The Ministry of Education (MoE) said it has placed the names of 200 teachers, who were receiving supplementary pay in Nimba County, on regular government payroll. With that development, the leadership of the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) has lauded the ministry for its decision to regularize the status of over 200 supplementary teachers.Supplementary pays are first aid expenses, premiums for appeal, but not regular as other employees’ salaries.In a statement issued on Thursday, January 31, 2019, NTAL said placing the names of teachers that were receiving supplementary pay on the Ministry of Education’s regular payroll is welcoming and in the right direction.The association said the decision did not only put smiles on the faces of the teachers, but demonstrates the ministry’s commitment in ensuring that the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda in the education sector is achieved.NTAL pointed out that the issue of placing supplementary teachers on the Ministry of Education’s regular payroll has been a major challenge for majority of teachers across the country.The association’s statement said it (the association) believes that the decision will also help to motivate the teachers for them to work harder, to enhance efficiency and productivity in their respective areas of assignment.NTAL however called on the ministry to go the extra mile by regularizing the status of other teachers whose names are on supplementary payroll across the country in order to bring relief to them.The association believes that if the MoE can address the 200 teachers’ pay system, then it has give a boost to government’s Pro-poor Agenda, specifically in the education sector.Placing names of teachers whose names were under supplementary income on the ministry’s regular payroll, build their hopes and ally fears from their minds that the government was about to delete their names from the payroll at any time.The NTAL believes that the decision of the ministry was timely and in the right direction, and added that it will go a long way in bringing relief to teachers whose names have been under supplementary payroll for a length of time.The association has meanwhile called on the ministry to go the extra mile to ensure that the rest of the other teachers, whose names are on supplementary income in the other counties, be regularized on the ministry’s payroll.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Thirty-year-old construction worker Chandricka Hardyal of Sans Souci, Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara was released on ,000 bail on allegations that he had assaulted and threatened his neighbours. The charges he faced as he stood before Wales Magistrate Rushell Liverpool last Thursday alleged that on November 6, 2017 at Sans Souci, he made use of threatening language to Rosita Williams; and further, that he assaulted Udit Persaud.Hardyal denied the charges, and Police Prosecutor Sergeant Campbell objected to bail on grounds that the accused had before the court similar matters involving his neighbours. Prosecutor Campbell further observed that the accused and the virtual complainants live in the same yard at Sans Souci.Magistrate Liverpool asked Hardyal if he had ever been charged prior to this month’s incident, and he responded in the affirmative. The accused then told the court that he had been incarcerated for one month.“It was a story with me and my child mother,” Hardyal explained.After brief consideration, Magistrate Liverpool placed the accused father on a bond to keep the peace for the duration of the case, and thereafter released him on $65,000 bail.He was escorted into custody by a police rank, but after a female relative posted his bail, Hardyal exited the courtyard, removed his shirt from inside his trousers, and adorned himself with sunglasses.
As the Regional Democratic Council’s Regional Health Department forges ahead with an aggressive plan for 2018, the Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr Quincy Jones has promised that there would be an increase in training opportunities for medical personnel within the Region.Region Four Health Officer, Dr Quincy JonesDr Jones said that this was part of the RDC’s vision of further strengthening and improving the effectiveness of medical personnel working at the various health centres throughout Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), thus ensuring that patients seeking various services could be effectively treated.“Since assuming the office of Regional Health Officer, it has been part of my overall vision and mandate to increase training, as with improved and increased training, then there will certainly be an overall improvement in the health care that is given to the general public,” he said.Dr Jones noted that a number of persons continue to seek medical attention at the two premier public hospitals – Georgetown Public Hospital and Diamond hospital – noting that in many circumstances the services they sought were offered by their respective health centres.“You have situations whereby persons go to either GPHC or Diamond hospital for services that they could have received at their health centres and as such, they are forced to wait for long hours because of the immense pressures on the medical personnel at these two hospitals. However, we are seeking to bring our medical personnel at the various health centres up to par and to ensure that they are trained effectively in a number of areas and ways, thus ensuring that they can render some of the services that they [members of the public] are seeking elsewhere,” he said.However, REO Pauline Lucas, in commending Dr Jones for his aggressive plan, said quality and enhanced health care would certainly help in boosting the productivity level of all. He further noted that once patients and residents could access improved health care holistically, the country’s human resources would improve. He added that this could only be possible with the appropriate training of medical personnel.Dr Jones reassured the public that persons seeking services at the various health centres in Region Four could be assured of sustained development and improved results, adding that he continued to meet with all levels of medical personnel operating at the health centres.“It’s no secret that the general public has concerns over the health-care services that they receive from the Government-run institutions, thus resulting in some seeking private services, but I want to assure all that we within the region with the RDC’s support are working towards holistic development,” he declared.REO Lucas, in commenting on the many training opportunities that would be made available to staff with the Regional Health Department, urged those benefiting to be dedicated, committed and, most importantly, disciplined. He said that they must be cognisant of value for money via demonstration of the skills and knowledge that they would gain from all the training programmes.“As the REO, I have and will continue to stress the importance of equal opportunities and to say that my office will continue to support the programmes and mandate of the Regional Health Officer as he continues to enhance and further develop our health sector,” she said.Dr Jones said that while they have already completed several training programmes thus far for the year, there were quite a number of additional training programmes that would be implemented. He also noted that another four doctors have been added to the Region’s health personnel.
The rapidly-changing trading environment demands that the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) of Caricom find an “appropriate mix of methodologies and strategies” to address the Council’s expanding agenda.This is according to Antigua and Barbuda’s Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration Minister, Chet Greene, who is chairing the 46th Meeting of COTED.In remarks at the opening session of the meeting at the Caricom Secretariat on Wednesday, in Guyana, the Minister referred to both internal and external trade matters that could impact the Community’s progress towards sustained economic prosperity.These include the implementation of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME); market access for products; the review of the Common External Tariff (CET); the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA); the future of trade with the United Kingdom after Brexit and the impasse between the US and China.“Colleagues, there are a number of other issues that will impact on our respective industries, which we must pay particular attention to. These include the impasse between the USA and China, reports of Turkish imports (particularly flour) into the Region, and the importation of fake goods from various countries,” Greene stated.He further said that geopolitical decisions were causing changes within the external trade and manufacturing environment, which would certainly have an impact on our industries and market.‘The Council must position itself to examine the real and potential impact of these matters, and take proactive concrete steps to remedy them. Colleagues, we cannot afford to be reactive, our respective industries and businesses are depending on us to confront and deal with these issues in a decisive way.“Who else is best suited to safeguard our interest,” the Minister queried rhetorically. He pointed out that the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas mandated COTED to promote, evaluate, establish, and develop policies, programmes, and measures that protect and preserve the Region’s trading environment.In his remarks, the Minister urged the Meeting to find mechanisms to settle longstanding issues and to address the new and emerging matters on the agenda. He said that the rules of procedures of COTED – which would have been discussed at the meeting – would help to deal with the longstanding matters.“Colleagues, if we are to seriously settle these longstanding issues for the benefit of our respective Private Sector, we must consider the provisions of the Treaty outside of a Member State’s right to take those matters to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). I am reminded of an old adage, “it’s the Private Sector that trade, and we create the enabling environment and set policies”. Let us not, therefore, create obstacles or prevent the free flow of trade between our respective countries,” the Minister said.“Let us not hand this over to anyone, but work within the provisions of our Treaty, and other foreign and domestic relations to address these issues,” he said.The meeting of regional Ministers with responsibility for trade concluded on Thursday.
Nineteen-year-old Godfrey Cox, who was further remanded to prison on his last court appearance, was on Tuesday granted bail by Magistrate Dylon Bess when he reappeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Cox was charge with the offence of armed robbery back in June of this year. The sex worker denied the charge when he made his first appearance. The charge stated that on June 20, 2018, at King and Charlotte Streets, Georgetown, while being armed with a dangerous weapon – that is a knife – he robbed David Harvey of $65,000.The court heard that on the day in question, Harvey was heading to a gas station on Regent Street, Georgetown, to pay workers when the defendant attacked him, held him at knifepoint and relieved him of the cash that was in his pants pocket.Police Prosecutor Gittings on Tuesday made objections to bail, however Magistrate Bess granted bail to the accused, citing that the Virtual Compliant failed to appear in court each time the matter was called. Cox was released on $50,000. The case will continue on September 28.
After completing their seven-day medical outreach here in Guyana, the Flying Doctors of America were sent off with a farewell reception hosted by the Public Health Ministry.Messi scores as leaders Barcelona win to stay seven points clear in SpainThe 13-member team comprising of a rheumatologist, emergency room doctors, family physician, paediatrician, dermatologist, orthodontist, paediatric dentist and dentist spent their time in Guyana tending to residents in the Rupununi, Region Nine.The Public Health Ministry’s International Desk on Friday collaborated with the Flying Doctors of America for a small ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in celebration of the successful completion of their mission.While delivering brief remarks, Chief Medical Officer of the Flying Doctors of America Dr John Arledge thanked the team for their outstanding work during the outreach here.Dr Arledge assured that his team will be returning to offer similar services based on the Ministry’s recommendation.The Flying Doctors of America medical mission began in Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) and was able to provide medical services at the various health centres and health posts in Annai, Surama, Iwokrama and Fairview from February 23 to March 02.Junior Public Health Minister, Dr Karen Cummings had previously emphasised the importance of close collaborations with international agencies in order to meet the healthcare needs of Guyanese, especially those in the hinterland regions where specialist care might not be readily available.Cummings wants earlier engagements between international agencies and the Regional Health Services to determine the priority areas where specialist services and care are neededThe need for capacity-building in the health sector is high on the Ministry’s agenda, Cummings said emphasising the current need for foreign specialists, especially in the country’s sprawling interior.Further, she thanked the Flying Doctors of America for choosing Guyana and making it a part of its medical missions.
The finding of the autopsy done on the body of Marlon Rodney, the ex-soldier who was shot at the junction of Durban Street and Mandela Avenue in Georgetown during a heated argument with two men, is that he died as a result of gunshot wounds.Rodney was shot at least four times on April 25, 2019 during a heated argument over money owed to one of his assailants. During the incident, 20-year-old Shaquille Dion of Durban Street, Georgetown, who was passing at the time, also sustained gunshot injury, but has since been discharged from the hospital.Guyana Times was told that the shooting occurred at about 09:30h, and stemmed from a disagreement Rodney had had with one of the gunmen. According to reports, Rodney and one of the men reportedly had had a heated argument over money owed to him by Rodney when the suspect left and returned with two others.Following another headed argument, the trio, who were reportedly brandishing guns, opened fire on Rodney. Following the shooting, the suspects escaped.An investigation has since been launched.
Wazeer Potter, a Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara resident was on Friday hauled before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts to face a charge of sexual assault committed on a 14-year-old.Potter was not required to plead to the indictable charge when it was read to him by Magistrate Sherdel Issacs-Marcus. The charge stated that on August 8, 2018, at Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara (EBD), he engaged in sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 years old.Reports indicate that on August 8, 2018, the victim was playing in the front yard of his home when he was snatched by the accused and taken to a house where the act was committed.After the incident, the victim related to his grandmother what transpired and a report was made to the police. Potter subsequently went into hiding but was recently apprehended by the police.Magistrate Issacs-Marcus remanded him to prison. The case will continue on October 1, 2019.
Pension Bill 2016Former Prime Minister Hamilton Green on Monday took a stand against criticismsFormer Prime Minister Hamilton Greenthat he did not deserve the annual $20 million former Prime Minister’s pension he has requested, saying that it was nothing out of the ordinary.Green, a former Mayor of Georgetown and Prime Minister under the People’s National Congress (PNC) 1985-1992 regime, said that his claims and request for his pension was enshrined in the law.He told Journalists that the issue, which has already been condemned by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) and Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI), needed to be put into its correct perspective, since it has been misconceived.“In every civilised country, there are provisions made for pension and special benefits for former Presidents and Prime Ministers, however styled. This is universal application and there is nothing unique about it.”Green said prior to the 2011 legislation, Government, since independence, had provided pensions and benefits, sometimes informally to former Presidents and Prime Ministers.He mentioned the provisions that were made to former President Arthur Chung, which included security, transportation and housing. He said the principles were accepted by the then new People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration and so it was confusing that the now Opposition was trying to shoot down his request.He said the problem started because when the then Government took the matter to Parliament, it only catered for pensions and benefits for former Presidents.He had portions of that Bill read to members of the media. The Bill stated that “every person who has held the office of President and Prime Minister having held office on or after 16 December 1966 and 22 December 1965 respectively, and ceases after such date to be President or Prime Minister, shall be paid a pension under this act with effect from the date on which he ceases to be President or Prime Minister as the case may be and subject to subsection 2 shall continue to be paid during the lifetime of that person.”Green said he had the Bill read because there were some “soothsayers” who claimed that the pension was a special provision for “someone named Hamilton Green”.“I don’t think that what is happening now can be considered extravagant, or lavish or out of kilter with the rest of the world,” Green told the media.The TIGI on Sunday contended that the Hamilton Green Pension Bill was vulgar and politically partisan, reeked of cronyism and lacked basis for justification.The Bill, which was read for the first time on Monday, provides for Green to be paid a pension “based on the salary paid to the Prime Minister, as though he actually earned the said salary, taking into consideration his record of service as a legislator”.It also provides for Green to receive all benefits provided for by the Former President (Benefits and Other Facilities) Act 2015. The value of these benefits are an annual pension of $20,580,000, other benefits to the value of $3.1 million annually, including two vehicles provided for and maintained by the State and two first-class annual airfaresAdditionally, the former Prime Minister, who served in the position from 1985 to 1992, also qualifies for an ex-parliamentarian pension together with whatever benefits accrued from his period as Mayor of Georgetown.
…arson suspectedA fire suspected to be the work of an arsonist completely gutted Benjamin’s Bakery at Buxton, East Coast Demerara in the wee hours of Monday.The fire, which started about 01:30h in the office area of the Lot 133 Middle Walk, Buxton business place has resulted in millions of dollars in losses and close to 76 employees being without a job.The aftermath of the fireReports are the business, which was in existence for more than 15 years, was at the centre of a land dispute currently engaging the attention of the High Court. On the morning of the fire, the front door of the bakery, which was locked by the last employee when he left on Sunday afternoon, was open, as was the back door. Further, the building had no electricity supply. Taking into account those two factors, the owner, Westley Benjamin, who was at the scene later on Monday, is of the belief that someone purposely set the premises on fire.He explained that he was in Berbice at his other Bakery when he received a telephone call from an employee who informed him of the blaze. By the time he arrived at the scene, the fire fighters had already put out the blaze.Benjamin, who sat with his workers contemplating their next move, explained that the fire was being treated as arson and the Police were working feverishly to apprehend those involved. He added that the fire officials were expected to return to the scene to further investigate the matter.Employees of Benjamin’s Bakery contemplating their next moveNevertheless, the businessman is expected to recommence operations as soon as today. “The next move is to bring the staff in, get this place clear up and try to get the place up and running as soon as possible… they will come to work as usual and get a salary by the end of the week. We will pay them and that is what we’re hoping for,” he stated.While he could not estimate his losses, they are expected to run into the millions, he said. One of the bakery trollies, he noted in listing the items that were destroyed, cost US$700; the aluminium sheets cost US$40 each; the slicers another sizeable sum.However, the four ovens, which cost $10 million each, were only slightly damaged. He related that at present, he is not looking at losses, but is hoping that his business gets up and running.Meanwhile, he thanked members of the community who assisted in putting out the blaze. Furthermore, he noted that the Guyana Fire Service responded well to the distress call.“I was told that after the fire engine arrived, they started to contain the blaze to one building… they did not have a problem with water, since the trench was close by,” Benjamin said.He now leaves the Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Police Force to investigate the matter thoroughly, and is hopeful that the perpetrator can be brought to justice.