Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fw: 90-year old pulls out on STEP

-----Original Message-----
From: "Dedan Jn. Baptiste" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:06:58
To: <>
Subject: 90-year old pulls out on STEP

During the Easter STEP program this blog reported the employment of under-aged workers. This we reported was a breach of the labour laws of the country.
To make matters even worse the selection committee for STEP program this time around has employed a ninety year old man to the program in the Roblot area while some needy parents are blatantly neglected because of their voting preference. Jadia Jn Pierre, the PM's press secretary made it crystal clear that this round of the program is to give support to the needy parents who have children who will be attending school in September. What about this statement that the Choiseul STEP organizors don't understand?
They failed to do a background check on the ageable man who is already on the government assistance program. Yes the old man fell sick after a day's work and had to be taken to hospital. He is presently in bed now. Reliable sources inform the blog that the old man's daughter as well as other persons in the community are upset as they see no reason why this man who can barely walk should be in the program.. The old man is a die-hard Labour. Get the picture?
This blog can point to at least three single mothers in the community who could do with the "kakadan" the program gives. Yet they were ignored. This form of affirmative action must stop now.
However one should not be surprised at the behaviour of the persons who head the program as they must have taken their que from the Rep.
Persons who do wrong that affect children will in someway, someday, pay for this. Will the old man still be paid? If I was in his place I would demand my pay.

Friday, July 27, 2012

90-year old pulls out on STEP

During the Easter STEP program this blog reported the employment of under-aged workers. This we reported was a breach of the labour laws of the country.
To make matters even worse the selection committee for STEP program this time around has employed a ninety year old man to the program in the Roblot area while some needy parents are blatantly neglected because of their voting preference. Jadia Jn Pierre, the PM's press secretary made it crystal clear that this round of the program is to give support to the needy parents who have children who will be attending school in September. What about this statement that the Choiseul STEP organizors don't understand?
They failed to do a background check on the ageable man who is already on the government assistance program. Yes the old man fell sick after a day's work and had to be taken to hospital. He is presently in bed now. Reliable sources inform the blog that the old man's daughter as well as other persons in the community are upset as they see no reason why this man who can barely walk should be in the program.. The old man is a die-hard Labour. Get the picture?
This blog can point to at least three single mothers in the community who could do with the "kakadan" the program gives. Yet they were ignored. This form of affirmative action must stop now.
However one should not be surprised at the behaviour of the persons who head the program as they must have taken their que from the Rep.
Persons who do wrong that affect children will in someway, someday, pay for this. Will the old man still be paid? If I was in his place I would demand my pay.

All ah we Is one

By Tennyson Joseph 

Dear Darren,
My determination to avoid the charge of petty-island nationalism has hitherto stayed my hand from expressing my support for you despite the many opportunities to do so.
However, after noticing the total blackout of gratitude following the West Indies 4-I victory over the touring New Zealand team in the One-Day series, my human decency urged that I balanced the equation by saying thank you, and by acknowledging your leadership role in the victory.
It does not stretch the imagination to determine what would have been the media response had the outcome been reversed. Certainly, there would be no hesitation in placing the blame at your feet. Any schoolchild could have written the editorial damning you, from a cut-and-paste of old commentary from the usual suspects. Notice how badly you were maligned for bowling two overs short in the one match that we lost. At least, through the negativity, there was a “backhanded” acknowledgement of your economical bowling.
Worry not, though, since many write for external readerships.
Your calm and dignity in the face of such unbelievable hostility tells me that you need no lessons from me on how to shoulder your burden. Indeed, I have witnessed far more seasoned and “educated” political leaders in our region resort to crudity, vulgarity and vindictiveness in the face of milder opposition.
However, I feel compelled to remind you that what you are facing is a result of our region’s acceptance of inherited colonial notions of MDC/LDC, centre/periphery, small island/big island and urban/rural dichotomies which continue to determine “who gets what when and how”.
Remember that we have inherited an authoritarian tradition and are now learning habits of civilized public discourse. We are often unnecessarily cruel. Those who have sacrificed the fullest for the collective happiness are often the least loved, and the most maligned.
Despite this, continue to remain a true Caribbean patriot.
As you face your own leadership challenge, remember that Sir Grantley Adams of Barbados was viewed as coming from too small an island to earn the respectful followership of others. But history has a way of bowling googlies, and only those willing to learn its lessons can read the turn. Unity is essential since yesterday’s MDC is today’s economic basket-case.
So bear your burden, Darren, but stay strong, humble, decent and dignified. Give it your all and trust in your ability, which, despite what the critics say, places you among the top tier of the current first class crop.
Remember, that a leader far greater than you was rejected for being from too insignificant a background to be taken seriously. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”, they derisively asked of that leader. So bear your fate, Darren Sammy, but continue in faithful service to the still oppressed Caribbean people.
One love, my brother.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Eye On This Round Of STEP

The latest round of STEP has just commenced in the North of the island. According to Jadia Jn Pierre it is geared towards single mothers and fathers who need the assistance with school expenses.
STEP will be commencing in Choiseul soon.In this constituency all eyes will be focussed on the powers that be who select persons from the various communities to partake in this round of the program.
It will be left to be seen whether the usual descriminatory politics come into play during the selection process. The keyword here as stated by the Prime Minister's press secretary is "parents in need to purchase school expenses." Therefore it is hope that the selectees for this month's STEP will be mothers and fathers who have children attending school and in need.
Recommendations should come from community-based groups where they are present and/or applications from the needy parents themselves. These names and applications should then be scrutinized and checked by a central committee before a final decision is taken to employ these persons.
This blog would be pleased if selections is done on merit. The children are the ones who will be affected. Choiseul is watching.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

UWP Constituency Branch Executive Formed

Reports reaching this blog reveal that supporters and well wishers of the UWP in the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency gathered at Virgilia's place last Sunday to elect an executive for the Constituency Branch. This constituency is famous for hurriedly putting together a costituency branch executives just before a convention. Nothing new.
It is being rumoured that the Party is making plans to hold its annual sometime in October.Also being wired through the grapevine is that Chastnet and Rigobert may put their hats in the ring to challenge King for political leadership.
As if it is engrained in the UWP's culture, to continue to do things within a click and refuse to invite the wider base of supporters to elect persons who will have a greater influence on the voting population in the constituency.
Due to past records and incidents certain figures who by whatever means have gotten themselves on this new executive should not be there. This only helps to further deepen the mistrust that the general public have of them and as a result will continue to haunt the party. Some persons must have the gonads to stay away from certain positions. For whatever gain or fear by the organizors, some of the leaders of the polling divisions in the constituency were not invited to take part in this elective/democratic process.. Polling division I5 which did better than all of the other divisions in the last elections was (perhaps deliberately) left out.
Why? In selecting the delegates to vote at the convention, this blog will monitor closely the mindset of these persons to discover whether any "cocomackery" or subservient action is being taken to influence their votes.
Though still early days the procedure which will be used to elect a new "local" candidate for next elections will be closely monitored. Any suggestions from the past Rep must be thrown out the window as his allegiance is on the other side of the divide. Also, this Executive must promise the people to investigate what happened to all the stuff that was at the office store room and at a warehouse, which was donated to the Choiseul people.
Until such time all eyes will be on this executive to see their effectiveness and committment.
Dedan C. G. Jn. Baptiste

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Roblot Development. Committee Completes slate

The Roblot Development Committee has been plagued with the problem of migration of its executive members for ages now. This scenario of replacing two executive members at a meeting earlier today is nothing new. However the method employed is not stipulated in the constitution of the Committee. However good the intentions of those who encouraged the new members to come onboard it must always be done within the ambit of the constitution.
This blog welcomes the two new members who will serve as assistant to the tresurar and public relations officer in the persons of Clement William and Dellan Emmanuel respectively. They are replacements for Yvonne Stanislas amd Cristal Anthony both are students at Sir Arthur.
Whether the statements the PRO were endorsed by the executive or they were his own was quite a mouthful. He claims to be responsible for the youth. Many ideas he said have been brought forward by the youth - games, sports, visiting the elderly and the litany goes on.
He then went into general statements which to my mind should be dealt with by the president - community projects and the like.
Suggestions were given by the floor members with regards to fund raising, donations and the return of the library to Roblot. The latter seems to be a no no as the president gave reasons for its transfer.
Working closely with Kieth who is a councillor was suggested, as well skills development for the youth in the community. The other members on the executive are Trudy, Enda, and Patrick.
It is left to be seen how committed this revived executive is. Only time will tell as they venture to prove a point and improve the Roblot Community.
Dedan C. G. Jn. Baptiste

Saturday, July 21, 2012

SLP Honours Campaign promise

The Ministry of Education is in the process of finalizing plans for the disbursement of bursaries for new Secondary School students.
As stated by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony in the 2012/2013 Budget Statement,
“To ease the burden on families whose children graduate from Primary School, we will provide a one-off bursary of $500.00 per student to eligible parents at the start of the school year. The purpose of this bursary is to assist parents to purchase vital school requirements, uniforms and shoes.”
According to Hon. Dr. Robert Lewis, Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, a system has been identified for the assessment of applications and subsequent disbursement of funds which will be done well ahead of the start of the new school year. To be eligible for the bursary, the following criteria must be satisfied by the applicant:
1. The student wrote the Common Entrance Examination;
2. The student will be attending a Secondary School; and
3. The student has applied for the bursary.
While the bursary is available to all parents, some may choose not to access it; hence the application process becomes necessary.
Any student who returns to Grade 6 will not be eligible for the bursary.
The application forms will be available at all district education offices immediately after the launch of the programme which is expected to take place in the form of a press conference by the Minister for Education next week.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Roblot Combined School Holds Awards Ceremony
The students of the Roblot Combined School and most of their parents assembled in the assembly hall on Wednesday July 11, 2012 for the Annual Awards Ceremony. Dignitaries present were the District Education Officer, Mr. John Mathurin, Mr Alderick Mondesir, Representing the Choiseul Development Foundation and Mr Albert Charlery, the guest speaker. the ceremony got underway at about 10:30 am.

The Dignitaries: Alderick Mondesir, Albert Charlery
John Mathurin, and Monica Bernard (Principal).
The Principal delivered the opening remarks and after welcoming the invited dignitaries and parents went on to encourage the students to strive for excellence. She went at length to justify the importance of the awards to the students. The awards she said, “Symbolizes everything in the child.”
“Work to excel in everything you do. Everything you do always put your best into it.” The DEO warned the students. He went on, “Choose your friends wisely, and do not let friends influence you in[to] doing what is wrong. Set your goals and overcome every barrier.” The parents he said must give support to the children if they are to perform at a high level.
Charlery, in his remarks with the theme Brilliance, made mention of two sports personalities: Darren Sammy and Lavern Spencer. He said that it was because of their  effort and brilliance that they were able to achieve so much. Presently Sammy is the West Indies cricket team captain while Spencer is a St Lucian top High Jumper of Olympics status.  Brilliance he told the gathering they must try to achieve through hard work. One famous statement he made during his delivery which created a murmur among the parents was when the warned them to, “Move away from the “Savanne slang” to develop the child’s capabilities. Speak to the child in a proper manner.”
A logo competition sponsored by the Choiseul Development Foundation which was held two years ago was won by a student of the school. Mr Mondesir presented the prize to that child. He also informed the gathering that Roblot Combined also captured the second place prize. Mr Mondesir went on to give the gathering a brief history of the foundation as well as its present executive.
The last part of the ceremony saw the presentations of medals and certificates to the top students in Math, and English from the different grades. The grade six teacher awarded prizes to the most discipline child in his class and the top sports student in the school. Shania William, daughter of Shana Charles and Clement William of Roblot was hailed the top student of the school by the principal. She topped the School’s Common Entrance results this year’s with an average of 82.33%. She also placed sixth in the Constituency. The principal awarded her with prizes for topping the Math and English scores while Zacheus Wilson got the prize for topping the General Paper score.
It was now the parents turn to show their appreciation to the teachers. Shana Charles presented gifts to Ms Thomas and Mr Felix for their dedicated effort and patience while teaching her children  Shakil and Shania respectively. Thelma Herman  also thanked ms Thomas for a job well done with her child.
In the next school year the staff will be one teacher less because of a low student population at the school. This teacher Ms               was presented with a token for her hard work.
Zacheus delivered the vote of thanks which brought an end to this year’s ceremony.   

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mongouge Combined Student Tops Constituency’s 2012 Common Entrance Examinations

  In spite of Mongouge Combined School placing way down in the rankings, a student from that school topped the local results. As was stated in an earlier post, the names and scores of students from some schools could not be reported due to the absence of the results from those principals. Now the results are all in.
This post will present to its readers the top three students/scores from each of the schools for this year’s Common Entrance Examinations. Dugard and Piaye Combined passed the National Mean of 59.04 with 71.17 and 64.23 respectively. All the other schools performed below the National mean. (the scores were stated in a previous post).
Dugard Combined:
1.       Davia K. Albert   - 89.00
2.       Tammy B. Gabriel  - 87.67
3.       Sedran L Theodille  - 86.33
Piaye Combined:
1.       Jayden P. Theodore  - 84.00
2.       Sherlan Z. Philip  - 82.00
3.       Shermac S. Phillip  - 76.00
Rivere Doree Combined:
1.       Donnalson Clarke  - 78.00
2.       Zahid J. Louisien  - 76.33
3.       Cheriss M. Englis  - 73.0
Delcer R.C. Combined:
1.       Kira C. Defreites   - 89.33
2.       Enfer  k. Albert  -  83.00
3.       Kima S. Edgar  - 80.00
Reunion Primary:
1.       Britney B. Calixte  - 76.67
2.       Charvez A. James  - 76.33
3.       Chessa E. Obeius  - 75.67
Roblot Combined:
1.       Nina S. William  - 82.33
2.       Zaccheus Wilson  - 80.00
3.       Kandi B. Joseph  - 70.33
Mongouge Combined:
1.       Renelle S. Simon  - 89.67
2.       Fiona S. St Romain  - 82.33
3.       Merlissa Dagazon  - 79.00
Saltibus Combined:
1.       Kayannah A. Denis  - 81.67
2.       Jodi l. Emmanuel  - 74.67
3.       Sherdaisy D. Antoine  - 73.67
Analyzing the results, one will notice that Renelle S. Simon topped the exams with a total of 89.67. This is the second time that Mongouge Combined has achieved such a feat. Congrats to Renelle. One will also notice that the girls continue to dominate the boys in the results. In the 24 top places only 7 boys  are included and only 2 in the top ten places.
Ranking the top ten students would show this – 1. Renelle from Mongouge Combined,  2. Kira from Delcer R.C Combined,  3. Davia from Dugard Combined, 4. Tammy from Dugard Combined, 5. Sedran also from Dugard Combined, 6. Jayden from Piaye Combined, 7. Enfer from Delcer R.C. Combined, 8. Nina and Fiona from Roblot and Mongouge Combined respectively, 9. Kayannah from Saltibus Combined and 10. Zaccheus from Roblot Combined.
Normally over the past  5 years the ex-rep donated a laptop to the top student of each school. Taking into consideration SLP’s “Better Days”  slogan one would expect a laptop for each of the ten performers in this year’s exams.
A staunch supporter of Lorne, and a regular comment writer to this blog once suggested to the past rep to honour the top CXC students as well.  It was a good suggestion. Now it’s her turn to coax her rep to do so. A complete synopsis can be read at
In closing this blog wishes all the students who sat this year’s exams the best of luck in their future endeavours.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

VAT Should Be Delayed

By Caribbean News  Now contributor.
 After weeks of what it describes as cautiously examining St Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony’s motive for wanting to implement value added tax (VAT) in September -- now in October -- of this year, the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) said it is firmly convinced that there is a sinister political motive behind the government’s attempts to railroad the implementation of the VAT in St Lucia.

While the LPM said it is not opposed to the implementation of VAT -- and is fully supportive and understanding of why it is required -- the party cannot help but see the motive behind this rush.

According to the LPM, when compared to other standard models, VAT legislation can be very complex and, if too politically motivated, can take an ad hoc path that will destroy the very essence of its implementation, namely, to achieve financial stability through effective fiscal and monetary management. The LPM warned the current administration to refrain from littering the VAT legislation with too many exemptions and privileges. This fiscal path can diminish revenue impact and will be difficult to manage, the party said, in a press statement.

“The LPM is firmly of the opinion that Dr Anthony and his government is in a rush to establish VAT during its first year in government, simply for political expedience. It is thinking in terms of the long-term political interest of the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP), and not in terms of what is economically viable for the country at this time,” the statement read.

“By implementing VAT right now, the SLP is hoping to escape the wrath of the people of St Lucia -- a wrath that is bound to occur, given the hardship that VAT will exact. It is the belief of the LPM that by so doing, the SLP is hoping that the passage of its term in office will lead to the people of St Lucia forgetting all about the economic hardship they have had to endure for decades,” the statement continued

The LPM called upon Anthony and his government to delay the implementation of the VAT to 1 January 2013, so as to fine-tune and better define a tax system that is as yet largely unknown to the general populace.

“The design of the VAT has to take into critical account our country’s public sector size, degree of openness, industrial concentration levels, literacy rates, and the size distribution of the tax to name a few. The people of St Lucia must fully understand what they are up against, before being taken like proverbial lambs to the slaughter,” the statement concluded.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Was this a Political Move?

Many citizens do things that sometimes leave the public confused. So to are many politicians. When in opposition they wallow in their loss, grieve over the perks and other benefits which they enjoyed while in office and as result do some out of the blue act. Further these politicians really think that they can continue to take the electorate for granted. This must never be allowed to happen again.
Choiseul has suffered immensely under the past reprentatives whose only interest is themselves save Gilbert Mason and JMD.
There were those who were green to the politics and as a result could not manage, there were those who did not care two hoots about the constituency, and there were those that had access to millions to spend in the constituency.
Were these millions justifiably spent? Were these millions disbursed legally? Is Choiseul millions richer? Are Choiseulians better off today than fifteen years ago? It's yours to decide.
You may be wondering but where am. I going with this? Simply put, this blog will not stay silent and let Choiseul be taken for any anymore rides.
Bousquet was in church on Sunday this blog was reliably informed. Why? Was it a form of repentance or seeking forgiveness, or compassion or pity. Or, taken out of the blue, trying to make a come back????
If the latter part of the of the previous paragraph is true, Rufus better think twice because. "WE GOING LOCAL"
Rufus is so blinded that he has failed to realise that Choiseul don't need him anymore. The whole campaign crew in the last election is mad at him (he knows why) and so are many, many person throughout the length and breadth of the constituency - Jimmy Haynes being his worst nightmare.
Could you imagine Rufus, in his usual grand styling, boasting that no UWP candidate can win the Choiseul seat without his help. According to Jouk Bois,"Man u foo!"
It is a well known fact that Rufus' present leanings are on the other side of the divide. Furthermore, the UWP has written him off. It is also being rumoured that he has to do what he is doing because of some special favour he gets from SLP. Not surprised! Check out his regular media statements, and don't dismiss the court case.
So now, he and our Rep are partners. Could Lorne's present troubles in De Party be attributed to this relationship? May be not. But still, can you tell?
Bousquet's move to attend church last Sunday is a calculated one which must be viewed with suspicion. Your humble servant only knows too well that nothing must be put passed that man.
For his own good, Rufus should let go of Choiseul,change his modus operandi and move on. He has done his measured bit, which is regrettably menial compared to what could have been done with millions. Choiseul paid the price. Many will come and go but Choiseul will reign.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from LIME.

Monday, July 09, 2012

The Flower Festivals: Unlocking the Potential for Choiseul to Derive Economic Benefits from Tourism.

 Choiseul is strategically nested in the midst of two main towns in St. Lucia with major hotels – Coconut Bay, Jalousie, Ladera, Anse Chastanet/Jade Mountain. Imagine a typical tourist in the south/southwest – wakes up, goes to breakfast, goes on a tour or lays on the beach/by the pool. However, I have often wondered what constitutes the nightlife of tourists staying in the southern belt of the island – of course apart from restaurant/bar or weekly entertainment at their respective hotels? Where is there to go? Where can a visitor find an authentic, engaging, enriching, bonafide, typically St. Lucian experience?

As we get ready to celebrate the Flower Festivals of La Rose and La Maguerite, there is social and economic merit in considering the promotion of the festivals as a major tourism experience. Festivals and events play a vital role in portraying communities as exciting and friendly and are pertinent in enhancing the images of local communities. Moreover, festivals galvanize active involvement of local residents and play an integral role in empowering disadvantaged members of the community such as women and the poor. Increased local involvement in the industry will also help ensure that more earnings from tourism remain in the community.

The Rose and the Marguerite symbolize the two floral societies of St. Lucia. While represented by simple flowers, they tell a tale of more than two centuries. Whereas in some countries the population is divided between classes or castes, in the cultural context St. Lucia has two ‘societies’ - Roses and Marguerites.

The structure of these societies is inextricably linked to their function within the colonial society. Both groups are hierarchically structured with a king and queen as head of each society with other dignitaries organized based on the socio-economic structure of the colonial society. Thus, after the king and queen, are the prince and princess, followed by several pseudo-legal and military and professional personnel, including magistrates, soldiers, policemen, doctors, and nurses. Each society has a patron saint on whose feast day the fastival is celebrated. For the Rose it is the feast of St. Rose of Lima on August 30; and for the Marguerite it is that of St. Marguerite Alacocque on October, 17.

The festival is typified by an elaborate and colorful event, rife with splendor and pageantry. It is preceded by several nights of rehearsals called ‘séances’, when many community residents partake in folk dancing, chanting and dramatizing. Séances are nightly activities of song and folk dance, which take place a few weeks before the feast date. They are very intriguing events that may be of major interest to tourists.

Strict protocol is observed is observed at those nightly ‘séances’ with members bowing to the King and Queen. Uniformed soldiers and police enforce rules to maintain order. Any offenders are taken before the magistrate for a mock trial and are then fined. One of the most intriguing aspects of the ‘séances’ is that if found stealing candies hanging from the top, one is arrested by the ‘police’, brought to ‘jail’ and released only upon payment of a fine (small fee). This can serve as a main avenue for the community to earn of revenue from visitors.

The central figure in the ‘séance’ is the ‘chantwel’ (mostly females) or lead singer who controls the tenor during evening entertainment. She leads the singing with the other members acting as a chorus in a responsorial pattern. The songs can be one of two types: songs that praise the beauty and power of the respective flower; and those that ridicule the other flower society. Creativity is key to the success of outwitting the opponent. Instrumentation comprises any combination of violin, guitar, banjo, quarto, shak shak, drums and baha.

The festival culminates on the feast date with a church service in catholic churches throughout the island. The mass is followed by processions in the streets, the key characters exquisitely clad. Thereafter all community groups travel to a selected community each year for the grand celebration to which dignitaries are invited. The rest of the evening is spent eating and dancing to folk music such as quadrille, mappa and belair.

Of all activities undertaken on a trip to St. Lucia, the engagement in such a unique experience makes it one of if not the most memorable experience. However, such an undertaking requires the support and assistance in areas such as promotion from the national tourism organisations (SLHTA, SLTB, and the Minsitry). 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Dugard Combined Tops District

Well, well, well, Dugard Combined School  has topped the Constituency in this year's Common Entrance Exams. This is the third consecutive year that this school has topped the results - a legacy of. Retired principal Clara Edwards. To add to this result, Dugard Combined School has ranked third on the island with an average of 71.17%. Bravo Dugard Combined and all hats off to Veronica Stanislas, the grade 6 teacher, for a job well done. "Choiseul on the Move" salutes you.The top student whose name the principal refused to give this blog has an average of 89%. Commenting on the reasons for Dugard's continuous high performance, the District Education Officer noted briefly, ".The school has more or less enjoyed a stable staff."
Piaye Combined, according to .Ms Mc Donald, the principal, ranked 9th on the island, one notch lower than last year's results. Her top student,Jaydn Theodore scored 84%.
Reunion Primary's top student, according to the principal, scored 76.67%. The student is Britney Calixte.
   Roblot Combined's Shania William was all smiles today when she found out that she had topped her school mark with 82.33%. Accompanied by her mom, who was also glowing with joy,Shania expressed great joy over her feat. She will be attending the Choiseul Secondary.
The top passes from the other schools could not be obtained as the principals had not had access to the results when they were contacted.
However, information coming from the Education Sub-office gave the averages of each school. Only two schools in the constituency achieved and passed the National mean of 59.04%: Dugard and Piaye only..
Ranking the schools in the constituency according to the Ministry's average scores, paint this picture. 1st Dugard Combined - 71.17%, 2nd Piaye Combined - 64.23%, 3rd Rivere Doree Combined - 57.31%, 4th Delcer Primary - 56.91%, 5th Reunion Primary - 56.54%, 6th, Roblot Combined - 56.44%, 7th Mongouge Combined - 55.39% and 8th Saltibus Combined - 53.88%.
This blog will report on the names of the other top students when they become available.
As to the reason (s) why our schools fail to reach the National Mean is for another show.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from LIME.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Tourism Pie - Where does Choiseul fit in?

Notwithstanding its widespread acknowledgment as the cultural capital of St. Lucia, Choiseul with its ubiquitous endowment of attributes favourable to tourism development is yet to enjoy a slice of St. Lucia’s tourism pie, let alone its fair share.

Breathtaking scenic views, the Sabweesha beach park, the Saltibus trail and waterfall, the Carib heritage, the art and craft cottage industry, the folklore, La Rose & La Maguerite flower festivals, the fisheries sector - by no means an exhaustive list of prime pull factors to lure visitors to Choiseul. Whilst there has been talk about the intention to construct two large hotels in the community, in the interim, this Blog proposes a more strategic and sustainable approach to Tourism development in the community.

In fact this approach is in keeping with the promise outlined in the SLP Manifesto which advocates for a re-structured economy with “continued development of high-end tourism products such as adventure tourism, nature based tourism, and cultural tourism, conferences and community based tourism” (pg. 6).

Consultation with a local tourism expert – yes a Choiseulian - who has published several articles in international tourism journals revealed that cultural/community-based tourism is one of the fastest growing sub-sectors in tourism, as modern tourists are increasingly seeking more authentic, enriching experiences. Out of several tourism niche activities (viz. event tourism, sport tourism, adventure tourism), there has been a notable rise in cultural tourism. The Travel Industry Association reported that cultural tourists represented 81% of American adults traveling abroad.

Most studies on the impacts of tourism in St. Lucia have highlighted the inequitable geographical distribution of the tourism industry in St. Lucia. For example, in an article on Pro Poor Tourism in St. Lucia, Yves Renard noted that: “tourism amenities and activities are not evenly distributed geographically, and this constitutes a barrier for many…Tourism facilities are concentrated on the north-west coast of the island, and to a lesser extent in the Soufriere region in the south-west”. Boxill and Nicholas (2002) expressed the same notion in their study on the socio-economic impacts of tourism in St. Lucia. They found that while 90 percent of respondents believed that tourism benefits St. Lucia, only 52 percent believed that tourism has made a significant contribution to their community. As one respondent put it:
Tourism is centralized within the northern part of the country. My community gets no benefits from the industry. Tourists don’t visit my area at all. I wouldn’t even know that tourists were in the country, if I didn’t see them passing in vehicles (p. 98).

Unlocking the potential for tourism development, particularly cultural tourism in Choiseul, with a view to maximising much needed economic benefits to address the dire unemployment situation plaguing the community is therefore imperative. To complement the community’s historical and natural appeal, appropriate accommodation such as eco-lodges should also be considered to ensure that visitors are not transient but rather stay and spend in the community. The resources (natural and cultural assets, expertise etc.) are readily available. Thus, what is most required is innovation, commitment and political will and support. 
The question which one is forced to contemplate now is, what is our Rep, who is also the Minister of Tourism, doing to unlock the potential for tourism in our Constituency with the view of alleviating the unemployment scourge  with now prevails. ( He should, albeit, mindful of his closing statements during his contribution to the Estimates of Expenditure during this year's budget debate) It's time to step up to the plate and deliver.

Monday, July 02, 2012

NICE - Will it elude Choiseul?

Dr Anthony recently launched the program National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE)
in his constituency. He mentioned that this program will make jobs available to the youth of this country. The PM disclosed that unemployment.among the youth in the 20 - 24 age group rates at 32% while in the 15 to 19 age group it is a towering 63%.
In Choiseul a wild guess at the unemployment figures of both groups may very well be about 80%. How is Lorne going to implement the program to help alleviate the unemployment situation.?
Last Friday the PM's Office, where NICE office is based unleashed a two-week summer program to employ 190 secondary school children commencing July 23 to August 19, 2012. These students are to work in camps for children 5 to 12 years old. What percentage of this 190 that will be allocated to our constituency is left to be seen?
This blog's concern is how the program will be managed? How will the students be recruited? Will the selection be on a non partisan basis and an equal number of students from each divisional area? Who will make the final selection, is it a set of persons or a one man show? Where are interested students to drop in their applications? Questions and more questions will be asked.
Those that are given to oversee this program in the constituency must come out now and let the public know how the program will run.
This blog is aware that the libraries in the constituency do run a summer program annually. These libraries should each be given two students to help the librarians.
This is also a testing time for our teachers. Time to show their dedication and make their Rep proud. They must take the initiative now and organize summer camps in their communities. Like Kenny said the camps must have an educational, sports or cultural component and other activities that are deemed important.
So here we are at the cross roads. Let's see if employment will be created for at least 18 (two per political division) of our needy secondary school students.
Let's see how Lorne and his crew work this one out.
Tip: Make Bolo or Clara the co- ordinator.
Really this blog will have to charge Lorne for this tip. (LOL)
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from LIME.