first_imgOpen Liberia’s executive director, Samuka Konneh.On the very day Liberia inaugurated its new President and Vice President, a civil society organization released what it referred to as ‘useful data’ to support the new government’s education and youth development programs.The data is contained in a report titled: A Decade Without Higher Education, which details findings from a study conducted in September and October 2017, that sought to understand the level of education attained by local commercial motorcycle and taxi drivers within the last decade.There are an estimated 40,000 commercial motorcyclists in the country.Open Liberia’s executive director, Samuka Konneh, warned that in another decade from now, and as attractive as the commerical motorcycle sector remains, more and more young people will fail to attain higher education – thereby increasing the number of illiterates and school-dropouts in the country.The study concludes that as much as commercial motorcycle business seems to be a vibrant income-generating sector, it has in some significant ways hampered the pursuit of higher education by Liberia’s youth population. Releasing the report, Konneh said that the fast and untaxed revenues from this sector discourages actors from pursuing sustainable careers, either through higher academic, technical or vocational education, adding that the sector plays an enduring role in suppressing the national campaign against illiteracy.Motorcyclists overwhelmingly supported the candidacy of the soccer legend, George Weah.The study interviewed 1,001 motorcycle taxi drivers – 868 or 86.2% of whom the study finds have spent between one to ten years in the sector.“But in that whole decade, 90% of respondents attained less than a high school education. Only two motorcyclists were found to have graduated from a college or university, although 53 enrolled,” Konneh said.According to him, the primary reason commercial motorcyclists cited for not furthering their education was the lack of money to cater to personal, family, and school obligations at the same time, and from a single income source. “Interestingly, only a few respondents blamed their not being in school on lack of interest or lack of school in their communities. In fact, as per the data, all except 5 respondents expressed interest in going back to school,” he said.Specifically, the study found that 45 of respondents (4.7%)  have only attained elementary education; 231 (23.9%) have attained junior high education; 251 respondents (26%) have attained up to but not more than senior high education; while 341 respondents (35.3%) have graduated from high school within the last decade.The study also finds that within the last decade, only 21 of the respondents enrolled at a technical or vocational school.Holding the country’s stability as a measurement, the reports says any person who was in elementary school in 2003 would have been out of high school by the end of the decade in 2013.Konneh: “Similarly, those who were in junior high within the same time frame would have been in their 2nd or 3rd year in college while those at high school level would have all been out of college by now – if they had remained or continued in school. But the reality is different, based on the data our study has generated from speaking with actors in this sector.”Apart from the inquiry about their educational level, the study also inquired about why these young people chose the motorcycle taxi sector. The primary reason cited by them was to sustain themselves and their families, and not to pay school fees. 366 or 36.6% of respondents said they chose the trade primarily to sustain themselves while 318 (31.8%) chose it to sustain their families. In fact, only 99 respondents (9.8%) chose to drive motorcycle taxi in order to pay school fees.“These statistics explain why 90% of commercial motorcyclists interviewed are still in high school or only high school graduates,” Konneh added.The civil society organization is proposing that while commercial motorcycling remains a viable income generating sector, stakeholders in Liberia’s education and youth development should begin to develop technical, vocational or professional training programs specifically tailored for and targeting actors in this sector.“Our emphasis on this category of young people is based on the fact that they find motorcycle taxi driving as an activity that generates income to handle their immediate expenses, but ignore the long term effect of not being educated. Commercial motorcycling is not a sustainable trade or career. The fact that 90% of the young people interviewed did not get enough income to enroll in a higher learning institution supports our conclusion that commercial motorcycling is not a sustainable activity,” says Konneh.“If we must empower and include our young people in our country’s governance, we must start by prioritizing education rather than money-making at an early stage in their lives,” he concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgBusinesses throughout Donegal have been urged to provide sanitary disposal facilities in their male public restrooms for the disposal of incontinence products by men suffering from this condition. The calls were made by leading experts in hygiene, Initial, following the Irish Longitudinal Study on ageing that found that 1 in 7 older adults in Ireland experiences urinary incontinence and that 25% of those affected experience limitations in their normal activities because of this.According to Initial, incontinence is an issue affecting many older people in Ireland, both men and women. Dr Susmita Sarma, President of the Continence Foundation of Ireland said: “There is a lot that businesses can do to help facilitate those suffering from incontinence.“It is a condition which is often overlooked and which affects many Irish people,” she added.“The provision of sanitary disposal facilities in men’s public bathrooms would be an important step for businesses to take in order to make their lavatories more accommodating.” While many businesses provide sanitary disposal bins in their female bathrooms, men are often overlooked in this regard. As a result, men suffering from incontinence cannot dispose of their incontinence products in a hygienic way.Richard Faulkner, Technical Field Consultant with Initial said: “All public washrooms should have hygienic disposal facilities available.“Without sanitary bins in place, people either cannot dispose of their incontinence products or resort to using regular waste bins or toilets for disposing of them.“This is both unhygienic and unsafe.”   Calls made for the installation of male sanitary bins across Donegal was last modified: March 20th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgInitial results of Cassini’s March 12 flyby of Enceladus have been published.  You can watch a replay of today’s press briefing, read the blog, and read illustrated bulletins about the organic material, chemical signatures, hot spot locations, the stellar occultation (see also the Quicktime animation).  Another article shows the plume locations.  An astrobiologist (Chris McKay) added his speculations about life.  The encounter preview page contains links to more information, including the flyby details (PDF), and the video page contains an eye-grabbing animation of the flyby sequence as it was programmed with each instrument’s activities.  Here is the rundown on the major findings:The hot spots align predominantly right along the “tiger stripe” fractures at the south pole.The highest temperatures lie at certain points along the tiger stripes where plumes have been seen.Temperatures are hotter than earlier measurements: -135° F. (compared to a background temperature of less than -300° F.).  This indicates a great deal of energy is being transferred from the interior.Some transverse warm areas were detected, oriented perpendicular to the stripes.The material jets out at over 1000 mph and was strong enough to produce a measurable torque on Cassini, 120 miles away.Though most of the jets consist of ice grains 1/10,000 of an inch in diameter, simple organics were detected (methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde) and some complex organics (propane, propyne, acetylene).No ammonia was found.  Scientists had hoped that ammonia might depress the melting point of water and make the plumes easier to explain.The plumes appear to emerge from localized regions about half a tennis court in area, but extended along narrow strips within the tiger stripes.Though this brief press flurry did not mention it, Cassini also took a gorgeous mosaic of the north pole of Enceladus – including areas not previously imaged at high resolution.  The mosaic can be seen at the Imaging Team catalog page for March 13.    Leader of the INMS (Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer) instrument Hunter Waite (Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio) was most surprised that the chemical brew emerging from the plumes resembles that of a comet.  Enceladus is obviously not a comet.  He described the cocktail as being “like carbonated water with an essence of natural gas.”    At this time, no one speculated about the origin of the plumes or how they could be maintained for billions of years.  John Spencer of the CIRS team (Composite Infrared Spectrometer) did say that the temperatures could be hotter further down enough to allow for liquid water.    Water – that was the magic word.  The astrobiologists kicked into gear.  “Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson, project scientist (cf. 03/19/2008).  “We have quite a recipe for life on our hands, but we have yet to find the final ingredient, liquid water, but Enceladus is only whetting our appetites for more.”  These thoughts were also echoed on the NASA TV press briefing as if scripted.  Matson and astrobiologist Chris McKay in a related feature talked about the feasibility of exotic life and contrasted the “primordial soup theory” with the “deep sea vent theory.”  Either theory would work on Enceladus, they claimed.  The confidence that life is nearly inevitable contrasted starkly against an admitted background of ignorance and controversy: “We don’t know how long it takes for life to start when the ingredients are there and the environment is suitable, but it appears to have happened quickly on Earth,” the article said.  Then, with a bow to a Darwin metaphor, it continued, “So maybe it was possible that on Enceladus, life started in a ‘warm little pond’ below the icy surface occurring over the last few tens of millions of years.”  More observations will be needed, of course.    And indeed, more observations are on the way.  A series of close encounters with Enceladus has been planned during Cassini’s extended mission, which begins (pending final approval) on July 1.  The next is in August.  The cameras, which were not the prime instruments for the recent flyby, will have a chance to take extreme high-resolution photos of the tiger stripes, and the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA), which failed to operate, will get one more optimal chance to collect geyser particles.  Seven more close flybys are planned through 2009.    The March 12 encounter dipped 30 miles from the surface at closest approach; some of the daring flybys to come will be even closer – fast, low, and maybe even more thrilling.  The little 300-mile-wide moon Enceladus seems to be a strong contender for Best Actor of the Saturn awards.Good grief, Enceladus has nothing to do with life.  This is the distracting emotional appeal like the scantily-clad woman beside the truck at the used car lot.  NASA throws in the distraction at every mention of the word water in a vain belief that it will garner public support for the space program.  As could be expected, right on cue, National Geographic News picked up on this theme as the major aspect of the story.  Dave Mosher at Space.com even said “seeds of life found near Saturn.”  Incredible.  All they found was poison gas like methane and acetylene, folks!  Go experiment with your barbecue.  Write us if anything crawls out except the spider that took up residence there over the winter.    The scientists totally avoided the age issue today.  John Spencer has frankly admitted being completely baffled and embarrassed that the science community has no answer for where this little moon got its energy, or for how it could maintain it over billions of years.  Their plight has only gotten worse since the discovery of the plumes in 2005.  Recall that yesterday (03/25/2008, footnote to main entry) we highlighted a new paper in next month’s Icarus that struck down both tidal heating and radioactivity – the leading theoretical possibilities – as plausible sources of the heat.  That makes the scientists’ focus on exotic life even more distracting, as if the emperor, once exposed, quickly points to the sky and waxes eloquent about how the cloud shapes appear so very lifelike.  Let’s watch instead how his minions are going to robe their little embarrassment now that King Billions-of-Years has mooned the crowd.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgSouth African isiXhosa-language movie Inxeba movingly explores the conflict of traditional rites of manhood, when initiates “go to the mountain”, with awakening pride in gay identity.Inxeba, also known as The Wound, had its African premiere at the 38th Durban International Film Festival in July. It opens in South African theatres in February 2017. (Image: IMDb)Brand South Africa reporterThe team behind the South African film Inxeba – internationally titled The Wound – scooped up local and international awards this year, two from the 38th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).It was announced at the DIFF’s closing ceremony that the best director award went to John Trengrove and the best actor to Nakhane Touré. The festival was held from 13 to 23 July 2017.Inxeba had its African premiere at the festival, screening held at The Playhouse in Durban. It was in competition with Serpent (South Africa), Le Clair Obscur (Turkey), La Belle et la Meute (Tunisia), El Hombre que Cuida (Dominican Republic), Asinamali! (South Africa), Liyana (South Africa), Atanyn Kereezi (Kyrgyzstan) and Basta (Morocco).Inxeba tells the story of Xolani, a factory worker in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. During initiation season he is also a caregiver for young men on the mountain. Xolani is gay, but no-one knows. But during the few weeks of one initiation his orientation is exposed, and drama follows.Watch the trailer:An IOL review of Inxeba highlights the strict rule in Xhosa culture that what happens on the mountain stays on the mountain. “Then add in a gay theme, which is often frowned upon by conservative people, not only in Africa but in the rest of the world, and there is potential for Inxeba to become the Once Were Warriors of Xhosa initiation,” wrote IOL reviewer Theresa Owen.Director John Trengrove said in a press release: “From the very beginning, the process of making Inxeba was characterised by intense collaboration and risk-taking. This film demanded everything from those who came on board.”Trengrove added: “I am so grateful to the incredible cast and crew who put their faith and trust in this journey. This film is a testament to their efforts. I want to dedicate this award to the silent and faceless queers throughout the African continent who face insurmountable obstacles every day in a struggle for identity and dignity.”Other accoladesThe Inxeba premiere outside Africa was at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA.  The film later opened the Panorama section of the 67th Berlin Film Festival.One Sundance review described the movie: “John Trengove’s hard-edged but beautifully wrought study of clashing Xhosa models of masculinity will be an eye-opener to outsiders – and some South Africans too.”Inxeba was a 2014 Durban Film Mart project. This initial pitch enabled the team behind it to get funding from a number of international financiers, resulting in a co-production between South Africa, France, Germany and the Netherlands.Nakhane Touré plays Xolani in the film. The actor is also an indie rock musician and a novelist.“I always think having one dream come true is a miracle, but to have all these things happening at once is frightening,” he told City Press.“I keep thinking the rug is going to be pulled from under my feet. On the other hand, I worked really hard on this.”The film also cleaned up at Spain’s Valencia International Film Festival, winning best film and best actor at the Cinema Jove section. Inxeba also won the best film Award in the International New Talent Competition at the Taipei Film Festival in Taiwan.Other international awards are:Best Feature Film at the 32nd Lovers Film FestivalThe Jury Prize for Best Narrative at the 19th annual Sarasota Film Festival in FloridaWatch an interview with Inxeba film’s Executive Producer Batana Vundla:It is said that Inxeba will continue to travel around the world, having been sold to 19 countries for theatrical release so far. It will be distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution. Inxeba will open nationwide on 2 February 2018.Sources: Urucu Media, The Huffington Post South Africa, IOL, City Press and Jacaranda FM.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Scattered showers remain over Ohio today. Additional moisture from a few hundredths to half an inch can be seen with 90% coverage. We should start to see skies turn partly sunny this afternoon over the western third of the state, as moisture ends there sooner.  Tomorrow we see increasing clouds, and then scattered showers emerge with a minor trough passage. We can see up to .25” of moisture over about 60% of the state, but most of that will be mid to late afternoon or perhaps a bit later.  We turn out partly to mostly sunny, dry and warm from Friday through Sunday. Temps normal to above normal.  Monday turns out partly sunny, but we cant rule out a few scattered showers, mostly in the late afternoon and evening.  The best chance of rain, both in terms of coverage and quantity comes overnight next Monday night through Tuesday. Showers and thunderstorms bring .25”-1.25” of moisture to 90% of the state. The map below shows 10 day rain potential. For the extended period, we have scattered showers from overnight next Friday night through Saturday morning, bringing .1”-.5” rain potential and 60% coverage. This is a lower rain outlook than our previous forecasts.  We turn drier again for Saturday afternoon and next Sunday. The rest of the extended window has the potential to be wetter, and models went wetter in the past 24 hours. However, we are waiting to see what additional data says, considering how dry our atmospheric profile is at the time. We think the forecast models will revert to a drier solution again, and for now we are keeping our extended forecast unchanged: partly to mostly sunny skies, and temps normal to slightly above normal. But we are watching closely the period from the 19th through the 22nd to see if we need to make changes in the future.last_img read more