Gleaner Online
Updated Every Weekday at Noon - Jamaica Time Jan 4, 1999

J'can poet Vivian Virtue dies

Vivian Virtue, a Jamaican poet, who had been living in England since 1962, died at his home in Lewisham, London, shortly before Christmas.

A member of the generation of J. E. Clare McFarlane and W. Adolphe Roberts, both distinguished Jamaican poets, Vivian Virtue was also recognised as most accomplished. His poems appeared in many anthologies published in Jamaica, Britain and in the United States and were praised for their imagery and lyrical beauty.

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Sixth form drop-out rate near 30 per cent * ... but Education Ministry disputing reported figures
Reginald Allen, Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Education and Culture is disputing the validity of the official drop-out rate for grades 12 and 13 (sixth form) in high schools. Its claim is that the latest available figure of 29 per cent for the 1995-96 school year is not a true reflection of the situation.

Chief education officer in the Ministry, Mr. Wesley Barrett, last week attributed much of the drop-outs at that level to factors like job acceptance, entry into tertiary institutions and migration. Drop-outs for those reasons, he suggested, should not be lumped with persons who quit school for purely negative reasons or no reason at all.

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Hygiene raises stink at bus meeting

Hundreds of bus owners and crew showed up at a meeting in downtown Kingston yesterday to find out what their fate would be under the new transport system which took effect in the eastern section of the city on Saturday.

At the start of the meeting, the bus owners were given a questionnaire requiring them to give the particulars of their vehicles, including year of manufacture, model and seating capacity. Lieutenant Commander John McFarlane, a consultant to the Transport Authority, said the information was necessary to give policymakers an indication of the types of buses in the system and areas in which they could be employed.

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Guyana plans constitutional reform

Georgetown, Guyana, CANA: President Janet Jagan on Friday identified reform of Guyana's 1980 constitution as one of the goals for this year.

"We must in a serious way conclude the refashioning of our constitution which will pave the way for new general elections," she said in her New Year's message.

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Ex-teachers rush back to classrooms
Erica Virtue, Staff Reporter

* Downsizing boots many from private sector jobs

In an ironic turn of events, the teaching profession, which lost many of its numbers to greener pastures in the private sector, is poised to benefit from Jamaica's current economic downturn.

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