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NASSAU, Bahamas -- In a technology driven age, Computer Science has become a fundamental field of study that drives the world, yet in The Bahamas, it remains an unchartered subject in school curriculums. Now, an e-learning specialist who has just returned from leading a seminar of international experts says it's time to wake up and smell the future.
"The study of Computer Science is just as important as Mathematics and English," said John Bain, the Principal of JSB & Associates and Chairman of the e-Learning Committee of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. "The study of computer science is not a luxury, and should not be an elective, but an integral part of education. It is a vital, analytical discipline, and a system of logical thinking that is as relevant to the modern world as physics, chemistry or biology."
Bain, a Chartered Forensic Accountant and one of the first 40 individuals worldwide to become a Certified Specialist in Asset Recovery (CSAR,) employs the use of Computer Science skills daily in his profession. Bain assists attorneys, individuals and companies involved in civil litigation matters that involve disputes over shares, partnerships, debt or other financial issues.
If Bain could change one thing concerning business in The Bahamas it would be to make Computer Science a mandatory subject in the curriculum.
Nassau, Bahamas - In a
technology driven age, Computer Science has become a fundamental field
of study that drives the world, yet in The Bahamas, it remains an
unchartered subject in school curriculums. Now, an e-learning specialist
who has just returned from leading a seminar of international experts
says it's time to wake up and smell the future.
"The study of
Computer Science is just as important as Mathematics and English," said
John Bain, the Principal of JSB & Associates and Chairman of the
e-Learning Committee of the Association of Chartered Certified
Freeport, Grand Bahama - The Pineridge Back to School Tennis Camp which is sponsored in
part by the Member of Parliament for Pineridge, the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson is
in its third year providing FREE tennis lessons to children between the ages of
8 - 14 years old which will be held at the C.A. Smith Park.
The tennis camp will be held from Monday August 22nd,
to Saturday August 27th, 2011 with sessions starting at 9am to 12
noon daily. The camp will climax on
Saturday August 27th, 2011 with special exhibition matches and
High Rock Primary School students perform a Bahamian dance during the E Clement Bethel National Arts Festival adjudications in High Rock, South Andros on April 15, 2010
By KRYSTEL ROLLE
Guardian Staff Reporter
A decision to house some 280 Haitian migrants who were caught in Bahamian waters last week in an Inagua school auditorium have reportedly upset some island residents, who expressed concern that the migrants appeared to be extremely ill.
The detainees were a part of the group of 450 illegal immigrants apprehended by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the U.S. Coast Guard between Friday and Sunday.
Some residents are worried that the migrants could have fallen ill during their sojourn to The Bahamas.
However, both Inagua Island administrator Preston Cunningham and the officer -in- charge of the island's Department of Imm ...
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
LEONARDO Forbes could be the new name to watch out for on the local high school distance running scene.
Forbes, a 17-year-old 12th grader at Zion Christian Academy, emerged to the forefront when he captured the under-20 boys division of the CH Reeves' 19th annual Cross Country Championships, upsetting race favourite Audley Carey Jr of St Augustine's College.
The South Andros native won the three-lap race around the course at Fort Charlotte in 17 minutes and 11.47 seconds with Carey Jr coming through in 17:13.05. Third place went to Ashley Whylly of CR Walker in 18:52.00.
"I went out with Oneil Williams, but he ...
West End, Bahamas -
On Monday, October 8th, shark conservationists Jillian
Morris and Duncan Brake spent some time with the 4th, 5th
and 6th graders at the West End Primary School in Grand Bahama
Morris and Brake are marine biologists who now both
film professionally around the world. They spent a great deal of time
at the Sharklab in Bimini, with Duncan acting as the media manager for
2.5 years. Together they run a media company called Oceanicallstars,
which creates media that focuses on ocean conservation and what people
can do to help our oceans...
THE Ministry of Education, Science and Technology claims an article and photos which appeared in The Tribune on Tuesday misrepresented the current state of the Colonel Hill High School in Crooked Island.
Nassau, Bahamas -
Teachers and Students from Carmichael Primary School are pictured with
Governor-General Sir.Arthur Foulkes (standing, front row), during a
courtesy call at Government House on Friday, January 14, 2011...
Nassau, Bahamas - Teachers and students from the
St. Mary Patricia Jr. High School,
Freeport, Grand Bahama paid a courtesy call on Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes
Friday, February 25, at Government House....
Deep Creek, The Bahamas -
This summer, Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) awarded seven students
scholarships to attend summer camp in the United States and The
Bahamas. Recipients were Brittany Gibson and Tyler Leary of Rock Sound,
Anna McCartney of Tarpum Bay, Moesha Leary of Waterford, Kristen Rolle
of Deep Creek and Darrel Miller of Wemyss Bight. In the past three
years, 41 DCMS students have attended summer camp.
Students traveled to New York, Vermont, and Maine in the United States,
as well as Gregory Town in Eleuthera to connect with people from all
over the world...
THE Ministry of Education, Science and Technology claims an article and photos which appeared in The Tribune on Tuesday misrepresented the current state of the Colonel Hill High School in Crooked Island.
NASSAU, Bahamas -- The public is invited to attend the Second Annual KPMG Football Fest, to be held at Lyford Cay International School's (LCIS) campus on Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 1.
This year's tournament will include teams from Barbados, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands as well as Bahamian teams from LCIS (Nassau), St. Andrew's (Nassau) and Lucaya International (Freeport). In all there will be 120 players competing at the Under14 age group.
"We are expecting a high level of competition, and, of course, a lot of fun," said Craig Massey, Athletic Director at LCIS.
The biggest concern for parents and educators during the summer months is that students do not lose everything they learned over the course of the previous school year, so for many people, ensuring that students keep their noses in their books during the break is essential. But there are those people who believe that hitting the books at all times isn't all that it's cracked up to be. They believe education comes in many forms and that book work should be supplemented with creative outlets that allow students to be able to express themselves.
This is why the 306 campers that attended the Central Division Police Summer Camp were encouraged to do more than just stick to their books over the summer. Organizers of the annual activity-based summer program say that excelling in life is not always about being focused academically. They say that sometimes for students to be the best they can be, they need to be pushed into honing natural abilities and technical skills.
It is with this value system in mind that many campers flocked to the fun-based camp.
For 12-year-old Rodesha Brown, who described herself as quiet and a person who doesn't always say what she would like to say, being in a camp where she got to use her hands was a perfect fit. While she has managed fine academically, she said she felt a greater sense of purpose and interest in the crafts she made during the summer program.
"I really like that I can express myself in different ways at the police camp," she said. "I like learning to do crafts like making picture frames and sewing. It's fun and something I never knew about before," she said.
And 18-year-old Miguel Neely found his niche through working with his hands. He admitted to not being the smartest academically, but said he felt useful when he used his hands to make things. And during the camp he taught the younger campers to make jewelry boxes as well as how to draw human faces.
"I'm really glad that I have been a part of this camp. I'm learning how to get along better with other students and younger children. I'm learning more about arts and crafts which I always loved but never really put my all into. I am really inspired just being here," he said.
The four-week camp which will end on Wednesday, August 8 focused on not only keeping students on top of their academics, by having specific periods times when students brought their schoolwork from the previous school to review it, but the camp also provided an outlet for the campers to express themselves creatively.
"We want to foster children who can do well on different fronts," said Sergeant 2212 Berkley Johnson, coordinator of the summer camp. "Not every student is academically talented, so it was important for us to encourage them to exhibit their skills in other areas as well. We have so much for the youth to do from day to day like sports, crafts, academics and field trips. We try to keep everything interesting so students don't get bored and actually learn something they can use for school later in the year or for the rest of their life. We are here to do more than just have fun and play games."
And it showed in Andrea Hanna, who said the camp helped to improve her positive characteristics.
"Everyone used to tell me that I didn't have a pleasant attitude or anything before, but when I came to the camp and listening to the police officers I have learned how to be a better person by respecting people, listening to adults and being honest and obedient. It's not easy but I feel everything the teachers and police officers are telling us makes sense," said the 14-year-old.
For 11-year-old Larissa Rolle the camp is about new experiences. According to her there were so many projects that she wasn't able to participate in half of them. She said she learned something new every day she was there. And she was fascinated to learn rug making and sewing. The reality of having so many options made attending the camp something she looked forward to every day.
While some children looked forward to the extracurriular activities, Torianno Rolle, a 12-year-old student at Oakes Field Primary School, said he was happy he was able to review his sixth grade academics as he prepared for junior school. He also enjoyed his new experiences.
"I am having so much fun," said Rolle. "I can study old things and learn about new things. I'm making a rug now and it's great. I like that I get to do so much at one camp. I wish school could be like this. I'm really having a good time this summer," he said.
While the younger students went about their craft projects and brushed up academically, many of the older campers between the ages of 13 and 17 were sent out to learn about life in the real working world at business establishments. It is hoped that the new feature would teach students to be appreciative of what their parents go through, as well as build their work ethnic and sense of responsibility.
Campers are looking forward to their final day when an arts and crafts exhibition will be staged at the National Arts Theater on Friday, August 3, for all divisions of the police summer program. It's there where their family and friends can view all that they've done.
WEST GRAND BAHAMA, Bahamas -- Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie used himself as an example to show graduating students how they can move beyond failures and disappointments and still go on to achieve success.
Dwayne Higgins, Principal of the Eight Mile Rock High School, invited the Prime Minister to give the keynote address at the 2012 Commencement Exercise in the school's gymnasium Thursday, June 14, 2012.
Also in attendance at the graduation was Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini and Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Grand Bahama, Melvin Seymour, and other senior government officials.
Prime Minister Christie told the 70 graduates, "I was never expected to go to university, because somewhere when I was 13 or 14, I was expelled from the Government sponsored high school, Government High School, on the basis that I did not reach the standard the school would accept as worthy of someone being able to go from the second form to the third form.
Chances are, if you asked the average Bahamian high school student about Bahamian writers, they may be able to count how many they know on one hand. The widespread ignorance about our rich literary heritage is caused by a number of factors - most of all, education - but The College of The Bahamas (COB) is actively working to foster a love of literature once more through their Meet the Writer series.
Held once a semester, the Meet the Writer series brings established and emerging Bahamian writers in a wide range of practices to COB students and the Bahamian public to share their work.
Coordinator of the program and COB Associate Professor in English Literature Shaniqua Higgs says the program allows students to interact with writers they have been learning about in class. For many student writers themselves, the chance to meet those who have inspired them is exciting - and since the event is open to the public, everyone is invited to attend and learn more about our nation's storytellers and understand the importance of literature.
"I think the college should be leading the way in putting on events like this because it has a mandate to educate a nation," says Higgs. "I think that we often look abroad for intellectual stimulation and we ignore talented writers and artists in The Bahamas - we have a lot of them but they are not given recognition. It's a shame because literature in general is an important means to stimulate the mind."
"Humanities are being undervalued and some students tell me they didn't have to take literature in high school," she adds. "But then how do you develop appreciation for the arts? How do you become a critical thinker and a person who knows how to reason, to respect differences, to love reading? Literature is so important for its cultural value and for what it can teach us."
For this semester's Meet the Writer event on February 28, two poets - Obediah Michael Smith and Nicolette Bethel - will launch their most recent books by sharing selected pieces with the audience.
In "Discovery Daze", Obediah Michael Smith's 15th book of poetry, the prolific poet meditates on Bahamian life, making everyday objects and routines magical again as he finds art everywhere he looks in his Kemp Road neighborhood.
Readers may notice, however, the absence of his signature tongue-in-cheek poems - for Smith, the book is a response to the complaint that his poems often use inappropriate language and deal with adult subject matter. In his experience, it's the reason behind the exclusion of his work from school studies at home - despite the fact that he reads these same poems to high school students in other countries with no resistance.
"I've never been included in the local school literary canon and I don't know if it is my fault or their fault, but I want to rectify the situation," says Smith. "I've been included and celebrated internationally - in Peru, Venezuela, Cuba, in various regional anthologies - so why not at home?"
"I read to schoolchildren in these other countries I visit and they tell me adult subject matter does not matter - what mattered is that the work was good," he says. "So what is it about those places and this place? Why have they made me so self-conscious about what a work can contain and what you can put before students?"
"Discovery Daze" may be a book about which there can be no complaint when it comes to schoolchildren, but at what cost? For Smith, the whole exercise is counterintuitive - not only to his own creative practice which draws inspiration from all life, but to the very notion itself of preserving innocence in readers who live in the information age where everything is exposed and exploited.
"What is so shocking about that is when three o'clock rolls around and children are coming from this primary school up the road from me, they are using every manner of language," he says. "So is it that group of students we are trying to protect?"
"How well does this attitude we have protect them from what we think they are supposed to be innocent of?" he continues. "It has not worked, it does not work, and it is not working. It's a lie as well, because we are trying to suggest that they are not exposed to what they are definitely exposed to and I think that it's a question of including for them all that is life and showing them how it's beautiful and what it means."
Reading alongside Smith is COB lecturer Nicolette Bethel. Though known for her essays and plays expounding on Bahamian cultural life, Bethel writes poetry about the more personal aspects of her life and family history that many Bahamians can relate to.
Her first book of poetry, "Mama Lily and the Dead", published in 2010 by Poinciana Paper Press, recounts the tragedies faced by her resilient grandmother and extended family. In her new collection that she will launch at Meet the Writer, "Lent/Elegies", Bethel explores grief and meditates on the passing of time to come to terms with the death of her mother, Dr. Keva Bethel, through the "sevenling" poetic form.
"My approach to poetry is that it is a craft. I came to poetry really in the beginning to master all the nuances of English for the purposes of writing prose, and then I stuck with it," explains Bethel. "But it's always been about craft and it's been really challenging and exciting craft because you're using these constraints to express what it is you're trying to say."
"As a writer, my poems are about death. They all deal with that theme," she adds. "In these poems, I had no thought about the audience - the audience is myself. If I got them to where I was while I was writing them, that's all they can be."
Bethel published "Lent/Elegies" in a somewhat revolutionary way. In the Internet age, our understanding of books has changed as we explore digital platforms for storytelling. Whereas many writers and publishers scoff at the idea, Bethel embraces it. In 2007, she launched an online-only literary magazine "tongues of the ocean" and maintains several blogs. "Lent/Elegies" has been published through a "nanopress" online, free for anyone with Internet access to enjoy, so that the website is the book itself - though it is still available as a hard copy through Lulu.com and as an e-book.
"Internet has changed us. It changes the way we think, the way we look at and live in the world," says Bethel. "Publishing is resisting because publishing is firmly anchored in the print world and the print world is passing away."
"It's hard to challenge the idea that print changed the world - the ability to free thought, to multiply it, to master it. It created revolutions," she continues. "But that's the age we're living in now because of the Internet - revolutions and shifts are happening. People who have the same thoughts and the same experiences can communicate with each other not matter where they are on the planet, at no cost, they don't have to know each other, and that's never been able to happen before."
Indeed Bahamian writers are launching extraordinary projects, their work reaching and being celebrated by global viewers - it is high time the public took notice.
o These two literary giants will launch their respective new books through "Meet the Writer" at 6 p.m. on February 28 on the second floor of Chapter One. It is free and open to the public.
The graduates at the Rum Cay All-Age School Speech and Awards Day Ceremony ranging in age from kindergarten through ninth grade were lauded for their mission accomplished as they move on to the next phase of their educational lives.
Father Chester Burton, rector of St. Peter's Parish and St. Christopher, flew in from Long Island to address the graduates at the ceremony that took place at St. Christopher's Anglican Church, Port Nelson, Rum Cay, where he told the graduates that their mission as defined by Webster's Dictionary as a "job or task given to an individual to perform" and that accomplished which is defined as "established, expeditiously completed" was a done deal.
As they sought higher education, the priest reminded the graduates that as they gain knowledge and experience, to always remember that the island of Rum Cay needs them.
"Every day is a learning experience so it demands every student to reach for the stars and use their God-given talent to succeed in all aspects of their life," said Fr. Burton.
For the two young men (Javon Johnson, the salutatorian and Wilfred Kelly Jr. the valedictorian who received a lap top) graduating ninth grade and who were leaving their "mother's arms" to attend school in New Providence in September for the start of the new school year and high school, Fr. Burton reminded them to always put God first in everything they did.
The priest also reminded the graduates that in the religious aspect of their lives, that their true mission accomplished can never take place while they have life, health and breath in their lungs.
Fr. Burton was overcome with emotion during the ceremony as he watched the presentation presented by the pupils. And he told the students that their graduation was a testament to the institution led by school principal Ann Strachan, who single-handedly instructed students for national examinations like the Grade Level Assessment Test (GLAT) in third grade and the Rigby Read and Iowa Math, and the five Bahamas Junior Certificates (BJC) examinations that the ninth graders sat.
The priest told the graduates that they should feel honored and privileged just as students in New Providence do when they graduate and receive their various accolades.
During the ceremony the entire school participated and sang a rendition of R. Kelly's hit song "The World's Greatest."
With the graduation exercise, Strachan said she felt her mission was accomplished, as all events planned during the school year had been accomplished and that she viewed the ceremony as the "icing on the cake."
The final school bell has tolled for all school aged kids whether they are in the public or private sector and it's time to "veg out" -- or at least that's what many students may think. The seemingly endless days of summer may finally be officially here but educators at all levels of education say while it is good for students to enjoy their break it does not mean that all they learnt during the school year should just go out the window.
Educators say summer break is the best time to catch up on leisurely reading that students didn't get to engage in due to school work, the perfect opportunity to review old assignments they may have struggled with and have the time to better understand where they went wrong and research topics they are likely to encounter in the upcoming academic year. Simply put -- summer break they say has more potential than just being the season of endless beach days or becoming a "couch potato" in front of the television. They say it is the perfect opportunity to assist your child in becoming a well prepared student who will lead the pack in the next school year.
PRIMARY SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN
Kristan Burrows, a first grader teacher at Claridge Primary School, says the worse thing a parent can do during the summer break is to relax all sense of discipline or academic rigidity so their kids can have unhindered fun.
"Kids need a break and they should enjoy themselves during the break I agre, but please do not let them have so much fun that academics and all they learnt through the school year goes down the drain," says the educator. Kids, especially those in primary school who are still forming their academic foundation, need an extra push so they stay fresh and the information they have learnt is retained and applied. So putting them in a summer school that has some focus on Math and English is important."
Burrows says it is amazing how much primary school-aged children will remember if they do simple assignments on a regular basis throughout the break. My school [Claridge Primary School] has a special book that we advise parents to buy for their kids for the summer called Summer Fit. It allows the students at every grade level to review subjects covered in the previous year and explore new ones that they will have in the coming year. They have little assignments to do after each topic and it's fun. Just finishing a book like that can do wonders just to keep kids on the go mentally throughout the summer."
She also suggests parents encourage their young children to enjoy learning by letting them choose a book they want and letting them read it aloud. Instead of watching television aimlessly all day she says you should ensure they watch some educational programs and that you question them about what they learn and like or didn't like about it. If they are older kids, she says they can do book reports or reviews to ensure they are comprehending what they read and watch. And rather than letting them play games on the latest video game console, Burrows urges parents to get their children to use the internet to play interactive educational games. She says this will not only entertain and educate the children but will also assist in improving their computer literacy as well.
"There is so much that parents can do to ensure their kids do well academically. As teachers we cannot do everything. We need support and we need parents to be behind their children even more than we are so what we teach is consistent in the home and retained as well. It's pointless to work all semester with the kids and they do well, only for summer to come and their foundation falls apart because they have no support or do not build on it. [Children] not being up to par academically during the summer often means teachers have to back track a whole lot more than they should be doing to reteach a concept kids should already know when September comes around again. This can be avoided if parents chip in."
JUNIOR SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN
C.H. Reeves Junior School Language and Literature teacher Hallnika Bodie is also of the view that students should not fully neglect their studies just because it's summer break, but to use the weeks off school to improve academically and socially.
"[Parents] can make it easier on them by keeping them in a routine much like they had during the year. Especially at this stage, grades seven through nine, students are preparing to take the Bahamas Junior Certificate [BJC] and they will need to be focused in order to do well," says Bodie.
She says summer break is the perfect time for parents to go to the Ministry of Education's Testing and Evaluation Center on Harrold Road to get copies of older exams so students can do them as a means of studying and preparation. Ensuring they go through their old notes especially for Math and English throughout the break for a few hours she says a day is a good way to keep them on their toes especially in the last few weeks leading up to school reopening.
The Language and Literature teacher also says allowing your children to keep a journal of their experiences helps build their writing skills immensely.
Bodie is also big on allowing children to get a lot of rest during the summer months after a hectic school year. She says allowing them to stay up late is okay a few times a week, but to always ensure that they get to bed at a reasonable hour so that they can be physically and mentally rested during the break as well. She says students who are allowed to do whatever they want, and don't get enough sleep regularly tend to be unproductive and still drained by the time school reopens.
The educator says to help your child develop more socially don't just send them to any old camp, but enroll them in camps where they can participate in character-building summer programs like Vacation Bible camps, police camp, maritime camp and rangers summer camps which allows them to be team members, but to study skills and learn responsibility.
Bodie urges parents to use the summer break to get to know their children as well and expose them to life experiences.
"It's not just about getting back on track with school but reforming your relationship as well," says the educator. "Doing things like going to dinner, to the zoo, to a Family Island, a museum, visiting national sites or whatever else you can find fun to do together is a good thing to do because it makes them more worldly. This means when students go on field trips and meet new people during the school year they are adjusted and know how to react, they aren't out of their element and they can appreciate what they see more. They will have fun, experience different aspects of society and learn at the same time. These experiences are good for children to have and it makes the summer vacation a little more interesting."
HIGH SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN
The key to an academically successful, well-adjusted high school student depends heavily on what is done at home during the long breaks away from the classroom says automechanics teacher Michael Clarke. He says it is important not to let your high-school aged child get lax in 5his studies and discipline and that keeping a level-head and a focus on academics even during the summer months is the best way to ensure your child excels in the next school year.
"First and foremost, parents need to be more vigilant and aware of what their kids are doing. Yes, it is the summer break, but kids still need to have guidance. Don't let them get too relaxed or assume they are doing what they should. Ensure they do make time to study twice a week or more so they stay fresh-minded. They need a break from the structured classroom setting but that doesn't mean learning stops. Ensure they are doing something academically and test them to make sure they are remembering what they learn. Parents need to draw the line and know that their children can have fun, but they still have to remember that they will have to face another school year and it is best to be prepared."
The eight-year automechanics teacher stresses that summer is a perfect time for parents to form a better relationship with their child's teachers as well. He says it would be a good idea to find out which teacher will be in charge of their child's class in the coming year and contact him/her to find out what he/she would advise as good summer reading in preparation for different classes.
If this is not an option, he says parents should then find out early from the school administration which books are required for their child's upcoming school year so they can be purchased as this gives your child time to read through his textbooks and familiarize himself with different concepts he will encounter in the next semester.
For children that have already selected class options, the teacher says it is a good idea to get books other than the required texts for him to read through so he has a wider understanding of the subject. He says fictional works that incorporate academic subjects are often entertaining and keep the mind fresh and creatively churning.
If your child is preparing for the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations, Clarke says he should be using the break to study and do research on the topics, so putting their coursework together and preparing to take the exam is easier once the term begins.
"School does not have to be hard or a chore if your child learns
to love learning. As a parent it is just as important for you to find ways to get your child to want to learn even at home on breaks. Find ways for this passion to be incorporated in their lives. Take them to libraries and let them stay there to study for a while so they aren't home alone. They may not study, but they may just read a book that interests them. It's still reading and it can help to at least keep them engaged academically to some level. Go places with them instead of dumping them off to one place or the other since school is closed. Since these are older kids let them get a job in a field they like for the sake of experience instead of allowing them to just stay at home. They will get a taste of the real world and learn some responsibility as well. At the end of the day, just let your child experience more and use the summer break productively. It has a lot of potential and parents can help their children make the best of it with their support and guidance."
The top performing public high schools in New Providence only managed to average a D in national examinations, according to a report from the Ministry of Education.
The document also shows that New Providence private schools received an average of C- in the 2012 Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exams, compared to New Providence public schools, which received an average of D-.
C.I. Gibson, C. V. Bethel and C. R. Walker high schools each averaged a D in the BGCSE exams. They were the top performing schools on the public side.
Bahamas Home Schooling got an A- average on the private school side. However, only three exams were recorded for that school.
Lyford Cay School and South Haven Christian Academy received a B average, while Queen's College, St. Andrew's High and St. Augustine's College all received a B- average.
According to the report, Doris Johnson High, a public school, got an average of E+; PACE (a program for teen mothers) got an average of F and R. M. Bailey received an E average.
Of the eight public high schools in New Providence, three received a D average; three received a D- average; one received an E average and one received an E+ average.
As it relates to the private schools, the report shows that of the 36 institutions with recorded averages there was one A-; two Bs; three B-s; one C+; one C; five C-s; three D+s; two Ds; two D-s; six E+s; two Es; two E-s; four F+s; one F and one F-.
The worst performing private schools were Galilee Academy (F), and Pace Christian Academy (F-), according to the report.
The four private schools each averaging F+ were Discovery Learning, Freedom Baptist, Cherub Christian Academy and Akhepran.
As it relates to Family Island public schools, Abaco received a D- average; North Andros and the Berry Islands received a D- average; South Andros received a D average; Cat Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay received a D average; MICAL received a D- average; Eleuthera received a D+; Exuma and Ragged Island received a D average; Eastern Grand Bahama received a D average; Western Grand Bahama received a D; and Long Island received a C average.
The student population at St. John's College and L.W. Young Junior High School are richer for the civic efforts of Bahamas Ferries through the organization's "Discover Your Bahamas Student Educational Program" which donated computers to both institutions.
Bahamas Ferries donated computers to St. John's College and L.W. Young Jr. Schools, after students from both schools participated in the Bahamas Ferries "Discover Your Bahamas Student Educational Program". The donation was made recently during a reception on board the M/V Seawind.
St. John's College won the primary division and the school received two desktop computers and two color printers. This was the second consecutive year that St. John's College won in the Primary Division.
After the win St. John's senior mistress, Nyoka Bethel says Bahamas Ferries is like home for the students at St. John's, having traveled with the company on field trips to Eleuthera, Abaco and Andros, which she says has been a learning experience for students.
L. W. Young Jr. High School won the high school division and the school received three laptops and a desktop computer.
Schools must select sporting equipment, musical instruments or computers that will benefit the entire student body.
Bahamas Ferries' "Discover Your Bahamas Student Educational Program" was started in 2000. The educational field trips are designed to showcase the unique environment, history and culture of Abaco, Andros and Eleuthera. Since the program was rebranded in 2004, Bahamas Ferries has donated more than $50,000 to schools and in the past three years, taken over 14,000 students, teachers and parents on educational field trips to the Family Islands.
The educational field trips provides the practical application to what is being taught in the classroom thereby bringing text book to life as students have the opportunity to explore wetlands, visit a pineapple farm or study the nesting habits of the Abaco parrot. The day-away and overnight field trips have been developed based on the government and private schools' curriculum and schools have the option of customizing the itinerary to satisfy their specific field of study. Bahamas Ferries "Discover Your Bahamas Student Educational Program" is suitable for kindergarten to university students.
More than 200 police officers were permanently assigned to government senior and junior high schools in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco yesterday, as part of the relaunched school-based policing program, according to officer in charge, Assistant Commissioner Leon Bethell.
The air conditioning unit at Uriah McPhee Primary School was "sabotaged" multiple times, forcing education officials to spend thousands of dollars on repairs, Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald said yesterday.
The sabotage also forced officials to close the school for yet another day, Fitzgerald said.
"We reported the matter to the police today (Friday) and it appears that every day this week, we have had an experience of damage to our units, which has caused us now to put the units at both schools under 24-hour security watch," said Fitzgerald at a press conference at the Ministry of Education.
"It's unfortunate that it has come to this, but this appears the sort of action that we have to take with what is going on."
Fitzgerald said the AC unit will be repaired over the weekend and school will resume on Monday.
He said the act of sabotage is of "extreme concern" to him.
Over the past few days, officials found puncture holes and other damage to the air conditioning ducts, which have resulted in problems with the ventilation system, Fitzgerald said.
"We obviously have to now spend scarce resources protecting our units," he said.
The Ministry of Education closed Uriah McPhee and Stephen Dillet schools last Friday because of several health issues and malfunctioning air conditioning units.
Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson claimed the schools also have mold, rodent and termite infestation.
The schools opened earlier this week after Fitzgerald said the Ministry of Environment gave the all-clear.
However, the union continued to express concerns about conditions at both schools.
The union had its own assessment conducted by Enviro-Clean Company on September 14.
In its report, the company said the air conditioning units and vents on each floor of Stephen Dillet are "extremely dirty, pushing out dust and contaminated".
The company noted that in an opening connecting the second and third floors, exposed fiberglass has been used to fix the ceiling.
"Overall Stephen Dillet Primary School is not fit or worthy to open for public use," the report said.
However, Fitzgerald dismissed that report yesterday.
He said he was informed that the report was prepared by a teacher who is presently facing disciplinary action for an exorbitant number of absent days.
"I believe that my ministry has engaged some of the most intelligent teachers anywhere in the world and they are capable of reading between the lines," he said.
Fitzgerald said he is satisfied that all of the issues that could potentially pose a health risk have been addressed.
He said officials from the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) also drew the same conclusion.
However, he added that the DEHS advised the ministry to carry out the remainder of work over the next 10 days, including fogging inside the building and cleaning the AC ducts.
"This is a procedure that is carried out routinely in houses, business, hospitals and schools in this country and around the world every day," Fitzgerald said.
"It does not require one to move out of their home, close their business or shut down a hospital to clean ducts and vents."
Fitzgerald invited parents to tour the affected schools on Monday so that they can see for themselves that the issues have been rectified.
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