‘Weah’s Tuition-free College Pronouncement Not Sustainable’, Says ALJA

first_imgALJA President, Moses SandyThe Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has criticized President George Weah’s recent decision making public universities and colleges tuition-free for all undergraduate students.ALJA says while it welcomes President George Weah’s manifest interest in the education of the country’s youths, it is urging the administration to quickly identify the source of funding for the recently announced tuition-free policy for undergraduate students across public universities and colleges.The Association said in a press release issued on Monday, November 5, that in these dire economic times, the President has a responsibility to clearly articulate the financial implications and long-term sustainability of a policy that affects thousands of undergraduate students in the country.In the absence of this, ALJA said the President’s pronouncement should be considered a political gimmick.But after President Weah’s declaration, acting Minister of Education, Latim Da-Thong, clarified that President Weah’s pronouncement of tuition-free for undergraduate students at public tertiary institutions does not cover fees for registration, ID card, handbooks, among other expenses.The ALJA said the pronouncement appeared to be spontaneous and meant to garner political support for the President and the CDC led government among the disadvantaged student populace of Liberia.ALJA said the October 24, 2018 pronouncement was an off-the-cuff action because it is not sustainable. ALJA said it opposes the pronouncement because the President and his political advisors failed to factor in the costs associated with undergraduate education in today’s Liberia.The Association noted that Mr. Weah’s tuition-free announcement sounds plausible, but neither he nor the government has the monetary and logistical support for the realization of the policy.ALJA wondered how the President and the CDC administration will fund such an undertaking after he, on January 22, 2018, while delivering his first legislative agenda to members of the 54th Legislature, declared publicly that the Liberian economy and, by extension, the government, are broken.Then ALJA recalled that the President declared, “this is plain to see, for we are all affected by it: our economy is broken, our government is broke, our currency is in free-fall, inflation is rising and unemployment is at an unprecedented high, and our foreign reserve is at an all-time low.”In the midst of the reported financial crisis, ALJA said it is preposterous for President Weah and the government to initiate an undergraduate tuition-free policy. Also, the Association further noted it is paradoxical for the President and the CDC administration to herald a tuition-free policy for undergraduate students at public universities while underfunding public education in the country.ALJA maintained that of the more than US$570 million approved in the national budget for the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the Liberian government allocated a little over US$85 million dollars for public education, adding that more than US$51 million of the money apportioned covers salaries while nearly US$11 million go towards goods and services.The Association noted that as a result of the Liberian government’s lukewarm support to public education, most public institutions of learning in Liberia, including the University of Liberia and Tubman University, are in financial woes.ALJA said in the wake of the prevailing situation, most public schools, colleges, and universities remain understaffed, ill-equipped and inefficient in meeting the educational needs of students and the country as a whole. The Association said to keep afloat, most public universities and colleges, including the University of Liberia, rely heavily on the minimum tuition and fees they generate from students for operational costs.Meanwhile, ALJA says while it is not opposed in principle to the idea of ameliorating some of the costs associated with undergraduate education in the country, the Liberian government has consistently demonstrated an inability to be financially prudent, which makes the President’s policy difficult, if not impossible to achieve.The Association said unless President Weah’s ill-advised announcement is given a sober reflection, it has the propensity of further eroding learning at public universities in Liberia.It emphasized that the funding of public education in Liberia goes beyond political ploys aimed at gaining popularity at the expense of the poor. “It requires sustained efforts, planning, resources, and political will,” ALJA noted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Was Raiders’ first ‘Hard Knocks’ episode really that bad?

first_img— David S (@DSahimi) August 7, 2019 … As the bad boys of the NFL, the Raiders seemed like a perfect fit for HBO’s annual “Hard Knocks” series. But, using social media reaction as our barometer, they didn’t quite measure up to the hype Tuesday night.Despite some predictably golden moments from coach Jon Gruden, the consensus among many was that the first episode was mostly lackluster.Or, in the eyes of some, even worse.That was the worst episode of Hard Knocks….maybe ever. Boringlast_img

Afcon Group C all square after openers

first_img22 January 2013Champions Zambia were held to a 1-1 draw by Ethiopia despite the Wayla Antelopes having goalkeeper Jemal Tassew sent off in the first half of their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations clash at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Monday.Nigeria and Burkina Faso also drew 1-1 in the match that followed at the same venue, leaving the four teams in Group C on equal footing with two more group games to play.The two Group C draws took the tally of draws to five in six matches. Only Mali, which defeated Niger with an 84th minute strike by captain Seydou Keita in a Group B clash, has enjoyed the taste of victory.After the clash between Zambia and Ethiopia, Chipolopolo coach Herve Renard paid tribute to goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene for his performance, which included saving a penalty taken by Salahdin Said. “Today we have to thank our goal keeper because without Kennedy Mweene maybe it could have been a very bad result. I think we deserved today what we got,” he said.Struggling for formConsidering that the Zambians are the defending champions and Ethiopia is playing in the Afcon finals for the first time since 1982, that is quite some statement to make. The Zambians, though, have not been in good form leading up to the Afcon finals.Since beating South Africa 1-0 in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in November, they have lost to Tanzania and Angola, and drawn with Morocco.Afcon 2013 should be an ideal opportunity for the Zambians to defend their title. Many of their players are with South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs, while many others have used the PSL as a stepping stone to a move overseas. They know the conditions, but desperately need to find a spark to ignite their campaign.One man who could provide it is Collins Mbesuma, who scored their goal against Ethiopia. He was a sensation with South African glamour side Kaizer Chiefs before moving abroad. He has since returned to South Africa, and is currently with Orlando Pirates. His form appears to be on the up.Sucker punchZambia’s Chipolopolo had the better of the game after the dismissal of goalkeeper Tassew for an appalling challenge, but the Ethiopians caught them out with a sucker punch when Adane Girma netted in the 65th minute.Saladine Said, despite his penalty miss, was the Antelopes’ best player and posed a strong threat on the attack. He should be a familiar face to South African fans: he scored Ethiopia’s oal in a 1-1 draw with Bafana Bafana in June 2012, which proved to be coach Pitso Mosimane’s last game in charge. He was subsequently replaced by Gordon Igesund.A large number of passionate and loud Ethiopian fans, probably about 20 000-strong, also made their support known, and it’s something that could really boost the Antelopes’ campaign.Nigeria and Burkina Faso shared a 1-1 draw too, thanks to a goal at the death by Alain Traore, which earned the Stallions a share of the spoils.The Nigerians enjoyed the better of the contest, but the sending off of Efe Ambrose with 15 minutes to play, after he picked up a second yellow card, gave Burkina Faso a one-man advantage.The Super Eagles led 1-0 after an Emmanuel Emenike goal in the 23rd minute and it appeared that the two-time champions were on their way to the top of the Group C standings.Last kick of the gameFour minutes of time were added on at the end of regulation time and with the very last kick of the game, Traore netted for Burkina Faso. Godfrey Obobona, who up until then had been very solid at the back, had a chance to clear the ball, but made a mess of his effort and Traore capitalised on the defender’s mistake to score.John Obi Mikel starred for the Super Eagles in the midfield, starting attack after attack with his incisive passes, while goal scorer Emmanuel Emenike, who played only an hour, also showed up well, as did substitute striker Ikechukwu Uche, who lifted the energy of the Nigerian attack.Jonathan Pitroipa, who set up Traore for the equaliser, was Burkina Faso’s best player, industrious and creative. Florent Rouamba excelled on defence, while substitute Wildred Sanou provided good width and crosses. Goal scorer, Alain Traore, a 65th minute substitute, also impressed with his movement and interplay.Waiting for a sparkAfcon 2013 is yet to take off, though, as the tournament is waiting for a team to stamp its authority on the tournament.The Group B clash between Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday provided excellent entertainment, but no team has yet thrust itself forward as a potential champion. That could change on Tuesday when Cote d’Ivoire, the highest ranked team in Africa at 14th in the Fifa world rankings, takes on 77th- ranked Togo.The Ivorians are loaded with big name players, and the tournament needs some of these players to show why they are big names for Afcon 2013 to take off. Five draws in six games is a so-so showing so far.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

George Voinovich dies at 79

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest George Voinovich, former Ohio Governor and U.S. Senator, died in his sleep at the age of 79 on June 12.Voinovich was known as a true friend of Ohio agriculture and was a regular attender and promoter of the Ohio State Fair and his home state.“George was the long-time mayor of Cleveland — a city kid, but he loved the Ohio State Fair! He loved being with the 4-H kids, working the bidders at the Sale of Champions, staying overnight with a farm family, and being a part of Ohio’s great agriculture community. After he left the Governor’s Office, he would continue to come to the Ohio State Fair with grandkids every summer. He was so proud of the Voinovich Livestock and Trade Center on the Fairgrounds,” said Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General who served as Voinovich’s Lt. Governor. “George took great pride in sharing Ohio’s unique places with others.  He had a passion for promoting Ohio tourism — from the banks of the Ohio River to the shores of Lake Erie.  He loved our state.”The current Ohio Governor recalled the leadership of Voinovich.“He was a unifier who thought outside the box, never gave up and worked hard for the ideas he believed in up until the very end of his life. Thanks to that leadership he saved Cleveland, governed Ohio compassionately and responsibly and was a candid voice for reason in the U.S. Senate.  I am proud to have known him and grateful for what he did for our state and nation,” said Gov. John Kasich. “To his wife Janet, his children and his many grandchildren, my family sends our condolences and heartfelt prayers at this difficult time, and on behalf of Ohio I send my gratitude for sharing this wonderful, dynamic man with us for so many years.”last_img read more

Klettersteig Mürren – Gimmelwald GC1DDQ5 GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK July 18, 2011

first_img SharePrint RelatedT5 Klettersteig caching in AustriaSeptember 21, 2017In “Community”Phenomenal geocaching community stories from 2017December 26, 2017In “Community”A little adrenaline never hurt anyone — Klettersteig Schweifinen (GC2FX7P) — Geocache of the WeekAugust 27, 2014In “Community” The view from near “Klettersteig Mürren – Gimmelwald”This emoticon is used often on the Klettersteig Mürren – Gimmelwald (GC1DDQ5) cache page. Here’s why. The traditional cache involves an extreme form of mountain climbing. Its earned it’s terrain five rating with a breath-taking climb up sheer cliffs and nail-biting crossings on wire thin suspension bridges.  The cache is not for the faint of heart.Still more than 55 brave geocachers earned the smiley emoticon for logging the Swiss cache.  The geocache has also earned 10 Favorite Points. Spaki placed the cache in 2008.The pictures posted to the cache page tell the story. Geocachers with only a metal step between them and hundreds of feet of thin air. Safety does come first, especially while climbing. Mandatory equipment for the cache includes a climbing helmet, climbing harness, climbing set specially designed for via ferratas (sling with 2 carabiner hooks).On the way to Traveling to the cache siteContinue your exploration of some of the most engaging geocaches from around the world. Explore all the Geocaches of the Week on our blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com. Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

In a Pinch, Choose Energy Efficiency Over Solar

first_imgAn analysis by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy finds that energy efficiency and solar make complementary energy and carbon reductions in new home construction, but when budgets are tight, efficiency needs to come first. Throughout the United States, energy efficiency is more cost-effective. Each month, it delivers $4 to $32 in net savings while rooftop solar alone can cost up to $14. With the U.S. building stock estimated to add a net average of 1.4 million homes each year, states will need to minimize their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by focusing on effective building codes and standards. For the U.S. residential sector, building codes like the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and voluntary labels like Energy Star provide cost-effective guidance for insulation, windows, lighting, and heating and cooling equipment to construct efficient and sustainable homes. Our research paper and summary show that the energy efficiency measures found in these codes and standards are more cost-effective than an equivalent amount of energy generated from photovoltaic (PV) panels. Based on these results, we conclude that new homes must first be built efficiently for maximum cost-effectiveness. Solar panels can then be added to further reduce carbon emissions and help homes meet zero-energy targets.RELATED ARTICLES2019 Is the Year of Energy CodesA Better Way to Encourage Efficient New HomesA (Potentially) Stronger Weatherization StimulusA Good Time for Energy Audits and WeatherizationA Second Look at a Surprising Study on Energy States adopting residential building codes need to consider these results when assessing proposals to allow solar PV to be substituted for energy efficiency measures. Requirements like efficient windows and wall insulation help ensure long-term cost-effective energy savings for the homeowner. Solar panels can cost more, and may be dependent on financial arrangements. Even if a homebuilder can save upfront costs through financing options tied to government incentives, the homeowner will not necessarily save money in the long term. The following graphic compares the monthly net costs for energy efficiency to meet the 2015 IECC code and equivalent solar PV generation, for cities in Climate Zones 2-6, an area reaching from the hot and humid South to the cold North. Net monthly efficiency cost savings are even greater for homes built to Energy Star standards. These results do not include government incentives and assume a traditional mortgage rather than other financing. Of course, cost-effectiveness isn’t the only consideration when installing efficiency measures or solar panels. Both reduce heat-trapping carbon emissions and harmful air pollution. Plus, a well-insulated, efficient home loses and gains heat more slowly than a drafty one, helping to retain comfortable temperatures during emergency power outages. Similarly, when PV is paired with battery storage, it can provide a homeowner with electricity during a power outage. Efficiency measures work around the clock When it comes to improved health and comfort, insulation combined with high-efficiency windows and air conditioning systems have an advantage over PV. They also typically reduce peak power demand, whereas solar power can reduce peak demand mid-day, but this benefit fades as the sun sets, so the grid needs to ramp up quickly to meet demand. On the other hand, installing rooftop solar panels is a great way to signal a clean energy commitment to the world, while efficiency measures like insulation and efficient water heaters typically remain hidden. Solar energy and energy efficiency are both key parts of our energy future. For example, solar and efficiency together can help meet ambitious zero-energy building targets, like California’s Residential New Construction Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Action Plan. When it comes to constructing a new home throughout most of the United States, our study shows that energy efficiency is the most cost-effective choice. Once a home achieves compliance with energy codes through energy efficiency, then solar can help meet the remaining energy load.   Christopher Perry is a senior analyst in the Buildings Program at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This post originally appeared in the ACEEE News & Blog section.last_img read more