August 13th 2019


SVG HAS ONE OF THE LOWEST HOMICIDE  RATES IN THE CARIBBEAN FOR 2019


This country’s Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said St. Vincent and the Grenadines currently has one of the lowest Homicide rates in the Caribbean for the year 2019.

He made this statement while delivering the feature address at the official launch of the Sports Against Crime Initiative on Thursday August 1st, which was observed as Emancipation Day.


Addressing the gathering at the Chatoyer National Park at Rabacca, the Prime Minister said the country currently has seven reported homicides for the year 2019.


Prime Minister Gonsalves said they want to reduce the number of homicides to zero each year and they will be using the Sports Against Crime Initiative as one of the driving factors to achieve this goal.


SVG TO BE REPRESENTED BY AT CARIFESTA 2019


St Vincent and the Grenadines will be represented by a large contingent at the 2019 CARIFESTA 14 to be held in Trinidad and Tobago commencing this week. This year’s festival will be held from August 15th to the 26th.


Speaking on radio this morning Head of the Vincentian contingent Mr. Ashford Wood says that this year’s theme for the event is Connect, Share Invest. Wood said that the country will be represented by a good team from diverse cultural disciplines. Mr. Wood said that this year’s contingent is a mixture of youth and experience. He also indicated that a number of small business persons will be a part of the delegation as investment and investment opportunities are an integral part of CARIFESTA.


Minister of Tourism Sports and Culture Cecil Mc Kie explained that the government places significant importance on cultural activities and have expended some 300,000 to facilitate this event. Mc Kie said that SVG’s participation in CARIFESTA will provide exposure as well as opportunities for culture and tourism.


NEMO TO HOST A 3 DAY SHELTER MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP


The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) will host a three day Shelter and Shelter Management Workshop which will commence on Tuesday 13th August, 2019.

This workshop will be held in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), St. Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross Society,the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of National Mobilization. 


The Shelter and Shelter Management Training Workshop targets Shelter Managers and members of the Shelter Management Teams.


The objectives of the workshop are to train key personnel about the:

  • Principles      governing the Management of an Emergency Shelter
  • Roles and      Responsibilities of Shelter Management Teams and Shelterees
  • The use of      the various record keeping forms
  • Dealing      with Psychosocial issues that may arise during the activation of an      Emergency Shelter 
  • Child      Protection in Emergencies
  • The Return      to Happiness Program


The workshop will be held at NEMO’s Conference Room, beginning 8:30 a.m. each day. The Opening Ceremony will take place on Tuesday 13th August, 2019 at 8:30 a.m.


SVG SOLIDARITY GROUP REAFFIRMS ITS SUPPORT WITH THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA


The Solidarity Group of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines reaffirms its support with the Government and People of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela facing the legalization of the imperialist attacks executed against this sister Nation and its legitimate President Nicolás Maduro Moros, being victims , once again, of the arbitrary actions of economic terrorism against the people of Venezuela.


On Monday, August 5th , 2019, Washington issued another Executive Order formalizing the economic, financial and commercial blockade that has caused severe injuries in Venezuelan society in recent years, and whose sole objective is to promote an unconstitutional change of government in the country, in open violation of the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.


This new executive order imposed by the US government intends to grant a legal form to the blockade of all assets and properties that the Venezuelan State has abroad; actions that the United States government and its allies generate to promote, among other actions, the failure of the political dialogue promoted by President Nicolás Maduro, initiated in Barbados in the past weeks where Venezuelan government spokesmen and leaders of some parties of the opposition have participated in search of viable solutions to the political and economic blocking facing the Venezuelan people.


In this regard, the Solidarity Group of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, given the economic blockade and inhuman sanctions imposed by the United States that prevents the Venezuelan people from receiving food, medicine and other resources for their development, violating any principle of international law , strongly reject the unilateral sanctions and attacks against the Bolivarian homeland.


The Solidarity Group that is constituted by different social movements and cultural entities of SVG reiterates its unrestricted support with the people of the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the legitimate president Nicolás Maduro, democratically elected by the people with 68% of the votes; Likewise, we make an urgent call to the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to repudiate this flagrant violation of the human rights of the Venezuelan people.


KIND PROGRAMME MARKS 13 YEARS  SINCE IT WAS ESTABLISHED


This year marks 13 years since the establishment of the KIND Programme in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. KIND is an acronym for Kids In Need of Direction and is a programme which emphasizes the critical relationship between home and school in facilitating positive changes in student behavior. 


KIND has three components: (1) A vacation behaviour modification programme (2) a parenting programme and (3) an after-school component that offers academic support to students. KIND is a 3-year programme which targets students at grade 4 and continues with these students until grade 6.  


The 2019 KIND Vacation Programme was held from July 15 to August 2 and is a joint venture of the Students Support Services (SSS) unit in the Ministry of Education and the Child Protection Services unit in the Ministry of National Mobilization, etc. 


Coordinator of the SSS and one of the KIND programme directors, Jasmine Francois-Creese, says that the theme of this year’s programme was ‘Changing Behaviour through listening ears, soft hearts and a smile” . According to Mrs. Francois-Creese, the parenting and after school components of the KIND programme will begin in September. 


About 250 students across St. Vincent and the Grenadines participated in the 2019 KIND vacation programme. It involved 28 schools and was based at 9 centres: Sandy Bay, Colonarie, Calder, Greiggs, Calliaqua, Marriaqua, Kingstown, Questelles and Chateaubelair.      


  

REGIONAL 


FOUR STUDENTS FROM T&T DISQUALIFIED FROM CSEC MATHS EXAM


Four stu­dents in Trinidad who were caught cheat­ing dur­ing the CSEC Maths ex­am in May — af­ter a video was post­ed to so­cial me­dia show­ing them and oth­er stu­dents us­ing their cell-phones to share an an­swer sheet — have been dis­qual­i­fied.


This means they will not be grad­ed and will have to re-sit the ex­am at a lat­er date.

How­ev­er, just when they can re-sit the ex­am is yet to be de­ter­mined by the Caribbean Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil (CXC), based in Bar­ba­dos. Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter An­tho­ny Gar­cia said the dis­qual­i­fied stu­dents “have been the ones that we could have eas­i­ly iden­ti­fied in the video, but CXC is still to de­cide whether or not they will be dis­qual­i­fied for a pe­ri­od of two years from all ex­ams.”


Af­ter they were caught cheat­ing, of­fi­cials al­low the stu­dents to com­plete their ex­ams but warned they would face se­vere con­se­quences fol­low­ing its’ con­clu­sion. Both the MOE and CXC have strict poli­cies pro­hibit­ing the use of elec­tron­ic de­vices dur­ing ex­ams.

The re­sults of the 2019 Caribbean Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Cer­tifi­cate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Ad­vanced Pro­fi­cien­cy Ex­am­i­na­tion (CAPE) will be re­leased by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE) with­in the next two days.


The in­ci­dent oc­curred at the Tran­quil­i­ty Gov­ern­ment Sec­ondary School. Three in­vig­i­la­tors were lat­er dis­missed as a re­sult. In­ves­ti­ga­tions were car­ried out by both the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and CXC fol­low­ing claims that some stu­dents had re­fused to lodge their cell phones with school of­fi­cials on the day of the ex­am.


NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCIES IN T & T ON HIGH ALERT


National Security agencies in Trinidad and Tobago are now on high alert and prison officers are being advised to exercise extreme caution. This follows a series of threatening messages posted to social media against prison officers. The messages have revealed a plot to “kill any two officers”.


Commissioner of Prisons Gerard Wilson has warned officers to exercise caution and vigilance especially when off-duty. Wilson stated that all security agencies were now on high alert and directives are in place.


In a statement on Tuesday, Wilson said security would also be provided to officers who live in what are deemed 'high risk' areas. “This advisory comes after several threats began circulating via the WhatsApp medium, indicating a plot to 'kill any two officers',” the release stated.


And Minister of National Security Stuart Young, has also given the assurance that the safety and security of prison officers remain a top priority.  A release stated that Young strongly denounces the recent circulation of threatening messages being made against prison officers. He assured that all National Security law enforcement and intelligence agencies are on high alert and are working cohesively to support the safety of prison officers.


“The Minister thanks all prison officers for pledging their support to the State and for their dedication to duty at the nation’s prisons despite the current challenges. He vows to continue working together with the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service to provide officers with a greater sense of security while performing their duties,” he stated.


On Monday, the ex-wife of a prison officer was shot dead outside her home at Albert Mark Street, Phase 4. The motive for the killing of 51-year-old Sherry Ann Watson has not yet been determined.

   

August 12 2019


90.86% PASS RATE RECORDED BY SVGCC


An overall pass rate of 90.66% was recorded by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) in the May/June 2019 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).
 

A release from the Ministry of Education issued on Friday said there was a candidate entry of 634; 567 of whom were from the SVGCC and 67 Private Candidates. The SVGCC candidates sat 1959 examinations in 23 different subjects.
 

This year’s overall pass rate at the SVGCC represents a slight decrease compared to the 2018 results where the overall pass rate was 91.04%.
 

For CAPE 2019, the following subjects recorded a 100 per cent pass rate: Art & Design Unit 2; Biology Unit 2; Caribbean Studies Unit 1; French Unit 2; Geography Unit 2; Integrated Mathematics Unit 1: Literatures in English Unit 2; Physical Education and Sport Unit 2; Physics Unit 1; Spanish Unit 2.
 

“This year’s results show that high pass rates have been maintained in most subjects taken. Other Advanced Proficiency Subjects were taken at the Cambridge International Examinations. These are reported on separately,” the release said.  The release said students will receive their individual results shortly. 


TRANSPORTS AND WORKS MINISTER SAYS SCHOOLS REPAIR PROGRAM  PROGRESSING WELL 


Minister of Transport and Works Hon Senator Julian Francis has stated that the Schools Repair program that is currently ongoing is progressing well.  Speaking on radio earlier today the Minister stated that he will provide a more detailed update soon but gave the assurance that work is continuing and is going well.


The Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) commenced its summer road cleaning program in various communities throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Communications Officer at BRAGSA Mrs. Roxtanne Marshall Millington said that the program is expected to run for a period of 2 weeks and will employ 5000 persons. 


Mrs. Millington highlighted some challenges faced during the program and urge the public to keep drains clear and to protect their surroundings at all times.


VINCENTIAN NIKITA WILLIAMS AMONG EIGHT YOUTH AMBASSADORS TO TRAVEL TO THE USA


Nikita Williams of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is among eight Youth Ambassadors from the Eastern Caribbean who traveled to the United States on August 8 to participate on the 2019 Youth Ambassadors Program.
 

The other Youth Ambassadors are Sierra Letlow and Esquire Henry of Antigua and Barbuda; Joshua Desir of Barbados; Shawnalee Gordon of Dominica; Kenya Louison of Grenada; Sephra Serieux and Sherwin Alexander of St. Lucia.
 

They will all take part in the three-week U.S. Government-sponsored exchange program. Accompanied by Adult Mentors, Jamieson Edward of St. Lucia and Kashka King of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Eastern Caribbean cohort will join participants from, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago on this regional youth exchange program.
 

The goals of the Youth Ambassadors Program are to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States, South America, and the Caribbean.  The program prepares youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities; influence the attitudes of the leaders of a new generation, and foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups; and create networks of hemispheric youth leaders, both within the participating countries and internationally.  During their exchange, participants will focus on the program themes of civic education, leadership, and community service. Since 2007, World Learning has implemented the Youth Ambassadors Program.
 

World Learning is an American nonprofit organization advancing leadership in more than 60 countries. Its mission is to empower people and strengthen institutions through education, sustainable development, and exchange programs.


EDUCATOR REMINDS TEACHERS THAT PHONICS-BASED APPROACH TO READING IS ESSENTIAL



Local educator and PhD candidate, Asif Collin Dover, has reminded teachers that the phonics-based approach to reading remains essential in developing the skill, especially among remedial readers. Mr. Dover made the point as facilitator of a series of workshops for teachers.  The training sessions focused on the teaching of reading using the phonics-based approach. 


The training was sponsored by the U.K friends of the Mustique Charitable Trust and at one of the sessions; Project Manager of the Trust, Dularie Malcolm, spoke of the potential impact of the programme on students’ reading abilities. Mrs. Malcolm urged the teachers to do their best in the interest of the children. 


RSVGPF, SVGPCCU AND SVG EX POLICE ASSOCIATION TO HOST ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP AND BURSARY AWARDS CEREMONY


On Thursday August 15, 2019, the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) in collaboration with the SVG Police Cooperative Credit Union (SVGPCCU) and the SVG EX- Police Association will host its annual scholarship and bursary awards ceremony under the theme “forging ahead with a lift so that you can soar”


A total of fifty-three (53) scholarships and twelve (12) bursaries will be awarded to students passed the 2019 Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment examinations (CPEA). 


The ceremony will commence at 3:00 pm at the Police Canteen, located on the third floor of the Kingstown Vegetable Market. Remarks will be delivered by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Frankie Joseph, vice president of the Police Cooperative Credit Union, station Sergeant Brenton Smith and a representative from the Ministry of Education. The featured address will be delivered by Dr. Frankie Joseph, Jr. Awardees and parents and guardians are asked to be seated at 2:45 pm.


REGIONAL 


CXC TO DETERMINE IF STUDENTS CAUGHT CHEATING TO BE DISQUALIFIED FROM EXAMS FOR TWO YEARS


Trinidad and Tobago's Education Minister Anthony Garcia says the Barbados-based Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will determine whether or not four students who were caught cheating during Caribbean Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Cer­tifi­cate (CSEC) Maths exams earlier this year, will be disqualified for a period of two years from all exams. 


The students, from the Tranquility Government Secondary School who sat the exam in May, were caught cheating after a video was posted to social media showing them and other students us­ing their cell-phones to share an answer sheet.   According to the education minister, the disqualified students were the ones that were easily identified in the video.


It's reported that af­ter they were caught cheat­ing, the invigilators al­lowed the stu­dents to complete their ex­ams but warned that they would face se­vere con­se­quences. The invigilators were later dismissed. 


In­ves­ti­ga­tions car­ried out by both the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and CXC found that some stu­dents had re­fused to leave their cell phones with school of­fi­cials on the day of the ex­am.

Both the Ministry of Education and CXC have strict poli­cies pro­hibit­ing the use of elec­tron­ic de­vices dur­ing ex­ams.


The re­sults of the 2019 CSEC and the Caribbean Ad­vanced Pro­fi­cien­cy Ex­am­i­na­tion (CAPE) will be re­leased by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion this week. “Our stu­dents are do­ing ex­cep­tion­al­ly well as the pass rate is 94 per cent,” said Garcia, who was quoted by the Trinidad Guardian as saying that of­fi­cials were yet to com­plete the analy­sis of the CSEC re­sults but as­sured it would be done by Tues­day.


VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT WITHDRAWS FROM TALKS WITH THE OPPOSITION


The Venezuela government has withdrawn from talks with the opposition to protest the decision by the United States to impose new sanctions on the Maduro government earlier this week. 

Last week, Norway said representatives of the Venezuelan government and the opposition would continue to hold talks here in an effort to find a solution to the economic and political crisis in the South American country.  “Τhe parties have reiterated their willingness to advance in the search for an agreed upon and constitutional solution,” Norway's Foreign Ministry said then.


Norway has been acting as a mediator to end the political crisis that has gripped the South American country ever since Opposition Leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president and received the backing of several western countries led by the United States.

President Nicolas Maduro, who has the backing of Cuba, China and Russia, was sworn into office for a second consecutive term earlier this year and has rebuked Guaido's attempt at unseating him.


But the Trump administration earlier this week announced that it was freezing the US assets of the Venezuelans government. The statement stopped short of stating that Caracas would abandon the talks, adding it would “review the mechanisms of this process to ensure its continuation is truly effective and harmonious with the interests of the people”.

Maduro said that while he favours dialogue, he will not stand by idly as his opponents cheer on punitive measures by Washington that he believes will worsen hardships in the country. “Under these conditions, no,” he said promising to lead a “counteroffensive” from the constitutional assembly to “bring justice to the sellouts and traitors.”