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Kingston Gleaner Newspaper Archives Mar 21 2015, Page 1

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Kingston Gleaner (Newspaper) - March 21, 2015, Kingston, Kingston www. jamaica- gleaner. com VOLUME 181 NO. 69 KINGSTON, JAMAICA 40 PAGES INCLUDING GCT $ 60 Follow us on: SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 2015 ... SEE PAGES C1- 4 ... SEE PAGES C5- 8 FEATURES INSIDE Weekend clinics to accommodate smoke victims Health centres to open 8- 4 RESIDENTS AFFECTED by the smoke from the Riverton City dump will this weekend have access to some government health clinics should they need medical attention. Yesterday, the South East Regional Health Authority ( SERHA) advised members of the public that the Glen Vincent and St Jago Park health centres in Kingston and St Catherine, respectively, would remain open this weekend. Dr Andrei Cooke, SERHA board chairman, explained that the extended opening hours had become necessary in light of the steady flow of patients affected by the smoke nuisance caused by the fire at the Riverton City dump. “ These two health centres will remain open over the weekend to treat persons experiencing respiratory challenges as a result of the smoke in both parishes. We have put measures in place to effectively treat the patients who visit these facilities,” Cooke said. “ The centres will open from 8 a. m. to 4 p. m. on Saturday, and then we will assess the patient load to determine the opening hours for Sunday.” Additionally, Cooke said the region would continue to monitor the situation and would put measures in place where necessary to handle any increase in the demand for services, particularly from patients with respiratory conditions. “ All our major hospitals stand ready to deal with any severe cases of respiratory illnesses, and in the event of a major fallout, the National Chest Hospital is prepared to support the major hospitals.” RICARDO MAKYN/ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER A woman walks away from the Riverton City dump while trucks leave the site, which has been on fire for more than a week. Erica Virtue Senior Gleaner Writer T HE MINISTRY of Education, in its new policy on recruitment, has urged school principals not to use one size to measure all students’ academic abilities as this could bar them from participating in the world’s biggest junior athletics competition: the Inter- Secondary Schools Sports Association ( ISSA)/ GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championship at the National Stadium. Seventy- two hours before the start of the championship on Tuesday, the athletes gracing the stadium in track and field events can be reasonably expected to have met minimum standards of four internal subjects, with a 45 per cent average. However, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, in a recent presentation in Parliament, said if the students fall short of the minimum standards, they should not be ruled out of participation. He urged the ISSA – secondary schools sports governing body – to re- examine its rules and standards for entry in competitions. “ Consideration should be given to students who have proven learning disabilities and cannot attain the qualifying grades but have special talents in sporting activities,” said the ministry in Item 3 of its proposal on the way forward on recruitment. The ministry, in its policy document, laid down the gauntlet to schools as recruiting athletes – especially for sports – has been criticised for its emphasis on glory to schools but often, at a serious cost to athletes. Tales have been told of athletes recruited by schools for sports programmes, some at significant financial expense, but who become injured during the course of the sports year. Some of the children are recruited from deep rural Jamaica to Kingston. ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR Grand promises made to families for the well- being of the children are discarded after the athletes’ injuries become deleterious for the teams and themselves. Children are often ignored and left on their own, and many begin displaying new- found antisocial behaviour. The ministry’s position has been welcomed by those opposing recruitment but has been criticised by those who believe that parents should have the sole say in what is in the best interest of their children. Maurice Wilson, former 10 times successful coach of Holmwood Technical High School winning Girls’ Championship team, now lecturer at the G. C. Foster College of Physical Education, said as a parent, he believes he has the right to determine which schools his children should attend. Corey Bennett, head coach of the Hydel Group of Schools, agrees with Wilson, saying he should have a say in the school or schools attended by his children. RICARDO MAKYN/ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Shaunelle Wallace of Immaculate Conception High School leads the pack on Day Four of the Inter- Secondary Schools Sports Association/ GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championship last year. USE DISCRETION ISSA urged to re- examine rules and standards for special students Japan donates 6 ambulances to Jamaica JAMAICA’S MEDICAL emergency response system has been bolstered by the addition of six new ambulances. The vehicles were donated by the Government of Japan through its Grass Roots Human Security Project. Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson said three of the ambulances would be assigned to Kingston while the others would be deployed to St Mary. He said the donation would strengthen the existing fleet and help in timely responses to the needs of Jamaicans. He pointed out that between 2012 and 2014, the Government bought 19 new ambulances for the public- health system. Ferguson added that the health ministry, with support from the CHASE Fund, would soon purchase 16 additional units. FERGUSON COOKE

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