Residents of Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) are calling for equal education opportunities to be granted to children living in the region.This issue was recently raised when the Commissioners of the Commission of Inquiry into the education sector met with education stakeholders in the region, particularly residents within the Regional Democratic Council of Linden and Kwakwani.The stakeholders raised their concerns about the present state of education and its delivery within the region, while making calls for the Education Ministry to ensure that children have access to equal education opportunities.The opportunities they mentioned included access to sport facilities and equipment, technology, adequate and hygienic school facilities, and transportation, which are all challenges in the region.They highlighted the need for welfare officers; an additional boat to assist children from riverine communities in getting to school in a timely manner; and the need for a bus to transport children who live in Moblissa, a village about seven miles in from the Soesdyke Highway, to attend school in Linden.One of the issues raised was the fact that children living in Moblissa continue to drop out of school, owing to the distance they are required to travel to get there.One parent noted that the lack of Internet access in the community also presents a challenge when completing assignments. Residents of Obama Drive, Amelia’s Ward in Linden have also expressed similar concerns. It was noted too that teachers continue to “short change” children in the classroom as they frequently complete the syllabus at their private lessons, which inevitably puts a significant number of students at a disadvantage.Additionally, regional authorities and community leaders are urging the Government to ensure that all schools are placed on the same level in terms of the types and quality of subject areas and the level of resources put into sustaining those subject areas, including the sciences.A call was also made for guidance and counselling officers to be placed in primary schools.In its effort to review, revise, upgrade and extend the Education Sector Strategic Plan, the Education Ministry has launched an inquiry into the education system. The inquiry is intended to provide “evidential bases” for the revision, upgrading and extension of the plan, the Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The main objection to the plan approved Tuesday night came from attorney Hunt Braly, representing Town Center Drive restaurants in a dispute with the owners and operators of parking structures over how parking is reserved and otherwise allocated. Braly did not return a call seeking comment. A city study ordered after an earlier commission meeting on the expansion found ample parking at the mall and noted the dispute didn’t weigh in on the city’s review the current project, Hardy said. [email protected] (661) 257-5251160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Westfield is in talks with the restaurant chains, including Wolfgang Puck’s Pizza Kitchen, which earlier announced plans to open at a new regional center under construction at Newhall Ranch Road and McBean Parkway, Hardy said. “There’s a lot of interest from some fabulous restaurants and retailers who are excited to be there,” Dickey said. Westfield hopes to break ground in the fall and open the expanded and remodeled mall in spring 2009, Dickey said. Among the retail potentials are Williams-Sonoma; Coach, a high-end handbag and accessory store; Sephora beauty products; Bebe, a men’s and women’s clothing chain; Baby Style; and Apple Computer Inc., Hardy said. A parking structure also is planned, near Valencia Boulevard and Citrus Drive, and likely will include some first-floor business that would be “wrapped” by the structure. The expansion is one of two or three new phases planned, company officials have said. The next phase likely would include another anchor department store to join an enlarged Macy’s as well as J.C. Penney and Sears. SANTA CLARITA – P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory and Ruth’s Chris Steak House are among the 10 or so restaurants eyed to help anchor a Valencia mall expansion. The eateries would help anchor what planners are calling a “lifestyle center,” pleasant for pedestrians. Approved 4-0 Tuesday night by the city Planning Commission, the center also would include higher-end fashion and accessory shops. “The idea (is) these retail opportunities and dining opportunities will be designed in a way to create an outdoor living-room environment, family-oriented – with public art, an area for children’s play, a more adult area (and) water amenities,” Lisa Hardy, Santa Clarita’s planning manager, said Wednesday. The Westfield Corp., which owns the Westfield Valencia Town Center, is seeking to add 260,500 square feet to the mall on the east side, spokeswoman Katy Dickey said.