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News Briefs

Published:Thursday | July 4, 2019 | 12:10 AM

PEP percentage scores to be released

Karl Samuda, the minister with responsibility for education, has said the ministry would be publishing the percentage scores for each student who sat the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations.

“We will be publishing the individual scores and the results of the tests that were taken on each student. We are expecting that this will be released next week, if not by the end of this week,” he said in Parliament on Tuesday.

“That should satisfy a number of persons, who have been apprehensive and have adopted a posture of doubt. We want to remove all doubt as to the quality of skill and expertise that was brought to bear on this exercise,” Samuda added.

The ministry had released scaled scores in this year’s inaugural PEP sitting as opposed to the percentage scores usually revealed in the Grade Six Achievement Test, which PEP replaced.

Critics have said the scaled system was being used to hide bad percentage scores.

Water thieves plaguing NWC’s Yallahs pipeline

The National Water Commission (NWC) is reporting that its operations are being affected by persons making illegal connections to the Yallahs pipeline, resulting in damage and water losses in the millions of gallons.

The NWC said that last weekend, vandals damaged sections of the raw water network, which traverses through the areas of Shooters Hill and 11 Miles, destroying two critical valves on the system.

It notes that the 19-mile stretch of pipeline usually provides approximately 14 million gallons of water to the Mona Reservoir in St Andrew.

“The Yallahs system is one of our major pipeline infrastructure, which contributes to the supply of water to the Kingston Metropolitan Area. Hence, these illegal activities greatly impact inflows into the reservoir,” said NWC Regional Manager Dr Phillipa Campbell-Francis.

Region agrees to establish action plan to tackle sargassum seaweed

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):

A 26-point agreement to establish an action plan to address the influx of the sargassum seaweed in the region was agreed to by representatives from 13 countries from the Caribbean and Latin America during a meeting last week in Cancun, Mexico.

Signatories to the agreement include Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The agreement outlines the need for cross-border information sharing on sargassum monitoring, science, education and entrepreneurship, among other topics. It also calls on participants to begin identifying financial mechanisms to mobilise resources, to map out control efforts to identify sargassum-related initiatives, and to involve cruise lines in the issue.

“We realise that disasters, invasive species like sargassum, know no boundaries,” Association of Caribbean States Secretary General June Soomer said. “It does not matter which country you are from. … Sargassum doesn’t care whether it is in St. Kitts and Nevis or in Mexico. The sea has no boundaries. And because the sea has no boundaries, we are seeing a major impact on our countries economically, socially, culturally, etc.