Tuesday, 23 August 2016

NEWS FEED: The CXC Maths problem + Elaine’s world-record potential + Is Al Miller a ‘fall guy’?

MILLER’S CROSS TO BEAR: As prominent Kingston pastor Rev. Al Miller awaits sentencing for his involvement in the infamous Tivoli/Dudus affair that still haunts us as a nation, Miller’s very public ordeal is a major talking point in several quarters of society, not least among them the religious community, where there have been calls for a reversal of the guilty verdict to calls for him to step down as leader of Fellowship Tabernacle. Dr. Garnett Roper, however, senses more powerful forces at play. Could he be on to something? “Al Miller has taken the fall for a Jamaican political class and system of justice that knows only to prosecute one section of its population,” he wrote in stern newspaper column recently. “It is one thing to be a fall guy and somebody’s stool pigeon; it is a worse thing not to know that that is all you are.” Very strong words indeed.

WHAT THE NUMBERS MEAN: Can the blame for Jamaica’s 14.3 percent decline in CXC Mathematics passes this year be placed squarely on the mass exodus of qualified teachers in recent times? “It is estimated that 111 fully qualified teachers left the system in 2015. It is believed that many took up teaching opportunities overseas. Undoubtedly, this would have affected the preparation of a significant number of students,” Education minister Ruel Reid has said in response. “This loss would have had a significant impact on the ability of schools to maintain the standards of teaching and learning which would have been established particularly over the past four years.” Thankfully, there’s some good news: the education ministry is set to develop the Mathematics, Science and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teacher initiative to increase the number of fully qualified maths teachers.

HOW FAST CAN SHE GO? After copping the sprint double in Rio, what’s next for Jamaica’s sprinting sensation Elaine Thompson? Re-teaming with coach Stephen Francis to produce even more astonishing performances. “This year, I still think she can run probably 10.6. I’m not sure how many more times we are going to ask her to do the double. Maybe we will choose one over the other at the World Championships, but for next year and later this year, we have to focus on getting her to run as fast as we think she can run based on what we saw at the Trials and here [in Rio],” declares Francis, who thinks his student has world-record potential. “I think she has another 10th of a second in her, with decent breeze and temperature. Right now, she is better than she was at the Trials and hopefully by the end of the season, she will get a chance to show it.”

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