Outgoing OECS Chairman Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony says the heads of government at last week’s meeting of the authority agreed to increase the number of court of appeal justices by two.
He says this will allow the court to sit in two jurisdictions at different periods. Justices are so overwhelmed by cases that senior lawyers from around the region are often temporarily appointed to sit on the court.
According to a communiqué the Heads of Government commenced the necessary administrative procedures leading to the appointment of a new Chief Justice.
The judge who will preside over the OECS Supreme Court will assume office following the retirement of current Chief Justice the Honourable Sir Hugh Anthony Rawlins.
Under the law governing the court system, a recommendation for the appointment is made by the OECS and sent to the Lord Chancellor in the UK.
During the meeting in Kingstown the heads took the opportunity to evaluate a report on the application by the French Overseas Departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe for associate membership in the OECS.
Dr. Anthony says the move was welcomed and the leaders began putting mechanisms in place to negotiate with both islands on possible ascension to the regional body.
The Meeting also focused on matters relating to the operationalisation of the Organs of the OECS Union, including the Economic Affairs Committee and the OECS Assembly; a proposal for institutionalized engagements between the Authority and OECS Leaders of Parliamentary Opposition.
They also reviewed the progress of instituting the economic union with the fears of an avalanche of the migration of citizens due to the establishment of the free movement of people failing to occur.
The 56th Meeting of the Authority will be convened on November 22-23, 2012 in Dominica under the Chairmanship of Vincentian Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
Finance meeting Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The Ministry of Finance is hosting a series of forums for contractors who have been awarded government contracts to undertake Tomas rehabilitation works.
Cheryl Mathurin is the project coordinator – she says public infrastructure such as school buildings and health centers that were damaged by the hurricane need to be refurbished and rehabilitated.
She says the contractors hired by the government must be up to standard on how to make a building withstand the elements. Mathurin says important topics such as building with hurricane resistance, proper drainage and guttering were all covered at Tuesday’s workshop.
She says a number of follow up activities have been planned to ensure the participating contractors can maximize their work potential.
Mathurin says the program will continue on Wednesday with contractors visiting various sites.
The contractors program is being funded entirely by the World Bank. Government has approached and secured funding from the World Bank to refurbish the damaged schools and health centers affected by hurricane Tomas in 2010.
CXC guides books launched Story bySarah Peter
A number of subject study guides have been developed to help students reach their full potential during their CXC, Cape and CSEC exams.
The combination of focused syllabus content and interactive examination practice is expected to provide students with invaluable support.
Minister of Education, Dr Robert Lewis has applauded the initiative from the Caribbean Examination Council.
He further praised what he says are the Council’s attempts to develop a more unified system of education in the diaspora. Dr Lewis has further called on St. Lucian students to make good use of the newly launched study guides.
Senior Assistant Registrar of Examinations, Susan Giles called the initiative, a good step in education transformation.
British publishing company Nelson Thornes partnered with the Caribbean Examinations Council to create the guides.
Lead Publisher, Oliver Thornton has assured students professional educators assisted in developing the books.
Each study guide comes with a CD that provides a wealth of electronic activities to complement the books.
Educators are also impressed with the guides’ approach they say make the various subjects relevant to Caribbean students.
Computer lab donation Story byWinston Springer
According to Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis there are still locations on the island where ICT services are unavailable.
However authorities hope to improve access to ICT through the provision of a mobile computer Laboratory under the Education Enhancement though Information and Communication Technology Project
Dr. Lewis who received the keys to the hi-tech marvel on wheels hopes it will be used for proper instruction.
The ministry of Education – the Minister says - recognizes the inexorable link between ICT and the education process
He says the addition of the bus is a critical component of the integration of information communication technology.
ICT project which was funded by the European Union under its 2008 framework of assistance will benefit remote communities like Bouton and tertiary level institutions like the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. .
Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dr. Rufina Frederick explains the bus was donated by the EU under a grant worth 4.8 million euros.
The other components of the EU SFA 2008 grant include the enhancement of learning spaces at 24 schools, the provision of equipment to the Curriculum unit thereby building capacity and institutional strengthening of the education ministry.
Officials say the Mobile Laboratory will be stocked with tablets as well as internet access points which would allow people to connect to the internet with their laptops.
In the immediacy LIME, the project network provider will conduct tests at various locations in Dennery, Micoud and Vieux Fort to ensure the necessary wireless internet access points are available.
Probationers graduate Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The police force welcomed fifty six new officers into its fold on Monday.
The officers had been on probation for the past two years during their police training.
On Monday they transitioned to regular police officers following the completion of their training course.
Commandant of the Police Force Academy, Inspector Mersharma Sealy, says the force has high expectations of the 56 graduating officers given their extensive training. The graduation ceremony was held at the Police Training Academy on Monday.
Fire drill Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
Disaster Management agencies all tout the importance of a disaster management plan for business.
The plans allow companies to develop a well coordinated response to disasters.
On Tuesday the M&C group of companies on Bridge Street hosted a fire simulation exercise for staff.
NEMOs Program Development Officer, Andrew George, says M&C was proactive in not only developing a disaster
management plan but to also actually testing its effectiveness. He says the entire business sector should follow suit. NEMO is the agency responsible for evaluating disaster management plans. George says feedback is important and leads to necessary adjustments.
The Saint Lucia Fire Service echoed the sentiments of NEMO, commending the M&C business for undertaking the exercise.
Fire Prevention Officer, Fastus Serieux, says the fire prevention section of the fire department was pleased with the company’s disaster management plan.
Most of the staff at M&C was unaware of Tuesday’s fire drill and responded to what they thought was an actual fire.
The company’s disaster coordinator gave staff a thumbs up for their quick response to what they thought was a disaster.
Fundraising concert Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The Saint Lucia School of Music in collaboration with Alliance Francaise will stage a concert to raise funds for one its most promising students to attend university.
Students and faculty of the Saint Lucia School of Music will headline the fundraising concert called “a Journey through Europe” – it will feature the work of European composers.
All the proceeds from the event will go to Caleb Georges’ musical education at the University of Kentucky.
Wind coordinator at the Saint Lucia School of Music, David Bowdie, says the fundraising event will showcase the range of talent at the school.
Caleb Georges plays the viola. He auditioned and gained acceptance from a number of universities in the US.
He settled on the University of Kentucky because of its stellar orchestra program. Admission for Caleb Georges benefit concert is $25 dollars - showtime is 7PM at the School of Music Annex.
St John’s day Story bySarah Peter
The St. John Association of St. Lucia is hosting a number of activities leading up to St. John’s Day.
The annual celebration which is held to promote emergency training services will be observed on June 24th.
This year’s events are aimed at heightening the awareness of first aid among St. Lucians.
Master trainer and executive officer of the St. Johns
Association, Glen Wilson says first aid and emergency training is paramount especially in the wake of three recent drowning. Other activities for St John’s Day include a free first aid demonstration, eye screening, blood pressure and sugar testing to be held at the Daher Building ( Super J) in Vieux-Fort from 11am to 2pm.
On 24th of June, volunteers are expected to spend the day with senior citizens at the Comfort Bay Elderly Home.
Wilson says initiatives like these are extremely important; providing the requisite knowledge to save a life.
The Order of St. John is a major international charity whose organizations provide first aid health care and support services in over 40 countries around the world.
The order’s charitable work is carried out by the St. John Ambulance organizations worldwide with volunteers of over 250,000.
New chief justice
CXC guides books launched
Computer lab donation
St John’s day
The Saint Lucia Calypso Association 2009 has reduced the number of people who will compete in this year’s Groovy and Power Monarch finals.
Instead of the traditional 20 – there will be 16 in the power and 13 in the Groovy contest – the new numbers including the reigning monarch who in both instances is Ricky T. The association says the changes will allow competitors to get more prize money while also maintaining interest from the spectators at each show. But will the reduction unnecessarily penalize singers who did not start the season knowing how much tougher the odds were against them and was the decision made after consultation with all interested parties?
Do you agree with reducing the number of competitors in the Groovy and Power soca monarch finals?