first_imgFianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Charlie McConalogue TD has called on the government to protect education services in Budget 2014. Charlie McConalogue TDThe party launched its budget proposals this week, which protects funding for education services, mental health services and supports for people with disabilities.Fianna Fáil’s plan prioritises special needs education, provides additional resource hours for children with Down Syndrome and reverses the cuts to small rural schools, said the Inishowen Deputy. “We have put education at the heart of our Budget 2014 proposals. We are sending the message to government loud and clear that it is possible meet budgetary targets next year without cutting supports for children with special needs, without attacking small schools and without introducing yet another hike in the student registration fee,” said Deputy McConalogue.“The Education Minister Ruairí Quinn needs to learn from the mistakes he has made in the past. The last two budgets were highly regressive in the area of education. The most vulnerable children in the school system were hit with cuts to support – children with special needs, children in disadvantaged areas and teenagers in need of one-to-one attention at second level.“Students were hit with two further increases in the college registration fee by a Minister who promised to reverse fee hikes. Post-graduate grants were abolished and the SUSI fiasco caused severe hardship to tens of thousands of students nationwide.”He claims that Minister Quinn has been forced into a series of u-turns on some of these regressive cuts. “However, there are still DEIS schools that suffered cuts to resources; children with special needs have seen a further reduction in SNA supports again this year; the abolition of the career guidance allocation at second level remains in place and has resulted in a dramatic reduction to one-to-one supports for vulnerable teenagers in the school system; small schools in rural communities across the country are now under threat; and students will be hit by another €250 increase in the third level registration fee next year.“These highly damaging cuts are not necessary and they must stop. There is no reason why education services cannot be protected in Budget 2014. The government can choose to put a high value on education, and place it at the heart of their budget plan for next year,” said Deputy McConalogue. EDUCATION MUST BE PROTECTED IN BUDGET – McCONALOGUE was last modified: October 13th, 2013 by StephenShare 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:budgetCharlie McConaloguelast_img read more


first_imgMcKinleyville >> Surrounded by family, friends and faculty, McKinleyville High School volleyball players Mya Alves and Abby Miller signed letters of intent to play for Humboldt State University in 2017.For the duo, both of whom admitted attending several HSU games in their youth, the opportunity to wear a Jacks jersey fulfills a childhood dream.“When we were little we used to go (to HSU) and watch the games. We thought, ‘Wow, that’s so awesome. We want to be them one day,’” said Alves, who …last_img read more


first_imgTV presenter Penny Lebyane speaks candidly about her post-natal depression in the short documentary Let’s Talk A group of health professionals pose for a picture during a workshop that was part of Sadag’s rural outreach programme on mental illness. One of many promotional pictures used by Sadag to drive the message home. A group of women in the KwaZulu-Natal area of Verulam attend a workshop on forming support groups in rural communities across South Africa.(Images: Sadag) MEDIA CONTACTS • Brigitte Taim Lange Strategic Communications +27 2 442 3083 RELATED ARTICLES • Boosting mental health reportage • Celebrities on sale for charity • Research says rooibos tea beats stress • Healthcare in South Africa Valencia TalanePeople with mental illnesses owe it to themselves to respond to the challenges of their conditions by seeking help and treatment to regain control of their lives. To achieve this, they must first be aware of their condition and what treatment is available to manage it.A social media campaign called ‘Let’s Talk Mental Health Awareness’ has been running since August in South Africa and aims to remove the stigma attached to mental illnesses.The situation, organisers believe, can improve if those who live with mental conditions talk about their struggles, cast off the associated shame, and encourage others to come forward to receive help from trained professionals.The project is a joint effort between the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) and Pharma Dynamics, a company that provides generic medication for depression and anxiety.Embracing mental illnessThe initiative puts faces of well-known media personalities to different mental conditions that are familiar to a large number of South Africans. A short film, titled Let’s Talk, was produced as part of the campaign and made available on YouTube to reach large numbers. The release coincided with World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated on 10 October and is recognised by the World Health Organisation.Veteran actress Lilian Dube likens her experience a few years back to a feeling of being in a bottomless pit, even when around lots of people. She suffered from depression for many years without knowing what it was or how she could get help.Dube, along with others like television presenter Penny Lebyane and former Mr South Africa and now presenter of his own medical programme, Dr Michael Mol, talk candidly about their struggles with mental illnesses.“If you form a support group then you know you’re not alone,” Dube suggests. “The feeling of thinking you’re alone in your journey is the most terrible.” A leader of one such support group, Driekie Moutinho, agrees and says people with mental illnesses have to take a proactive approach to managing them.Psychiatrist Ian Westmore touches on the element of trust and says that people with mental Illnesses should understand that doctors have not only a good understanding of brain diseases, but know how to effectively treat most of them.“Mental illness is not a death sentence,” says Dr Gerhard Glober. “People with mental illness can have full, productive lives provided they recognise their needs.”Policy changes neededAs is the case with other health services in South Africa, there are disparities between treatment facilities for mental illnesses for urban and rural communities.People in urban areas have access to built-up facilities, healthcare professionals and treatment in abundance, while this is not the case for sufferers in rural areas.A concern among professionals in the mental health industry is that it is this population of patients, who live far away from ever-advancing facilities, who are more vulnerable because many lack awareness.A change in the overall health strategy of the country is needed, asserts psychiatrist Franco Colin.“The focus, from the national government’s perspective, is on tuberculosis, HIV, infant mortality, maternal health and violence-related trauma,” he said. “And psychology touches on each and every one of those areas.”Westmore agrees: “We get so little of the health budgets, while the private sector provides plans that do not cover mental health sufficiently.” His view is that there needs to be equity as far as mental conditions are concerned.Chilling factsResearch by Sadag reveals that one in five South Africans suffers from mental illness, while two in 100 children could be depressed. Experts worry that socio-economic factors like poverty and inequality as well as trauma and violence, which could in turn lead to substance abuse, continue to add to the pressure faced by the nation.Cassey Chambers, director of operations at Sadag, notes that mental illness is a big problem not only in South Africa, but most developing countries worldwide. All the more reason why, she says, campaigns like Let’s Talk should receive as much support as possible.“It’s not only sufferers who should be targeted, but also those who provide care for them.”Between 35% and 41% of pregnant or new mothers are victims of depression.As many as 23 people take their lives, and another 230 attempt to do so, in South Africa every day. The threat, many of the experts interviewed for Let’s Talk agree, lies in conditions being ignored or misunderstood for long periods of time.Television and film actress Bonnie Henna, who has appeared in international productions like Catch a Fire and Hotel Rwanda, recently revealed her struggles with clinical depression in an autobiography titled Eyebags and Dimples.Henna says in the book that for many years she lived with clinical depression and did not know it. Her father was murdered when she was only five years old and throughout her childhood and early adulthood her relationship with her mother, who later also discovered she had depression, was very strained.“Let’s Talk is certainly South Africa’s most ambitious mental health programme yet,” says Mariska Fouche, public affairs manager for Pharma Dynamics, adding that thousands of people have visited the campaign website since its launch.The campaign attracted many testimonials from teenagers to members of the elderly community, who said they were lonely and felt alienated. These were their biggest obstacles to fighting the conditions they live with, most commonly depression and anxiety.“We’ve invested a lot in the campaign,” says Fouche, “and we hope the film will start a large social media movement and help change attitudes and taboos that still exist around mental illness.”last_img read more


first_imgThe Top 5 Issues Faced by Futurists Tags:#Apple Pay#PayPal#Venmo What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Reuben Jackson Ruben is a blockchain security consultant currently living in New York City. He helps organizations fundamentally redesign experiences to create new sources of value also digitally reinventing company’s operations for greater efficiency. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Finance is a central tenet of business and a pillar upon which any successful company stands. After all, the point of capitalism is to create organizations which not only do something useful but those which ultimately monetize their plans and bring value to shareholders. Many economic ideas exist to help businesses launch, grow, measure, and manage themselves. The introduction of new technologies for the finance sector has, therefore, had an appropriately uplifting effect on business. This trend has accelerated with increasing intensity, and businesses today are looking at a drastically different environment than they were just a decade ago.From lending to payrolls, fintech — the intersection of finance and technology—has revolutionized the traditional landscape of payments and changed the lives of business owners in various ways. This innovation explosion has led to massive proclamations and ambitious new projects, but the real impact is felt mostly on a smaller scale. New digital financial platforms lighten the load for small- and medium-sized businesses primarily, helping them focus on honing their product or service rather than juggling financial loose ends or wasting precious resources on runaway financial management. Agile lending makes SMBs bloom.Banking is by far the most adjacent of the many financial disciplines to business as banks represent the traditional template by which a new company comes to be (if it needs to source working capital). However, banks are being challenged by a new breed of leaner, digitally enabled fintech firms which can offer smaller businesses a faster and more cost-effective path to funding. Helped by new regulations like the MiFID II and GDPR, banks are mandated to “open the books” on customers’ financial data to create safer and faster flows of information. The new regulations have also created opportunities for upstart digital lenders, practiced in advanced data science and AI techniques, to better mobilize customer information and therefore pass them greater cost savings. Online-only lenders are part of a trend called LaaS—or Lending as a Service—which uses cutting-edge technology to identify patterns in customer financial behavior automatically and to match them with a loan that has terms fitting their individual needs.Traditional lenders typically look at over 20 data points when determining how creditworthy an applicant is and letting an algorithm make these decisions result in a process to mere seconds rather than days or even weeks. Based on qualifiers that customers input and verify via thorough yet quick online applications, LaaS leaders have enabled access to money for SMBs and torn down the more significant obstacles that the financial crisis erected in the way of these loans.Operations optimized with fintechOnce a business is up and running, fintech helps to keep the momentum moving forward as well. The average small company must manage countless financial ideas as it grows: payroll, payments and invoicing, pensions and wealth management, supply chain logistics and much more. Thankfully, the digitization of services has meant that any small company can build a stack of fintech platforms that can scale with it as it grows. Managing payrolls, for instance, is a high-overhead process that becomes much more complicated as a business adds employees.Several online companies have deployed a range of technologies to their platforms which assist businesses to exercise better control over their payrolls. This idea gets expensive and unruly as a business expands, and negligence in organizing salaries can mean compliance violations (which vary by country), budgeting mistakes, taxation problems and other costly issues. These outside payment companies have available data points and can achieve your goals from your automated payroll, real-time. Most will even help you with payroll to your global workforce. Armed with these insights from a financial company, employers can reduce payroll inputs significantly and optimize their hiring and retention practices in all their various geographies as well.Opening new payments portalsFintech’s role has also been to make payments for goods and services faster, easier, more convenient, and more cost-efficient for customers who choose to pay with a wider array of methods that now include cryptocurrency, loyalty points, and other digital cash alternatives. Whether online or in person, a business shouldn’t be turning away customers based on how they want to relinquish their money, so companies like Square and Stripe have created innovative, ultra-portable Point-of-Sale systems that take minutes to set up. They can instantly read and process touchless payments like Apple Pay, but also credit cards, and even some mainstream cryptocurrency wallets.Consumer-focused fintech solutions usually make payments a priority, because this is the area where customers want the greatest flexibility. Businesses are able to answer this demand if they use various payment solutions like Venmo, Paypal, and many others which acts as a middleman that immediately pays retailers. Fintech platforms are delivering more convenient and cheaper solutions across a large range of payment channels and radically redefining how money moves from customers to businesses.A core concept to any new fintech product is transparency, and though it’s difficult to tell if transparency is the result of fintech’s onset or the catalyst which began it all, there is no arguing that it’s healthy for consumers. Businesses that deploy a well-balanced assortment of fintech solutions can reach wider audiences, lower their costs, and discover key insights using the data available in this more transparent environment—a rising tide that lifts all boats in industries both near to and far from finance. 6 User-Interface Musts for Personal Finance Appslast_img read more


first_imgThree persons were on Saturday injured when Army personnel allegedly opened fire at a group of stone-pelting youths in Bandipora district of Kashmir, police said.A group of youths pelted stones on Army vehicles which were passing through S.K. Bala locality in Symbol area of Bandipora this morning, a police official said.He said the Army personnel allegedly opened fire to disperse the mob, resulting in injuries to three persons. The injured have been referred to a hospital here for treatment, he added.A similar incident took place at Harnag in Anantnag district but there were no casualties in the alleged Army firing there, the official said.last_img read more


first_imgTwice champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the French Open after failing to recover fully from shoulder surgery, the former world number one said on Wednesday.”Withdrawing from the French Open today. Sometimes the right decisions aren’t always the easiest ones,” the Russian wrote on Instagram.The 32-year-old, who has won five Grand Slam titles, has not played since the end of January and underwent shoulder surgery at the end of February. The French Open starts in Paris on May 26.”In better news, I have returned to the practice court, and slowly building the strength back in my shoulder,” she added.Also Read | Italian Open: Alexander Zverev crashes out, Kyrgios downs MedvedevAlso See:last_img read more