Dominica Last Week: Top five stories you may have missed

The content originally appeared on: Sun Dominica

June should be the deadline for herd immunity

In the middle of last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) began promoting an ambitious goal, one it said was essential for ending the pandemic: fully vaccinate 70 percent of the population in every country against COVID-19 by June 2022.

Now, it is clear that Dominica and many other countries across the world will fall far short of that target by the deadline, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa Etienne, is urging local authorities that serious measures need to be taken to ramp up the vaccination numbers.

Dr. Etienne, led a delegation to Dominica last week, to conduct a retreat with the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and New Health Investment to assist with the development of a strategic plan for the more effective delivery of healthcare in Dominica.

Many people are of the view that the entire population should have already been vaccinated as Dominica was among the first Caribbean islands to receive COVID vaccines. However, only 41.8% of the population have received both jabs.

Consequences for truckers who ignore fallen debris

Truckers in Dominica who ignore fallen debris from their vehicles, thus posing a danger to other road users, will be slapped with a $500 fine or imprisonment for three months, warns Acting Superintendent of Police in charge of Central Division, George Theophile.

According to the officer, the police have observed that truckers hauling materials from one location to another have been violating Section 82 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act 46:50 and Section 3:1 of the Litter Act chapter 40:61 of the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

“The loose chips, stones, gravels, sand, and other such materials, or objects on the public roads in Dominica are very dangerous to motorists and other road users,” he stated. “Section 82:1 places the responsibility on the truck drivers to ensure that no object or things fall on the road while being transported from one point to another”.

Theophile added that Section 82:2 also stipulates that the driver of any truck from which any object or thing falls onto the road shall remove the said item from that road within a reasonable time.

Three more acts were added to the Jazz n’ Creole lineup

Dominica’s national treasure, award-winning singer and songwriter Michele Henderson as well as foreign act Freetown Collective from Trinidad and Tobago, and Dominica’s very own popular contemporary jazz band Breve are the three additional artistes to complete the full lineup for this year’s 11th edition of Jazz n’ Creole.

Following a two-year hiatus, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers- the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) through the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC)- previously announced that two foreign acts in the name of Teddyson John from St Lucia and JSJ Trio from Guadeloupe will headline this year’s family-friendly festival.
Also announced, were four local female artistes dubbed “Femme 4” comprising Marsha Laurent, Shalina Samuel, Marsha Augustine, and Tasha Peltier.

Several fringe events will precede the main stage event on Sunday, May 1st at the Cabrits National Park/Fort Shirley in Portsmouth.

Tickets for the events are available at the DDA/DFC’s office and online at https://shop.access767.com/dfc.

Ticket prices are VIP EC$250.00, Grounds Experience EC$150.00, Children 12 -18 years EC$75.00, and Children under 12 years old free.

Teachers reelect Alexander

For the second consecutive term, members of the Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT) have reelected Mervin Alexander to serve at the helm of the organization. During the 16th Biennial Convention of the DAT held on April 20, Alexander retained his position as president unopposed.

Addressing the ceremony, he noted one of the concerns for the DAT is the non-appointment of teachers. Alexander further stressed that teachers need better treatment and better working conditions.

Serving as first vice president is Julian Benjamin; the second vice president is Kathleen Cornelius.

Students to be evaluated when school resumes

As students head back to school full time this week, principals across the island have been instructed to conduct an assessment to ascertain where the gaps are in terms of students’ learning.

As reported last week by chief education officer (AG) Dr. Jeffrey Blaize, these steps will be taken to identify the “learning loss” of students since the majority of the school year has been online.

Special attention will also be paid to the early childhood, the Pre-K, Grade K, and Grade One students as he says they were the ones most affected during the online era.

“Based on those gaps we will put structure in place whether it is after school or pull out programmes for the students where we can work out with them one-on-one or in small groups to bring them up to par in terms of their capabilities where they are expected to be in terms of their learning and the curriculum,” he said.

-By Ronda Luke