For almost a decade since the ascendency of a Harvard educated public administrator and Africa’s first female democratically elected President, Liberia’s education system has been inundated with disparagement emanating from the power that be, members of the ruling establishment as well as scores of Liberians and foreigners alike. Take for instance; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf branded the entire education system as “a mess”. Moreover, in the words of President Sirleaf as expressed in the 2012 Annual Message to the National Legislature: “Our sixth and ninth graders are below average in math and reading, and our twelfth graders rank near the bottom. Many of our students graduating from high school and college are reading and writing at the junior high or elementary school level”. Despondently, Madam President admitted in her recent State of the Nation Address that the quality of education has declined even further citing the failure of students in the entrance exam of the state-run University of Liberia and in the substandard WAEC exams. More to the point, the President neglectfully expatiated in an address delivered on December 19, 2012 marking the commencement convocation of the University of Liberia that universities in Liberia are not producing the desire human resource capacity much needed to develop the country. Let’s face it; perhaps, no president in the history of Liberia has so generically criticized, belittled and degraded the education system like Madam President.Of course, it is an obvious fact that after years of intermittent civil conflict, the education system is faced with enormous challenges and in dire need of reform, recovery, and renewal. Howbeit, the incessant denigration of the education system for far too long without workable or tangible or realistic or holistic solution further delineates the utmost gravity for which the problem still persist. Blame Shaping GameMany Liberians from all walks of life have begun raising eyebrows and questioning the truest motive behind the unceasing censure on the education system. Some have queried the length of time it will take to fix the educational mess. While others have pin pointed if the WAEC exams and University of Liberia placement tests could be used as the only yardsticks and criteria to assess the entire education system. Several people are yet to comprehend who is responsible for the disgusting, disheartening, and disappointing education system, inasmuch as President Sirleaf shapes blame on the failure of students in WAEC and University of Liberia entrance exams. On the other hand, most students complain about the lack of qualified teachers, inadequate textbooks, absence of libraries, unequipped laboratories, and skyrocketing tuitions and other fees in the midst of extreme poverty. Every so often, competent teachers express discontentment about salaries and accompanying benefits as well as research incentive and overall welfare. School administrators raise a ruckus on the high cost of operation. A number of educational activists go off the deep end concerning academic malpractices, briberies, sex for grades, unavailability of textbooks, unrefined curriculum to commensurate with present day realities, inadequate furniture in most public schools coupled with compounded students’ attitude towards acquiring education. Furthermore, a large number of parents and guardians have highlighted the need for the Government of Liberia to take its responsibilities serious and begin the work of ensuring every citizen has access to topnotch education.Fragmentary ProgressBe that as it may, the government under the watchful eye of President Sirleaf has constructed more public schools, renovated dilapidated school buildings, and provided additional subsidies to institutions of learning. Undeniably, several schools have been constructed or renovated without adequate or qualified instructional staffs while in other parts of the country and even along a two-mile road that leads to the historic City of Marshall, there is completely no public school. Irrefutably, a number of schools have been erected across the country; however, many are without furniture, library, and laboratory let alone recreational centers. Indisputably, the government has unevenly provided subsidies to tertiary institutions and selected secondary schools, yet tuitions and other fees continue to go through the ceiling. Undoubtedly, the government has passed a brilliant Education Reform Act of 2010 which speaks of the establishment of County School Board charged with the responsibility of regulating academic activities in the county as well as the provision of free education from primary to junior high in all public schools among other things; nonetheless, the County School Board including the free elementary and junior public school education and the free and compulsory primary education have so far proven to be impracticable. Hence, many people cogitate if the President’s recent pronouncement to provide free education for girls in secondary school could even be achievable. Unquestionably, the salaries and wages of public school teachers double most private school teachers, but bribery, collusion and academic malpractices remain customary. In spite of the glaring fact that the Government of Liberia with support from international partners and friendly nations had revamped the entire teacher training institutes across the country and provided tuition free programs for the Medical, Agriculture, and Teachers Colleges at the University of Liberia along with monthly stipends for students; many illustrious students are not fascinated about the manners and forms in which teachers are being treated. Thus, only a handful of young people choose to seek admission in the Teachers College. Likewise, some patient, passionate, and perseverant students who opt to study medicine and agriculture in order to significantly contribute to the healthcare delivery system and food production of the country are too often denied the chance to achieve their full potential and measure of happiness due to the constant threats and intimidations stemming from professors or instructors.Above and beyond, the Government has developed a revised Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) policy and continues to expand technical and vocational training opportunities through the advancement of Booker Washington Institute (BWI), strengthened partnership with the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center (LOIC) together with the Liberian National Red Cross alongside other local partners, and diligently sought support from the People’s Republic of China to upgrade the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC). Then again, the inadequate hands-on and minds-on training as well as decent and quality jobs for graduates of these institutions are all too often not forth coming due to lackadaisical comportment on the part of the government. More than ever before the government has prioritized politicizing and boasting about the construction of community colleges in certain parts of the country with little or no trained professional staffers, lack of basic logistics, and inappropriate programs. To a greater extent, most of the community colleges are not even functional, but only meant to proffer thrives for tertiary education. Cleaning the MessIn this 21st Century when most nations are significantly advancing in all aspects of education, Liberia’s education system which was once upon a time in the limelight of excellence and citadel of topnotch education shouldn’t be about perpetual criticism or blame shaping or continuous excuses. Now is the time to ensure accessible, affordable, effective, efficient, and state-of-the-art education for all irrespective of creed, status, gender, and affiliation. With education for all, young minds will be developed to build new roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals across the country. Education for all will ensure the construction of factories to produce goods with the inscription “Made in Liberia”; on top of other basic infrastructural facilities to better the standards of living and improve clean energy and water. Besides, education for all will fill the knowledge gap through the development of human resource capacity of young people thereby yielding more medical practitioners, engineers, business tycoons, entrepreneurs, lawyers, social workers, educationalists, scientists, and other specialists to tackle the difficulties now and future challenges that lie ahead. Investment in the development of human resource capacity within the public sector will decrease government’s expenditure on consultancy and provide employment opportunities that boost the economy.The time has come for President Sirleaf to stop utilizing WAEC exams and University of Liberia placement tests as benchmark and assessment framework to evaluate the education system. The President and hierarchies at the Ministry of Education should retooled the assessment of the education system instead of using the old-fashioned and repetitious WAEC exams and University of Liberia entrance exams to appraise the education system. The time has come for President Sirleaf, member of the ruling establishment, and key decision makers to ensure that there is dignity and worth in earning Liberian education. The time has come for President Sirleaf to stop the overgeneralization of the education system and respect those who meritoriously acquired Liberian education and as well create a broad and level playing field, where people are allowed to compete despite school of origin. This would help to inspire many Liberians to strive for academic excellence and excel beyond imagination, because they would definitely have role models. After all, many scholars and researchers have theorized that it is not the school one graduates from that matters most, but rather it is the ability to prove oneself. In so doing, President Sirleaf should contemplate on providing an enabling environment, where competition would exist, instead of continuously vouching that Western or foreign educated Liberians have the requisite skills and technical know-how it takes to get the job done. Absolutely, a lot of people do appreciate the tremendous contributions of most Western or foreign educated Liberians, but the fact remains that there are some who have got bogus academic credentials with very poor performance while others are using the country as an intermittent earning destination at the detriment of the already poverty-stricken Liberians. With an ambitious plan to create middle income class in 2030, the government needs to focus on investing in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education as developed by Youth Exploring Solutions, an accredited nonprofit, passionate and leading voluntary grassroots youth-led development organization. The government should also begin to invest in research so as to provide grant opportunities to institutions of learning and individuals to undertake various projects ranging from science and technology, to food and agriculture, to business and finance, to education and health. With resources available for research, professors will begin to write Liberian text books in different disciplines and field of studies. This would also breed Liberia’s next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors, authors, and innovators that will rebuild the broken fabrics of their war-torn country. In addition, the government should think about providing subsidies to all educational institutions so as to improve the standard of learning. Notwithstanding, school authorities should stop being only keen towards collecting tuitions and other fees; instead, they should concentrate on providing quality education above everything else and also put into place various strategies to demand students’ credentials and conduct background check to ascertain the students’ academic records in previous school attended.The government as a regulatory and a service provider in the educational sector should ensure reduction of tuitions and other fees among every private institution in the country rather than finding flimsy excuses. As a matter of fact, the government has the statutory responsibility to regulate and grant operational license to all institutions of learning and ensure that schools are in conformity with established standards. Therefore, it beats one imagination to comprehend why the government will articulate that it does not have regulating power to reduce skyrocketing tuitions and other fees in private institutions.In the midst of the deadly Ebola, despite massive reduction in the number of persons being infected; the government and its partners including international nongovernmental organizations, civil society and community based organizations need to put into place school safety protocols, provide anti-Ebola materials, conduct training workshops for teachers and other faculty, ensure the provision of psychosocial therapists and hygiene instructors, and provide spacious and limited number of students per class so that students don’t contract the Ebola virus disease. It is on to every Liberian to set their sight higher and begin the work of fixing the educational mess through our own imagination, creativity, culture and a sense of national pride. It is on to us to begin teaching every child to learn how to read. It is on to us to put aside petty jealous, partisanship, corruption, greed for power and wealth in reshaping Liberia’s education system for the betterment of our country and its people. It is on to us to take collective, decisive, and proactive actions in swinging the educational pendulum of Liberia from criticism to pragmatism. Together, we can work overtime to tackle the long-standing education challenges.About the author: Mr. Stephen B. Lavalah is an advocate and the Founder & Executive Director of Youth Exploring Solutions (YES), a passionate, non-profit and voluntary grassroots youth-led development organization. For more information about YES’ work in Liberia, please visit http://www.liberiayes.org. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not represent YES.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
SANTA CLARA — John Lynch insisted Friday all is well atop the 49ers hierarchy, that his two-year term as general manager is not endangered and that his relationship with coach Kyle Shanahan is as strong as ever.“The notion we’re not working together couldn’t be further from the truth,” Lynch said on 95.7 The Game. “We have a tremendous working relationship. We’re great friends off field. There’s a lot of trust. We came into this together knowing there’d be tough times and it wouldn’t be easy, …
You’re reading this blog right now because you want to become better at sales. Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional, someone at the dawn of their career in sales, or a business person looking to learn how to become better at the vital —- of sales, you are already ahead of your competition for one reason; you are curious. You want to learn.I write every single day about sales and the mindset necessary to be successful, as I have for over 2,500 days straight – there is a lot of information in this blog. But this specific post is a short list of eight things that you need to develop to be better at sales…Other-Orientation. If you want to become a better salesperson today, become more other oriented. Spend less time talking about you, your company, and your solution. Spend more time listening, and more time deepening your understanding of your clients needs.Patience. To succeed in sales you must be professionally persistent. This means that you are patient. Patience doesn’t mean that you take no action and wait. Waiting is never a great client acquisition strategy. Instead it means you play the longest of long games and professionally persist regardless of how long it takes to win your dream client.Discipline. No matter how smart you are or how talented you may be, a lack of discipline will cause you to produce poor results. A lot of what we do in sales is routine discipline practiced continually over a long period of time;things like prospecting, nurturing, and following up our all necessary disciplines.Optimism. You will never succeed at the level that you are capable of if you are pessimistic. I’m fond of the Winston Churchill quote, “Success is going from failure to failure or with no loss of enthusiasm.” Your attitude, your underlying belief system, and your mindset must be positive in order to succeed in sales.Business acumen. If you don’t understand your business and your company strategy you will never sell as well as your potential. If you don’t understand your prospective client’s business and their industry, you will never sell as well at as if you are at your maximum capability. If you don’t have a common understanding of business principles, and the vocabulary, selling will be very difficult for you.Confidence. In sales you are not subservient. You are not afraid or intimidated. You are confident in yourself, and comfortable in your own skin. A lack of confidence in yourself and in your company causes your prospective client to have a lack of confidence in you and your company.Candor (willingness to “go there.”) There’s this country song about no one wanting to die but everyone wanting to go to heaven. Everyone wants to be a trusted advisor; very few want to have difficult, candid conversations about what must happen to make change real. If you are not willing to “Go there,” you are not the partner many of your prospective clients need now.Writing skills. I prefer face-to-face communication over every other medium. After face-to-face, I prefer the telephone. But it does not matter what my preferences are, we are doing more and more of our communication via email and other written mediums. This means you need better writing skills.Sales is a profession, but it is also a craft, and like all crafts it takes years of study and practice to become an expert. These 8 things you can work on will help you hone your sales skills as part of your continued evolution into a better and better salesperson. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Newton also has endorsement deals with Under Armour, Gatorade and Beats by Dre. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Hamilton fastest in rain-hit practice for Japanese GP LATEST STORIES MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president (FILES) This file photo taken on September 30, 2017 shows Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looking on during the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.Yogurt maker Dannon said October 5, 2017 it will no longer work with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the wake of a sexist remark by the NFL star to a woman reporter. Asked by Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue about teammate Devin Funchess and the way he runs pass routes, Newton said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.” The stinging backlash came quickly, with Dannon’s Oikos brand dropping Newton as a spokesman. / AFP PHOTO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Maddie MeyerYogurt maker Dannon said Thursday it will no longer work with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the wake of a sexist remark by the NFL star to a woman reporter.Asked by Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue about teammate Devin Funchess and the way he runs pass routes, Newton said, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary The stinging backlash came quickly, with Dannon’s Oikos brand dropping Newton as a spokesman.Dannon signed Newton to endorse the brand in 2015, the same year he led the Panthers into Super Bowl 50 where they lost to Denver.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women,” said Michael Neuwirth, Dannon’s senior director of external communications.“It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not OK to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.” View comments
Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Former boxer Oscar Dela Hoya (left) and MMA fighter Conan McGregor. AFP FILESLOS ANGELES, United States — Retired boxing world champion Oscar De La Hoya has said he would be ready to step back in the ring to face mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor.The 44-year-old fighter turned promoter, who has not fought since being battered to defeat by Manny Pacquiao in 2008, said he has been “secretly training” and is confident he could beat UFC champion McGregor.ADVERTISEMENT McGregor, 29, was knocked out in the 10th round of that fight, which De La Hoya derided as a “circus” and a “farce”.De La Hoya said he would only consider fighting McGregor under boxing rather than MMA rules.“Let’s get it straight: In the cage, he would freaking destroy me,” De La Hoya said. “Only in the ring.“I’ve been working out for the last five months. (My confidence) is how I feel now from my training. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll tell you now that I’ve never felt so good before in my life.” /cbbADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony PLAY LIST 00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles02:40Pacquiao ready to go with week left before Thurman fight01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ “You know I’m competitive,” De La Hoya said on ‘Golden Boy Radio with Tattoo and the Crew’, a daily digital radio show.“I still have it in me. I’ve been secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever. I know I can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight. Two rounds. Just one more (fight). I’m calling him out. Two rounds, that’s all I need. That’s all I’m going to say.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDe La Hoya flirted with the idea of a comeback in June 2015 only to rule it out a week later.The 1992 Olympic gold medallist, a 10-time world champion, was one of the loudest critics of McGregor’s foray into boxing earlier this year, when he lost a money-spinning duel with Floyd Mayweather. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Azkals held to draw QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort
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Residents of St. Catherine have recommended the implementation of a health tax, similar to the education tax, as means of generating revenue to finance the public health system.The suggestion was among proposals coming out of a consultation on public health financing, held on Tuesday, July 9, on the grounds of the Spanish Town Hospital.The consultation, which was the eighth in a series organised by the Ministry of Health, are part of efforts by the Government, to review the no user fees policy, but to also look broadly at options to finance the health sector.Other suggestions coming out of the session in St. Catherine are for an increase in the levy on cigarette and tobacco companies, as well as a tax on junk food.Residents also proposed that the elderly, the unemployed and persons under 18 years, should be exempt from paying user fees at public health facilities.Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, in welcoming the suggestions said he has been impressed by the robust discussions and the many thought provoking ideas that have been put forward by citizens at the consultations held to date.He noted that the results of the consultations should allow the Government to formulate a position that will not compromise services for the most vulnerable in the population.He stressed that, whatever model of financing the Government adopts for the health system, must be one that is not only sustainable, but also provides for a balance between access and quality care.“There is no point in saying we want to create access at the expense of quality,” the Minister stated.The Health Minister noted that Jamaica is blessed with a cadre of talented and excellent medical professionals, who can be rated among “the best anywhere across the globe” but noted that what we need to fix is the necessary funding that will sustain a quality system and that will allow for the gaps in terms of manpower, diagnostics and infrastructure (to be filled).Meanwhile, Board Chairman, South East Regional Health Authority, Lyttleton Shirley, said the Government must evaluate and determine the most sustainable way of meeting the objective of providing quality healthcare for all Jamaicans.“It is my view that whatever decisions we make, we must protect the vulnerable in our society,” he stated.The seven other consultations held to date, included talks with the Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, health groups and associations, staff of the Ministry of Health, and other internal stakeholders and members of the public in all four health regions.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker
OTTAWA — The Liberal government says it will increase Canadian funding for women’s health worldwide to $1.4 billion every year starting in 2023, with half of this money dedicated to sexual- and reproductive-health rights.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the funding commitment in Vancouver today at a major global conference on gender equality.He says Canada will step up and invest in respecting women’s rights while other countries are stepping back and playing politics with the issue.Trudeau has been vocal in criticizing what he called a “backsliding” on women’s rights in some American states that are severely restricting or outright banning abortion.Currently, Canada spends $1.1 billion on women’s health services worldwide, with $400 million dedicated to sexual and reproductive health.Trudeau says Canada will gradually increase the total amount to reach $1.4 billion by 2023, with $700 million of this money spent on ensuring women have access to safe abortions and reproductive-health services worldwide.The Canadian Press
Geneva – Moroccan novelist and poet Tahar Benjelloun was made honorary chairman of Geneva’s 9th international oriental film festival, scheduled next April 4-13.Moroccan novelist and poet made honorary chairman of Geneva international oriental film festivalBenjelloun will also chair the jury of the international contest that will award gold and silver prizes. The Moroccan novelist will also give a lecture in the University of Geneva on the festival’s central theme: body representation in the Orient and in the Occident.Over one hundred movies will be screened during the festival in Geneva and Versoix (Switzerland) as well as in France.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy both lost their opening-round matches in eight-man, match play field in the World Golf Finals in Turkey.The hope was that they would breeze through the field and meet in the ultimate head-to-head encounter for the $1.3 million first-place money. They will meet, but it will be on Wednesday with a lot less money at stake.Didn’t happen. Matt Kuchar easily handled McIlroy by six shots, while Woods fell to South African Charl Schwartzel by one shot at the Sultan course in Antalya.In the other group of the medal match-play format, a sort of continuation of the European dominance in the Ryder Cup took place. Lee Westwood beat American beat Webb Simpson by one shot and Justin Rose handled Hunter Mahan by four strokes.McIlroy and Woods – ranked No. 1 and No. 2 – face each other Wednesday in the last of their three group matches, but both could already be eliminated by then. The top two in each group will advance to the semifinals.In Wednesday’s morning matches, McIlroy will face Schwartzel and Woods will play Kuchar.Woods and Schwartzel were all-square going to the 18th when the American went into a greenside bunker and finished with a bogey.“It came right down to the wire, but I can’t believe how far that second shot flew into the back bunker and that was the match,” Woods said. “It means now that I have to play ‘Kooch’ and try and win that match before facing Rory in the afternoon.”McIlroy unraveled against Kuchar with a triple bogey at the 15th hole and double bogeys at 16 and 17.”I hit a drive into the trees on 15 and lost a bit of confidence,” McIlroy said. ”I need to win both of my matches tomorrow if I am to advance. I just struggled for a bit of motivation out there, so I need to go out and concentrate on both of my matches tomorrow.”Kuchar, after taking a bogey at the first, birdied the next two holes and was never behind.”I just thought I had to play mistake-free, and hopefully Rory wouldn’t get too hot,” the American said. ”There we are all-square with four to go, he hits it right and makes triple bogey, and I go three up with three to go and I think both of us lost a little interest at that point.”The event allows players to wear shorts, and Westwood, Schwartzel, Mahan and Kuchar chose to do so. All but Mahan won their matches. Westwood wore a red shirt and white shorts in tribute to his favorite soccer club, Nottingham Forest.Kuchar said he was happy to wear shorts again. He spent the week after the Ryder Cup loss to the European with his family in Greece.”Being able to come to an event like this that is a little more relaxed is just great to be able to throw shorts on,” he said.