– East Coast residents urge Govt, NDCsSeveral main access and inline roads in key communities along the East Coast of Demerara have, over the past few years, fallen into a state of disrepair or have become deplorable, forcing residents on Thursday and Friday last to protest the conditions as they pleaded for the authorities to undertake urgent repairs and upgrades of these roads.When the Guyana Times visited Beterverwagting, Annandale and Enterprise on Thursday morning, residents complained bitterly about the state of the roads and the fact that they have been lobbying for over three years to get their respective Neigbourhood Democratic Councils to undertake remedial and corrective works.“We are fed up, frustrated and tired! They do not respond to, or understand, the discomfort we experience when we have to traverse these roads”, Shanti Persaud of Annandale explained during an interview.The woman said that when there is a heavy downpour and the streets in certain part of Annandale flood, the potholes in the roads sink deeper, and persons could injure themselves.Another resident of Enterprise said there is need for certain corrective works to be done to roads in key sections of the community. He said there are times when vehicle owners complain about the roads and their state.Meanwhile, residents of communities such as Mon Repos, Success, La Bonne Intention (LBI), Montrose and Better Hope are also complaining about the poor state of their roads.“The school children are the most affected, and those who have to walk through the mud and (slush) to access public transportation. Vehicle owners and operators who work in Montrose and Better Hope are also experiencing hardship”, Ryan Persaud of Third Street, Montrose told Guyana Times on Friday.He said he was concerned about the poor works being done by the local NDC in the area, and wanted more progress and swift action to have the potholes and badly damaged roads within his community affected.The residents claim that some of the roads had been neglected for years, and little or no work is being done to improve the conditions of the roads.“The Chairman lives not too far from here, and look at our roads. He is not doing anything for us”, another Montrose resident explained.When contacted in December last year, Chairman of the Better Hope/Success/LBI NDC, Zaman Shaw, sympathised with the residents. He admitted that the roads in those communities were in dire need of repair, but distanced his NDC for being solely responsible for their maintenance and upkeep.Shaw had said that his NDC was doing its part and had been lobbying the RDC and Central Government to make more resources available to make the necessary interventions.Some improvement work was done soon after, but most of the roads have reverted to being deplorable.Meanwhile, residents of Plaisance have also bemoaned the poor state of their roads, and have called for action to be taken to correct the hatchet job that is continually being done on the roads there.The East Coast residents want the local Neighbourhood Democratic Council and the relevant regional as well as Central Government bodies to take swift action to return their communities and the road infrastructure there to their former glory. (Michael Younge)
Results of the new Alaska Measures of Progress standardization tests were made public Monday in Anchorage.Download AudioAlaska education commissioner Mike Hanley discusses the AMP results in Anchorage. Photo: Ellen Lockyer/KSKA.Alaska education commissioner Mike Hanley says he is excited about the data gained from the first implementation of the AMP. Hanley says results of the spring 2015 tests are to become the baseline data for assessing the results of tougher state education standards.“This is the new era, a new baseline, a new test. It is significantly different, the expectations are significantly different,” Hanley says.General statewide results show that less than half the students tested meet proficiency standards in English Language Arts, and between 21 and 41 percent achieve proficiency in mathematics.The Commissioner said that in some school districts, 60 percent of students met the higher level results.Hanley stated that although the results show room for improvement, they also show that the education department has raised the bar to make the tests more difficult.“If you look at Level 2, it says students may have gaps in knowledge,and skills, but still are capable of most grade level content. We felt that these terms of meeting standards and partially meeting standards really accurately reflected where students were. Previously we used terms like ‘proficient’ and ‘not proficient.’ Well, if you are not proficient, it seems like you didn’t get over this bar, you were not close, you didn’t make it. This recognizes that students are operating at grade level, have most of the standards under their belt, but may have some gaps they need to address.”The AMP tests are given to grades 3 through 10. Students score in four levels, from low to high. Students scoring in Level 3 and 4 are meeting the new standards, while students scoring in the first two levels only partially meet them.Hanley says the new AMP scores are not comparable to the old standards, because the new tests are more difficult and use a different type of scoring.A breakdown of scores by grade and by school district is available on the department of education webpage.Parents can expect student-level reports later this month.
Travellers Choice thanks “true partners”Travellers Choice thanks “true partners” for key role in 40-year journeyTravellers Choice marked its 40th anniversary last night by throwing a stylish party in Sydney for the industry partners that have helped it grow from a small WA-based cooperative to Australia’s leading national network for independent agents.Managing Director Christian Hunter told more than 75 guests at the Museum of Contemporary Art that since being formed by a handful of agencies in 1977, Travellers Choice had “come a long way”.He said the group’s unique culture, its support services and its focus on returning all profits to its member shareholders were essential to its success, but just as vital were the “true partnerships” forged over four decades with its broad stable of preferred partners.“In the early days, when we were very small, some of the companies here tonight took a punt on us,” Hunter told the gathering.“Across the decades, as we grew, others came on board. And throughout our 40 years we have developed long-standing and highly-valued relationships with all of the businesses represented here tonight.“We know we cannot do what we do, as successfully as we do it, if it wasn’t for your unwavering commitment and enduring support. So please, on behalf of all Travellers Choice members, accept our thanks for your past, present and future efforts.”Travellers Choice members from across Australia will come together in Perth in November for their own 40th birthday party.The celebrations will be a highlight of the group’s Annual Shareholders’ Conference, which takes place this year at the six-star Crown Towers, Australia’s newest luxury property.For further information on Travellers Choice please visit www.travellerschoice.com.au