News in ‘2’

We cut through the clutter to tell you some of the most important stories of the day.

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No Primary fees

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is warning against primary schools charging fees. Speaking in his capacity of Member of Parliament, Mr. Holness said the fees charged are threatening the ability for many children to be enrolled in school. Speaking at a function at Jamaica House for students from his constituency, Wednesday, August 14, Mr. Holness said, “I’m seeing an increased number of requests for assistance to pay for registration packages.” He advised principals against setting fees whether they are called tuition or auxiliary fees that would prevent some children from being enrolled.

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CAPE & CSEC ups and downs

The Ministry of Education is pointing to improved performance in several areas in the recently released CAPE and CSEC results. In a press conference Wednesday, August 14, Acting Minister of Education Karl Samuda said that of the 32,617 students, who sat CSEC this year, 29,139 or 89.3 per cent obtained passes (grades one to three). English language and mathematics recorded percentage passes of 82.8 per cent and 54.6 per cent, respectively. The results represent a 7.4 per cent increase in passes for English and 3.2 per cent decrease in passes for Math. Mr. Samuda lamented the drop in Math performance in the examinations. “It’s not acceptable…it’s too low” he said. Mr. Samuda said the Ministry was embarking on a programme to bring improvement to this critical area of learning and performance. Meantime there was a seven percentage point increase in English Language passes at CSEC this year compared to last year. In CAPE there was a 91.6 percent pass rate.

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More leave for Prof

Professor Fritz Pinnock has asked for his six-week leave to be extended by a further four weeks to facilitate the investigations taking place at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU). Acting Minister of Education Karl Samuda today confirmed that saying the Professor wanted to see to allow for the full and proper investigations taking place at the institution.

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Metal business

There is continued interest on what is happening at the JISCO alumina plant at Nain in St Elizabeth. The plant the largest alumina producer in Jamaica is 100% owned by China’s Jiuquan Iron & Steel (JISCO). The Chinese operated plant recently laid off over 300 workers, amid reports that the company was reconsidering its levels of investment, as aluminum prices had slumped on the world market. In a news report on Nationwide News Wednesday, Minister of Mining Robert Montague is reported to have acknowledged that the chairman of JISCO was in the island and having high level discussions. He said the negotiations were at a delicate stage and advised against speculation.

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Councillor wants it

A popular businesswoman and councilor for Brown’s Town, Kim Brown Lawrence says she has applied to the Jamaica Labour Party to be the Party’s caretaker for the North West St Ann Constituency, now represented in parliament by Dr Dayton Campbell. Ruel Reid was the previous caretaker but resigned recently after being fired from the Cabinet by JLP Leader Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

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Not good enough, Phillips

The Political Ombudsman says Mikael Phillips, MP for North West Manchester must issue a full apology for comments he made recently about Labourites having to “runweh’ when his campaign hits the road. The comments were condemned by the Private Sector Organization and the JLP affiliate Generation 2000 wrote to the Ombudsman bringing the matter to her attention. Phillips issued a statement Wednesday but the Ombudsman apparently did not accept that instructing him to issue a “full apology” no later than Friday, August 16.

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PanJam Profits

PanJam Investment Limited is reporting profits for the quarter ending June up three times compared to the same period last year. Net profit attributable to stockholders for the quarter ended June 30, 2019 amounted to $3.1 billion, up from $981.9 million for the same period in 2018. Earnings per stock unit were $2.91.

Franklin McKnight

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