Improving teacher effectiveness

A new World Bank study has revealed that across Latin America and the Caribbean, public school students are deprived of at least one full day of class a week and that this is a result of low teacher effectiveness .

Trinidad’s constitutional gyrations

Fresh from presiding over the resignation of her Minister of Sport at the end of last month as a furore built up around a financial scandal in his ministry, this being the twentieth dismissal or resignation of a minister since the UNC-COP coalition came into office in May of 2010, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has succeeded in swiftly changing the political discussion agenda in Trinidad & Tobago .

National security and the Waini submersible

It would be an error of epic proportions if the Government of Guyana were to allow the recent discovery of what a section of the media has described as a “rudimentary submarine” in the Waini region to pass without the fullest possible disclosure, including an enlightening public discourse on the implications of the discovery for our national security .

Logging syndrome

Recent reports about the forestry industry present a significant problem for this already weakened and increasingly rudderless government .

The police and the submersible

Who would have thought Guyana had developed so far so fast? It is true we built ships in the old days to ply our rivers – but transoceanic submarines – or in this case, a submersible, constructed, it must be said, in fairly primitive conditions in the Waini forest? This was the last thing even the ever optimistic Minister of Finance could have anticipated in one of his more uninhibited flights of imagination .

Guyana’s scholars

The Guyanese who earned first-class results in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) exams are living proof, if any were needed, that despite our periodic jeremiads about the brain drain to Everywhere Else, there is no shortage of intelligent people in this country .

More controversy in T&T

The latest political controversy in Trinidad and Tobago surrounds the passage early on Tuesday morning of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014, in the lower house of Parliament .

The self-sufficiency myth

If it seems that you’ve heard it all before when it comes to food self-sufficiency, don’t doubt yourself; you most likely have .

Ukraine and the powers

The issue of the future relationship between the European Union, on the one hand, and Russia on the other, continues to remain prominent in current international relations .

On a hiding to nowhere

It may well be that as a nation we have grown comfortable with what has become a propensity for debating the issues that face us ‘to death,’ taking them in turn, turning them inside out, then, without making even as much as the slightest effort to apply a solution, moving on to the next issue or set of issues, ventilating them as if they were no more than pretexts for a casual intellectual exercise rather than real and pressing issues, requiring urgent attention .

Mining camp deaths

Literally dozens of men, many of them just into adulthood have lost their lives in the danger-filled gold fields of the country in the last few years .

Clairvoyance, ethics and no-confidence motions

So now we know: Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker is a genuine psychic .

First world poverty should stimulate local charity

Watching from afar, it is hard to imagine that people in developed countries suffer the privations that are commonplace elsewhere .

Will we heed history’s lessons?

Last Monday, Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom solemnly marked the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I .


The nearly two months of frustration felt by citizens following the June 5 edict by Ministry of Home Affairs, which forced citizens to procure recent birth certificates in order to apply for passports might have come to an end last week, but indications are that the tedium is to be increased at the Central Immigration and Passport Office .

Trinidad government ministerial changes

With the acceptance of the resignation of Minister of Sport Anil Roberts by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the country has now seen the 11th minister of her government dismissed, or feeling it necessary to resign .

The PNCR’s muddle

We said in our editorial last Tuesday that after the occurrences at the PNCR’s Biannual Congress the weekend before last, it would be naive in the extreme for the political party to pretend that it will remain unaffected by those events and that it can simply assume an ‘as you were’ posture .

The Surendra pumps

Enough has been reported on the $800M worth of pumps being supplied by the Indian company Surendra to warrant a thorough investigation of the deal by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament .

Biennial Congress

Mr Granger, the newly re-elected leader of the PNCR seems to be operating inside a bubble .

Rushing to judgement

Last week David Frum, senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly, political columnist, and former White House speechwriter, accused the New York Times of using staged photographs to illustrate a news report from Gaza .

Birth certificate confusion

It should come as no surprise that our bureaucrats cannot execute complicated projects in accordance with the rules, when they do not even know how to apply the appropriate procedures in the case of simple matters .

Shining Georgetown

And so begins the long overdue cleaning of the city, which has been ignored for years and has been left to become a rotten disgrace .

Political vibrations in Barbados

The announcement by former Prime Minister and Barbados Labour Party leader Owen Arthur, that he would be leaving the party which he had led from 1994 to 2013, cannot have been wholly unexpected by the Barbadian public .

In bad taste

It would be naïve of the People’s National Congress/Reform to pretend that it can now assume what one might call an ‘as you were’ position following the proceedings at last weekend’s Congress .

Unchecked power

Governments the world over that aspire to be responsive and accountable to the people function in a system of checks and balances and respect this .


One would have thought that the government should have registered at least a smidgeon of embarrassment after what Lt-Col Jerry Slijngard of the Suriname Coast Guard was reported to have said last week, but then again, the administration at this stage of its incumbency is probably incapable of embarrassment .

Reporting on the war in Gaza

Last week the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent visited a residential building in Sha’af that had been hit by a shell fired from an Israeli tank .

No World Cup bounce for Dilma Rousseff

Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, most people expected the Brazilian team to be brilliant and the hosting of the event to be fraught with risk if not downright shambolic, given the preceding social tensions and protests and the last minute rush to be ready for kick-off .

Five murders and a suicide

Last Friday, a 30-year-old mother of one, Candy Rawlins, was stabbed to death in her home, allegedly by her husband, former local professional boxer Vidol Rawlins, who subsequently disappeared .

The BRICS move forward

Last week was an active one for the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – countries which have recently given their relationships an institutional form .

What is at stake?

The People’s National Congress Reform’s forthcoming 18th Biennial Delegates’ Congress has attracted more public discourse and media attention than any of its recent predecessors, and that may well have to do with the fact that members and non-members of the party alike, sense that a juncture has been reached where, come this weekend, much more will be at stake than the election of new PNCR office bearers and, simultaneously, the election of a Leader of the Opposition .

Dire sugar news

Given the enormous failures at GuySuCo, particularly in the last five years, one would have expected radical changes this year in the management and leadership of the corporation accompanied by a new plan to rescue it .

Political uncertainty

Publication of some initial data from the 2012 census has precipitated a flurry of hypothesizing .

America’s refugee crisis

US immigration, legal and otherwise, has always been a barometer of the projected hopes of America’s poorer, less stable southern neighbours .

Cynicism has to give way to idealism

In positing, last Friday, that we, the Guyanese people, need to choose between recrimination and reconciliation, we had, in part, hoped that we would stimulate the type of public discussion that this newspaper has always championed .

Kevin Fields

For at least the last two years of his 21-year-old life, Kevin Fields apparently considered himself a high roller (rich ghetto gangster – Urban Dictionary) .

Scotland and the United Kingdom

Two weeks ago, as we drew readers’ attention to the struggle that British Prime Minister David Cameron was having to get his way in the European Union (EU), we observed that that struggle was part of a wider domestic political one being forced on the British public by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), perceived as essentially a fringe of the ruling Conservative Party, but opposed to membership of the EU .

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