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Nassau, The Bahamas - Uriah McPhee Primary school male
students sing "I'm Proud to be a Bahamian", during the E. Clement
Bethel National Arts Festival's New Providence Adjudications, on March 26, 2012,
at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
Bread of Life Christian Academy
sings "Party in the Backyard", during the E. Clement Bethel National
Arts Festival's New Providence Adjudications, on March 26, 2012, at the
National Centre for the Performing Arts...
Nassau, The Bahamas - Sts.
Francis and Joseph School Recorder Ensemble entertains the audience,
during the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival's New Providence
Adjudications, on March 26, 2012, at the National Centre for the
Performing Arts, on New Providence.
Centreville Primary School
student Alphonso Leadon plays the recorder impressively, during the E.
Clement Bethel National Arts Festival's New Providence Adjudications,
on March 26, 2012, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, on
The government is auditing the country's educational system to determine how many students have learning disorders and special needs, but Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald estimated that 25 percent of them are in this category.
The audit will also determine how many teachers are equipped to instruct students with special needs.
Fitzgerald held a press conference at the Ministry of Education yesterday to release a manual called the National Standards for Inclusive Education.
The document is meant to be a resource for teachers and relevant agencies to help them ensure that special needs students have their needs met in the educational system.
"We do not see this document as a panacea to address years of deficiencies in the area of special education; however, we do see it as a part of a multifaceted approach to make a difference in the lives of thousands of students denied their right to a quality education in this country," Fitzgerald said.
Starting early next year, teachers will take part in professional workshops conducted at Our Lady's Diagnostic Centre by the ministry's special services and education units.
"The Professional Development Institute at the Mabel Walker Primary School will also play an integral role in the ongoing training of public and private school teachers in inclusive education," Fitzgerald said.
In September, Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government is confronted with the problem of how to design public policies to benefit people with special needs and learning disabilities that can be implemented across the country.
At the time, he urged researchers at The College of The Bahamas to use its resources to get data on the number of residents with disabilities so it can be used to influence public policy.
"Every child in this country must be [afforded] the right to participate in the equity or the resources of the country," Christie said.
"When you share out the resources in education, there must be facilities for that child and those facilities must be adapted to ensure that the child is able to have the opportunity similar to the other children."
Christie also said the government has identified an area on Gladstone Road for the construction of a facility for adults with disabilities.
"[It will be] a facility where special kids who have grown up will be able to go, will be kept while their parents and caretakers go to work, will even be able to spend a night if they have to," he said in September.
Two concert-workshops provided to students in Grand Bahama
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society (GBPAS) is delighted to present C-Force, a chamber ensemble that offers a unique and intriguing approach to the traditional concept of chamber music. The group is made up of Christy Lee - pianist, Christine Gangelhoff - flute and Christian Justilien - euphonium, all of whom are faculty members at The College of the Bahamas, Nassau and will appear at Freeport's Regency Theatre on Saturday, March 15th at 7:30pm.
The evening, C-Force, An Evening of Musical Fusion will include beloved Bahamian writer, poet and filmmaker, Marion Bethel, who will be reading some of her poetry and will also incorporate GBPAS scholarship recipient, Chavez Parker, on percussion.
C-Force's unusual instrumentation (flute, euphonium and piano) allows for many types of classical music interpretations and their diverse backgrounds contribute to the exploration of all types of non-traditional musical forms. Since its formation in 2008, C-Force has been featured in concert throughout the islands of The Bahamas. Most recently the group has been promoting the art music of the Caribbean with their performances in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the US Virgin Islands and the United States.
The members of C-Force are unified in their desire to encourage music education in The Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean region. To this end they will be performing two (2) concerts for students on Grand Bahama Island. These concerts /workshops will take place at Bishop Michael Eldon Auditorium on Friday, March 14, 2014 with primary school aged children at 10am and concert for middle/high school aged children at 1pm. These sessions will last about 1 hour which will include concert pieces, demonstration of the euphonium and a Q & A period. There will be a minimal charge of $2.00 per student.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Ready, set, FISH - is what you will be hearing in Grand Bahama this weekend as the 3rd Annual Grand Bahama Shipyard's Youth Benefit fishing tournament gets ready to reel in big dollars for local schools' needs.
"The corporate community response has been phenomenal," said Tournament Committee Director Ed Pavey. "Our industrial partners and suppliers have really stepped up to the plate and extended their generosity towards our annual fundraiser." This year's efforts will aid both the West End schools in Grand Bahama as well as to complete shipyard efforts already started at Eight Mile Rock track and sports field. "At our first tournament we raised just over $13,000, last year's we tripled that figure with $45,000 for the East End Primary schools - and today I can report we are over $70,000 for this year's donations!"
Profits from the event will be used to assist Bartlett Hill Primary, Martin Town Primary, Holmes Rock Primary Schools and Eight Mile Rock High School.
"We don't actually donate the funds; we do the work that is required at the schools, such as putting in smart boards, swing sets, and basketball court refurbishments, bleachers, and painting," said Pavey. "We work with the administration and help them achieve their wish list for their respective school."
The tournament begins on Friday with a Captains' party for those teams that have registered and the fishing tournament starts at 6:00am sharp at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club on April 6th with weigh in by 5:00 pm that evening, and an Awards Ceremony at 7:00 pm.
Nassau, Bahamas - Teachers and Students from Grand
Bahama's Barlett Hill Primary School pose with Governor General Sir Arthur
Foulkes (seated, front row), in the Ball Room at Government House during a
courtesy call, on March 23rd, 2012...
Nassau, Bahamas - Grade 6 students from
throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas were invited to compete in a
poetry contest, under the theme "Please Don't Let Them Hurt The
Children." Two of the winners are students of Carmichael Primary
School. Pictured from left: Sherelle Richards, teacher; Celina Gray, 3rd
place winner; Shantell McQueen, teacher; Zoe Cleare, 2nd place winner;
and Barsha Smith RN, Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Unit, Department
of Public Health...
Students from Eleuthera's P.A. Gibson Primary School recently received a treat as they were read to by Bahamian media personality and publicist Arthia Nixon from her children's book "The Magic Grouper and Other Tales."
Although under a winter storm watch in Atlanta, Georgia, thanks to technology, the first through sixth grade students were able to view Nixon, an Eleuthera native on a large screen television. They were able to chat and live video stream before Nixon screen-shared her book so they could all read together.
The live read took place during the school's literacy month which was held under the theme "Reading Accelerates Success" which was actually historic for the school. The live read was the school's first live online session.
"My daughter had a snow day so she was able to join in and witness the way Bahamian students say things in unison, observe their manners and it made quite an impression," said Nixon. "I am incredibly humbled and shed a few tears when the school bell rang for lunch and the children didn't want to move."
Nixon said the experience has inspired her to get back into writing for the children of The Bahamas and that she would be dedicating her next children's book to them as well as sending them copies for the school's library.
"I wanted the students to see a Bahamian writer and as luck would have it, Arthia is a Bahamian writer from Eleuthera who meets many demographics," said the school's literacy coordinator and teacher, Gabrielle Goodman. "Arthia's father was at the school the morning of the reading, her little sister is a student here, plus some of the children have parents who attended school with her and because of that, this is someone we can proudly say is one of our own. It was a great reunion for all of us and at the same time, they were inspired to see someone who started off just like them from such a small place end up overcoming obstacles to be successful. She showed them photos from her magazine with people like Kenedi Treasure, Jacob Latimore, Mindless Behavior, Rupee and other celebrities and diplomats to show them how far her writing has taken her."
The school's principal, Levada Ingraham told Nixon that she had given the students a wonderful example of how far reading can take them.
"We at P.A. Gibson pride ourselves as a school of excellence and by using technology to take this tremendous step, we are showing that we are first class in connecting our students to new and exciting opportunities," said Ingraham.
Nixon resides in Atlanta where she is a consultant, publicist, Caribbean media correspondent, publisher of Rise magazine and the youngest editorial member of The Florida Star and Georgia Star African-American newspapers. Her mentor, the owner of the newspapers, Clara McLaughlin, was the first Black woman to own a television station, at a time when Oprah Winfrey was being nationally syndicated.
After learning that the song, "God Bless our Sunny Clime" was sung for the first time as the national song of The Bahamas at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in The Bahamas in 1985, elementary students and guests at Lyford Cay International School (LCIS) had an opportunity to listen to the song. Grade six students at LCIS led an assembly to educate the school's student body about The Commonwealth and to celebrate Commonwealth Day.
After spending several weeks learning about inter-governmental agencies in their Program of Inquiry unit entitled, "How We Organize Ourselves" students shared what they had learned with their schoolmates, parents and teachers. "Students learn so much from their peers," said Head of Elementary, Isadora Blyden. "We are so happy to see an assembly like this come together. We all learned so much about the Commonwealth."
Sixth grade students along with their siblings presented flags from each of the 53 Commonwealth countries during their parade of countries. They also presented informational posters on each country to encourage their peers and teachers to learn more about Commonwealth countries. They played the Bahamian National Anthem on steel drums and gave the history of The Commonwealth, as well as outlined the goals of the Commonwealth for their audience.
The Queen's Annual Commonwealth Day message was also read as part of the special assembly. The national champion rake n' scrape band from Gerald Cash Primary school performed and wowed the crowd with two lively rake n' scrape songs and showed everyone assembled why they have been the national champions for four years in a row.
Commonwealth Day is celebrated around the Commonwealth on the second Monday in March every year. The goals of the Commonwealth are friendship, equality, and diversity. The aim of commemorating Commonwealth Day is to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth to improve the lives of its two billion citizens. The world's largest and smallest, richest and poorest countries make up the Commonwealth and are home to two billion citizens of all faiths and ethnicities -- over half of whom are 25 or under. Member countries span six continents and oceans from Africa to Asia, the Americas, Australia, the Caribbean, and Europe.
"Bahamian culture is a vitally important component of our school curriculum," said LCIS principal Stacey Bobo. "We are an international school but we are located in The Bahamas. We welcome every opportunity to share the incredibly rich Bahamian history with all of our students. Our student body is 40 percent Bahamian, and these students are certainly very proud of their culture. I could see the Bahamians in the crowd smile with pride when they heard how instrumental The Bahamas was in the dismantling of South African apartheid. And when the rake n' scrape started, the Bahamian pride was overwhelming!"
As an international school, LCIS exposes students to many worldwide cultures. The school believes in the sharing of culture as it works to transform its students into global citizens. LCIS students participated in Junior Junkanoo and the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival. They learn Bahamian social studies as a part of their curriculum, and classes experience the local environment through transformational field trips throughout the Bahamian islands.
LCIS students are exposed to Bahamian cultural building blocks like Junkanoo through The Educulture Junkanoo Museum and Junior Junkanoo; art through various trips to the National Gallery, Transforming Spaces and visits to local artists' studios; and the environment through partnerships with The Island School, BREEF and the Clifton Heritage Park as well as special field trips to San Salvador and Andros. They participate in the Bahamian MUN, and they compete athletically in the Bahamas Football Association (BFA), the Bahamas Scholastic Association (BSA), and the Bahamas Swim Federation (BSF) swim meets. They are involved in many local community service ventures including Hands for Hunger, The Bahamas Humane Society, Operation Potcake, Cans for Kids, YesI (tutoring with LCIS student peers in conjunction with football) Adelaide Primary School, and the Stephen Dillet Primary School Enrichment Program.
LCIS fully supports Bahamian students wanting to apply for local scholarships as well.
"Our IB [International Baccalaureate] curriculum is rigorous but we make sure that all Bahamian students have the opportunity to write local examinations including the BJC's [Bahamas Junior Certificate] and BGCSE's [Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education]," said secondary school guidance counselor Judy Reiach. "This makes them eligible to compete for local scholarships. We do not teach either of the BJC or BGCSE curriculums but we provide special dispensation for those students that want to learn the material and sit the exams."
Despite the fact the these curricula are not taught as part of the daily curriculum, LCIS students have shown consistently excellent results with a 95 percent "A" to "C" grade" pass rate in both national exams.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas - As the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival begins its first of two weeks in Grand Bahama, parents of participating preschoolers sang praises for the cultural institution that has been in existence for more than 50 years.
Lisa Turnquest, mother of Sunland Baptist Academy pre-schooler Lia Turnquest, said her daughter worked very hard on her performance and applauded the festival for giving her the opportunity to show what she is capable of doing.
"She has been practicing for a number of weeks and just to see her perform on stage with no nervousness - and so calm and poised - I am so very proud of her," she said. Her husband, Lionel, agreed and said that it was a "bit overwhelming". "Seeing our daughter perform for her very first time on the stage, I feel very proud to see her grow to this stage already at a very early part of her life," Mr. Turnquest said. "There is nothing more I can say about that," he added while looking down lovingly at his smiling daughter.
Lawanda Turner, mother of Sunland Baptist Academy pre-schooler Antwanique Turner, said that her daughter performed her two recitations "very well" and she was proud of the way she spoke so clearly and confidently on stage.
"This is my first time being to the festival," she said. "I have never been to one before. I feel that all the children did well, being that they are youngsters and remembered such a large part like they did."
"It was a good experience," Cordelia Armbrister said about her son and Bahamas Total Education Centre pre-schooler Kayden Ferguson's performance. "I felt proud because it was the first time. I helped him with his practice and he did so well. He enjoyed himself."
Kindercare Learning Centre pre-schooler Madison Davis also had both of her parents watched her recitations. They voiced their pride in her performances on the stage that day. Shanese Davis said Madison has this opportunity and even if she does not win nationally she is so creative and expressive that it is wonderful just to see her.
"We are very excited," her husband, Keno, added. "This is a good way to express themselves and we should never stunt their creativity."
Mrs. Turner commended the festival for having adjudicators like Val Maura judging the participants' performances.
"It's good that they know so much about their work," she said. "It's better that the children learn from someone who has the experience and know how to perform."
Mrs. Turnquest added that she feels "fabulous" about the National Arts Festival making it possible for her daughter the showcase her talent because she remembers being in the festival when she was a girl.
"To see that it is still going on, I am really, really excited," she said. "It is a wonderful thing for the children. It teaches them confidence and poise and, outside of the academics, the arts is a good instrument in the development of children."
"It is actually an exciting event," Mr. Turnquest added. "My nieces have been going for years and they have all been performing and to see my daughter now coming through makes my heart swell. I am glad to see that she has taken interest in it and she has done very well."
"Actually, I was a part of the Festival, too, in the dramatized reading portion when I was at school (C. W. Sawyer Primary)," Mrs. Davis noted. "I am just happy that it is still around. Kids need stuff like this to showcase their creative talents."
Mrs. Turner added a sentiment that was a "given" for most of the parents that day. "I want her to know that I am so proud of her and she will get the treat that I promised her," she said with a smile.
A school security officer was tied up and blindfolded before being beaten by four masked men, during an armed robbery early yesterday morning at Doris Johnson Senior High School, according to police.
Assistant Superintendent Prince Charlton, officer in charge of the Fox Hill Police Station, said yesterday that the robbers stormed the campus grounds after cutting a lock at the northern entrance of the school.
The school's security officer responded to the disturbance at around 3:30 a.m., but was overcome by the robbers, one of whom was reportedly armed with a shotgun.
The security officer was gun butted several times to the head and had to be taken to hospital to receive treatment for his injuries, according to police.
When The Nassau Guardian arrived at the school, at least seven classrooms were in complete disarray, including the offices of the principal, vice principal and guidance counselor.
The culprits got away with a television, a number of cell phones, some laptops, jewelry that had been confiscated from students and an unknown amount of cash, Charlton said.
He also pointed out that several desktop computers and other school property had also been destroyed, including the air condition unit in the school's administration office.
However, the school proceeded as normal yesterday.
No one is in custody in connection with the matter as yet, but Charlton noted the school's security surveillance system may prove to be a key asset in the investigation.
He did not provide details, so as not to jeopardize the case.
Charlton also said police have not ruled out the possibility that students could have been involved.
He suggested there was a personal element to the incident, when considering the extent of the damage.
Charlton pointed out that it was not abnormal for one security officer to be stationed during a night shift at the school, however, he said at some other government schools there were as many as three security officers on duty during that shift.
"We have beefed up our patrols in government complexes, government schools and residential areas," said Charlton when asked about schools that have recently been targeted by criminals.
"It is just very unfortunate that something has happened at this particular school."
At around 1 a.m. on March 14, armed thieves robbed C. V. Bethel Senior High School on East Street South of several flat screen televisions, cell phones and a small amount of cash. In that case, the two security officers on duty were tied up.
The masked culprits kicked one of the security officers to the head and locked them in a room behind the security booth.
Last year, several classrooms at Carlton E. Francis Primary School were broken into and damaged. Claridge Primary School was also broken into and set ablaze last year.
African People's Socialist Party-Bahamas to host conference to build its ranks and unite Africans worldwide
Nassau, Bahamas -
The African People's Socialist Party-Bahamas
will host the African Socialist International Caribbean & Latin American
April 6-9, 2012
under the theme:
"Uniting the African World-Joining the Revolutionary Party for
The Conference will be held
the E.P. Roberts Primary School Hall on Lincoln Blvd. in the Englerston
aim of the Conference is to unite Africans throughout the world, with
particular emphasis on Africans in the Caribbean & Latin American region.
The African People's Socialist Party-Bahamas deems this crucial at a time when African
LAKESHIA Anderson, Grand Bahama Parks Manager for the Bahama National Trust, met last week with residents of McLean's Town at a public meeting, held at McLean's Town Primary School in Grand Bahama.
ABACO -- The Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament (TCBT) recently announced a new date and format for its 31st annual competition.
The tournament is now scheduled for June 25-29, 2014 and will be held at Treasure Cay Beach Marina & Golf Resort in Abaco. The tournament will offer three fishing days - Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with an optional 'Family Fun Day', Kettle of Fish Tournament and 'Rock the Dock Party' on Sunday. Treasure Cay General Manager Stephen Kappeler said: "We took into consideration that some tournament participants may like to depart on Sunday to return to work on Monday. Plus, scheduling the event after school is out will make it easier for participants to include their families."
Known for its great fishing, excellent value and social events, the world-class competition attracts teams from around the world. The TCBT also offers social parties, dinners and fun competitions. Its guaranteed cash payout ranges from $10,000 for a minimum of 10 boats and up to $50,000 for the participation of 50 boats.
The TCBT offers a special bonus of one free room night at the resort or a free day of dockage for registrations made prior to March 31, 2014. The early registrations also receive an entry into a drawing for free tournament dockage for boats up to 60 feet, and additional prizes.
One of the best fishing destinations in The Bahamas, Treasure Cay is known for grander-size record-breaking marlin, large dolphin and wahoo. While billfish is the focus of the TCBT, the tournament includes Fun Fish Division awards for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. The Fun Fish Division offers an optional payout rivaling top prizes of U.S.-based tournaments. In addition to the cash prizes, winners receive beautiful trophies and the top team is honored with a statuesque perpetual trophy showcased in the resort's Spinnaker Restaurant, one of the largest air conditioned out-island restaurant facilities available for events. Awards are also presented to the top lady and junior anglers.
Release point standings are verified by the participant's own digital and/or video camera with an image that can verify the time and date the photo was taken. The TCBT is open to the public and center consoles over 30 feet are welcomed. The top TCBT team will qualify for the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Offshore World Championship, with information available at www.igfaoffshorechampionship.com.
In addition to great food and family social events, the TCBT also raises funds for the children of the Treasure Cay Primary School. Registration for up to six team members, including boat entry, cash prize eligibility, dinners, cocktail parties, team goody bag and room discounts, can be made online at www.treasurecay.com.
The current champion of the event is Team Southern Comfort, owned by Peter Angel, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Southern Comfort captured the lead on the last day of fishing, bumping Domarlo, owned by Doug Macdonald, from West Palm Beach, Florida to second place. Big T's Too, owned by Bob Wolsey, from Sarasota, Florida dashed from zero to 800 points on the last day to snag third place.
Domarlo claimed the Ultra Champ award for most points earned by prior TCBT winners. The Kettle of Fish Tournament resulted in the catch of more than 70 lionfish as well as several snappers.
Recently, I was appalled to hear that a young person claimed that in the 60s all Bahamians lived in the "ghetto". What absolute nonsense. That ignorant young lady and whoever fed her that nonsense need to be enlightened.
This is the sad legacy of not making Bahamian history mandatory in all schools, both public and private. Wherever you go in other parts of the world, that country's history is taught in its schools. When I was growing up I was taught all about the Boer War, India and other places that meant absolutely nothing to me. In many ways we are still working in that same antiquated mode and the school curriculum needs to be revised. I spoke to a COB history class recently and when asked if they had been taught Bahamian history in high school those who said they had been noted it was not in depth.
We also need to stop trying to plug square pegs into round holes by forcing children who are not academically inclined to take BGCSE examinations, which is yet another big disaster that ought to be done away with. Those students who are not academically gifted must be taught other subjects that will help them to earn a living and function in the real world when they leave school. We are backward in so many ways. I often shudder when driving around after school hours to see and hear the manner in which so many of our children conduct themselves, including foul language from both boys and girls.
While on this topic I extend congratulations to T. Edward Clarke for what he is doing to rescue some of our at-risk boys through his L.E.A.D. Institute, and also to Ricardo Deveaux for the tremendous work he is doing through the Bahamas Primary School organization which recognizes excellence in primary school students. This is the level at which our children need to be taught about the rich historical heritage of The Bahamas.
Around the time that Paul Adderley died, ZNS TV played a number of his speeches and I was particularly struck by one in which Adderley stated that when he was in charge of the Ministry of Education and tried to introduce certain aspects of Bahamian culture into the curriculum, he encountered obstructionist senior civil servants within the ministry and among some school principals. I also recall attending Marion Bethel's showing of her documentary "Womanish Ways" and the following panel discussion. Among the panelists were the direct descendents of the women who were at the vanguard of the women's suffrage movement in The Bahamas - namely, Alice Ingraham Rolle (daughter of Mary Ingraham who was the founder of the movement); Wallace Lockhart-Carey (daughter of Eugenie Lockhart); Andrew 'Dud' Maynard (son of Georgina Symonette), and Shirley Sands-Johnson (sister of Dame Dr. Doris Johnson). During that discussion Maynard cried when he related how when they tried to get the information concerning the movement introduced into the school curriculum, they were told by a senior Ministry of Education official, although not called by name (a reverend gentleman who is still alive today), that they were trying to indoctrinate the children. What a shame.
My book "Pictorial History and Memories of Nassau's Over-the-Hill" came about precisely because of my disgust at the rot and decay in that and many other areas all over the Island of New Providence. It's important for the uninformed to know that many of the nation builders and others upon whose shoulders we all stand came from Over-the-Hill: Grant's Town, Bain Town, Mason's Addition, Anderson Street, Lewis Street, McCullough Corner, Market Street, Vesey Street, Hay Street, McPherson Street, East Street, Fort Fincastle, Nassau Street, Chippingham, Meadow Street, King Street, Ross Corner and other areas, and they were not the "ghetto". These were the areas where our nation builders were born and lived. We never knew the word "ghetto", which has been imported from elsewhere in more recent times, and everyone took pride and kept their surroundings clean.
Sir Lynden Pindling was born in Mason's Addition and grew up on East Street. Civil servants such as Marina Greaves, Ivor Donald Archer, former Financial Secretary Ruth Millar and her brother Alfred Maycock came from Mason's Addition; so did Rose Hall-King and her son, former Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall, outstanding educators Dame Dr. Doris Johnson, Rev. Carlton Francis, Donald W. Davis and a number of Poitiers, as well as the current Director of Archives Elaine Toote and her siblings Dr. Vanria Rolle and Lewis Colebrooke. Mason's Addition also produced Rev. Earle Francis and medical and academic doctors Baldwin Carey, Eugene Newry, Manny Francis, Pandora Johnson, Junkanoo leader Percy 'Vola' Francis, international movie star Calvin Lockhart and Ambassador Basil O'Brien, as well as successful business persons like the Wallaces, Thompsons and others.
Ross Corner produced Franklyn Wilson and his siblings, Dr. Kenneth Alleyne, Kayla Alleyne-Burrows and Kalfani (Lisle Alleyne, Jr.). I'm happy to see that Dr. Alleyne is now refurbishing the family homestead. Hopefully others will follow his example and that of Dr. Roger Weir who has done a beautiful job with the Weir homestead on West Street. The Coakley house on Lewis Street has also been beautifully restored by its new owner Mr. Gibson (formerly of Vesey and Market Streets).
Gaol Alley and Anderson Street produced Monsignor Preston Moss, Mildred Johnson-Bowe, Verna Elcock, Leslie Johnson, the Sweetings, Gibsons, Bostwicks, Bowes, Adderleys, Allan, Ivan, Perce, Paul and Dr. Andree G. Hanna, Velma Archer-Allen, Annette Knowles, Durward Archer, the Pinders, Seymours, Mitchells, Beryl Barnett, Leslie Hanna, his brother the renowned artist Kendal Hanna and Michael 'Sarge' Hanna. On Lewis Street there were the McCartneys, Coakleys, including Sylvia, Matthew, Hyacinth Saunders, Alma Cartwright, Marina Thompson-Sands, John, Wyatt Johnson, Stephen and Ellen Serville, the Tinkers, Johnsons, Darvilles, C.A.P. Smith and William Cartwright.
Sir Randol Fawkes was born at Fort Fincastle and later lived on McPherson Street, Justice Jeanne Thompson's family and the family of Timothy Gibson, the McCartneys and Coopers also lived there. Archdeacon William Thompson and his brothers Bishop Gilbert Thompson and Dr. Philip Thompson lived at the corner of Hay and Market Streets. Sir Orville Turnquest's family lived on Hay Street, Dr. and Mrs. Jackson Burnside's family lived at Fort Fincastle where Mrs. Burnside still resides; the Coakleys, Smiths, Johnsons and McCartneys lived on Lewis Street; Dr. and Mrs. C.R. Walker lived and worked in Bain Town and their daughter Juliette Barnwell still lives there. Many of our schools are named after outstanding persons who came from Over-the-Hill: Cleveland W. Eneas, C.R. Walker, Mabel Walker, S.C. McPherson, Carlton Francis. Doris Johnson, Donald Davis, Sadie Curtis, Thelma Gibson and the list goes on.
I get annoyed every time I hear Craig Flowers on TV talking about being born in the "ghetto" and he should know better because when he lived there Quakoo Street was clean and he and his brothers, like everyone in the area, were always well groomed and were taught manners. Over-the-Hill and other areas of this island did not look the way they do now with all of the filth. Flowers is seen on TV picking up a piece of paper from the immaculate lawn on his property on West Bay Street. I would urge him to use his influence to encourage some of the Quakoo Street residents with whom he is seen shaking hands and patting on the shoulders to clean up the nasty environment that they have created instead of sitting around under the trees in the midst of the filth.
This is to the detriment of other people like the Storrs and a few others who keep their properties in a clean and pristine condition, as was the case when Flowers grew up there. Everyone in the neighborhood from the humblest to the more successful, like Flowers' father, kept their surroundings clean, and it was definitely not a "ghetto". We all lived by the adage that "cleanliness is next to godliness". Perhaps a part of the reason for the current state of affairs is that so many of our people are godless while others just pretend to be godly and are more concerned with all of the material trappings of being self-appointed pastors, apostles, reverend doctors and bishops.
Self-pride is sadly lacking in so many of us. On the one hand, we complain about the foreigners and want to blame them for everything that is wrong in the country; while on the other, we are quick to pick the most negative aspects of some of those other cultures. I don't want to see your dirty underwear. At the same time some of our so-called "entertainers" pick up a fake Jamaican accent as soon as they put a mic to their mouths. Wherever they go in the world Jamaicans, Americans, Britons and other nationalities never lose their identities or accents, but we Bahamians, the ultimate copy cats, pick up accents after only being away from The Bahamas for brief periods. We are such "pretenders". We also need to get away from the notion that Junkanoo is the only thing that defines our culture. We are much more than that.
I think that one of the worst things to happen in this country was the dismantling of Jumbey Village, which was the brainchild of Edmund Moxey. The village was located at the site where the National Insurance Board building now stands, and featured every aspect of our culture including Junkanoo, art, straw work, music and live entertainment. When Moxey fell out of grace, he was ridiculed and Jumbey Village was dismantled. James Rolle can attest to the fact that he was sent abroad to train as a curator for the art gallery and that when he returned home the village was no more. I also highly recommend Moxey's Jumbey Village documentary to the public.
Wake up Bahamas! We need to educate and enlighten the unformed and yes "indoctrinate" them with what is Bahamian. I make no apologies for that.
- Rosemary C. Hanna
Public school teachers in the Family Islands were told over the weekend by the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) to be on "alert".
The message was sent to teachers in an email by the BUT. However, the email did not say if teachers would take further action after weeks of industrial unrest at several New Providence schools.
BUT President Belinda Wilson did not respond to calls or emails yesterday.
"Belinda Wilson, president of the Bahamas Union of Teachers is placing all members from Grand Bahama to Inagua on alert," the email said.
"There are many issues that are negatively affecting our teachers and the schools that are not being addressed.
"Teachers are being threatened, class sizes are very large, teacher shortages, unhealthy and unsafe working environments, millions of dollars owed to teachers and much more.
"Teachers at Stephen Dillet, Uriah McPhee and Carlton E. Francis have taken a stand. They now need your support.
"Now is the time for us to stand."
Last week teachers staged protests at several public schools over various unresolved issues.
On Friday teachers at Carlton Francis Primary School staged a sit-in over issues that included a teacher shortage and a lack of adequate furniture for students.
The sit-in came after similar action at Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee primary schools last week over conditions at those institutions.
The union claimed the schools have mold, rodent and termite infestation, and their air-conditioning units have malfunctioned.
Things began to heat up at the old Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium yesterday on the second day of the 4th Annual Bertha's Go-Go Ribs/ New Providence Public Primary Schools Sports Association (NPPPSSA) Track and Field Championships.
On the first day Carmichael Primary School and Albury Sayles Primary School both got out to a fast start and pulled away from the rest of the pack. Carmichael Primary ended the first day in first position with 39 points, just five points ahead of second place Albury Sayles.
On the second day both schools came out and looked to give themselves an advantage going into the last day of competition. Last year's champion Cleveland Eneas Primary School got off to a slow start on the first day. Its athletes finished the day with just 18 points and found themselves way back in twelfth position. On Tuesday, they came in and looked to make up ground to get themselves back into the thick of things.
After the second day Carmichael Primary remains in the lead going into day three by just half a point with 77.5 points. Cleveland Eneas made the comeback they were looking for to get into second place with 77 points. Sadie Curtis Primary School and Albury Sayles are tied for third with 60 points.
Claridge Primary School is in fifth with 52 points, while Gerald Cash Primary and Thelma Gibson Primary are tied for sixth with 48 points and Carlton E. Francis rounds out the top ten with 34 points.
Janae Cooper from Gerald Cash Primary won the D-division girls' 400-meter (m) dash in a time of 1:31.22 seconds, and Bryson Rolle from Claridge Primary won the D-division boys' 400m dash in a time of 1:25.83 seconds.
In the A-division boys' 800m race Ethan Hanna from Thelma Gibson took first place in a time of 2:31.94 seconds, and Omar Kelly from Yellow Elder Primary won the B-division boys' 1200m run in a time of 4:10.31 seconds.
Over on the field, Sherea Charlton from Palmdale Primary won the A-division girls' long jump with a leap of 3.71m (12' 2"), while Reuben Cooper from Carmichael Primary won the A-division boys' long jump with a leap of 5.35m (17' 6").
In the A-division boys' shot put Dwight Dernier from Cleveland Eneas won with a toss of 8.07m (26' 5") and Jinaicoeur Victor from Thelma Gibson won the A-division girls' shot put with a throw of 6.81m (22' 4").
The final day of competition will occur today.
The names of many of our public schools pay tribute to master teachers whose contributions to national development were extraordinary and critical.
Students should be reminded of those contributions by educators such as Mabel Walker, L.N. Coakley, N.G.M. Major, Naomi Blatch, T.G. Glover, C.V. Bethel, Carlton E. Francis and others.
Today's teachers should draw inspiration from yesterday's masters. Indeed, there remain many fine teachers and administrators in our public schools. We salute them as well as dedicated professionals in the Ministry of Education.
There should be no illusions about the difficulties teachers face in terms of student indiscipline regarding work ethic and poor behavior. Add to this, a lack of parental support for teachers, and one gets a sense of what teachers face on a daily basis.
Within this context, we have high praise for those parents who are committed to improving public education through involvement in school boards, parent-teacher associations and other areas.
Noteworthy are collaborations between teachers and parents. The community outreach program at Sadie Curtis, geared towards boosting parental involvement in that primary school, is exemplary.
There are clear improvements needed in public education. Some of that work will have to be done by students hungry to learn and grow. But, that work also requires greater efforts and collaboration by parents and educators.
The title of headmaster or headmistress was often synonymous with head teacher. And, for good reason.
The idea was that the leader or principal of a school was not singularly a manager or administrator. One of the head's defining roles was to ensure the quality of teaching and instruction.
It is a role which should be stressed with equal measure to that of effective administration of our public schools. This will require that principals have other administrators and support staff assisting them in school administration.
More principals need to spend more time in classrooms rigorously observing teacher performance. The system for mentoring new teachers as well as teachers needing improvement will have to be reviewed and improved in various public schools.
We also renew our call for more effective teacher evaluation. This includes more vigorous assessment measures which truly gauge subject proficiency, teaching methods and student performance relative to the quality of teaching.
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Quite a bit of negative publicity has plagued the region's sprinting powerhouse over the past two years, but head of the athletics body in that country, Dr. Warren Blake, assured that all of the drama is behind them, and they are prepared to move on.
Blake, the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), said that Jamaican track and field is as strong as it has ever been, despite the recent doping revelations, and with eight spots in the relays up for grabs at the 2015 World Championships, he assured that the tiny island nation will field a very strong team for this year's world relay championships in The Bahamas.
The inaugural International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) World Relays is set for May 24-25, at the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
Since the turn of the century, Jamaica has produced the cream of the crop in sprinting, not just in the Caribbean region, but in the entire world. Blake said that can be largely attributed to the competitiveness of their people.
"Our people compete in just about anything. We started out at the top, had some ups and downs over the years, and then gradually started to build back our successes," he said. "Around 2000, we started a growth pattern. Our growth continued, and then 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, we had our greatest success, winning five gold medals, all in the sprint events.
"Our foundation of success has been long in coming. If your history starts with something, you always want to maintain that pride level. When you look at the world relays in The Bahamas, we want to put together our strongest team possible. We are hoping to field teams that will be able to take on the rest of the world in the 4x1, the 4x2 and the 4x4. We expect to be very competitive."
With their national trials after the world relays, Blake said that they will most likely have a selection process that will allow the coaches to submit the names of the athletes who are interested in running, and then look at their times with a strong focus on selecting the top times and the best set of athletes to represent Jamaica.
He also said that for the first time in many years, they should have a strong 'A' squad for the Commonwealth Games, as the world's most dynamic male and female sprinters could possibly make an appearance. Shelly-Ann Fraser has already made a commitment, and there are rumors that Usain Bolt has an interest. The 20th Commonwealth Games is set for July 23 to August 3, in Glasgow, Scotland.
"Even with the recent doping cases, this is best that Jamaican sprinting has been for many years," said the JAAA chief. "We have over 20 athletes who could easily qualify for a major meet if they run for another nation. The final of the men's 100 meters at our nationals, all of the guys could have run under 10 seconds. That's as competitive as any world championships or Olympics.
"We have over 20 athletes who could run 10.2 on any given day, and now that has extended to the high schools. It's at a point where those senior athletes running 10.2 probably should look to the longer distances, because if you run 10.2 in Jamaica, you are not going to make it in the sprints."
There is no question surrounding the rise of Jamaican sprinting to world prominence, but recent doping revelations have cast a dark shadow over the tremendous success they have experienced.
A trio of the nation's top sprinters, former world record holder Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Sherone Simpson, all tested positive for banned substances last year. Since then, Campbell-Brown has been exonerated as she won her appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, but the cases of Powell and Simpson are still pending. Even without them, Jamaica was able to dominate the sprints at last year's Moscow World Championships, with Bolt and Fraser-Pryce leading the way. Bolt is unquestionably the fastest man in the world today, and Fraser-Pryce has replaced Campbell-Brown as the darling of the sprints in female athletics. Jamaica also came under fire last year, due to insufficient tests by their local body for doping, the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO).
"I find it very disingenuous when people try to say that Jamaica is a dope-tainted country," said Blake. "Our athletes are the most tested athletes in the world. JADCO was not testing athletes because of financial reasons. The IAAF has an anti-doping program to ensure that wherever athletes are in the world, they are tested, and they monitor the testing of those athletes.
"We have no question that our athletes are clean. We have had some athletes tested positive recently, diuretics and minor stimulants, and people are not differentiating between those and anabolic steroids. Jamaica doesn't make designer drugs. Where would our athletes get these drugs from if we are not making designer drugs? Are you telling me that some developed country has made them, given them to us to use them and then turn around and beat their athletes? If they are going to develop designer drugs, they will use them first.
"With respect to JADCO, we recognize the need for out-of-competition testing, and we are ensuring with them that, that is done. The most recent cases have done us some damage, and the media hasn't helped in that regard. There have been some untrue statements printed in the media.
"The USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) president has gone on record to say that he has been encouraging the JAAA to take steps in the doping fight, but I have never spoken to this man and I have been leading the anti-doping fight for the JAAA since 2000. None of my officials have spoken to him, so I don't know who in the JAAA he has been encouraging. When statements like this are made by responsible people in responsible positions, it helps to taint Jamaica. There have been some unfortunate statements in the media that just haven't done the Jamaican program any help."
Blake said that they won't allow the detractors out there to disrupt their focus, and their efforts, in producing the world's best sprinters.
"The fact of the matter is that we are talented, and we have the trained coaches who can hone that talent," said Blake. "Athletes could only do well if they have trained coaches, and we have probably one of the more trained set of coaches in the world. Quite a few of them are IAAF certified in addition to be locally trained. Every single high school in Jamaica has a trained coach. There are a lot at the primary level and a lot at the college prep as well. We have quality coaching all around. When you look at a lot of our nine and 10-year-olds, you would see them running with proper technique and form, and that is due to a strong coaching program. If you have any kind of track and field talent in Jamaica, and you wish to run, you are going to be discovered."
Blake said that the Cubans aided the process as well, by allowing some of their coaches to come in and cross-train, and by donating a couple of specialized institutions in the 70s.
As far as the base of their program is concerned though, Blake said that one needs to look no further than the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) Boys and Girls Championships, commonly known as 'Champs', which coincidentally gets underway this week here in Kingston. The stadium legitimately holds up to 35,000, but on any given day of 'Champs' about 40,000 strong are present cheering on their respective schools and athletes.
"People are trying to suggest that Jamaica has a doping program, but when you really look at it, Jamaica started doing well, and reaping the success, when the world anti-doping efforts started," said Blake. "The times didn't improve tremendously, but the medal success did. We have always had athletes running fast, but the medals success came late.
"Statements began coming out of the U.S. that perhaps they should look at limiting the amount of Jamaicans who were coming to the states to train because we were gaining their expertise, and using their expertise to beat them. So along came Stephen Francis and his Maximizing Velocity and Power program, otherwise known as MVP. What he was able to do was pull half of the Jamaican team to his camp to train locally. Glen Mills and Racers followed suit, and that was followed by a period of tremendous success in the sprints. In actuality, we went from 90 percent athletes in the states to now where 90 percent are home grown.
"A lot of our success can be attributed to 'Champs' as well. As you will see this week, the meet is very well organized and very intense. Some of the best athletes that Jamaica has to offer come out of 'Champs'. It is comparable to any junior level meet in the world."
Young athletes from about 164 schools throughout Jamaica take part in 'Champs'.
Blake further said that they in the JAAA are in the midst of a series of interactions between themselves and the high schools, so as to implement an education program as it relates to performance-enhancing drugs.
"When our athletes go abroad, they are tested, so we want them to know what drug testing is all about, and what medications they can use and cannot use," said Blake. "The athletes themselves are ultimately responsible for whatever they put into their bodies. They have to ask themselves if this is something they can take, or should be taking, and if they are not certain, they need to find out before they take it."
High on the JAAA's agenda as well is technical help in the form of foreign coaches who specializes in certain areas.
"We are going to see some success in the other events," Blake assured. "At this point, we're looking at a possible exchange program with Kenya where we can switch coaches. We'll send them a sprints coach and they'll send us one of their better distance-running coaches.
"If we intend to take over and dominate track and field, we have to expand into other areas. That's one thing about the Jamaican spirit. We don't get satisfied very easily. We want everything...we are a little greedy that way.
"At the end of the day, track and field is big business, and I do intend to make the Jamaican track and field situation capitalize from the finances that the world has to offer. We are a poor country, and our athletes have not always been earning a great deal of money. One of my aims is to show people that track and field can be a real alternative to earning a living.
"Football is still the number one sport in Jamaica in terms of people participating, but track and field has more pulling power in terms of numbers at the stadium, and internationally, our athletes are reaping the rewards. If our module for track and field is followed around the world, we could be in a position where it replaces football as the most popular sport."
For now, Blake and the JAAA are simply focused on sending a very strong team to the world relays though. That event is set for May 24-25 at the stadium.