As of yesterday, March 2, all schools across the country fully resumed academic activities in keeping with the 2014/2015 academic calendar of events released late January by authorities at the Ministry of Education (MOE), and readjusted by the members of the National Legislature.The exercise to reopen all schools yesterday came against the backdrop of the “necessary” adjustment made in the official date of reopening schools based on government’s pronouncement two months ago, ordering the resumption of classes on February 2.The pronouncement at the time received mixed reactions with two different dates being contested for the reopening of schools.The government, through the MOE, announced the resumption of basic academic activities beginning Monday, January 12, with student registration followed by teacher orientation and other preparatory activities.Thereafter, instruction would have then commenced on Monday, February 2. With that pronouncement, school administrators and students were already urged to strictly observe the Ebola preventive measures that should have been mounted on all campuses.Early last year, schools throughout the country were ordered closed during the second outbreak of the EVD that claimed the lives of 9000 people.The action by the government to have schools reopened came as the result of the drastic decline now in the number of new Ebola cases across the country. Authorities at the MOE released the academic calendar for 2015, basing it on the February 2 set date.But while the exercise was progressing with students set to enter classrooms on February 2, the Joint Legislative Committee on Education, Public Administration and Health recommended that schools re-open on March 2, instead of February 2 as announced by the MOE.The Committee said the postponement was necessary to allow for adequate preparation of school facilities and to give the MOE, and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW) ample time to deliver the necessary Ebola preventive facilities to the over 5,181 schools in the country.The extension, according to the Lawmakers, was also to enable parents to raise the money for school fees and uniforms.The Committee’s recommendation was contained in a report derived from a meeting held with authorities of the Ministries of Education and Health. According to the Joint Committee, it also held a series of consultations with stakeholders and public and private school administrations, who said the decision by government to reopen schools on February 2, 2015 was not realistic. Following the reading of the report, Plenary debated and resolved that it should be accepted, thereby leaving Speaker J. Alexander Tyler to mandate the chief clerk immediately to communicate the decision to authorities of the MOE and MOH/SW as to the March 2, 2015 date agreed to by members of the joint committee to reopen schools.Shortly after the information reached the MOE, its authorities adjusted the February 2 date by two weeks difference to Monday, February 16, 2005, for the resumption of classes.What was not clear then about the MOE’s February 16 reopening date was whether they reached an agreement with the Lawmakers on that reopening date. However, some schools, particularly private and faith-based institutions went ahead anyway and reopened for business.Also too, the MOE added that while the reopening of school would be delayed by two weeks, other academic activities, including registration of students, teachers’ orientation, cleaning up of campuses and installation of Ebola preventive facilities continued until yesterday when almost all the schools are now reopened.Meanwhile, University of Liberia (UL) has at long last announced the resumption of classes beginning Tuesday. March 17, 2015, the vice president for Public Relations, Norris Tweh, has announced.According to Mr. Tweh, the decision to reopen the institution came about after consulting with relevant government authorities seeking the solution for the speedy reopening of the university.He said that the government has meanwhile assured the UL authorities that classes will resume by next week in line with what the administration planned.Mr. Tweh disclosed that the government also assured the UL Administration that it would provide the necessary funding for the resumption of academic activities.He made the announcement over the weekend when he spoke in an interview with reporters at his office on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.“Even though the actual funding requested from the government by the UL for reopening and the smooth running of the university is not yet available, any amount that will be on hand will be managed so as to enable us to reopen on March 17 for the 2015 academic year,” Mr. Tweh assured.The UL official noted that the fund, if made available by the government, would be used to pay some of the outstanding instructors’ salary arrears for the past few months.Mr. Tweh disclosure comes on the heels of an earlier pronouncement by Dr. Dennis that there were no funds for the reopening of the institution.Dr. Dennis’ statement threatened the hopes of the over 30,000 students and there were reports that some students had decided to abandon seeking higher education at the UL.“As of early March, we will be conducting workshops for teachers, especially on the preventive measures so that our campuses can be safe, thus leading to the reopening of the school, Mr. Tweh said.His pronouncement has restored the nearly lost hopes of the students who are reportedly getting set to continue their studies.The UL as well as tertiary and other institutions of learning in the country were closed last year by the government as part of additional measures aimed at stopping the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD.)Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Communications Minister Stella-Ndabeni Abrahams engages with the creative industry on 4th Industrial Revolution Opportunities
Johannesburg, Friday 22 February 2019 – Today – the Ministry of Communications, led by Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana, hosted an engagement session with the creative industry under the theme, “Leveraging on digital platforms for Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Creatives. The one-day engagement focused on broadcasting, audio-visual and new platforms, as well as the 4IR. “The purpose of the engagement was to demonstrate and discuss the economic impact of digital platform optimisation by the creative industries. When we unpack the critical components of 4IR, we as South Africa have committed to putting the people at the centre. We must own and create our own futures by embracing technology, but we must not forget the human element” said the event host, Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, adding that “it is imperative for the sector to find expression in the 4IR conversation”.The engagement brought together various role players, including broadcasters, over-the-Top industries, internet players and telecommunications companies. The session focused on amongst others:Assessing the status of the creative industries within the broadcasting/audio-visual sector;Exploring the contribution of the broadcasting/audio-visual communication sector to the creative industries; andEngaging on the commercialisation of creative sector content on digital platforms.Dr Brian Armstrong from Wits University’s 4IRSA initiative, which aims to stimulate and shape an inclusive and diverse fact-based dialogue on the impact of 4IR on South Africa, opened the proceedings by providing the audience with an overview of 4IR.“We want everybody to have a discussion and understand the narrative about 4IR. It will affect everyone and the discussion therefore needs to be inclusive. We need these conversations to take coherent shape, it needs to be structured and diverse. It is important that we involve industry, government and associations,” said Dr Armstrong.Also in attendance was Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu who articulated the importance and impact of 4IR on the Small Business sector in South Africa, “the world has entered into a revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, and relate to one another”.“As South Africans it is important that we embrace these technological shifts and it also becomes important that SMME’s embrace the relationships between technological capabilities and entrepreneurial opportunities that these can create. 4IR is redefining how we function, as governments, business and society overall. We need to ensure that such dialogues are inclusive as they will inform policy direction for the betterment of all,” added Minister Zulu.Government representatives from various departments, including Arts and Culture, Trade and Industry were also in attendance.
Despite delays and a series of allegations of corruption and favouritism, Commonwealth Games (CWG) organising committee (OC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi is a positive man. He is confident that the Games will be a “huge success”.Kalmadi, on a visit to Pune, claimed that he would make people of his constituency proud. However, while showing his confidence to the people of his parliamentary constituency, Kalmadi did not forget to slam his political rival within his party.File photo of Suresh Kalmadi (centre) with Mike Fennell and Mike Hooper.The Congress MP blamed former Union sports minister Mani Shankar Aiyar for the delays in infrastructure development for the Games. Aiyar has in the past openly criticised Kalmadi and the Games for extravagant expenditure on its conduct.Speaking on the matter earlier in the day, Kalmadi had said there were several challenges to the Games and heavy rain in Delhi was one of those. He however reiterated that this challenge would also be met and the Games would be held successfully.Kalmadi also said that London’s claims that it is absolutely ready to host the 2012 Olympic Games, is a mere claim. “London is not ready. Have you gone there and seen it? I invite you to come to Delhi and see ours,” Kalmadi said.