|Posted by Milton Drepaul on March 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
Professor Ruben Karsters, Head of the Art Department at AlphaMax Academy, died on Tuesday. Karsters was 71 years old. He was teaching his students up to last Thursday. He took a turn for the worse on Monday and was rushed to the Intensive Unit of the Academic Hospital on Tuesday.
Karsters spent nine years teaching the talented students at AlphaMax. Among his many achievements at the school was getting one of his students selected in 2007 as the Africa-Caribbean Art Scholar to Parson’s School of Art & Design in New York. In the last two weeks another of his students was offered a partial scholarship to the internationally-famous Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD).
Professor Karsters spent six years studying Fine Art in Holland in the 1960s. Art connoisseurs both in Suriname and abroad regard Ruben Karsters as a sublime portraitist at the highest level.
The poet and writer, Ivan A. Khayiat, describes Karsters' approach in this way:
"Karsters has spent the better part of sixty years seeking to perceive objects in ever-deepening clarity – to the point of seeking out ever-deeply every subtle, hidden nuance of tone, colour, shade and shadow – ever-present in the world of objective reality. This is the devout passion of Ruben Karsters’ artistic consciousness."
The President of Suriname honored Karsters in 2010 by selecting the now famous “Portrait of Hope and Peace: The Four Ms” as his official state gift to the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, in November 2010. The Directors of the AlphaMax had commissioned this painting in 2007 to inspire young leaders with the outstanding life work of four of the most transformative leaders of the 20th century.
Khayiat describes the Karsters’ masterpiece in his review, Indian Resonances in Suriname, thus:
[The painting is]... a nostalgic reflective study of four masters of politics by the master of art himself. The glowing liberated faces of Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela appear above the contemplative, serious – almost troubled - busts of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, the American freedom fighters, also men of colour. Indeed, gazing to his left, the beaming, joyous face of the Mahatma, the apostle of peace, clad in white – the son of India and father of the modern independence movement – appears to have inoculated and infected his dancing counterpart, Nelson Mandela: both freedom fighters ironically were dramatically pitted at differing periods against entrenched Dutch supremacy and interests in Southern Africa.
An MSNBC online poll in December 2010 voted Bouterse’s gift to Chavez as one of the top three ‘Most Appropriate Gifts” given by one head of state to another.
,As we learned that President Chavez had also passed away on Tuesday, we reflect that perhaps the divine forces want us to cement the link between President Bouterse, President Chavez, Ruben Karsters, and the ideals expressed in “A Portrait of Hope and Peace” which has been the focus of AlphaMax Academy's creative work since 2007.
Professor Karsters was subsequently further honored by the government of Suriname who specially commissioned other paintings presented to heads of state.
Ivan Khayiat , the poet, has been particularly inspired to write poems for each of these works. Non-coincidentally, Khayiat also chose a painting of Karsters' daughter as the cover for his award winning book of poetry “Msiba, My Love". The cover of a collection of AlphaMax Academy student writing, "Surviving the Ordeal” (2007) was also graced with a reproduction of a Karsters painting.
The President of Suriname Desi Bouterse has been an admirer of Karsters' work for several decades. Art connoisseurs know that Karsters executed two portraits of Desi Bouterse: One shows him as the young revolutionary leader of the 1980s, and the second, done in 2012, portrays the reflective, mature elder statesman, and international leader.
Ruben Karsters leaves behind his wife, Sabitrie and their three children, Cheranie, Vasilie, and Irina. He also has a son, Anthony, from a former marriage.
The AlphaMax community expresses its heartfelt thanks and deepest appreciation to Ruben Karsters for a life fully lived and devoted service he rendered in shaping the talents and ideals of youths.
From: Milton Drepaul [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2013 11:24 AM
To: Sean Taylor
|Posted by haimdatsawh on March 7, 2013 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
A TRUE ICON OF SURINAME HAS PASSED: Ruben Karsters, Remembering the Legend
Yesterday, the Alphamax Academy and the nation of Suriname lost one of its living artistic Legends – Professor Ruben Karsters. Born on 22nd May, 1941, he passed away at the Academic Hospital following a short illness. Although he was rushed to the hospital earlier, efforts to revive him in the intensive care unit failed.
Professor Karsters was Head of the Art Department at the AlphaMax Academy where be began giving classes to young talented art students in the Academy in 2004. In 2007, one of his young scholars was selected as the Africa-Caribbean Art Scholar, granting him a summer scholarship to Parson’s School of Art & Design in New York. Very recently, another student, whom the art master had trained for many years, was offered a partial scholarship to a highly reputable art and design university in Georgia, U.S.A..
Ruben Karsters was an autodidact who stunned experienced artists of his time with his unschooled yet deft command of Fine Art Skills. At the tender age of seven he was clearly a young master without letters or credentials. Thus, before he entered his teenage years he had began giving lessons to students twice his age. It was in this period that young Ruben caught the attention of the Dutch-born artist, Nola Hatterman, who saw the extraordinary gifts of this brilliant, gifted, rising, artistic genius.
Until his passing, when engaged in serious conversation about art, it was with a degree of mild chagrin that Professor Karsters spoke of Nola Hattermann. While acknowledging the role she played at that time in perceiving his gifts, for Karsters, she was nonetheless a somewhat disparaging figure who took credit from the work of other gifted artists of that time in Suriname.
In 1963 Karsters became one of the first Surinamers who travelled to the Netherlands to study “Fine Art.” This art connoisseur made a clear distinction between ‘art’, “Art”, and “Fine Art”.
After six years of studying in the Netherlands he returned home Professor of Fine Art in 1968. Recently, the visibly aging artist would often tell his close students that the rigorous study he undertook in Europe was also done by two contemporary still living artists, Erwin de Vries and Soeki Irodikromo, whom he respected.
Ruben Karsters was perhaps Suriname’s most celebrated and internationally recognized “Fine Artist” in the latter half of the 20th century. His techniques, methodology, extremely close, incisive study of any subject, combined with – his inimitable imaginative execution – was deeply reminiscent of the Flemish masters from the Renaissance. As art master, Professor Karsters had given art classes to scores of artists in Suriname, including Jules Brand-flu, Cliff San A Jong, and TMC’s Martin Slagtand – all of whom he fondly remembered as very gifted artists.
According to the Vice Chairman of the AlphaMax Board of Directors, Dr Eugene Merkus, “When you consider this man and his remarkable gifts, it is not an overstatement that Professor Karsters is irreplaceable. This holds true not just for our home-grown international school, the AlphaMax Academy, here in Paramaribo, but to our country, Suriname. Professor Karsters will be deeply missed in circles beyond the walls of this school and these shores where he lived.”
Ruben Karsters was the fine artist who executed in 2007 the now famous “Portrait of Hope & Peace: The Four Ms” which was made internationally famous when President Desire Bouterse presented the masterpiece-painting to the now-deceased President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela in November 2010. This work of art was commissioned by the Directors of the AlphaMax to inspire aspiring young leaders and the coming generation with exemplars of personal self-transformation, sacrifice, and service.
In an MSNBC public opinion poll, Bouterse’s gift to Chavez was voted as one of the top three ‘Most Appropriate Gifts” given in 2010 by one head of state to another. The Karsters-Bouterse-Chavez gift was preferred above other state gifts from leaders of the first world, including Putin and Obama.
Ironically, Professor Karsters passed away on the self-same day as President Hugo Chavez of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
After his highly successful Portrait of Hope & Peace , in 2011 and 2012, Professor Karsters also executed artworks which were presented internationally.One observer has stated that perhaps the year prior to his demise will be acknowledged as Karsters’ ‘annus mirabilis’.
Ruben Karsters has had the distinction of being perhaps the only fine artist in Suriname to have painted the current leader and President of the Republic, Desire Bouterse, twice: First, as the young revolutionary leader in the 1980s, and more recently, in 2012, the mature astute statesman playing his vital role on the international stage as the Father of his people.
Ruben Karsters is survived by his wife, Sabitrie Karsters-Sewpersad, and their three children, Cheranie, Vasilie, and Irina. He is also survived by his son, Anthony, from a previous marriage.
According to a Director of the AlphaMax which had commissioned the Karsters’Portrait of Hope and Peace , “The Rubens of Suriname is gone to the great beyond again!”
|Posted by haimdatsawh on January 21, 2013 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
Schlesinger mentions that Ted Sorensen, historian, aide and chief speechwriter advised Kennedy to make it one of the shortest inauguration sppeches. So brevity was one of the virtues of this stirring address. The speech was less than 1400 words.
"The inaugural was a special occasion, and there was a special tone in that speech," Sorensen later recalled.
So tone and language structure made that speech one against which all other inauguration speeches are measured.
One line in that address -"ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country"—has echoed across time for generations since 1961.It was a call for service. It has inspired many across the world to search for ways to change society for the better.
For my generation Kennedy represented a new direction in political thinking. He was the youngest elected president,the first Roman Catholic and when he spoke of "the torch [having] been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace…" I believed he was appealing to those who wanted a fresh start in the way world politics and diplomacy were conducted.
Kennedy's statement "we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe" makes us sad today when we reflect on the lengthy and terrible Vietnam War.
Many,like me, however focused on his vision of a new paradigm for peace.He proposed a "new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved."
One of the most memorable lines in the speech is "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate." It is an ideal that I believe leaders today should seek.
AlphaMax Academy in its DVD 'Great Thoughts, Great Minds, Great moments in Time'-A Portrait of Hope and Peace features excerpts from this inaugural address done by Gabrielle Goedhart. You can view it on You Tube-Portrait of Hope and Peace . The script of the DVD urges all to seek clarity about the highest goals we can set to achieve Peace.
|Posted by haimdatsawh on January 21, 2013 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
President Barack Obama 's inaugural on Monday is linked this year with the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King the assassinated civil rights leader. Also this year a movie on Abraham Lincoln is playing at movie theatres nationwide. Both of these leaders are being consciously linked to the inauguration ceremony.
When US President Obama is sworn into office for the second time, he will use the same Bible that President Abraham Lincoln used during his inauguration in 1861 .
A Bible owned by the civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr , will also be used at the inauguration.
In his speeches Obama has referred to King and this weekend's inaugural activities began with a national day of service in King's honor on Saturday. Obama and his family also helped spruce up an elementary school in southeast Washington. On each King holiday during his Presidency the Obama Family has done community service work.
When King's monument on the National wall was dedicated President Obama was the featured speaker. King will most likely be spoken about in his inaugural address.
The president has said King is one of two people he admires "more than anybody in American history." President Abraham Lincoln is the other.
Former chief of staff to President Barack Obama and now Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel , compared President Obama’s values and “ability to see a clear road where everybody just sees fog” to President Abraham Lincoln as depicted in the 2012 Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln.”
He continued, “And I think that’s essential because, in the Oval Office, at the end of the day, all you have are your values, your judgment, and your ability to see a clear road where everybody just sees fog."
Barack Obama has demonstrated strong leadership qualities which are comparable with those of other great leaders throughout history. Obama has often been linked withs Abaraham Lincoln.eenth president.
One area of comparison is the two leader's speaking ability.Obama is an inspirational speaker.Obama has focused on creating a feeling of national unity while setting out the tough issues. Many say this is similar tothe way Lincoln approached his listeners.
Another area where people see similiarities is in the political situation.Like Lincoln, Obama is President in the middle of a crisis. Right now The US is struggling to deal with the most testing economic decisions of its history. The country is deeply divided on the way forward. The cuurent anger and hostilty over the proposed changes to the gun laws reflect this division. In Lincoln's time the nation was bitterly split over slavery and a war was about to take place. Both Presidents have encountered huge challenges. Lincoln’s were overcome. We await history's verdict on Obama's.
See AlphaMax Students present this and other excerpts from great speeches in Portrait of Hope and Peace : 'Great Thoughts, Great Minds, Great Moments in Time'.
|Posted by haimdatsawh on October 8, 2012 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
The Deadly Threat of Silent Heart Attacks
By JUDITH GRAHAM
For more than six months, Harriett Cooke had been uncommonly tired, panting when she walked her sixth grade science class to the cafeteria and struggling to keep her eyes open when she drove home at night.
One day, during a class trip outside the school, she just couldn’t go on. “I sat there on the side, I put my head down on the table, and I knew I shouldn’t be feeling like this,” said Ms. Cooke, 67, who lives in Durham, N.C.
Making excuses, she left and stopped at her doctor’s office, where staff ordered an electrocardiogram (EKG). The test showed that Ms. Cooke had suffered a so-called “silent heart attack” at some indeterminate point, perhaps months earlier.
Few people know about this type of heart attack, characterized by a lack of recognizable symptoms. Yet silent heart attacks are even more common in older adults than heart attacks that immediately come to the attention of doctors and patients, according to a recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
What’s more, they’re equally deadly.
The research underscores the importance of paying attention to lingering, hard-to-pin-down symptoms in older adults, experts say. Many elderly men and women tend to dismiss these; caregivers shouldn’t let that happen.
The JAMA report is based on data from 936 men and women ages 67 to 93 from Iceland who agreed to undergo EKGs and magnetic resonance imaging exams to detect whether heart attacks had occurred. EKGs assess the heart’s electrical activity, while M.R.I.’s look at its mechanical pumping activity.
So-called “recognized” heart attacks were identified when signs of heart damage were evident, and the patient’s medical record indicated that medical attention had been sought and a diagnosis rendered. “Silent” heart attacks were also signified by heart damage, but in those cases evidence from medical records was lacking.
When results were tallied, silent heart attacks were twice as common (22 percent) among older patients as recognized heart attacks (10 percent). Five years after tests were administered, death rates for patients with both recognized and silent heart attacks were 23 percent, almost double the 12 percent death rate for older adults who’d never experienced a myocardial infarction, the technical name for this medical event.
Recognized heart attacks may be more serious in the short run, but silent heart attacks are equally dangerous in the long run because they don’t receive medical attention, said Dr. Andrew E. Arai , the lead author and chief of the cardiovascular and pulmonary branch of division of intramural research at the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Indeed, seniors who had the silent version were less likely to get treatments for coronary artery disease — aspirin, beta blockers, and cholesterol-lowering statins. Yet tests documented they had higher-than-average risk factors: elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, and evidence of plaque buildup in blood vessels.
Results from Iceland may not be fully generalizable to the United States since more people smoke in Iceland, and there’s greater diversity in the population here. But a key takeaway message is that heart attacks aren’t always easy to detect, especially in older people.
“Not everyone has classic symptoms — chest pain, maybe radiating to the arm, nausea, sweating, shortness of breath,” Dr. Arai said.
“In reality, many patients, have much less clear cut symptoms,” he continued. “They may think it’s a bad case of indigestion or the flu, or this may even occur during their sleep and they won’t realize that anything happened.”
If you’re an older person and you’ve been feeling seriously unwell for a while, “go see your doctor, don’t blow it off,” Dr. Arai said.
That’s not an invitation for people to run out and demand M.R.I.’s of the heart if they’ve been feeling flulike for several weeks. Although M.R.I.’s identified more silent heart attacks than EKGs in the JAMA report, these tests are expensive, not widely available, and stress echocardiograms, nuclear stress tests, and computerized tomography (CT) coronary angiograms are good alternatives, saidDr. Michael Shen , section head of cardiac imaging at the Cleveland Clinic in Florida.
Tests should be based on the patient’s family history, personal history, symptoms like shortness of breath or tightness in the chest, and risk factors like cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes, Dr. Shen said.
In the JAMA study, 26 percent of patients with diabetes (266 altogether) had silent heart attacks, compared with 11 percent who had clinically recognized heart attacks.
“We don’t really understand what causes one person to have chest pain and another person not to have chest pain,” said Dr. LeRoy E. Rabbani , director of cardiac intensive care and the cardiac inpatient service at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York. But diabetics, who are prone to nerve damage known as neuropathy, “may have impaired sensation that extends to chest wall.”
To illustrate the point, Dr. Rabbani tells of an elderly patient who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery and had stents implanted in his arteries to prop them open. Each time his heart gave him trouble over a period of a dozen years, he had felt chest pain.
But one day, after developing diabetes in his 80s, this patient felt a little dizzy, noticed a nose bleed and fainted after arriving at his ear nose and throat doctor’s office. In the emergency room, tests showed that he had had a heart attack, with no symptoms this time, six hours before. “Even in a given individual, things can change,” Dr. Rabbani said.
There’s no opportunity to restore heart muscle damaged in a silent heart attack, but there is opportunity to intervene to prevent a second heart attack or heart failure.
“One has to look at (a silent heart attack) as a potential marker for coronary atherosclerosis and take a more detailed look to see if risk factors are being treated adequately,” said Dr. Christopher O’Connor , chief of cardiology at Duke University School of Medicine.
If damage is relatively mild, “there are a whole host of medications we can use to prevent the occurrence of a second event,” he said. If damage is more significant, bypass surgery, stents, and even devices like implantable defibrillators may be warranted.
Afterward, doctors monitor patients more frequently and “pay much more attention to ambiguous symptoms like prolonged fatigue, confusion or shortness of breath,” Dr. O’Connor continued. “Before, we thought these silent events were less important. Now, we realize they’re equally important as symptomatic heart attacks and deserving of careful follow-up.”
|Posted by haimdatsawh on September 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
Big Data in Your Blood
By QUENTIN HARDY
“Stretchable electronics” will be able to measure heart rate, brain activity, body temperature and hydration levels.
Very soon, we will see inside ourselves like never before, with wearable, even internal , sensors that monitor even our most intimate biological processes. It is likely to happen even before we figure out the etiquette and laws around sharing this knowledge.
Already products like the Nike+ FuelBand and the Fitbit wireless monitor track our daily activity, taking note of our steps and calories burned. The idea is to help meet an exercise regimen, perhaps lose some weight. The real-world results are uneven . For sure, though, people are building up big individual databases about themselves over increasingly long periods of time. So are the companies that sell these products, which store that data.
That is barely the start. Later this year, a Boston-based company called MC10will offer the first of several “stretchable electronics” products that can be put on things like shirts and shoes, worn as temporary tattoos or installed in the body. These will be capable of measuring not just heart rate, the company says, but brain activity, body temperature and hydration levels. Another company, called Proteus , will begin a pilot program in Britain for a “Digital Health Feedback System” that combines both wearable technologies and microchips the size of a sand grain that ride a pill right through you. Powered by your stomach fluids, it emits a signal picked up by an external sensor, capturing vital data. Another firm, Sano Intelligence , is looking at micro needle sensors on skin patches as a way of deriving continuous information about the bloodstream.
Make no mistake about these companies’ ambitions. “Ultimately, we see ourselves as a part of the healthcare ecosystem,” Amar Kendale, MC10’s VP of market strategy and development, said in an e-mail. In this future, he wrote, “data will need to be shared seamlessly between customers, providers, and payers in order to reduce heathcare costs and simultaneously deliver the best possible care.” Proteus hopes to use anonymized data from its customers to understand health patterns over an entire population, presumably to revolutionize medicine.
Those are not just lofty goals; they make a lot of sense. If this kind of information exists for a lot of people, it is arguably folly to not look for larger trends and patterns. And not just in things like your electrolyte count, because overlays of age, educational level, geography and other demographic factors could yield valuable insights. The essence of the Big Data age is the diversity of data sets combined in novel ways.
What is missing is much of a sense of what this is worth, and what it may cost, and the terms under which we’ll turn our data into a product. Nike and Fitbit already log a lot of personal data, and it is not clear what, if anything, they plan to do with it.
Nike acknowledged an e-mail asking for details about its plans, but did not get back after that. The software license for Nike+ does say that “Nike+ Product Software may include software that collects information about how you use your Nike+ Product,” but has no further details about what this means. Fitbit did not respond to e-mails.
Proteus says its customers will own their data and may share it, but must also grant the company permission to use it for product development and the cultivation of its data sets. As Mr. Kendale stated, MC10 sees data sharing between people and companies as something of a necessity.
For those of you troubled by Facebook claiming the right to know whether you like cats when you sign up, this is probably a significantly bigger deal. Others may not care, or even see themselves as actors in a global project to understand ourselves as never before. What may be troubling to all, however, is the haphazard way these new behaviors will be captured and determined. There are likely to be different strategies depending on company, country of use and whether the product is looking as something regulated, like a drug, or open, like a heart rate.
Those legal and corporate distinctions, of course, were all developed in a world where we weren’t able to see so much of each other, or deduce one behavior by crunching the data from several other sources.
There are also movements to use this data in entirely new ways, for patient-generated medical research. Linda Avey, who co-founded the personal genetics company 23andMe is now working on a start-up called Curious , which should be live by the middle of next year. Her idea is to get people with difficult to pin down conditions like chronic fatigue, lupus or fibromyalgia to share information about themselves. This could include the biological data from devices, but also things like how well they slept, what they ate and when they got pain. Collectively, this could lead to evidence about how behavior and biology conjure these states.
“All of the devices that are coming on the market will shuffle their data into different environments,” she said. “They are starting to realize that they can’t just be the keeper for that.” She hopes the companies will allow for common sharing of the individual data, leading to a kind of open source branch of medicine. So far, she said, few if any have committed to that.
A version of this article appeared in print on 09/10/2012, on page B4 of the NewYork edition with the headline: A Digital View Of Your Health, Likely to Be Shared.
|Posted by haimdatsawh on August 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
The modernization of Guyanese society must begin by transforming education
It should of great interest to track the future careers over the next 15, or 20 years of the 175 CSEC high-flyers (8 CSEC or more creditable passes), to see how many are resident in Guyana contributing to the development of Guyana, the country of their birth and which in some measure contributed to their academic successes. In fact, it may also be interesting to do the same for all those students who secured five or more creditable CSEC passes.
Over the past fifty years, the experience has been that the vast majority (90%) of our successful students have emigrated to other lands, and are making most valuable contributions to the development of their newly adopted homelands.
The accumulated consequence of this mass exodus of talent and brain/mind power has been that Guyanese social, economic and national development is, with few exceptions, left in the hands of workers who were not considered academic high-flyers, and who were not presented with sufficient appropriate, or adequate opportunities during their school careers to develop their God-given talents or potential. This is largely due to the academic emphasis of present school curricula to the exclusion of other aptitudes. Recent curricular studies have an academic emphasis which discriminates against male students, who relate more to curricula that offer hands-on or practical experiences. As a result of this extreme academic emphasis, many male students become disinterested, undisciplined, and either drop out or are pushed out. This phenomenon might also be a consequence of the feminization of the teaching profession.
The sad part of this situation is that the ‘not so successful,’ represent the vast majority of any age group, or age cohort. Even when some who are late developers have access to further education or higher education they seldom fail to seize the opportunity to emigrate. Apart from a depressing economic, political and social climate – the push factor – the opportunity to access a better quality of life, represents the pull factor.
Persons who go overseas to further their education at their own expense, should not be faulted for not returning. They can only recoup their investments in reasonable time by accepting employment overseas, since Guyana cannot offer them similar employment at a comparable rate.
Nevertheless, the big question is, can social and economic conditions be improved in Guyana, so that more students who elect to study overseas may view returning home to serve with favour? The short answer is, with the necessary political will, yes they can. But, even if we start now to do the right things, it may take at least twenty years before we begin to see the impact of our efforts.
It is customary to believe that educational change follows social change. However, there is a far more subtle feedback system at work, and this is particularly true of the relationship between school curricula and society. Japan, the USSR and Singapore are examples of countries that have used their education systems to leapfrog to modernization. While it may be reasonable to assume that the content of the curriculum tends to be moulded by external pressures, there is little doubt that it feeds back into society, influences that affect the rate of social and economic change. Doubtless, the most important agents of these influences are the individuals that the schools produce.
The modernization of the Guyanese society must begin by transforming education practice in Guyana so that it would provide for the needs of the next generation – not for the problems of yesteryear, but those of today and the remainder of the twenty-first century. The reforms will have to be comprehensive in scope covering all areas – organizational, structural, curricular, co-curricular, extra-curricular, certification, teacher education, physical plant, estate, and other areas of education practice. However, it will only be possible to discuss the modernization of core curricula here.
The most essential first step would be to arrive at a working consensus on the purposes of education in Guyana. For example, one purpose could be that educational outcomes should lead to the modernization of Guyana within a specified time – say by the year 2040. Next, we have to design curricula that have the potential to achieve this and the other purposes that have been articulated.
It is suggested that the critical step in curricular design is the modernization of the content by substituting science/applied science/ technology cores for the current traditional/ classical cores that had their origins as far back as the nineteenth century. Since the heart of science consists of asking questions about natural phenomena, and designing experiments or processes to find answers to these questions, every teacher can be coached to use the sciences to educate students.
In addition to the development of scientific literacy and its relevance to modernization – social, economic and national development – there are immense pedagogical and other benefits to be derived from science/applied science/technology based curricula. Curricular links can be established with other subjects/ disciplines or fields of study. For example, languages and mathematics can be taught across curricula. If the curricula at various levels are organized to form an ascending and expanding spiral or cone, permeating concepts or principles can be kept simple at the base (early childhood education level), and expanded and deepened as students ascend to the higher levels.
The need for content of wide applicability to enable students to continue learning outside of, and beyond the formal situation cannot be over emphasized. We can accomplish more with less. Ecological studies (under which nature trails may be classified) could form the organizing centre for wider environmental studies. The study of the environment not only develops practical sense and fosters scientific thought, but it is also an education in civics, and sociology. Learning activities in these areas should arouse the students’ interest in the community in which they live. We ought to bear in mind that there can be no national development without community development.
Editorial constraints do not permit further expansion of the above, but there is a very significant benefit that needs to be mentioned. In an era of mass education, and for a variety of reasons a significant percentage of the school intake comes unprepared for what is essentially a middle class experience, and they all have to jump the same academic hurdles at the same time.
Research has demonstrated that the age of eleven is no longer a watershed age as far as cognitive development is concerned. Because each individual is unique, levels of cognitive development differ considerably and as such, many students (late developers), are in need of a transitional period at this age when they are between the stages of concrete and formal/abstract operations. Further, a child may achieve the level of formal operations in one or more categories and remain at the level of concrete operations in other categories. There are a number of ways in which the concreteness of scientific and technological phenomena can assist pupils in this period of transition. For, example when mathematics is integrated with scientific and technological processes, it is reported that much of the antagonism towards the subject is lost. This particular finding should be of great significance to our Ministry of Education.
Clarence O Perry
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|Posted by haimdatsawh on July 17, 2012 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
Whitening Cream: Fair Deal for India's Women?
Feminists in the world's largest democracy are angry about ads for a fairness cream for women's intimate parts.
Sudha G Tilak Last Modified: 10 Jul 2012 11:46 Some columnists believe the obsession with whitening products is symptomatic of racism [GALLO/GETTY]
Cosmetics for Indian women are assuming unhealthy tones. A recent Indian advertisement for Clean and Dry, a vaginal wash which promises women fairer private parts, has led to an outcry among many in the country. The television ad shows a woman unhappy in the company of her husband, as he seems more interested in the morning paper than her. After a liberal use of the vaginal wash, the woman appears in shorts and beckons the man who swings her in his arms, suggesting happiness. The tagline of the ad says: "Life for women will now be fresher, cleaner and more importantly fairer and more intimate."
Fairly insulting Blogs and tweets have decried the controversial advertisement, as have columnists and physicians. Rupa Subramanya, popular on Twitter, called the 25-second TV commercial, "the ultimate insult" to the Indian woman. Columnist Deepanjana Pal wrote, "While Fair and Lovely tapped in on our inherent racism with its early ad campaigns, the intent of products like whitening deodorants, moisturisers and 'hygiene products' seems more insidious now." Fair and Lovely is an Indian face cream that promises to make dark-skinned women more white. It has been a huge hit since its launch in the country in 1978. The product-makers said, "Indian women finally found hope in a tube," and claim to have discovered the "skin lightening action of niacinamide" that led to the development of their product. Since then, fairness creams and cosmetics have continued to rule the Indian market and many foreign national brands, including Revlon, Loreal and Garnier, have invaded the Indian cosmetic market with sun protection or skin whitening creams and lotions.Clean and Dry, priced at Rs 100 ($1.60), is considered to be more affordable than many of the foreign alternatives. Alyque Padamsee, the Clean and Dry ad director, has told sections of the Indian media that the reaction to the ad is overrated. Defending the ad, he is reported to have said, "It is hard to deny that fairness creams often get social commentators and activists all worked up. Lipstick is used to make your lips redder, fairness cream is used to make you fairer - so what's the problem?" The problem, say social commentators, is that it presents a distorted view of beauty based on skin tone to the predominantly dark-skinned Indian woman. Even today in modern metropolises, the demand for fair-skinned brides is prominent in matrimonial columns in newspapers and on websites. Vaseline, a comestics brand, tried to promote its fairness cream for men with a Facebook application designed to make their faces look more white. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan has endorsed whitening products including Fair and Handsome cream, after shave and facial wash for men.
Health and fairness Doctors, for their part, warn fairness products can cause physical harm. "We need to know the proper effect of such products that seem useless playing on fancy notions of beauty in the minds of women," said Dr Sachin Dhawan, a well-known dermatologist and beauty consultant to many leading skin clinics in New Delhi and Gurgaon. Many skin whitening or bleaching products may contain lightening agents such as hydroquinone and alpha hydroxy. "On sensitive skin these have the potential to cause irritation and allergic reactions after prolonged use in the intimate areas by women," Dhawan said. Dr Joyeeta Basu from Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi, said the long-term effects of whitening products are still unclear. "Studies have not been conducted over many years to study if these have harmful effects," she said, "so [they] cannot be condemned conclusively for any toxicity until proven."
Cosmetic boom Cautions aside, fairness creams are still selling well and the Indian cosmetics industry is booming. According to recent research from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the country's domestic cosmetics industry is poised to grow to Rs 200bn ($3.6bn) by 2014. The increased popularity of specialised products, including skin tone lotions and creams, and anti-ageing cosmetics has been attributed to the increase in the population of working women, growing disposable income among consumers and aggressive marketing and advertising. "The protests [against whitening products] are small in number because Indian woman in both urban and rural areas of have taken to cosmetics, cosmetic surgery and enhancement in a big way," said Dr Dhawan. While feminists and social commentators find an independent Indian woman's need for "fairness" unfair, the soaring sales of fairness products tell another tale. Ammu Rao, a natural healing therapist in Gurgaon, a city near the capital New Delhi, isn't averse to giving Clean and Dry a try. "If we need fairness for our faces, why not for down there?" she asks. Whoever said beauty is only skin deep probably didn't forsee the popularity of whitening creams in modern India. Source: Al Jazeera
|Posted by haimdatsawh on June 29, 2012 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
Suriname Receives $13.7 Million IDB Loan to Improve Education
June 24, 2012 | 11:22 pm | Print
Above: Suriname (IDB Photo/Willie Heinz)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Suriname will soon receive a $13.7 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to improve the quality of education in the country.
The loan, which has been approved by the IDB, will support Suriname’s plan to strengthen the efficiency and quality of the new basic education system in the country, along with supporting educational outcomes for students from pre-primary through junior secondary.
“Improving the learning outcomes in core subjects of Dutch and mathematics, training all of Suriname’s approximately 5,000 primary school teachers, supporting efforts to streamline the education system and exploring the use of information and communication technologies in schools will dramatically improve graduates’ ability to access the labour market,” said IDB project team leader Annelle Bellony.
The IDB will finance Suriname’s two-phased education programme, with the first phase addressing the curriculum framework for the basic education system and the second addressing the learning outcomes of students in grades 1 to 8.
The loan is for a 20-year term, with a four-year grace period and a LIBOR-based interest rate.
Suriname’s government is contributing $750,000 to the progarmme’s budget.
News Suriname education , inter-american development bank , suriname
|Posted by haimdatsawh on June 29, 2012 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
The Constitution of Ideas
Dan Hind Dan Hind is the author of two books, The Threat to Reason and The Return of the Public. His pamphlet Common Sense: Occupation, Assembly, and the Future of Liberty, was published as an e-book in March. He is a member of the Tax Justice Network.
Aristotle said that unequal access to information supported all kinds of inequality elsewhere.
London, United Kingdom - The great works of constitutional theory were written when the political world was much smaller. Aristotle's Athens was, by today's standards, little more than a market town. Two thousand years later, revolutionary America was a patchwork of self-governing townships that were, for the most part, little bigger than Athens. Citizens knew one another and knew their representatives. The normal business of life brought them much of the political information that they needed and the rest could be supplied in face-to-face assemblies or occasional pamphlets. The exclusion of women, slaves and men without property further reduced the size of the political nation. The modern, democratic nation-state operates on a vastly different scale. Whereas, in 1688, the English electorate numbered fewer than half a million, more than 45 million people were entitled to vote in the British General Election of 2010. The centres of political decision-making can be hundreds, or even thousands of miles away from the areas affected. The citizens of Los Angeles send their elected representatives more than 2,500miles to Washington DC. Their compatriots in Hawaii are 7,000 miles from the US capital. Not only that, central government has become far more powerful, relative to local and regional jurisdictions. In the United States, for example, the federal constitution was intended to ensure that self-governing communities retained as much power as possible. But in the era of large standing armies and powerful federal agencies, the states and municipalities have steadily lost ground to Washington. Population growth, geographical expansion and political centralisation have all reduced the relative importance of face-to-face communication. Daily life no longer gives us much in the way of politically relevant information. We rely on the media to tell us about the faraway world where politics takes place. Therefore, the mass media, and the technologies that underpin them, have become matters of deep constitutional significance.
A 'media regime' Of course all this has long been recognised in political practice, if not in constitutional theory. As Bruce Williams and Michael Delli Carpini note in After Broadcast News: Media Regimes, Democracy and the New Information Environment, communications systems are political achievements, in the sense that they depend crucially on state subsidy and regulation. Until recently, broadcast news and a handful of large newspapers dominated political communications in the United States. This was a "media regime" that depended on "a relatively stable set of state institutions, norms, processes and actors that shape the expectations and practices of media producers and consumers". These media enjoyed considerable power to determine what we knew about other publicly significant institutions and about each other. They could highlight or downplay corruption and other forms of criminality. More generally, they could decide what should be debated and what should be left undisturbed. In this they held a quite decisive power. Consider, for example, the workings of the economy. As long as the broadcasters and the newspapers stayed silent about the growth of economic inequality and the associated expansion of credit, most of the population in Britain and the United States were left to make decisions about their lives in something approaching perfect innocence.
"Radio - and, later, television - became channels through which central authority could speak to a largely passive national audience."
Over the past two centuries, new technologies - the telegraph, the radio, television, innovations in printing and so on - have disrupted established communication systems and the political arrangements they underpinned. Businessmen and politicians have done what they could to minimise this disruption and retain their power to shape the sum of what was generally known. Though optimists hailed the potential of new media to improve public deliberation, their hopes were often frustrated. Radio - and, later, television - became channels through which central authority could speak to a largely passive national audience. Those who control also understand, and are well placed to ensure that change serves their interests. The internet and other digital innovations are forcing a new round of changes in the political economy of the media. Old business models are failing and the "media regime" of broadcast news is fraying. As Jeremy Hunt, Britain's culture secretary, noted in a memo to the prime minister in 2010, the big media operations are now looking to establish themselves as multi-platform media operators, "available from paper to web to TV to iPhone to iPad". Social media, with its associated market intelligence and education, with its state subsidies, are also emerging as key areas of interest. Twitter and Google are joining the rest of the telecommunications infrastructure as "essential elements in support of US national security policy and strategy" (the phrase comes from a National Security Council Directive written in 1983).
Crossing the media Rubicon A new media regime is being constructed, though you could be forgiven for missing it, given how rarely it is discussed. And the corporations are well aware of the political, even constitutional, implications of what they are doing. News International has helpfully dubbed its plans for cross-platform integration "Rubicon". Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon in Italy marks the conventional end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Empire. The crassness of the analogy is eloquent of a certain swagger.
"Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon in Italy marks the conventional end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Empire. The crassness of the analogy is eloquent of a certain swagger."
That said, there is nothing inevitable about the shape that the new media regime will take. The current patterns of state-corporate cooperation might not survive. The breakdown of old patterns of authority and prestige opens opportunities for far-reaching debate about the kind of media we want and need. As Williams and Delli Carpini put it, "ideas matter during these transitional periods". And there are other reasons to reject fatalism. Though it is important not to exaggerate the reach and significance of independent digital publishing, there are new opportunities to challenge the versions of events that the major media provide. Digital technologies in general, and social media in particular, have an ambiguous quality. On the one hand they allow companies to harvest private data on an unprecedented scale, but on the other they allow individuals and groups to communicate and coordinate with unprecedented ease. Furthermore, thousands of people who want to work as journalists cannot find jobs in the print and broadcast media and will have no place in the new regime that the large conglomerates are eager to establish. These would-be journalists may yet change attitudes to the media, by explaining how the media is structured and how it might be reformed to facilitate democratic self-government. Public subsidies for news journalism are inevitable. The current recipients of these subsidies want to keep quiet about them. A handful of journalists and broadcasters can therefore be relied on to insist that the public aren't interested in the media and have more important things to worry about. It is a description of reality that is also a celebration of the old regime's power to estrange people from consequential matters. But most journalists have little to lose, and much to gain, if they argue instead for a transparent system of subsidy that supports democratic and accountable media.
Who knows what Perhaps most significantly, the breakdown of the old media system is taking place against the background of a much wider political and economic crisis. The assemblies of recent years have usually been discussed by the broadcast and print media in terms of protest. But they are also opportunities to communicate outside the circuits of speech controlled by those same media. The lived experience of debate between equals cannot help but highlight the aridity and artificiality of politics as a mediated spectacle. And as the political struggles intensify, the shortcomings of the established media will become harder and harder to ignore.
"Political philosophy has always been preoccupied by the question of who knows what."
Political philosophy has always been preoccupied by the question of who knows what. At the beginning of the Ethics, Aristotle explains that politics "ordains which of the sciences should be studied in a state, and which each class of citizens should learn, and up to what point they should learn them". As Aristotle well knew, in a democracy organised round assembly, those skilled in rhetoric had important advantages. Unequal access to information supports all kinds of inequality elsewhere. The distribution of knowledge is still central to the conduct of politics. It still determines who really wields power. But the media and communications systems in large nation states play an indispensable role in establishing who knows what, and to what extent. They determine what becomes widely known, and what remains the preserve of a privileged or marginalised few. The current organisation of the media leaves public opinion in private hands and reduces democracy to a sophisticated fraud. In the midst of noisy controversy, the fundamentals of social organisation remain obscure. The systems of communications are integral to the operations of modern politics, and remain inseparable from the current dysfunction. As we turn our attention to constitutional reform in the years ahead, it is important that we bear this in mind.
Dan Hind has worked in publishing since 1998 and is the author of two acclaimed books: The Return of the Public and The Threat to Reason. He is this year's winner of the Bristol Festival of Ideas Prize.
|Posted by haimdatsawh on June 12, 2012 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
Caribbean Youth the Focus of CARICOM Meeting in Suriname
June 12 -- According to a news release by the CARICOM Secretariat, a Caribbean Community Youth Ambassadors (CYA) meeting opened in Suriname on Monday morning with a call by the country’s Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Hon. Ismantho Adna, for youth leaders to be vigilant and critical of the policies implemented in the region.
He told youth ambassadors that they were the voice of the Caribbean youth and should represent them very well, by ensuring that the interests of youth are integrated as a matter of priority in the broad development policies of the region.
The three-day meeting, which opened at the Torarica Hotel in Paramaribo, is convened to develop a three-year institutional framework for the CYA Program to guarantee its sustainability. This framework will be based on the research findings of the 2010 Report of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development (CCYD) Eye on the Future, Invest in Youth Now for the Community Tomorrow and the commitments made by Heads of Government in the Paramaribo Declaration on the Future of Youth in the Caribbean Community.
The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors will also use the opportunity to develop an on-line regional social network that will be used as a vehicle to mobilize regional youth, share ideas and best practices. The meeting will also serve to equip CYAs with skills in New Media, marketing, branding and media relations.
The Minister told CYAs that the Government of Suriname - particularly the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs - “stands ready to implement the outcomes of the meeting and the recommendations in the Paramaribo Declaration and to integrate the outcomes in Suriname’s youth policy.
He pledged his commitment to working with youth leaders, noting that “together we have responsibility to create a better and safer CARICOM for its youth.”
In stating a rationale for the meeting, Dr Heather Johnson, Deputy Program Manager, Youth Development, CARICOM Secretariat, noted that in order to develop an effective administrative structure and institutional framework the CYAs need to understand the genesis of the program and appreciate the best practices and lessons learnt along the way.
She enumerated the several challenges of the CYAP, which include expanding national and regional youth networks, mobilizing scarce human and financial resources; sharing information and exchanging ideas with young people in the community and beyond and strengthening the administrative structure and institutional framework.
Notwithstanding these challenges however, Dr Johnson noted that it was the commitment dedication and talent of the CYAs that had propelled the program and deepened its impact since its inception in 1993. She added that “the program’s greatest strength lies in the fact that it is developed, implemented and managed by youth who are among their country’s brightest and best.”
The meeting is supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Youth Innovation (Youth-IN) project, which is a Caribbean Network for youth development work. The Coordinator for this project, Dr Paula Hildalgo-Sanchis, said youth were the force for progress and as such the Youth-IN project was designed to empower this force for the progress of CARICOM.
The Youth-IN project, she said, aimed to increase youth participation in governance processes; strengthened youth networks; create communication tools to reflect youth capabilities and strengthened youth planning and develop youth entrepreneurship initiatives.
Dean of the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Corps, Dwayne Gutzmer recalled that the CYAP was launched in Saint Lucia 19 years ago in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and noted that over the years they “ have had many achievements but we … also had our fair share of challenges and lip service.”
He challenged his peers to continue to demonstrate the commitment and tenacity that was the stuff of which regional youth were made.
He pledged his commitment on behalf of the youth ambassador corps to help re-scope and redevelop the program and work towards ensuring that it was vibrant and effective.
Suriname’s Youth Ambassador, Raynel Fraser who gave the welcome address expressed his hope that the meeting would realize the objectives set. He also stated that the time had come for young people to get off the periphery and participate fully in the integration process.
The three year plan that will be developed at the meeting will guide the CYAP in making strategic interventions across the region.
|Posted by haimdatsawh on March 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Jamaican firm to examine University of Guyana's governance structure
Written by Demerara Waves Friday, 23 March 2012 07:24
Several months after the politically-driven University of Guyana (UG) Council came under the spotlight for its involvement in the contracts of a number of lecturers, the institution announced that Jamaican firm would be coming to examiine how the governance structure of the institution.
Clinching the US$250,000 consultancy is the Jamaica-based Trevor Hamilton & Associates that signed a contract with UG on March 16.
Titled "Review and Enhancement of the Regulatory Framework for the Improvement of Operations at the University of Guyana", the consultancy is financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The project has been in the pipeline for almost one year now.
The CDB project document states that “The objective of the consultancy is to enhance UG’s capacity to carry out its day-to-day operations and to enhance its capacity to effectively undertake its role as a national tertiary education institution in the 21st Century.” The duration of the assignment is expected to be for a period of eight months.
The consultancy will essentially involve the review and development of the regulatory framework, and development of appropriate regulations and policy recommendations to address issues critical to the University’s operations; review of the process improvement background, organisational efficiency and effectiveness of the University’s operations; review of the financial processes and regulations; and recommending procedures, systems and structures to undergird the operation of critical areas which impact on the organisational effectiveness of the University.
Planning Officer in the Office of Resource Mobilisation and Planning, Ms Andrea London stated that, “as part of its activity, the consultants will meet with various stakeholders.” Interested persons desirous of contributing to the process will be provided an opportunity to do so, she added.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Lawrence Carrington quite recently lamented the archaic governance system at the decades-old tertiary institution.
UG workers had for weeks engaged in industrial unrest, including a threat to go on strike, over the Council’s termination of the contracts of several lecturers including controversial political scientist, Freddie Kissoon. Kissoon’s harshly criticism of government has repeatedly incurred the wrath of the
While several other lecturers are back on the job under different terms and conditions, Kissoon has not been offered an opportunity to continue teaching at the university.,
Authorities say his contract has not been renewed over concerns about his performance- a claim he has repeatedly rejected.
|Posted by haimdatsawh on March 9, 2012 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Posted: Monday 5 March, 2012 at 3:39 PM
OAS Ministers of Education highlight the role of teachers in the “Declaration of Paramaribo” and issue recommendations for the Summit of the Americas
Press Release (OAS)
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PARAMARIBO Suriname, March 5th, 2012 -- Ministers of Education of Members of the Organization of American States (OAS) highlighted the role of teachers in educational processes in the “Declaration of Paramaribo” at the end of a two day meeting in the Surinamese capital, where they also issued recommendations on pedagogical matters for the Summit of the Americas.
The meeting was closed by the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, and the Minister of Education of Suriname, Raymond Sapoen, who chaired the encounter.
Ambassador Ramdin congratulated government representatives on the meeting’s results and urged them to turn the devised plans into reality. “Education, without any doubt needs to be a significant part of any development strategy in any country in the world. The role of education is becoming critical and a vision, mandates and plans will not be doing the job. What we need, and it’s critically important, is the institutional capacity, the commitment, the political will and most importantly the financial resources to do them,” he said.
“I hope that following this meeting and the Declaration of Paramaribo, Member States and the Governments that you represent will not only endorse the vision that you have agreed upon, but also will translate that into a working plan to put money behind those plans, to execute those plans,” the OAS official added. He also tanked national representatives on the support they provide to the OAS on these issues.
Minister Sapoen said that the meeting was “a very fruitful exchange of information, experiences and practices”. “Don’t let these agreements stay in words. We are currently in the years of writing words, let the coming years be the years of doing,” he added.
The Surinamese Minister was elected at the meeting to Chair the Inter-American Committee on Education (CIE, by its Spanish acronym), succeeding Ecuadorian Minister Gloria Vidal. Also elected were Costa Rica and Paraguay, both as Vice Chairs.
Declaration of Paramaribo
The “Declaration of Paramaribo (available here) stressed the importance of teachers in all levels of the educational process. “We reaffirm the key role of the teacher in educational processes and results and recognize that the participation of teachers in efforts to improve the quality of education is important, so as to help ensure that the results are effective and lasting,” the text says.
The document also highlights the need for educators “to have access to quality initial preparation and continuing professional development” and acknowledges that “policies to strengthen the teaching profession and opportunities for quality professional development are vital to attract, employ, induct, develop, evaluate, motivate, retain, and recognize teachers so that they become ever better educators.”
The Declaration of Paramaribo also emphasizes the importance of expanding access to new technologies in education, and applauded the progresses made by the Inter-American Teacher Education Network (ITEN). On that regard, the government of the United States announced during the meeting its commitment to further provide resources to strengthen ITEN’s work Summit of the Americas
Member Status also instructed CIE, with support of the OAS, to draw up a Work Plan to implement the vision agreed upon in the Surinamese capital. This work will start at a meeting to be held in May 2012, where CIE will have available contents emanated from the Summit of the Americas, to be held April 14-15 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
Previous to that, the “Declaration of Paramaribo” will be presented to the Heads of State and Government at the Summit, together with other recommendations to be compiled by the Chair of the Meeting in Suriname. In Paramaribo, some countries already put forward proposals such as strengthening teacher’s education; establishing diploma or degree equivalencies among countries; strengthening learning of languages; and considering the importance of the role of the family in education and development.
Before closing the event, the OAS Acting Executive Secretary for Integral Development, Jorge Saggiante, emphasized that the cooperation among countries promoted by the Organization with meetings such as the one in Suriname and initiatives such as ITEN “contribute to what we call democratic governance, which is the essential purpose of our Organization. This is the way we think that the Organization can fulfill an important role in the Hemisphere,” he said.
“We are a political Organization, our efforts are aimed at promoting and strengthening political dialogue, and that is what we do on issues of cooperation. We are convinced that dialogue is a very important tool in our countries, because it allows us to identify needs and chances, to find consensus and discover what brings us together, and that is what brings us towards cooperation,” he added.
All documents from the Seventh Meeting of Minister of Education of the Americas are available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org .
This article was posted in its entirety as received by SKNVibes.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of SKNVibes.com, its sponsors or advertisers
|Posted by haimdatsawh on March 9, 2012 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
Education minister named to OAS committee
By OBSERVER News - Wednesday, March 7th, 2012.
Article Hits: 7
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – At the conclusion of the recent OAS Inter-American Ministers Meeting in Paramaribo, Suriname, Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister of Education Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro was elected to serve the Caribbean sub-region on the Executive Committee of the Inter-American Committee on Education from 2012 to 2014. The Grenadian Minister of Education was elected as the alternate.
The Minister of Education of Suriname, Raymond Sapoen, was elected chair, while the ministers of Costa Rica and Paraguay were elected vice chairs. Other ministers were also elected to represent North America, South and Central America and the Andean Sub-region.
During the meeting which was held under the theme, “transforming the role of the teacher to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” the ministers engaged in reflection and dialogue on the kind of teacher that is needed by the student of today, educational institutions as learning communities; and the role of governments in safeguarding an education of quality for all.
The Antigua & Barbuda delegation made a presentation on the relationship between governments and teachers’ unions. In it they outlined the historical relationship between the Antigua & Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT) and the government and the best practices in forging a harmonious relationship.
The Antiguan panel included Dr Quinn-Leandro; Director of Education Jacintha Pringle; and General Secretary of the A&BUT Ashworth Azille. Their presentation was met with much discussion and debate, and the delegation was applauded for the more harmonious working relationship between government and teachers’ union in the interest of education in Antigua & Barbuda.
The meeting in Paramaribo is the Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Education led by the OAS. The first was held in Brasilia in 1998, and since then ministers have met every two years in various locations.
|Posted by haimdatsawh on February 29, 2012 at 9:55 AM||comments (1)|
Minister Priya Manickchand for Education Ministers conference in Suriname
Published on Monday, 27 February 2012 21:24
Written by Super User
Education Ministers of the Americas will meet in Paramaribo Suriname to discuss a number of issues to transform education in the region, including the role of teachers.
Guyana will be represented at the March 1-2 meeting by Education Minister Priya Manickchand.
This news cast spoke with education minister Priya Manickchand via telephone on the upcoming education ministers of the Americas meeting in Paramaribo.
She pointed out that even though Guyana’s education system has advanced over the years there is room for improvement.
She plans to share some of Guyana’s achievements in the education sector with the region.
The event coordinated by the organization of American states o-a-s seeks to analyze the current status of the teaching profession in the region, and propose policies and strategies that strengthen the role of professional educators.
During the two-day meetings, the ministers will hold nine plenary sessions, seeking to determine what kind of teaching today’s student requires and what role governments play in ensuring quality education for all.
They will discuss educational institutions, proposing mechanisms to strengthen partnerships among educational institutions and other sectors.
The ministers will analyze priorities for cooperation among countries, suggest concrete actions in the framework of the OAS to strengthen the role of teachers and review progress made in the previous ministerial mandates.
The seventh meeting of the ministers of Education will be inaugurated on Thursday march 1 by the president of the host country, Desi Bouterse, the OAS secretary general, José Miguel Insulza and the minister of education and community development of Suriname, Raymond Sapoen. The meeting will be held on March 1 and 2.