As part of the programme, old coaches are also being refurbished, as well as revamping and modernising stations and signalling. A request for proposals was put out by Prasa in April for local companies to outline the design of a new train. Montana believed the country had to use this investment to revitalise its local industry, and a condition in the request for proposals stated that 65% of components must be manufactured in South Africa.‘Revitalising local industry’ Montana said he expected that this would create about 75 000 jobs, as well as boost the number of artisan skills in the country. A black economic empowerment (BEE) programme for the building of the new coaches would be announced shortly and Montana assured the committee that there would be a “huge stake for black businesses” – up to 40%. “Workers, disabled people and women must also be involved,” he said. Prasa is also refurbishing hundreds of coaches a year and about 15% of all train sets had been refurbished so far, he said, at a cost of about R7-million per coach. This financial year will see the overhauling of 530 coaches, at a cost of R2-billion, up from 200 coaches a year a few years ago. Added to this, Prasa would invest R7-billion into a modern signalling system and Siemens had already been appointed to carry out some of the work. In the long-term, onboard train protection – an electronic system which takes over from the driver should the driver not take action or should he have a heart attack – would also be installed.Safer, cleaner stations Montana said Prasa would also carry out 98 station improvement projects this financial year to improve safety and cleanliness. At some stations community members have been trained and have been assisted to set up co-operatives to clean stations. Modern speed gates, to the value of R1.9-billion, would also be set up at various stations across the country ahead of the introduction of a single transport card for bus and train commuters. According to Montana, Prasa would extend rail lines and a number of projects would be developed, including a Johannesburg-Durban High Speed Rail link – to reduce travel time between the two cities to three hours. Other projects include the Moloto Rail Corridor and the Johannesburg-Queenstown- Mthatha Rail project, of which R450-million had been committed over the next three years, which included the construction of eight stations. Rail links to Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport had also been proposed. South Africa, he said, could no longer afford to fall behind the rest of the world, having already missed several “rail revolutions” – including the introduction of modern commuter trains and high-speed trains in other countries. Source: BuaNews 20 June 2012 Plans to give South Africa’s passenger rail services a complete overhaul are on track as a preferred bidder for the building of 7 224 new trains will be announced in November, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) chief executive Lucky Montana says. Briefing the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP) select committee on public services in Cape Town on Tuesday, Montana said that the first of the new trains manufactured as part of Prasa’s 20-year fleet renewal programme are expected to be running in 2014.
South Africa’s 2014 matric students achieved a pass rate of 75.8%, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced at the SABC in Johannesburg on Monday.(Image: Department of Basic Education)Brand South Africa reporterWhile the 75.8% pass rate represents a 2.4 percentage point drop from the 2013 pass rate of 78.2%, Motshekga said the bar had been raised to improve the quality of the examination outcome and enhance the quality and standard of Grade 12 graduates.“At the beginning of the exams, I did announce much more stringent marking criteria. Marker appointments were also audited and a tighter moderation process was put in place,” Motshekga said.The National Senior Certificate exam was written by 550 127 full-time and 1387nbsp;533 part-time candidates. This is the first year the new national Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) programme has been tested at matric level.Of the total number of learners who wrote the NSC exam, 150 752 (28.3%) qualified for admission to bachelor studies.The class of 2014 will be able to access their results on Tuesday.Motshekga said the 135 943 learners who qualified to write supplementary exams in February and March would will be given special support to prepare.“After receiving their results, they should start immediately to prepare for their supplementary exams,” she said.There has been an increase in achievements by distinction in some subjects, the minister said. History increased from 3.3% to 4.1%; Mathematical Literacy increased from 1.8% to 2.4%; and Physical Science increased from 3.0% to 3.3%.How SA’s provinces fared“All provincial education departments have worked tirelessly and consistently hard,” Motshekga said. “Preparations for grade 12 start at grade R and therefore there is no grade less important than the other.”Gauteng was the most successful province, recording a 84.7% pass rate – down 2.3 percentage points from 87% in 2013.Gauteng contributed the highest number of candidates qualifying for bachelor studies at 36 843, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 35 724 and Western Cape at 18 524.The North West was the second best performing province, with a pass rate of 84.6% – down from 87.2% in 2013.The Free State, which was the top province in 2013, came in third with 82.8%, down from 87.4% in 2013.The Eastern Cape had the poorest results, achieved 65.4%. This, however, is an increase of 0.5 percentage points from 64.9% in 2013.KwaZulu-Natal achieved 69.7%, a decline from 77.4% in 2013, and a drop of 7.7 percentage points. It is the steepest decline of all the provinces.“We need to look seriously into the factors affecting KZN’s performance,” Motshekga said.The Western Cape achieved 82.2%, down from 85.1% in 2013, a decline of 2.9 percentage points.ImprovementsLimpopo achieved 72.9% in 2014, a 1.1 percentage point increase from 71.8% last year.“Limpopo needs to be congratulated for sustaining the upward trend in the midst of many challenges bearing in mind that this group of learners was the group that was affected by delays in the delivery of books in 2012,” said Motshekga.The number of bachelor passes in the province is also notable at 16 325.The Northern Cape improved its pass rate by almost 2 percentage points, achieving 76.4%, up from 74.5% in 2013. This is the highest improvement in 2014.Mpumalanga achieved 79%, up by 1.4 percent from 77.6% in 2013.District performanceMotshekga said none of the 81 education districts in the country had performed below 50%. Last year, one district in the Eastern Cape had performed below 50%.“In the Eastern Cape, the eight districts that performed between 50% and 59% have been reduced to five, with two districts from KwaZulu-Natal joining this category. Twelve districts from the Eastern Cape performed under 69%, four from KwaZulu-Natal and one from Limpopo,” Motshekga said.She said four out of five districts in the Free State performed above 80%, with the fifth district achieving between 70% and 79%.“In Gauteng, 13 out of 15 districts performed above 80% and the other two performed between 70% and 79%. In Limpopo, one out five performed above 80%, while in Mpumalanga one out of four.“In the Northern Cape, one out of four performed above 80% and in the Western Cape all districts performed above 80%,” Motshekga said.The top six performing districts are:Gauteng West at 92.7%;Sedibeng East District at 90.7%;Ekurhuleni North at 88.7%;West Coast in the Western Cape 88.4%; andOverberg in the Western Cape and Johannesburg South both at 88.1%.InitiativesMotshekga said the focus in 2014 was on improving performance in key gateway subjects and supporting under-performing schools and their principals.“These initiatives have yielded results. However, there is much more work that needs to be done and it starts on the first day of school for all grades,” she said.For the past four years, the pass rate has increased from 60.6% in 2009 to 78.2% in 2013.Motshekga said the quality of education of any system is predicated on the quality of its teachers.She said the qualification profile of teachers in the sector has improved from 53% in 1990 to 97% in 2013.“Going forward, we will work hard to sustain improvement in learner performance, enhanced accountability at all levels of the system, greater focus on basic functionality of schools, and protecting time for teaching and learning,” Motshekga said.Read Minister Angie Motshekga’s speech in full: Announcement of the 2014 NSC examination resultsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Four civilians were injured when an Army patrol team opened fire as clashes broke out during an ‘iftar’ function at D.K. Pora village in Shopian on Monday evening. A police official said a clash broke out when a patrol of the Army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles had gone to the Jamia Masjid of the village for participating in an iftar function. “As the food was being served, a mob of miscreants attacked the Army patrol. The Army party withdrew from the scene by resorting to aerial warning shots,” said the police.
Three Assam Rifles personnel were killed and three others injured in an ambush by extremists of the SS Khaplang faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) in Nagaland’s Mon district on Sunday afternoon.The NSCN-K, however, claimed it killed “six soldiers” and injured as many in the attack near Aboi town bordering Myanmar. The ambush site is about 23km from district headquarters Mon.Defence officials said a column of the 40 Assam Rifles was fetching water from a stream in a vehicle when the militants detonated an improvised explosive device before opening indiscriminate fire.“One of the slain soldiers was a havildar who was driving the vehicle. Some of the injured soldiers were airlifted to Assam’s Jorhat town where they are being treated at the military hospital,” an Assam Rifles officer said from the paramilitary forces’ headquarters near Meghalaya capital Shillong.‘Colonel’ Isak Sumi, deputy minister of NSCN-K, said in statement that the attack was part of the outfit’s ongoing “summer offensive to sanitise the land against illegal deployment of occupational Indian forces and rein in their illegal activities, provocative movements, perpetration of terror and disturbance of peace and tranquillity in the Naga country”.Mr. Sumi also claimed the NSCN-K killed two Assam Rifles personnel manning a post at Shengha Lampong in Mon district a few days ago. With Sunday’s attack, the outfit said it killed “eight Indian soldiers” within a week.“A major of Assam Rifles was injured in last week’s attack,” Mr. Sumi said. The NSCN-K had in March 2015 walked out of a 14-year-old ceasefire with the Central government. It has in coordination with other outfits such as United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent been attacking the security forces. The worst of such attacks had killed 18 Army personnel in Manipur’s Chandel district in 2015.
Real Madrid Asensio key to Real Madrid’s Champions League hopes in Paris Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 06:27 2/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(15) Aitor Alcalde Real Madrid Primera División Real Betis v Real Madrid Real Betis PSG v Real Madrid PSG UEFA Champions League Opinion The 22-year-old has been underused this term but helped Real beat PSG, was instrumental at Betis on Sunday and has to start at the Parc des Princes Marco Asensio is the man of the moment. The former Mallorca midfielder came off the bench to help inspire Real Madrid to a 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday night and he was at it again as Los Blancos beat Betis in La Liga on Sunday.The 22-year-old did not score against PSG, but Real’s two late goals came from his runs down the left and 1-1 became 3-1 in the final seven minutes — an advantage that makes Madrid favourites to advance in the second leg in Paris on March 6.AdChoices广告Asensio and Lucas Vazquez were rewarded for their impressive cameos with starting spots away to Betis and those two give the team balance in a 4-4-2 formation, this time either side of Casemiro and Mateo Kovacic as Luka Modric and the injured Toni Kroos missed out. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player And Asensio opened the scoring with a fine header after Antonio Adan had parried Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot. Betis, so impressive going forward, turned the game on its head before half-time, but Sergio Ramos headed home an equaliser in the second half and there was Marco again to make it 3-2.Ultimately, this hugely entertaining encounter finished 5-3 to Zinedine Zidane’s side as Ronaldo and substitute Karim Benzema scored, either side of a Sergio Leon effort for the home team.Defensively, Madrid did not cover themselves in glory again, but Betis have scored past most teams this term and Zidane will certainly look to tighten up at the back as he prepares for a second game against Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani. However, Real almost always raise their intensity and concentration in the Champions League.Marcelo limped off early in this game and his inclusion seemed an unnecessary risk following his monumental efforts at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he scored Madrid’s third goal on Wednesday.Zidane will be crossing his fingers that the Brazilian is back in time for the second leg against Unai Emery’s side, while he will have been happy to see Benzema put an end to his recent scoring drought by netting the fifth goal in Seville.But whoever is available for the game in Paris, Asensio must surely start. The midfielder was more effective than any of Madrid’s forward players on Sunday and his tracking back also helps the team defensively.There are always hierarchies at a club like Real and the 22-year-old will understand that Ronaldo, Benzema and Gareth Bale are ahead of him in the pecking order based on reputation and also wages. That is how things tend to work at Madrid.However, Zidane’s side are out of the Copa del Rey and cannot win La Liga, so Los Blancos will be playing for their season in Paris and the French coach fighting for his job.And putting reputations to one side, Asensio is the man on form. He should be in the starting XI every week for Real — and his inclusion against PSG could well be the key to making the last eight of the Champions League.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 24 Mar 2015 – Excellent local and regional support for the Anti-Money Laundering Conference hosted by the Attorney General’s Office, the Financial Intelligence Agency and the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. The two day event attracted award winning Diplomat and Attorney General for Trinidad and Tobago, Garvin Nicholas. AG Nicholas explained the Paris Conference held earlier this year has been the impetus for these caucuses around the region; and shared that he believes the Caribbean still has the opportunity for an edge as it follows these general expectations.“Well you make a very, very interesting point in your question and that is that we are different, we cannot be expected to do things in exactly the same ways the bigger countries do and I think it has already been generally accepted that the things the bigger countries have been doing have not necessarily been working because those pushing the regulations the most have been found wanting the most in terms of their own money laundering problems. I think the Risk-Based assessment would probably go a longer way in tailoring regulations to particular circumstances and I think we must be mindful of those particular circumstances and move forward in that direction.”We’ll have more next time; the conference wrapped up today and was held at the Regent Palms Resort. AG’s Office warns against false Registrar of Lands accusations Law enacted gives Governor and Planning Board more clout Related Items:anti-laudering, attorney general, Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Attorney General announces 14 Law Reforms for 2016
Red Cross Distributes Sandbags and Disaster Response Kits Red Cross Gala near sold out Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 06 Nov 2015 – This weekend war veterans will be remembered in a series of services to be held around the world, including right here in the TCI. Governor Peter Beckingham, will on Sunday place a wreath at the War Memorial in Grand Turk, while Deputy Governor Anya Williams will lay the wreath here in Provo. In Grand Turk, the remembrance of the Allied, Commonwealth and British personnel who fought in the two world wars of the 20th Century and in subsequent conflicts will be paid homage at the 9:45am service at the St Mary’s Pro Cathedral on Front Street in the capital; a similar commemoration will take place at the St. Monica’s Anglican church at 12:30pm in Providenciales – both on Sunday November 8th. Also joining the wreath laying will be, the Hon. Premier; the Leader of the Opposition; TCI Ex-Services Legion; the Commissioner of Police; TCIG Medical Department; the Scouts, Guides and Brownies; Rotary International; Soroptimists International and the Red Cross. His Excellency Beckingham said: “I look forward to attending again the Remembrance Service in Grand Turk, which is always one of the most moving and solemn occasions, and an opportunity to remind ourselves of the sacrifices of others.” Louis Bacon’s Moore Bahamas Foundation Announces Donation To Rotary Club Of The Bahamas For Relief Efforts In The Bahamas Related Items:Guides and Brownies, his excellency beckingham, red cross, remembrance day, Rotary International, Soroptimists International, TCI Ex-Services Legion, TCIG Medical Department, the Scouts Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Share Davis LandMayor Sylvester Turner speaks to reporters after a City Council meeting on December 19, 2017.A $37 million recycling contract will have to wait until next year for a vote from City Council. The award is supposed to go to the Spanish-owned firm Fomento De Construcciones Y Contratas, or FCC, who beat out the city’s current recycling contractor, Waste Management.City controller Chris Brown had initially refused to sign off on the contract citing concerns with the destruction of documents from the bidding process and other restrictions on his office causing a perceived lack in transparency. Brown ultimately approved the deal, and despite sending it to City Council noted that the lack of transparency surrounding the bid and award is “of continued concern” and “erodes public confidence in the awarding of contracts.” Many council members expected the contract to pass before the 2017 holiday break, but just as the contract went up for vote Tuesday morning, council members Michael Kubosh and Steve Le decided to “tag” the item, delaying it. The move shocked members of the council who supported the contract, with one council member asking if anything could be done to proceed despite the tag. The contract will not be available to vote on before the council meets again in January.Kubosh said he hopes the delay will allow for further review of the bidding process. He said he has not been allowed to view evaluations of FCC and Waste Management, leading him to wonder about the intentions of city evaluators. “I want to know who [the evaluators] are,” Kubosh told Houston Public Media,” how they scored, and why.” Supporters of FCC and the contract say Kubosh’s concerns are moot, asserting FCC provided the best price for their service.“As of January we will be paying Waste Management more,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner, “and the longer it takes to setup this operation as we transition it’s going to cost us more.”Turner added that he believes delaying the vote is not in the city’s best interest, citing China’s recent decision to stop the import of items to be recycled and that decision’s consequences on recycling prices.Waste Management spoke to the council during public comment stating their firm better qualified that FCC to handle the city’s recycling. Waste Management joined the City Controller in questioning the award’s transparency.
Mayor Muriel Bowser (left), DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson (top right), and HU President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick.Mayor Muriel Bowser joined District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Howard University President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick to announce a new arrangement aimed at exposing high school students to advanced college preparation, something that has been known to aid in college success.“Our young people deserve and desire more opportunities that will expand their academic horizons and put them on a pathway to the middle class,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement. “This new program is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that looks to the future of this city with optimism and hope. Students will gain valuable experiences that will propel them to greater heights and accelerate their path to the college and career of their dreams.”Beginning this fall, Howard will open its doors to 12th-grade students at Banneker and McKinley Technology high schools, who will have the chance to enroll in college courses, earning high school and college credit, simultaneously.The students will be able to take up to two undergraduate courses per semester and one course during the summer session for free. The University will waive all tuition and fees, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education will cover the cost of books and transportation.“This collaboration provides our students with unprecedented access to a treasure trove of opportunities,” said Henderson. “The benefits of this program go far beyond exposure to rigorous college courses. It will give students the focus, confidence, and foundation that they will need to succeed in college and 21st century careers. We are grateful to Howard University for their generous support and continued commitment to our students’ success.”To qualify for the dual-enrollment program, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a personal essay and a recommendation letter from their school’s principal or counselor. College credits earned through the program can be applied to a degree program at Howard University or transferred to another four-year college or university upon graduation. “Howard University and DCPS share a rich history of providing students with opportunities to explore their academic interests and advance their knowledge of the world around them,” said Frederick, president of Howard University. “I am proud to deepen our relationship through the dual-enrollment partnership. Through this program, we are aiming to inspire and develop the next generation of leaders and innovators from right here in the District.”The DCPS-Howard partnership builds on dual-enrollment programs already established at George Washington University (School Without Walls program) and the University of the District of Columbia (College Access and Readiness for Everyone, or CARE, program).DCPS plans to expand the model to all high schools over the next three years.
Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uFrom 5-7 P.M.A review of some of the top news stories of the week, directly from the pages of the AFRO with LaTrina Antoine, AFRO DC Editor. Plus, The Mod Squad, Taya Graham and Stephen Janis of The Real News Network, report on law enforcement and politics. These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes .