With the significant increase in deaths on Guyana’s roadways in recent time, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo stated that the situation is not a political one in nature and recommended that all stakeholders should contribute towards finding a comprehensive solution.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoFor the month of November, 21 persons, including three children, died from road accidents. A closer review showed that for last week, 12 persons lost their lives in a matter of 7 accidents and the fatalities have continued into this week. As such, the Opposition Leader stated during his press conference on Thursday that an integrated approach is needed to effectively bring this number down.“This is not a political issue. We have to work… everyone on this matter – Government, Opposition etc. There is carnage on our roads and we have to find a way of stopping it. We don’t have all the answers and I’m sure they don’t too,” he positioned.He also asserted that those culpable must take responsibility for their actions. Meanwhile, Jagdeo clarified that if any political party promises to lower these statistics, it is untrue since a collective approach is required.“It’s a combination of education, strong regulations, taking tough actions and people have to take responsibility too. People have to take personal responsibility for these issues because sometimes, you have one crazy person. Any [political] party that says to you that they can stop this will be lying to you,” he expressed.His comments come in light of President David Granger’s response to the increased carnage, outlining a three-point approach for road safety. Road users were urged to observe the Guyana Police Force’s code of behaviour.The caretaker president further pointed out that the “insane increase in road fatalities” was due to persons driving at excessive speeds, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without due care and attention and driving on roads which are congested or unsafe for other road users, particularly pedestrians.School violenceOn another trending topic, the Opposition Leader pointed out the alarming rate at which students are involved in violence at their respective schools. This, he noted, is also another non-political matter which should not be addressed by draconian measures.Earlier this week, the Education Ministry put a ban on the annual Christmas parties for public schools and replaced them with a luncheon. However, Jagdeo posited that this is not the correct approach. Former Education Minister Priya Manickchand also condemned this decision by the Ministry, stating that it is a form of social development.“School violence is another one of those issues that we should not politicise too much. These are our kids. We have to find a way, not draconian measures like taking away their parties but finding a way of ensuring that these activities are done in a manner that they’re set up for,” the Opposition Leader identified.The issue of violence in schools, especially at the secondary level, became more evident in recent time with students turning to violence against each other.Commenting on one of the incidents was Education Minister Nicolette Henry, who came under immediate backlash for saying that these incidents are “normal” in schools countrywide.She was asked to respond to a video on social media, which showed a male student of the Richard Ishmael Secondary School hitting a female schoolmate continuously while pinning her to the ground in the school’s compound.But Henry was quoted as saying, “Well usually students fight. It’s nothing unusual as you would know, you’ve gone to school yourselves and we all would’ve seen…so those would have to be addressed by the welfare department. There’s a standing operating procedure and they will effect that procedure, and they have already begun the process they will address that”.In a separate incident at the Mon Repos Primary School, an eight-year-old Richard Boodram and six-year-old Fawaz Asgar were attacked by their classmates.Boodram was hospitalised for several days after being hit to his head, while Asgar ssuffered a slashed hand. In October 2019, a female student in Berbice was badly beaten and her hijab ripped off by other students.In another incident, a student who attended the New Amsterdam Technical Institute (NATI), also in Berbice, was viciously attacked by a group of other students, who were beating him with a belt.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The Antelope Valley, where home prices have lagged behind – $271,000 separates its median from that of the Santa Clarita Valley – will sustain larger gains in the short term as homebuyers priced out of the Santa Clarita Valley flock there. The long view is harder to predict, though forecasters say annual appreciation cannot be sustained as the median price for both valleys would hit $1 million by 2010. “There is some indication that the market is slowing in Southern California,” Schniepp said. “But there is not a real trend yet. … We’re watching this very closely.” The forecast said the Santa Clarita Valley economy could create between 4,300 to 5,100 jobs per year between 2006 and 2010 – an annual growth rate of between 4.6 percent and 5.7 percent, compared to 0.6 percent to 0.7 for all of Los Angeles County. For the North County region, the tally is 7,000 to 8,000 jobs per year. Distribution and warehousing may increase as firms relocate, and demand for service jobs could spike along with a growing population, the forecast said. Both valleys are now home to a combined 567,700 – it could increase to 635,500 by 2010. Meantime, consumer spending has slowed as they contend with higher interest rates and higher living costs while personal income growth slowed. “The (economic) slowdown is not imminent, it’s here,” Michael Bazdarich, senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast, said at the conference. “It’s a mixed bag for California.” Bazdarich believes short term interest rates have already peaked – both the short and long rates will fall again in the near future. He argued long term rates over 150 years never deviated far from 4 percent to 4.5 percent – they only spiked beginning in the 1970s. “Housing is still the star of the economy, but you’re still going to see signs of deceleration,” he said. “We’re building more homes than we can sustain, but this is not what we’re seeing in California. “California home sales – on total – are holding up really well. Much of the pickup is right here in the Santa Clarita Valley.” Larry Mankin, president of the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce, said local development including the Downtown Newhall redevelopment – it would add 300,000 square feet of new commercial space to old city center, and the Valencia Town Center expansion – 150,000 square feet of new retail – will help shore up white collar job growth. “We are becoming snobbish as a community,” he said. “This is a community that is more concerned about quality (of jobs.)” Local commercial building vacancy rate is 5.5 percent – down from 9.5 percent a year ago to 5.5 percent, Mankin said. Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VALENCIA – Both the Santa Clarita and the Antelope valleys will see the economic growth from recent years continue into 2006, though gains in home prices, and consumer spending could slow, according to an annual regional forecast released Thursday. The 2006 North County Real Estate and Economic Outlook said rising interest rates and a decrease in real estate speculation will slow demand for homes in the region. But steady job and population growth and the continued housing shortage prop up the market in the coming year. “We do not have a bubble-bursting scenario,” said Mark Schniepp of the California Economic Forecast based in Goleta, presenting the data at an annual economic conference at the Hyatt Valencia. Short of a falling out, the result is smaller gains in the near future. The 2006 median home price for the Santa Clarita Valley is forecast at $637,000 – an 8.3 percent increase from 2005, continuing the move away from double digit gains. It would slow further in 2007 to 6 percent.