News in brief

Published: Monday | December 9, 2013 Comments 0

Social movements focus of Manley lecture

Moving into its 12th year, the annual Michael Manley Lecture will tomorrow place its focus on the importance of social movements to political parties.

This year's speaker, Dr Rupert Lewis, is professor emeritus of political thought in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies. The lecture begins at 5.30 p.m.

The lecture will be presented by the Michael Manley Foundation in the Joyce Robinson Hall of the Kingston & St Andrew Parish Library, 2 Tom Redcam Drive, Kingston 5, to celebrate the 89th anniversary of the late former prime minister's birth.

With admission free, the public is invited to attend.

NHT board meets today

The board of directors of the National Housing Trust (NHT) is scheduled to meet today amid fears among employees that the damning findings of an audit could lead to the sacking of a number of senior executives.

The employees appear concerned about the fate of the senior executives and warned, in a letter to The Gleaner, that they were "prepared to take a stand against this type of victimisation".

"The staff has remained silent on the issue of the allegations against [Cecile] Watson [the former managing director of the NHT] but is not prepared to allow the board to treat in a similar manner, longstanding members of the senior management team who have exemplary records with the organisation," the employees warned.

NHT board member Senator Lambert Brown confirmed that a meeting was scheduled for today, but was non-committal when asked about the possible termination.

Anti-sexual harrassment law moving ahead

Work on anti-sexual harassment legislation is said to be far advanced.

Sandrea Falconer, minister with responsibility for gender affairs, said the proposed law represents an attempt by the Government to deal with the issue of sexual harassment, which, she said, is a form of discrimination, and, in many instances, is a precursor to violence.

"We must examine the direct physical, mental, spiritual, and social implications of violence within our society, and put a stop to the source. It is then that we will be able to more adequately address areas such as economic empowerment of women, and encourage women, unhindered by violence, to become leaders in the community, and at the highest decision-making levels in the society," Falconer said.

The minister was addressing a session on gender-equality issues at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston last week.

PCJ launches Schools' Energy Programme for teacher, student education

The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) will be engaging teachers and students from 75 primary and secondary schools across the island in a bid to increase their knowledge of energy issues and solutions.

The initiative, which is dubbed the Schools' Energy Programme, is in its 10th year, and is aimed at reaching 1,500 students.

"Students will get practical exposure to the energy industry through tours of local entities involved in various aspects of energy production, including the Petrojam refinery in Kingston and the Wigton Windfarm in Manchester. Once the seminars and tours are completed, the knowledge gained will be put to the test when students will have the opportunity to enter the programme's poster, essay and science competitions," the PCJ has said.

"The Schools' Energy Programme is the PCJ's main vehicle for sensitising young people to the important role that energy plays in our country's social and economic development," Winston Watson, the PCJ's acting group managing director, explained.

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