With fluctuations in commodity prices and the rise in bills, rent, school fees and the standard of living, everything seems uncertain and baffling. There have been many SOS calls by dozens of parents who want to save their sick or ailing children in the past year, and one of them is Philip Zinnah, Jr., a five year old boy whose life is hanging by the thread. He is presently in a very bad state, with his ability to urinate cut off and death lurking if he is not treated further as suggested by the Catholic Hospital, where he sits restrained.“Presently we have a bill of L$107,663 to pay before he can be removed so we can find further funds to get him to Ghana for surgery,” stated his father, Philip Zinnah, Sr.Back in January 2014, Junior was circumcised by an uncertified physician and in the process, the head of his penis was accidently removed. He was diagnosed with urethral stenosis.A urethral dilatation was performed on the child on March 1, 2016 at the JFK Medical Center through the intervention of Health Page Liberia’s CEO, Charlesetta Williams.In May 2016, Junior was again unable to urinate, something that had been happening off and on. He was operated on by a Dr. Sherman at the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, lower Nimba County, where it was revealed that his case “requires surgery abroad by an urologist as soon as possible.”Since then, Junior and his family have been stuck, unable to take him abroad for the urgently needed surgery. Though they have reached out to people and organizations to raise the money to send the child out of the country, there has been little success.According to the father, those who raised his hopes to get his son out of the country let him down.“They promised us all kinds of things, said they had money but then later just turned their backs on us,” he lamented.Yet still, Junior remains in a critical state, and has not been able to urinate or defecate in weeks. He was recently rushed to the hospital almost unconscious and treatment was administered.Meanwhile, the family has been urged to pursue criminal charges for malpractice against the person (whose name has not been released) who botched the circumcision. Mr. Zinnah has stated that he has no intention of doing such.“Presently, they are hard to find; you can’t just find them like that,” Zinnah Sr stated.Junior’s state is saddening, as he is in a fight that his parents are unable to fight alone.Anyone who can contribute to saving yet another life, a boy that did not ask to be injured or placed on a critical list, should please help the family get their child to a facility that can save his life.Mr. Zinnah can be reached on 0770-690-998.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
SANTA CLARITA – Howard “Buck” McKeon has been a key supporter of No Child Left Behind, but the Republican congressman acknowledged in a panel discussion this week that the 2002 act has shortcomings. “No Child Left Behind is not perfect,” said McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, in a talk Wednesday at the Santa Clarita Activities Center with school district officials from the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys. A goal of the discussion was to talk about ways to improve the No Child Left Behind Act as it heads toward a vote on reauthorization. The act is President George W. Bush’s signature education reform plan, designed to bring every student in the United States up to basic reading, writing and arithmetic standards inside a decade. Many educators have criticized it as an unrealistic goal that interferes with traditional teaching by forcing educators to teach to a set of standardized tests. Supporters, however, say it has focused the education community on raising achievement standards across the board. McKeon got plenty of feedback from teachers, principals, superintendents and others during the discussion, which drew about 80 audience members. Howard Sundberg, superintendent of the Lancaster School District, suggested lengthening the school day, and educating parents so they can help their children academically. A number of panelists talked about getting more qualified teachers, and how teaching and school administration would attract more talented individuals if society valued those jobs. Mark Gross, principal at Joshua Elementary School in Lancaster and a member of the Palmdale school board, said students’ home environment should be considered. “When we talk about education, the discussion cannot end at the school door,” he said. “We have to look at our communities and what we can do to support them.” Some participants praised the act for holding schools more accountable. “This is the country that created the (Tennessee Valley Authority) and built the Hoover Dam and put a man on the moon,” said Larry Heath, principal of McGrath Elementary School in Newhall. “And to say that we can’t get our sixth-graders performing at sixth-grade level is a disgrace.” But even though Heath supports the act, he questioned a portion of it that would eventually require all students to be proficient in English and math. He talked about his own developmentally disabled son, and how he was happy if the education system could just teach him how to use the bus and be independent. “Never in the history of public education did you have 100percent of your children proficient at grade level,” Heath said. “There was always children that didn’t do as well, so you have to set that bar at a reasonable level.” McKeon, who is the ranking Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, has participated in similar round-table discussions around the country about the act. On March 13, the House and the Senate will open hearings on the act as it comes up for re-authorization. While the re-authorization process will take into account people’s concerns about the act, McKeon said it remains important. He spoke of a new student at West Point who had been a high school valedictorian when he entered the military academy but had to do remedial class work because his academic skills were lacking. The student came from a state with low academic standards. “He was shocked to find out that he wasn’t the student that he thought he was,” McKeon said. “That’s not fair; that’s not right. That’s what we’re trying to address with No Child Left Behind.” firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!