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Kimaya Richards’ mother not surprised by her daughter’s CPEA performance



by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Vendome RC School student tops CPEA, amassing 490 points
  • 3 students celebrates a 3-way tie for 2nd position with 489 points each
  • 902 male and 897 female students assigned to secondary schools

Described as a shy but self-motivated individual and an avid reader, Kimaya Richards’ success at the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) came as no surprise to her mother, Pamela Richards.

The Vendome RC School student topped the CPEA, amassing 490 points out of a maximum possible score of 500. The highly anticipated results, released on Monday showed that she was among the 16 successful students at the school which received 100% passes.

The 11-year-old who resides in La Mode, St George stated that she is quite excited although being quite reserved while being interviewed by journalists at the school. “I feel very proud and glad, I did a lot of studies and practice. I preferred mathematics and science, and the exam was very challenging,” she said.

Richards’ mother could not contain her excitement. She was ecstatic that her daughter’s hard work and dedication paid off, stating that her daughter’s excellent performance came as no surprise as prior to the exams, she witnessed her daughter display a level of maturity when it came to her school work, that is sometimes rare in students her age.

Richards was able to duplicate the success achieved in 2015 when the island had 2 students — Daryl Streete of Beacon Junior School and Leoneal Rennie of the St. Andrews’s RC School — who tied for the top spot, each amassing a score of 490.

“I wasn’t surprised because she always had it; from Pre-Primary actually she was awarded the most outstanding so I knew she would have done well. She was always a reader, she will read books in probably an hour,” said Richards’ mother. “For most of her studies, she never actually needed my help, I just had to ensure that she did her studies … and I am grateful for her teachers, especially Ms Linck. She helped her a lot and everybody else who helped, I am very appreciative.”

Dale Joseph Lessey, Vice Principal of Vendome RC stated that the school managed to not only secure the top spot, but also have 100% passes in the CPEA, by first reviewing the weak areas observed from last year’s performance which was used as a guide to prepare the students in advance.

“Besides the CPEA we also did well in the MCT’s — the Minimum Competency Test — but one thing I should really mention is that as a staff, we come together and we look at the results and see where our children and the weaknesses of a particular year. So far this year we would have looked at the weaknesses of last year and we put measures in place to see if we can overcome these weaknesses.”

Richards’ grade 6 Teacher Shamain Linck said in preparation for the exams, she made sure that her students had a firm grasp of the Civic (Social Studies) component of the exams which was believed to be the most challenging for her students.

“Based on the previous year the students were saying that the Civics (Social Studies) was a little difficult. So I knew I had to go deep into the civics, so there were times I was wondering where should I stop, but I just went all the way because I did not know what to expect.”

Kimaya Richards will advance to secondary level in September and she will be attending St Joseph Convent St George’s (SJCSG).

Joseph De Souza, one of the 3 students placing 2nd in CPEA and Westmorland Junior school’s Supervisor Mariza K James

While the Vendome RC School continues their celebrations, other schools like Mt Rose SDA School, Samaritan Presbyterian School, and Westmorland Junior School are all celebrating a 3-way tie for 2nd position. Samuel Roberts of Mt Rose SDA, Hope Dealie of Samaritan Presbyterian and Joseph De Souza of Westmorland Junior each amassed a score of 489.

NOW Grenada interviewed 11-year-old Joseph De Souza who already has plans to pursue a career as an engineer, as he prepares to attend Westmorland Secondary School.

“I feel really happy,” De Souza said. “I always wanted to get a high position in the exams. I practice my work and I went in my books to see if there is anything I missed, and try to follow up on things that I am not so strong on, but the exam was easy. It wasn’t too challenging for me.”

Supervisor of the Westmorland Junior School Mariza K James said De Souza along with the entire batch of 27 students who sat the exam, were able to attain passes with 23 students attaining 85% and above. “I am always happy when my children are successful. We always strive to get at least all of the students with averages of 75% and above, and we are quite happy because 23 of the 27 are top performers, meaning that they had averages of 85% and above. I would like to commend the teachers, parents and also the students on a job well done,” James said.

James said she admired that young De Souza was able to find the perfect balance between his school work and his extracurricular activities. “He was a child that was a part of prep sports. He is into swimming, he does his football, but at the end of the school day he will make sure that he gets his schoolwork complete and then he would be seen in the yard playing football; which for me is a plus because there must be a balance,” she said.

Hope Dealie student of the Samaritan Presbyterian School Photo: Ministry of Education
Samuel Roberts of Mt Rose SDA is one of the 3 students placing 2nd in CPEA

Hope Dealie and Samuel Roberts will be attending Mc Donald College and Grenada SDA Comprehensive respectively.

The summary report on candidates’ performance in the 2019 CPEA showed that 1,949 students (1,011 males and 938 females) were registered for the assessment. However, 1,931 students wrote the external component of the assessment, while 1,946 students participated in the internal aspect.

The report stated that 1,799 were assigned to secondary schools throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique: 902 males and 897 females. 41 females and 109 males have been retained at primary school. These students will have another opportunity to write the Assessment in 2020 if eligible, or the National School Leaving Examination.

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Caribbean & World

Ridge to Reef supports capacity building through Apiculture training




In an effort to build capacity in sustainable livelihoods the GEF/UNDP Ridge to Reef (R2R) Project in partnership with the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information hosted an introductory Apiculture Training Programme in the communities of Happy Hill and New Hampshire.

After 20 days of interactive classroom sessions, several students of the Happy Hill Secondary School and farmers from the New Hampshire community completed the training programme.

Apiculture or beekeeping is the practice of maintaining honeybee colonies for the purpose of honey production or other bee products such as wax, propolis, pollen or royal jelly. In addition to being breed for their products, bees can also be kept for their ecological service of pollination.

During the training programme participants gained knowledge about the various practices employed in beekeeping through a mixture of practical and theoretical classroom sessions. The sessions highlighted the practices necessary to ensure the cultivation, management and maintenance of healthy beehives. Participants were also introduced to the biodiversity-friendly, livelihood opportunity that beekeeping provides. As an entrepreneurial avenue, beekeeping can have positive impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, in addition to serving as a source of income to provide a level of financial sustainability to farmers.

Trainer and Adult participants of the GEF/UNDP Ridge to Reef Apiculture Training Programme.

The R2R Bee Keeping Training Programme is one of several project activities which are directed towards supporting capacity building, sustainable livelihoods and Grenada’s progression towards achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable livelihoods allow stakeholders to cope with and recover from stresses and shocks without undermining or depleting the natural resource base which they depend upon.

The Ridge to Reef project continually seeks to promote sustainable livelihoods and sustainable land management practices geared towards enhancing biodiversity and sustaining ecosystems of Grenada.

Ridge to Reef

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Open letter to Franka Alexis-Bernardine, Political Leader NDC




9 November 2019
Franka Alexis-Bernardine
Political Leader
National Democratic Congress

Greetings Madam Political Leader!

Re: Your Election as Party Leader

The nation has greeted with great interest and expectation your ascendancy to the office of Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress. It appears to be a “watershed” moment for women in politics in Grenada. Permit me to offer my congratulations and a few comments/observations.

Congratulations, Madam, on your COURAGE and BRAVERY to serve your party and Grenada in this position and at this juncture in our country. Politics is BRUTAL, perhaps even dangerous, moreso for women.

Political leadership of the party is pointing ultimately in the direction of leadership of the country. Your entry into politics did not come via the electoral route but rather you answered a call to serve and became a Minister via a Senate appointment so you are starting a little handicapped since there is no “safe seat” in which to field the Political Leader. I therefore hope that you will have a circle of persons around you on whom you can depend – people who “have got your back” and want to see you SUCCEED. I do not mean “yes people” but people whom you can trust and will tell you what you need to know/hear. When the party leader succeeds, then the party looks good and everyone associated with the party looks good and confidence is built.

I recall the SHABBY treatment and disrespect meted out to former Party Leader/Political Leader, Tillman Thomas, during his term as Prime Minister. I trust, Madam, that the entire party has learnt from that episode and that your political colleagues will appreciate and value your capability and experience. Thankfully, “maximum leadership” does not appear to be the style of your party. However, a collection of bright persons DO NOT make a team and in the post-revolutionary period we the people have bemoaned the fact that a lot of bright people occupying the same political space NEVER seem to get their act together!! I hope that a Compact has been negotiated, that there are/will be protocols and procedures about how party business is conducted and its disputes are settled and that provisions are made for certain eventualities. You have served in the development NGO sector which considers process – including conflict resolution and concensus building – to be essential to a sustainable, quality product/output. Process is of paramount importance to organisational building and I trust it will become a hallmark of your political organisation. If a party cannot “take care of its own business”, how then can the public have confidence that it can run a country?

Role of Women in the Party

Traditionally, the women of the NDC party have been hardworking, no-nonsense people who, on more than one occasion, have brought a paralysed party out of crisis – going back as far as the post-Nicholas Brathwaite period. Thus, this public recognition by the party of the worth of its women has been LONG in coming. Even though the party has been at the vanguard of advancing the rights and status of women in Grenada, within the party, it has been slow in according that recognition and respect to its women, if one were to judge by the percentage of leadership positions held by women in the party and the percentage of women offered as candidates. Your party’s political rival, the New National Party, understands the international political capital of these numbers and has done well for itself in this regard. Regrettably, those numbers do not translate into influence on decision-making and agenda-setting, the improvement of the status of the women in Grenada or good governance in general. They are all wearing the same khaki cloth, in the same cut as the “boys”.

Clearly, in the recent elections of the Executive which brought you to the helm, an attempt seems to have been made to redress this gender inequality and I note there is almost 50-50 representation on the new Executive. Therefore, I trust Madam, that under your stewardship, there will be concerted efforts to develop the self-confidence and capacity of these and other capable women (and men) in the party to hold high office.

Party’s Business

As you are aware Madam, your party is under intense scrutiny. Indeed, sometimes it seems that there is a different yardstick by which certain interests measure the party when compared with its political rival, the New National Party. And there seems to be those who have made it their quest to “mash” up your party. So, the party needs to be mindful of distraction, “keep its eye on the prize”, and address its business in order to be seen as a credible alternative to be entrusted with the stewardship of the people’s business.

Madam, it amazes me how the general public seems to always be “in the know” in respect of the party’s internal business. I believe that this is destructive and needs to be remedied. While party business is indeed the people’s business, ALL dirty/other linen need not always be washed/aired out in public.


While one has to be sensitive/responsive to the public – since one is seeking their vote of approval – you as Political Leader will need to have YOUR, unique brand. I imagine, Madam, that soon, you and your advisors, will be shaping YOUR brand and the party’s brand. Among the qualities of that brand Madam, I hope, is that the TRUTH will always be told to the public.

I am sure Madam, that you would not want to come across as any “Saviour” or “knight in shining armour” who is going “to save” Grenada. You are much too pragmatic. It is about educating, empowering, inspiring and mobilising Grenadians to save themselves – to imbue them with the confidence and means that THEY CAN. ALL hands and colours have a part to play and are needed on board in the business of building Grenada.

Men, Women and Children

None better than you Madam appreciates the dire plight facing some of our women and children in this country, as has come to the fore recently. You have made enormous contributions to the design and implementation of programs to address some of those challenges. Your party also has several experienced, capable persons in this regard. I trust that your party will have a clearly articulated agenda that it can begin to implement, even while out of office. That said, the MEN also have to be brought along.

Stewardship of the People’s Assets

I trust, Madam, that your party, if elected to office, will remember at all times, it is the STEWARDS of the people’s business and ASSETS. We hope that at all times, it is going to be UPFRONT and TRANSPARENT in its relationship with foreign investors and governments and that it will not thrust its own version of “development’ upon us, particularly when that entails “giving away” our assets. There must be mechanisms by which we, the people can collectively participate in decision-making about matters of this nature.

We appreciate that government is a continuum and that decisions and commitments made by a previous government have to be honoured by the successor government. We are entering on TRICKY ground here, Madam Political Leader. On ascending to office in 2008, your administration inherited quite a number of these “suspect” projects. It is my considered view that the NDC administration of 2008-2013 had the sovereign authority to have rescued the people’s property in Levera from the debt junkie, Paul Taylor. It chose not to and played along with the so-called millionaire investor and now this property has apparently ended up in the hands of some Far Eastern group whose intent, it seems, is to create a millionaires’ playground. Based on a video circulated, apparently, there is not even room for Grenadians to be hewers of wood and carriers of water. The debt junkie seems to have benefitted HANDSOMELY while Grenadians whose LANDS WERE ACQUIRED are still awaiting payment. One or two have even gone to the great beyond. Your party has to have a definite plan as to how it would negotiate such MURKY situations.

Financing and the People’s Property

At all times, it must be remembered and understood by all and sundry, Madam Political Leader, that there are no free lunches!! Nations, institutions and individuals are not parting with their money because “dey like us”!! Among the questions to be pondered are: WHO are they, WHAT do they want in return and whether we can afford it. How will our people be impacted negatively and positively? Our political leaders seem to have a penchant for being blinded by apparent “glits and glamour”. They do not dig beyond the surface (DUE DILIGENCE) and it has become too much the trend that Grenadians are expected to “step aside” and GIVE UP what is their own to accommodate foreign investors because they “bringing jobs and development”. There are TOO many of these examples where promises have not been delivered, dreams broken, our assets alienated and we the people are left holding the debt and/or the white elephants. ENOUGH is enough!! So Madam Political Leader, when the party is negotiating financing, it must be remembered, that without informed people’s participation in the decision-making, the people’s property is OFF LIMITS!

The Journey Now Start

I thank you, Madam Political Leader, for the opportunity to offer these comments and I wish you very best wishes as you embark on this new phase of the journey as Political Leader of your party. May the Most High bless, inspire and protect you!

Kind regards!
Sandra CA Ferguson

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Faustino Asprilla: Ex-Colombia striker urged hitman not to kill Jose Luis Chilavert




Former Colombia striker Faustino Asprilla says he had to convince a hitman not to kill Paraguay goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert after a World Cup qualifying match in 1997.

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