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UK audit regulator drops opposition to government’s ‘nationalisation’ plan

first_imgThe UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) has ruled that the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is a public body, after a three-year battle over the status of the accounting and actuarial watchdog.The ruling means that the FRC will become part of central government operations. It is currently partly sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and partly funded by the fines it levies on audit firms.The FRC’s board must now review the operations on a wide range of issues from freedom of information to the conduct fines it levies on audit firms.The minutes of the FRC’s 24 May board meeting stated: “The board noted that, having sought input from external solicitors, there is no scope to challenge the current classification or to seek reclassification and consequently considered accepting the 2014 decision.” Last year it emerged that a debate about the FRC’s status had been “reopened”. By December 2016, the board’s minutes revealed that the watchdog’s executive was liaising with BEIS and the Treasury to “clarify the status of the FRC and that relevant stakeholders are aware of the issue”.Minutes from the FRC board’s February 2017 discussions showed that the watchdog hoped to be classified as a “public non-financial corporation”, with less direct oversight by government.In a statement, the FRC told IPE: “The FRC has been classified as a public sector organisation and we are working with BEIS, as our sponsoring department, to identify and ensure that we meet the requirements arising from the classification.“We are working with government and the [accounting supervisors] on the details.”The decision draws a line under a saga dating back to 2014 that prompted the FRC to take legal advice in a bid to defeat the new classification.Tim Bush, head of governance and financial analysis at Pensions & Investment Research Consultants, told IPE: “We can see from the board minutes that this saga has been running for three years.“Nonetheless, I expect the FRC will have no choice other than to become more transparent, and that will include how it recruits key staff positions.”Bush added that he expected the FRC to fall under the scope of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which allows UK citizens to request information from public bodies.However, the ONS’s decision to classify the FRC as a public-sector body will have no immediate effect on its operations. The move was an independent statistical decision by the ONS concerning the FRC’s treatment within the national accounts.It has not affected the day-to-day operations of the watchdog, nor the operation of its disciplinary oversight of the audit and actuarial professions.The ONS routinely assesses a large number of organisations to decide whether the balance of balance of risks and rewards means they belong in the public sector or not.Last year, a freedom of information request to BEIS revealed that the FRC had no status to interpret law in England and Wales.In 2014, the Information Commissioner’s office ruled that the FRC could ignore an FOI request related to the statements of reasonable practive governing the financial statements of UK authorised investment funds.In addition to its responsibility for regulating audit and accounting companies, the FRC is also in charge of overseeing corporate governance in the UK.The UK FRC does not have the same powers enjoyed by securities regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US.last_img read more

Turkish Petroleum takes Rowan rig for two-well gig

first_imgRowan Norway. Source: Flickr , Author: Iain Rattray – under the CC BY 2.0 licenseOffshore driller Rowan Companies has been awarded a two-well contract for its Rowan Norway jack-up rig in the Mediterranean Sea by Turkish Petroleum. The Rowan Norway is currently warm-stacked in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea. It is an N-Class ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig.Rowan said on Monday that the rig has been awarded a two-well contract with an estimated duration 100-140 days.The contract is expected to start in late 2018.last_img

O’Neill to assess Ireland squad

first_imgIreland boss Martin O’Neill will use a series of end-of-season friendlies to further assess the depth of his squad. Ireland will play Turkey at the Aviva Stadium on May 25 and are yet to formally confirm a second outing against Italy at Craven Cottage six days later as well as proposed games against Costa Rica and Portugal in the United States in early June. However, whatever fixtures Ireland eventually finalise, O’Neill will spend the time he has together with his players honing his squad for the start of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in September. Press Associationcenter_img He told Sky Sports News: “We have a couple of friendly matches at the end of the season. There’s a possibility at this minute of maybe even a few extra games, but that has not been confirmed yet. “But a bit like Scotland in that sense, we are concentrating really on trying to implement some sort of a plan, trying to see as much of the players as we possibly can. “This period we will have at the end of the season, while not ideal for players, is absolutely fine for us and of course, it’s an opportunity to see as many players as possible.” O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane have been in charge since replacing Giovanni Trapattoni and his staff in November last year, recording a 3-0 home win over Latvia and a 0-0 draw in Poland before a 2-1 defeat by Serbia in Dublin earlier this month. But they know the big tests will come once they return to competitive action, and the manager has been given plenty of food for thought by what he has seen so far. O’Neill said: “We have had three games – the two games in November-time were in quick succession, at home to Latvia, which we would expect to win anyway and we did; the draw in Poland was fine, and although for long periods against Serbia, I thought we played very well and possibly could have won the game, we lost the match. “We have got plenty to discuss.” Ireland qualified for the Euro 2012 final under Trapattoni, but missed out on this summer’s World Cup in Brazil after finishing fourth in their group behind Germany, Sweden and Austria. last_img read more

Fernandes seeking passionate coach

first_img The restructuring, with Ferdinand’s role redefined to take responsibility for the whole football department, could mean a head coach is sought after, rather than a manager. That, coupled with Derby’s upward trajectory, could see McClaren rule himself out of contention. Ferdinand is likely to have a say in the appointment, boosting Sherwood’s chances of a return following his departure from White Hart Lane last May. Ferdinand and Ramsey worked with Sherwood at Tottenham. He was linked with roles at Norwich, Brighton, West Brom and Crystal Palace, but the familiar faces at QPR suggest it is a strong fit for the former midfielder, who won the Premier League title with Blackburn but would have to get his head around a survival fight with Rangers 19th in the table. Ferdinand has “already made significant improvements to the footballing philosophy of the club since his return – and the board are now keen for him to have more of a hands-on role at all levels, particularly in the field of recruitment, working closely with the first team,” QPR said in a statement. Fernandes told www.qpr.co.uk: “Les bleeds blue and white and working closely with the first team and academy management, particularly in recruitment, he is going to play a key role in moving us forward over the coming months and years.” Fernandes has revealed changes to QPR’s strategy were necessary and wants the club to nurture young talent, rather than buy in players. He added: “I’ve had many messages from supporters, of all ages, who aren’t – for one reason or another – satisfied with what’s going on at QPR at the moment, but I can reassure all Rangers fans that we are putting the building blocks in place to move things in the right direction for the future. “We’ve made a number of mistakes in the transfer market over the last few years and it’s something we want to change. “Premier League survival is our priority in the short term, but in the medium and long term we want to make sure everything is in place, from the academy upwards, to create a culture and philosophy within the club that QPR fans can be proud of.” Real Madrid assistant boss Paul Clement and former England boss Steve McClaren, who had a short spell at Loftus Road before being appointed Derby manager, could also be attractive options for Fernandes, who will listen to the fans’ opinions. “We the board will hire someone who cares, thinks long term, wants to be involved in developing the academy, has coaching skills, will play young players and is a winner,” Fernandes wrote on Twitter. “The names that fans are mentioning to me are names that we are going to consider. I would say 3 interview will e (sic) done. All fan feedback has been taken in.” Ferdinand, who returned to Loftus Road last October as head of football operations, was on Wednesday named QPR director of football as part of a coaching restructuring in the wake of Redknapp’s resignation. It was also confirmed officially that Glenn Hoddle and Joe Jordan had followed Redknapp in leaving Loftus Road. Fernandes added: “I want to thank harry for all he’s done and being gracious in his words about the club. And Glenn and Joe. “Our players have sent me many positive messages and are ready for the fight. That strong spirt (sic) is immense for me. Come on you rsss.” It remains to be seen if an appointment will be made in time for Saturday’s match at home to Southampton, with Ferdinand currently in caretaker charge of the first team alongside Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond. Tim Sherwood is favourite to succeed Redknapp, who resigned on Tuesday, with the former Tottenham coach’s chances seemingly increasing after Les Ferdinand was appointed director of football in a restructuring of the coaching staff. Redknapp cited the need for immediate knee surgery as the reason for his departure, but rumours abound of conflict over transfers, while QPR’s struggles include the failure to secure a single point from 11 matches away from home this term. Press Association Owner Tony Fernandes wants to appoint a manager who is passionate about QPR as successor to Harry Redknapp. last_img read more

John wins United Bikers’ 30-lap `Dash for Cash’ cycle race

first_imgJAMAL John was unstoppable as he won the United Bikers’ 30-lap `Dash for Cash’ cycle race in the National Park yesterday.The Team Coco’s cyclist returned one hour .06 .35 seconds in winning the event.Geron Williams of the Continental Cycle Club finished second and Walter Grant-Stuart third.According to the race’s coordinator and Assistant Racing Secretary of the Guyana Cycling Federation, Joseph Britton, each of the 30 laps carried sprint prizes of which Jamal John won three, Briton John two and Geron Williams, Alonzo Ambrose, Andrew Hicks, Paul DeNobrega, and Walter Grant-Stuart won one prime each.Briton John was the winner of the junior category and won one prime prize, while Curtis Dey won four.Junior Niles won all four of the prime prizes for the veterans’ category.The day’s activity, organised by the United Bikers Club, was riddled with controversies since what was promised by the orgasnisers was not delivered.In the first instance, the sprint prizes that were to be paid for each lap was significantly reduced as the organisers could not garner the amount required to pay what they promised the cyclists.Instead of the usual $500 fee for registration, the organisers charged $1000 per registrant and this money was used to offset the payments that had to be made to the respective winners of prizes.last_img

FIFA introduces harsher punishment for racist behaviour

first_img(REUTERS) – FIFA is doubling its minimum ban for racist incidents to 10 games and will allow players to make victim statements and participate in the proceedings, world soccer’s governing body said on Thursday.Stricter punishments against racism and other discriminatory behaviour was a key part of FIFA’s updated disciplinary code which takes effect from Monday.“FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee may permit the victim to make a statement, allowing the latter to participate in the proceedings. FIFA will not let down victims of racist abuse,” the body said in a statement. The changes follow on from several high profile incidents last season in domestic and international football.Inter Milan were ordered to play two home games behind closed doors after their supporters racially insulted Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.Koulibaly, who received a red card for showing dissent, was banned for two matches, sparking criticism that the victim was being punished. Montenegro were also ordered by European governing body UEFA to play a home game behind closed doors as part of sanctions handed out for the racist behaviour of their supporters during a match against England.The updated FIFA code expands the scope of what is considered discriminatory behaviour to anything related to “race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, language, religion, political opinion, wealth, birth or any other status or any other reason”. A match will be forfeited by the team if their supporters are found to be guilty of racist and other discriminatory behaviour.“For a first offence, playing a match with a limited number of spectators and a fine of at least 20,000 Swiss Francs ($20,220) shall be imposed on the association or club concerned,” FIFA said.“Unless there are exceptional circumstances, if a match is abandoned by the referee because of racist and/or discriminatory conduct, the match shall be declared forfeited.” The match can be forfeited after the referee has applied a “three-step procedure” for such incidents, which includes requesting a public announcement to call for such behaviour to cease, suspending the match until it stops, and in critical scenarios, abandoning the match altogether.The updated code also includes the option of imposing transfer bans on clubs which default on debts in cases processed by FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.SAFEGUARDINGEarlier this week, FIFA also launched a new global program teaching member associations and confederations to safeguard children from abuse.The new initiative, called FIFA Guardians, will allow members in reviewing their existing safeguarding measures through practical guidance and support materials. “FIFA has a duty and responsibility to ensure that those who play football can do so in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment,” FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said.“I am confident that the FIFA Guardians programme will help to mobilise action and guide our 211 member associations around the world in reviewing and implementing their own safeguarding measures to keep children safe in football. FIFA believes this to be every child’s right.”last_img read more

Syracuse tops Eastern Michigan, 62-47, behind strong second half, finishes nonconference play 11-2

first_imgThe ball bounced off the backboard and dribbled loose toward the scorers table where Tyus Battle scooped it up and headed on a fast break. The Orange’s leading scorer darted down the right sideline before edging his way inside on an Eastern Michigan defender for a transition layup.On the next possession, Marek Dolezaj kicked the ball out to Battle on the wing, where he drained his final 3-pointer of the night, to cap off his 22 point performance. The crowd of 21,925 rose to its feet as Syracuse’s lead expanded to 19, its largest of the night.Battle’s 3-pointer was part of a 16-point second half in which he and the Orange scrambled to make amends for its first-half woes against Eastern Michigan’s (8-4) stout defense in an eventual 62-47 win Wednesday in the Carrier Dome. EMU’s defense, which ranks 13th in the nation in steal percentage and 33rd in block percentage, per Kenpom.com, puzzled SU early. Syracuse settled for 3-point shots, where it shot 2-of-12 in the first half. Then, out of the break, it all flipped. The ball moved faster, possessions grew shorter and Syracuse outscored Eastern Michigan 38-23 in the second half.“(In the second half) we were just getting in the paint more,” Battle said. “That led to more open 3s because they had to converge a little bit more and they had to guard someone so it got open.”In his fifth appearance at the Carrier Dome since leaving his position as a Syracuse assistant, Eastern Michigan head coach Rob Murphy employed the 2-3 zone on the man its been made famous by his mentor, Jim Boeheim. The EMU defense shifted quickly to passes, daring the Orange to shoot 3-pointers. At first, the Orange took the bait.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Syracuse’s first possession of the game, Tyus Battle gathered the ball at the top of the key as the shot clock dwindled. SU’s leading scorer eyed his defender, who played a few steps inside the three-point line. With four seconds left on the shot clock, Battle clanked a 3-pointer off the back of the rim. The ball bounced off center Paschal Chukwu before eventually making its way to Frank Howard. He missed too.“In the first half we settled,” Howard said. “We didn’t get a lot of movement.”Fewer than two minutes later, Syracuse worked the ball into the soft spot of the 2-3 zone, the elbow, where the paint meets the free-throw line. Marek Dolzaj never fully received the pass, bobbling it before coughing it up to Eastern Michigan’s Jordan Nobles. Eagles center James Thompson IV finished the possession with a layup on the other end. The next possession, he caught a missed three-pointer and dropped it in to extend the EMU lead.Even when Syracuse thought it was finding its groove in the first half, it wasn’t. After a Frank Howard 3-pointer extended the SU lead to its largest of the half, three, the junior guard turned the ball over. Eastern Michigan scored down the other end and SU’s lead sank to one.On the ensuing possession, SU’s offense stalled until the shot clock drizzled dangerously low. That’s when Howard Washington moved forward to draw a defender and dished to Battle, who sank a 3-pointer. But, the basket didn’t count as the shot clock had expired.“Anytime you play against a zone, you have to get something inside,” Boeheim said. “But at the end of the day you have to make something. Once we started making shots the game changed.”After entering the half knotted at 24 with a team ranked outside the top 150 by Kenpom, Syracuse’s offense opened up. After racking up four points off free-throws to start the half, Oshae Brissett flung a pass to a darting Howard who laid in the basket.On the next possession, Battle kicked it out to Howard beyond the 3-point line. Howard jabbed to his right. Gaining a step on his defender, he brought his feet back even and launched a 3-pointer, SU’s first make of four from beyond the arc in the second half.Murphy called timeout.“Frank and Tyus they’ve got to grind this ship,” Boeheim said. “Frank made some really good plays in the second half getting in the lane, it’s a really good zone defense, it’s a tough defense. We aren’t making shots so we have to work to get inside and I thought we did that.”With fewer than seven minutes remaining in the game and Syracuse clinging to a six-point lead, Howard sent the ball back to Dolezaj at the elbow. As quickly as the Eagle defenders tried to collapse on him, the freshman slipped the ball further down low. Chukwu finished the play with a two-hand slam.The next possession, Howard drove right. As the ball was tapped by a trailing defender, Howard found a lonely Oshae Brissett. Again, Syracuse’s movement resulted in an easy basket as Brissett’s layup pushed the Orange’s lead to double digits for the first time all night.“I think our forwards and our bigs were moving a lot more and a lot better,” Howard said. “Marek came in, he’s a very smart player, some of those screens and those little slips were just him playing basketball and that kind of opened things up for me to get in the lane for kick-outs in stuff.”Syracuse never looked back on its lead and finished the game, much liked it took care of business through most of nonconference play. A year ago, the Orange lost five nonconference games on its way to the NIT Tournament.This year’s nonconference schedule was different. In a year many expected SU to flop before it even reached conference play, it pushed through.“We’ve had a lot of tough games and I think we’ve survived it,” Boeheim said. “That’s what we try to do, try to get through it, try to get a little better. We pulled out some games that could’ve gone the other way.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 27, 2017 at 9:15 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img read more

Ghana’s Samuel Taylor makes final of Arsenal FC/WorldRemit coaching programme

first_imgGhanaian coach Samuel Taylor has been selected as a finalist by Arsenal and WorldRemit for this year’s “Future Stars” youth coaching programme. Taylor coaches under 13, under 15 and under 17 teams at Em Sporting Club, which is located near Accra.A passionate football player himself, he decided to start coaching to bring together children and coaches from neighbouring villages to enjoy football together.The eight Future Stars finalists are now competing in a public vote for the chance to attend a personalised training programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches in London – sponsored by online money transfer company, WorldRemit. Two winners will be chosen – one male and one female.Voting is open until 11th November on www.futurestars.worldremit.com!About Future Stars The Future Stars programme was developed by WorldRemit and Arsenal to celebrate the positive impact that grassroots youth football coaches have on their communities, helping the children they train to develop life skills both on and off the pitch.Now in its second edition, the Future Stars programme received over 1,400 online applications this year from across Africa and the Americas.From these entries, a panel of judges selected 20 semi-finalists to receive Arsenal shirts for their youth team as recognition of their hard work within their communities.The judging panel then narrowed these 20 semi-finalists down to eight finalist coaches – four male and four female.Male Future Stars finalists Bakit Isaac Agogo from Gulu, UgandaFeisal Abdi Hassan from Nairobi, KenyaLuis Alejandro Castañeda Vargas from Bogotá, ColombiaSamuel Taylor from Accra, GhanaFemale Future Stars finalistsBeldine Lilian Achieng Odemba from Nairobi, KenyaChinasa Ukandu from Lagos State, NigeriaJoan Nabisenke from Kampala, UgandaVivian Johana Pirateque Garzón from Bogotá, ColombiaTwo winners – one male and one female – will be chosen by a public vote to fly to London for a personalised training programme with Arsenal Football Development coaches. “Our eight finalists’ stories are testament to the transformative impact that football can have on young people. We are delighted to celebrate their success and wish them all the best in the public vote!” Simon McManus, Head Coach at Arsenal Football Development, said: “Through our community initiatives in London and abroad, we work hard to promote greater diversity in football and positively impact the lives of young people through sport.“When developing this year’s Future Stars programme with WorldRemit, it was important for us to highlight the benefits of encouraging more women into the sport, both as players and as coaches. The eight finalists we have chosen all stood out to us due to their passion and commitment to using football to bring young people from all walks of life together.” —-last_img read more

Does Virat Kohli have hand-eye coordination issues? Virender Sehwag has his say!

first_imgImage Courtesy: AP/PTIAdvertisement xkt0NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsvz52Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E762ca( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 5u2klWould you ever consider trying this?😱kw9Can your students do this? 🌚3tfRoller skating! Powered by Firework The New Zealand tour ended with a substandard performance from Team India, resulting in a 3-0 ODI and 2-0 Test series whitewash. One of the main factors behind India’s defeats was an under performing batting order, and the man holding the hull, Virat Kohli, went through one of the worst performances of his career. The poor spell  in the Tests caused the skipper losing his no. 1 ICC Test batting rank, and has been subjected to huge criticism from the fans and pundits. However, iconic Indian batsman Virender Sehwag has come forward with his say in the matter, who puts down some clarification about Kohli’s bad form.Advertisement Image Courtesy: AP/PTIRecently, legendary Indian cricketer and 1983 world cup winning captain Kapil Dev stated that Virat Kohli might be suffering from ‘hand-eye coordination issues’, which has negatively impacted the superstar batsman’s performance against the Kiwis.However, Virender Sehwag believes its not the case, and his former junior teammate is a victim of bad luck.Advertisement “When you are out of form, nothing works for you. It is not that Virat is not making efforts but luck has deserted him,“ Sehwag said in an interview with Sportstar.When asked about Kapil Dev’s opinion behind Kohli’s bad execution on the pitch, Viru denied the claim.Advertisement “Virat certainly doesn’t have hand-eye coordination issues. Your hand-eye issue deteriorates over a period of time. Not overnight. I am sure it is just lack of form. Also, he has got out to good deliveries,” the 41 year old added.Kohli managed to score only 38 runs across the Test series. Following the disastrous first Test in Wellington, the 31 year old lost out his no. 1 Test batting rank to Aussie icon Steve Smith, dropping his ratings down to 906 from 928.Continuing about the Men in Blue struggling to tackle an overpowering New Zealand squad, Sehwag commented on the pitch conditions in the country, which is renowned to cause the ball to swing more.“Here (in New Zealand) the ball has seamed a lot and if you are not getting runs then the challenge multiplies. Of course, you can adapt, playing more on the front foot, by leaving the ball,” said Sehwag, who has had experience in the Kiwi pitch multiple times in his international career.“For me, it is important to know which ball to leave and you can do that when you are feeling confident. The pressure also may have got to Virat,” he added.Also read-Virat Kohli told to practice more after ‘reflexes and hand eye coordination’ found lacking! Advertisementlast_img read more

School Reopening Excites Students, Parents

first_imgExcitement yesterday characterized the resumption of academic activities, particularly in Central Monrovia, as several schools reopened their doors.Yesterday’s activities came contrary to earlier reports of the delay experienced three times for the resumption of academic activities, which caused the postponement thereof until Monday, February 16.With the excitement in and around monrovia, reports coming from other parts of the country speak of poor  preparations as of yesterday, towards the reopening of schools.Education Minister Etmonia David Tarpeh had earlier informed school authorities, parents and school age children that schools would reopen February 16, which contradicted her administration’s earlier guideline, which had February 2 as the date for the resumption of academic activities, given the decline of the Ebola crisis.The registration of students, orientation of teachers and other related preliminary activities that would have paved the way for the reopening of schools by February 2, began on January 12.Politics, confusionHowever, a meeting of the Legislative Joint Committees on Education and Health with the Ministry of Education caused a delay, as the legislative body suggested that schools open no earlier than March 2, to give enough time for schools to prepare for students, and for parents to get their children registered and logistically prepared for school.Minister Tarpeh told President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the last cabinet retreat that schools would not wait until March to reopen, but would commence classes as of February 16.  In agreement, the President responded that the Legislature should simply let the Executive do its job.  The Minister however noted that any delay from any school administration to reopen would not face any disciplinary action.The Liberian government ordered all schools closed in July last year due to the Ebola outbreak and later announced in January, this year that schools would reopen on February 2. “The truth is that schools will be opening on February 16 as we have indicated, and I think there was some confusion with some of the information that went out, unfortunately. And so we are trying to correct that,” she told a foreign-based news organ over the weekend.Tarpeh said she realized the confusion the new information might have caused, but claimed it was not intentional.  The MOE has a “mode of operation” which states that no official policy or statement is released unless the Minister of Education has seen and approved it.Minister Tarpeh said the official who put out the wrong information has since been reprimanded and said official subsequently apologized.On the other hand, Tarpeh said the MOE is very conscious about the concerns of parents, some of whom have said that they might not be able to get all materials necessary to register their children by February 16.“So we’re making it like a roll-out kind of opening so that even with the opening on the 16th, people will still be able to register and get into school. Hopefully, whenever they are able to obtain all that their children need, they will not be denied entry into schools,” the Minister said.A group of Liberian lawmakers recently called for a delay in the reopening of schools, because they said the MOE had not delivered Ebola prevention equipment, such as temperature checking devices, hand pumps and sanitary accessories, to schools across the country.At the height of the Ebola outbreak, some schools were used as Ebola Treatment Centers (ETUs), including the campus of the M. V. Massaquoi Elementary on Bushrod Island. With this, too, Minister Tarpeh said school renovations would be ongoing even after schools are in session.Up to yesterday, most school administrators were saying that having Ebola prevention measures in place on the campuses remained one of the biggest challenges the MOE faced prior to resumption of classes.UNICEF, USAID to the rescueUNICEF announced in a press release yesterday that it has provided over 7,000 Ebola prevention kits, in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), that are currently being distributed to over 4,000 schools in all 98 school districts across the Liberia.With the support of UNICEF, and other international partners, the Government of Liberia has developed protocols for the safe re-opening of schools. Among other steps, these protocols call for setting up hand-washing stations, checking the temperature of anyone entering the school, establishing an isolation area for children and staff who may fall ill, and having in place a system of referral to the nearest health facility.The infection prevention kits, as well as training on the protocols provided by UNICEF, will help schools, parent-teacher associations (PTAs), and communities further minimize the risk of infection from Ebola, UNICEF says.“Our biggest focus is to ensure that school facilities are adequate and they are in the condition that we would like for the children to be as safe as possible, with all the anti-Ebola protocols in place,” Minister Tarpeh said.  “This includes training of teachers, community leaders and the PTAs (Parent-Teacher Associations) and ensuring that they all learn to work together to support school activities of their children.”The MOE has also instructed school administrators to understand students’ situations when they return to school. This means, school authorities should not send students home for lack of proper uniform or the full tuition, at least for the first semester.”Students ExcitedMeanwhile, students across the greater Monrovia area showed great excitement as they returned to classes yesterday.On the campus of government-run Newport Junior High School in Monrovia, euphoric students queued up as early as 7 a.m. to go through their regular Ebola test before entering classes.“They patiently stood in queues to wash their hands before entering the iron sealed gates, then remained in line for individual temperature checking as part of the preventive measures,” Vice Principal for Student Affairs, Abraham B. Barrolle, disclosed.According to him, students are anxious to enter classes and “We are getting good cooperation from them in their numbers.”To continue the Ebola preventive measures the government, in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued every school six pieces of the non-contact thermometers for temperature taking on campuses, as well as what is referred to as, “Making Schools Safe Places for Learning Implementation of the Safe School Protocols flipbook.”In the flipbook guideline, students and teachers are being told to keep on disseminating the awareness information to protect themselves, their family members, their schools, etc.All the students’ health related issues at Newport Junior High will understandably be forwarded to Mr. Moses U-Joe Weidehgar. Mr. Weidehgar is an instructor, who is also attending the A.M. Dogliotti Medical College at the University of Liberia.Mr. Weidehgar told the Daily Observer that “preventive measures remain one of the most important goals of the school.  The aim is to avoid any outbreak.”For B.W. Harris Episcopal School Principal, Lurleen King Falla, the first day of reopening, “is very interesting as the students themselves know the Ebola preventive rules.”Despite students going by the preventive measures, her administration has for now disallowed any outsiders to come and sell to the students, especially those in the beginning classes.At the Cathedral Catholic School on Snapper Hill, the elation about the return to school was visible on the faces of students who trooped to classes.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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