MOE Targets New Practice of Corruption in Schools

first_imgThe Ministry of Education’s (MOE) Deputy Edudation Minister for Instruction, Hawa Goll-Kotchi, says it has unearthed a new and highly practiced act of corruption that has slowly crept into the Liberian school system.The new practice, according to the Deputy Minister, is being dubbed “bread and butter.” This act involves students delivering test or assignment papers to the teachers that contain money.The practice of “bread and butter” was designed by corrupt instructors as a systematic form of coercion aimed at taking money from students for grades. This is being done in place of actual teaching.These “teachers” are also reportedly taking other illegal fees from the students. This abuse of authority is being perpetrated by “teachers” who don’t have the Liberian school system at heart. Madam Kotchi has frowned on those reportedly involved to desist; as such practices tend to undermine the educational system. These acts also expose students to corruption that influences their behavior once they become part of greater society upon leaving school.Deputy Minister Kotchi made the revelation last Wednesday in her position as government’s Chief Nominee to WAEC during the entity’s second consultative meetings on the successful conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in Liberia.The meeting was conducted by the Monrovia office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to give updates from the entity’s Head of National Office in Monrovia, John Y. Gayvolor, Sr., and from principals and administrators of the various senior high schools in the country.The update meeting was attended by WAEC officials, principals and administrators of the various privately-owned and faith-based institutions.At the meeting, Mr. Gayvolor expressed particular concern over Liberian students’ performances at the writing of the WASSCE where they would have to meet the WAEC distinction of at least first or second divisions.He said that Liberia’s education sector has improved in respect to writing the WASSCE; and voiced the hope that trend would continue.“However,” he explained, “for students to succeed at writing the WASSCE, it was necessary for all stakeholders to work together with the goal of strategizing to find the best way forward.”Meanwhile, in her position as government Chief Nominee to WAEC, Madam Kotchi called on school authorities to encourage instructors to conduct tutorial classes for students preparing to sit the WAEC or WASSEC.“You could organize tutorial classes to help our students and even some of the teachers themselves; because the syllabuses can be complex. You can collect a minimum amount for the tutorial classes, because we want the best out of our students and school system,” Mrs. Kotchi urged.She however called on school administrators whose students are posed to write the WASSCE to upgrade their teachers’ skills while they conduct tutorial classes to prepare for those taking exams.She then stressed the need for all schools across the country, especially those privately-owned; to better equip their laboratories and libraries in accordance with government’s quest for better educational facilities for students.In a related development, the Monrovia office of WAEC, said it had up to date, registered at least 1,205 students to sit this year’s WASSCE.Each of the registered students, who represented six of the multitude of schools across Montserrado County, had paid a fee of US$75 to sit the test. The amount from the students summed up to US$90,375.The registered students are all from various privately-owned and faith-based institutions in and around Monrovia. Principals and school administrators in the leeward counties are yet to report on any progress they have made in respect to candidates who would write the test. The exam is scheduled for May/June each year, but this year, Liberian students will sit for it in April, the WAEC Monrovia National Office confirmed at the meeting.All students from both private and public schools are allowed to write the WASSCE, which is also known by its old name–the General Certificate Examinations (GCE).  However, there are rules and regulations that apply to every candidate. This examination is made for all private and public schools in West Africa through the compulsory subject areas of English Language and Mathematics with electives of the sciences that include Biology, Physics, and Chemistry.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgA sunny and successful open week ended last Sunday with a single stableford comp sponsored by Donegal Sports, won by Shaun Duffy with three shots to spare over the rest of the field. 2nd place went to Shaun Sweeney and gross was won by Noel Fisher.Eight days earlier, the week began on Saturday with a 4 BBB sponsored by Terence Ponsonby, which was won by Paddy Lynch & Patsy Gallagher, followed closely in 2nd place by Brendan Gallagher & Pat McNulty.Sunday’s single s/ford sponsored by LK Bikes & Toys was won by Thomas Merritt, 2nd place was Denis Friel and gross went to Paddy Sheridan, and Monday’s 3 Ball Scramble sponsored by Charlie Coughlan, Landscape by Design, was won by Noel Fisher, Paul Murray & Paddy Lynch, and in 2nd was the team of Chuck McTaggart, Dave Hughes & Patsy Gallagher. Tuesdays single stroke was won by Shaun Duffy, with Denis Friel in second and the gross going to Brendan Gallagher. Thursday’s 3 Ball scramble was won by Shaun Duffy, Martin Duffy & Noel Kernan, with 2nd placed team of Chuck McTaggart,Noel Fisher & Paddy Lynch, while the winners of Friday’s 3 Ball rumble, sponsored by McCormicks Chemist, Milford, was the team of Sean Sweeney, Thomas Merritt & Noel Kernan, and in 2nd place was Shaun Duffy,Martin Duffy & Kevin Toland. Saturday’s open single comp was sponsored by Millenium Construction, and was won by Paddy Lynch, with Noel Kernan taking second spot a point back, and the gross going to Damian Gallagher.Visitors prize on the day went to Chuck McTaggart, with Orla Gallagher taking the top ladies prize. Last but not least prize went to Paddy Lynch for Golfer of the Week, and the committee would like to thank all sponsors, including Fusion Hairdressers and Kernan’s, both of Ramelton,and all members and visitors for a mediteranean style week of fun and sun at Otway !GOLF NEWS – OTWAY HOST SUCCESSFUL OPEN WEEK was last modified: July 23rd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:OTWAY GOLF CLUB NOTESlast_img read more

How Creation Can Uplift the Church

first_imgNote: While the editor is out of town, we are bringing you readings of interest from creation books associated with CEH.How Creation Can Uplift the Church(continued from yesterday’s post; excerpted from “Why the Church Must Emphasize Creation,” by David Coppedge).Let’s look at three vivid examples of how the doctrine of creation can empower and uplift the church.Example: Worship.  Worship is big on the radar screen of most churches; isn’t worship the highest function of the corporate body? We gather in the Worship Center, and have our Worship Leader lead us in worship. Yet could it be true that much of what passes for worship today amounts to entertainment (dramatic solos and choral performances and concerts), or trying to get the audience into a certain worship mood? Many contemporary choruses, drowned out by drums and guitars, often say words like You alone I long to worship, you alone are worthy of my praise, yet fail to explain why God is worthy of worship. Creation can lift worship off the reefs of apathy, send it into the open sea and put wind into its sails! “O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.” What is the response? “Then sings my soul, my Savior, God to Thee: How great Thou art!  How great Thou art!”Many classic hymns generate worship as a response to pondering the wonders of creation: e.g., When Morning Gilds the Skies, All Creatures of Our God and King, Fairest Lord Jesus, This Is My Father’s World, Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee, For the Beauty of the Earth, O Worship the King. There are some wonderful contemporary Christian songs that also draw attention to creation, but many modern “worship” songs are man-centered, talking about what God does for me, how He makes me “feel.” That is not worship. Worse, some songs are in effect dumbing down the church by repeating mantra-like simplistic phrases: “I just feel like praising the Lord” (repeat 24 times). Compare with the rich poetry of classic creation hymns:O tell of His might, O sing of His grace, whose robe is the light, whose canopy space. His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form, and dark is His path on the wings of the storm.Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite? It breathes in the air, it shines in the light.  It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain, and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty; all Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea.Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest, sun, moon and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifest witness to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise, that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies . . . . Lord, how thy wonders are displayed where’er I turn my eye, if I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky!All thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays; stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, blossoming meadow, flashing sea, chanting bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.For another example, see this Student’s Evening Hymn written by James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), one of the world’s greatest scientists.Reemphasizing creation will reinvigorate worship by getting the mind involved, not just the emotions. Emotion in worship is good and desirable, but must be the caboose, not the engine. The engine is the truth of who God is, and what He has done.Example: Evangelism and Missions.  If you want to win someone to religion, tell an unbeliever “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” If you want to win someone to the true and living God, tell him “God made you for Himself.” Unless you get the hearer through that point, you are not giving the whole message; it’s like starting at third base. By contrast, what a fantastic thought that we can be children of God who created the heavens!  (See Psalm 8.)Anyone who doubts the effectiveness of creation on missions should watch the excellent short film Ee-taow! from New Tribes Mission. The missionaries to a New Guinea tribe began with creation, not the gospel. They spent time explaining where the tribe was on the planet, in relation to other people groups. They went through some of the beliefs of other groups about origins: where did people come from? (When the tribe heard that some taught people evolved from monkeys, they said, “They’re stupid!”) The missionaries salted the oats by getting the tribe members to question their own creation myth; whose belief is right? “We don’t know,” they responded. Now, the missionaries launched into Genesis, and explained how the great Creator made the universe and the world and people, and how people sinned and incurred judgment. They took weeks going through the Old Testament covenants and sacrifices, laying the foundation for the Lamb of God. By the time they got to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, everything clicked, and the results were dramatic! The whole tribe converted and erupted into a dance of jubilation that went on for hours! Why? Because they understood the foundation: the Creator of the universe had come to earth and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin. This made sense to them: it was not just white man’s religion trying to talk them out of their own beliefs and traditions. It was the Creator’s message to the world! It liberated them from their superstitions and fears. Truly, it was good tidings of great joy for all people!Few parts of the world have a creation foundation today; many parts of the world assume Darwinism is true (like Europe and China), or pantheism, which is similar. The doctrine of creation is essential to help pagan tribes – and civilized societies – understand the context of Christ’s redemptive work. Jesus said, If they believe not Moses’ writings, [including the Genesis creation account], how will they believe My words?Example: Expository Preaching.  “Preach the word!” Paul exhorts (II Tim 4:2). Amen! In theory, a Bible teacher will cover the whole counsel of God, given enough time, preaching verse by verse (that may take many years, with a near complete audience turnover by the time he finishes the New Testament). But in practice, advocates of expository preaching are often very selective about what parts of the Word they preach, sometimes spending weeks or months on one chapter in an epistle, but virtually ignoring hundreds of references to creation throughout the rest of the Bible. Though the NT speaks often of creation, many key passages on the doctrine are in the OT; these cannot be rightly neglected when preaching out of the NT, without taking into account their weighted emphasis in Bible doctrine as a whole. Even the choice to exposit the NT more than the OT is being selective. This is understandable; what preacher wants to spend the same relative amount of time on nine chapters of genealogies in I Chronicles as he does on Romans 8? But any selectivity undermines the premise of preaching the whole counsel of God with the emphasis the Bible itself gives.It is apparent, therefore, in practice, that no matter the method, the Bible teacher faces the need to decide what to emphasize. This requires prayer, understanding of the times, understanding of the people, mature wisdom, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He is called to shepherd the flock of God (I Peter 5:2); this requires knowing where the wolves are as well as the green grass, which is more plentiful, and which is of higher concern at the moment. It is doubtful that the Apostles, who did not even have the New Testament, went through a systematic exposition without discerning the needs of the hearers; would it have been appropriate to teach for a month on marriage during a wave of intense persecution, for instance? New Testament books use reason (like Romans and Hebrews) or persuasion (like Galatians) to address specific issues facing their readers. It is a worthy goal to eventually cover every verse in the Bible, but with today’s mobile population, what happens? A new member under an expository preacher lands in I Cor. 7 and moves out of state by chapter 14, never really getting the balanced counsel expected.The result is, expository teaching is necessarily selective. Either by the preacher’s choices, or the listener’s availability, not everyone in the pew is going to hear the whole Bible taught at the same pace. Preaching the Word requires sound judgment.Clearly Paul would not have advocated a blind, mechanical method of preaching the Word on some arbitrary timetable, oblivious to the circumstances the church was in. He even says so, forcefully, in the classic expository-preaching passage, II Tim. 4. Let’s look at the context of Paul’s exhortation to preach the Word. Paul, who discerned the needs of his audience and preached accordingly (II Cor. 9:19-22 – all things to all men), continues, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. This prophecy has come true in the worldwide acceptance of Darwinism and its fruits, relativism and postmodernism. So if we are to preach the Word as Paul prescribed (and in this passage, written shortly before his martyrdom, we must consider the earnestness of his plea), we must reprove, rebuke, exhort (v. 2) the world with the message it needs in our day: There is a Creator, and you are accountable to Him. Then, when expository preaching is linked to the need of the hour, it’s wielding the sword of the Spirit with power and precision!SummaryThe doctrine of creation is the rising tide that lifts all the church’s fleet, the fertile soil in which a bountiful crop of ministry grows, and the tool kit for the man of God. And no, creation is not just a hammer. It’s a skill saw, router, socket wrench, screwdriver set, drill press, sander, pliers, sledge hammer, crowbar, level, pipe wrench, paintbrush, shovel, rake, wheelbarrow, tractor . . . .Note: this series of essays continues with five Biblical reasons why the church must emphasize creation. The entire series will be posted on under the Worship tab.(Visited 151 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Study Finds No Direct Link Between Wind Turbines and Health Problems

first_imgA study of more than 1,200 adults in two Canadian provinces has found no definitive connection between the noise from utility-scale wind turbines and a number of chronic health problems, according to published reports.The study by Health Canada and Statistics Canada focused on people living in Ontario and Prince Edward Island in the vicinity of turbine installations. The study was launched in 2012 after groups fighting the development of wind farms said turbines were making people ill, said an article posted at the website of The Toronto Star.On November 6, results of the $2.1 million study were released. While the panel said that turbines could be annoying for a number of reasons — including the noise made by the turning rotor blades, the aircraft warning lights on top of the turbines, and the way the moving blades cause shadows to flicker — there were no definitive connections to poor health and disease.Still, the report says the findings are not conclusive. Wind opponents also claim victoryWhile wind opponents didn’t get the smoking gun they were looking for, they also found something to like in the report. According to The Star, Eric Gillespie, a Toronto lawyer representing wind farm opponents, said the report was a “breakthrough.”“It confirms what appear to be serious adverse health effects,” he told the newspaper. “It’s coming from the national health regulator.”Gillespie is currently representing a town on Lake Huron that is opposing two wind farms before an environmental review panel. He said the Health Canada study would be a boost to his clients.““It would be very difficult to argue that effects on blood pressure, migraines, ringing of the ears, dizziness, sleep and stress issues — that one or more of (these) is not a serious health impact,” The Star quotes Gillespie as saying. “This study finds that those are statistically significantly related to wind turbine noise and annoyance.”The Canadian Wind Energy Association looked at the results through opposite end of the telescope.Noting the study found “no evidence of a causal relationship” between turbine noise and medical issues, association president Robert Hornung said in a press release: “The balance of scientific evidence to date continues to show that properly sited wind turbines are not harmful to human health and that wind energy remains one of the safest and environmentally friendly forms of electricity generation.” Results are of potential interest elsewhereAs the number of wind farms goes up, so do complaints from nearby residents. Some residents report leaving their homes because of turbine-induced problems, and a number of lawsuits have been filed by opponents.Neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the World Health Organization recognizes wind turbines as a documented source of health problems.A county health board in Wisconsin last month declared a small wind farm near Green Bay a public health risk. County officials told a local newspaper recent studies made a connection between low-frequency turbine noise and poor health.But the specifics of the studies weren’t shared, and county officials have not returned calls asking for more details.Separately, the Wisconsin Wind Siting Council in October sent a report to state legislators summarizing recent scientific findings on health implications of turbines. The council didn’t conduct any research itself, but looked at what others had found between 2011 and 2014.The panel concluded some people living near turbines “may experience annoyance and a small fraction report sleep disturbance” due to turbine noise. Some people also report increased stress, the council said, and stress and sleep disturbance may be related to chronic health conditions.The council also found people who have negative feelings about wind energy are more likely to report health problems. A majority of people living near turbines “do not report stress, sleep deprivation, or chronic adverse health effects attitude to wind turbines,” the council wrote.The council recommended no changes in current state law.center_img No links to self-reported or measured health issuesResearchers selected all homes within 600 meters of one of the 399 turbines included in the study, plus a random selection of houses between 600 meters and 10 kilometers from the turbines. One adult from each of 1,293 participating households took part, answering questions in person and submitting to tests of blood pressure, sleep quality, and hair cortisol (a biomarker for stress).Houses were grouped into different categories of wind turbine noise, ranging from less than 25 decibels (dB) to more than 40 dB.When it came to results of self-reported health problems, the study found no connection between wind turbine noise and sleep disturbance, health issues such as dizziness, migraine headaches or tinnitus, chronic problems like heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, or high stress. Results of measured tests were the same.But the more turbine noise, the more people became annoyed, the report says, and annoyance is not a trivial problem.“Statistically significant exposure-response relationships were found between increasing WTN [wind turbine noise] levels and the prevalence of reporting high annoyance,” the report says. “These associations were found with annoyance due to noise, vibrations, blinking lights, shadow and visual impacts from wind turbines. In all cases, annoyance increased with increasing exposure to WTN levels.”While researchers found the closer and louder the turbines, the more likely people were to be annoyed, if study subjects were personally benefiting from the turbines — getting rent, for example — the annoyance levels were “significantly lower.”The study notes that annoyance is “statistically related” to several self-reported health problems, such as high blood pressure, migraines, and dizziness, and can be linked to measured hair cortisol and blood pressure.“Although Health Canada has no way of knowing whether these conditions may have either pre-dated, and/or are possibly exacerbated by, exposure to wind turbines, the findings support a potential link between long term high annoyance and health,” the report says. “Findings suggest that health and well-being effects may be partially related to activities that influence community annoyance, over and above exposure to wind turbines.”last_img read more

Tytler says he won’t contest IOA election

first_imgIndian Olympic Association (IOA) vice- president Jagdish Tytler may have written to the IOC paving the way for Suresh Kalmadi’s ineligibility to stand for re-election, but on Sunday said that he has no ambition to contest for any post.The world body’s Ethics Commission has stated categorically that current IOA president Suresh Kalmad i, vice- president VK Verma and joint secretary Lalit Bhanot should not hold any posts in the new dispensation that comes after the election scheduled on November 25.Tytler claimed he was only motivated by getting the IOA house in order.”These people have messed up sports administration in the country. They are giving the whole of the IOA a bad name.Now that the highest body in sports has barred them, they cannot overrule the decision and risk suspension from the IOC. It would be shameful if they try to defy it,” Tytler told Mail Today on Sunday.The IOC Ethics Commission said that though the three officials have not been convicted by court yet, they should be kept away to protect the reputation of the Olympic Movement.”They cannot be part of the IOA till they are cleared by court,” the Congress leader said.Tytler, the president of the Judo Federation of India, said he does not intend to contest the election.”I don’t have the time to take up any such responsibility. I am busy in politics,” he said.”I just wanted to clean the IOA as people like Kalmadi have been clinging on because of money power. I have a lot of support within the IOA and people have lauded me for raising this matter.” If Kalmadi does not contest, it is likely that Indian Boxing Federation chairman Abhay Chautala may stand for president’s post with his backing. Tytler said he had no objection to the Haryana politician’s candidature.” He is not involved in any corruption scandals,” he said.advertisementlast_img read more