PM Hails Land Information Council for Advancing GIS in Jamaica

first_img He said that more than 50 State entities have implemented GIS in their operations, resulting in greater efficiency in the execution of their mandates. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) for pioneering the development and maintenance of a national Geographic Information System (GIS) network over the past 25 years.He said that more than 50 State entities have implemented GIS in their operations, resulting in greater efficiency in the execution of their mandates.These include the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), National Works Agency (NWA), National Water Commission (NWC), and Social Development Commission (SDC).“Through the innovative use of GIS applications, we are becoming more effective and efficient in harnessing the power of our limited resources. We, however, acknowledge that there is still much more that can be done. We must think spatially to improve overall planning, monitoring, evaluation, information-sharing and communication,” Mr. Holness said.He was delivering the keynote address at Tuesday’s (October 10) opening of the inaugural two-day Jamaica GIS User Conference held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.The Prime Minister said geospatial technology is applicable in assisting the Government’s strategic objectives, noting that its use in providing data to inform policy and action is invaluable.“If we know how things are happening and why they are happening, then we can predict where they will happen, who will cause things to happen or who (they) will happen to…what will happen and when (they) will happen. In other words, geospatial information creates a predictive cycle,” he pointed out.The Prime Minster praised former LICJ Chairperson, Jacqueline daCosta, for her indelible contribution to advancing GIS in Jamaica and modernising and reforming the planning, land policy and land management sectors.He further commended the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) for staging the conference in tandem with the LICJ, and urged the participants to explore how best GIS technology can be utilised to expand economic growth and job creation.For his part, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who has responsibility for the NSDMD, said he is encouraged by the number of public-sector agencies that have been utilising GIS technology.He noted that these entities have used GIS to create data sets and applications in health, land administration, national security, and natural resources management, which have assisted in strengthening their core business processes and functions.Mr. Vaz noted that the conference, under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Mapping Our Way to Secure Communities’, is relevant and “synergises this Government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of our people”.“I affirm that GIS in Jamaica is poised for great things. As we move forward, I wish to encourage us to continue the work that has begun. I am confident that at the end of these two days, we will have a greater understanding and deeper appreciation of GIS and its contribution to nation building and community development,” he added.The conference, which concludes on Wednesday (October 11) forms part of activities marking the LICJ’s 25th anniversary. Story Highlights For his part, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who has responsibility for the NSDMD, said he is encouraged by the number of public-sector agencies that have been utilising GIS technology. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) for pioneering the development and maintenance of a national Geographic Information System (GIS) network over the past 25 years.last_img read more

Parents to Receive Critical Support

first_img Parents are to benefit from critical support to improve child-rearing under the Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project.The project, which aims to reduce violence among students and youth, is being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through US$3 million in grant funding over two years from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).The National Education Trust (NET) is the coordinating agency for the initiative.Parenting Coordinator for the project, Latoya Stewart-Singh, said that a media campaign geared towards educating parents in good child-rearing practices will commence shortly.“We want to establish six community-based parent hubs and reactivate 25 school-based parent places. We want to identify and train at least 30 parent mentors per parish. We also want to audit 50 school-based parent places and assist in the reactivation of those places, with specific focus on training parents in good parenting practices as well as entrepreneurial skills,” she noted.She was speaking at a regional parenting stakeholders meeting for Region IV held on Friday (February 16) at the Holiday Inn hotel in Montego Bay.A parent place or hub is a resource centre where parents can access relevant information on parenting and other family-related issues geared towards improving parenting skills and family life.Managing Director of the NET, Marcia Phillips Dawkins, informed that the community of Mount Salem in St. James will be the first beneficiary of a parent place.She indicated that NET is working to set up homework centres in some institutions as well as at youth information centres (YICs) in a number of townships across the island. Another key component of the project, she said, involves working with uniformed groups, to engage young people.The Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project is targeted at young people aged 10 to 29 years. A total of 981 primary schools and 50 communities across the island will benefit.Among the specific objectives are to reduce violence, antisocial behaviour and critical incidents among youth, engage parents and communities in the behaviour change process, increase student involvement in co-curricular activities in order for them to develop better social and life skills, and promote positive values and attitudes at both school and community levels.The project will also involve construction and repair of perimeter fencing, provision of security monitoring equipment, and increasing the number of security personnel in schools. Parenting Coordinator for the project, Latoya Stewart-Singh, said that a media campaign geared towards educating parents in good child-rearing practices will commence shortly. Parents are to benefit from critical support to improve child-rearing under the Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project. The project, which aims to reduce violence among students and youth, is being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through US$3 million in grant funding over two years from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Story Highlightslast_img read more

LeBron And The Cavs Could Make Dwyane Wade Young Again

So depending on how quickly the duo jells (or re-jells), Wade may get far easier shots than he got last season in Chicago, when he generated just 3 percent of his offense from cuts to the basket and took his average shot attempt from more than 12 feet away, tied for the longest average shot distance of his 14-year career.Some will question whether Wade — and to a greater extent, Derrick Rose — is a good enough jump shooter to keep defenses honest while James is running the show and probing for driving lanes. But a closer evaluation of Wade’s game suggests that he can more than hold his own as an off-ball threat if used properly.Wade has shown himself to be a competent 3-point shooter when stationed in the corner, shooting almost 38 percent138 of 101. from the corner in the seven seasons since James signed with Miami in 2010 — considerably better than his 27 percent2147 of 550. on all other 3-point tries over that same span. That’s particularly meaningful for Cleveland, which led the NBA in corner 3-point makes and attempts by a huge margin, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Cavs launch far more corner triples when James — one of the best passers in the sport — is on the court compared to when he’s on the bench.) Miami Heat27769040.1 2008-09Miami3.1– 2015-16Miami5.0– Cleveland Cavaliers35385041.5% The Cavs take (and make) more corner 3s than anyone elseFor the 2016-17 regular season Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 2013-14Miami9.4– 2012-13Miami11.4– 2011-12Miami8.6– After being bought out by the Chicago Bulls, 12-time All-Star Dwyane Wade had a handful of solid options to consider when deciding which team to sign with.There was the fairy-tale possibility of rejoining the Heat, the franchise he was drafted by and where he won three titles. The suddenly fortified Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs — the team that effectively ended Miami’s Big Three era back in 2014 by winning the title that year — were also suitors. But as enticing as those teams might have been, none of them have LeBron James.So it isn’t surprising that Wade is choosing to sign in Cleveland, where he not only has a great chance at reaching the NBA Finals again but also gets to reunite with one of his closest friends. But if we only examine those two factors, we might be overlooking the biggest incentive Wade has in all this: LeBron and the Cavs may be a fountain of youth for the 35-year-old.James makes life easier for everyone he plays with (well, Mario Chalmers might disagree), and Wade was no exception while the two were in Miami. Wade logged career bests in effective field-goal percentage and true shooting percentage during that four-year run, from his age-29 to age-32 seasons. His stark improvement as an off-ball threat — specifically as a cutter who would make his break toward the basket while defenses were preoccupied with James — helped take the Heat’s offense to another level. 2007-08Miami3.0– Utah Jazz23461238.2 2016-17Chicago3.1%– The years in bold highlight seasons in which Dwyane Wade was teammates with LeBron James.Source: Synergy Sports Technology 2009-10Miami4.6– Wade cut to the basket far more when playing with LeBron CORNER 3S The percentage of Wade’s offense that came from cuts to the basket basically doubled during the years he teamed with LeBron and then dropped back to its original level as soon as James went back to Cleveland. 2010-11Miami6.5– Boston Celtics25362340.6 SEASONTEAMSHARE OF OFFENSE THAT STEMS FROM CUTTING TO THE BASKET 2014-15Miami4.3– Houston Rockets26769038.7 TEAMMAKESATTEMPTSSHARE One variable that figures to be vital is how much Wade is being asked to do; especially in an offense that already features LeBron, Rose, the oft-forgotten Kevin Love and, at some point after the new year, Isaiah Thomas, who was acquired in the Kyrie Irving deal. It’s not hard to imagine Wade frequently handling the ball to give James a rest, though his game and Rose’s are similar in that both can develop tunnel vision when they’re driving to the basket.It would be wise for Cleveland to take a conservative approach that helps maintain Wade’s aging body for the postseason. J.R. Smith is seemingly a better fit for the Cavs’ starting lineup, thanks to both his size and his superior outside shooting.None of this is meant to suggest that Wade will be a perfect fit with the Cavs, as there are a handful of things that James and Wade simply won’t be able to replicate this many years after their first partnership. Chief among them: The swarming, blitzing defense the Heat used to trap pick-and-rolls. (Chris Bosh was truly special defensively with those teams.) In fact, a defense featuring the two of them might be a half-step slow now.However, even if Wade performs more fluidly during the regular season, it’s possible that, given his age, he and his body may not be totally dependable come playoff time, no matter how the Cavs manage his minutes. The 2014 Finals, in which the Heat got blasted by San Antonio four games to one, were a prime example.But if there’s one thing we’ve seen with Wade’s game in the past, it’s that James’s presence — as it has done for many others — will lessen the physical toll on Wade and possibly help offset the effects of Father Time. And that means the Cavaliers have little to lose with this signing. read more