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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 February 12, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
Police chief sees enhanced public order coming
According to Major General Antony Anderson, Commissioner of Police, the new Road Traffic Act and Regulations would have a significant impact on police efforts to enhance public order.
They are in line with the contemporary Traffic Ticketing Management System (TTMS) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), according to Key General Anderson, and are a "welcome change and a major milestone" to promote road safety.
The technology "improves the effectiveness of our officers and avoids unnecessary delays for motorists," he said, adding that the Force uses the smart tech system to search up data on road users and vehicles, and this system is connected into the management system.
The JCF has been issued with 850 ticketing devices spread out around the island, according to Major General Anderson, and he anticipates that by the end of the year, paper tickets will be obsolete.
He pointed out that the number of tickets issued by the police increased to 720,000 in 2022 from 451,000 in 2021.
The Commissioner stated that in addition to existing tools for maintaining public order, the police would soon have access to noise decibel and tint metres. Noise has long been a cause of annoyance for many people due to motor vehicles, motorcycles, and entertainment events.
New registration deadline for driving instructors
In accordance with the new regulations governing the use of the nation's roads, driving instructors have been given time to fulfil certification criteria. Instructors and driving schools must be certified and licenced by the Island Traffic Authority in accordance with the Road Traffic Act and Regulations (ITA).
Audley Shaw, minister of transportation and mining, stated that the projected implementation date for the requirement is January 1, 2024. He said that by setting the date, educators would have enough time to complete a recognised training curriculum.
The new traffic regulations went into effect gradually on February 1st. The Act attempts to improve road safety and regulation in Jamaica.
A person must be at least 24 years old, have had and used the class of driver's licence for which certification is sought for at least 24 months, and successfully complete a driving instructor training programme approved by the Authority before requesting to be certified as a driving instructor.
A police record, character references from two of the following individuals—a Justice of the Peace, a Minister of Religion, an Officer of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, or an Attorney-at-Law—a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner indicating the applicant's health (including mental health), and the specified fee—should be included with the application made to the ITA.
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‘Out of our Schools’ drive for children wellness
To support Phase 1 of the School Nutrition Policy, the Heart Foundation of Jamaica has started its "Out of Our Schools" mass media campaign.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness is driving the Policy, working with the Ministry of Education and Youth.
The campaign will educate key constituencies on the value of adopting better food options for children, including students, parents, school administrators, suppliers, and manufacturers.
According to the Foundation, 80 per cent of all deaths in Jamaica are due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and 23.3% of pupils in the country between the ages of 13 and 17 are overweight.
Dr. Christopher Tufton, the Minister of Health and Wellness, has emphasised that the campaign is not about limitation but rather healthy eating. The majority of elderly patients seeking hospital care have NCDs, which can be related to their childhood lives, he continued, thus this is required.
“Our children still have hope of a better, fulsome, and productive life,” he said. “We almost, as adults, have a duty, a burden, a responsibility to give them the best possible chance to fulfil that lifelong experience.”
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Water now flows better in Dalvey, St Thomas
On February 8, the National Water Commission (NWC) held its first commissioning ceremony for 2023, improving the water supply for more than 4,500 inhabitants of Dalvey, St. Thomas, thanks to the Fraser Hill Storage Tank Replacement Project.
The $20 million glass-fused-to-steel bolted tank, which has a capacity of 50,000 gallons, was erected to serve the community even in the event that the Water Lane Re-Lift Pump, which supplies the Dalvey area, breaks down.
The project is a component of the programme for improving operational efficiency through tank and pump rehabilitation.
Senator Matthew Samuda, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, noted that the tank represents "a huge milestone" for the neighbourhood.
He noted that there is still work to be done on the distribution network in the area and gave a commitment to continue the progress in the upcoming financial year, in a bid to help residents “realise the benefits of the tanks that have been put into Eastern St. Thomas”.
Recently, tanks were installed in the John’s Town, Prospect and Needham Pen areas of the constituency.
Candidates will be ready for new STEAM academy
When it is finished, Jamaica's first Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Academy will have 2,400 pupils enrolled, said Dr. Tamika Benjamin, the national mathematics coordinator for the Ministry of Education and Youth.
According to her, efforts are being made to expand the number of students participating in these disciplines in order to raise the level of creativity and critical thinking necessary for both current and future employment in the digital age.
She pointed out that the creation of Jamaica's first STEAM Academy is a key component of the system's ongoing reform to make it "fit for purpose for the 21st Century society."
“To meet any one part of, or all of the aims and objectives of STEAM Education, there must be educated and trainable people who can adapt to the changing environment and its requirements,” Dr. Benjamin said.
Increasing student access to high-quality secondary school spots is just one of the general goals of the STEAM School project. Others include enhancing systems and capacity to successfully implement STEAM programmes, improving management of school facilities; human and financial resources, enhancing information communication technology infrastructure and access for educators, students, and related stakeholders; and enhancing school efficiency and administration by establishing an appropriate school management framework.
How do we rebuild trust in science?
By Nicholas B. Dirks
NEW YORK – From the growing presence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives to novel medical therapies, progress in science and technology affects us all – mostly in positive ways.
But the pace of change brought by science can lead to bewilderment and fear, especially among those who have little familiarity with the culture of scientific research.