The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has introduced a Back-to-School grant of $3,500 per student who is on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).This is being done as part of efforts to improve the social safety net programmes and to increase the level of support provided to poor families.The initiative was announced by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, at a quarterly press briefing held at the Ministry’s North Street Offices today (September 4).“This benefit is payable to all registered PATH students attending primary and secondary schools islandwide. Payments will be available for collection by beneficiaries on September 11, 2018 via the usual methods,” Mrs. Robinson pointed out.She said a total of 155,813 children will benefit from this grant with the average payment to a household being $10,500 for three children.“I am sure you will agree with me that every child must have the opportunity to stay in school, and every child must have the opportunity to learn. Therefore, this new benefit will be made annually and will be paid in the August 2019 payment cycle, and in ensuing years,” the Minister noted.
Maj. Gen. Bradley Spacy on Friday took command of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC), the agency responsible for consolidating installation management functions across the service.Spacy replaces Maj. Gen. Theresa Carter, who is retiring after 31 years of service. Carter had led the center since it was formally established in April 2015. Spacy joined the organization last July as its director of expeditionary support, reported AFIMSC Public Affairs.At the ceremony, Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, said she is confident in Spacy’s leadership to further develop the AFIMSC’s capability because he’s spent his entire career providing combat support.“I know you have the right background and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with this team to support our Air Force in providing agile combat support,” Pawlikowski said. “Under your leadership, I know you’ll make this organization even better.”In less than a year’s time, the AFIMSC team has demonstrated it can provide full-spectrum, enterprise-wide, integrated combat support, Spacy said.“But the real work is just starting,” he added. “We’ve got to take this to the next level and the next level to create capability … and help change the way we fight the war to keep America safe.“I know we can do it. It’s going to take hard work. Lisa and I will be there with you every step of the way … and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Spacy concluded.AFIMSC supports 77 Air Force installations, nine major commands and two direct reporting units with an annual budget of $10 billion. The center integrates and executes more than 150 mission capabilities in the areas of civil engineering, base communications, ministry programs, financial management, logistics readiness, operational acquisition, security forces, and airmen and family services. The organization is a unit of Air Force Materiel Command. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is addressing her valedictory speech in the 21st (budget) session of the current parliament on 12 July. Photo: PIDPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the security and stability of Bangladesh could be hampered if the displaced Rohingya people cannot be repatriated soon, reports UNB.”If we can’t send them back soon, there’s an apprehension that our security and stability will be at stake,” she told parliament while replying to a tabled question from Awami League MP Nur Mohammad (Kishoreganj-2).The prime minister said, “It’s very tough for us to arrange food, clothes and accommodation for over 1.1 million Myanmar nationals for an indefinite time.”This is why the government has been making diplomatic efforts to find out a permanent solution since the very beginning of the crisis for sending the forcibly-displaced Rohingyas back to their homeland, she said.Sheikh Hasina said the displaced people, deprived of basic rights by the Myanmar authorities, are naturally suffering from dissatisfaction.Noting that any repatriation process is a very complicated and lengthy process, she said Bangladesh and the international community are exerting pressure on Myanmar to create a congenial environment in Rakhine state.Unfortunately, she said, it is true there has been no visible progress in the situation due to a rigid stance of Myanmar government.Besides, Myanmar is involved in carrying out propaganda in the international arena that the Rohingya repatriation is being delayed for the noncooperation of Bangladesh, she added.The prime minister said Bangladesh repeatedly raised voice in different fora that Myanmar is responsible for taking back its all the displaced people, and Myanmar will have to take the initiative in this regard.She said Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a total of three bilateral agreements. The repatriation process would be completed within two years according to an agreement out of three. “But the Myanmar government has delayed the process by creating in many ways.”In reply to a question from treasury bench member M Abdul Latif (Chattogram-11), the prime minister said the government has set a target to create some 15 million jobs in the next five years.She said the present government has taken various measures to transform the young generation into human resources by creating jobs in the country in line with strategies and targets of the 7thfive-year plan (2016-20).