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Falkland Islands: Weekly Penguin News update

Thursday, April 5th 2007 - 21:00 UTC
Full article

Headlines:
The hardest decision; University fees reduction may have sting in tail; Man dies after 2nd 'jump ship'; Measured' response to flag; Tomorrow is Good Friday.

The hardest decision...BARONESS Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister who took her country to war over the Falkland Islands, reflected on that decision this week, at a small private service in St Paul's Cathedral on April 2. It was the 25th anniversary of the day Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands, and Lady Thatcher stood in silence to remember the 255 Britons who were killed during the 74-day war. She laid a wreath bearing the message: "In memory of those who have given their lives for Britain and for the Falkland Islands." Sukey Cameron, the Falkland Islands Government's Representative in the UK, also laid flowers at the Falklands memorial at St Paul's Cathedral bearing the message, "In grateful and everlasting memory from the People and Government of the Falkland Islands." University fees reduction may have sting in tail THE recent decision by the British Government to charge Falklands students attending British universities the same tuition fees as UK students means a big saving for the Islands, however our students may now have to fight to secure places on popular or specialist courses. At Tuesday's meeting of the Education Board, parent representative Dr Barry Elsby presented a paper which raised the potential problems that the reduction in fees may present. Before the move was taken, Falklands students were classed as overseas pupils and charged a much higher rate than their UK counterparts, Dr Elsby told the meeting. Most universities keep a set number of places for overseas students as this represents a good source of income and, Dr Elsby said, anecdotal evidence indicates that universities are more inclined to take students with lower A level grades under these circumstances. But now that the fees are the same for Falklands students, they may have to compete harder for places. "This could result in our students being unable to secure places on over-subscribed courses which would have a direct benefit to the Islands, such as dentistry, veterinary science, medicine, etc," said Dr Elsby. Some of these students may have to look to universities in other countries and the reduction in fees may also have a detrimental effect in this area too, Dr Elsby added. Until now, if a student chooses to attend university in a country other than the UK, because it is thought the training has more relevance to the Falklands, the difference in fees was met by the student. "This difference is now far greater and may well deter students from obtaining the most appropriate training," said Dr Elsby. Education councillor, Janet Robertson, said Islanders need to be encouraged to study for professional positions - such as doctors and dentists - and felt the instances Dr Elsby referred to could possibly be treated on a "case by case" basis. Good career advice and support are essential, said Cllr Robertson, so students are aware of what is needed, "...to be in the front running." Chairman of the Education Board, Councillor Richard Stevens however, was of the opinion that a policy needed to be created to deal with the issue, as case by case treatment within a small community can cause problems. Guidelines need to be followed to prevent the idea of preferential treatment for some growing, he said. Goose Green school under threatIn other education news, the parents of children at Goose Green are concerned their school may be forced to close. The school currently only has two pupils, and a third is due to enroll in September, however their parents are concerned the school may be closed by then. Glynis Newman told Penguin News,"The school is probably not viewed as cost-effective, but to us it is. The Camp councillors seem to understand our point of view but the people in the Education Department probably just see it as a matter of money." She said population numbers can fluctuate in Camp settlements and this should be borne in mind before any decision is taken to close the school: "A couple of years ago they were talking about closing the school at North Arm, but now there are seven or eight kids in the school there." Councillor Richard Stevens is sympathetic to the parents' plight. The issue comes down to balances, he said, "...and it would save quite a bit to put Goose Green into a (travelling teacher's) beat and close the school." From a political view, he said he understands the Director of Education has to present the closure of the school as a money saving option, "...but, as a Camp councillor, I cannot support it." He added, "It would be great if a family with two kids was able to move to Goose Green from town..." Man dies after 2nd 'jump ship'ONLY six weeks after two men died in Stanley Harbour after jumping ship, the body of another seaman involved in that incident has been found in Berkeley Sound. The body was discovered - wearing a life jacket - and recovered by the Sulivan Shipping Services launch John Byron at about 11am yesterday. He had been reported missing in the early hours of Sunday morning, when the police received word from the reefer Salvador that a man was believed to have been missing for two hours from the Taiwanese jigger Her Yang 1which was alongside the reefer transhipping. The reefer reported being approximately 1.2 nautical miles from the southern shore of Berkeley Sound. The FIC launch Beaglewas already in the area and was tasked to search the area. Nothing was found. Subsequent enquiries revealed that the missing man was the same seaman, Jin Wei Fang, who swam ashore in Stanley Harbour on February 20 and was subsequently returned to the ship. He had allegedly jumped ship to find work in the Islands. Penguin Newsasked why a more extensive search - including by air - had not been carried out. The Marine Officer, Jon Clark, said Mr Fang had in fact been missing since about 7.30pm on March 31, which meant he had been missing for nearly five hours before shore authorities had been notified. On reporting the finding of the body, Mr Clark commented, "Un fortunately, the wearing of a lifejacket does not guard against the onset of hypothermia." 'Measured' response to flagTHE Governor has said that, "while it was not the best thing to have happened," the response to the appearance of an Argentine flag in the cemetery at Darwin should be "measured". Mr Huckle said senior officials had been aware that such an incident might happen at the cemetery on April 2 and, therefore, it was agreed that Acting Chief of Police, Len McGill, should be there to "observe discreetly" and, "...to make sure, if there was a problem, it could be tackled and dealt with in a sensible way." More on page 4. Tomorrow is Good Friday All Government Departments (other than those providing essential services) will be closed.

Categories: Politics, Mercosur.

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