‘Liberia Requires a Revolution in Education’

first_imgThe Executive Director of the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), Thomas Doe Nah has stressed that Liberia requires a revolution in its education sector in order for students to come on par with their peers in the region and beyond.Speaking on behalf of Civil Society Organizations (CSO) operating in the country at the launch of the Ministry of Education (MOE) Three-year Operational Plan (2014-2016), Mr. Nah said revolutionizing the education sector is crucial to improving the human resource capacity of Liberia.The CENTAL boss said the “Messy Education sector” needs a quick and thorough fix. He was speaking in reference to a statement made by President that the education sector was a “mess”.“From this point we are all called to arms for a revolution in education,” he said. From this perspective, Mr. Nah said it requires Liberians becoming more creative in dealing with the challenges facing the nation.”He emphasized that CSOs do not believe that the burden to begin the revolution and strengthen the education system rest only on the shoulder of the Ministry of Education, but needs a proactive approach to be carried-out  by all Liberians and partners.He called on government to provide the requisite financial support that will lead to the effective implantation of the operational plan, calling specifically on the Ministry of Education to turn a new chapter in implementing the plan.Mr. Nah expressed that civil society organizations as partners, are delighted that the Education Ministry has become more proactive in stepping up its consultation with partners, noting that the education operational plan represents a pivotal step in the country’s new education revolution.“We call for robust monitoring and evaluation system, and zero tolerance to corruption and other vices that undermine quality education. I can be a trusted partner in this revolution that we are calling for, but the trustworthiness of the partnership in this process will, at times, come up with critical reports, which will be evidence based and sincere,” he noted.Also speaking at the occasion, Senate Committee Chairperson on Education, Rivercess County Senator Dallas Gueh called on politicians to depoliticize subsidies that are provided to the education sector. “This area has to be owned and operated by the Ministry of Education and not the National Legislature,” Senator Gueh acknowledged.He said based on classification by the Education Act, authorities of the Ministry of Education should determine which school receives certain kind of subsidy and not the Legislature.“As chairman on Education, we are going to do everything possible to make sure that this particular function is carried out by the Ministry of Education and not the Legislature, and we will do everything to discourage interference by the Legislature,” Senator Gueh promised.The occasion took place at the Monrovia City Hall in Monrovia where President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf served as the launcher. The occasion was also attended by scores of government officials, development partners and members of the Diplomatic Corps.It can be recalled that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a cabinet retreat in 2012 termed the education sector as a “Complete Mess”. This statement manifested itself last year when over 20,000 high school graduates, who sat the University of Liberia Entrance Exam all allegedly, failed.The MOE three-year Operational Plan is based on several documents including the Education Reform Law of 2011, Education Sector Plan (2010 -2020), Roadmap for System Transformation, National Agenda for Transformation (AfT) among others.It highlights priorities identified by education stakeholders during several consultative meetings including the National Education Roundtable Conference and the Joint Education Sector Review.  It serves as a catalyst to accelerate the “Education for All Goals”. It is underpinned by the principles of ownership and accountability.  The plan proposes a range of strategies and activities for improving the quality of education services to ensure that young people within the borders of Liberia are fully prepared for a favorable livelihood in a changing environment. The cost of implementing the Three-year Operational Plan is approximately US$180 million; whereas projection for year one is estimated at US$58.7 million.Out of this amount, US$3million is available while the funding gap is US$55million. The plan shall be financed through the Government of Liberia’s Annual National Budget and Donor contributions.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Molecular Clock Keeps Wild Time

first_imgEvolutionists used to hope that the mutation rates in genes were relatively constant, so that they could provide a kind of “molecular clock” for inferring dates of divergence of ancestral species.  The first bad news was that not all molecular clocks tick at the same rate (rate heterogeneity).  Then they hoped that rate differences corresponded to body size, because there appeared to be such a trend among vertebrates.  The second bad news now comes out; according to an international team publishing in PNAS,1 rate variation does not scale with body size:The existence of a universal molecular clock has been called into question by observations that substitution rates vary widely between lineages.  However, increasing empirical evidence for the systematic effects of different life history traits on the rate of molecular evolution has raised hopes that rate variation may be predictable, potentially allowing the “correction” of the molecular clock.  One such example is the body size trend observed in vertebrates; smaller species tend to have faster rates of molecular evolution….    Phylogenetic comparative methods were used to investigate a relationship between average body size and substitution rate at both interspecies and interfamily comparison levels.  We demonstrate significant rate variation in all phyla and most genes examined, implying a strict molecular clock cannot be assumed for the Metazoa.  Furthermore, we find no evidence of any influence of body size on invertebrate substitution rates.  We conclude that the vertebrate body size effect is a special case, which cannot be simply extrapolated to the rest of the animal kingdom.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)1Thomas et al., “Evolution: There is no universal molecular clock for invertebrates, but rate variation does not scale with body size,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print May 1, 2006; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0510251103.Though disappointing to Darwinists, this will in no way affect their theories, because Darwinism does not rely on empirical evidence for support.  Evidence is just a nice thing to have when available.  Darwinism is more like entertainment; the show must go on.  Should non-Darwinists call this entertainment a comedy, or a tragedy?(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Air travel growth slows

first_imgGrowth in passenger and freight demand in the bellwether airline industry is slowing and industry officials warn that terrorism and the Brexit vote make it unlikely there will be an uptick any time soon.Total global passenger traffic was 4.6 per cent higher in May compared to the same month in 2015 but international passenger growth slowed for the third consecutive month to 4.3 per cent.The increase in global freight traffic was a lacklustre 0.9 per cent as growth flat-lined across all regions except Europe and the Middle East.  Air freight is a key indicator of global economic health.“Global trade has basically moved sideways since the end of 2014 taking air cargo with it,’’  said International Air Transport Association director general Tony Tyler. “Hopes for a stronger 2016 are fading as economic and political uncertainty increases. Air cargo is vital to the global economy but the business environment is extremely difficult and there are few signs of any immediate relief.’’The important  Asia-pacific market, which accounts 38.9 per cent of global air freight market, entered negative territory with a May fall of 0.7 per cent compared to 12 months ago and cargo holds that averaged just over half full.Latin America was hardest hit with freight tonne kilometres down 9.7 per cent and even the normally vibrant Middle East market reported a modest rise of 3.2 per cent.A regional breakdown of May international passenger traffic painted a rosier picture but a 5.1 per cent rise in Asia-Pacific traffic was outstripped by a 6.4 per cent increase in capacity and IATA said the strong upward momentum of recent months had stalled.The Middle East carriers again led the field with an 11.8 per cent increase followed by Africa at 9.5 per cent. Latin America recorded growth of 5.1 per cent, while Europe turned in an increase of 2.1 per cent to leave North America last at 0.5 per cent.Domestic demand was up 5.1 per cent globally but Australian, Brazilian, Russian and Japanese airlines all cut capacity in the face of falling or negligible growth. Australian domestic capacity was down 2.9 per cent on growth of 0.4 per cent while capacity in Brazil fell 8.1 per cent as traffic contracted 7.7 percent.Mr Tyler blamed a combination of factors for a slip in passenger demand growth to more historic levels after a strong start to the year.“These include continuing terrorist activity and the fragile state of the global economy,’’ he said. “ Neither bode well for travel demand. And the shocks of Istanbul and the economic fallout of the Brexit vote make it difficult to see an early uptick.’’last_img read more

A winning wors recipe

first_imgPiet Nkambule is the 2012 Shoprite boerewors champion, he was crowned by the supermarkets chain after tasting his traditional wors at their annual competition.Piet Nkambule, top of podium, is 2012’s best boerwors maker. (Image: Shoprite)Wilma den HartighPiet Nkambule from Newcastle in Kwazulu-Natal makes South Africa’s best boerewors. He was selected as the winner of the 2012 Shoprite Checkers Championship Boerewors Competition, an annual event hosted by the supermarket group to identify the country’s best traditional boerewors recipe.Before Nkambule made it into the top 10, his award-winning recipe was put to the test and tasted by a panel of high profile food experts. Over a period of four months, the judges tasted thousands of pieces of boerewors across the country to find a recipe that stands out.Nkambule’s recipe was selected from more than 1 000 entries that went through three rounds of elimination.Martin Kobald, one of the judges, who is a chef and honorary past president of the South African Chefs Association (SACA), says Nkambule’s boerewors recipe was exactly what the judges were looking for.“It had an authentic flavour and you could taste the coriander and cloves nicely,” Kobald explains. “When it was cooked the combination of flavours unfolded better than others.”Another judge of the competition and executive chef, Jeff Schueremans, says the winning boerewors had a prominent beef and pork flavour. “That was the best one of all of them,” Schueremans says.Determination pays offIn addition to receiving the coveted title, South Africa’s boerewors champion should also be commended for his perseverance. Even though he has participated 19 times in the competition, without ever reaching the finals, he never gave up.But this was his lucky year.“I can’t believe I actually won,”Nkambule says, and he can’t wait to receive his prize which includes a new Toyota Hilux 2.7 double cab raised body raider, R2 500 (US$286) holiday voucher from food company All Gold, R2 000 ($229) Coca Cola cash prize and R750 ($86) worth of vouchers from snack food manufacturer Simba.“In my life I never thought I would drive a new car,” he says.Developing the perfect recipeBoerewors is a type of sausage that is synonymous with South African food heritage. The name comes from the Afrikaans words boer (farmer) and wors (sausage).Boerewors is usually braaied, a method that cooks food on an open fire, but some South Africans would, somewhat reluctantly, concede that it can also be grilled under an electric grill, fried, or baked in an oven.Kobald says that the recipe for traditional boerewors is legislated and must strictly adhere to certain guidelines. Although it is up to individuals to adjust the ratios of the ingredients, boerewors must contain at least 90% meat, always containing beef as well as lamb or pork, or a mixture of lamb and pork. Not more than 30% of the meat content may be fat and it can’t contain any mechanically recovered meat.Apart from the meat content, no other ingredients may be added except vinegar, spices, herbs, salt or other harmless flavourants and water. Cereal products such as oats or bread crumbs may be used as binding agents, but it should be suitable for mass production and a specific shelf life.“Although the ingredients are legislated, there is always someone’s boerewors that stands out and this is what we wanted to find,” Kobald says.Nkambule isn’t a newcomer to the meat industry. He’s worked in butcheries since 1977, when he started out by making deliveries. After many years, he’s learnt the tricks of the trade and, of course, what makes a good boerewors.He says he has taken a lot of time to perfect his winning recipe, now a closely guarded secret.“Over the years people have given me many tips and tricks about how to make a good boerewors,” he says.Although he is reluctant to divulge the ingredients of his winning recipe, he does reveal a few pointers for aspiring wors makers.“My secret lies in the special ratio of pork to beef meat I include in my mixture,” he says. “The right quality spices are also very important.”Boerewors under scrutinyFinding the country’s best boerewors is no small feat and an independent judging panel of respected food experts had the tough job of making the final decision.It took 85 regional and 10 provincial elimination rounds, during which 400 judges from the SACA had to taste and assess more than 55 000 pieces of raw and cooked boerewors to eventually find the top ten that would battle it out at the final.The judges included Martin Kobald; Arnold Tanzer, Sunday Times chef of the year 2008; Carmen Niehaus, YOU and Huisgenoot food editor and author of more than 20 cookbooks; Peter Veldsman, author of several cookbooks; and Lungile Nhlanhla, junior food editor at Drum magazine and one of the five finalists of the 2012 Masterchef SA programme.Schueremans explains that the judges have to taste both the raw and cooked boerewors, and contestants also have to provide the spices for a separate tasting to ensure that the correct spices have been used.“When the wors is raw it reveals a different flavour,” Schueremans says.Kobald adds that by tasting the raw product, the judges can also determine if the ingredients are correct and correspond with the specific recipe provided by the contestant.Cooked to perfectionBecoming the country’s boerewors champion isn’t just about combining the right mix of ingredients – the contestants must also cook the boerewors to perfection. If it is undercooked or overdone the judges can’t get a good sense of its taste.Kobald points out that cooking the wors is as important as developing the best recipe, as contestants could achieve a high score for their raw product, but get marked down at the cooking stage.To ensure that each individual tasting is accurate, the judges clean their palettes between tastings by eating a dry biscuit and drinking water.In his 13 years of involvement with the competition, Kobald has noticed how contestants have changed and evolved their techniques, and are taking the annual event more seriously.The new Championship Boerewors is in-store and available at all Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores countrywide.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

A ‘disruptive’ technology: Sandile Ngcobo’s world-first digital laser

first_imgSandile Ngcobo at work testing the digital laser at the CSIR laboratory in Pretoria. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)Breakthrough experimental work by University of KwaZulu-Natal scientist Sandile Ngcobo as part of his PhD research has led to the development of a world-first digital laser set to open up revolutionary new technologies for medicine, communications, manufacturing, product development and more.Ngcobo was a key part of the team at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Laser Centre that demonstrated that, instead of resorting to expensive optics or other special mediating devices to control the shape of the light coming out of a laser, laser beams can be digitally controlled from inside the laser device itself.Watch an eNCA documentary on Ngcobo’s research: Watch Ngcobo explaining his technology at TEDxSoweto 2013: First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for freelast_img read more

Nathan Louiso joins Axis Seeds and creates Axis Ohio

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Axis Ohio is representing Axis Seed as an Independent Regional Company for all counties in Ohio. According to owner Nathan Louiso, his company will sell corn and soybeans with the most advanced and selected genetics available. This will be the first crop year for Louiso in selling Axis Seed. He is the 19th seed company to become affiliated with Axis.Louiso has worked with the seed industry for 16 years and brings that experience to help farmers make the right decisions for their growing conditions and geography.“I understand the unique and challenging environment that Ohio presents. Every farm is different. What works well in Iowa or Illinois might not be best for my customers. What works in Hancock County won’t necessarily grow well in Highland County,” Louiso said.As an independent regional company for Axis Seed, Axis Ohio has access to all current trait and technologies. Complete information about the varieties that Axis Ohio carries is available on its web site at www.axisohio.com.Axis Ohio identifies the best soybeans and hybrid corn that will work on individual growers’ farms — matching genetics and traits with farmers’ specific growing conditions and production strategies. Axis Ohio strives to build long, mutually rewarding relationships with their customers while providing the best service in the industry and making their business profitable.last_img read more

U.S. DoD needs “immediate action” to win the AI war

first_imgThe Department of Defense (DOD) Science Board has released a broad study on autonomy, recommending “immediate action” to counter enemy artificial intelligence.In the study, the science board found that commercial and academic AI is moving at a faster speed than military operations. It warned that if this continued, the U.S. military may face the same threats from adversaries that used cyber warfare to extract information from the Pentagon and other high value military targets, but on a much grander scale.See Also: BAE Systems debuts wearable charging tactical vest“For years, it has been clear that certain countries could, and most likely would, develop the technology to use cyber and electronic warfare against U.S. forces,” said the study’s authors. “Yet most of the U.S. effort focused on developing offensive cyber capabilities without commensurate attention to hardening U.S. systems against attacks from others.”“Unfortunately, in both domains, that neglect has resulted in DoD spending large sums of money today to ‘patch’ systems against potential attacks.”It advised the DOD to gather intelligence on other nation’s AI developments, especially China and Russia. Once it has found sufficient data, teams at the DOD should develop “counter-autonomy” solutions and ways to overwhelm the system, says the science board.DoD late out of the blocks with adversariesThe DOD should also invest resources into developing learning AI systems that can be deployed onto the battlefield. These systems could recognize weaknesses in the enemy’s defense or strategy, though self-thinking systems are far away from becoming reality.China and Russia are both supposedly developing AI systems to deploy on the battlefield. China has even boasted about AI robots and autonomous tanks, which could be deployed in the next few years.According to the report, China has an advantage in the AI battle, since it does not have the same worries that a truly self-thinking system could cause catastrophic damage if it goes rogue. That could be a massive disadvantage, if the U.S. or any other nation is able to create programs to attack the AI and manipulate it.DARPA, the research and development wing of the DOD, has ran a few autonomous tests in the past decade. It could be influential in finding engineers and startups to shore up the U.S. AI deficiencies. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Tags:#AI#artificial intelligence#DoD#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#military#Pentagon#robots#top Follow the Puck David Currylast_img read more

Neuer makes Germany return but weather delays kick-off

first_imgManuel Neuer Neuer finally makes Germany comeback but bad weather delays kick-off Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 00:16 6/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Manuel Neuer Getty Images Austria v Germany Germany v Mexico Germany v Sweden South Korea v Germany Friendlies Germany World Cup The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has been out of action since September with a foot injury, but will make his return in Saturday’s friendly Manuel Neuer will make his long-awaited return from injury on Saturday after being named in Germany’s team to play Austria in a pre-World Cup friendly.Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer has been out of action since September due to a foot injury, putting his World Cup place in doubt.TEAM NEWS @Manuel_Neuer makes his Germany return in today’s friendly vs. @oefb1904 #DieMannschaft #ZSMMN #AUTGER pic.twitter.com/wxgGiFWAvn— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 2, 2018However, Germany’s goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke said prior to the game that Neuer would face Austria and national boss Joachim Low has selected the 32-year-old to start in Klagenfurt. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Neuer’s chances of going to the World Cup as Low’s first choice goalkeeper appeared to be boosted after he was handed the number one shirt when Die Mannschaft’s squad numbers were confirmed.Nils Petersen will make his international debut in the fixture, while Premier League stars Mesut Ozil, Leroy Sane and Antonio Rudiger are also included in the XI. Neuer and Co. have been made to wait even longer for the game to begin, however, as bad weather forced kick-off to be moved from 18:00 CEST to 18:35 initially, before a further delay occurred.Germany complete their preparations for the tournament with a friendly against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen on June 8.last_img read more

10 months agoNapoli coach Ancelotti: I want Sarri’s Chelsea in Europa League final

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Napoli coach Ancelotti: I want Sarri’s Chelsea in Europa League finalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to meet Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea in this season’s final of the Europa League.Sarri left Napoli to be replaced by Ancelotti last summer.And the latter says: “I will be judged on the results of the team, but I think Napoli is doing a very good job. We did not qualify for the Champions League, but we knew from the start that it would be very difficult. “Napoli was up against two of the best teams in Europe. I would like to reach the final. It would be even better to be able to play against the Chelsea of Sarri. I think even Sarri would be happy to face Napoli. “Napoli versus Chelsea in the final of the Europa League, it would be magnificent. For me, it would be special to play Chelsea, one of my former clubs.” last_img read more