SHARING THE LOVE: Cecil Cooper Foundation

Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.

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Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service

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News for Week of July 31, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Post office network revs up look, service

The Post and Telecommunications Department (Jamaica Post) continues to modernize the country’s postal service, under a new renovation and maintenance strategy.

This includes painting jobs and other cosmetic repairs.

Senior Director of Corporate Services, Herbert Fletcher, noted that this is one of nine strategic objectives adopted by the organization to “redefine how Jamaica Post operates in a globally competitive logistics space”.

Several flagship Jamaica Post locations have been targeted to benefit from the modernization efforts. Work has already started at the Half-Way Tree, Cross Roads and Spur Tree post offices, with several more locations to come.

The Central Sorting Office’s customer service hall is also undergoing major renovation.

“The completed space signals the commitment of Jamaica Post to upgrade the quality of its offices to provide a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment to work and transact business,” said Mr. Fletcher.

Jamaica Post is also seeking to increase its revenue through diversifying the offerings of the postal service.

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Jamaica gets ready for Census for ‘critical decisions’

The 15th Population and Housing Census is vital for decision-making at the policy level of Government as well as for businesses, said Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke.

The census is scheduled to begin on September 12 this year.

Dr. Clarke pointed out that the census information is more than a tool for policymakers in Government; it is a critical source of information for businesses and the people of Jamaica.

“Critical decisions are informed by the data coming out of the census,” he emphasized. “The census is more than just a count of the population. It also captures information on the housing stock in the country, and key social and demographic information that informs policy. It helps us to determine where to put schools, clinics, and where to locate other government services. The census is important for all of us as Jamaicans.”

The Minister informed that in a few weeks, he will be signing into law the 2022 Census Regulation and Order codifying the conduct of the census by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

“I am also pleased to remind … that the Census Day will be September 12, 2022, and the data-collection exercise will start thereafter and conclude on the 31st of December 2022.”

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Thousands of Jamaicans to get jobs in cruise industry

The recent cruise industry recruitment exercise has, so far, resulted in the employment of 3,609 Jamaicans.

Providing an update on the exercise, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that “the process is continuing, as the final selection is being carried through by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and it is anticipated that we will have in excess of 5,000 Jamaicans employed when the process is over”.

He informed that another drive will be held later in the year to meet the target of 10,000 Jamaican workers.

“There is also another call which is being made for another round in September to November this year, and so we will, in the process, get as close to the target as is possible,” he said.

Bartlett argued that the recruitment drive comes at a time when the cruise sector and tourism by extension are showing signs of growth and is a telling indicator that Jamaican workers are viewed positively on the global stage.

Said the minister, “This is a great statement for not only the work that the Government is doing in terms of the recovery but, in fact, it is the confidence that the international marketplace has, and particularly international companies, in the quality and the ability of the Jamaican worker… and their general work ethic. People feel that Jamaicans have hospitality in their DNA… . Jamaican workers are sought after.”

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ROK Hotel…big boost for downtown Kingston

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the opening of the new 12-storey ROK Hotel Kingston will significantly contribute to the continued revitalization of downtown Kingston, by further boosting the area’s economic potential.

“It means more income in people’s pockets; it means the return of life in downtown Kingston; and more economic activity can take place,” he said.

The four-star hotel, which is part of the brand Tapestry Collection by Hilton, was officially opened by Mr. Holness during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its location at the corner of King Street and Ocean Boulevard on July 19.

The Prime Minister praised the investors for sticking with the project and completing it despite the delays that were experienced, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very, very happy to be… opening the ROK Hotel and to have the brand of the Hilton, the Tapestry here in downtown Kingston. It means a lot to have this brand anchored…downtown,” he said.

Development of the new hotel began in 2019 after the property, formerly the Oceana Hotel, was acquired by PanJam Investment Limited. It is the first Hilton Tapestry Collection in the Caribbean and first in over 30 years to be in Kingston. It is being managed by Highgate, a premier real estate investment and hospitality management company based in the United States of America.

Utility firm in e-drive skill training push with IDB Project

The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on an ‘eDrive’ initiative aimed at equipping persons with in-demand skills to support the growth of electric vehicle usage in Jamaica.

Under the train-the-trainer programme, 15 trainers in the field of mechanics and emergency response will receive training in electric/hybrid vehicle hazard management and electric/hybrid vehicle system repair and replacement.

They will, in turn, impart the skills acquired to others across the island.

Customer Service Area Manager for JPS West, Janice Carr, said that the training will be done in two cohorts and include participants from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Caribbean Military Academy and the HEART/NSTA Trust.

“[They] will be engaged in a five-day intensive training programme, after which they will be tasked with training over 400 persons across the island in vehicle maintenance and emergency response,” Ms. Carr said.

The training, which will be conducted by Senior Instructor at United Kingdom-based company EINTAC, Andrew Latham, is in preparation for opportunities coming out of the Electric Vehicle Mobility Policy, which paves the way for persons to import vehicles into the island.

The Government is transforming the public transportation sector by using more renewable energy and electric vehicles and launched an Electric Vehicle Trial Programme on July 8.

Gender-Equal Education Is About More Than Access

By M. Niaz Asadullah

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KUALA LUMPUR – Ensuring inclusive, equitable, high-quality education for all is a major pillar of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Three decades ago, fewer girls were in school than boys. Among those girls who were fortunate enough to be enrolled, the majority dropped out early. In many parts of the developing world, social norms and poverty combined to limit girls’ educational and social opportunities. However, improvements over the past 25 years in girls’ enrollment in primary and secondary education have been dramatic, significantly reducing educational gender disparities.

While girls still face extreme exclusion in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Togo, the gender enrollment gap has been closed or even reversed (with boys lagging girls) in developing Asia, often owing to government partnerships with religious and other private schools.

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