von Ballmoos Book of Condolence Opens Jan 5

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will lead her Cabinet in signing the Book of Condolence for the late Ambassador Rudolf P. von Ballmoos, who died on Thursday, December 17 at the Epsom General Hospital in Surrey, London, United Kingdom. He was 56.According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Book of Condolence for the late Ambassador will be opened on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, in the foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the President will sign at 11a.m. President Sirleaf, after signing the Book of Condolence, will be followed by members of her Cabinet.On the same day, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, members of the Senate, the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives will also sign. Following the VP and the lawmakers will be the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia, former heads and vice heads of state of Liberia and the doyen and members of the diplomatic and consular corps.The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, heads of international organizations, former officials of government and religious leaders will end the day’s signing. Wednesday, January 6, 2016, will be the last day for the official signing of the Book of condolence. On that day, beginning at 11 a.m., heads of public corporations, autonomous agencies, bureaus and commissions will be allowed to sign. They will be followed by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other government officials, leaders of political parties, heads of civil society organizations, business houses and the general public, which will end the official signing ceremony.Amb. von Ballmoos’ remains will, on Saturday, January 9, 2016, be conveyed under appropriate military escort from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Home in Sinkor to the First United Methodist Church on Ashmum Street, where funeral rites will be said. The late Ambassador is expected to be laid to rest at the Kaizer Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Brewerville, outside Monrovia. Ambassador Rudolf P. von Ballmoos, accredited to the Court of Saint James, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, died Thursday, December 17, at the Epsom General Hospital in Surrey, London, U.K.Ambassador von Ballmoos had served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, The Vatican and the Sovereign Military Hospitalier Order of Malta. He also served as Liberia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana.He was later transferred from Ghana to the United Kingdom, where he remained until his passing away.Ambassador von Ballmoos was one of Liberia’s outstanding diplomats who served his country and people with dedication, commitment and loyalty.The Liberian Embassy in the UK had previously opened a Book of Condolence at the Chancery from 11:00 to 15:00 on Monday and Tuesday, December 21 and 22, 2015.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Open Court’ still on trial in LAUSD

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Seven years after Los Angeles Unified expanded the Open Court curriculum to most campuses, the highly scripted teaching program remains controversial, with administrators, school board candidates and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa divided over its effectiveness. Open Court provides educators with highly detailed lesson plans, classroom activities and teaching instructions for each grade level — tools that former Superintendent Roy Romer said helped reverse a decline in student achievement. But critics say the curriculum limits teaching innovations and also stunts the development of English-language learners, who comprise about 43 percent of all students. Villaraigosa, who is pushing hard to reform the Los Angeles Unified School District, says the results of Open Court have hit a plateau and it’s time to allow teachers more creativity in their classrooms. Even Ray Cortines, the mayor’s education deputy who introduced Open Court to LAUSD when he was interim superintendent, believes it’s time for a change. “I never meant that after we got us focused on skills in reading that there shouldn’t be some flexibility by teachers,” Cortines said. “We have made progress and we’ve probably made greater progress at a faster pace than other schools, but we’re so far below grade level.” Flexibility debated Open Court, he said, doesn’t allow enough time to develop vocabulary and speaking skills, which are essential for English-language learners. But LAUSD administrators disagree, saying Open Court has a built-in flexibility that allows teachers to modify lesson plans to meet the varying needs of their students. “There is a lot of flexibility because the teacher has to be really knowledgeable about who their students are in order to teach any kind of program. But the point is, we don’t say, ‘This part is too hard for them — we’re going to skip it,’” said Jim Morris, superintendent of Local District 2, which encompasses the San Fernando Valley. “That’s what we want to avoid because that’s how we end up having lower standards for kids.” The curriculum issue also divides the two candidates vying for a critical Valley seat in the May 15 school board election. Incumbent Jon Lauritzen and challenger Tamar Galatzan each say teachers should have greater leeway in the classroom, but they disagree about the extent to which educators should be able to select a curriculum. Lauritzen supports giving teachers greater choice in selecting their own tools, particularly at schools that have met the target score of 800 on standardized math and English tests, said Ed Burke, his chief of staff. The incumbent, a veteran teacher, also is concerned that Open Court focuses too heavily on math and English to the exclusion of science and social science. “Jon has been for teacher and school flexibility for some time and he has been advocating that,” Burke said. “And he has been looking at the other areas since he feels a school is not just one subject — it’s several subjects.” But Galatzan argues that Lauritzen hasn’t tried during his first term in office to shift authority for curriculum from district headquarters to local schools. If she’s elected, the longtime city prosecutor said she would work to give teachers a greater ability to develop and customize curriculum. Test scores going up “It’s obvious that Open Court has some strengths, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a dose of adrenaline to empower it so it increases flexibility for teachers and enhances the students’ experience,” said Mike Trujillo, Galatzan’s campaign manager. “If Jon Lauritzen really wants to support teachers and give them a greater role in choosing their curriculum, he wouldn’t be so opposed to charter schools.” LAUSD test scores at the elementary-school level have outpaced gains statewide for years, but even district officials agree the improvements need to be accelerated. “Complete materials, high standards, common assessments, professional development and coaching and collaboration among teachers — they’re the key to getting good results for our kids,” said Morris, the District 2 chief. — Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 naush.boghossian@dailynews.comlast_img read more

Revealed! 10 players that made the most sprints this season – good reading for Klopp!

first_img 9. Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal has made 457 sprints so far this season – Spanish defender Nacho Monreal is currently Arsenal first-choice left-back, ahead of Kieran Gibbs, and part of that is down to his tireless workrate. The 29-year-old has played every minute of Arsenal’s eight league matches, completing two more sprints than Milner – with 457. 10 8. West Ham’s Diafra Sakho has made 469 sprints so far this season – West Ham striker Diafra Sakho has netted three times in eight appearances so far for Slaven Bili?’s side, but statistics show he has more to his game than just goals. The Senegalese forward has been putting in the extra work in the absence of strike partner Enner Valencia, who is injured. His 469 sprints have been key in helping West Ham start life promisingly under the Croatian boss. 10 10 10 3. Bournemouth’s Simon Francis has made 519 sprints so far this season – Defender Simon Francis is the second Bournemouth player to feature in the top ten, two places above Matt Ritchie. Francis, 30, has played in all of Bournemouth’s Premier League matches, including their first clean sheet of the season in the 2-0 home win over Sunderland, and the former Charlton man has recorded 519 sprints in those eight fixtures. 10 7. Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne has made 475 sprints so far this season – Summer signing Nathaniel Clyne is the second Reds player to feature in this top ten, with the England right-back keen to make an impression at Anfield. Clyne, who cost Liverpool a reported £12.5m, evidently has an impressive work rate down the right-hand side, which may impress his new boss. The ex Southampton and Crystal Palace man has made 475 sprints to put him seventh in the charts. Theo Walcott, Hector Bellerin, Memphis Depay and Raheem Sterling may be among some of the Premier League’s fastest players, but how consistently do they put in the hard work? We have the stats, provided by the EA Player Performance Index, to bring you the top sprinters so far this season. By tracking real-time player movement, each sprint above 25.2 kilometres per hour is recorded and here are the ten players with the highest tally so far in 2015/16.*All stats correct on 13 October 2015 10 10 6. Tottenham’s Kyle Walker has made 483 sprints so far this season – Kyle Walker will be glad to be ahead of fellow England right-back Clyne in the charts, after completing a credible 483 sprints, eight more than the Liverpool defender. Walker looks to have cemented his place as Mauricio Pochettino’s first-choice man on the right-hand side of defence, as he has played in all of Spurs’ eight Premier League matches this term. 10. Liverpool’s James Milner has made 455 sprints so far this season* – New Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp will be pleased to see James Milner in tenth place. The summer arrival from Man City is renown for his hard-working style of play and he has notched up 455 sprints in 8 appearances so far this term. 4. Crystal Palace’s Jason Puncheon has made 517 sprints so far this season – Crystal Palace fans on social media regularly express how Jason Puncheon deserves an England call-up, after an impressive string of performances in recent months. Puncheon has flourished under manager Alan Pardew and his tireless efforts have been backed up by EA’s statistics. Puncheon is fourth in the list, 43 behind the leader, as he has notched 517 sprints so far for the Eagles, who are currently fourth in the Premier League. 2. Watford’s Ikechi Anya has made 533 sprints so far this season – Scottish winger Ikechi Anya has been key in providing support for Watford’s strike force of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo. Anya, who featured for his country in September’s Euro 2016 qualifiers, has completed an impressive 533 sprints for the Hornets, to put him second in the standings. 10 1. Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey has made 560 sprints so far this season – Welshman Aaron Ramsey tops the list of most sprints accumulated in the Premier League this term. Ramsey, who has just helped Wales to qualify for Euro 2016, tops the charts by a considerable amount – 27 ahead of second-placed Anya – leading the way with an impressive 560 after just eight games. 10 10 5. Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie has made 506 sprints so far this season – talkSPORT fans may fondly remember Matt Ritchie for THAT wonder strike in the Cherries’ 2-0 win over Sunderland, but he is not just a one-hit wonder. The former Swindon man netted some key goals to help Eddie Howe’s men to the Championship title in 2014/15, and the Scottish international has made the step up to the Premier League well, completing 506 sprints in the process. He also tops the list for the highest amount of sprints accumulated in one game, with 102 in the draw with Watford. last_img read more

City to appeal $15 million award

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The Rampart Division scandal has had far-reaching implications for the city – resulting partly in Parks’ replacement as chief as well as a federal consent decree covering the LAPD. Accusations involved the LAPD’s anti-gang unit known as CRASH where officers were accused of beating and shooting suspected gang members and planting evidence on them to win convictions. The city has already paid out $70 million to people who said they were victims of the officers. But most of the attention has focused on former Officer Rafael Perez, who implicated the three officers. Harper eventually was acquitted of all charges. Liddy and Ortiz were convicted on a charge of obstruction of justice that eventually was overturned by the judge who said she had erred in the case. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he was concerned about the ruling and its impact on city finances. The Rampart Division police scandal continued to divide the city Friday as Los Angeles officials called for an immediate appeal of a $15 million federal jury award to three current and former officers in their rights suit against the city. A Santa Ana jury late Thursday awarded $5 million plus $1 each to former LAPD Sgt. Brian Liddy, suspended Sgt. Edward Ortiz and current Officer Paul Harper, who claimed they were victims of false arrest and malicious prosecution by the city as a result of a case that once was touted as the worst scandal in Los Angeles Police Department history. Councilman Bernard Parks, who was police chief when the scandal erupted in the 1990s and who testified at the trial, said he was outraged by the verdict and wants the city to file an immediate appeal. “I heard one juror say they wanted to make Los Angeles pay,” Parks said. “The fact this trial was held in Orange County and a juror would make a statement like that says a lot to me. These are officers who were fired by the department. They should not be painted as scapegoats.” “I want to find out more about why the jury ruled as it did,” Villaraigosa said. Spokesman Joe Ramallo said the financial implications are significant as the mayor prepares next year’s budget already facing a projected shortfall of $245 million. “But $15 million would hire 150 police officers,” Ramallo said. A spokesman for City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said he would have no comment, referring questions to the mayor’s office. City Administrative Officer Bill Fujioka said the mayor has called a meeting for next week with him and the LAPD to discuss an appeal. “We can’t say much about our legal strategy, other than we expect to file an appeal,” Fujioka said. Councilman Dennis Zine, a former police officer, said he wanted to hear from Delgadillo about the city’s options and whether it had acted improperly in pursuing actions against the officers. “These guys were acquitted before and the city still went after them,” Zine said. “I’m sure they have suffered financially and they were embarrassed by all that happened. I want to see what the City Attorney has to say about all this.” Councilman Jack Weiss, chair of the Public Safety Committee overseeing the LAPD, said he wanted to hear from Delgadillo on the issue. “I want to know if we have grounds to appeal,” said Weiss, a former federal prosecutor. “I can say this: I was dumbfounded by the size of the award in this case. I think all of us were blown out of the water by the size of it.” Officials with the Los Angeles Police Protective League said Friday they would have no comment on the case. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 rick.orlov@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgEnduring the freezing waters at Culdaff in North Donegal during the New Years Day swim. (North West Newspix)John Deery and daughters Meghan and Maeve after they endured the freezing waters at Culdaff in North Donegal during the New Years Day swim. (North West Newspix)Swimmers endured the high tide and freezing waters at Culdaff in North Donegal during the New Years Day swim. (North West Newspix)Damian and Geraldine McClean as they endured the incoming high tide and freezing waters at Culdaff in North Donegal during the New Years Day swim. (North West Newspix)Braving the freezing waters at Culdaff in North Donegal during the New Years Day swim. (North West Newspix)New Babywatch babes Berenice, Carmel and Meg from Swilly Swimmers after they endured the freezing waters at Culdaff in North Donegal during the New Years Day swim. (North West Newspix)C-C-C-CHILLY CULDAFF NEW YEAR’S DAY SWIM – PICTURE SPECIAL! was last modified: January 1st, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgChampions: Lagan HarpsLAGAN HARPS Ladies are All-Ireland Champions – winning the All-Ireland Junior Cup.Some soccer fans would reckon they did it the hard way, having to travel all the way to Tipperary to take on Tipperary.Well, it might be a long way to Tipperary, but the journey back to Donegal was a real pleasure as the Lagan Harps girls came back with the Cup after winning 8-1. Scorers were the brilliant Amber Barrett (2), the insatiable Lauren Harper (2), super Nakita Burke (2), effervescent Emma Mc Kinley (1) and all-round star Caroline Gallagher (1).Amber Barrett picked up player of the match too. There were also strong performances from Bernie Cannon, Catherine Fletcher, Kaneshia Mc Kinney and Nadine Crawford. ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS! LAGAN HARPS LADIES BEAT TIPP TO CUP was last modified: September 28th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalJunior CupLagan HarpsTipperarywinnerslast_img read more

A brief history of the Fifa World Cup

first_imgThe poster for the 1930 Fifa World Cup.(Image: Fifa)MEDIA CONTACTS• Wolfgang Eichler, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 2010 471media-sa@fifa.org• Delia Fischer, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 11 567 2524media-sa@fifa.org• Jermaine Craig, Media Manager2010 Fifa World CupLocal Organising Committee+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 201 0121jermaine.craig@2010oc.comA lot happened in the year 1930. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul, the planet Pluto was discovered, and Agatha Christie’s first full-length Miss Marple novel rolled off the presses. And world football as we know it emerged with the inaugural Fifa World Cup in Uruguay.None of the competing teams had to qualify. A total of 13 teams accepted invitations to compete, four from Europe, eight from South America and one from the United States.The draw for the group stage was left until all the teams had safely arrived in Uruguay. Once underway, the tournament produced football at its contemporary best. By the end, the host nation won through and became the first team to lay hands on the coveted trophy, then known as Victory, or simply as the World Cup.By the time of the second edition in Italy four years later, interest in the global showdown had soared. Thirty-two countries took part in a qualifying round to determine the 16 finalists – and again, the hosts carried off the honours.If good things really come in threes, hosts France should have won the third Fifa World Cup in 1938. The French made it to the quarter-finals but were beaten by champions Italy. The Squadra Azzurri duly went on to claim the world crown for the second time in a row, cementing their enduring reputation as formidable exponents of the game.Brazil emergeThe Second World War caused a 12-year gap until the cream of the world game gathered again in 1950. During the war Dr Ottorino Barassi, the Italian vice-president of Fifa, hid the trophy in a shoe-box under his bed to keep it safe from occupying troops. In 1946, the trophy was renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy, in honour of the then Fifa president, who had worked hard to preserve the spirit and structures of the game during the war.The starting field in Brazil for the 1950 World Cup again numbered just 13 nations. Following a league-based preliminary round, Brazil, Sweden, Spain and Uruguay played off for the trophy.To seal the title, A Seleção needed just a point from their meeting with Uruguay at the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. But a crowd officially recorded as 199 954 – estimates vary from 174 000 to as many as 205 000 – watched in mounting horror as the Maracanazo, the Maracana Disaster, unfolded. One of the biggest upsets in footballing history ended with the Uruguayans sealing a second triumph.The next World Cup also had a shock outcome. Germans refer to the events of 1954 as The Miracle of Berne, as Sepp Herberger’s West Germany beat the seemingly invincible Hungarians 3-2 in the final. The 1954 tournament, held in Switzerland, was the first time fixed squad numbers were assigned to all players.It was also easily the biggest event of its kind thus far, with a record number of nations competing in the qualifying round. The Asian Confederation was founded that year and entered teams from Japan and Korea, with Egypt representing Africa in the first truly global edition of the event.Sixteen teams earned the right to compete in Switzerland, and this remained the size of the starting field until the 1982 finals in Spain, when it rose to 24.O Rei illuminates Sweden and MexicoIn 1958, the show in Sweden belonged to a 17-year-old by the name of Pele, a major contributor to Brazil’s maiden Fifa World Cup triumph. Just Fontaine of France scored 13 goals at the tournament, a record which still stands today, and the finals between England and Brazil resulted in a first-ever goalless draw. Sweden 1958 was also the first Fifa World Cup to be broadcast around the world on TV.Brazil retained the world crown in Chile in 1962, but 1966 finally saw a host nation triumph once again, as England defeated West Germany 4-2 in a thrilling and controversial final at Wembley.The Brazilians were back at their best for the 1970 finals in Mexico, sweeping aside the competition and taking home the Jules Rimet trophy in perpetuity in honour of their third triumph. For the second and last time since 1950, no player was sent off during the tournament.The finals also saw the first use of substitutes, and the introduction of yellow and red cards. Viewers at home could tell the difference too: the Fifa World Cup was broadcast in colour for the first time.At the 10th edition of the finals in 1974, the honour of receiving the new Fifa World Cup Trophy for the first time fell to the West German hosts. The tournament is also fondly remembered for the startling and revolutionary Total Football practised by beaten finalists the Netherlands, featuring all-time legends Johan Cruyff and Johan Neeskens.Another of the great footballing nations finally registered a maiden triumph in 1978, as Argentina hosted and won the event. It was to prove the end of the road for a great Dutch generation, runners-up for the second time in a row, and then not present at all for the first 24-team finals in Spain four years later. That tournament was won by a resurgent Italy.Diego and Zizou excelAs Pele is to Brazil, so is Diego Maradona to Argentina. The diminutive midfielder led La Albiceleste to their second world crown at Mexico 1986, and also featured in a re-run of the final against West Germany at Italy 1990.On that second occasion, Franz Beckenbauer’s side exacted revenge and the Germans drew level with Brazil and Italy on three Fifa World Cup triumphs apiece. The Argentinians earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first team not to score in a Fifa World Cup final – and also of losing two players to red cards during the match.Ahead of the 1994 finals in the USA, a record 147 nations started out on the qualifying road. For the first time in history, the final was decided on penalties, with Brazil defeating Italy in the decisive shoot-out to secure a fourth triumph.The records continued to tumble in the years that followed. The 1998 tournament in France was comfortably the biggest-ever event of its type, with a starting field of 32 and a total of 64 matches played. The name of Zinedine Zidane will forever be associated with the hosts’ victory.Brazil’s triumph at the 2002 Fifa World Cup Korea/Japan, the first time the event was held in Asia, meant the South Americans could claim the distinction of winning the famous trophy on every continent that had staged the finals. And in 2006, Italy beat hosts Germany in the semi-finals to settle the clash between two three-time winners in their favour. Fabio Cannavaro and his team went on to beat France on penalties in Berlin and earn a fourth star for the national jersey.And what of 2010? New records and fresh milestones look a formality, as the world’s biggest single sporting event decamps to yet another new continent.Can Brazil pull further clear with a sixth triumph, or will the Italians retain the trophy and draw level on five? Or could an African side open a new chapter in the long and exciting history of the game?(Image: Wikipedia)2010 FIFA WORLD CUP FINAL HISTORY Year Host Final Third Place Match Winners Score Runners-up Third Place Score Fourth Place 1930UruguayUruguay4–2 Argentina United States*Yugoslavia1934ItalyItaly 2–1(AET)Czechoslovakia Germany3–2Austria1938FranceItaly4–2 HungaryBrazil4–2Sweden1950BrazilUruguay** Brazil Sweden***Spain1954SwitzerlandWest Germany 3–2 Hungary Austria3–1Uruguay1958SwedenBrazil5–2 SwedenFrance6–3West Germany1962ChileBrazil3–1 Czechoslovakia Chile1–0Yugoslavia1966EnglandEngland 4–2(AET) West Germany Portugal2–1Soviet Union1970MexicoBrazil4–1 ItalyWest Germany1–0Uruguay1974West GermanyWest Germany 2–1 Netherlands Poland1–0Brazil1978ArgentinaArgentina 3–1(AET) NetherlandsBrazil2–1Italy1982SpainItaly3–1 West Germany Poland3–2France1986MexicoArgentina 3–2 West Germany France4–2(AET)Belgium1990ItalyWest Germany 1–0 Argentina Italy2–1England1994United StatesBrazil0–0(AET)(3–2 pens.) ItalySweden4–0Bulgaria1998FranceFrance3–0 Brazil Croatia2–1Netherlands2002Korea Republic& JapanBrazil2–0 Germany Turkey3–2Korea Republic2006GermanyItaly 1–1(AET)(5–3 pens.) France Germany3–1PortugalAET = after extra time* There was no official World Cup third place match in 1930; the United States and Yugoslavia lost in the semi-finals. Fifa now recognises the United States as the third-placed team and Yugoslavia as the fourth-placed team, using the overall records of the teams in the tournament.** There was no official World Cup final match in 1950. The tournament winner was decided by a final round-robin group contested by four teams (Uruguay, Brazil, Sweden, and Spain). However, Uruguay’s 2–1 victory over Brazil was the decisive match – and also coincidentally one of the last two matches of the tournament – which put them ahead on points and ensured that they finished top of the group as world champions. Therefore, this match is often considered the final of the 1950 World Cup.*** Sweden’s 3–1 victory over Spain, played at the same time as Uruguay vs Brazil, ensured that they finished third in the 950 Fifa World Cup.Source: Fifa and Wikipedialast_img read more

Teacher laptops to enhance education

first_imgZandile Tanoatsoala, a grade 4 teacher atLotus Gardens Primary School, is alreadyusing a laptop in her classes. Deputy minister Enver Surty and ELRC’sDhana Govender. Government is hoping all teachers will uselaptops. (Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Hope MokgatlheMedia Liaison OfficerBasic Education Department+27 12 312 5538 or +27 71 680 6849RELATED ARTICLES• Education focus of Mandela Day 2010• Poor schools score textbooks• SA colleges get $6.7m boost• Ubuntu software for schoolsBongani NkosiSouth Africa’s public schools are moving into a new era of advanced technology, thanks to the new Teacher Laptop Initiative that’s rolling out across the country, allowing teachers to introduce laptops into their classrooms.A partnership between the Department of Basic Education and the private sector, the project is supervised by the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC).Top-of-the-range Pentium-4 machines, each one internet-ready and with national curriculum lessons and other relevant software installed, will be distributed to schools from 19 JulyGovernment believes the introduction of ICT into all its primary and secondary schools will improve the quality of pupils’ education. Teacher unions are unanimously supporting the initiative, and are hoping it will enhance their members’ teaching skills.“This is a powerful instrument that will help us transform our public education system,” said Dhaya Govender, general secretary of ELRC.The project was launched on 15 July at the Lotus Gardens Primary School in Pretoria West, where teachers are already using the laptops.  ELRC has 18 months to ensure that it’s fully rolled out.Technology in the classroomThere are over 360 000 teachers plying their trade in South Africa’s public schools, and the plan is to give all of them a laptop. “We will ensure that every teacher owns and is able to use a computer,” said Enver Surty, deputy minister of Basic Education.About 125 000 teachers have already received computer training, Surty said, adding that the department is also progressing with the registration of learners into a national database. Some 80% are already in the system.The 12 suppliers to the project, all prominent computer dealers and ISPs, are offering training sessions in the schools. Local companies involved include mobile providers Cell C, Vodacom and MTN, hardware suppliers Lenovo and Sahara Systems, and telecommunications company Telkom, among others.“Our technicians and engineers provide training for teachers, showing them how to use the [installed] applications,” said Dayalan Pillay, a business manager at ICT training company Gijima Ast, also a supplier.Teachers have participated actively in the training sessions, government noted.The Skool websitepA website due to be launched shortly, www.skool.co.za, will become a nerve centre of the initiative and will contain all modules of the school curriculum.“Teachers can set tests using the website. All resources are readily available for the teacher,” Pillay said.Improving communicationGovernment is spending about US$317-million (R2.8-billion) to subsidise the laptops, as well as projectors for classrooms. Teachers will pay a monthly minimum fee for the computers, which will then become their property.Unions see the initiative as a viable platform to improve communication in the teaching sector.“There have been challenges in communicating vital information to the teachers,” said Thobile Ntola, president of the South African Democratic Teachers Union. “The laptops will play a role in bridging this gap.”“We must all rejoice when teachers can use e-mail to communicate with colleagues, exchange ideas, debate and discuss, and be exposed to the world of knowledge using powerful search engines like Google,” said Ezrah Ramasehla, president of the National Association of Professional Teachers of South Africa.last_img read more

The Answer Key To Winning Deals

first_imgThe first time you take a test, you have no idea what questions to expect. The second time you take a test, having already had a glimpse at the questions, your score should be better than the first time you took that same test. What about the 3rd, 4th, 80th, or 200th time you take that same test?Sales is a series of tests. There are questions that your prospective clients are asking. You are providing the answers. The questions don’t change much. And having already seen them before, you should be getting better at answering the questions.Do I know you?For all the changes that have occurred in the world of sales over the last decade and a half, the deep truths have not changed at all. To create and win an opportunity you must be known.If this is true, and if you have failed this test in the past, you will double down on nurturing your dream clients, even though they are completely cold right now, even though they already have a strategic partner in your space, and even though they are not yet compelled to change.Eventually, your prospective client is going to ask the question, “Who do we know that can help us with this issue?” Because you know this is the question, you now also know the answer.Can you create value for me?One of the fundamental changes in sales is the dramatic increase in the need for business acumen and situational knowledge. It is no longer enough for a salesperson to be able to tout their product or service’s features, benefits, and advantages; the internet already does that.The question your dream client is asking is, “Who has the ideas and the experience to help us obtain the results we need now?”Because you know that this is the question, you understand that you need to demonstrate your ability to think like a businessperson in solving your client’s challenges. The answer to this question requires that you understand your business, your prospective clients business, and enough about the overall business environment to know what choices they may make and what trade-offs they are going to have to consider.The answer to this question is proof that you are a peer, not a vendor.Why should I choose you?This question also shows up in another form that every salesperson hears from time to time. That question really means, “What makes you different?”A lot of people underestimate the need to create a strong preference for themselves, for their company, and for their solution as they move through their sales cycle. People play the game to play the game and not to win. They don’t recognize that how they sell, and who they are, is part of the value proposition they are asking their prospective client to buy.To create that preference and to answer the question “Why should I choose you,” You need to know how and why you are different, as well as how those differences make a difference for your prospective client.This question is being asked all the time, even if you never hear those words escape your prospect’s lips.Do you care about me?This question is also being asked all the time whether or not you ever hear your perspective client say these words. trust is the foundation of trust. People don’t often do business with people that they do not trust.Some people rush their sales process, believing that moving faster will allow them to close deals sooner. Some people mistakenly talk about their needs instead of their dream client’s needs. Many people make the mistake of presenting a solution that doesn’t consider what the individual stakeholders who are making the decision need individually and collectively.Not spending time with people who have real needs is evidence that you do not care. Not listening or taking into account your prospects fears and concerns is proof that those things are not important to you. Speeding through your sales process to get to “the close” faster gives your prospect the idea that the deal is more about you than about them.In human relationships, slower is faster.Selling is a series of tests. When you first start selling, you don’t intuitively know the answers to these questions. You may not know they are even being asked. Once you have taken the test, you know what the questions are, and you know what the right answers should be.What question is continually asked of you for which you still lack a good answer? If you are losing opportunities you believe that you should be winning, you need a better answer to this question.If you were to look over your losses in the last 12 months, what questions cause you to fail the test?last_img read more

Kalmadi meets Reddy ahead of GoM meeting on Monday

first_imgThe Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Commonwealth Games will focus on how the Organising Committee spent the amount of Rs 1,600 crore given by the Centre at its first meeting in New Delhi on Monday after the conclusion of the mega sporting event.On the eve of the crucial meeting, the beleaguered OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Sunday met Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, who also heads the Group, but details of the deliberations were not known.Kalmadi will be also present at the meeting.”He (Kalmadi) did meet me. It was a Dussehra festival greeting,” Reddy told PTI.Details of expenditure on a massive inventory of venue-specific overlays for the games, which were either hired or bought from foreign companies, will be also looked into at the meeting, official sources said. Some of the items were reported to be overcharged.Significantly, the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) has asked the OC to retain in India for investigations a sample of each item of the equipment and props hired from foreign suppliers for the 17 Games venues.Kalmadi’s meeting comes a day after being snubbed by both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who didn’t invite him while felicitating the Indian medal winners of the Commonwealth Games.The Prime Minister had interacted with the medal winners on Friday, while Sonia Gandhi had called them to her residence yesterday but on both occasions, Kalmadi was left out.The Delhi Chief Minister had also said that the “suspicion” of corruption in the Commonwealth Games is on the Organising Committee headed by Kalmadi.advertisementDikshit said corruption could have taken place in the activities undertaken by the Organising Committee to which the Central government had given loans to the tune of Rs 1,600 crore.She had said the “real corruption seems to be with regard to the money given as loans (to the OC)”.Kalmadi had come under fire in the controversial run-up to the Games, which was marked by a series of corruption charges, mismanagement, leaking roof and collapse of footbridge.The Prime Minister had set up a high-level committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) V K Shunglu to probe the organising of the CWG.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more