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Published:Monday | February 27, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Ministry declares March 5-10 Nat'l Mathematics Week 

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has designated March 5-10 as National Mathematics Week. Thousands of students from grade four at the primary level through to grade 13 at the secondary level are expected to participate in the fifth staging of the week, which will be held under the theme, 'Math Counts', which is the theme for the general national mathematics campaign.

National mathematics coordinator Dr Tamika Benjamin said the main objective of Mathematics Week "is to help to change the attitudes, the views and experiences of not just our students, but also the teachers and the wider members of the society about mathematics.

"We recognised that one of the issues impacting students' performance and how the subject is taught is the perception Jamaicans generally have of the subject. So, we tried over the last five years, as part of the public education campaign, to have a week that focused on changing the experiences that students have," Benjamin said. The week's activities will start with a church service on March 5 at the Boulevard Baptist Church in Kingston. On Monday, March 6, the official launch of the activities is scheduled for the Mona Visitors' Lodge, University of the West Indies, where the Jamaica National-sponsored 2017 Math Teacher of the Year will also be celebrated.


 Be more watchful of children, says Commissioner of Corrections

Commissioner of Corrections Ina Hunter is urging parents to be more watchful of their children.

Commissioner Hunter said poor parenting and neglect are two factors that contribute to children being detained at the South Camp Road facility of the Department of Correctional Services.

"It is important that parents know the warning signs that lead to delinquency in children. Many youngsters who come to us are not bad, they just did not get the intervention to prevent them from committing an act that would lead them to the wrong side of the law," she said.

The commissioner pointed out that children usually display many telltale signs before deviating from normal behaviour. These include cursing, abusive language, shouting, violent threats when angry, drug or alcohol use, taking weapons to school, decline in academic performance, refusing disciplinary actions, bullying and intimidating peers or younger children, significant mood swings, and being unusually silent.




"Parents, you can save them from coming to us. Spend more time assessing the small things, investigate, listen to what is said and what is not said," Hunter urged.

She also encouraged parents to do constant check-ups at the school and with the parents of the child's close friends, noting that this could go a far way in preventing a youngster from becoming a ward of the State.

The commissioner said that in addition to destroying lives and families, delinquency among youth puts tremendous financial burden on the society.

Hunter emphasised that if parents assist with preventing misbehaviour, this can help to reduce violent crimes.


St James Family Court to be relocated

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has said the St James Family Court will be relocated to offices at the Montego Bay Number One Post Office as part of a rationalisation and upgrading programme for the justice system in the parish.

Following a tour of the proposed Family Court site last week, Chuck said that the impending move is aimed at providing additional space for the court.

He said that in addition to two rooms for the Family Court, other arms of the justice system will be housed in the new facility.

"We can put in two family courts, with additional rooms for interviewing, counselling, children meeting their families, play area and a couple of rooms for restorative justice," the minister added.

He pointed out that the necessary procurement procedures would have to take place before the work could begin.

The minister also identified additional space between the courthouse and the post office for the construction of a two-floor complex.

"The bottom floor will be connected to the present main court office and the top floor will provide enough space for courtrooms, judge's chambers, secretary, and toilet facilities. It will be quite comfortable for use as a major court, and that would also ensure that we can have continuous sitting of the Circuit Court," he noted.