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FDA Embraces Partners’ Supports, Opens 5-Day Seminar on Public Communications

first_imgThe Management of the Forestry Development (FDA) has embraced efforts by its partners, particularly the Voluntary Partnership Agreement Support Unit (VPASU) for their intervention to improve the sector thereby sustainably managing the forest.FDA Managing Director, Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr., gave the commendation yesterday in Monrovia when he formally announced a five-day initial opening of the Public Communications and Outreach Commitments and training workshop.“The FDA extends gratitude to its partner, the VPASU for the level of support it continues to render, and it embraces all efforts by them to improve the sector sustainably manage the forest,” Mr. Karnwea emphasized.According to him, the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), though focuses on ensuring the improvement of Forest Governance, it is also engaged in strengthening the FDA’s internal capacity, particularly, the Public Relations Department and staff in other departments who engage in public outreach and education.The exercise is to strengthen the FDA internal capacity to better serve the public’s information needs.It is an important step forward in ensuring that the public understands and supports the management’s efforts. It is based on this that the FDA commenced a ‘robust skills development program’ for its newly branded communication department.  The VPA is a bilateral agreement between the Liberian Government (GOL) and the European Union (EU) which was signed and ratified by Liberia on December 1, 2013.To have a transparent and legal Forest Management System, the GOL through the FDA negotiated a VPA with the EU in 2006, and it took effect in December last year.This process has since been participatory by Liberian Government officials, CSOs, Media, and representatives of communities nationwide. The process is to transform the lives of people, their affected communities, etc.Importantly, the VPA addresses the problem of ‘illegal logging activities; promotes sustainable forest management; guarantee timber products access to European markets, and ensures legal logging activities in the country.’The five-day training workshop which began yesterday is supported by the VPASU and funded by the British Government through the Department for International Development (DFID) and the EU. It is expected to end on Friday, June 20.“FDA knows it has to increase the communication and public outreach to the general public who largely do not know,” Mr. Karnwea said.According to Mr. Karnwea, the FDA is also determined to strengthen and rebuild its relationship with the public including the civil society organizations (CSOs) as the valuable partners as well as the private sector and other government ministries and agencies that are largely the beneficiaries of the forest.While the five-day training workshop intends to build the capacity of the Public Relations Department and other staff at the FDA, the entity demonstrates its commitment at the same time to improving her public communications and outreach strategies.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

LAUSD bans junk food but neglects exercise rules

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“When teachers are looking at the pressures of the day and everything on their plates to teach, I don’t think they consciously leave physical education out. It just sometimes gets pushed off the plate,” said Ronni Ephraim, LAUSD’s chief instructional officer for elementary programs. The district has launched a training program to help elementary school teachers incorporate physical education into a school day already crowded with required academic subjects, she said. For example, a teacher could have students go out for a run and then calculate their heart rate as part of a science lesson. Elementary school teachers are required to devote 2 1/2 hours a day to language-arts instruction and an hour to math, in addition to science, social studies, health education and other subjects, Ephraim said. And more than half of the district’s elementary school students are English-language learners who require additional instruction. Despite its campaign against childhood obesity, the Los Angeles Unified School District failed to provide its elementary students with the minimum amount of physical education mandated by the state, a study released today says. The report, “Dropping the Ball,” found that 51 percent of 73 California school districts with elementary students failed to provide youngsters with 200 minutes of physical education every 10 days – or an average of 20 minutes a day. “Our priorities are tragically skewed,” said Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, which examined data provided by the state Department of Education. “We’re in the midst of a severe and growing childhood obesity epidemic, and yet most of our children are missing out on even the most basic school physical-activity opportunities.” Ironically, L.A. Unified was among the first to ban soda and junk food on its campuses to curb childhood obesity. But administrators say they’ve had to sacrifice physical education while beefing up efforts to improve academic achievement. “To close the achievement gap,” Ephraim said, “we have to give kids more time.” The additional teacher training will help, but it might take the district a couple of years to come fully into compliance, she said. Because the state Department of Education has been monitoring compliance for only two years, it is concentrating its efforts on bringing districts into compliance rather than issuing penalties, said Rosie Thomas, compliance oversight manager for the department. The problem is compounded by the fact that few elementary teachers have adequate training to teach physical education. Even so, schools need to make it more of a priority, Goldstein said. “Physical education is the ugly stepchild in California public schools,” he said. “There are children who need additional assistance – in learning language, for example – but that doesn’t mean the time should be taken away from physical education. … If physical education became a higher priority, students in LAUSD would do better academically. It’s not either-or. It’s both.” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed spending $85 million to improve physical education in kindergarten through eighth grade, but the state Legislature wants to allocate that money as block grants schools could use as they please, Goldstein said. “The governor has thrown a touchdown pass,” he said, “and the Legislature is about to drop the ball.” lisa.sodders@dailynews.com (818) 713-3663160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more