The Benab Foundation, a volunteer group of young people that aims to ultimately improve the lives of Guyanese, is targeting 100 students this summer to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.Assisting studentsIn the months of July and August, the group will be hosting its annual summer programme that will be focusing on the core subjects in schools. The group has formed a special project called the Cognitive Initiative to deal specifically with the classes to better serve the participants.The Cognitive Initiative is a non-profit programme designed to offer struggling students remedial tutoring during the August vacation.According to the group, “The areas of focus will be Mathematics and English A, as statistical research shows that Guyanese students have poorly performed in these disciplines at CSEC [the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examinations], despite them being core subjects.”The group noted that its initiative is to improve reading and writing skills, as well as enhance the thinking and reasoning capabilities, of 100 students from junior secondary schools. Candidates selected will be transitioning from second to third form.Students will be required to attend classes for three days per week, four hours each day. The group will also be offering snacks to the students.“Twenty-five volunteers will be involved in the tutoring programme, all of whom are currently undertaking advanced studies or haveThe Benab Foundation volunteerscompleted these studies. The high volunteer to student ratio will allow for more tailored learning based on each student’s weaknesses, as identified in the initial test,” the group added.To date, the Initiative has reached over 200 students from New Campbellville Secondary, Dolphin Secondary, Tutorial High School, St John’s College, St Winifried’s Secondary and St George’s High School among others.The Benab Foundation comprises mostly students, often still in high school (at the A-level) or continuing study at the University of Guyana, and thus cannot afford the transportation and lunch costs associated with the Initiative independently. The group was formed in the year 2012 whereby a small group of young people met to discuss the birth of an organisation that aims to ultimately improve the lives of Guyanese, particularly the nation’s youth. Its main objective is to assist in the development of Guyana and themselves.
…as NDIA takes away contractsTrench cleaners in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) complained bitterly to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) at the monthly statutory meeting held on Tuesday after losing their contracts with the Region.The RDC facilitated a meeting with the affected trench cleaners to hear their plightSome of the contractors meeting with the RDC on Tuesdayafter their contracts were not renewed. According to some of the cleaners, they had been maintaining the trenches in the Region for as long as 10 years without many problems and suddenly they got instructions from the Drainage and Irrigation Department of the Region to ceased work.Some of the trench cleaners complained that when they first received the contract some of the trenches were in very bad condition and they worked for as low as $6, $7, and $8 dollars per rod. However, one cleaner has told the RDC that now the hard work has been done, the contract has been taken away from them and given to close friends of high officials within the Drainage and Irrigation Department for a lucrative amount of $200 per rod. Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt immediately called on Councillors to vote for an immediate investigation and to put a hold on all new trench cleaning contracts within the Region. As such, with the support of both sides of the RDC, a vote was moved for the investigation to be launched.