Enabling Productivity Growth in the Younger Generation

StudyingChildren may not be motivated to do what they are supposed to do, often resulting in their parents exclaiming ‘Why isn’t my child more productive!’ As a result parents carry out various strategies to encourage their children to get on task, many a time to no avail. However, what is seldom recognised is that a child might have one or more good reasons for not doing something; a child may be confused, tired, upset, hungry, or disinterested. He may find the task overwhelming or not fully understand the significance.

The effects of peer pressure may also be a contributing cause for procrastination as could a lack of organizational or time management skills. In effect, there are many reasons why children are not motivated to accomplish their tasks barring the notion that they are deliberately and purposefully counter- productive. In addressing the issue of demotivation amongst children, there are some basic strategies which may be considered to bring remedy to this problem.  As a sequel to last week’s featured article spotlighting teenagers and their approach to productivity, the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) would like to reflect on some of the ways in which parents can assist in the drive towards greater productivity amongst the youth.

  1. Help kids develop a growth mind-set. Emphasize that one step at a time is all it takes to get going placing emphasis on the importance of personal effort. Demonstrate an “I can do it!” attitude. Small accomplishments lead toward bigger ones, so provide children with direct, immediate and constructive feedback so that they can experience success along the way to task completion.
  2. Encourage accountability. Children have to learn to take ownership of what they choose to do (or not do) and face the consequences of their decisions. Talk to your children about it. You might also share with them why you view challenges as opportunities to grow and why buckling down and taking control of a situation is not only gratifying but is also good preparation for other eventualities of life.
  3. Make it meaningful. If a task is not relevant to a child, chances are it will not get done. If it’s interesting and relates to something important or intriguing, or sparks the imagination and connects to the individual’s aspirations, then chances are the child will be motivated to try it.
  4. Pay attention to skill sets. Some children need new or better strategies for pacing, organizing or self-regulation. Help them find solutions to the problems they may be facing. For example, homework-related issues might involve learning to use an agenda or study guide; finding a quiet and well-equipped workspace and removing distractions. A child may also need assistance dealing with instructions, clarifying expectations or breaking a task down into smaller, manageable chunks.
  5. Strive for balance. Everyone needs down time—ample opportunity to relax, play, exercise or just take a break. This is especially important for children. It also gives them a chance to reflect and to create and consolidate ideas.
  6. Believe in the child. Help children develop self-confidence by appreciating their efforts and past successes. Allow them to see these successes as stepping-stones to future positive experiences and outcomes. Let children know that you are available to listen and to offer reinforcement and guidance as they continue to persevere.

Parents are well positioned to provide all of this and more, in order to facilitate their child’s productivity. By being attuned to your child’s individual needs and patterns of avoidance, it is possible to find the best kinds of strategies for a given situation. Remember to be patient, supportive, and resourceful and it will be possible to address avoidance situations as they arise.

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PRODUCTIVITY FROM A TEENAGE PERSPECTIVE

Homework To Do Lists Can Help Teenagers  Become More Productive StudentsDuring the month of April 2015, the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) had the opportunity to be one of the host agencies participating in a job placement exercise facilitated through two local Secondary Schools. For two consecutive weeks, the Technical Secretariat attached to the NCPC played host to 15 year old students Showanna St. Louis of the Entrepot Secondary School and subsequently Tamara Plante of the St Joseph’ Covent. During their placement, the young ladies learnt about the operations of the Council, its mandate and goals. The students both exhibited a great eagerness to learn and were able to grasp the concepts taught to them fairly quickly. They were both able to enlighten the technical team with thought provoking synopsises of the challenges and critical issues affecting their peers and persons within their age demographic as well as providing viable options to address these issues.  The students were each challenged to write a feature from a teenager’s perspective to target other teenagers advising on the steps to be taken to becoming a productive young person within society. They both did incredibly well!

Here are excerpts from their responses. (Please advise all teenagers that you know to read the piece too.)

Showanna St. Louis, 15. Entrepot Secondary School.

‘Teenagers have a lot of free time and they spend mostly all of it on social media whilst they could spend it more productively by getting some work done. Here are a few tips on how teenagers can become more productive students and achieve better academically.

  • Select a comfortable working space

 No one should study where the television volume is up too high or where loud music is being played. These are both big distractions.  Having a comfortable working space with no distractions can create a favorable working zone for teenagers.

  • Study Timetables

 Create study timetables to help manage your time. Being able to follow a study timetable is very important. Many people have study timetables but tend to ignore them. Pin up the study timetable in your room or on the door of your room where you can see it and won’t forget about it.

  • Time Management

 Time management is another important thing when it comes to studying. Being able to manage your time is very important. If you are going to study two or three subjects a day, spend at least half an hour on each subject with a five minute break after each one which can be used to get some water, grab a quick snack or go to the washroom.

 

  • No Social Media

Instead of spending hours on social media, talking to your friends, use that time to go on the internet and do some research on things you didn’t understand in class. Who knows that very same thing might come up in the end of term exam.

  • Get Enough Sleep

 Sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to studying. The body should get up to eight hours of sleep every day. Sleeping also helps relax the brain and the brain needs rest.’

Tamara Plante, 15. St Joseph’s Covent, added:

  • Create a study list every day and a study schedule. A study list will help you approach your studies in an orderly way and help get things done faster and easier and keep you focused.

 

  • Keep a book on-hand or any writing material .This way you are able to write down any ideas that come to mind; this will prevent you from wasting time trying to remember things later

 

  • Most importantly PUT THE PHONE AWAY .This is the main issue that prevents us teens from studying. Technology can have good and bad effects let’s use it to our advantage.

 

  • Create a dedicated study time. Make it a routine; routines can help us form lasting habits. This will help you get into a rhythm and be more productive in your studies.

 

  • Leave multitasking behind. I know it’s tempting to watch the latest ‘Empire’ episode while you’re doing your homework, trust me I know, but in order to do your best it is better to concentrate on one task .Your brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time so while you think you need music to study you are only listening to the music or you are only studying and the music doesn’t matter.

 

  • Do your biggest and hardest assignment first. It’s better to do your biggest tasks first whilst your brain is fresh and you are full of energy. When you complete your first task you feel that burst of accomplishment which will boost your motivation and you will breeze through the smaller tasks.

 

Productivity, I believe starts in the root of the home. There are many little things that we can do to help our parents or siblings when we have time at home.  When you arrive home from school or lessons, give your parents a helping hand. You may find chores difficult or tedious, but our parents work just as hard as we do, just for us to eat and get a proper education, so we need to help them out as much as we can.  Simple things can make a big difference.’

SAINT LUCIA POSTAL SERVICE ATTAINS GOLD AWARD FOR EXPRESS MAIL DELIVERY

express mail serviceSaint Lucia Postal Service was recently announced as one of eight countries out of 192 member countries of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) – an intergovernmental organization and the main forum for the cooperation between governments, posts and other stakeholders of the worldwide sector – to receive an award for Express Mail Service (EMS) delivery for 2014.

Each year, countries are recognized by UPU for excellent performance, with 3 levels of performance awards: Gold, Silver and Bronze. To receive such an award member countries must meet the performance standards and prerequisites set by UPU, all aimed at providing customers worldwide with a high quality and competitive express mail service. The performance standards are independently monitored and compiled by Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

On 9 April 2015, Saint Lucia Postal Service was the proud recipient of the much sought after Gold award and is ranked number one out of 192 countries for its performance in the handling and delivery of EMS items for 2014.

Saint Lucia has been awarded in the past, the latest being a silver award for 2013 – the sole award for a Caribbean country that year. However this award is particularly meritorious and gratifying as it is the first ever Gold award received by Saint Lucia Postal Service. Even more remarkable is the fact that Saint Lucia is again the only Caribbean territory to receive an award in 2014 and is also ranked number one in the world for the aforementioned period.

Five other Gold awards were given to the following countries Hungary, Hong Kong China, Azerbaijan and Singapore, Silver to Moldova and Norway, and Bronze to Israel.

Achieving this milestone is commendable as the management and staff work assiduously to sustain the future of the postal service amidst rapid falling letter mail volumes. Efforts are geared at innovation, which include the recently launched online shopping service and the soon to be launched postcode development to assist in a more efficient mail delivery.

Management thanks the staff for their exceptional diligence and illustrious performance, and in addition, congratulates the team on the attainment of this august award.

Highlighting Productivity Improvements in The Civil Service- Civil Status Registry

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PAST SITUATION

In previous years, all rectifications to be performed on civil status records were effected at the Adjudicator’s Office which was then located on the William Peter Boulevard.  Court Orders (Adjudicator’s Rectifications).  It was not uncommon for Adjudicators Rectifications to take a number of months to be completed, due to the complicated process and resources available at the time.

The introduction of the post of Manager, as well employment of contractual workers, improved the efficiency with which applications were processed.  Applications for vital records took on average three (3) to four (4) weeks to be processed, with one week time frame for emergencies.

With the establishment of the new requirements by the Passport Office of the certified birth certificate (to replace the Birth and Baptismal Certificate previously utilized) in order to obtain new or renewed passports, an influx of customers to the Civil Status Registry was created.  During that time, certificates took on average three months (or more) to be processed, especially before the position of Manager, Civil Status Registry was put in place.  Once this influx settled, customers generally received their records within a three to four week period.

Prior to the employment of NICE and contractual workers under the Computer-Aided Birth Certificate project, the staff complement stood at nine (9) employees.

The total number of applications processed on average during that period was twenty to twenty four thousand (20,000 – 24,000) yearly.

 

CURRENT SITUATION

The Civil Status Registry now currently consists of a staff complement of twenty-eight (28), comprising the following:

  • Public officers on Permanent Establishment – 13
  • NICE/Contract workers      – 16

The staff complement is broken down as follows:

SECTION NO. OF OFFICERS SECTION NO. OF OFFICERS
Manager 1
Customer Service Officers 2 Verifiers 5
Applications Booth 3 Executive Officer 1
Rectifications Booth 3 Senior Executive Officer 1
Scanners 2 Data Entry Clerks 3
Vault Attendant 1 Collections Clerk 2
Printers 5

 

 

Applications Process

  • Regular applications for records with clean data (not requiring rectification) are now processed within two (2) to three (3) days. Emergency applications are processed within half an hour of application.  (Note:  This is down from three to four weeks for regular applications and one week for emergencies). This also includes applications for re-registrations (once the relevant statutory declarations have been produced).
  • Applications for Registrar’s Rectifications to vital records are now processed within twenty-four (24) hours for emergency applications. This process requires a longer processing time as Rectification packages are to be approved by the relevant authorized officer (Registrar/Deputy Registrar), entries corrected in relevant register, scanning and subsequent printing of rectified certificate. All of this is done, in general, within the space of one (1) day, compared to the processing time of several months, as was previously the case.

Where additional documentation is required by the Department based on the type of rectification (eg., affidavits to substantiate a customer’s name) processing time is determined by time taken by the customer to bring in the requisite documentation.  Once all documentation is available to the Department, rectifications are processed within the day.  Customers are facilitated as much as possible to ensure that rectifications were completed within an acceptable period of time.  As a result, the back and forth of customers has been significantly lessened.

  • Applications for Adjudicator’s Rectifications (Court Orders) are processed within a seven (7) day These are more complex and usually require an interview process and submission of statutory declarations/affidavits.

For the year 2014, total number of vital records processed stood at Forty thousand, two hundred and twenty-four, (40,224).

The current enhanced process for emergency applications is as follows:

  • Customers is directed by Customer Service Clerks to Applications Booth, where a search for the record is conducted and citation entered on the application form
  • Customers proceed to Cashier to pay for application, and then to Collections Section to collect certificate.
  • Customers wait in Collections Section and collect certificate within twenty (20) minutes