SHARING THE LOVE: Flow Jump Programme
Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.
Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service
News for Week of April 30, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
Farm workers in Canada are happy, says minister
The majority of the Jamaican labourers are content with their living and working circumstances, according to the local independent fact-finding team that was hired to evaluate the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme in Canada.
During his presentation for the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 26, Minister of Labour and Social Security Karl Samuda disclosed the results.
Following reports of poor working conditions on the farms where they are employed, Cabinet had approved the team's appointment to investigate the situation of the Jamaicans.
Over 70% of respondents, according to Minister Samuda, felt that their employer treated them "good" or "very good."
Although the overall evaluation of the working conditions was positive, he pointed out that there were some areas with subpar labour and labour relations, particularly outside of Ontario.
Ontario is where the majority of Jamaican farmworkers are located.
“I am not saying that the place is perfect by [any] means, I am not saying it’s a perfect situation. But the fact of the matter is, when asked specifically if the farm owners treated them with respect, 87.1 per cent said yes,” Mr. Samuda said.
No entry fees soon at some public attractions
Entry fees will be removed from public attractions that are funded and developed through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), so that Jamaicans can have free access, said Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.
Mr. Bartlett emphasised that once inside, members of the public will have to purchase items on display, such as food and refreshments, to ensure that the attractions are maintained and are of the highest quality.
The Minister was speaking following a Destination Assurance tour of several locations in St. Elizabeth with tourism stakeholders and other Ministry officials, on April 27.
Mr. Bartlett reminded that the TEF is to undertake three major beach-development projects across the island in the 2023/24 fiscal year, adding that those beaches will not come with an entrance fee.
“The intention is to create world-class facilities that we can all be proud of. The TEF project aims to enhance public access to beaches to ensure their availability with all the necessary amenities and safety measures in place,” the Minister said.
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Government is considering femtech
The Government is considering investing in and promoting the use of feminist technology (femtech) to better respond to women and girls’ most pressing needs in Jamaica.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz made the announcement on Thursday, April 27, at the CARICOM Girls in Information and Communications Technology Day (ICT) online event.
Femtech is used globally and is considered technological innovations, including software products and diagnostic tools that address women’s health issues.
These tools include fertility solutions, period-tracking apps, and women’s sexual wellness.
“While increased accessibility to the Internet for women and girls is vital, our efforts cannot cease there,” Minister Vaz said.
The Minister also underscored the importance of eliminating cyberviolence that targets younger women. “The Government of Jamaica will continue its work to boost corporate accountability for policies and solutions to end online and tech-related violence and discrimination, so that technology remains a perpetual force for all times,” he said.
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Jamaica won’t pause social support, says Prime Minister Holness
The Government plans to spend more on social programmes as the most vulnerable and poor must be protected, according to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Speaking at the opening of the new male ward at the Westmoreland Infirmary in Savanna-la-Mar, he noted that the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc and brought untold hardships on the lives of many Jamaicans, especially the less fortunate, and that the Government has an obligation to assist.
“I want to take this opportunity to… commit the administration to doing more in the next Budget. We have increased this Budget as well, but in the Budget to come we must make a special effort to focus resources on the most vulnerable and the poor,” Mr. Holness said.
“And the reason why I am saying this is that the pandemic has disrupted our trajectory. I don’t believe that the country has fully internalised the effect of the pandemic and that one of the most [telling] impacts of the pandemic is inflation. And the people who are affected most by inflation are the poor,” he added.
The Prime Minister said the Government has deliberately ramp up its funding in support, and “we may have to create” new programmes in order to help the poor recover “their consuming income”, which has been wiped out because of inflation.
Deputy tourism director to drive growth in the Americas
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has appointed Philip Rose to serve as its Deputy Director of Tourism (Acting) for the Americas, with responsibility for the United States, Caribbean and Latin America. The appointment took effect on April 1, 2023.
Director of Tourism at the JTB, Donovan White, welcomed Mr. Rose to the new post, noting that he is a champion of Jamaica’s tourism, with outstanding qualifications and a well-established track record of excellence.
“The strategic direction, proficiency and foresight he provides have been invaluable to growing arrivals and we are fully confident that he will continue to be a driving force for tourism to Jamaica in his new position,” he said.
AI's double-edged sword: How ChatGPT and LLMs are reshaping Caribbean critical thinking
By Adrian Dunkley
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the world as we know it, and the Caribbean region is no exception. AI-powered tools, specifically large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, are reshaping the way people approach critical thinking.
As with any technological advancement, there are both benefits and potential drawbacks. We will let you in on the worst kept secret of AI; models like ChatGPT although appearing to be intelligent don’t even understand what language is, they are supercharged predictors that can very effectively use mathematics and statistics to pick the best next word in a sentence.