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Amuno S.A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau | Amuno M.M.,Cyprus International University
Soil and Sediment Contamination | Year: 2014

Necrosols are a unique category of anthropogenic soils that are associated with excavated cemeteries or graveyards. In spite of the growing number of cemeteries and burial sites found across urban and rural areas globally, scientific information regarding the contamination potential of this category of soils is relatively scarce and not properly understood. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by assessing the contamination significance of trace metal contents in the necrosols associated with two excavated mass graves in Rwanda. For this preliminary geochemical investigation, cemetery soil samples were collected from two excavated mass graves in the Murambi memorial site, Rwanda, and analyzed for trace and major element concentrations. The enrichment factor (EF), chemical index of alteration (CIA), and contamination status of necrosol samples was determined in comparison with the offsite area. The results revealed that the average EF values for both onsite and offsite samples were generally within the class of natural background with only six onsite samples having higher EF values than the offsite or background area. Possible reasons for the progressive depletion of the selected trace element onsite are the relatively low anthropogenic activities and higher weathering intensity of the necrosols in comparison with the background area over time. Even though the mean onsite CIA values for the necrosols were slightly higher than the background area, the index further confirmed that both the necrosols and offsite samples were significantly altered to kaolinic degree. From the resulting pollution index values (PI Nemerow), it can be inferred that the Murambi necrosols were within the range of 0.84 and 1.82, corresponding to the precaution and slightly polluted domain. The current contamination status of the necrosols is likely to have been caused as a result of the anthropogenic input of Cr and Pb onsite relative to the offsite area. © 2014, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Amuno S.A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau | Amuno M.M.,Cyprus International University
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2014

In this study, the spatio-temporal variation of selected trace elements in cemetery soils (necrosols) was investigated. Preliminary results revealed that onsite mean concentration for As, Ba, Cr, Cs, Ga, Ni, Rb, Sc, Th, V, Y, and Zr was generally higher than background offsite values. The trace metal contents of the cemetery soils also showed higher accumulation ratio for As, Cr, Ni, and Sc relative to world averages for soils (Clarke values). Similarly, it was observed that the cemetery soils showed significant enrichment with As and Cr in comparison with world averages for agricultural soils. The exchangeable sodium percentage showed that most of the onsite soil samples are sodic, which may have adverse effect on the growth and yield of crops grown in the study area. The study concludes that decomposition of human remains and grave contents play a significant role in elevating the total trace element contents in soils associated with cemeteries. For this reason, there is need for proactive measures to be taken with respect to the choice of raw materials used for the construction of coffins and funeral materials. There is need for local funeral industries particularly in developing countries and the government to begin to consider and adopt such green or environmental friendly burial options to prevent the potential environmental degradation of cemetery areas. © 2013, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Amuno S.A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2013

In this paper, preliminary investigation was conducted to evaluate the potential ecological risk of heavy metals contamination in cemetery soils. Necrosol samples were collected from within and around the vicinity of the largest mass grave in Rwanda and analyzed for heavy metal concentrations using total digestion-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and instrumental neutron activation analysis. Based on the concentrations of As, Cu, Cr, Pb, and Zn, the overall contamination degree (C deg) and potential ecological risks status (RI) of the necrosols were determined. The preliminary results revealed that the associated cemetery soils are only contaminated to a low degree. On the other hand, assessment of the potential ecological risk index (RI) revealed that cumulative heavy metal content of the soil do not pose any significant ecological risks. These findings, therefore, suggest that, while cemetery soils may be toxic due to the accumulation of certain heavy metals, their overall ecological risks may be minimal and insignificant. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Kio S.L.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau | Negreiros J.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
Proceedings - 2013 Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering, LaTiCE 2013 | Year: 2013

Broadly, on-line communication platforms are online resources that allow the exchange of information using the Internet. They include Email, Instant Messaging, Online Open Forums, Online Blogging and Social Networking Sites. All these platforms have their own specialties and properties. In education, there are great advantages for high-schools to utilize these online communication platforms, especially Online Open Forums and Social Networking Sites. Communication is the backbone of education. Everything from classroom teaching to school policy making depends on effective communication [1]. With these new communication platforms at hand, schools can develop more adaptable and friendly channels among students, teachers and management (only the first two interveners are covered under this study). Various components of the schools will essentially work together in a more collaborative and regenerative way [2]. This research paper analyses how online communication platforms are changing the internal nature of education. It takes sample populations from two schools in Macao (Pre-University of the University of Saint Joseph, USJ, and Colégio Diocesano de São José, CDSJ) with different backgrounds such as medium of language, level of degree, professor's background and style of teaching. Teachers of these schools are communicated first for their opinion on key elements to improve learning with online communication platforms. These factors are implemented in a platform such as Social Networking Sites. As expected, students are instructed to utilize this platform (Facebook) to enhance their learning practice and experience. The result of this utilization is assessed in terms of student opinions and feedback. © 2013 IEEE.

Found A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
East Asian Archives of Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Objectives: To investigate the effects of different Chinese terms for mental illness and related symptoms on the attitudes of adolescents towards sufferers of a mental illness. Methods: A survey of 578 secondary school students attending 4 schools in Macao was conducted. Each student read a short passage about a new student with a mental illness joining their class. Different versions used different labels to refer to the illness of the new student. The symptoms describing the new student also varied: either describing positive symptoms of schizophrenia or mild negative symptoms only. The attitudes of participants to the new student described were measured. Results: There were significantly more negative attitudes towards the sufferer of a mental illness referred to with a psychiatric label, compared with a general label 'illness'. Participants also expressed significantly more negative attitudes when positive symptoms of schizophrenia were used to describe the new student. The results are discussed in terms of the influence of labels and symptoms on attitudes towards mental illness. Conclusions: These results supported the existence of 2 additive costs in terms of negative attitudes towards sufferers of mental illness, one associated with the label and the other associated with the symptoms. © 2011 Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists.

Thota N.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
Proceedings - 11th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling'11 | Year: 2011

In this paper, the repertory grid is presented as a technique to explore novice programmers' experiences within the context of an action research project. The theoretical and methodological aspects of the technique are discussed. The findings from the technique that combined quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods are provided. These findings relate to the learning process, learning content, and learning support as experienced by the students in an introductory object-oriented programming course. The repertory grid technique is then appraised for its relevance and usefulness to the project, and for its contribution to the diversity of computer science research methods. Insights gained from the use of the technique are shared with the community of computer science educators. ©2011 ACM.

Thota N.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
Proceedings - 2014 International Conference on Teaching and Learning in Computing and Engineering, LATICE 2014 | Year: 2014

Phenomenography is a well-known empirical research approach that is often used to investigate students' ways of learning programming. Phenomenographic pedagogy is an instructional approach to plan learning and teaching activities. This theoretical paper gives an overview of prior research in phenomenographic studies of programming and shows how the results from these research studies can be applied to course design. Pedagogic principles grounded in the phenomenographic perspective on teaching and learning are then presented that consider how to tie students' experiences to the course goals (relevance structure) and how to apply variation theory to focus on the desired critical aspects of learning. Building on this, an introductory object-oriented programming course is described as an example of research-based course design. The insights gained from the experience of running the course are shared with the community of computer science educators, as also the benefits and responsibilities for those who wish to adopt the phenomenographic perspective on learning to plan their teaching. The development of an increased awareness of the variation in students' ways of experiencing programming and the need to broaden the context of the programming course are discussed. © 2014 IEEE.

Found A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
East Asian Archives of Psychiatry | Year: 2016

Objective: A wide range of factors can influence help-seeking attitudes when individuals experience a mental disorder. The current study investigated the relationship between traditional Chinese beliefs related to the aetiology of mental disorders and help-seeking attitudes among elderly participants in Macao. Methods: In order to ensure the suitability of participants for inclusion in this study, the participants were required to complete an initial screening test using the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ). Participants who successfully passed the test (n = 183) completed a questionnaire that included the Inventory of Attitudes Toward Seeking Mental Health Services (IÃSMHS), a set of 9 items related to traditional Chinese beliefs about aetiology of mental disorders and demographic items. Results: The IASMHS scores were higher for female participants and for participants who had completed high school compared with those who had never attended school or who had only completed primary education. Endorsement of traditional Chinese beliefs about the aetiology of mental disorders was higher for male participants. There was a negative correlation between traditional Chinese aetiology beliefs related to mental disorders and help-seeking attitudes. Conclusion: Traditional Chinese beliefs related to the aetiology of mental disorders are a negative factor that inhibits help seeking. Implications for efforts to increase the utilisation of mental health services by the elderly are discussed. © 2016 Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists.

Found A.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau | Duarte C.,Sao Januario Hospital
International Journal of Social Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Background: Public beliefs concerning the causes of mental disorders are important in their effective treatment. The relative importance of public beliefs related to the etiology of mental disorders among Chinese populations and their relationship to other attitudes to mental disorders are poorly understood. Aims: To investigate the endorsement of beliefs related to the etiology of mental disorders in Macau, in particular, traditional Chinese beliefs, and to explore their relationship to general attitudes towards mental disorders. Methods: A survey of 361 members of the public measured attitudes towards 32 possible causes of mental disorders as well as contact with and social distance from individuals with a mental disorder. Results: The results indicated that traditional Chinese beliefs were ranked with relatively low importance compared with psychosocial causes. Traditional beliefs related to two underlying factors and were significantly higher in participants with lower education levels. There was a significant negative correlation between endorsement of traditional beliefs and contact with individuals with a mental disorder and a significant positive correlation between endorsement of traditional beliefs and desired social distance from individuals with a mental disorder. Conclusion: Factors underlying traditional Chinese beliefs concerning the causes of mental disorders are associated with more negative attitudes towards individuals with a mental disorder, with such beliefs more strongly endorsed by those with relatively lower education levels. © The Author(s) 2012.

Kio S.I.,University of Saint Joseph of Macau
Webology | Year: 2015

Social Networking has reached every corner of the mass population in recent years. Academic professionals have employed social networking sites (SNSs) to help them make their teaching more lively and multi-faceted. Results of using SNS in teaching have generally received positive outcomes. This paper examines the content of a forum-like discussion page on Facebook where students are free to write anything about their school. The page is setup by students from a particular school and participants are mostly the student population of that school. The page is an anonymous forum, thus, the content is not restricted to praise only. The theme of the forum is anything related to the school. By looking at what students are saying on the forum, it gives an idea of the kind of discussions or conversations that students usually engage themselves in. These are online "traces" that reveal attitude, social relationship and affiliation. The results of this paper show that student discussions are mainly involved in categories such as school policy, student conduct, reflection on teachers, reminiscence, and encouragement. © 2015, Su Iong Kio.

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