Wednesday, 28 August 2019

NEWS FEED: CXC passes improve / Is Jamaica ready to leave the IMF? / Noel Dexter to be laid to rest Sep. 2

MR. DEXTER’S OPUS: Funeral arrangements are now being made for the late musicologist and composer Noel Dexter, who passed away last Sunday. In addition to original compositions, which have become staples in the Jamaican songbook, Dexter was perhaps best known for his work as Artistic Director of the world-famous University Singers, based at the Mona Campus. “He was the most humble individual that we’ve ever met. He was a great man, and when you were around him you knew you were in the company of greatness. He was a mentor, a friend,” former chorister-turned-current Singers director Franklin Halliburton noted in a Gleaner interview. While soprano Althea McKenzie hailed Dexter as a nurturer of talent, All Together Sing’s Michael Sean Harris said, “He’s really a part of the fabric of the Jamaican musical landscape, especially with the classical and folk music.” A man of many honours and awards, Noel Dexter was 80 years old at the time of his passing. The thanksgiving service has been scheduled for Monday, September 2 at the UWI Mona Chapel.

ON THE MARK: Of the Jamaican students who sat the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams in May/June, 89.3 percent obtained grades one to three, according to a preliminary report from the education ministry. English Language and Mathematics recorded percentage passes of 82.8 percent and 54.6 percent respectively, representing a 7.4 percent increase in English passes but a 3.2 percent decrease in passes for Math – when compared to last year’s results. Overall, according to the ministry, higher scores were recorded in 23 of the 34 subjects taken. A total of 33, 639 students from public schools were registered for CSEC this year.

STATE OF AFFAIRS: IMF rep Dr. Constant Lonkeng Nguoana says Jamaica is ready to manage its own affairs. “Jamaica has reached a place where we don’t need to be here all the time. We are taking the back seat, and Jamaica is in the driver’s seat,” he says. “With what Jamaica has achieved over the past six years, we believe Jamaica is ready to exit the IMF and run its own business.” Jamaica’s current programme with the financial organization is scheduled to officially come to a close in November. “When Jamaica exits the financial support of the IMF, there will still be that consultation; we will offer our advice through technical assistance and so on, but not the heavy monitoring.”

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