Dear Editor,Two favourite campaign promises are already being bandied about: free education and cash transfers. The former is borne of a desire to fundamentally change our society and future. The latter is an example of how to squander our oil wealth. This opinion is not influenced by any party affiliation – to me it seems pure and simple common sense.We all know that investing in our education system is an urgent and vital need. The IMF’s Article IV report found that while Guyanese children receive around 12 years of schooling, that education is only worth about 6 years compared to other countries with better education systems. That means that half of the time our children spend getting an education is wasted. Perhaps it is better to call it daycare than school?Better teachers, facilities, resources and programmes will ensure that the quality of that primary education improves. This will equip our children with the solid foundation they need to pursue further education, rather than proceeding to university unequipped for the challenge. We must also invest at the university level as well. Improving UG’s faculties and programmes will prevent Guyanese from being forced to go elsewhere in order to obtain a degree. This must be done if we are to halt our devastating brain drain.To me, all of this seems to be common sense. One of the best things a country can provide its youth is a quality education. Guyana’s system has fallen into disrepair. Now that we have happened into oil wealth, we have an opportunity to fix this mistake.Compare that to the suggestion that Guyana should begin making cash transfers. A blanket payout to all citizens cannot possibly create the same merits and values that a quality education can. Rather, it rewards Guyanese for having the good fortune to be living in this moment. It also counts on the recipient to be responsible with how they use the funds.Of course, the idea of limited or targeted cash transfers has been suggested as an alternative. And in a perfect world, our Government would impartially distribute cash to Guyanese most in need, bereft of any racial or political considerations. But we do not live in a perfect world. I fear that the idea of targeted transfers is more likely to become a mere euphemism for buying political support with oil money.It is the duty of all Guyanese to refrain from the near-sighted temptations that oil wealth will offer. Every international expert and every country that has already experienced oil wealth all urge us to look to the long term and plan ahead. Our generation is lucky to have seen the discovery of oil, but our labour is just beginning if we are to translate that into lasting prosperity and stability. We have not earned the right to take early retirement on an oil “pension.” We cannot be bribed away from our long-term goal. Let us exercise restraint and look towards policies which create a lasting foundation.Yours sincerely,Donald Singh
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16 July 2013 Nelson Mandela Day should serve as a catalyst for fostering social cohesion, nation building, economic development and inclusive citizenship, the Department of Arts and Culture said on Monday. Marked across the world on 18 July each year, Mandela Day aims to inspire people to take action to change the world for the better and, in doing so, to build a global movement for good. People around the world are challenged to spend at least 67 minutes doing good work in their communities in honour of the 67 years that Mandela gave in service and sacrifice. South Africa’s focus this year would be “on community development and a call to everyone to use their energies, wisdom and skills to contribute towards eradicating poverty, addressing food security and reducing hunger”, the department said in a statement. Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile and his deputy, Joe Phaahla, will get a first-hand look at progress made at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday. The museum has been temporarily closed for refurbishments to improve preservation standards and create more exhibition space. On Mandela Day, Mashatile and Phaahla will visit Qunu Junior Secondary near Mthatha, where Mandela attended as a boy, to donate books to the school’s arts centre. The department will also help to clean and beautify the school through public art, and install flags in 10 surrounding schools. SAinfo reporter
Malik was named to the 2007 FOLIO: 40 list of influential people in the magazine industry. She launched East West as an online-only magazine in 2003. After eight online “issues,” the brand had attracted enough readers and advertisers to launch in print. “Crafting what EastWest means to our readers, which has changed over the years, has been the biggest challenge,” Malik told FOLIO: at the time, “but I think we’re finally in our groove.” In an e-mail to FOLIO:, Malik explained that the blog is a “a stop-gap to keep the brand alive.” “We need an investor that believes in our mission as strongly as we do,” she wrote. “The operation has run since 2003 on a shoestring, primarily self-funded … we could never invest in that growth to make it efficient and to take advantage of the momentum we had built.” East West magazine—a bi-monthly geared toward Asian Americans and focused on the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures—is going on an indefinite print hiatus effective immediately. “It is the tale of a small, bare bones company that has grown too fast,” founder Anita Malik wrote in a letter posted on the magazine’s Web site. “Our resources have been taxed and this labor of love has become larger than our small staff.” Malik hopes to be back in print by late 2008 or early 2009 but she “can’t say for sure.” In the meantime, East West will launch a blog to keep readers “updated on East West names, faces, places and events.”
The magazine is set to open with a 450,000 rate base, and will complement Oz’s syndicated television talk show.”He’s convincing America that a healthy lifestyle is the bedrock of happiness,” says Herzig in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working with him to create a rich, imaginative editorial package for that transformative message.” Hearst Corp. president and CEO Steve Swartz and Hearst Magazines president David Carey looked inward in recruiting Redbook editor-in-chief Jill Herzig for the same position at Dr. Oz The Good Life.Her hiring, announced Wednesday, comes after word that the magazine will go to a 10X frequency with the Aug./Sept. 2014 launch after successful test releases in January and April. They were under the editorial direction of Alison Brower, but she is leaving Hearst Magazines to return to California.In terms of magazine seniority, Dr Oz is quite a change for Herzig because Redbook is 111 years old. However, shaking up the norm isn’t something Herzig is shy about doing. She did upgrade the beauty and fashion portion of Redbook content from 30 to 50 percent in April 2013 while ending such former editorial mainstays as parenting and relationships. When she was at Redbook she told min that her role was “a never-ending process of keeping Redbook fresh.”From 2003-2010, Herzig was Glamour executive editor and top lieutenant to editor-in-chief Cindi Leive. Earlier career stops included SELF, New Woman and Cosmopolitan under the late editor-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown.
At least 16 people were killed in road accidents in Gopalganj, Sirajganj, Tangail, Rajshahi and Pabna districts on Thursday, says UNB.Six of them were killed in Gopalganj while four in Sirajganj and two each in Tangail, Rajshahi and Pabna.In Gopalganj, a bus rammed a microbus at Gerekhola in Kashiani upazila in the morning, killing six people, including five members of a family.Five of the deceased were identified as Halim Akon, a Saudi expatriate, his wife Asma Khatun, their two sons — Sujon and Shihab — and Halim’s brother-in-law Babul Hawladar, of Sharankhola upazila in Bagerhat district.Saidur Rahman Khan, police super of Gopalganj, said the Dhaka-bound bus of ‘Sheba Greenline Paribahan’ crashed into the microbus coming from the opposite direction around 9:45am, leaving the six microbus passengers dead on the spot.The family met the tragic end of their lives while returning home after receiving Halim, who came to Bangladesh from Saudi Arabia in the morning, at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital.In Sirajganj, four people, including three members of a family, were killed and two others injured when a bus hammered a microbus on Dhaka-Bogra highway at Ghurka Beltala in Raiganj upazila in the early hours.The deceased were identified as Mili Begum, 35, wife of Harun-or-Rashid, their son Sagar, 13, Mili’s father-in-law Solaiman, 65, of Kahalu upazila, and Abdul Khalek, 32, the microbus driver hailing from Dupchachia upazila of Bogra district.Abdul Gani, a sergeant of Hatikumrul Highway Police, said the Kurigram-bound bus of ‘Dhanshiri Paribahan’ hit the microbus around 12:45am, leaving its four inmates killed on the spot and two others injured.In Tangail, a Jamalpur-bound microbus ran two women over at Pathanbari of Dhanbari upazila in the morning while they were on a morning walk along Madhupur-Jamalpur road, killing them on the spot.The deceased were Reba Begum, 32, wife of Babul Bakul, and Shahaton Begum, 50, wife of Abdul Mazid, of the area.Mujibur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Dhanbari police station, said the microbus driver fled the scene leaving his vehicle behind.In Rajshahi, a young man and his nephew were killed as a truck hit their motorbike on Rajshahi-Dhaka highway at Pollapukur intersection in Puthia upazila at noon.The deceased were Tushar Hossain, 22, son of Abdul Latif, and Shahin Ali, 20, son of Nazmul Islam of Ramchandrapur Kedurmor area of the city.Police said the truck crashed into the bike of Tushar when he along with his nephew Shahin was going to Natore, leaving the duo dead on the spot.In Pabna, two motorcyclists were killed as their bike skidded on the Dashuriya-Muladuli road in Muladuli area of Ishwardi upazila in the afternoon.The deceased were Asharful Islam, 25, son of Hasibur Rahman, resident of Arjopara village, and Shipon Hossain, 23, son of Khalilur Rahman, resident of Dori Nazirpur village of Atgharia upazila.Sub-inspector Ganesh Chandra Mandal, in-charge of Pakshi highway police outpost, said the motorcycle skidded off the road in front of a sugarcane field when its driver tried to put the brake, leaving the duo dead on the spot.
Saudi Arab’s king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Photo: AFPCustodian of the Two Holy Mosques king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud have offered condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the tragic fire of Old Dhaka that claimed 67 lives, reports UNB.They sent separate condolence messages to president M Abdul Hamid as a fire ripped through buildings in the capital, resulting in deaths and injuries, according to the Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh.In his message, the King said: “We’ve learned of the news of the blaze took hold in the Chawkbazar area in Dhaka and resulted in a considerable number of deaths and injuries.”“In my own name and on behalf of the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we express our sincere condolences to you, the families of victims and the people of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, wishing the wounded a speedy recovery,” the message reads.In his message, the crown prince said, “I’ve learned of the news of the blaze took hold in the Chawkbazar area in Dhaka and resulted in a considerable number of deaths and injuries. I express my sincere condolences to Your Excellency and the families of victims, wishing the wounded a speedy recovery.”