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Liberia Ambassador to US Seeks Partnership for Higher Education

first_imgLiberia’s Ambassador to the US, Mr. Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, is seeking partnership with two US higher institutions of learning — Louisiana State University and Georgia Gwinnett College. Amb. Sulunteh is opting for the partnership so that it would afford young Liberians the opportunity to “drink of the great fountain of knowledge” at those higher institutions of learning in the US. “We will welcome the opportunity to further discuss such a partnership,” he told administrators of both institutions when he addressed their commencement convocations separately on May 14 and 15, respectively.Speaking at the graduation exercises of Georgia College on May 14, the Liberian Ambassador saluted Liberia Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, who had gone to attend the ceremony because his daughter, Ms. Michelle Samukai, was among the graduates. Ms. Samukai was an intern with the Liberian Embassy in Washington D.C. last summer. Amb. Sulunteh told both audiences that about 62 percent of the Liberia’s population comprise of youth, between the ages 15 to 35. “Majority of this group lacks basic skills and education. Liberia’s health care system needs a transformation for any future challenges, and its infrastructural development is in dire need. Consequently, Education, health and infrastructure are three top priorities for the government in its agenda for transformation,” he stated. While celebrating the successes of the graduates at both Louisiana State University and Georgia Gwinnett College, he told them, “As we join you today in celebrating the achievements of these students, our hearts are aching that many Liberian youths would wish that someday somehow, they too could have such opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that will prepare them for service to their villages, communities and the larger Liberian society.”He reminded his audiences that Liberia, which is a tiny West African nation, needs each of the graduates now more than ever before in its post-Ebola recovery effort. Adding, “Liberia’s post-Ebola challenges are the government’s top priorities.” The Liberian diplomat used the occasions to extend on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia immense thanks and appreciation to the people of the United States and the international community for the tremendous support to the fight of the deadly Ebola virus disease that attacked the West Africa Region, specifically, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. “The outbreak of this deadly disease in March 2014, and the robust response of the world is an example of this extraordinarily new global realization of which I speak.” He specifically told everyone at the Louisiana State University graduation that Liberia has a historical relationship with the State of Louisiana. “The State of Louisiana is a place of historic importance to the continent of Africa. Our forefathers tell us that between 1718 and 1750 slave traders transported thousands of captive Africans to Louisiana from the coast of Senegal in West Africa. By 1840, New Orleans had the biggest slave market in the United States, which contributed greatly to the economy. Today, New Orleans has become one of the wealthiest cities in the United States.”“History also tells us that the first 10 presidents of Liberia were African Americans. Since then, majority of succeeding Liberian presidents have been African Americans or descendants of African Americans. Many of these returnees were educated in American schools. These returnees carried with them American traditions and cultures that impact our life styles today in Liberia. Many streets and cities in Liberia are named for cities in the United States, including the city of “Louisiana,” a settlement named for your beautiful state, Louisiana.”The Liberian Ambassador spoke to the Louisiana State University’s graduation on the theme: “Preparing Global Citizens and Celebrating Diversity.” At the Georgia Gwinnett College, he used the topic: “Impacting A Global Society.”He reminded both graduates that their faculties were certificating and sending them out to become “ambassadors,” who will impact their world. “As you leave these walls today, you have been given the requisite tools, the knowledge and skills that are not only necessary, but sufficient to positively impact the world. Whichever continent you will go, make the best representation of your Alma Mater and America’s dream to make the world a better place for all mankind.”He further told the graduates that their years of study at both institutions have prepared them to become global citizens that are well equipped to serve in a global village with diverse challenges. “Your commencement convocation today is an endorsement that you are smart, you are spirited and that you are prepared to always seek solutions to the challenges of our one world.”“The United States is not the world, and as you graduate here in the United States, allow the world to experience the greatness of an American education. Unfortunately, your participation is no longer optional, it has become imperative.”“Your challenge as you leave these walls is to determine what your impact as an individual and as a collective group of university graduates will have on your world.Indeed, the World is yours and you must own it with all of its challenging difficulties; including the pressing and insurmountable needs of humanity; and the uncompromising and demanding voice of social justice that refuses to be quieted by traditional means.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

P4DP Concludes USA Global Conference on Peace-building

first_imgThe executive director of the Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP), James Shilue, has returned to Monrovia from participating in a weeklong global forum in New York (USA) to articulate findings from a recently completed resilience study entitled: Frameworks for Assessing Resilience (FAR) in Liberia. FAR is a project led by Interpeace and implemented in collaboration with the Centre for the Studies on Peace and Development (CEPAD), P4DP, Interpeace-Guatemala and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), FAR was undertaken in Liberia for several objectives, including de-emphasizing fragility and to promote the concept of resilience; lifting local voices into policy arena nationally and internationally; identifying local and national structures that help to build lasting peace and enhance social cohesion, especially as UNMIL draws down; contribute to the new deal objectives of legitimate and inclusive politics; and explore what practical measures women use in dealing with marginalization and other forms of violence.As in other pilot countries where the project was implemented, FAR projects sought to understand the sources of resilience in society that can be leveraged for building peace. In Liberia, the project was able to document both existing as well as potential assets and strengths within societies and institutions that enable Liberians to recover from, overcome and prevent violent conflict. At the end of the study, there were four key findings that demonstrated the resilience of Liberians. They include marginalization of women in Liberian patriarchal structure; resilience mechanisms women devised against structural and societal threats; perception of a weak state and governance deficits evidence by people’s reliance on innovative and adaptive measures for survival. The study also observed the threats associated with increasing pressure on land and the absence of effective regulation that creates various responses from Liberia, and most importantly how Liberia responded to Ebola.The global forum was intended to hear the unique findings from the various participating countries and provided an opportunity for practitioners, policy makers, donors, academics and members of the various multilateral organizations, including the United Nations, to understand and critically reflect and make inputs on draft document that could serve as guidance for assessing resilience for peacebuilding. The forum, which was organized by International Peacebuilding Alliance (Interpeace), Liberia, Guatemala and Timor Leste, in collaboration with Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, explored a variety of issues.With resilience for peace building being a new concept, the forum also unpacked the concept and findings from a global lens in order to identify positive peacebuilding resilience assets. The underlying principle was to deepen the deliberations and understand the nature and sources of societal and community resilience, viewed through a conflict transformation lens, points to the potential that endogenous process of re-stitching the social fabric of relationships damaged by violent conflict.This will not only serve as retrospective means of adaptation, but also operate as forward looking and preventive in nature.Shilue highlighted the added values of the research in Liberia and admonished participants, international policy makers, donors, UN entities and multilateral organizations to harness its rich findings, particularly as UNMIL draws down ahead of the pending 2017 election to help consolidate peace and fortify Liberia against stress and long term conflict. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Salary impasse talks fail after 3rd conciliation

first_imgTeachers’ strikeThe third round of conciliation at the Social Protection Ministry’s Labour Department did not attain the desired outcome, as both the Education Ministry and the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) held steadfast to their positions.As such, the nationwide strike where teachers are demanding increased wages remains enforced which was confirmed by GTU General Secretary Coretta McDonald on Thursday.“The strike continues,” she asserted, following the meeting which was chaired by operatives of the Labour Department.The GTU had earlier expressed no confidence in this labour team since it comprised Government officers who were advocating on the Education Ministry’s behalf. The first conciliation meeting did not go off as planned as the GTU was a no-show but the second round held earlier this week ended in impasse. When the interested parties engaged in discussions for a second time on Thursday, the Education Ministry came equipped with ‘position paper’ outlining its terms why conciliation should be exhausted before arbitration commences.The Ministry proposed again that both parties be allowed to benefit fromMark Lyteconciliation in accordance with the labour laws. Like the Union, it also proposes that there be no victimisation by either side. The Ministry wants all public pronouncements to be accurate and shared between both parties. Finally, it wants both parties to decide on the chairman for an arbitration panel or tribunal should the Labour Minister pursue this course of action.According to a release issued on Thursday, Chief Labour Officer Charles Ogle maintained that the conciliatory process must be exhausted before arbitration can take place, having reiterated his earlier plea to the Union to call off the Strike so that the conciliation process can continue. The Social Protection Ministry said in light of the differing positions, the meeting was adjourned.Teachers are seeking increases of 40 per cent under a multi-year arrangement up to 2020. However, Government maintained that it just cannot afford this proposal. Classes are scheduled to open from Monday, September but it is unclear how many teachers will be present in the classroom. Government, as stated by Education Minister Nicolette Henry, is moving full steam ahead with its contingency plan which will see striking teachers being substituted with recent Cyril Potter College Education graduates, trainees and retired teachers. However, some parents are of the view that their children could be shortchanged by the Government’s decision.This position was shared with former CPCE lecturer and Mathematics teacher, Tamashwar Boodhoo who suggested Thursday that Government’s proposal could run against stipulations. “Someone has not done their homework and provide poor advice to this poor lady. Trainee teachers cannot take school registers. The law is clear you must be employed by the TSC (Teaching Service Commission) or the school board or the Ministry of Education in order to do take attendance in school,” Boodhoo noted.He observed that a register is a legal document that can be used in the courts and that there are guidelines that govern the marking of attendance registers. He claimed that trainee teachers are “not allowed to make daily log entries in the school log book” adding that retired teachers are similarly prohibited unless they are issued contracts.The educator noted too that credit hours are required for graduation since these students will be losing class time. He stressed that “there is nothing in the training manual” that allows for first-year trainee unsupervised practice in the classroom.“I am disappointed that the CPCE administration agrees to put the trainees in the classroom unsupervised. It was the same administration that had trainees repeat classroom practices because of unsupervised practicum,” he pointed out.last_img read more

Inquest jury recommends further RCMP education on intoxication levels

first_imgLohouse was found unresponsive in his cell on September 9, 2011, after being in police custody for just over three hours. As the seven person jury could not see the closed circuit television coverage clearly, it recommends that the detachment improve the coverage and picture quality of the cell block video cameras. The jury foreperson pointed out that blind spots meant the guard was unable to see if the prisoner was breathing, and suggested that a camera on the opposite wall or a 360 degree view from the ceiling would provide a better view. A second viewing screen at the Watch Commander’s desk was also recommended to provide a second set of eyes, something that New Westminster Police Department Staff Sergeant Chris Mullin said was available at their detachment. It was also recommended that the detachment have an automated external defibrillator in the cell block, and that at least one member on duty be trained to use it. In this case, the Fort St. John Fire Department had to bring the AED. – Advertisement -Lastly, further education about all levels of intoxication from experienced to social drinkers is also recommended, with semi-annual refresher courses for officers and guards. Several people testified that Lohouse did not seem as intoxicated as he actually was, which experts said was likely due to experienced drinkers being able to mask their symptoms. The jury determined that his immediate cause of death was respiratory failure from ethanol and mixed drug intoxication, with severe focal coronary artery atherosclerosis as a contributing factor, as his autopsy showed major blockages in two of the arteries in his heart. At the time of his accidental death, Lohouse had a blood alcohol level over four times the legal limit for driving, as well as therapeutic amounts of antidepressant and sedative drugs in his system, along with Lidocaine and marijuana.Advertisement His time of death was between 8:55 and 9:10 p.m.last_img read more

Shaw Go WiFi coming to Fort St. John municipal buildings

first_imgWhen Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Shaw Jeff Bray presented to City Council earlier this month, he argued that data usage is increasing, and WiFi connections in some businesses aren’t strong enough. In his report, Director of Finance Mike Roy argues it’s a good move for the city as there’s no investment needed and Shaw would maintain the infrastructure. The agreement is also non-exclusive, so the City could enter an agreement with other providers in the future. Shaw has not provided a timeline for when service would be established.- Advertisement –last_img