Sort results by:
Search results for : Carpentry
Showing 1 to 10 of 32 results
Another chapter was added to the rich legacy of sailing in The Bahamas this past Saturday when Sheldon Gibson presented the 'Sea Wolf' himself, Sir Durward Knowles, with a snappy-looking 'E' Class regatta boat.
During a modest but significant ceremony that took place at the Nassau Yacht Club, Lady Holly Knowles poured champagne to christen the new One Bahamas 'E' Class boat and Master of Ceremony Clyde Rolle informed that the boat will compete in the next National Family Island Regatta with Steven Rolle at the tiller. An appreciative Sir Durward had words of thanks and praise for Gibson and Steve Rolle, who did all of the carpentry on the new boat.
"Having my family (son) Randy, (daughter) Charlotte and above all, my wife Holly who will be doing the christening," was important to Sir Durward. "Sheldon, you've come a long way. We met about a year ago, in Garvin McKinney's home, to decide on the design of this boat. (We had to have a lot of patience) but eventually you see the product. It's a long way ahead to race the boat in Georgetown, Exuma, (at the national regatta) this year but we will try to get that organized," said Sir Durward.
He complimented the Rolle connection, Clyde and Steven, on their enthusiasm and contribution to the sailing fraternity.
"Clyde is doing a great job with the Georgetown Regatta and we appreciate what he is doing. Right here with me also is Steven Rolle. He is the builder of my boat and he paid particular attention to it being done in the right way. We now have a seaman who is a great builder. The boat was extremely well built and I appreciate it.
"Above all, you see the name on the side, 'One Bahamas', and that's part of my legacy I want to leave behind. The 'One Bahamas' idea is to bring the race people together. I think we've done that. I don't hear too much (fussing) these days, but, we've got a long way to go and don't give up on 'One Bahamas'. Please. That's a legacy we can leave behind to show that we've done something in our time on earth. Again thanks to everybody," said Sir Durward.
Gibson, a teacher attached to the Anatol Rodgers School, expressed his delight at the completion of another sea worthy project and deemed it special that he was able to make the presentation to the man he has admired and thinks of always as the nation's sailing gold medalist.
Among his many achievements, inclusive of the World Star Class Championship in 1947 with Sloane Farrington as crew and an Olympic bronze medal in 1956 again with Farrington, Sir Durward teamed up with Cecil Cooke to win the 1964 Olympic Games gold medal in the Star Class.
"This boat was built for one of the greatest individuals in the country. This boat, I expect to be used in this country for the betterment of sailing with young people. This is something, as a teacher, that I have been doing. Sometimes I felt like John The Baptist, because I was a voice crying out in the wilderness, but right now my dream is coming true. This (boat-building) is something that I have been doing for a long time. I have already done more than 40 years with the Ministry of Education, but, until I can't do it anymore, I intend to teach sailing and do everything I can do for sailing. We can say thanks to Mr. Clyde Rolle, Eleazor Johnson and all of us who have been fighting for many years to see if we could bring sailing to a standard whereby we not only have it in the schools but that young people would be interested in as a sport," said Gibson.
The process continues for Gibson. He informed that he will soon be "back at it designing and building another boat." Also on hand Saturday was John Lawrence, Bahamas Sailing Association (BSA) president.
After three years of hard work Queen's College (Q.C.) graduating senior Kerri Bascom snagged the coveted 2013 Technical Cadet of the Year award from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology's Technical Cadet Corps Programme (TCCP).
Kerri, a principal's list student (grade point average of 3.70 and higher) who aspires to be a civil engineer, was awarded a four-year scholarship by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to The College of The Bahamas.
Kerri received the majority of votes from her peers, lecturers and the sponsors' panel to win the award over 87 other graduating cadets. She also received the outstanding student award for engineering drawing in the TCCP.
"It means a lot to have won the award and I'm honored to have been chosen for such a prestigious award, but I can't take full credit," said the 17-year-old, who added she shares credit for winning the award with the TCCP program administrators and lecturers, and her teachers at Q.C.
The teen, who wants to study civil engineering in college, said through TCCP, a program she was part of for three years, she was introduced to basic engineering topics -- architectural drawings, how to set up floor plans and how buildings are constructed. She also gained hands-on experience in radio and television through a summer job set up by the program. She helped in the studio, worked cameras, learned how to program and went out in the field to help the reporters.
"The program has allowed me to do many different courses," said Kerri, who graduates Queen's College on Friday with a 3.84 cumulative grade point average and a term average of 4.19 -- numbers she's proud of because education is important to her.
She has been an honor roll student (GPA between 3.00 and 3.69) through grades seven to nine; and a principal's list student (GPA of 3.70 and above from grade 10 through her senior year).
The teen has also achieved 10 Bahamas General Certificates of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exams -- eight at A grades, religious studies, English language, combined science, biology, physics, mathematics, French and art and design (which she sat three years early); and two at B grades in chemistry and English literature.
She is awaiting the results of her AP scores for calculus AB, psychology, and studio art. She scored a 640 on her SAT II physics and a 550 on her SAT II biology M (emphasis on molecular biology) examinations. She is awaiting the results of her SAT II biology E (emphasis on ecological biology), SAT II literature, SAT II French and BGCSE geography exams.
She was the national award winner in the BGCSE biology examination having achieved the highest grade in the country for the subject in 2012; she received an honorable mention certificate for outstanding performance in the BGCSE examination (five A grades or more in 2012).
Education is a gift
A good education is important to the teen.
"A good education is the best gift you can give anyone," she said. "In essence, education is the building block to society and to individuals because they can contribute to society."
The daughter of Konya Wilson-Bascom, Kerri said her mother has always encouraged her in her studies, but she has always had a motivation toward her work and studying, especially her favorite subjects -- math and the sciences.
She also credits her older sister, Kelia Bascom, with helping to get her to where she is today. Kerri said her sister always helped her with studies whenever she did not understand a certain topic in a subject.
With two days before she dons her graduation cap and gown, Kerri is hoping to further her education at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. And is hoping to be awarded at least one of three scholarships (Lyford Cay Scholarship and the Ministry of Education Scholarships -- All Bahamas Merit and National Merit Scholarship) that she's applied for to help pay for that education. Without the scholarship money she said paying for an education at her university of choice would be very tough going for her.
"The scholarships are very important, I'm heavily depending on them to go to college, without them I don't think it would be possible," said Kerri. She also has the COB scholarship to take advantage of, which she says she would if she has to as she considers it a fine institution.
While education comes first in her life, when she's not studying, Kerri relaxes by playing guitar, drawing and painting. Actually, she's quite the accomplished artist. She received the Department of Education's 15th Visual Arts Exhibition Outstanding Artist Award 2013; She received first place in the Regional FCAA Art Poster Competition for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012); She was given honorable mention in the 29th Annual Art Competition (high school category 2012) and was the national award winner in the BGCSE Art and Design for achieving the highest grade in the country in May 2010; She received the Governor's Choice and honorable mention in the Central Bank Art Competition and Exhibition in 2010; She received first place in the painting category for the RBC Finco Summer Art Workshop in 2009; Third place in the drawing category for the Finco Summer Art Workshop in 2009; Second place in the National Arts Festival (Art and Design) in 2009; And first place in the Nutrition Diabetes Poster Competition in 2008.
An animal lover, Kerri has three dogs -- Junior, Curly and Kiko, and one cat, Picasso. And she also makes time to volunteer at the Humane Society where she walks and bathes the dogs and cleans the cages and the environment.
Despite an already tight schedule she also found time to participate in a number of extracurricular activities like basketball, track and field (in 2011 she placed second in the discus throw at the National High School Track and Field Championships) and her school's environmental club.
A good program
As she completed three years of the TCCP program, the top cadet encouraged students entering ninth grade who have an interest in engineering and technology to apply to enter the program. If accepted she said they would gain valuable information in the technical field that would be beneficial to them in the future, and to the country.
TCCP exposes students to various disciplines: Engineering, science, mechanical technology, electronics, engineering drawing, broadcast engineering and water management.
Students who are accepted into the three-year program must have a grade point average of 2.5 and pass a proficiency test that determines their suitability for a career in the respective technical fields.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald told the TCCP graduates that the program they participated in for three years was not a passive undertaking, and that it was for people who want to make a difference and change the world for the better.
"We are looking to you to use your God-given talents and the knowledge acquired from TCCP to find solutions to some of the technical and environmental issues that we face in The Bahamas. We are looking to you to help the corporations who may employ you to become efficient and cutting edge in their services and products," said Fitzgerald.
The education minister told the graduates that the government, through the education ministry, has already implemented initiatives including the Investing in Students and Programmes for the Innovative Reform of Education (INSPIRE) Career Path Academy at the C.C. Sweeting Senior High School and the Pre-engineering Magnet Program at the Anatol Rodgers High School.
The Career Path Academy will offer possible solutions to numerous socio-economic challenges facing the economy. It is the intention of the government to have career path academies in all senior schools in the country.
Fitzgerald said the academies are expected to prepare students for careers in masonry, carpentry, electrical and structural engineering and installation, graphic design, architectural drafting, sewing, software design, computer repair and installation, auto marine and aircraft mechanics. The minister said the effort would complement the Technical Cadet Corps Programme and enable more students to leave school prepared for the job market and entrepreneurship.
The Technial Cadet Corps Programme was initiated by Dr. Bernard Nottage, 23 years ago.
TECHNICAL CADET CORPS PROGRAMME AWARDS
Cadet of The Year 2013: Highest Average
Kerri Bascom (4 year Scholarship from Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to the College of The Bahamas
Scholarship Recipients (All scholarships tenable at the College of the Bahamas, except for Shadrick Farrington whose scholarship is tenable at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute)
Kerri Bascom -- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Queen's College)
Shadrick Farrington -- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Doris Johnson Senior High)
Alvin Burrows -- Water & Sewerage Corporation (St. Augustine College)
Charles Rose -- Water & Sewerage Corporation (Anatol Rodgers High School)
Trovayne Cargill -- Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd (St. Augustine's College)
Kelson Campbell -- Bahamas Electricity Corporation (Mt. Carmel Preparatory High Academy)
Andrew LaFleur -- Bahamas Electricity Corporation ( C. C. Sweeting Senior High School)
General Manager Awards
McKyle Grant -- Bahamas Electricity Corporation
Trovayne Cargill -- Bahamas Telecommunication Company
Alex Collie -- Water & Sewerage Corporation
Archealous Hart -- Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahama
Most Improved Awards
Andrew Lafleur -- Electronics
Ustinov Knowles -- Computer Software
DeShawn Knowles -- Engineering Drawing
Tariq Cartwright -- Computer Repair
Celeto McKinney -- Water Management
Carlito Edmond -- Electrical
Sharise Taylor -- Radio and Television
Outstanding Student Field Awards
Hillsia Major -- Computer Software
Kerri Bascom -- Engineering Repair
Corey Butler -- Computer Repair
Sanchia Pratt -- Water Management
Alvonee Penn -- Electrical
Daija Johnson -- Radio and Television
Charles Forbes -- Electronics
English Language Awards
Alvin Burrows -- Most Outstanding
D'Angelo Symonette -- Most Improved
Mathematics Outstanding Awards
Trovayne Cargill -- Most Outstanding
Carlito Edmond -- Most Improved
Joel Lewis -- Most Improved
English -- Lisa Miller
Water Management -- Kable Dawkins
Mathematics - Darnell Adderley
Students sitting the 2012 Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGSCE) exams received an average letter grade of D in English Language and E+ in Mathematics, according to data from the Ministry of Education.
However, the two subjects are among 19 that saw an improvement compared to results from last year, a report prepared on the 2012 BGCSE results noted.
In 2011, the mean grade for Mathematics was an E- and a D for English Language, which did not see a letter grade improvement this year but had a GPA increase, the data showed.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald said in spite of the increase in certain areas, his ministry is unhappy with the scores, which he said showed students' weakness in math and reading skills.
"As in the case with the BJC results, an improvement is noted in the overall performance of schools throughout the country," he said at a press conference at the Ministry of Education. "But while there has been improvement, we at the ministry are not satisfied that our graduates as a whole are sufficiently equipped or prepared for the 21st century workforce.
"Therefore, we still have a lot of work to do and a very long way to go. We accept that reading, grammar and mathematics are weak and we know that we have to create a stronger foundation."
To help bolster students' performance in those areas, in September the Ministry of Education plans to double reading periods for students in grades 1 to 3 and increase math periods by almost 50 percent, Fitzgerald said.
Eleven subjects saw an increase in letter grades this year when compared to 2011: Art and Design B, rose to B- from C; Bookkeeping/Accounts rose to D from D-; Clothing Construction rose to D+ from D; Combined Science rose to C- from D+; Commerce rose to D+ from D; Economics rose to D+ from D; Electrical Installation rose to D+ from D-; Graphical Communication rose to C from C-; Music rose to C from C-; Office Procedures rose to C- from D and, as noted, math rose to E+ from E-.
Eight subjects showed an improvement in grade point average (GPA) this year when compared to last year: Art and Design C; Auto Mechanics; English Language; French; Geography; History; Physics and Spanish.
Six subjects saw a decline in performance this year compared to 2011: Art and Design A; Biology; Chemistry; Food and Nutrition; Carpentry and Joinery and Religious Studies.
The performance in two subjects, Literature and Keyboarding, remained unchanged at C- and D+ respectively.
According to the data, the highest percentage of grades awarded -- 26 percent -- was a C.
The results show that 947 students received a C or above in five or more subjects compared to 937 students who scored similarly in 2011, representing a 1.07 increase.
This year, 1,594 candidates got a minimum grade of D in at least five subjects, representing a 2.54 percent increase from the 1,554 candidates who scored similarly in 2011, accordance to the report.
The report said that 7,117 students from 100 centers registered to sit the exam. This represents a 2.87 percentage decrease from 2011 when 7,327 candidates from 101 centers registered to take the exams.
This year, the Ministry of Education offered 27 subjects; however, the average number of subjects each student took was five.
Fitzgerald also revealed scores for the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) exams.
Of the 10 BJC subjects offered, six showed an improvement in grade point averages: Craft Study; English Language; Mathematics; Religious Studies; Health Science and Social Studies.
Four subjects saw a decline this year: Art; General Science; Family and Consumer Science and Technical Drawing.
The ministry's report said that 9,009 candidates from 23 centers were registered to take the BJC exams.
The national examinations are graded on a seven point scale A - G. Letters A, B, and C are considered above average; D is average while E, F, and G are below average.
Nassau, Bahamas - Bahamas Striping,the country's leading all-Bahamian
striping company, owned by 25 year-old Atario Mitchell, has landed its first striping
job in Freeport, Grand Bahama with a contract to stripe the Seashore Shop
In a spirit of helping out his former home island, Mitchell
decided to source as many staff as possible from Grand Bahamas and to give them
skills. The job is somewhat of a homecoming for Mitchell as it was in Freeport
that he first worked in striping under his uncle Cai Miller. Mitchell graduated
from Freeport's Bahamas Training & Vocational Institute learning carpentry
and home building skills...
Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts started off 2012 with the first round of formal art classes taught by professional local artists. With those classes successfully coming to a close, the institution is looking ahead at their next round, where they will continue to offer some of the same that made their first semester so successful, as well as some new options that will continue to define Popopstudios as a major art institution in the country.
With five new classes - Art of Drawing with John Cox (Mondays 6-9 p.m.); Intaglio (Etching) with Holly Parotti (Wednesdays 6-9 p.m.); Textiles with Jan Elliott (Tuesdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.); Woodworking for Women with Margot Bethel (Thursdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.); and Multimedia with Heino Schmid (Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.) - Popopstudios continues to offer basic foundation classes with a mix of specialized and non-traditional options, explains Popop's Educational Officer, Katrina Cartwright.
"I do endeavour to create a curriculum where we have an ideal foundation. Then having some other courses that stem from those and that are non-traditional are great because it takes us out of the realm of what we normally think of as art," she says.
"Having Jan teach a textiles course this time is wonderful because textiles are not always seen as an art form. So what I really want to do is create an environment where people can come and try all art forms."
This time they're also aiming to appeal to an even wider cross-section of Bahamian society by making their multimedia class - taught by Heino Schmid - geared towards art instructors. Such a class will encourage these instructors to build their own artistic practice, allowing that to inform their quality of work, points out Director of Popopstudios CVA John Cox.
"I think a lot of art educators don't practice and I think the way they form their information is less through experience and more through traditional academic means, but something gets lost there and I think we can help fill those gaps," he says.
"So we want to be fundamental and deal with those kinds of foundations but we also want to be dynamic and contemporary as well and engage fresh art practice."
Indeed the classes tie into Popop's collaborative structure as an institution - by networking with other galleries locally and internationally, as well as encouraging a teaching practice from their local and international residental artists, the classes become part of a collective effort to tap into and inform creative conversations. Students taking part in these classes not only will find themselves part of this vital conversation, but will also find themselves as vital parts of its growth.
"I think that the way forward for education in general is about dialogue and exchange, more so than it is about repetition," says Cox. "So we need to adapt, we need to listen to the needs of the people interested in taking these courses, and we need to have enough confidence to project what we think the art community needs."
Not only that, but students can feel free to take a class without the need to just jump through hoops - the classes are not connected to a larger degree program, and can be accessed by anyone at all with a willingness to learn and have fun.
What exciting is that their first set of classes has already brought into the Popop art community a diverse cross section of the Bahamian public. Even though classes are filled with students at different levels of practice coming from different backgrounds; everyone learns something new from each session, says Cox, whose drawing class has been offering great foundational skills.
"I think that the greatest thing about my class is that there are 10 people who are comfortable with one another and who are at different levels - for some its their first formal instruction since college and others are quite experienced. But the overall dynamic of the class is really comfortable," he says.
"It's something that brings people together and it moves us away from that idea of art being the subject of art - that art is an empty vessel, but every other subject under the sun is the subject of art," he continues. "I think people are much closer to these processes than they understand; I think all we do is help reveal, to remove those barriers that help them to engage the work more easily."
For Margot Bethel, whose woodworking class is geared specifically towards women in order to give them useful hands-on carpentry skills in that same kind of safe environment, her classes are not only a time to teach but to help her students problem solve personal projects.
"It takes a while to get the basics down, but I'm willing to help students with other personal projects as we go along," she says. "I can be a consultant and help them each with their own goals."
For Holly Parotti - whose Intaglio course will offer an in-depth look to this printmaking technique and which will take a departure from her current class, Introduction to Printmaking - the classes at Popop offer a chance for students from different backgrounds with different desires to tap into a similar creative goal.
"I have a florist, a quilt-maker, a fashion designer - I call my group the most diversified because I only have one Bahamian in it," she says. "I think beyond giving you something to do, the classes open up a different perspective and lend an insight to appreciate and understand a process more.
You can experience work within the Popop community and create work within the community, and it's necessary to just keep that creative circle going."
Whether wishing to reconnect with an old creative outlet, craving to try something new, or just hoping to become part of a creative community of like-minded individuals, students who have been attending the classes and who they can continue to expect to register have brought accessibility and an exciting new energy to an art community often viewed as insular.
"It's wonderful because I was worried we'd just see the regulars," says Cartwright. "So being able to see people coming in from all walks of life who have such a positive attitude and who enjoy the classes so much, it lets us know that we're heading in the right direction."
"I would say to the general public that if you've ever had an interest in trying any of these art practices, this is an opportunity to become a part of something bigger," she continues. "Once you become part of the family here, even if you chose not to take another semester here, you'll always know what's happening, you'll always be able to participate in anything we have going on around here. Being a friend of Popop will help you learn more about what's happening and how you can help."
Classes begin in April but registration is now open. To find out more or to register, check out www.popopstudios.com or call 322-7834.
So much talk about education. The D average this, the D average that. But what's really wrong? How do we fix it? How long will it take? What will it cost? Successive governments seem content to take pictures of the rampaging rhinoceros rather than grab that brute by its hellacious horn, poke it in the eye and wrestle it to the ground.
I say poo-poo to the BGCSE. No one else in the world takes this exam. And it's not really required for finding work here. You don't even need it to get into COB. So we're measuring our kids' ability with an irrelevant instrument and we're measuring them against a pool of 5,000 other students who live here, instead of measuring them against the best in the world. A BGCSE is kind of like a Bahamian dollar: worthless outside Paradise.
On top of that, in our BGCSE tunnel-vision, we fail to appreciate that academic achievement is only one educational focus. We are fixated on measuring everyone based on a curriculum that prepares you for white collar work when our education system is supposed to prepare all our people for citizenship. For parenthood. For life long learning. For gainful employment or self employment in farming, fishing, film and media, fashion, dance, theatre, craft making, law enforcement, construction, carpentry, entrepreneurship, light manufacturing, etc. We want a diversified economy; we know it's vital to our survival in the world, but we force 100 percent of our students to sit through schooling that will equip 10 percent of them to work as managers and professionals in the same old economic model. That leaves the remaining 90 percent prepared for low end jobs in hotels built, owned, and managed by a foreign investor.
As for the level of literacy and numeracy of the average school leaver, as for their ability to think independently and critically, their sense of history and world affairs, their interest in reading and their appetite for learning, my college students disappoint me often and they are the cream of our education crop! I personally believe kids today just don't have parents who value these things or have time to cultivate them at home; and we have a society that is hostile to independent thought and fact-based analysis; so these things aren't valued. What's important is who you know, not what you know. You would think that a nation as vulnerable as ours would find one thing important, if nothing else, and that is producing smart people who want to work hard; people who could contribute anywhere in the world if they had to. Instead, we have a vulnerable nation that hates and feels threatened by smart people and therefore dooms itself to keep working for smart people of the foreign white or Chinese variety and helping them get richer and richer.
So what is to be done? Smaller class sizes? Gender separation? Decentralized school governance? Scrapping the BGCSE? Extended school hours? Devising a whole new curriculum? I support all of the above but a recent study suggests that the biggest single change we can make is to recruit better teachers. (Sorry BUT).
The 2007 McKinsey Report, "How the World's Best-Performing School Systems come out on Top" (http://62foundation.org/resources) reads as follows: "Between 1980 and 2005, public spending per student increased by 73 percent in the United States of America, after allowing for inflation. Over the same period, the U.S. employed more teachers, the student-to-teacher ratio fell by 18 percent and by 2005, class sizes in the nation's public schools were the smallest they had ever been. The federal government, state governments, school boards, principals, teachers, teacher unions, listed companies, non-profit organizations, and others launched tens of thousands of initiatives aimed at improving the quality of education in the nation's schools."
"Actual student outcomes, however, as measured by the Department of Education's own national assessment program, stayed almost the same. Though there was some improvement in mathematics, the reading scores of nine-year-olds, 13-year-olds and 17-year-olds remained the same in 2005 as they had been in 1980." Similar efforts were made in other OECD nations. According to McKinsey, in England "between 1948 and 1996, despite 50 years of reform, there had been no measurable improvement in standards of literacy and numeracy in English primary schools."
The report goes on to say: "The top-performing systems [McKinsey and Co.] studied recruit their teachers from the top third of each [graduate cohort] from their school system: the top five percent in South Korea, the top 10 percent in Finland, and the top 30 percent in Singapore and Hong Kong."
And they don't just take you if you have good grades; they screen you to assess "communication skills, and their motivation for teaching." The systems that are showing success make teaching a prestigious career that will attract high flyers by making it hard to enter the profession and they invest in branding. They limit the number of teacher training seats that are available and in some cases they even withhold your teaching license until you have delivered for a few years in the classroom. In some cases there are exams to qualify you as a teacher trainee and exams before you can enter the classroom--exams controlled by government not by universities, that measure numeracy, literacy and problem solving skills. They also make sure that starting pay is good.
Now the report also says that there are two other important drivers, besides the quality of the teacher: the quality of instruction and student support. But I want to focus on this issue of quality teachers. Right now, teaching is a safe bet job for the mediocre, the directionless and the unambitious. I do come across smart teacher education students, but frankly they are not the majority.
Nobody encourages the best high school students to teach. The profession is not respected in this materialist, status obsessed society. In the public's mind a teacher is a loser or a woman whose husband has a real job. And the working conditions in the public system don't help. When I was a teacher trainee 20 years ago at COB the smartest kids were choosing Accounting, Banking, Engineering, Law and Medicine. I was one of the best students in my graduating class and of all those high flyers in GHS' Class of '85 I was one of maybe two or three who went into teaching! For over 20 years COB has churned out teachers who are not that bright, or knowledgeable, or curious, or creative or articulate. And they will be in the system for 30 years!! Think of it!
We need strict and demanding standards for entry into the teaching profession, balanced with much better pay. We need this yesterday. We need to actively recruit among the top 20 percent of high school and college graduates. We need a Bahamian version of Teach for America (teachforamerica.org), which gets smart grads to teach and be trained as they go. In short, we need to actually act like we want to produce another smart generation of Bahamians. Fact: you can't give what you don't have and too many teachers don't have it.
*This column was originally published May 20, 2010
IAN STRACHAN is Associate Professor of English at The College of The Bahamas. You can write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ianstrachan.wordpress.com.
ACKLINS - Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas Hu Shan has kept a promise to donate equipment to the high school in Acklins.
Last week Acklins Administrator Francita Neilly and consultant to the local government department for MICAL Rupert Cox presented to the school a copier and six sewing machines on behalf of the ambassador.
Hu made the promise to the staff and students of Acklins High School when he visited Acklins last March.
"Nobody really has to give you anything, but the fact that they take interest in you and donate things, take care of it," Neilly told the students.
"Make good use of it and be thankful. Most of all show respect to your teachers and those in authority over you and you will do well."
Cox told the students his ministry plans to introduce sloop building and sailing to the school's curriculum in September 2013.
"Students in Exuma and Long Island have already started the program and are doing quite well. We want to train a new generation of young people to take over the craft of sloop construction and to acquire the skills of sailing," he said.
"And so come September, all those students who have an interest in sailing would be welcomed to sign up for the course."
Parents of students attending Acklins High School have been asking the Ministry of Education to introduce to the curriculum trade-oriented courses such as carpentry, cosmetology and auto body repair.
Veronica Bain, principal of Acklins High School, thanked Hu for his donation.
The first phase of Baha Mar's service and training academy got underway yesterday with 120 unemployed Bahamians receiving the opportunity to enhance their skills at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).
The men were among just over 1,000 applicants who applied for the training program, said Baha Mar's VP of Workforce and Planning Development Anne Williams during the orientation exercise at BTVI.
"They should feel very fortunate because they are a part of the first group," she said.
BTVI's Dean of Construction Trades Alexander Darville said over the 18-day program, the participants will be trained in electrical, carpentry, masonry, drywall and plumping.
Darville pointed out that successful completion of the course does not guarantee employment for the participants.
However, those who pass the course will be given preferential treatment among those who apply to work on the construction of the project. Four thousand jobs are anticipated to be created in the construction sector for the various activities involved in the project's development. Courses will begin at BTVI on Monday.
Darville said Baha Mar is in the process of identifying institutions it hopes to partner with for future training programs. Charles Hunt, a consultant at the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, also attended the orientation. Hunt pointed out the benefits of the training program.
"All of these persons are unemployed and by going through this process they have a real opportunity to be considered for employment for a project that would have at least four years to completion," he told The Guardian after the orientation.
Hunt said after the training, the Department of Labour will enter their names into its skills bank and will liaise with Baha Mar's human resources department. The 120 participants -- 75 from New Providence and 45 from Grand Bahama -- were chosen on the basis of their lack of skill.
Hunt said many of the participants have limited experience in construction.
"This program will provide individuals a classroom experience and they will build on their skills," he said.
"This will not qualify anyone to be (an expert) but they will be capable and able to work with experts in the field."
Baha Mar has committed to spending about $8 million on training exercises. Senior Vice President of Administration and External Relations at Baha Mar Robert Sands said the $8 million is for the construction of an academy, as well as operational training and retraining once the academy is established.
The academy represents Baha Mar's commitment to ensuring staff are prepared to deliver the quality performance levels that will be expected of them, according to officials.The first phase is estimated to cost about $65,000.
Deep Creek, The Bahamas
This summer The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI)
graduated its first class of students in the Bahamian Apprentice
Program. The apprenticeships offer Bahamian high school and college
students an opportunity to gain real work experience through paid
apprenticeships in areas such as office administration, culinary arts,
carpentry, and boat operations.
2010 Bahamian Apprentices were Shapreka Clarke and Malcom Goodman of
Deep Creek, Teran Mackey of John Millars, and Chris Kemp and Charlene
Nixon of Wemyss Bight.
Clarke and Kemp have had long affiliations with The Island School as alumni of the Deep Creek Middle School...
It's been a year of change for Bahamian artist Margot Bethel. After years of taking part in group shows in Nassau, she returns to the scene with her solo art show, "Departures", opening at Popop International Center for the Visual Arts this evening.
"I think doing a solo show was a challenge I think I felt I needed to push myself towards," she says. "For some reason, despite having a difficult year, I decided this would be the year for that."
The work is a departure from her previous medium of expression. A carpenter and builder by trade, Bethel's functional and object-based work is well-known locally. However, in "Departure" she creates abstract paintings with sculptural elements that allude to the passage of time and the inevitable human condition of loss and recovery.