All Grade 3 students in Nova Scotia are writing the province’s first early elementary mathematical literacy assessment this week. Almost 10,000 Grade 3 public school students will be demonstrating their understanding of a range of mathematical topics based on the Primary-3 curriculum, beginning today, June 5. “We want our students to do well in mathematics,” said Education Minister Karen Casey. “We need to know how students are doing in the early elementary grades so we can ensure that we are providing them with the strong foundation they need to succeed in later grades.” The assessment is being administered during the first 90-minutes of class on June 5, 6, and 7. It will measure the mental math, computation and problem-solving skills that students are expected to know at Grade 3. It will also identify individual students who need more support. Students’ individual results will be shared with schools and with their parents in the fall. “Assessments like this provide us with valuable information on each student’s strengths and needs,” said Ms. Casey. “What we learn from these assessments will also help us determine if the way we teach math at the early grades is working effectively.” The information gathered will help teachers in their ongoing instruction and assessment of their students. The results will not be included in the students’ report cards. The Assessment is part of the Program of Learning Assessment of Nova Scotia. For more information go to http://PLANS.EDnet.ns.ca .
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body extended for another year the Panel of Experts looking into issues of diamonds, timber, sanctions, arms and security in Liberia as it recovers from 14 years of devastating civil war, and called on the Government to continue to make all necessary efforts to enforce the assets freeze.The Council renewed an embargo on arms supplies, except in certain cases for the Liberian police, security and armed forces, as well as a travel ban by all States on Mr. Taylor’s associates and family members, except for humanitarian situations.“Despite significant progress having been made in Liberia, the situation there continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,” the resolution said of the West African nation, where the UN helped restore peace and stability, culminating in the democratic election of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf three years ago.It stressed the continuing importance of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in improving security and helping the Government establish its authority throughout the country, particularly in border areas and the diamond, timber, and other natural resource-producing regions, where smuggled minerals fuelled the years of conflict.The Council called on the Panel to identify and make recommendations on areas where the capacity of States in the region can be strengthened to facilitate implementation of the measures imposed. 19 December 2008The Security Council today voiced concern at the lack of progress in freezing the financial assets available to former Liberian president Charles Taylor, now on trial at the United Nations-backed court for Sierra Leone for war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as to his family and associates.