Cocopa ‘Go Slow’ Turns Violent

first_imgA month long ‘go slow’ at the Cocopa Rubber Plantation on Friday April 1 turned violent after aggrieved workers blocked the main road leading to Saclapea from Ganta, preventing vehicles from plying their regular route.The action forced an ambulance transporting a patient from the Bahn Refugee Camp to Ganta to divert to another route through Karnplay to Ganta.Officers of the Liberia National Police Emergency Response Unit (ERU) who arrived on the scene tried to disburse the crowd but the situation went out of hand and the police resorted to the use of tear gas. During the confusion, three police officers sustained injuries resulting from stones thrown at them from the crowd.The workers allegedly broke into the main warehouse at the plantation, as well as the only clinic, and looted everything there. When confronted, their spokesman denied that they were involved in the looting. He said they embarked on a peaceful go-slow but when the police arrived and began to use tear gas, the crowd lost it, leading to the looting and disorderly conduct. The Plant’s Operation Manager, Benjamin Saye, and senior staff members of the various departments have since moved to Ganta. Eleven persons, including two women were arrested and brought to Ganta for questioning, but they were later released after Acting Ganta City Mayor Ben Dokpa, upon the instruction of the Supt. Zuagele, stood their bonds. Meanwhile, the situation at the plantation is now calm. Police officers are presently on the plantation to protect other facilities that were not tampered with, the County Police Commander told the Daily Observer.The management is set to pay the workers their arrears today, April 4, as well as recruit a minimum number of workers that it can maintain, Mr. Saye said. The go–slow at the plantation began a month ago, when teachers, nurses and even security officers decided to stop all operations until salary arrears were paid.The workers meanwhile threatened to close the highway linking Ganta and Saclapea if the government failed to address their plight.The management was forced to hire a Community Watch Forum to take control of the facilities until the disturbance was ended.Many of the citizens of Nimba have expressed disappointment in the workers’ action when there was a process already underway to pay them. “Although, we’re in sympathy with the Cocopa workers for the delay in getting their salaries, we’re not in support of taking the law into their own hands,” said an eyewitness at the scene.He added “They were going to get their arrears so they shouldn’t have gone on the rampage.”The recent saga began when the government of Liberia took the plantation from the previous owner, LIBCO due to bad labor practices in 2013.Since then the workers have continued to complain about delays in receiving their wages and monthly rice supply.Recently, the present management, Nimba Rubber Incorporated, issued a distribution of rice to the aggrieved workers to ease the tension while working on the payment of salary arrears which was supposed to start on April 2.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Math grades climb, but test scores drop

first_imgWASHINGTON – It doesn’t add up. Two federal reports out Thursday offer conflicting messages about how well high-schoolers are doing academically. One showed that seniors did poorly on national math and reading tests. The other – a review of high school transcripts from 2005 graduates – showed students earning more credits, taking more challenging courses and getting better grades. “The reality is that the results don’t square,” said Darvin Winick, chair of the independent National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the tests. Nearly 40 percent of high school seniors scored below the basic level on the math test. More than a quarter of seniors failed to reach the basic level on the reading test. Most educators think students ought to be able to work at the basic level. “I think that we are sleeping through a crisis,” said Massachusetts Commissioner of Education David Driscoll, a governing board member. He said the low test scores should push lawmakers and educators to enact school reforms. The new reading scores show no change since 2002, the last time the test was given. “We should be getting better. There’s nothing good about a flat score,” Winick said. The government said it could not compare the math results with the previous scores because the latest test was significantly different. The National Assessment of Educational Progress – often called the nation’s report card – is viewed as the best way to compare students across the country because it’s the only uniform national yardstick for how well students are learning. The tests were given in 2005. The transcript study showed that 2005 high school graduates had an overall grade-point average just shy of 3.0 – or about a B. That has gone up from a grade-point average of about 2.7 in 1990. It is unclear whether student performance has improved or whether grade inflation or something else might be responsible for the higher grades, the report said. More students are completing high school with a standard curriculum, meaning they take at least four credits of English and three credits each of social studies, math and science. More students also are taking the next level of courses, which generally includes college preparatory classes. “I’m guessing that those levels don’t connote the level of rigor that we think they do. Otherwise kids would be scoring higher on the NAEP test,” said David Gordon, a governing board member and the superintendent of schools in Sacramento The transcript study released Thursday showed no increase in the number of high-schoolers who completed the most advanced curriculum, which could include college-level or honors classes. On the math test, about 60 percent of high school seniors performed at or above the basic level. At that level, a student should be able to convert a decimal to a fraction, for example. Just one-fourth of 12th-graders were proficient or better in math, meaning they demonstrated solid academic performance. To qualify as “proficient,” students might have to determine what type of graph should be used to display particular types of data. On the reading test, about three-fourths of seniors performed at or above the basic level, while 40 percent hit the proficient mark. The report did not include detailed breakdowns by city or district. Scores broken down by state released in 2004 showed that California’s fourth- and eighth-graders continued to rank near the bottom in reading and math proficiency compared with students nationwide – a poor performance education officials attributed to the state’s vast number of English-learning students. Los Angeles Unified school board member David Tokofsky said the NAEP study released Thursday shows that when students take math at levels like pre-calculus and calculus – not just algebra or geometry – there is a significant jump in national test scores. “It’s super-important to get our kids all the way to trigonometry and calculus, but we’re still struggling to get them concerned enough to take geometry,” he said. “We have to make math more exciting, accessible and rigorous.” Daily News Staff Writer Naush Boghossian contributed to this story.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

DDTV COUNTDOWN TO CROKER: MILFORD GAA CLUB DO THE DOUBLE DIP FOR DONEGAL

first_imgDDTV: They certainly got the weather as members of Milford GAA club did the Double Dip for Donegal at Rathmullan beach last evening.Among those diving into the water were principal Alma Kavanagh, sister of Donegal star Rory, as well as local councillor Michael McBride. All funds go to the players training fund. Click play to watch Donegal TV’s video of the event.  DDTV COUNTDOWN TO CROKER: MILFORD GAA CLUB DO THE DOUBLE DIP FOR DONEGAL was last modified: September 15th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalDouble DipGAAMilfordRathmullanlast_img read more