In its quest to protect the constitutional rights of children across Guyana, the Rights of the Child Commission (RCC) has been receiving an increased number in cases of abuse and neglect.This information was related to Guyana Times during an interview with the investigative officer and Human Rights Activist at the RCC, Andre Gonsalves, who indicated that there are 26 pending cases along with 53 dating back to 2017. Within these, some also deal with underage pregnancies and discrimination.“We have currently 26. We had 53 and of that 53 which is from last year, we would’ve referred many of them to the Child Care and Protection Agency and to the Police. We also refer them to the Ministry of Social Protection and we do follow up to ensure that the matter continues to receive attention. The numbers so far have been increasing but what we should look at is what particular type of cases are coming in more often than the others,” Gonsalves said.It was relayed that in the school setting, many reports are filed of discriminatory cases. In his perspective, this continues because the Education Ministry has not established policies to engage discussions and solutions for such incidences.“Most of the cases that we’ve received have to do with neglect and abuse in all its forms and we have some discriminatory cases in the school setting. The Ministry doesn’t really have any policy to engage or to remedy such and even our laws in the Constitution don’t really give us any actions so that is definitely a vulnerable group.”In the teenage and underage pregnancy cases where the father may be the only provider for the mother and child, there are programmes set up to monitor and offer counselling to the family or a similar organisation is called that can provide support.The activist claimed, “We have some instances where a child may have a baby at 15. Police may not have the will to go and arrest the father because one of the popular notions is that who will take care of the child? With cases like that, we would provide counselling for the teenage mother. In this way, we would seek institutions or an NGO to offer that.”Recently, a study was conducted to attain information on the magnitude of juvenile crime in Guyana and the statistical information found indicates that the Sophia Holding Centre is in the highly concentrated region for such crimes. However, there was a stretch from Sparendaam in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) to Springlands in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) with a prevalence of wandering and simple larceny.“We did an analysis of juvenile crime in Guyana and we found that most of these crime, the catchment area was the Sophia Holding Centre, so we found that most of them were from Sparendaam to Springlands in Region Six. However, there is a bigger concentration in the Sparendaam to Vigilance area,” he said.From this, it was decided that parenting programmes should be the next item on the agenda of the RCC.“Most of them were victimless, non-economical. Some of them were wandering and simple larceny. We found that those were because of a necessity, hunger, the family environment. That’s why we advocating for better parenting programmes.”Meanwhile, Chairperson of the organization, Aleema Nazir, provided additional statistics which indicate that 65 per cent of children at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) holding centres are held for wandering.
So the 32nd Big West Conference men’s basketball tournament, which gets under way this evening in the Anaheim Convention Center, figures to be the proverbial “wide-open affair”, right? At least one of the eight Big West head coaches isn’t quite ready to buy into that notion. “But they have all of those seniors and their guard play is so good. And (Aaron) Nixon (the conference’s Player of the Year) makes all of those big-time plays. And they have great experience at Anaheim (with the three games the 49ers played in the tournament last year). “I think they are the best team. When you win the conference by three games, you’re better than everyone.” But there is certainly a clear-cut top challenger to Coach Larry Reynolds’ team and it’s the squad that Kevin Bromley is bringing with him from San Luis Obispo. The Cal Poly Mustangs finished in a three-way tie for second but are the No. 2 seed and, like the 49ers, don’t play until Friday night’s semifinals. They have lost just once since late January. And that defeat came to Long Beach, 80-77, after leading the 49ers by 14 points late in the first half in San Luis Obispo on Feb. 8. “They’re the hottest team in the league and our two games with them were battles,” Reynolds said, also alluding to his team’s 77-70 win over the Mustangs in Long Beach on Jan. 6. “And if it turns out that we end up playing them again (and that could only take place if both teams reach Saturday night’s final), that would be a battle as well.” Since the conference began giving the 1-2 regular-season finishers byes into the tournament semifinals in 2004, only a 1 (Pacific last season) or a 2 (Pacific three years ago and Utah State in 2005) has won the Big West tourney. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It is an eight-team conference that has an eighth-place team (UC Riverside) that knocked off arguably its most talented team (Cal State Fullerton). And it’s a conference whose fifth-place (UC Irvine) finisher and the team that deadlocked in the sixth and seventh slots (Cal State Northridge) both knocked off its regular-season champion (Long Beach State). “Long Beach won the conference (regular-season race by going 12-2) by three games,” Pacific Coach Bob Thomason said earlier this week. “That’s a pretty big gap. And they could have won the two games they lost (by seven points at CSN and four at UCI). Do I think someone could knock them off? Absolutely. 49ERS MENBig West Tournament semifinals Friday: vs. TBA, Anaheim Convention Ctr, 6:30 p.m. read more
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“We don’t need to spend that much,” said Thompson, who monitors 32 sites, including 28 elementary and secondary schools. “We only use the resources when we need them. It really makes a difference. You have to realize what you pay at home, the district is paying, too.” The former Santa Susana High School principal tracks energy consumption and calculates savings regularly, using computer software. He also trains district employees to be more energy-efficient. Simi Unified has two years left on the four-year contract and pays about $28,600 a month for the services, which include workshops and additional training. Funding comes out of the district’s existing utility budget, with savings projected to pay for the program. Energy Education Inc. estimates $6 million to $7 million in savings over seven years, and so far the district is on track, said Lowell Schultze, associate superintendent of business and facilities. “The program takes a while to take effect,” he said. “It’s changing the way people do things.” email@example.com (805) 583-7604160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY – More than a year after the school district implemented an energy program to cut back on utility costs, officials say they have passed the $1 million mark in savings. The Simi Valley Unified School District, which spends $5 million on utility bills every year, began efforts to eliminate energy waste amid budget cuts, said Robert Thompson, the district’s so-called energy czar. Thompson was named energy manager just before December 2004, when the district first rolled out the conservation program run by Energy Education Inc., a Texas-based energy-management consulting firm. By making small changes – turning off the lights in empty rooms, shutting down unused computers, getting rid of personal refrigerators and better regulating temperature – the schools have netted a savings of $1.15 million, a 22 percent drop in use. The goal was to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent. read more