Province to Expand Workplace Safety Program in Schools

first_imgNova Scotia students will soon know more about how to prevent a workplace injuries, thanks to new curriculum based on a successful pilot project. The program focusing on the importance of workplace health and safety was piloted to 330 Grade 9 students from across the province this past academic year. Their teachers, from the Tri County, Cape Breton-Victoria, Halifax, South Shore and Annapolis Valley Regional school boards, met with Department of Education staff, today, May 13, to discuss the benefits and identify any necessary revisions. It will be introduced into all schools in the next academic year. “We are committed to creating good jobs in this province, and good jobs exist in safe workplaces,” said Marilyn More, Minister of Education and Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. “By teaching young people their rights as workers, we are encouraging the open dialogue and discussions needed to create safer work environments.” The departments of Education and Labour and Workforce Development and the Workers’ Compensation Board developed the eight hours of in-class instruction, which is part of the compulsory Healthy Living 9 course. “My students now recognize a safety hazard when they see it, and they understand the consequences of saying nothing,” said John Helle, who teaches at Malcolm Munroe Junior High School. “My students have told me that they are bringing more concerns forward in their part-time jobs, and it is my hope that they will carry these important skills throughout their careers.” Like many other provinces, the number of youth joining the workforce in Nova Scotia is increasing. According to Statistics Canada, 62,700 Nova Scotians age 15 to 24 are part of the workforce. In 2009, almost 1,000 workers younger than 24 lost time form work through injury. “Nothing is more important to parents than the safety of their son or daughter,” said Ms. More. “The number of workplace injuries among youth is unacceptable, and I am glad to know that all Grade 9 students in the province will have this awareness and these important skills as they enter the workforce.”last_img read more

Concerned over Afghanistans security Annan urges expansion of international force

Calling security in Afghanistan an ongoing “cause for concern,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan has advocated a limited expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) currently deployed in Kabul, according to a report released today at United Nations Headquarters in New York. In a report to the General Assembly and Security Council describing the implementation of the Bonn Agreement now guiding Afghanistan’s political transition, the Secretary-General enumerates the many challenges that remain for the country and the international community. Concerning security, he notes that the Taliban have not formally given up. “They may have been significantly weakened, with those left being effectively contained by the anti-terrorist coalition headed by the United States,” he observes, “But they are still present, along with remnants of Al-Qaida.” These pariah groups are not the only elements causing instability in Afghanistan, according to the report. “The presence of armed factions that nominally support the process continues to pose a threat to the consolidation of peace and civil government in the country,” Mr. Annan notes. The Secretary-General cautions that in the absence of functioning Afghan security forces and an expansion of the ISAF, Afghanistan will stay hostage to this prevailing insecurity. “Lack of tangible improvement in the security situation could seriously undermine the political and reconstruction efforts,” he warns. Against this difficult background, the Secretary-General hails the Afghan people for successfully convening their Loya Jirga grand council, which, despite some imperfections, accomplished its central tasks of electing the country’s Head of State and setting up a Transitional Authority. “These moments provided hope that the first tentative steps in the process of national reconciliation and unity have now been taken,” Mr. Annan says. If the peace process is to succeed, humanitarian and recovery activities must continue alongside these critical political steps, the report states. But a slowdown in donor disbursements “has caused potentially serious disruptions to programmes addressing the most urgent needs around the country the Secretary-General said.” Of even greater concern, he adds, “is the lack of funding available to the Government to fund its basic services and extend its presence beyond Kabul.” read more