RelatedRemarks by the Prime Minister at the 2014 High-Level Caribbean Forum Story HighlightsPrime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says economic growth by itself will not be enough to lift the people of Jamaica and the Caribbean region to a significantly higher standard of living. “The growth we seek must be robust, strong and sustained. The growth we are working for must be equitable and inclusive,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said. She pointed out that, against this background, the Government of Jamaica is working to achieve growth with job creation and is encouraging the rise of a new business-owning class to include all Jamaicans. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller told a gathering of officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), other international organisations, Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors and other policy makers from across the Caribbean, that economic growth by itself will not be enough to lift the people of Jamaica and the Caribbean region to a significantly higher standard of living.“The growth we seek must be robust, strong and sustained. The growth we are working for must be equitable and inclusive,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.She pointed out that, against this background, the Government of Jamaica is working to achieve growth with job creation and is encouraging the rise of a new business-owning class to include all Jamaicans. “Without jobs and successful business ownership our people will have no hope,” the Prime Minister noted.She was speaking on Thursday (October 23), as she declared open, a high-level forum organised by the IMF focusing on “Unlocking Economic Growth in the Caribbean.”Underscoring the importance of the forum, the Prime Minister said that at this moment, there can be no greater imperative for Jamaica or the Caribbean region, than the great urgency of economic growth.She expressed the view that: “Achieving appreciable, sustainable and equitable economic growth in Jamaica coupled with job creation must be the ‘prize’ for the extreme sacrifices our people have been making, in our efforts to put our economy on the right track once and for all.”She shared with those attending the forum Jamaica’s efforts to tackle Jamaica’s high energy costs, the greatest deterrent to high levels of economic growth in Jamaica. This, she framed within the context of energy being a major factor in the competitiveness of the local economy, particularly in the two sectors which use significant amounts of it – mining and manufacturing.She shared Jamaica’s experience with the work of the Energy Sector Enterprise Team (ESET), which has been charting a way forward for increasing energy capacity in the country while significantly reducing cost.“Based on preliminary modelling by the ESET, Jamaica is looking to reduce our energy cost in the region of 30 per cent by 2018, resulting in projected savings of approximately US 350 million dollars,” she announced.Prime Minister Simpson Miller also pointed to contracts having been recently concluded for the supply of 78 megawatts of electricity from wind and solar as the Government seeks to meet its National Energy Policy commitment to having at least 20 percent of the country’s energy mix coming from renewable sources by 2030.The Prime Minister called for greater levels of financing to enable national economies to redouble their efforts at energy conservation. She said there were early encouraging results from Jamaica’s Public Sector Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme, which is seeking to reduce the annual J$14 billion public sector electricity bill by 30 percent over four years.She commended the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank for supporting energy conservation with some level of funding, but noted that: “What is still required, at the risk of being impatient, is more money and greater investment to be able to accelerate and broaden these programmes.”Accepting that the macro-economic policies of the Government alone cannot achieve the economic recovery needed, the Prime Minister called for greater levels of private capital investments.Naming several investment activities by local and foreign investors in the Jamaican economy, the Prime Minister said she is encouraged that with the government and private enterprise working hand in hand, Jamaica is making steady progress.She pointed to Wednesday’s breaking of ground for the construction of a US$25 million logistics facility at Kingston Wharves Limited as part of a US$70 million investment there.The investment of US $610 million by an overseas company in new construction for the North/South Highway, was another growth-inducing project cited by the Prime Minister. RelatedDeputy Managing Director of IMF Commends Jamaica Growth is not enough, says Prime Minister Finance & Public ServiceOctober 24, 2014Written by: OPM Communications Unit RelatedPM Outlines Impact of High Energy Cost FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Advertisements
Avnet Abacus has extended its distribution agreement with Panasonic. The agreement now allows Avnet Abacus to include highly competitive RF and wireless module based products and technologies.Avnet Abacus is already an authorized distributor for Panasonic products throughout Europe, offering a broad range of its passive electronic components including capacitors, inductors, resistors, sensors and switches. This extension of the distribution agreement between the two companies enables Avnet Abacus customers to gain access to the full portfolio of RF modules from Panasonic, which covers all the latest communication protocols with ready-to-use modules for Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi.A major focus for Panasonic’s wireless connectivity solutions is to help companies shorten their development cycle and gain faster time-to-market. The time and software resources required for engineers to learn network communication protocol stacks and develop applications can be very expensive. However, the modules enable the building of wireless communications into designs – quickly and easily – without engineers requiring comprehensive know-how of wireless hardware and software design. Panasonic has also partnered with a number of software developers for all of the major RF network protocols, including Bluetooth, ISM and SNAP.Furthermore, designing in a pre-tested and certified RF module, rather than implementing a discrete wireless solution, enables the reduction of test and certification requirements and the overall cost of ownership for product development. In addition, long-term design stability can also be achieved as the Panasonic portfolio of RF modules has maintained consistent pin-out and footprint across several generations with the introduction of newer and more advanced microcontrollers.
By BRIDGET SCOTT THE Australian branch of Quilts of Valour has expanded, and Helen Comport would now like to see…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
On Tuesday 31 July Jenny Mikakos, Minister for Families and Children announced an additional $40 million for more Flexible Support…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription. By Kyra Gillespie
The Sedin twins continue to struggle mightily. Each time they appear to gotten over their scoring woes, they have another game like tonight where they fail to deliver any points. Some stats: they have combined for one point in the last five games; one power play goal in the last 19 games; and they have only had points in 4 out of the last 12 games. The second line nearly made the difference tonight. After Raymond was moved off the unit in favour of Kassian, they produced two goals. Kassian has come as advertised – he can skate, he hits, and provides a physical presence the team needed. I’m slowly being convinced the trade might not have been as disastrous as I originally thought. Leigh Ramsden lives in Vancouver and is an avid Canucks fan, having been a partial season ticket holder for over 10 years. He’s old enough to have witnessed all three Stanley Cup losses, as such, his prime goal is to remove those scars by seeing a Cup brought to Vancouver. Leigh is Fighting For Stanley’s (www.fightingforstanley.ca/vancouver) west coast correspondent, and will also blog after all Canuck games for The Nelson Daily. The Vancouver Canucks hosted the Buffalo Sabres in a rare meeting between the expansion cousins on Saturday night at Rogers Arena. What was, for the longest time, a ho-hum game on the late-season schedule took on increased relevance after last Monday’s trade between the two teams, which sent rookies Cody Hodgson and Zach Kassian across the continent. The play between the two players was an interesting subplot to the game, ending with a 5-3 Buffalo victory.This game was a story of two different games. The Canucks typically start games well and score first in two out of every three games. Tonight, they came out extremely flat, and that start coupled with some questionable goaltending by starter Roberto Luongo doomed them to a 3-0 deficit just over five minutes into the first. The Buffalo goals were scored by Ville Leino, who had the first two, and by Brad Boyes, who wired a shot past Luongo, off the post and in, then quickly back out, which caused officials to rule no-goal until the NHL situation room reviewed the play.Luongo can be legitimately faulted on the first two Leino goals, and once the third one went in, coach Alain Vigneault had seen enough and relieved him of his duties in favour of Cory Schneider.From that point forth, the Canucks were a different team, outskating, outworking, outhitting, outshooting, and outscoring the Sabres through the balance of the game. The second period featured a number of power plays and some immense pressure by Vancouver, however, they weren’t able to solve Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller until 15:37 when David Booth beat him on the power play. Booth added a second goal at 3:43 of the third, his goals bookending a fluky goal by ex-Canuck Christian Ehrhoff which went in a minute before Booth scored. Zach Kassian rounded out the scoring for the Canucks, scoring his first as a Canuck as he made a game of it at 17:14 of the final stanza, before Tyler Ennis iced it for the Sabres with just over a minute remaining, scoring into an empty net. There’s certainly enough blame to go around for those three goals against – the fourth line of Lapierre-Malhotra-Kassian and the third defensive pairing of Rome-Gragnani were all on the ice for the first and third goals, with Malhotra in particular appearing to be uncharacteristically out of position on the first, Lapierre on the third. The second goal was a bit of a fire drill in the Canucks’ zone, Hamhuis turning the puck over, then chasing, an unlucky bounce across the slot, Luongo and Burrows losing their sticks, etc. As I mentioned above – it was just a perfect storm to Buffalo’s benefit. The story of this game really is the fact that Buffalo was up 3-0 before the Canucks realized a game was going on, and were provided tremendous goalkeeping by Miller compared to a subpar effort from Luongo. The ineffectiveness of the Canucks power play is becoming a major concern. The question here is one of chicken vs. egg: are the PP stats bad because the twins aren’t playing well; or, are the twins’ stats struggling because they are having trouble scoring on the PP? It seems obvious these are co-dependent – the way the games are being played (and called) now, it’s tough for them to find space on the ice to work their magic. This should be a major concern for everyone in Canuck Nation. Regardless, Luongo could have made saves on the first two goals, his decision on the second one being a horrible one, as he swatted the puck into the slot with his blocker. I actually had to miss the first period of the game live, and watched it at the conclusion of the game. If you started watching tonight’s game at the beginning of the second period and didn’t know the score, you would have sworn the Canucks easily handled the Sabres. Unfortunately for the Canucks, tonight was one of those nights where there was a perfect storm early in the game, and every mistake wound up in the back of the net. Frankly, I thought Vancouver played with great intensity throughout the game and generally took the game to Buffalo. While they weren’t rewarded with any points for their efforts, there have been too many nights in the last month where the Canucks appear to be merely coasting through, and they are a good enough team to garner points based on those efforts.Those types of games are not going to produce a lot of wins come playoff time, so it was refreshing to see the Canucks being forced to play with some urgency – bringing the game to Buffalo physically, creating scoring chances, drawing penalties, and the like. Ehrhoff’s goal was completely against the run of play and went in off Aaron Rome’s skate – if that goal hadn’t found its way into the back of the net, the result would have been more positive for Vancouver. The Canucks just didn’t get the bounces tonight – and over an 82 game schedule, there are bound to be nights like this one. In a way, it’s somewhat comforting to know that the Canucks can put a bad effort on the ice, receive subpar goaltending, and still come within a hair of getting points out of the game. GAME OBSERVATIONS Hodgson made his return to Vancouver and centred Buffalo’s second line. He finished with no points in 16:52 of icetime, with a plus one rating. Hodgson made a few nice plays, but missed the net on his best chances. Kassian, on the other hand, was promoted to Kesler’s second line in the second period and wound up igniting the unit, as it accounted for all three Canuck goals. Kassian also led the team with seven hits, providing exactly what he was brought in to do. AV needs to consider making the demotion of Raymond permanent – his speed and defensive abilities are valuable, but not on a scoring line. I’ve changed my mind on this – I have felt that his abilities to create turnovers benefitted his linemates, but when you can predict with certainty how every foray he makes into the offensive zone will play out (ending with losing the puck), it’s time to try something different. “Something different” tonight resulted in two goals, so I say, stick with it. PARTING SHOTSBroadcast Observation of the Night: Oft-maligned Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play man Mark Lee was on the call tonight. Apparently I’m in the minority, as I like the way he calls a game. I like the intonation he uses and some of his nomenclature and sentence structure is entertaining. It was (rudely) pointed out to me on Twitter tonight that he makes mistakes – however, I believe that you could find errors by almost every play by play voice in the business.Frankly, the biggest thing I like about him is that he calls a fair game, not exhibiting any discernable bias for or against any particular teams. My distaste for HNIC is well-documented, and most of it stems from their tacit acceptance of everything the league does and lack of holding the league to account when it’s warranted. This bias starts at the top and filters its way down through the studio teams and right into the play by play teams. Lee, and his partner Kevin Weekes, may not call the best game ever and might say a few silly things here and there, but at least you can trust them to call what they see on the ice exactly how they see it, and tell you when they agree or disagree. As a viewer, watching a national broadcast, that’s all I expect.If you’re a Canuck fan and you missed HNIC After Hours, it’s a must-see. Find someone that PVR’ed it, or look for it on the CBC website. The segment starts with a good interview with Kassian, and finishes with a full 25 minutes of comedy, courtesy of Kevin Bieksa. Pure entertainment.Looking ahead: On Tuesday night, the Canucks host the Dallas Stars in the third game of their season-long seven game homestand. On the other hand, I have seen enough of Marc-Andre Gragnani. It’s one thing to “jump into the play” and try to get some points from the back end, but completely the other to play as a forward when you’re a rearguard. I don’t think he looked good tonight and look forward to seeing Chris Tanev back in the lineup. In this manner, they really are difference makers for this club. If they were scoring at their regular point-plus per game clip, it’s unlikely the Canucks would have had so many games reach overtime recently, and probably would have completed the comeback tonight.
The U19/U16 Subway All Ireland Schools Cup Semi Finals schedule has now been confirmed. print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Additional venues are also being used.The First Galway School to be involved will be Colaiste Einde who will face St Oliver’s CC Drogheda in the Semi-Final of the Under 16 Boys C at Oblate Hall on January the 11th at 12.30.The following day, St Joseph’s the Bish will face St Malachy’s Belfast in the Under 16 Boys A Semi-Final at the same venue at 2pm.Finally on January the 12th, there is an All-Galway National Cup Semi-Final with St Pauls Oughterard taking on Colasite Einde in the Semi-Final of the Boys U19 B Cup at the Nuig Kingfisher with that game tipping off at 12Noon.The Schedule In Full Is….Schools Cup Semi Finals – OBLATE HALL SCHEDULESemi Final Wednesday 10th Jan 10:30 U19A Girls Colaiste Chiarain Leixlip v Holy Faith ClontarfSemi Final Wednesday 10th Jan 12:00 U19B Girls Muckross Park v Ulidia IntegratedSemi Final Wednesday 10th Jan 14:00 U19A Boys St Malachy’s Belfast v Colaiste Chiarain LeixlipSemi Final Thursday 11th Jan 10:30 U19C Girls St Andrews Booterstown v Colaiste Pobail SetantaSemi Final Thursday 11th Jan 12:30 U16B Boys St Olivers CC Drogheda v Colaiste Einde GalwaySemi Final Thursday 11th Jan 14:00 U19C Boys St Brendans Belmullet v Colaiste na HinseSemi Final Friday 12th Jan 10:30 U16C Girls Old Bawn CS v St Colmcilles KnocklyonSemi Final Friday 12th Jan 12:30 U19B Girls Loreto Stephens Green v Scoil Ruain KillenauleSemi Final Friday 12th Jan 14:00 U16A Boys St Malachy’s Belfast v St Joseph’s BishSchools Cup Semi Finals – UL ARENA SCHEDULESemi Final Tuesday 9th Jan 10:30 U16C Boys CTI Clonmel v St Munchins LimerickSemi Final Tuesday 9th Jan 12:15 U16A Boys St Mary’s CBS The Green Tralee v SMGS BlarneySemi Final Tuesday 9th Jan 13:45 U16B Boys Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh v St Conleths DublinSemi Final Tuesday 9th Jan 15:30 U16A Girls St Angelas Cork v Crescent ComprehensiveSemi Final Wednesday 10th Jan 11:30 U19C Boys St Munchins Limerick v St Colmcilles KnocklyonSemi Final Wednesday 10th Jan 13:30 U16C Girls Jesus & Mary Gortnor Abbey v Colaiste Pobail SetantaSemi Final Wednesday 10th Jan 15:15 U19A Boys Colaiste Choilm Ballincollig v Templeogue CollegeSchools Cup Semi Finals Schedule – OTHER VENUES Semi Final Monday 18th Dec 13:00 U19B Boys – UL ARENA – St Vincent’s Castleknock College v St Clements CollegeSemi Final Tuesday 19th Dec 12:00 U16C Boys – National Basketball Arena – St Joes Derry v Sligo GrammarSemi Final Tuesday 19th Dec 13:30 U16A Girls – National Basketball Arena – Colaise Choilmcille Ballyshannon v Scoil Chriost Ri PortlaoiseSemi Final Wednesday 10th Jan 13:00 U19A Girls – Neptune Stadium – Christ King v Colaiste An Phiarsaigh Gleann MaghairSemi Final Thursday 11th Jan 12:00 U16B Girls – Peacelink Clones – St Catherines VS, Killybegs v Muckross ParkSemi Final Thursday 11th Jan 13:45 U19C Girls – Peacelink Clones – Colaiste na Carraige v Carrick on ShannonSemi Final Friday 12th Jan 12:00 U16B Girls – Pres Tralee – Causeway Comprehensive v Pres TraleeSemi Final Friday 12th Jan 12:00 U19B Boys – NUIG Kingfisher – St Pauls Oughterard v Colaiste Einde Galway The top teams in this year’s competition will battle it out for a place in the Subway All Ireland Schools Cup Final at the end of January in the National Basketball Arena.Semi finals will take place the week of January 8th – 12th, 2018, across two main venues: UL Arena, Limerick and Oblate Hall, Inchicore.
Other resultsAthletics Ireland president Georgina Drumm with men’s runners, Eskander Turki of Monaghan Town Runners, 3rd place, Freddie Keron, Raheny Shamrocks, 1st place, Brendan McDonnell of Galway City Harriers, 2nd place, after the Irish Runner 5 Mile at the Phoenix Park in Dublin.Brendan McDonnell of GCH took second place at the highly competitive Irish Runner 5 Mile at the Phoenix Park in Dublin at the weekend. McDonnell clocked 25.16 to finish just behind Freddy Sittuk of RahenyGCH Junior athletes Thomas McStay and Aaron Brennan travelled to the UK to compete in the University of Birmingham series of races, with McStay clocking a sub four-minute 1500m time and a solid 8.45 personal best for 3000m, and Brennan running a PB of 8.52 over the 3k distance Tailteann GamesRobert McDonnell of Colaiste na Coiribe/GCH winner of the Tailteann games 400m Schools event, who has been selected for the Irish Schools teamThe prestigious schools interprovincial track and field event Tailteann Games, was held last Saturday in Dublin, and featured many of Galway’s top track and field athletes.Robert McDonnell of GCH took pride of place, as he won the 400 metres well, in 50.73, for Colaiste Na Coiribe. Emma Moore of Presentation Athenry was second in the Girls 800m, while Seren O’Toole of Ballinrobe and GCH was also second, over 300m Hurdles. All three athletes now qualify for the Schools International to be held in July in Scotland. There were other good results via Chloe Casey of St Raphael’s Loughrea was third in the Discus, while Eimear Rowe of Mercy Tuam placed fourth in the 300metres. International Relays Castlegar Track and Field Tribal gamesCastlegar AC’s Tribal Games takes place Saturday 30th June next in Merlin Woods City Park in Doughiska. The track and field event features Ireland richest grass mile, and includes competitions for Juvenile and adult athletes. The event starts at 5pm on the day.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email National LeagueThe National Track and Field League was held in sweltering conditions in Templemore, Tipperary on Sunday last, with GCH, Galway Ladies and Galway Men’s teams all taking part in Round One of the competition.Galway City Harriers Men’s team topped their pool in the Premier Division with a fantastic team display orchestrated by manager Cliff Jennings. Their performance included event double wins by Sean Breathnach in the Shot Putt and Weight for Distance throws, and by Cillin Greene who was first home in both 100m and 200m sprints. The squad also had second place finishes via Brendan Staunton in Discus, James Frizzell over 800m, Henrique Novokolata in the Triple Jump, Talon Thompson second in the Steeplechase, and strong performances elsewhere including Neill Keane over 1500mGalway Ladies team finished fourth overall in the Premier Division, with highlights including a win for Aisling Joyce in the 1500m, a first and second place for team manager Sarah Finnegan in the 100m Hurdles and Triple Jump, and second places for Cathy McKenna in the Javelin, Maeve Curley in the Walk, and Sinead Treacy over 200m.Galway County men’s team were a very respectable third overall in Division One, led by managers Sean McDermott and Michael Tobin, there were some outstanding performances by the likes of Brendan Lynch, who won the 400m Hurdles and was second Dion both Triple Jump and Long Jump, Jerry Keary, who was victorious in the High Jump, as was the evergreen Tommy Farragher in the Hammer throw. Ronnie Warde was runner up over 100m and also competed well in the Shot Putt, and Damien O’Boyle also took second in a new event for him in the 3k Walk.All three Galway teams will aim to qualify for the final now, with the second and final qualifying round to be held July 8th in Athlone. Irish Junior Relay 4x100m squad, who qualified for World Juniors, with Jack Dempsey of GCH on right and David Murphy Aaron Sexton and David McDonald.Jack Dempsey of Galway City Harriers competed on the Irish squad who were successful in getting the 4x100m Relay qualifying standard for the World Youth Championships, in a meeting in Mannheim, Germany last Saturday. The Irish squad clocked a National record of 40.30 seconds with Dempsey along with Aaron Sexton, David McDonald and David Murphy all combining brilliantly to secure the standard FixturesNational ChampionshipsThis weekend sees the start of the National Track and Field championships programme, with two events to be held in Tullamore.On Saturday June 30th, the Juniors and U23s take place in Tullamore, with many Galway athletes competing including Cillin Greene in 100/200m, Aisling Joyce in middle distance, James Frizzell (800/1500m), Jonah Erugo 200/400m, Nicole King (400m), Jerry Keary in High Jump and Sinead Treacy over 200m all likely to feature.On Sunday July 1st, the National Paired Juvenile team events for Under 9s, 10s and 11s takes centre stage, along with the u9-11 Relays and the U12 and 13 Field events
Former All-Ireland winning Galway manager Cyril Farrell joined Gerry Murphy and George McDonagh on Over the Line on Monday night to discuss the possibilities of a knock-out championship this year, the current Galway squad and a look back at the All-Ireland win of 1980 and the recent documentary on the inspirational Iggy Clarke… print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email
The Leap initiative enables hundreds of high school pupils to achieve better marks in science and mathematics.(Image: Leap Science and Maths School) Paul Ilunga, a mathematics and physics teacher from the DRC, helps a Grade 11pupil with geometry. (Image: Pippa Ehrlich) Student teachers gain confidence andare able to better interact with theirpupils after graduating from the five-yearLeap teacher training course.(Image: Leap Science and Maths School) MEDIA CONTACTS • Sammy NtumbaHead, Leap Learning Centres+27 21 531 9715 0r +27 79 589 3284 RELATED ARTICLES • SA prioritises quality education • Education focus of Mandela Day 2010 • Teacher laptops to enhance education • Poor schools score textbooks• Safe social portal for scholarsPippa EhrlichEducated African refugees are helping hundreds of children in Cape Town’s underprivileged communities to learn science and mathematics, thanks to an educational initiative called Leap.Every Saturday morning about 800 pupils from Grades 10 to 12 travel to the southern suburb of Pinelands for tutoring in these subjects. On weekday afternoons, tutors travel to Leap Learning Centres in the townships to work with up to 840 Grade 8 and 9 children from 12 schools in Cape Town’s disadvantaged suburbs.These centres are an outreach project run by the Leap Science and Maths School, which aims to transform educationally disadvantaged communities. There are 58 tutors working at the centres, 10% of whom are South African. Others are a diverse mix from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Botswana and Zimbabwe.The project and Leap School were established simultaneously in 2004.Originally tutors joined the program on an unpaid voluntary basis. Within in a few months Leap founder John Gilmour was overwhelmed by the tutors’ commitment and competency, and set out to source appropriate funding. The tutors now earn a small daily stipend of R110 (US$16).As mathematics and science are often perceived as difficult, pupils often choose easier subjects to avoid jeopardising their matric exemptions. But without these subjects, pupils’ opportunities for tertiary study are severely limited.Students attending the Saturday morning session are grateful for the extra support.“They explain better than our normal teachers. If you don’t understand, they ask you what you are struggling with,” said Asemahle Mlanga, a 17-year-old pupil from the nearby seaside resort town of Strand.Phaphama Maoblo, also in Grade 11, remarked, “My test marks have improved well. I think they are a big help to South African children.”“I find it fascinating that there are this many students who are desperate for a quality education, and will spend their own money to come here on Saturday,” said Mark Medema, president of Washington DC-based NGO EdVillage, as he observed a Saturday class. “I don’t think this happens in the US.”Benefits for allSouth Africa’s public education system is hampered by a lack of qualified teachers, which makes the contribution of these educated foreigners extremely valuable.The tutoring program has not only benefited pupils but has also been essential in helping refugees to integrate into South Africa.Sammy Ntumba, head of the Leap Learning Centre Project, left the DRC in 2003 to come to South Africa. He arrived with a degree in chemical engineering and metallurgy, but his qualification was not recognised in this country.Ntumba started postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT), but needed to find a way of supporting himself, as well as funding his studies. His first job was handing out advertising flyers at a traffic light. Later, he worked as a night security guard in an affluent Cape Town suburb. It was exhausting work and he was becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of stimulation.In 2004, he saw an advert at UCT for volunteer tutors in township learning centres. Seven years later, the programme has taken his life in a new direction. He has been able to bring his wife and son to live with him in South Africa, and has decided to pursue a career in social development, rather than engineering.According to Ntumba, “We are educated. It’s very important to transfer that to others. If I don’t do it, I will die with that knowledge. It is not costing us gold and silver, it costs nothing, but it is a big thing that we are doing.”Ntumba’s story reflects that of many of his colleagues at Leap. Most have been able to leave their security jobs, complete their studies and begin working for South African companies, and in many cases, educational institutions.Dr Zelo Mangombo, also from the DRC, came to South Africa in 2000 with a degree in education, and honours in chemistry. In 2010 he completed his doctorate in chemistry at the University of the Western Cape.Even with his new qualifications, Mangombo continues to teach at Leap. “Since I have been here I have seen great improvements,” he said. “The children are open and willing to learn. They are dedicated to their work.”Quality education for disadvantaged pupilsWhen Leap first opened its doors in 2004, it welcomed 72 Grade 11 and 12 pupils. It now has four campuses, two in the Western Cape in Langa and Gugulethu, and two in Gauteng in Alexandra and Diepsloot. Each school has 170 pupils, of whom 69% are girls.In 2010 South Africa achieved a national matric pass rate of 67.8%. Of those pupils, 23.5% obtained a university entrance. The national pass rate for science was 48%, and 47% for mathematics.Leap is making a significant contribution to quality education in South Africa. In 2003 only 55 African language-speaking Western Cape pupils achieved university entrance levels in mathematics and science. Last year, Leap’s 107 Grade 12 pupils achieved a 98% overall pass rate. All of these children wrote mathematics and science, achieving a 98% and 90% pass rate in these subjects respectively. Six pupils earned distinctions in mathematics, and for the first time, three distinctions were received for science.Three quarters of Leap’s graduates are now pursuing tertiary studies.There is also a teacher training module for students taking their teaching degrees through correspondence. The five-year programme aims to give Leap teachers the advantage of a thorough knowledge of their chosen subjects, and enhanced communication skills so that they can better interact with their pupils.http://www.leapschool.org.za/