Caribbean RoundUp – Caribbean Life


ANTIGUA

Education director Clare Browne said talks are underway to expand the foreign language curriculum in schools – one that will see Mandarin taught in other schools alongside Sir Novelle Richards Academy, which is the only public school in the country so far official Mandarin department.

Mandarin is a group of Sinitic (Chinese) languages ​​and dialects spoken as a native language in most of north and south-west China.

Browne said the missing element is the number of teachers in the field.

He explained that there should be at least two or three Mandarin teachers, depending on the size of the school complex, and called on all those interested in teaching to apply to the Ministry of Education.

“I know several people would be interested in studying here in Antigua and Barbuda, China… and if they’re interested in offering to teach Mandarin at one of our schools, they’re welcome to apply,” Browne said.

He recently spoke at a press conference to announce this year’s CSEC results.

Last year, Dr. Wayne Wesley, CEO of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), announced plans to include Mandarin across the region.

French and Spanish are the two modern languages ​​commonly taught for the CSEC curriculum, but in 2017, 65 students from Barbados and Guyana registered for the exam to write Portuguese for the first time. In 2013, Guyana became the first country to teach Portuguese in secondary schools.

BARBADOS

The first-ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) recently opened in Barbados.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the two regions had “business to do” and claimed it was just political will to stop the two regions from making direct links.

Opening the Sept. 1-3 conference her government hosted with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Mottley said existing political cooperation between Africa and the Caribbean, while essential, was not enough to make it happen reverse underdevelopment of both regions.

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Mottley also addressed the issue of air travel and the lack of direct air links between Africa and the Caribbean.

About 120 of the 1,000 people registered for the conference arrived on the island on an Ethiopian airline chartered direct from Lagos, Nigeria

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Seven illegal immigrants are now being held by immigration officials after being arrested last week.

Following the U.S. Coast Guard’s notification of a suspicious vessel in the waters just after 4 a.m., the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue and Royal Virgin Islands Police Force officers responded and the joint task force was reactivated.

Six Cuban nationals and one St Kitts and Nevis national were arrested, including a nine-month-old infant.

A sailboat believed to be the ship transporting the seven was recovered in nearby waters.

Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard said the crew of its cutter Charles repatriated 74 Cuban migrants about seven miles south of Long Key, Florida, after several interdictions last week.

GUYANA

vice president dr Bharrat Jagdeo says the people of Guyana will soon benefit from cheaper and reliable energy as the ruling PPP/C government expects to start receiving bids for construction of the gas-to-power project in early September.

At a recent press conference, Jagdeo said that in January the government received prequalification offers for the project to build a liquefied natural gas (NGL) facility. The plant will produce up to 300 MW of electricity.

The vice president said if it goes live, the Guyanese will pay half what they pay per kilowatt.

He also explained that it will only cost the country about four to five cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to the 20 cents it costs now.

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dr Jagdeo also stressed that with such a low cost, the country will be able to cover the construction and operating costs of the power plant, NGL and pipeline-laying, which total around Guy$1.7 billion.

The gas-to-energy project is expected to be operational by the end of 2024.

The project will contribute significantly to the government’s commitment to reduce energy costs by 50 percent when the plant is commissioned.

HAITI

Prime Minister Ariel last week called for international help to tackle gang violence in Haiti and again pledged to work towards holding elections as he marked the anniversary of his inauguration following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise.

The speech, which aired just after midnight last week, followed a series of demonstrations across the country to protest worsening conditions, including gang violence, severe fuel shortages and rising inflation

Henry promised that fuel would soon be available on a regular basis and he denied accusations that he was trying to stay in power

He said the country should get into “voting mood” before the end of the year, a vow he has vowed repeatedly since taking office in September.

However, he has not gone to electoral councils to oversee a vote, and US officials have said that body will take six months to organize a vote.

HAITI currently has just 10 elected officials – all members of the Senate – as it was unable to hold a general election in October 2019 during a period of political deadlock and massive protests.

Henry has again asked for international support to strengthen the police force, fight corruption and improve the economy.

JAMAICA

This year, Jamaica has recorded the best visitor arrivals and foreign exchange earnings for a summer in the country’s history, according to Secretary of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.

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He said: “We have 5,000 more visitors than in (summer 2019) which was a record year and the better news is that our summer revenue is up 20 per cent compared to 2019. So not only the number of visitors came, but also the income from tourism grew. So this summer is the best summer tourism has seen in Jamaican history.”

said Bartlett at the Welcome Ceremony for the 18th Annual USA Travel Adviser Golf Tournament at Sandals Ochi Rios in St. Ann’s.

The tourism minister said the tourism sector is expected to earn $3.5 billion in early 2022 and welcome around $2.3 million in stopover visitors for the year to be the fastest growing tourism destination in the Caribbean.

Over 150 travel consultants from across the United States will participate in the golf tournament, which has been held since the Covid-19 pandemic.

ST. VINCENT

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves will step down from foreign affairs to assume ministerial responsibility for post-secondary education, replacing Senator Keisal Peters, who has been Minister of State on the Monetary Policy Committee on Foreign Affairs since November 2020 and is being promoted to full minister.

Gonsalves said at a recent press conference that Peter’s will also be responsible for the foreign trade, regional integration and diaspora department.

However, he noted that the government could not conduct foreign policy without the prime minister’s involvement.

Gonsalves said there will be increased Taiwan scholarships and training programs for Vincentians and student exchanges, and Kingston’s ambassador to Taipei, Andrea Bowman, will remain.

— Compiled by Azad Ali



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