Jamaica Secures $30 Million from World Bank for STEM School and Enhanced Teaching Practices

Jamaica Secures $30 Million From World Bank For Stem School And Enhanced Teaching Practices

Jamaica’s government and the World Bank have entered into a significant agreement worth $30 million aimed at enhancing teaching practices, inclusivity, learning conditions, and decision-making processes within the country’s education system. The project intends to benefit approximately 150,000 secondary students, 6,000 teachers, school principals, Ministry of Education and Youth personnel, as well as education policymakers and practitioners.

One of the key aspects of the project is the establishment of a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) secondary school, which will cater to around 2,400 students. At least half of the beneficiaries will be girls. The STEM school aims to address existing gaps, particularly for vulnerable students, including boys, residing in underserved areas where schools are currently operating beyond capacity.

While acknowledging Jamaica’s progress in education, challenges such as completion rates, inequity, and low student performance persist in secondary education. The World Bank’s Country Director for Caribbean countries, Lilia Burunciuc, stated that the new project seeks to strengthen the Jamaican education system by improving access for disadvantaged students and enhancing educational outcomes.

The project will also focus on equipping teachers with effective instructional practices to deliver the existing curriculum and enhancing the use of assessments to support student learning. Special attention will be given to the development of digital and socio-emotional skills within the classroom.

Highlighting the government’s commitment to human capital development, Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service, emphasised the importance of equitable access to quality education for the country’s growth and development. Minister Clarke expressed satisfaction in partnering with the World Bank on this crucial project, which is expected to significantly improve education outcomes.

Furthermore, the project will facilitate the creation of an efficient information system to enhance the management of the education system. This system will enable the implementation of targeted early intervention strategies aimed at improving student retention, with a specific focus on secondary education.

The $30 million loan, provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was signed by Minister Nigel Clarke, Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams, and World Bank Country Director for Caribbean countries, Lilia Burunciuc. The collaboration between the Jamaican government and the World Bank underscores their joint commitment to addressing educational challenges and fostering an inclusive and high-quality education system in Jamaica.

South Africa’s Ports Suffer Severe Congestion, Disrupting Trade Routes

South Africa's Ports Suffer Severe Congestion, Disrupting Trade Routes

Durban and Cape Town ports in South Africa are facing a deepening crisis as congestion reaches unprecedented levels, causing significant delays and disruptions to trade routes. Reports indicate that Durban harbour is currently grappling with thousands of stranded containers aboard ships, exacerbating the congestion problem.

Transnet, the State-owned entity responsible for managing the country’s ports, revealed that over 60 ships are currently anchored at the Port of Durban, and it could take anywhere between seven to 15 weeks to clear this backlog. Of the 63 ships destined for Durban, 20 are intended to dock at the Durban Container Terminals (DCT) Pier 1 and Pier 2.

Transnet has taken proactive measures to address the mounting backlog and alleviate the crisis. The company announced on Friday that it expects Pier 1 to clear the backlog within seven weeks using various initiatives, while Pier 2 is projected to take 15 weeks or less. However, the challenges are not limited to Durban alone, as delays have also been reported at the Cape Town Port due to issues within Transnet.

Business Live reports that Cape Town is experiencing delays of up to 14 days in unloading cargo from docked ships. The Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk has decided to remove Cape Town as a port of call, opting to utilise Mauritius instead. Under the new arrangement, all cargo destined for Cape Town will be transhipped in Port Louis, Mauritius, and then transported in smaller shipments to the Cape. Outgoing cargo from Cape Town will undergo the same process.

Maersk further announced that, beginning in the first week of December, the Far East-West Africa (FEW2, FEW3, and FEW6) routes will have updated rotations. Additionally, a new feeder service called Cape Town Express will be introduced, connected to the updated SAFARI service. These changes aim to enhance reliability and transit time, ensuring seamless connections between the Far East and West Africa.

The ongoing delays in Durban and Cape Town are expected to have a significant impact on the upcoming festive season. As the situation develops, stakeholders in the shipping industry and businesses reliant on efficient port operations are closely monitoring the situation for further updates.

Please note that this is a developing story, and additional information may emerge in the coming days.


Source: IOL

President Bola Tinubu Urges German Investment in Nigerian Economy’s Key Sectors

President Bola Tinubu Urges German Investment In Nigerian Economy's Key Sectors

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has called for German investment in critical areas of the Nigerian economy, particularly in the fields of electricity and rail transportation. The president made this request during a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Monday, outside the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference.

In a statement released by the president’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu emphasised the need for German investment in growth-enabling sectors such as transportation, energy, and the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power. He highlighted the importance of accelerating the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative, backed by Siemens, which aims to address Nigeria’s power challenges.

Tinubu expressed his commitment to pursuing all aspects of the Siemens power project and emphasised the potential skill development opportunities for Nigerian youth in sustaining the industry. He also suggested that Siemens could contribute to Nigeria’s rail network by supplying cutting-edge trains and railroads, drawing inspiration from the company’s ongoing project in Egypt, where it is constructing a 2,000 km ultra-high-speed rail network spanning 60 towns.

In response, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his willingness to move forward with the investment proposals. However, he emphasised the importance of addressing financial and administrative obstacles resulting from governance issues within the sector.

During the meeting, Tinubu also raised the topic of value-added processing in Nigeria’s solid minerals, agriculture, automotive industry, and other job-generating sectors. He highlighted the potential for enhancing these sectors through German collaboration, further emphasising Nigeria’s commitment to economic growth and job creation.

The meeting between President Tinubu and Chancellor Scholz reflects the mutual interest in strengthening economic ties between Nigeria and Germany. As discussions continue, both countries aim to explore avenues for collaboration and investment that will drive sustainable economic development and benefit the people of Nigeria.

This development marks an important step forward in attracting foreign investment and fostering partnerships to promote economic growth and address key challenges facing Nigeria’s infrastructure and industrial sectors.