-policy compromise ought to pass

first_imgState Treasurer Bill Lockyer is close to a significant political victory on a proposal that would beef up the state’s earthquake insurance fund without increasing homeowners’ premiums. We hope the hard-won compromise is approved before the close of the legislative session this week because it appears that three key parties with divergent interests – insurers, the insured and politicians – are on the same page. The agreement would increase the companies’ support of the California Earthquake Authority by $100 million a year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The move, the report states, would eliminate a proposed 8 percent – about $55 per home – spike in annual premiums. The authority is the state’s largest provider of earthquake insurance, covering more than 760,000 homeowners. A board made up of the governor, insurance commissioner, state treasurer and two nonvoting representatives of the Legislature governs the authority. Lockyer, a Long Beach resident who sits on the earthquake board, initially criticized an earlier version of a bill by Sen. Michael Machado, D-Linden, and reportedly helped shepherd the compromise, which would protect policyholders through 2018. The victory is obvious: The earthquake fund remains solvent, and property owners don’t have to spend more money. (They will continue to face a rather steep 15 percent deductible for quake damage.) But don’t think the insurance companies, one of the most powerful lobbies in Sacramento, are walking away empty-handed. Over the years since the authority came into being, insurers’ responsibility to the earthquake fund has declined. A 1996 law required insurers to cover $3.7 billion in claims, according to the Times. If the compromise goes through, they will only be responsible for $2.8 billion. We don’t have to tell you what has happened to home prices since 1996. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Read More

January 3, 2020 | by

Poll: Americans’ fears about Islam on the rise

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Fifty-three percent of Americans viewed Mormonism positively, while 27 percent viewed Mormons unfavorably. A slim majority – 52 percent – said Mormonism is a Christian religion. Yet among non-Mormon believers, more than six in 10 said Mormonism and their own religion are very different. The poll also found that Pope Benedict XVI has high approval ratings with the public two years into his papacy: 73 percent with an opinion view him favorably. Those numbers lag behind those of his more traveled predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who garnered 86 percent favorable ratings in 1996. Benedict does not have the public’s confidence in promoting good relations with other religions, the poll found. Nearly half who know something about the pope say he is only doing a fair or good job on that subject. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points. DENVER – Negative opinions about Islam are on the rise, Mormons are viewed as Christian but different and Pope Benedict XVI trails his predecessor in popularity, a poll of Americans released Tuesday said. The survey of 3,000 adults from Aug. 1 to 18 was conducted for the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The number of Americans who say Islam has little or nothing in common with their own religion has spiked to 70 percent in the past two years from 59 percent, the poll found. Another significant shift has taken place: In 2005, 36 percent of the public said Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence among its believers. That number has risen to 45 percent. last_img

Read More

January 3, 2020 | by

Monaco 0-2 Juventus: Gonzalo Higuain hits brace for Old Lady in Champions League

first_img The Argentine helped the Old Lady take a massive step towards the final Gonzalo Higuain scored twice from Dani Alves passes to put Juventus in control of their Champions League semi-final with Monaco ahead of next week’s second leg in Turin.The 90million euro summer signing from Napoli has been prolific as Juve pursue a sixth straight Italian title, but goals had seemed harder to come by on the continent – until Wednesday night.First, Higuain capped a remarkable team goal led by Alves to fire Juve ahead at the Stade Louis II, with his more regulation second extending the Italians’ European advantage and settling a 2-0 victory.And after successfully negating the goalscoring potency of would-be French champions Monaco, Massimiliano Allegri’s Serie A table-toppers look likely to book a June showdown in Cardiff with Real Madrid, who lead their city rivals Atletico 3-0.There were surprises on the team sheet, with Monaco fielding natural winger Nabil Dirar at right-back while Alves, a career full-back, was preferred to Juan Cuadrado on Juve’s right flank.Such deployments would prove crucial to the main events of the match but in the early exchanges the action was all down the left, with Kylian Mbappe living up to his growing reputation by terrorising Juve.Minutes after Higuain had appeared to signal he was destined for an off-night when falling over as Paulo Dybala slid the ball across the pitch, Mbappe chose to enter the spotlight.The 18-year-old, reportedly the subject of a big-money approach from Manchester United, dragged the well-drilled Juve defence out of line to smash a hard volley against Gianluigi Buffon’s fists.The veteran Italy goalkeeper had already featured at a World Cup – namely France 98, the first of his four campaigns to date – when Mbappe was born in the suburbs of Paris.Another old head then came sniffing, with Buffon scampering to deal with Radamel Falcao’s looping header from a Dirar cross.Come the 22nd minute it looked like Monaco had torn a hole in the fearsome Juve back-line, with Mbappe bamboozling Andrea Barzagli with a clever cross that Giorgio Chiellini just got his head to, but in fact the damage was about to be done at the other end.A sensational team move began with Buffon calmly pushing the ball out to Barzagli, and two touches later Dybala was eliciting gasps with a deft backheel inside for Alves.The former Barcelona flyer stormed through the Monaco midfield before playing a one-two with Higuain. He received the Argentinian’s return pass just inside the box and, holding off Kamil Glik, he too backheeled the ball across the penalty area for Higuain to steer into the bottom corner.Higuain had not scored in his last seven outings in the Champions League knockout rounds and, after reaching 30 goals in all competitions for Juve at such a key moment, he was suitably overjoyed.Monaco’s young team, knowing they would now face an incredibly daunting evening in Turin, regrouped over the break and returned to the pitch in a belligerent mood.Two minutes into the second half Buffon had to leap on a close-range shot from Falcao, who had moved on a pinpoint Bernardo Silva assist.Claudio Marchisio fired a warning to Monaco with his snapshot from a difficult position, with Danijel Subasic covering, but just before the hour Juve did follow through on their menaces.Again Alves was the provider, the Brazilian lofting a ball forward after Tiemoue Bakayoko lost possession under pressure from Dybala. Higuain got there first, his outstretched toe making it 2-0. 1last_img

Read More

December 27, 2019 | by

Minister McHugh welcomes completion of Christian Brothers Redress Contribution

first_imgThe Department of Education and Skills has today confirmed that the Congregation of Christian Brothers has fulfilled its voluntary pledge to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund (RISF).The Congregation’s contribution was completed through a series of monthly cash transfers between September and December of this year.Since September a total of €6.8 million has been contributed by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, bringing to €8.8 million the amount contributed in 2019 and €30 million contributed since 2013. Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. said: “I welcome the latest contributions made by the Christian Brothers as it fulfils the congregation’s pledge to complete its voluntary contributions.“These payments ensure that Caranua has access to the full €110 million in cash contributions which were committed to. Most importantly, the financial contributions will allow Caranua to continue its supports for survivors.”The contributions made by the Congregation of Christian Brothers over the course of September to December mean the full €110 million which was pledged has been paid into the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund, with the money funding the work of Caranua, the independent state body set up to help people who, as children, experienced abuse in residential institutions.A further portion of the contribution made by the Congregation, a little over €428,000, is to be paid to the new National Children’s Hospital, as required under law. Minister McHugh welcomes completion of Christian Brothers Redress Contribution was last modified: December 9th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Christian BrothersdonegalJoe McHughredress schemelast_img

Read More

December 21, 2019 | by

25 key questions for 25 Giants players at the All-Star break

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Heading into the month of June, the last-place San Francisco Giants appeared destined to sell off their veteran assets prior to the trade deadline and offer more opportunities to unproven or inexperienced players during the second half.That still might happen, but a 19-14 stretch and a 7-2 run heading into the All-Star break has temporarily forced president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi to reconsider.How can you break up a team playing its best ball of the season? Zaidi …last_img

Read More

December 20, 2019 | by

Paleoanthropology: The Science of Being Always Wrong

first_img(Visited 659 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Fossil hunters looking for human evolution have been wrong so many times, the rubble of bombed theories is bouncing. Listen to their own admissions.Jen Viegas in Seeker, in an article reposted by Live Science, describes three clever ways that Neanderthal Man invented adhesives 200,000 Darwin Years ago. More interesting than the techniques, though, are her opening admissions about the flawed, ape-headed ideas of the past about human evolution:Neanderthals — early members of the genus Homo from Europe and Asia — have had such a lowly standing on the human family tree that the very word Neanderthal is often synonymous with archaic ways and ignorance.Neanderthals, however, had big brains, complex societies, and tools so useful that some designs created for leatherworking are still in use today. Many researchers even believe that a true extinction of Neanderthals might not have occurred, but that these individuals instead were absorbed into what evolved to be current Homo sapiens. To this day, people of European and Asian heritage retain Neanderthal DNA.Viegas doesn’t pin the blame on these wrong notions, but she should. The flawed picture did not come from the bones themselves, nor from the public. They didn’t come from reason or logic, or from evidence. They came from the evolutionary worldview of scientific experts in Darwin’s Century (the 20th century), who needed stupid ancestors to emerge by Darwin’s mechanism into the highly-intelligent humans that could look back with pride at how far they had evolved.With the benefit of historical hindsight, consider just how wrong the 20th-century picture of Neanderthals was:They were not “archaic” or “ignorant” as described.They were not “cavemen” but real people with complex societies.They used “high-tech skill” to design tools for working leather–techniques so good, they are still in use.They invented clever ways to make strong adhesives out of natural materials. Which of us could do that with leaves and bark and fire?If they contributed DNA to the modern human race, they were (by definition) the same species as us.That last point was a recent bombshell when genetic studies confirmed the association. So now, why even call them by a different species name? Isn’t that a form of racism? Wouldn’t it be just as wrong to call members of tribes who prefer to live by hunting and gathering by a different species name, even though they are interfertile with civilized people? Yet in the popular mind, “Neanderthal” continues to carry the same derogatory connotations. It is the paleoanthropologists’ “N-word” of today.Why Paleoanthropology Will Continue to Be WrongIf you build on a crooked foundation, you will get a crooked building even if you demolish the first crooked building and try building a new one in its place. The crooked foundation is the assumption that hundreds of thousands of years separate Neanderthals from modern humans. Look how evolutionary paleoanthropologists build crooked ideas with years, treating tens of millennia like Lego toys:Placing materials in ceramic containers can help with tar production. There is no evidence that Neanderthals ever produced pottery, however.“There was probably no need for pottery until quite recently — speaking on a scale including hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution — and even in most modern human hunter-gatherer societies, pottery is an exception,” Kozowyk explained.Does the “scale including hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution” contribute anything to the discussion? No. Well, actually, yes: it contributes nonsense. It promotes the irrational idea that smart human beings, able to design tools and develop complex societies and interbreed with modern humans, continued the same way of life for hundreds of thousands of years. Think of it! Wouldn’t that have been ample time to encounter other tribes using pottery and borrow the technology? Wouldn’t it have been ample time to learn how to ride a horse or invent a wheel? After all, we’re talking ten to twenty times the history of civilization, during which people went from grass huts to the moon. The assumption of all those years, none of which have ever been personally experienced by any living human, is not a contribution. It is positive anti-knowledge. Here’s how Science Daily commits the shameless flub:Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the ancestors of modern humans diverged from an archaic lineage that gave rise to Neanderthals and Denisovans. Yet the evolutionary relationships between these groups remain unclear.“Hundreds of thousands of years ago”… Stop right there! On what basis? Evidence? No—on the basis that Darwin needs the time. But what if Darwin was wrong about human ancestry? Continue reading: “Yet the evolutionary relationships between these groups remain unclear.” Stop again! On what basis read more

Read More

December 19, 2019 | by

Jon Miller, Sept. 12

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We ran a little on Thursday and got rain on Friday. We had a pretty good day on Saturday before a rain came through in the evening. The good ground has good yields, but the soil types have made a huge difference so far. The lighter soils really took a hit with the stretch of dry weather this year. We are not running yet today. It was a pretty heavy dew this morning but we will hopefully get back out here soon.I don’t think the standability is going to be very good this year if we get any type of wind event. Some of the corn that died prematurely already fell over. We had pockets of corn already down here and there.Yields were a little lower than expected. It was still good corn, but lower than what we were thinking. It is too early to get a handle on yield numbers, but moisture-wise we were around 21% to 26%. For this early in the season that is not bad so we’ll hit it pretty hard this week if the weather cooperates. We have 300 to 400 acres of 108-day corn and after that if we stay dry and warm we’ll just keep at it.I expect the beans ought to do fairly well, but I don’t want to get my hopes up too high. It will be a week and a half or two weeks until beans are ready. The double-crops look pretty good too. The first crop beans are laid over pretty bad so they are tough to walk through right now.We’ll plant wheat this fall. I’d plant more if the price was more promising. We’ll stick with our normal rotation because of our straw market and the potential for double-crop beans. Otherwise wheat won’t pay the bills, but corn is not looking so great at paying the bills either.We did some test plots in some of the corn we ran. They are tough to learn much from so far. I think running out of water trumped anything we did to add bushels with fertility.last_img

Read More

December 17, 2019 | by

East Bengal sign World Cup star, forget to get translator for press conference

first_imgEast Bengal were left red-faced after the first press conference of their high-profile signing of Costa Rican World Cup player Acosta fell flat because they did not have a translator for him.Just a few days ago, East Bengal roped in a big investor but their casual attitude came to the fore when his press conference had to be cancelled due to non-availability of a translator.Acosta, who played all the three Group E matches for Costa Rica at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, came to Kolkata two days ago and was slated to address the press for the first time on Wednesday.However, the much-awaited press conference left a lot to be desired for both East Bengal and the media.Soon after the press settled down at the East Bengal media room in the club premises and the 35-year-old defender took the hot seat, the absence of an interpreter struck one and all.”Acosta speaks only Spanish, so please make your questions to the point so that it is easier for us to make him understand,” newly-appointed club CEO Sanjit Sen said at the beginning.After the first question was asked, Sen started answering on the player’s behalf to which the journalists objected. “We want him to do the talking,” said one of them and the downfall of the event started.The East Bengal bosses first tried calling former player and club official Alvito D’Cunha who speaks Portuguese due to his Goan roots, but to no avail.Acosta tried his best taking the help of Google Translate, the widely used tool that instantly translates phrases and words.advertisementBut all his efforts went in vain as there was no internet connection.East Bengal officials tried to shift the interaction to another room with better connectivity but only to be left more embarrassed.”We will have the interaction later,” said an official and the 50-odd anxious media persons had to leave dejected.East Bengal meanwhile revealed that Acosta would don jersey number 2, the same number that he wore for the national side in the recently concluded World Cup.Acosta landed here on August 6 and also watched East Bengal’s local league match against WB Police.Johnny Acosta was received by the QUESS East Bengal management at the belt section of Kolkata Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport ( Dumdum Airport ) pic.twitter.com/yUgoGEF0UOEAST BENGAL the REAL POWER (@EBRPFC) August 6, 2018″After the World Cup, I have had regular gym sessions to keep myself fit. I’m a professional player. If the coach wants me, I’m ready to play. I’m raring to go in East Bengal jersey,” he had said after the arrival.”I’m glad to be part of Indian football. It’s a new challenge for me. I’ve heard a lot about East Bengal from my agent and other friends. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help my team win trophies,” he said.Acosta has played 71 matches for Costa Rica and was plying his trade for Colombian premier league side Rionegro until the Russia World Cup.Although his team failed to progress from the group stage, he was impressive against Neymar’s Brazil, who required two stoppage-time goals from Coutinho and Neymar to beat them 2-0. He was also part of Costa Rica’s team in the 2014 World Cup.(With inputs from agencies)last_img

Read More

November 17, 2019 | by