SHARING THE LOVE: Nebulizer from UTECH student
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 March 12, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
Over 1,000 teachers will benefit from tuition-free studies
The Government will be providing full tuition scholarships with the aim of preparing 1,250 new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers over the next five years.
The Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB) and The Mico University College will partner in the undertaking.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke said that as Jamaica seeks to accelerate its pace of growth, the aim is to have a technically proficient workforce that can sustain higher value-added investment and jobs.
“We’re in a world where robotics and artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology and genetics and biochemistry promise to reshape our world in profound ways….,” he noted. “Jamaica must increase its level of science, technology, engineering and mathematics attainment so as not to be left behind.”
Work with us, says the fire chief to EV owners
Electric vehicle (EV) importers are being encouraged to partner with the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), in training and sensitising firefighters on how to treat with fires occurring in these vehicles.
JFB Commissioner Stewart Beckford said that the importers can provide some guidance, as the JFB continues to take active steps to adequately prepare all firefighters for these types of fires.
Unlike combustion engine vehicles, EVs are energised by an electric motor that draws current from a lithium-ion battery. They are highly favoured because of their low maintenance and environmentally friendly nature.
Commissioner Beckford is concerned that while the JFB is versed in dealing with vehicles powered by petrol, fires in EVs can pose a challenge. “All our firefighters, including me, are likely to respond to incidents involving these vehicles and when we get there, we need to know exactly what to do,” he said.
“What we do not want is to turn up at a scene and [we are unaware] that it is an EV, and we take the wrong action,” he said. “This is not your regular motor vehicle fire; water will not suffice. You have to employ foam to put out this [kind of] fire.”
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Small ganja farmers to get help, says industry minister
Sixteen communities and about 128 small traditional cannabis farmers will be targeted for support over the next three to four years under the Alternative Development Programme 2.0.
The programme aims to eliminate illicit cultivation of cannabis by transitioning farmers into the legally regulated industry.
“Participating communities would be allowed to cultivate up to 10 acres of land,” said Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator Aubyn Hill. “Each participating community will be required to sell output to a person who has a license from the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), and we expect that to be in place by April 2023.”
Senator Hill highlighted further support, through the mother farm concept. This is a shared economy approach in which a licensed cannabis cultivator or processor enters into an agreement with a small-scale/traditional farmer to cultivate the crop and sell it back to the mother-farm/licensee.
“When I look across Jamaica… you have people with one acre, two acres, three acres, but they don’t have the working capital. The mother farm concept allows for a big investor,” the Minister explained.
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Business in Second City supports ‘JamaicaEye’
The St. James business community is looking to further support crime-fighting by partnering with the Government on the national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance programme dubbed ‘JamaicaEye’.
President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), Oral Heaven, said the entity recently met with the Commissioner of Police to begin plans to establish CCTV cameras in and around the Second City.
“We have identified ways of getting it in St. James [and] we are working with the powers that be to get it up and running,” said Mr. Heaven.
Mr. Heaven said that any crime-fighting tool and initiative that requires public-private partnership is welcome and will be supported by the Chamber, noting that crime should be the concern of every citizen.
JamaicaEye, launched in 2018, is designed to network CCTVs owned by the Ministry as well as accommodate feed from privately owned cameras.
Registered private citizens are able to share footage from their cameras in relation to criminal activity and other emergencies.
A $91 million donation to Jamaica's blood bank
The Ministry of Health and Wellness has received a donation of laboratory equipment valued at $91 million, for the National Public Health Laboratory.
The laboratory equipment includes a plasma apheresis machine, which will improve blood donation and transfusion services, and two genomic sequencing machines, with the associated components, among other items.
The donation was facilitated through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn expressed appreciation for the equipment. She said noted that the donation of the genomic sequencing machines, will increase testing capacity for COVID-19 and enhance the response and mechanisms for other health threats.
“COVID-19 remains a public health emergency of international concern. The ongoing risk posed [by COVID-19], continues to be observed with still a high number of deaths,” she said. “While we have improved upon our local efforts to manage the impact, the threat of severe disease and death remains.”
Reimagining global integration
By Olivia White and Jonathan Woetzel
SAN FRANCISCO – Global trade still conjures images of giant container ships. But our world has changed. The transport of physical goods across borders is no longer the only, or even the primary, driving force behind global integration.
Instead, we are increasingly connected by flows of intangibles, services, and talent. From the cloud-based applications that companies use to manage customer relations to the research that led to the development of the COVID-19 vaccines, knowledge is binding our world together.