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Our Brogad Pm Was a Delinquent Students' Loan Borrower

Posted on December 6, 2019 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (26)


Recently a post about Prime Minister Andrew Holness went viral on social media and many are questioning the purpose of the post. Was it intended to embarrass him? Well, it had the opposite effect with many expressing their love and support and even relating to the most honorable brogad's struggles earlier on in his life.


The post highlighted the fact that Jamaica’s ninth prime minister was such a delinquent when he borrowed money for his studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI) to pursue a degree in the social sciences in the 1990s, that his name was published in the newspaper among the most delinquent borrowers who had defaulted on their loans. This is something that many would never want to have revealed but it is a common struggle for many. University is very expensive and a lot of students have to borrow to pay for their studies and sometimes upon leaving the institution many are not immediately hired in their dream job or they have to settle for a lower-paying job that cannot begin to cover their debt.


This excerpt is from Loop News. According to the full page newspaper publication from the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB), under the caption ‘Delinquent Student Loan Borrowers: “The following persons are in arrears in the repayment of their student loans at September 6, 1996”. Holness, now 47, would have been 24 years old at the time and about a year from making his entry into the House of Representatives, which he did when he won the West Central St Andrew seat in the 1997 general election. Holness’ name is circled in red and his then Eltham City, Spanish Town address - his mother’s home - is listed, as well as the fact that he was pursuing studies in the social sciences.


While it is not known whether it is the prime minister’s supporters or his perceived ‘political enemies’ who made the post, what is certain is that his supporters on social media are pointing their fingers at his so-called enemies, while lauding Holness for rising from difficult circumstances. “I had a good laugh when I saw it posted with the intention to ‘shame’ the PM. Pity the poor fools,” said a post from Carlene Ramsay. “Love this,” said Shirley Matthews. For his part, Isaac Morrison said “The pain pee (PNP) think they hurting him but in fact they helping him”. “Big up Brogod you know the people pain,” Ray Williams added.


In his own post, Government Senator and Parliamentary Secretary, Robert Morgan stated, among other things, that this was proof that “every ghetto yute can be great’; “from nothing to something,” and “from board house to Jamaica House”. Holness has often told the story about his humble beginnings, including living in a board house at what would be considered a tenement yard in Spanish Town, St Catherine. He attended the nearby St Catherine High School and was spotted by the late former Prime Minister Edward Seaga in the mid-1990s doing volunteer work and was introduced to politics. The rest, as they say, is history. It ends here.


Now the Prime Minister has been on a path to attempt to secure the votes of the younger crowd and I definitely think this makes him more relatable. He truly rose from nothing to something and has become such an inspiration for many. Some have been begging him to release artiste Vybz Kartel from prison in time for Christmas to secure votes but from where I stand it seems the Prime Minister has the election locked and he could very well easily walk away the victor.


What do you think about this viral post about Brogad Andrew Holness? How would you feel if you were in his shoes?

Teacher Remanded on Charges of Having Sex with Underage Students

Posted on November 30, 2019 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (21)


According to Loop News, a teacher who is employed to a school in St Elizabeth was charged for alleged sexual offences involving students. He was remanded in custody at his first court appearance earlier this week. The accused, 24-year-old Noel Tracey, was slapped with three counts of having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 years. He appeared in the St Elizabeth Parish Court on Tuesday, and was ordered to remain in the custody of the police until December 9. At that time, a bail application is expected to be made on his behalf. It is alleged that investigators from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) received complaints alleging that the teacher sexually assaulted a number of students at the school in question. Following a probe by the police, the educator was taken into custody and subsequently charged.


What is truly happening in society today? Teachers seem to be grabbing up the headlines and not for good reasons. What is the definition of a teacher? In my opinion teachers should be parents away from the home. They should protect students and love and care for them as their own, not use and abuse them. The fact that this teacher had sexual relations with multiple students is despicable. He should never be allowed to teach again and they should ensure that he is not given bail but instead slated to remain in jail for years.


Those poor young girls need counseling and they need to be taught that what happened is not okay. Many times young girls believe it's okay to be approached by older men but it has disastrous long term effects. Effects they cannot even begin to understand. It is such a good thing that he was caught when he was and three counts means that at least three females have been identified and there could be more. This is something I believe should receive huge media attention. This man has defiled his position as a teacher. I hope he does not see the outside of a jail cell for a very long time.


What is your opinion of this disgusting situation?

"Mi Wi Kill Yuh in Yah!" Female Teacher Tells Student in Class

Posted on November 22, 2019 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (21)

In this day and age, life is so fragile. Below is an article taken from Loop News reporting on a teacher and student who had an argument during class. The altercation was captured on video. I believe we are living in some very serious times and the teacher was right to behave in the manner that she did as students these days are carrying weapons to school and they are not hestitant to use those same weapons on teachers and other students. 

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The article begins here. 

Officials at a St Andrew-based high school have launched an investigation into an incident that was captured on video showing a female teacher and a student arguing to the point where the teacher told the student that she was not afraid to ’murder’ him if the student was brazen enough to approach her in a physical confrontation.


The incident unfolded on Thursday of this week.


The three-minute video carries audio of a male student from the school threatening a female student who was having a conversation with the teacher in a classroom.


The teacher, who appeared annoyed with the male student whom she accused of shouting at her, instructed that the student should remain quiet, and that was when things started going downhill, as the student went toe-to-toe with the teacher.


“Don’t shout at me. Mi look like yuh mumma!” the teacher snapped at the offending student who was insisting that the teacher was telling lies on him.


The student responded by asking the teacher if she was telling him about his mother.


At that point the argument descended into an all-out verbal warfare, with the teacher asking the student if he is a ‘handicap’, suggesting that he should understand that there is a difference between being asked if he thought she was his mother, and being told about his mother.



“Did I tell you about your mother?” asked the teacher.


During the argument, the teacher was heard issuing several threats of doing physical harm to the student, with even emphasis that the threats represented a “promise”, not just a threat, and he could report it to the police if he so desired.


“Mi wi kill you in yah eno; my head no nice,” the teacher is heard saying.


The principal of the school told Loop News that he was aware of the incident, and it is being investigated.


The video has triggered a storm of reactions from social media users, with some saying the teacher was disrespectful, but other users said while it was a bit aggressive on her part in view of violent altercations between teachers and students in the past, some educators have had to become more aggressive in some school environments as a means of protecting themselves.


“We have heard about cases in the past where students threaten and harm teachers and what we are seeing here is a frustrated teacher who has reached breaking point and has decided that she will not be victimised by an unruly student,” one social media user said in support of the educator.


On the other hand, a social media user insisted that the teacher went out of line when she spoke to the student in the manner that she did.

The article ends here.

 The teacher could easily have become the victim of a stabbing or some other injury. She rightfully defended herself. The students involved should be suspended or worse expelled. What do you think of this incident? Was the teacher out of line? I will say she did go a bit overboard and it seems that possibly she is dealing with some personal issues or just fed up with the students as she came across a tad unhinged in her verbal assault. What do you make of this ordeal?

Driver of Garbage Truck That Crushed Child at Primary School Charged

Posted on November 15, 2019 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (20)


On Monday, October 28th devastation struck at the Clan Carthy Primary School in Kingston. A garbage truck doing collection on the school grounds at about 4:30 pm was left unattended which resulted in it running off and slamming into a wall before overturning and crushing seven-year-old Clan Carthy Primary School student, Benjamin Bair. Sadly Benjamin was killed on the spot and two other students were injured. A Toyota Probox motorcar was also crushed by the impact of the garbage truck falling over. The incident caused shock and anger nationwide. Authorities spent hours into the evening trying to lift the truck with the use of a crane and other heavy-duty equipment.


The driver of the truck fled the scene after the incident and police were unable to identify him. Shortly after, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) issued a statement expressing their grief over the freak incident. The NSWMA stated that it is “deeply saddened by this tragic accident. Our thoughts, deepest sympathy and prayers are extended to the parents, members of the school community, and friends of the deceased.” They noted that the garbage truck “is not owned by or currently contracted to the NSWMA. However, our Senior Team at MPM Waste Management Limited have been dispatched since the incident, and are on location offering moral support.” Executive Director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon stated: “I am deeply saddened by this news. I know it’s a very painful and difficult time for the family and school community, and I want to convey sincere sympathies and condolences to them.”


Many school personnel and students along with parents were stricken with grief. Teachers of the institution openly displayed their pain and the principal fought hard to hold back his tears but he was unable to. Minister with responsibility for education, Karl Samuda, Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, and South East St Andrew MP, Julian Robinson visited the school to offer their condolences and support after the tragic incident.


Reports from the Elletson Road police in Kingston are that on Friday, November 1, at about 6.30 pm, the driver of the truck turned himself into police. He is Alten Brooks, 52, of Nine Miles, Bull Bay, St Andrew. He has now subsequently been charged with manslaughter. He is slated to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Friday, November 15.


My heart goes out to the family, friends, and teachers of Benjamin. I cannot imagine the pain they are going through as I have small children of my own. It must be unbearable. In the case of the driver, he should not have fled the scene after the incident, Yes he must have been terrified and scared due to the gravity of the situation at hand but a child was killed due to his negligence. Why did he leave the truck unattended? And the school authorities must be held accountable as well. How did this happen? Why was a truck allowed on school ground while children were present? Why were there no teachers supervising the children to ensure that they were not allowed anywhere close to the truck if it had to be on the ground at those hours?


There are so many questions that I have that I need to have answered. I am enraged! I hope this isn't something that we merely push under the rug as a country. We need to look into all sides of this including the NSWMA. If it isn't their truck then whose is it? Who gets held accountable for everything leading up to this incident? And the driver should definitely be given a life sentence for not only killing that little boy but for fleeing the scene.


What are your thoughts on this tragic incident?

Jamaican Flag Gets Flown At New York Stock Exchange For The Second Time

Posted on November 8, 2019 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (20)

Wi little but wi tallawah! A photo has been circulating for the past couple days illustrating the incredible fact that the island’s stock market was the best performing stock exchange in the world in 2018. That is truly amazing! It is the second time we have acheived this feat, as we previously did so back in 2015. Can you imagine being a third world country and being the number one stock market in the world!!!This speaks volumes but the big question is why are we still a third world country? Why are so many people living below the poverty line? Is it a case of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer? 

A lot of Jamaicans are soley focused on going to school to get an education but we need to be enlightened. There are so many job and business opportunities out there for entrepreneurs. You can make so much money working from home. A lot of individuals need to take the time to conceptualize business ideas to be their own boss. We all have the potential to rise above working the regular 9-5 and we can all break free from call centers and other mediocre job positions. Now I don't look down on any job, every single job in the world is important. However, so many of us feel imprisoned in our job situations and can barely make ends meet. 

We need to open our minds and broaden our horizons and look online for work opportunities. Look to forex trading and stocks. Look to opening our own businesses. We can capitalize on what we already have. And those at the top need to share the wealth, they need to inform others of these means of making money. We don't all have to go through years of school. We don't all have to be lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses etc. We can look to being computer programmers, engineers, blog managers, journalists, CEOs. 

This is an excerpt from the article on us topping the stock exchange, taken from Loop News:

The Jamaican flag flew alongside that of the United States on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building Wednesday, in tribute to the island’s stock market being the best performing stock exchange in the world in 2018. It was the second time in four years that the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) was being recognised as the number one performing stock exchange globally, having also achieved the feat in 2015. "This is a great achievement for our small island," said Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a social media post Thursday about the accomplishment. In October, an article on reputed business publication Bloomberg’s website, under the headline “Jamaica’s World-Beating 233% Stock Rally Continues Full Steam”, speaks to the island’s spectacular stock market rally as the best of the last five years.

Despite a recent dip, Jamaica’s J$1.5 trillion (US$11 billion) stock exchange is the best-performing of 94 bourses tracked by Bloomberg over the past 12 months, gaining 35 per cent. Total gains over the past five years come to more than 600 per cent — again, the world’s best performance. As at Wednesday, JSE's market capitalization for its combined market (Junior and Main) was J$2 trillion, which is equivalent to US$14.19 billion. The Exchange has 84 companies with 119 securities listed. The JSE is ranked 60th in size globally, but in 2018 the nation’s main index rose 29 per cent in US dollar terms, the most among 94 national benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg. Indeed, for the five years between 2015 and 2018, the JSE has outperformed most global exchanges.

Between 2015 and 2018, Jamaican stocks surged almost 300 per cent, more than quadrupling the next-best-performing national benchmark and septupling the S&P 500’s advance. Speaking on Bloomberg TV, JSE head Marlene Street Forrest told interviewers that the JSE's success is linked to the economy and optimism among business people. The Exchange, itself, she stated has executed training in company governance. “We have been putting in the hard work for the companies to do well and it has been paying dividends,” she commented. Asked about the limited number of exchange traded funds present, she said that these were in development, with a new ETF listed already and more to come.


The JSE head explained that the exchange had earlier this year created two new indices, the financial index and the manufacturing and distribution index in expectation of more exchange traded funds. Street-Forrest, also commenting on overseas response in the Jamaican market, said this was on the rise, “moreso, when you look at how companies are performing they are doing well. There is dividend pay out and stock price appreciation.” Among the top performing companies on the JSE in 2019 are Barita, which has climbed 410 per cent. Other major climbers include Radio Jamaica. Street-Forrest noted finance and manufacturing among the sectors thatare doing well. "And on the Junior Market, companies from all sectors are coming in to be listed on the Exchange," she said. Asked about market diversification, she commented that the JSE had not “cherry picked companies by type".


"We actually went out to companies and said, ‘why not look to equity capital instead of debt? Many companies were afraid of doing that. They thought they would immediately lose the company. But with our regulation, they will still have 80 per cent of the company,” Street Forrest said. She concluded, “We put on a programme about access to equity capital and we went out. It was more order making than order taking.”

It ends here. 

Unfortunately many will never even know that these possibilites exist. What do you make of all this? Share with me in the comments below. 


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