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5th Grenada Contemporary set to open at Art House 473

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Answering the call that went out internationally in late May, over 30 artists have been chosen to participate in the latest edition of the Grenada Contemporary Exhibition.

Started in 2014 with a small selection of eight artists, this exhibition has grown both in scope and in participation. The first iteration was held in 2014 in expectation of a visit from one of Cuba’s most respected curators, Jose Noceda. His words of encouragement and attention to our artists were a first step in the international journey that propelled Grenada to participate in the famous Biennale di Venezia, in Venice Italy. Grenada has now exhibited three times in this most prestigious exhibition of contemporary art in the world.

This 5th exhibition is themed, “The Beach.”

Artwork for 5th Grenada Contemporary Exhibition.
Photo: Art House 473

Local, regional and international artists share their ideas in a variety of media, each uniquely expressing a wide range of thought. Referencing Walcott and Glissant in their analogies of “The Beach”, the curatorial call asked for artists to consider the social, economic, historical and other approaches to this rich, complex space. Some see the beach as a place of relaxing reverie, while others view it as a place of battle for land and sovereignty. All are worth taking a look, and seeing the narratives that our artist tell of ourselves.

Artwork for 5th Grenada Contemporary Exhibition.
Photo: Art House 473

Art House 473 was opened this year by Susan Mains and Asher Mains as an art centre in Calliste. It is set to exhibit, to educate, and to be a destination where locals and visitors alike can not just view art, but have an art experience.

All are most welcome to come to the opening on 27 September at 6 pm, at Art House 473 in Calliste. Admission is free. Parking is at Lavo Lanes on Maurice Bishop Highway, and a free shuttle is provided.

Subsequently, the exhibition will continue through 16 October. Opening hours for Art House 473 are 11 am to 5 pm, Wednesday through Saturday, or by appointment at www.arthouse473.com

Susan Mains Gallery

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Two new libraries opened in one day in St Patrick

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Two brand new school libraries have been opened in St Patrick by GND Schools Inc., (GSI). St Patrick’s Anglican and St Patrick’s RC schools were the recent recipients of the libraries, which were both officially opened on 1 November 2019.

The launch of these two school libraries marked the climax of a one-week visit to Grenada from GND Schools Inc.’s main donors Michael and Melanie Sherwood, who were accompanied by overseas trustees Michael and Marianne De Giorgio and Bracebridge and Landis Young.

The group travelled to Grenada for the annual Donors and Trustees Meeting and to see first-hand the immense progress made over the past year by the organisation.

(L-R) Leo Garbutt, Local Trustee at GND Schools Inc.; Leolyn Christopher, District Education Officer; Andrea Phillip, Chief Executive Officer at GND Schools Inc.; Major Donors Melanie and Michael Sherwood; Anthony Boatswain, Parliamentary Representative for St Patrick West; Lyden Ramdhanny, Local Trustee at GND Schools Inc.; Marianne and Michael De Giorgio, Overseas Trustees at GND Schools Inc.; Rodney Julien Principal of St Patrick’s RC School.

To date, GND Schools Inc., through the generosity of its donors, have spent some $8.6 million on literacy development at the primary school level. Of that amount, approximately EC$355,000 has been spent to retrofit and equip libraries in four of the six primary schools in St Patrick.

GSI libraries upgrades include new ceilings, windows, lights and fans, comfortable modern furniture and new book collections. St Patrick’s Anglican and RC schools each received over 900 books.

Speaking at the official handing-over ceremony, Principals Wilma Alexander of St Patrick’s Anglican and Rodney Julien of neighbouring St Patrick’s RC School, both expressed sincere thanks to GND Schools Inc. for the gifts of the new libraries. “We salute you for partnering with us to add yet another important amenity to help improve the quality of education that is provided at our school. You have certainly seen the need to improve the literacy competencies among our students,” said Principal Wilma Alexander, St Patrick’s Anglican School.

Inside the new St Patrick’s RC School Library

Present at the library launch ceremonies were government representatives including Minister in the Ministry of Education, Hon. Pamela Moses; District Education Officer, Leolyn Christopher and Parliamentary Representative for St Patrick West, Anthony Boatswain. Also present were GND Schools Inc. local trustees Leo Garbutt and Lyden Ramdhanny.

GND Schools Inc. has opened a total of 25 new public, primary school libraries since the inception of its literacy development project in 2014. The project is part of GND Schools Inc. “B.I.G. Vision” of Building Libraries, Increasing Educational Achievement and Growing Learners.

The organisation has been doing so through funding from its main donors, Michael and Melanie Sherwood and in collaboration with the Government of Grenada, through the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs. GSI has taken a multi-pronged approach to literacy development in primary schools with focus on Library Construction and Renovation; Library Management and Activities Training; Curriculum Support and Training and Book Publishing.

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Government awaits plan to resolve TAMCC industrial impasse

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by Linda Straker

  • Trade union representatives on College Council recused themselves from emergency meeting
  • Meeting objective was to decide on resolution for industrial protest

While government awaits the plan to solve the industrial impasse at the TA Marryshow College (TAMCC), the two trade union representatives on the College Council recused themselves from the emergency meeting called on Tuesday, 12 November.

The objective of the meeting was to decide on a resolution for the industrial protest being undertaken by workers at the education institution who are employed by the council.

As of last week Thursday, the workers led by union leaders have undertaken midday protests demanding that their increment be paid. Public employees typically receive annual raises based on salary increments.

“Yes, we did recuse ourselves from the meeting to avoid any conflict of interest,” said Lydon Lewis of the Grenada Union of Teachers. Rachel Roberts who also sits on the council representing the Public Workers Union also left the meeting. Both representatives left the meeting when the subject of the increment was the topic of discussion.

Interim Chairman of the council, Augustine Vesprey said that the meeting was to come up with a plan for submission to government by identifying the possible resolution to the ongoing industrial impasse. “That plan was not finalised at Tuesday’s meeting, we are still working on it,” he said on Wednesday.

The workers are demanding they are paid increments for the period 2014 to 2018 totalling EC$6.1 million. The council is unable to pay despite receiving an increase in subvention in 2018. The college, up to 2017 received EC$12 million in subvention but it was increased in 2018 to EC$14.9 million.

Most of the money is used to pay staff monthly salaries.

In sharing some light on the matter, Pamela Moses, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skill Development & Education Outreach said in Tuesday’s post-cabinet briefing that the present impasse is a matter between the council and workers because the college is a statutory body.

“The plan will determine how government can assist in bringing the impasse to an end,” Moses said on Wednesday when asked if government will provide a bail-in for the college.

If the council decides to increase tuition fees at the college it must first be approved by government.

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PWU not legally authorised to be represented on TAMCC Council

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by Linda Straker

  • Public Workers Union representative on TA Marryshow Council appears to be an accommodation
  • Justification was for PWU represented workers on to have a voice on the council

Legal research is showing that the Public Workers Union (PWU) representative on the TA Marryshow Council appears to be an accommodation for the union to have representation, and not a mandate in accordance with the legislation which established the setting up of the college.

Pamela Moses, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skill Development & Education Outreach has confirmed that the anomaly has been identified and a legal solution is in the making. “This is something we have identified and whereas justification was provided for the accommodation, not now but a long time ago, nothing was done. We will take the necessary steps to resolve that irregularity on the council moving forward.”

Moses said she learnt that the justification to accommodate the PWU was for the workers who are represented by that union to have a voice on the council. “So yes, it’s true the union is not named in the legislation but it is represented on the council,” she said.

Rachel Roberts, the President of the Public Workers Union is sitting on the council representing the workers employed by the council. The TA Marryshow Community College Act which was approved in 1996 and had some amendments in 2009, only provides for two representatives from the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT).

More than 200 persons working at the college are employed by the council and are represented by the PWU, while others are represented by the GUT. Former council members have confirmed that before Roberts, former presidents Adrian Francis and Madonna Harford also represented the PWU workers on the council. The irregularity was also known to these former council members.

Two former chairmen of the council have confirmed that the accommodation for the PWU is something that has been questioned by former and current council members. “We reviewed the TAMCC Act and also the amendment in 2009 but we could not find any legal amendment. We understand the spirit of the decision but it’s not in the keeping with the letter of the law,” said a former council member.

According to the legislation which converted the education institution into a statutory body, the Constitution of the Council shall be appointed after the Minister has a consultation with the Education Advisory Board and the various bodies specified in the legislation.

The council which shall consist of the following persons two of whom the Minister shall designate as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, respectively:

  1. two representatives of the Grenada Union of Teachers;
  2. three persons to represent the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the tourism sector and the agricultural sector;
  3. one representative of the Principals Association of Secondary Schools;
  4. one representative of the student body of the College;
  5. one representative of the Grenada Institute of Professional Engineers;
  6. two persons appointed by the Minister;
  7. the Principal, ex officio; and
  8. the Chief Education Officer, ex officio.

The Registrar shall be the Secretary of the Council but without the right to vote at meetings of the council.

The current council members most of which were appointed or re-appointed in August 2019 are:

  • Augustine Vesprey
  • Lincoln Morgan
  • Dr Jeffery Britton
  • Rachel Roberts
  • Lydon Lewis
  • Dunstan Campbell
  • Mark Kitchen
  • Dominic Jeremiah
  • Jason Williams
  • Angella Finlay
  • Roshm Abraham
  • Marva Bowen-Neptune

The workers of TAMCC have been engaging in daily industrial protest over the council’s inability to pay increments dating back to 2014 and tallying beyond EC$6 million.

As it is a statutory body, government is not involved in the daily operations and management of the college which as off2018 had an increase in subvention to $14.9 million from the EC$12 million which falls under the expenditure of the Ministry of Education.

Moses said that a plan has since be requested from the council for government to know how the council plans to resolve the issue. Statutory rules do provide for the relevant ministry through the Ministry of Finance to provide a bail-in. The government can also give approval to increase tuition fees so that the college can have an increase in revenue.

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