News Round UP: Week Ending 4/2/16


Jamaica Dominate CARIFTA Games

Jamaica completed yet another dominance of the CARIFTA Games (March 25 – 28), with another master class on the final day of the 45th staging at the national stadium in St George’s, Grenada, equaling last year’s record haul of 86 medals.

A preliminary count showed Jamaica winning 42 gold medals, 28 silver and 16 bronze, compared to 42 gold, 25 silver and 19 bronze earned last year in St Kitts.

CARIFTA-Games-LogoThe Bahamas were next with six gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze followed by Barbados — six gold, six silver and eight bronze, Grenada — three gold, four silver and six bronze, Trinidad and Tobago — three gold, two silver and nine bronze and Guadeloupe — three gold, one silver and one bronze.

Among the number of outstanding performances was the record in the under-20 boys’ shot put by Warren Barrett as he smashed the five-year-old mark of 19.47metre set in 2011 in Montego Bay by another Calabar thrower Ashinia Miller.
Barrett, who was upset by his teammate Kyle Mitchell at the ISSA champs last weekend, twice went over the old record, first with a putt of 19.83m before setting a new personal best 19.97m.

Sanjae Lawrence made it gold and silver for Jamaica when he took second place with 18.89m, fouling several big throws while Josh Hazzard of Grenada took the bronze with 17.18m.

After three consecutive silver medals, including one in the long jump earlier, Obrien Wasome finally landed gold when he won the triple jump in a personal best 16.09m (-0.9m/s) as defending champion and long jump winner Miguel Van Assen of Suriname failed to make a legal mark.

Wasome had just two legal jumps while passing twice with Jordan Scott taking silver also with a personal best 16.01m (0.2m/s) and Martinique’s Jordan Caraman took third with 15.68m (-0.8m/s).

Jamaicans swept the sprint hurdles gold medals, despite Dejour Russell’s disqualification from the under-18 race after false starting while winds stronger than the allowable 2.0 metres per second denied Rushelle Burton a record on the under-20 girls’.

Burton ran a wind-aided 13.36 seconds to beat Sidney Marshall, 13.73m who just edged Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeminise Parris credited with the same time.

Rohan Cole won the under-20 boys’ gold in 13.71 seconds (0.9m/s) finishing ahead of two runners from the Bahamas as Timor Barrett failed to finish the race.

Tavonte Mott took the silver in 13.81 seconds and Shakeem Smith third in 14.12 seconds.

Dasazay Freeman won the Under-18 girls’ gold in a wind-aided 13.44 seconds (3.9m/s), Sasha Wells of the Bahamas took the silver with 13.48m and Jamaica’s Joda Campbell of Jamaica was third with 13.78 seconds.

Florida-based Damion Thomas made up for the loss of Russell in the boys’ under-18 final as he won the gold in a personal best 13.32 seconds.

Branson Rolle of the Bahamas was second in 13.80 seconds and Rasheem Brown of Cayman third in 14.05 seconds.

Jamaica failed to medal in the under-20 boys’ 200m that was won by Trinidad’s Akanni Hislop in a wind-aided 20.89 seconds (4.5m/s), but Jamaican won two of the other three gold medals including the gold and silver in the under-18 girls’.

Shaniel English retained the under-18 girls’ title running 23.65 seconds holding off teammate Britany Anderson, 23.74 seconds with Devine Parker of the Bahamas taking the bronze in 23.86 seconds.

Michael Stephens won the under-18 boys’ gold, running out of lane eight, in 21.43 seconds into a head wind of -1.9m/s, beating Trinidad’s Tyrell Edwards, 21.56 seconds and Barbados’ Mathew Clarke, 21.75 seconds.

Kimone Hines was third in the under-20 girls’ final in a wind aided 23.85 seconds (2.4m/s) behind Barbados’ Sada Williams who took the double, winning in 22.72 seconds and Jenae Ambrose of the Bahamas- 23.39 seconds.




Two years added to Secondary Schools

In order to meet the September deadline for the implementation of the seven-year period of secondary education, announced recently by Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid, education officials have begun a new round of consultation with critical stakeholders.

Consultations were previously conducted island-wide in 2010 and 2011 when the extension of the period of secondary schooling was first mooted.

The additional two years of schooling will be applicable only to those students who need this support to sufficiently develop their skills and acquire the qualification to leave the secondary system.
A news release from the ministry said that currently, these students drop out of the system because of inadequate preparation to enter the world of work or to pursue higher education.

Chief Education Officer, Dr Grace McLean, reportedly met last Friday in Kingston with education partners in the Career Advancement Programme (CAP), which is the overall programme that will allow for several opportunities for students to remain in school at grades 12 and 13.Caribzone_Jamaica

These opportunities, according to the release, include structured programmes being offered during the day or afternoons in schools and other training institutions, the Registered Apprenticeship Programme and other work-study initiatives offered by the HEART Trust/NTA, the Jamaican Foundation for Life Long Learning, as well as the National Youth Service (NYS).

The CAP is currently being offered in 53 institutions and will be rolled out in all secondary level institutions starting September 2016. The programme will also be offered in HEART institutions, NYS Centres, through the Jamaican Foundation for Life Long Learning and other such entities, Dr McLean disclosed.

Opportunities will also be made available through these entities for the youth up to age 29, the release said.

The chief education officer underscored the importance of school leaders and teachers carefully monitoring the performance of each student using the Alternative Pathways to Secondary Education (APSE) system, coming in September, to determine the most suitable learning programme for each student.

She said the Alternative Pathways is designed to ensure that every child gets every opportunity to graduate and that when they do they are equipped with skills which will enable them to enter the workforce and make a meaningful contribution to national development.

The ministry said that on leaving grade 11, students will have the opportunity to pursue a career to meet their specified needs through CAP.

“All students will have an opportunity to sit exit certification including Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, Caribbean Vocational Qualification, National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica, and City and Guilds,” it continued.

At the end of grade 13, students on Secondary Pathways two and three will also have an opportunity to pursue the new Occupational Supervisory Certification being developed that will allow them to acquire workplace competencies and skills or be ready for higher level certification.

Dr McLean said the ministry would carefully consider each developmental stage and put systems in place to ensure that there is a seamless transition.

She implored all stakeholders to implement capacity-building measures and operate as a conglomerate by moving in a united effort for the development of each student and, by extension, adequately preparing them for the world of work.



Trinidad & Tobago

Government says it will stage a series of activities regarding crime

The Trinidad and Tobago government says it will stage a series of activities regarding crime with a public consultation on prison reform starting on April 6.

“We will be coming to the people with public forum events, what we believe is that by sharing the statistical information, that we would start to get the real societal participation in the road ahead,” said Attorney General Faris Al Rawi.

Caribzone_TrinidadnTobago“Crime can’t only be managed by politicians, certainly not. Not only by the police, not only by the protective services, it’s time for the communities to begin to reclaim and to have some avenues to express their position and point of view and that’s why the office of the Attorney General is engaging in the forum that we are engaging in, first starting with the prisons system, then moving in the criminal justice system and going on so we have a rapport between us and the people in a meaningful way,” he said.

Al Rawi said that the activities will tie in with “the legislative agenda and that ties into societal solutions, which obviously dealing with your criminal justice system affects how crime, is managed in your country.

“So it is time to open the doors, time for people to participate and see what’s going on inside of the halls of justice and the halls of politicians and the office of the attorney general is leading the way on that charge,’ he added.

So far this year, 113 people have been murdered here. Last year, 410 people were killed.




The House of Representatives this week passed the Vote-On-Account Resolution, which will provide approximately $84 billion to cover Government’s spending over the period April 1 to June 30, this year.

Section 117 (3) of the Jamaica Constitution makes provisions for the House of Representatives, by resolution, approving a vote-on-account, to authorize expenditure for part of any financial year before passing the Appropriation Act (Budget) for that year. The sums voted by the House shall be included in the Appropriation Bill for the year.Caribzone_Jamaica

However, the sum cannot include provisions for: any increase in salaries or allowances other than approved increments and increases agreed to be paid during the financial year; any new service or work for which no provision was made in the Estimates of Expenditure for 2015/16 or which has not otherwise had the approval of the House.

The resolution was tabled by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw.

Opposition members gave the resolution full support, after its spokesman on finance and planning, Dr Peter Phillips, pointed out that they had anticipated the resolution and supported the motion.




Newark’s police department will shift to a more community-focused approach to policing

Newark’s police department will shift to a more community-focused approach to policing, add more training and submit to federal monitoring as part of a consent decree resulting from a Justice Department probe that found that officers routinely used excessive force and made street stops that disproportionately affected minorities.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said on Wednesday that he recommended to a judge that former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey serve as the monitor over the department for the next five years. Harvey served as attorney general when New Jersey’s state police department was under a federal consent decree over racial profiling.

The settlement agreement will require Newark police to revise policies and train on the use of force, stops and searches.

Newark police will also equip all patrol cars with video cameras and require most officers to wear body cameras.

“This decree will serve as a roadmap for reform in the city of Newark, and as a model for best police practices across the country,” Fishman said.

The agreement also calls for a police civilian review board, which Newark’s city council approved earlier this month.

The Justice Department’s three-year investigation, released in July 2014, validated many allegations in a 2010 American Civil Liberties Union complaint that accused police of rampant misconduct, use of excessive force and lax internal oversight.

The investigation also found that over a three-and-a-half year period, 75 percent of pedestrian stops were made without constitutionally adequate reasons, often targeting people who were merely in high-crime areas.

Eighty-five percent of those stopped were black in a city where blacks make up 54 percent of the population.

Among requirements contained in the agreement, all officers will undergo eight hours of training on bias-free policing within six months, and at least four hours annually thereafter. The department also will track and analyze all interactions between police and civilians and note race, age and ethnicity and whether force was used.

The cost of monitoring will be borne by the city of Newark and will be capped at roughly $7.5 million over the course of the agreement, Fishman said.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said he was “not ecstatic” about the price tag, but said the cost could be balanced by fewer lawsuits against the police department for excessive force and other complaints.

The 2010 ACLU complaint to the Justice Department that preceded the federal investigation found New Jersey’s largest city had paid out nearly $5 million in legal settlements over 2 1/2 years.

Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said he welcomed the monitoring as an opportunity for a culture shift in the department.

“We don’t view this as someone looking down our backs or over our shoulders,” he said.

ACLU New Jersey Director Udi Ofer praised the agreement as “a historic moment in the long struggle for a fair, just and accountable police department in Newark.”

Ofer added that some issues still concerned him, including that the agreement doesn’t require public access to body camera recordings and that police officers will be allowed to review the recordings before they fill out a report.




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