Education

Queen's College student tops field again

May 07, 2014

For the second consecutive year, a Queen's College (QC) student has snagged the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Valedictorian Award. Raphieal Newbold Jr. scored the highest on the exams to walk away with the title and a $6,000 scholarship from the 28th annual Honours Day Convocation...

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Q.C. opens new classroom block

May 07, 2014

As the school year winds down, graduating seniors at Queen's College (QC) were able to see a dream realized and one that they had helped to finance - the construction of a two-story, eight-room classroom block at the school on Village Road.
The students raised $40,000 that will go toward furnishing the new high school classroom block that started in September and was officially opened last week.
"We made a promise to our 12th graders that they would see this block when they graduated, and that was important because they were very instrumental in helping us raise the most money ever in the history of Queen's College with this year's walkathon. It was the entire school, but the twelfth grade led the way, and in six weeks they raised $40,000 -- money that went towards furnishing the classrooms. That money was raised from the beginning of September to about the third week in October, and we really wanted to honor the promise made and we did and [the graduating seniors] were grateful," said Shaun Turnquest, vice-principal.
Constructed to the tune of approximately $1 million, the building houses eight classrooms, eight storage rooms and two restrooms. A key feature is a bridge that connects the new classroom block to an existing classroom block. The new classroom block houses classes in three subject areas: Spanish, mathematics and social sciences (history, geography and social studies).
"The new block was built to provide a degree of comfort to our students and our staff.
It was not built to increase our student population [approximately 800]," said Turnquest. "This just gives a lot more space with which to work," she said of the classrooms that are large, modern and have lots of storage space.
The new classrooms can comfortably hold up to 30 students, various learning centers and computing areas.
"They're big enough for teachers to creatively use the space," said Turnquest. "Some will include a reading area with a couch and carpet, where kids can do some research and engage in reading for pleasure as well. These are classrooms that permit teachers to do beyond what they've been able to do in the past."
She said interactive white boards would also be installed. The new block will also allow teachers who have been 'floating' to have their own classrooms.
The new classroom block sits on five acres of property purchased in 2010 for future expansion of the school. The bridge that connects the new block to the old school signifies the connection of the 124-year-old institution's legendary past to its glorious future and a dynamic present.
The high school classroom block was made possible through contributions from past alumni, Sir Durward Knowles, Godfrey Kelly, George Mosko, Lady Anne Johnstone and Sonia Kelly, as well as the $40,000 raised by the members of the senior class.
"We are grateful that many old scholars contributed towards the building, and Sir Durward Knowles led the way in fundraising, but to be honest, many alumni contributed. Some contributed very small amounts, but for every dollar we are grateful," said Turnquest.
QC's Director of Development Janelle Albury, during the opening of the classroom block, said that in construction a combination of building materials and processes intricately fits together to result in building of learning, sharing and fellowship, but that the components mean nothing individually. She said the project only takes shape when the different items come together as a whole; similarly, the donations, time, talent and support from everyone involved in the project helped to form the edifice within which the minds of future leaders of the country will be formed.

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An education in nature

May 07, 2014

Students from Freeport Gospel Chapel School, Bartlett Hill Primary School and Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School recently benefited from a firsthand experience in nature.
The Grand Bahama Discovery Club, part of the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) education program, treated students to an exciting and informative camping trip at the Rand Nature Center in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
"Through camping experiences like this, we are able to creatively introduce our Discovery Club members to the environment and teach them life skills that will benefit them in their future," said Portia Sweeting, BNT director of education.
"The camping experience allows students to get closer to nature while meeting students from different clubs."
Sixty students participated in the camping experience,which allowed them to learn more about the native plants and animals found at the Rand Nature Center. Additionally, they learned responsibility and the importance of teamwork, as the students aged 11 and 12 were responsible for preparing all of the meals, while the students, aged eight to 10 helped with the cleanup and dishwashing.
The Discovery Club is the youth arm of the BNT, with clubs established in four schools on Grand Bahama. Schools interested in establishing a club can contact the BNT at 352-5438 in Grand Bahama, or 393-1317 in New Providence. Parents and teachers can learn more on the BNT website at bnt.bs.

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Anatol Rodgers students perform well in Hospitality and Tourism Management Program International Competition

May 07, 2014

Four Anatol Rodgers High School students each have $2,000 in scholarship money to add to their college coffers.
Clinton Storr, Xena Greene, Jonaelcia Hall and Joey Pyfrom placed first in the hospitality project competition at the recent Hospitality and Tourism Management Program (HTMP) International Competition in Orlando, Florida. They had to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and event-planning abilities in a scenario that included budget parameters, proposal design, banquet event orders, menus and floor plans.
The scholarship prizes the Anatol Rodgers students won included $3,000 to Widener University, $1,000 to Sullivan University and another $1,000 to Florida International University, where they are eligible for further training and certifications.
Overall, the Anatol Rodgers team finished fourth out of 11 schools. During the HTMP competition, teams of students displayed their proficiency while competing in three contests: hotel operations, a hospitality project segment and the knowledge bowl.
In the hotel operations segment, students applied their knowledge in a three-part challenge: room inspection, in which students had 10 minutes to find 10 housekeeping cleaning errors in a typical guest room using an executive housekeeping checklist; night audit, in which teams performed financial calculations and manually posted front desk accounting information, and case studies in food and beverage, guest service and sales and marketing, in which students had 20 minutes to prepare solutions to case study scenarios.
During the hospitality project competition, the teams had to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in event planning.
During the knowledge bowl, teams demonstrated their knowledge through a multi-round question-and-answer quiz.
Anatol Rodgers' coach, Janelle Cambridge-Johnson, was awarded the Lamp of Knowledge Award for Most Outstanding Hospitality Teacher. She was the first teacher outside the United States to receive the award.

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Family island student receives financial aid from Lowe's

May 07, 2014

A tearful Vontianise Deal recently accepted much-needed financial aid from Lowe's Wholesale Drug Agencies Ltd. to assist with her cosmetology studies at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).
Deal received $750 from Lowe's Brands Manager Gloria Brown, who is also a member of BTVI's Beauty Trades Program Advisory Committee.
"I feel blessed. I am very excited and grateful to have this opportunity. It's amazing help. I felt as though I was held back because of finances. Being a family island student, it's kind of rough getting all of the things I need," said the 20-year-old Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera native.
"Some people have a lot of potential but can't show their full capabilities because they're stuck. They don't have the resources and that's the position I found myself in. I tried really hard to get my cosmetology supplies for school, but sometimes I was late," said the first-year BTVI student.
Brown said it was important for her company to play a role in helping young people like Deal.
"We want to assist our young, upcoming entrepreneurs as much as possible, particularly those who need financial help. We want to be a part of them realizing their dreams," she said.
One of BTVI's requirements for choosing the recipient was that the student made a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 for the fall semester. Deal surpassed the minimum requirement, with a 3.59 GPA.
"I am passionate about what I do. I was initially a business major at another institution, but I wasn't passionate about it, so I applied to BTVI because I always wanted to do hair and nails. I love it. I'm enjoying myself and learning a lot," said the 2011 graduate of Central Eleuthera High School.
Dr. Donnalee Minnis, head of BTVI's Beauty Trades Department, commended Lowe's for its contribution.
"We can see their willingness to invest, and when you invest in young people, particularly a female, you are not only helping her to help herself, but eventually her family, hence the student becomes employable and it eases the burden on the wider community. It's a rippling effect," said Dr. Minnis.
"Lowe's has partnered with BTVI for a number of years and they're now giving another student the opportunity to harness her talent. They should be commended because it also shows the student that people still care," said Dr. Minnis.

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Everyone is important

May 07, 2014

I'm quite sure that we've all heard that phrase used over and over again, he or she is a VIP, a very important person. This phrase is used a whole lot in the hospitality industry when a hotel is expecting someone, whom they designate as a person worthy of the title VIP -- perhaps a showbiz personality or head of a large business organization, or even the head of a country, a president or prime minister. When the term VIP is used in this context, it denotes the fact, that we will give this VIP very special, above and beyond service. We will treat them in an exceptionally special way by pulling out all of the stops to treat them with the utmost respect.
Well my friend, my message to you today is this, and it's contained really in the actual title of the article everyone is important. Yes they are! In the broader scheme of things, I mean from a purely spiritual perspective, which is the way in which we should consider everything, we are all VIP's, we're all very important people. Yes we are! After all, why would God have wasted his time in creating us in the first place, if we were not important? Why would he even waste his time?
Yes indeed, this is a most important lesson for all of us to learn here today. We are all equal in the eyes of God, in the eyes of our creator, we're all very special, we're all VIP's in no uncertain terms. So, let us all from this moment onwards, treat everyone as VIP's, as what they in effect really are, very special God-created people.
Now my friend, let me ask you a couple of questions. Number one: Are you inclined to treat some people better than others because of their position or material wealth? If the answer is in the affirmative, simply cut it out, stop being a complete phony, and from now onwards make sure to treat all of God's children, your brothers and sisters in God's one universal family in exactly the same way. Number two: Do you feel like a VIP, a very special person? If per chance the answer to that question is in the negative, well then, you need to get some professional counseling to help you raise your level of self-esteem. Yes indeed, there's absolutely no doubt about it whatsoever, in the eyes of the creator, everyone is important. Yes they are. So, please treat them that way in the future.
o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com. Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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“A’s for Excellence” campaign!

May 06, 2014

We are very pleased to share with you the details of our seventh annual “A’s for Excellence” campaign!...

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Lowe's helps cosmetologist to aim high
Lowe's helps cosmetologist to aim high

May 06, 2014

BEAUTY was certainly in the eye of the beholder when Vontianise Deal was presented with a cheque to help her cosmetology studies at The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI)...

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Wyndam Nassau Resort to become Crystal Palace Training Hotel
Wyndam Nassau Resort to become Crystal Palace Training Hotel

May 02, 2014

Unprecedented Multi-Million-Dollar Hospitality Training Program Becomes
Key Part of Baha Mar’s Investment in The Bahamas...

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North Andros Principal who was guilty of manslaughter to leave school

April 30, 2014

NORTH Andros High School Principal Stephen Sands, who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of his former girlfriend in the 1980s, will remain principal for the rest of this term - but he will be reassigned to a Ministry of Education office this summer...

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Challenging period in the school year

April 30, 2014

The approximate six weeks left on the school calendar usually chalk up to being the most challenging, with a high amount of absenteeism and truancy by students, according to Anzlo Strachan, chief school attendance officer in the Ministry of Education. In an effort to stem the tide, school attendance officers have been visiting various schools on New Providence, encouraging students to remain in school and to persevere through their circumstances.
Through the presentations delivered during junior school assemblies at L.W. Young Junior High School, A.F. Adderley Junior High School, Anatol Rodgers High School and D.W. Davis Junior High School, the officers engaged students through skits and songs in an effort to impart the message in a way that students could relate to.
The situation of absenteeism (missing a day or two here and there, sometimes for illness, or with a good reason) and truancy (there is no real reason, the student simply decides they won't go to school) is one that Strachan said is of concern because of the significant number of children that don't attend school at this time of the year.
"The summer is coming up and students feel that it's almost the end of the year. Maybe they didn't do well all year, so they feel they don't have a chance to do anything in the upcoming exams, so they just don't go to school. The kids start to drop out," said Strachan.
According to him, school attendance is always good in September, October and November but starts to wean in February and March.
He said that an average of 900 to 1,000 students on New Providence have skipped school annually for the past 10 years according to their records over just 18 schools. Today, he said the average of female absenteeism and truancy is split almost 50-50 today with their male counterparts in comparison to yesteryear when he said the norm would have been 300 female students to 600 male students.
"If you really look at it, I'm quite certain that we have over 2,000 students right here in New Providence with frequent absenteeism and truancy. And we tend to group truancy and absenteeism when it comes to numbers almost in the same category sometimes, because the bottom line for us -- whether it's absenteeism or truancy -- is that the students just aren't in school," said the attendance officer.
According to Strachan, there are a number of criteria used when determining absenteeism and truancy, the most obvious being when officers notice a pattern developing when a child misses school once per week over a four-week period. "They think they may be hiding from us by doing that, but we look at the registers very carefully," he said. "Then you have situations where a child is absent three or more days over a two-week period without a note or contact from the parent or guardian, so we start to investigate those cases. Those are the more noticeable criteria and are more easily seen and are red flags. Then you may have a child out for actually two weeks," he said.
The challenge then arises for the attendance office, which only has 14 officers (13 in New Providence and one in Grand Bahama), inclusive of Strachan, to locate the students, who may have changed addresses.
With limited officers, Strachan said the task of policing absenteeism and truancy in schools can be difficult, but he said they have other resources to help them do their jobs, including liaising with guidance council departments in the various schools, the police and social services.
The attendance officers also do street patrols with police officers present. The objective of the street patrol is to observe and record the number of students seen on the street in a specific mapped out area or community. Previously, they concentrated on inner city communities, from which the majority of referrals and public complaints were made, however, as recently as last month, they included subdivisions. During patrols, attendance officers observe and speak to area residents to ascertain whether there are students out of school during school hours. The officers collect information on the students, including age, gender, grade school and the reasons for their absence, as well as the students' parents' names; a case file is then assigned to officers.

Student encounter
During a March patrol of Yellow Elder Gardens and parts of Millenium Gardens, the attendance officers encountered six students out of school: five male and one female ranging in age from nine to 17. The reasons given for their absences included not having shoes to wear, fighting and leaving campus as a result, running away from campus without permission, unpaid school fees and awaiting Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary School Examinations. One student attended a private school. The others attended government schools.
Strachan also said that every attendance case has a social issue attached to it; his officers consult school guidance counselors to find out if students are back in school and talk to them about the issues and assisting with keeping children in school.
"Getting a child back in school is one thing. Keeping them there is the real challenge, so you need to get the students involved in programs," he said. Strachan also said it was imperative that a formerly absent or truant student visit his or her guidance counselor's office at least once every two days, or daily, in some cases.
According to Bahamian law, a child can legally leave school one day before their 17th birthday, said Strachan, and not once they've attained the age of 16, as is the popular belief.
The 25-year veteran of the attendance office believes that the increase in absenteeism and truancy is relative. He said school attendance, with the exception of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, is the longest-running social agency in the country, with 130-plus years of existence. Absenteeism and truancy are not new phenomenons, but, Strachan said, in a 21st century, it is important for Bahamians to have an education.

Education
"If you to intend to be successful in life, you must attend school in order to get somewhere in life. And high school is not the end all. Just about every job is requiring some type of certificate. Eventually, as the competition gets stiffer, you're going to need a certificate to collect garbage," said Strachan.
He admitted that there are some students who are uncontrollable and who aren't wanted in schools because they can disrupt the entire system. He said those children, depending on their circumstances, aren't left to fend for themselves, but are sent programs that cater to their needs.
The chief attendance officer said his unit is in the process of producing infomercials to educate students on why they should not cut school. He said the unit is also developing a website where students will be able to find answers to their questions, if they are thinking about cutting school or dropping out. Strachan said the website is built, and his team is hoping to go live before the start of the next school year.
During their recent junior school tour, Strachan's team encouraged students to take advantage of opportunities in the school system, like the hospitality class at Anatol Rodgers, where he said students don't just learn to cook, but are taught everything they need to know that enables them to leave high school and go directly into the hotel industry. He also highlighted the maritime course, which has proved effective at C.V. Bethel.
He said they have taken their message to junior school students, because they feel that is the age that needs to be addressed to try to change the trend of absenteeism and truancy at the high school level.
"It's during junior school that children usually go through changes -- they're out of primary school with older students and parents tend to treat them differently, so that's the age we need to catch to stay in school and discourage unexplained absenteeism," the chief school attendance officer said.
And while he does not have statistics to prove his theory, Strachan said he believes there is a relationship between students dropping out school or not coming to school and the crime in the country.

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BTVI students tour Baha Mar

April 30, 2014

A group of students from the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) recently got an idea of the scope and possible impact of the multibillion-dollar Baha Mar development during a recent tour of the Cable Beach project. They toured the convention center and casino floor, as well as the Grand Hyatt and Mondrian construction sites.
Electrical installation students were guided by Baha Mar Project Coordinator Ralph Burrows, who himself was a product of BTVI. In 2011, he was selected by the institute to join a team working on the Baha Mar construction site, and just over two years later, Burrows coordinates construction site teams to discover the best and fastest solutions when challenges arise.
Kendra Dorsette, a student and aspiring electrical engineer, said she felt privileged to be a part of the experience.
"This is more construction exposure, to see how a commercial building is built, the time it takes and what components it requires. It's an experience everyone should have," said Dorsette.
Student Jerrard Rolle described the tour as insightful, adding that it helped him understand the importance of time management.
BTVI's Dean of Construction Trades Alexander Darville said the role Burrows plays should serve as motivation for BTVI's students.
"Hearing Mr. Burrows talk was powerful and an inspiration to those on tour," said Darville.
"Also, the students got an appreciation of the industrial aspect of construction, but the same principles apply. They got the exposure, including the coordination of work. It made the tour advantageous for them. It's a privilege for them to walk on the site and see what the big buzz is about Baha Mar," said Darville.
BTVI is in discussion with the Ministry of Housing to conduct training, and as such, Darville and housing consultant Beverly Nairn opted to have the teams tour simultaneously.
Nairn said it was important for her inspectors to see the level of work being done at Baha Mar.
"There is a big difference in big projects like this compared to a little house, in terms of what you look for and actual materials used. We are trying to expand their knowledge beyond residential, but towards industrial and commercial projects," said Nairn.
Carolyn King-Williams, senior building inspector at the Ministry of Housing, said she was impressed with Baha Mar's emphasis on safety.
"There was the safety briefing, signs and the right equipment -- no exceptions," said King-Williams.
"Also, they believe in taking authority to tell contractors to take it down if it isn't done the right way. They believe in doing things right, especially satisfying stakeholders."

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FirstCare hosts second autism awareness essay contest for high school students

April 30, 2014

In an effort to increase the social awareness of autism among high school students, FirstCare Medical Plan has partnered with R.E.A.C.H. (Resources and Education for Autism and Related Challenges) Bahamas and the Ministry of Education to host its second essay contest for senior school students.
Students in grades 10 through 12 can submit essays of 800 to 1,000 words on the topic 'Autism in The Bahamas: Inclusion, Advocacy and Dispelling Myths'. Submissions will be accepted through May 16. Essay submissions can be emailed to tyrina@firstcaremedicalplan.com.
The winner will receive $300, with the first and second runners-up receiving $200. Each winner will also be provided with additional prizes from The Shoe Village and Custom Computers.
Last year, more than 60 essay submissions were received from students on Grand Bahama, Acklins and Exuma.
"We were so moved by the significant response and the intelligent essays written by the students who participated in the inaugural essay contest that we felt compelled to partner with R.E.A.C.H. and the Ministry of Education once again on this initiative," said Corinna Neely, president of FirstCare Medical Plan.
"This is a cause that is near and dear to our company and we are honored to be a part of the discussion on autism awareness in The Bahamas."
R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas is a non-profit organization that provides parents of autistic children with comprehensive knowledge and tools to treat the disorder.
"Our goal here at R.E.A.C.H. is to sensitize the general public and bring more awareness to autism in our country," said Mario Carey, president of R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas. "We truly appreciate the partnership between our organization and FirstCare Medical Plan to put on this essay competition. This competition is not only dynamic, it is essential because it brings awareness to students in The Bahamas."

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COB Concert Choir holds benefit concert

April 30, 2014

The College of The Bahamas Concert Choir, under the direction of Audrey Dean-Wright, held its Concert for Spring on Saturday, April 26 at the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre. The concert is a much-anticipated event on the social calendar; it showcased the choir's dynamic vocal abilities and versatility. The choir performed hits and classics including "My Girl", "Hush-A-Bye" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing". It also performed an original piece, "We Gan Celebrate", penned by Dean-Wright. This year's spring concert was held in observance of the college's 40th anniversary. Proceeds will aid the choir's upcoming visit to New York City, where it has been invited to perform at Lincoln Center.

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Life is a do it yourself project

April 30, 2014

People are continually asking me where I get the ideas for these "Time To Think" articles. Well I get them from a variety of sources. Literally all day long I'm writing titles down which come to me by observing people in person and on TV and taking note of what they're saying and doing. Actually, I got the idea for this particular article by reading a quote by the famous Irish writer George Bernard Shaw who was indeed full of a whole lot of wisdom coupled at times with biting Irish wit. Shaw wrote "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." How well put there by George Bernard Shaw. When I first read that quote, I immediately wrote down the title of this article "Life is a do it yourself project." Yes indeed it is!
Now let me ask you a question. Do you know a whole lot of people who are waiting for someone to give them a break, so to speak, an opportunity to make it in life? I'm sure you do know several people who are rather stupidly waiting for others to assist them with every facet of their life. My friend, if you fall into this category, basically of losers, I implore you to take today's message very seriously, life is a do it yourself project. Yes it is!
You've got to stop waiting for others to open doors for you to go through, and instead get up off your you know what and go out into the world and make what you want to happen, happen. As Dr. Denis Waitley put it in his best selling book "The Psychology of Winning", "Losers just let things happen. Winners make things happen." Yes indeed, if you want a successful life, you're going to have to make it happen.
There's no doubt about it, life is a do it yourself project. Yes it is! Sure there are others who can indeed assist you, just like with any do it yourself project, however you my friend have to take the initiative and thus start to build the kind of life you really want to achieve. This means number one, you've got to put your "thinking cap" on and thus formulate a plan in your mind about where you want to go, the kind of life you desire, and how to achieve it. Number two, you need to spring into action, and thus start doing what needs to be done to bring the plans for your life to fruition. Number three, you need to stay in touch daily with your maker, God, who will assist you with creative ideas coupled with the stamina and guts to keep you going as you build the kind of life you desire.
o Think about it!

Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com. Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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8 Weeks To Wellness-Graduation Ceremony
8 Weeks To Wellness-Graduation Ceremony

April 29, 2014

On Monday April 28th, 2014, Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, was the guest speaker at the graduation Ceremony for participants of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists' Annual Eight Weeks to Wellness Program...

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Bahamas Consul General "Elated" With Bahamian Students in Arkansas

April 28, 2014

In keeping with his commitment to connect with Bahamians throughout his jurisdiction, Bahamas Consul General Randy E. Rolle left his office in Atlanta to personally meet students of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. Others drove from the University of Arkansas and Fayetteville...

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Bahamian special needs school celebrated in international documentary

April 25, 2014

The world premiere of Every Child Counts to be held in Nassau over the weekend...

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The Air Conditioning Depot Partners with BTVI to Train Future Technicians

April 25, 2014

As part of ongoing efforts to increase the number of qualified workers in the industry, The Air Conditioning Depot (commonly known as AC Depot), along with its sister company Total Comfort Air Conditioning...

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Decision over future of school principal next week
Decision over future of school principal next week

April 24, 2014

EDUCATION Minister Jerome Fitzgerald will announce what will happen to North Andros High School principal Stephen Sands, who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of his former girlfriend more than 30 years ago, before a cabinet meeting next week...

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