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I was listening to Dr. Paul Masters President of The University of Metaphysics on the internet a few Sundays ago, as I do most Sundays, and he was discussing the subject of success. He commenced his illuminating talk by asking a series of questions. What is Success?Is it Material Wealth?Is it an important position?Is it excellent health?Is it peace of mind?He answered all of these questions by stating, that it could be any or all of those things, but added an extremely important proviso.
He said, that True Success, Real Success MUST also embrace The Spiritual aspect of life. In fact, he went as far as to say, that without a person having a strong spiritual element to his or her life, unless the spi ...
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 said 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.
"We are not preparing our children for tomorrow's world," he said. "The schools are not required to teach computer science, but ICT (information and communications technology), a strange hybrid of desktop publishing lessons and Microsoft Office tutorials. While Microsoft Word and Excel are useful vocational skills and are suitable for office work, they are never going to equip anybody for a career in video games (gamification) or visual effects."
Bain, the winner of the 2007 ACCA achievement award for the Americas, is not alone in his position that computer science is a necessary subject for junior and high-school students. With lucrative industries such as interactive entertainment, a $3.1 billion industry in the U.K. alone, heavily reliant on professionals skilled in computer science, the pendulum is swinging in favor of making this subject mandatory in junior and high school curriculums in developed nations worldwide.
Industries necessary for developed nations to survive such as aerospace and defence, chemical and pharmaceutical and the automobile industry, all make use of super computers and skilled computer scientists.
In the U.K., Education Secretary Michael Gove in a January 2012 speech to BETT, an educational technology trade fair, admitted that the office skills covered in ICT courses currently taught in British schools are out of date.
"Imagine the dramatic change which could be possible in just a few years, once we remove the roadblock of the existing ICT curriculum," stated Gove.
"Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word and Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations using an MIT tool called Scratch."
In the U.S., Google sponsors CS4HS (Computer Science for High School) an annual program launched to promote computer science high school and middle school curriculum.
Google's education group offers grants to universities who in turn develop 2-3 day workshops for high school computer science teachers. Grants are currently offered in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Strong computer science skills are necessary to develop the future designers, creators, and inventors of new technology. According to Bain, "computer science is not a luxury; it is essential knowledge for the 21st century."
The first total lunar eclipse in two years will occur tonight, Monday, Dec. 20. If the skies remain grey and unclear tonight, there won't be much of a chance to see the lunar eclipse, which should start at about 12:30 a.m., according to Dr. Joseph Spradley, professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at Wheaton College.
A shortage of teachers, the escalating dengue fever outbreak, and the state of some schools affected by Hurricane Irene, are some of the chief concerns that Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson expressed as public schools open across the country today.
Yesterday Wilson said the public school system is short of about 22 teachers, particularly in the areas of mathematics and other speciality subjects.
Director of Education Lionel Sands, has admitted that the department does not have a sufficient compliment of teachers to teach the subjects of maths, physics, chemistry and several other technical areas. Sands said the ministry relies on bringing in teachers from abroad. He added that the ministry offers grants to persons interested in studying the more technical subjects where further assistance is needed.
Meantime, Wilson is also concerned about the dengue fever outbreak.
Thousands of Bahamians have contracted the vector-borne virus over the past two months, and at least one person has died as a result of the virus.
"I want our teachers to be safe. Since we had the dengue fever outbreak I want to urge the minister of health to ensure that all schools have been sprayed for mosquitos to assist with student safety," Wilson said.
The union president also expressed concern about the schools that will have to open late as a result of damage sustained during Hurricane Irene. The Ministry of Education will be relocating students at several schools on Family Islands impacted by Hurricane Irene, in order to ensure they are able to attend classes when the school year begins today. However, students who attend Arthur's Town High School and Orange Creek Primary School on Cat island, will not begin classes until September 12, according to Director of Education Lionel Sands.
Sands told The Nassau Guardian in an interview last week, that students who attend Colonel Hill High School on Crooked Island and Snug Corner Primary School on Acklins, will be relocated due to extensive damage sustained to those facilities last week.
He added that schools on Cat Island were not that badly impacted by Irene. He added that the hurricane interrupted summer repairs, which will be completed next week.
Meantime, Wilson reminded parents and teachers whose school routes are impacted by the massive road works across the island to plan ahead.
"I'm concerned about persons getting to and from school in a timely matter. I'm hoping that teachers, parents and administrators map out the route so they can get to school on time. I also want administrators to be lenient with some teachers and some students who have to travel where work is being done. We have to be aware that it may pose challenges," Wilson said.
BUT is currently in the process on negotiating a new contract with the Ministry of Education. Wilson said so far the process is going smooth. She expects negotiations to conclude by the end of October.
As the government considers which company will install CCTV cameras throughout New Providence, two young Bahamians in the U.S. are urging officials to drop what they are doing, and think again.
Shawn Barker, 35, and Depree Smith, 30, the CEOs of Virclom Technologies, have recently partnered with a major U.S. company to sell, install and distribute a cutting-edge gun shot and explosive detection system that could complement the CCTV cameras, or even make them obsolete.
The system, first used by the U.S. military, is already being used in downtown Los Angeles and New Orleans, and involves state-of-the-art cameras capable of picking up specific sound-waves.
When a gun is fired, the system zeroes in on the source, records it and sends the exact GPS location to a command center.
"This technology is superior to what they are implementing," Barker said, who holds a Master's degree in physics.
"We [The Bahamas] have a big problem with crime and we need this technology to capture these actions. We need to do something for The Bahamas."
Safety Dynamics, the U.S. company that has partnered with Virclom, has also sold the technology to the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco.
Barker is keen on the widespread "commercialization" of these systems to improve public safety.
One of the benefits of the system, Barker added, is the cameras are portable, and can be moved around during special events.
Last month, Guardian Business reported that the Bahamas Hotel Association and the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) are ramping up security in tourist areas by investing $7 million in a CCTV network.
Quinn McCartney, the Deputy Commissioner of the RBPF, passed on his department's recommendations to the government regarding who should be awarded the contract.
The matter still rests with the government for final approval, he said.
McCartney told Guardian Business that he is aware of this other form of technology, and believes it could be very effective in The Bahamas as a law enforcement tool.
His only concern is the price tag.
"We looked at that technology, and it appears to be something we could make use of," he said. "I think the cost is an issue, and at the time, it was not deemed to be a priority, so we went with the CCTV cameras."
The RBPF would consider using the technology in the future, he said.
Speaking from California, Barker pointed out that the gun shot and explosive detection system does not necessarily have to replace the CCTV cameras.
Instead, it can supplement and be added on to the system for more safety and support.
Meanwhile, the price of the new technology may not be as expensive as some might think.
"There are a variety of different packages, but this unit, including a command center, computers, servers, a camera and all the technology you need, would cost in the neighborhood of $35,000," Barker told Guardian Business.
"Each additional camera would cost about $5,000 to $10,000."
Considering the current initiative for CCTV cameras is in the range of $7 million, his Bahamian firm can likely deliver at a reasonable price, he said.
Smith, Barker's partner at Virclom Technologies, said they first met at Oklahoma University, and with a Master's in marketing, he tries to promote the system throughout North America on behalf of Safety Dynamics.
In addition to working with Los Angeles and New Orleans, he is currently in talks, along with Safety Dynamics, to introduce this technology to the National Football League and Major League Baseball, as stadium and franchise owners have struggled with crime in recent years and seek a way of keeping the fans safe during and after games.
But while these projects are exciting, he is far more passionate about educating officials about its uses back home.
"The Bahamas is the pinnacle of where we want this technology to be implemented," he explained.
"It is our first and primary focus. We need the government and tourism sector to realize this technology can be great for the country. It can stop the trend we're seeing with crime. In the tourism sector, it'll show that The Bahamas is being proactive in seeking new crime-fighting technology."
It's unorthodox, but it's a religious experience designed to be a self-help show to inspire people on a range of real life issues.
Infinite Works Metaphysical Apostolic Fellowship is a new kind of church that many people may not agree with, but it tackles issues everyone can relate to. The church advocates a deeply personal spiritual experience focusing on the psychology of religion. It's not about the traditional route to heaven, but one more interested in a deeper understanding of the self.
According to Infinite Works Metaphysical Apostolic Fellowship President Betty Cleare, they will be looking at the soul, specifically to answer questions people struggle with, like who they are and what their destiny is. She said the self-help strategy of the church is targeted toward a proactive recognition of self and destiny.
"There is a physical world, but behind everything, there is a spiritual world as well," said Cleare who has a doctorate in metaphysics and teaches her members about the psychological aspect of religion. "We focus on everything to do with the soul."
Infinite Works teaches its congregation the value of exploring the soul through astrological and biblical avenues in order to achieve greater consciousness of self and destiny in life. Cleare said they examine the four elements of astrology as in sun signs, which she said tells people about themselves.
"In essence, we relate the astrological side of ourselves in relation to our spirituality. It helps us to understand ourselves and our surroundings," said Cleare. Members of the congregation are encouraged to use the astrological signs attributed to their birth date to engage in finding themselves and knowing their characteristics. Cleare said knowing characteristics and who you are will help individuals in dealing with life struggles.
The more spiritual than religious service does not stray too far away from the understood religious gathering. Cleare said the Bible is used as their guide to find and know themselves.
Infinite Works which meets on Saturday and Sunday mornings takes a different approach to the worship experience. They start services off with affirmations or chantings taken from Bible verses to encourage and create a positive consciousness, and dispel negative energy.
The service experience takes a particularly interesting turn through participation in a practice called inner healing where a prayer is said for a particular event that has impacted a person negatively. Cleare said that most persons go through a manner of things that affect them in negative ways. She used as an example, a common scenario of an alcoholic taking on the traits of alcoholic parents or living in a household with that experience and how the consciousness takes on those traits. Inner healing she said deals with that kind of healing to get through experiences like that towards more positive behavior.
While Infinite Works has an unorthodox approach to the religious experience where they really step out of the box is their dedication to practicality. The church's mission is to bring people into Christ's consciousness in a practical way which Cleare said is the ability to bring Bible teachings and stories to life within people's individual context.
Cleare said her fellowship strives to make the teachings of the church relevant to the lives of the congregation.
"As we don't live in Biblical times, we have to apply those teachings to the context of our individual lives right here and now to achieve true spirituality and destiny," she said.
Infinite Works is located on Soldier Road, opposite the entrance to Nassau Village.
Cleare has also taken her message to the airwaves with the broadcast of Infinite Works television program on Cable 12 on the second and fourth Sunday of the month from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
"The show is designed so that people can get answers for their personal life and also encouragement. Based on the content of the message, they can get some inspiration to move on," said Cleare. "People are often stuck in a position mentally and they have no answer and this show should be able to help them get the answers to solve their individual problems," she said.
During the show Cleare interviews various politicians and religious leaders to not only provide a self-help program for people struggling with personal issues, but to cast a wider net towards tackling larger issues within the community.
By TANEKA THOMPSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
STUDENTS sitting mathematics and English courses in this year's Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education exams (BGCSE) received average grades of E- and D respectively.
Still, mathematics and English are part of 16 subjects that showed some improvement in grade point averages compared to last year, including art and design A, art and design B, art and design C, biology, bookkeeping and accounts, chemistry, economics, food and nutrition, French, graphical communication, literature, office procedures, physics and religious studies.
The mathematics and English test scores reflect an issue of "nat ...
Starting today, every Tuesday The Nassau Guardian will highlight the significant impact that past Bahamas Athletics Association scholarship recipients have had on the wider local community, and in some cases the wider international community.
Dr. Norris Stubbs is one of the world's top experts in structural engineering.
Currently, Dr. Stubbs is a professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Texas A&M. His academic achievements make up an extensive resume.
The former graduate of Government High School here in The Bahamas went on to attend college and university in the United States. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Physics at Grinnell College in Iowa. Then, he matriculated at Columbia University, earned a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Master of Science (MSc) in Civil Engineering distinctions; and attained the status of Doctor of Engineering Science (EngScD) in Engineering Mechanics.
His academic base has been broadened by research in systems identification of mechanical systems, non-destructive damage assessment of mechanical systems, reliability analysis of structural systems and matrix structural analysis.
It is an amazing background in education indeed.
There is this other side to the professor, however; an aspect of his life he has left behind that remains a significant part of his legacy.
Once he was just plain Norris Stubbs, but also one of the nation's finest sprinters and noted for his quick release out of the starting blocks.
In 1968 at the Olympic Games in Mexico City, he astounded the world by getting out on the first leg of a sprint relay heat and beating the great Charlie Greene of the United States to the exchange zone. He was that good. Stubbs also competed in the 100 open, running a best of 10.67 and 21.64 in the 200 meters. He was also a part of The Bahamas relay team that ran 39.45, a national record that lasted for 25 years.
Pretty much, he ended his track career shortly after the Mexico Games; but before that, he created thrills and excitement on the local scene, particularly in his duels with another speedster, Kevin Johnson.
These days Dr. Stubbs is far removed from his track and field career, but he still looks and sounds the part, a bright, nifty, compact intellectual package, always rearing to go.
He's a life Olympian of the highest order.
o Contributed by Guardian Columnist Fred Sturrup.
Boykin Smith had always been told that manners and respect would take him through the world but the 16-year-old never realized just how true those words were until recently. The St. Anne's School graduating senior was awarded the prestigious title of "Gentleman of the Year" at the 2012 Gentlemen's Club Gala Ball. Over 49 other candidates were selected to be a part of the elite club.
Smith, the deputy head boy at St. Anne's School suspected that he was able to snag the honor because of his bright personality, outgoing nature and visible growth throughout the four-month program.
"It's gives me a great sense of honor as a young person to have been able to achieve something so great," he said. "Being Gentleman of the Year is more than just a title to me. It is an invaluable achievement and it makes me want to do more to be a good citizen and one day be a great father and husband. This all means so much to me because being Gentleman of the Year is about being a role model for other young men to aspire to be. It's about respect, manners and being an active member of society. Our advisor for the program, Dr. Judson Eneas, would say that a gentleman is the backbone of a healthy family and healthy society. And I intend to live by that."
Along with the title, Smith received a $15,000 scholarship from the Gentlemen's Club Foundation tenable at a university of his choice as well as a $2,000 donation from Uri Clinton. He intends to use his scholarship to follow his dream of attending Trent University in Canada to study political science. The St. Anne's student was also recognized as the best speaker in the competition.
Reflecting on the four-month program leading up to the night he was named Gentleman of the Year, Smith said he learned many things that he hoped to put into practice in his daily life. He was able to get advice from experts on topics like drug use and abuse, etiquette, personal hygiene, domestic violence, community service and male and female sexuality that he said would play a big role in him being the best man he has the potential to be.
"This program really enhanced my character and I am proud to say I was a part of it. I know only the best of the best get accepted into the club but from my experience this is truly something that all young men can benefit from," said Smith. "I know there are numerous male focused clubs and activities out there but there is something different about this club... The Gentlemen's Club really can make the difference. This club is about learning who you are, bettering yourself, about brotherhood and knowing that there are other young men heading in the same direction as you. I feel great to know that the young men I was surrounded by in this program have a high likelihood of being the nation's next leaders. It was a really encouraging few months and I am inspired to keep up my strides and do even more in the future."
Prior to joining the Gentlemen's Club, Smith was well on his way to living up to his full potential. He had previously served as the Junior Minister of Tourism for 2011-2012. He earned his Bronze award in Governor General Youth Awards scheme. He was active in the Junior Achievers program, and kept his grade point average above a 3.00 for his entire academic life.
He also found time for sporting activities and was a member of his school's senior boys championship soccer team. He is also passionate about his community and is involved in the Interact and Key Clubs which afforded him the opportunity to work with the disabled, the elderly and children living in children's homes.
While he's on the right track, Smith owns up to the fact that he wasn't always. He said it took him awhile to figure out the path he needed to be on and stick to it.
"Despite my achievement in the last couple of years I wasn't always ambitious. I was below the radar in most things and never went out of my way to do much," he said. Prior to Grade 12, although I achieved a 3.00 average I was never on the honor roll at my school where such an honor is only awarded when students achieve above a 3.5 grade point average. I was average and I didn't force myself to work hard. I just floated by and got relatively good grades without too much effort. It was only when my interest was sparked in Grade 10 when I was in Junior Achievers that I really geared myself up to do my very best. As a result my grades improved, I did better in after-school activities and I became deputy head boy of my school. It was a real turn around for me."
Smith is currently taking the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations in Mathematic, Language Arts, Literature, Religion, Accounts, Music, French and Physics. He hopes to achieve all A grades.
His biggest supporters he said are his parents Barry and Christine Smith, and especially his mother who he said pushed him to achieve more and not settle for simply coasting by.
He now hopes he will be an inspiration for other young people by showing that being all you can be now in life will be worthwhile for years to come and that sitting back and letting life pass you by benefits no one. He said it's only when one steps outside of their comfort zone and embraces the world that true greatness can be achieved.
The Gentlemen's Club
The Gentlemen's Club was founded by Dr. Judson and Marcheta Eneas and sponsored by The Bahamas Beautillion Committee when it was established in 1992. It is a preparatory organization for young men in their final year of high school. It teaches them about character building, respect, etiquette, elocution, grooming, how to be socially, morally and financially responsibility and culturally exposed. This is accomplished through a four-month program that allows them to participate in workshops, seminars and cultural activities. From its inception the club has trained 873 young men in the basics of masculinity and responsibility. As an academically based program it gives the young men opportunities to work toward earning financial assistance through marketing projects and sponsorship.
"The Gentlemen's Club is about uplifting the young man and teaching the things he will need to know as a leader of tomorrow," said Dr. Eneas. "We have successfully trained hundreds of young men and many have gone on to be great assets to the country. Young men who are chosen for the program are picked based on their grades, recommendations and community involvement. Of the many applicants about 50 are chosen annually by the objective scholarship committee."
He said the program is one that any young man can rise to the top of as the winner is chosen due to his scores in the ongoing scoring system in the club. Points can be accumulated for marketing skills, elocution, participation and attendance. By the end of the program Eneas said the top three young men were very close and the 2012 winner won his spot because of his excellent elocution skills that he exhibited in the Toastmaster's competition for the club. At the end of the day the founder said the most important thing about the program isn't winning or losing, but rather what the young men learned from the program and how they apply it to their daily lives and in turn use it to help society.
The Bahamas Ministry of Education
is deeply saddened by the death of Mr. Alexis Loynas, a Chemistry and
Physics teacher at the North Andros High School. Mr. Loynas,
a 41-year old national of the Republic of Cuba was involved in a traffic
accident while riding a bicycle around 9:30 pm on the Queen's Highway
in Nicoll's Town, Andros on Friday, 1st October, 2010.
He was taken to the government clinic where he was pronounced dead by
Police officers in Andros
responded shortly after being notified of the accident and a team of
officers from New Providence arrived on the island on Saturday, 2nd
October, 2010 to assist with the investigation into the matter...