Search results for : physics
Showing 21 to 30 of 76 results
NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Minister
of Education the Hon. Desmond Bannister said he was "extremely pleased"
to announce that 16 Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education
(BGCSE) subjects in 2010 showed an improvement in Grade Point Average
when compared to 2009.
During a press conference at
the Scholarship and Educational Loan Division, Thursday, August 5, Mr
Bannister said these subjects are: Art and Design A, Art and Design
B, Art and Design C, Biology, Bookkeeping and Accounts, Chemistry, Economics,
English Language, Food and Nutrition, French, Graphical Communication,
Literature, Mathematics, Office Procedures, Physics and Religious Studies.
He noted that Geography remains
The country's education system is grappling with a lack of Bahamian instructors qualified to teach in "critical" subjects like Math, English and sciences, former Minister of Education Desmond Bannister said yesterday.
Bannister added that the government school system is entrenched in bureaucracy making it difficult for officials to remove a few unqualified instructors from the system.
The senator's comments came a day after the Ministry of Education released the results of the 2012 Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) and Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) exams.
According to a report prepared by the Ministry of Education on the BGCSE results, students sitting the exams received an average letter grade of D in English Language and E+ in Mathematics. The two subjects were among 19 that saw an improvement in results from last year.
Bannister said in spite of the average scores for Math and English, BGCSE results have improved year-over-year for the past three years. Still, he conceded that the results show that students are struggling with core areas like numeracy and literacy.
He said while there is a shortage of Bahamian teachers qualified to teach subjects like Math, English and the sciences, there is a disproportionate number of teachers specializing in general or religious studies.
"We have many outstanding teachers, but we also have to get more teachers into disciplines that are important," he said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
He recalled that in 2010 out of the graduates from The College of The Bahamas' teaching program only two specialized in English, seven in math and five in Biology.
He said there were none in Chemistry, none in Physics and 40 in primary school education.
"I looked at the trend for five years; you had more in primary education and more in religious education," Bannister said. "In all these critical areas where you really needed teachers to develop students you weren't getting them."
He said the numbers prompted the ministry to change its policy on grants for students entering teaching programs so that there was more incentive for aspiring teachers to specialize in areas like Math and English.
He added that during his time in office the ministry was also forced to hire a number of foreign teachers to fill the gaps.
Bannister said the public school system needs to adapt to changes in the educational field, but added that it is difficult for ministry officials to remove unsatisfactory teachers from the practice.
"But you can't fire teachers in The Bahamas," he said. "For example, I've gone into classrooms, I've visited every school in the country except for two, where I've seen -- and this is on very few occasions -- but I've seen some incompetent teachers.
"You can't fire them because you have unions and you have agreements and there are ways that things have to be done.
"You have any number of other issues that have to be dealt with but you have a bureaucracy called the Ministry of Education and a Department of Education..."
On Tuesday, Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald said that nearly 50 percent of high school seniors do not meet requirements to graduate with diplomas. Instead, they are given leaving certificates that only show they attended the school.
When asked what could be a reason for this, Bannister said that for decades the officials in the public school system have not been able to address the problems it faces.
"Over the last 40 years or so we basically had a lot of mediocrity in education in The Bahamas and we've paid a lot of lip service to education rather than trying to look at the real problems that impact our schools, and so we've become a lot like big cities in the United States where you have 40 or 50 percent of our children in our big inner city schools graduating and 50 percent not graduating," he said.
"You'll find that's different in the Family Islands, it's different in the smaller schools but when you look at the inner city schools that is the problem and you'll find that examination results are very poor."
Bannister said other problems government schools face include having to educate students with behavioral problems who may have been expelled from private institutions; students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds and thousands of students who have undiagnosed learning disabilities.
FORENSIC accountant John Bain is calling for computer science to be added to the school curriculum, calling it a 'vital discipline'.
Bain, the managing director of John S Bain Chartered Forensic and E-learning specialist, said: "The study of Computer Science is just as important as Mathematics and English."
Mr Bain, the Chairman of the E-Learning Committee of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, added: "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....
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."
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 ...
A new scientific study by a College of The Bahamas researcher has concluded what may come as no surprise to policymakers: Increases in population lead to increased crime while increases in gross domestic product (GDP) lead to decreased crime.
"If you know what your population growth is going to be, the government would have to increase GDP by a certain amount to keep the crime rate at wherever their quota is," said Dr. Yan Lyansky, an assistant professor in the School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology.
Lyansky has come up with a mathematical formula, which he said could accurately predict what the rate of crime would be at any given point in the future based on the population of The Bahamas and the size of its economy.
"Everybody is worried about crime, but according to the numbers it doesn't look different historically from what's been going on a very, very long time ago," he said.
"What I mean is when you talk about population growth, you're going to naturally get more crime and everything looks consistent.
"It looks like maybe in more recent history there is little more of a spike but there's not enough data for that to analyze."
The paper is one of the studies that will be presented at COB's 2011 Violence Research Symposium on November 3.
The goal of the research conducted by Lyansky is to find the best predictors of violent crime in The Bahamas.
"We assume that the government will be able to change policy to lower the crime rate if it knows the determining factors that influence crime," said the study's abstract.
The paper notes that crime has been an escalating problem in the Caribbean. In The Bahamas, the general public perceives that crime is out of control, it adds.
The paper also says, "The police commissioner is under pressure to find a solution to the problem."
The study says that as the population increases, the government may need to invest an even greater proportion of its resources in dealing with crime as the number of crimes increase.
It adds, "Government policies should be designed to increase the prosperity of the nation, but what this data shows is that when the country can not position itself to compete or can not cope with external shocks, then crime would be expected to rise."
In an interview with The Nassau Guardian, Lyansky said, "We can predict exactly where the crime rate's going to be moving forward, given the fact that it has been very accurate in the past."
He said that many people who speak about crime and the causes of crime -- including some authorities -- do not speak from a factual position.
"A lot of the things that are written about crime, that I've read, and the explanations that I've heard make me shake my head. They're not going to help advance a solution," Lyansky said.
As an example, he said, "The police commissioner, he was close to my house one day giving a talk and his explanation was that it's all based on drugs and you know, that's a bunch of nonsense and the reason it's nonsense is I would actually have liked to make a correlation between the two, however, there is no data on drugs, drug usage or anything here so to make a blanket statement like that, it's just a statement.
"You're not actually going to be making progress from [those kinds of statements]."
Lyansky said there are so many inconsistencies in explanations some people provide regarding the causes of crime that it's impossible to make any scientific determinations about them.
Speaking of the importance of scientific research, he said, "It gives you a better predictor moving forward.
"...If you need GDP to increase and you know the population's going up, you need to do this to GDP and hence that would be a basic way (to fight crime)."
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.
For 16-year-old Dwaneika Colebrooke going through the long selection and interview process that led to her ultimately being selected as head girl of Doris Johnson Senior, was well worth the effort. The calm-natured 12th grade student was more than excited to take up the mantle and put a spin on being the new co-head of her school. The ambitious young lady with a 3.6 cumulative average said sometimes stepping outside of one's comfort zone to take on a challenge is the only way to develop as a person. She is glad she took the leap of faith despite her more laid-back personality, and hopes, through her work in her school she will encourage others to be adventurous. Q. What do you think made you stand out from your peers to be selected as head girl?
A. I believe that it was my positive attitude toward my teachers and peers along with my academic achievement that made me stand out enough from my peers to be selected as head girl. I am respectful, mannerly and I am told I have a calming presence. IâEUR^am able to listen to others and solve problems without getting riled up or upset myself. My grades are also above a 3.5 average and I always work hard to do better. I always try to plan ahead and be on top of whatever I am doing especially when it comes to my future. I think that kind of attitude was something that made me stand out to my teachers and peers as well.
Q. What are your future aspirations and what are you doing to pursue your dreams?
A. I want to be a genetic engineer in the field of forensic science. After I decided on what I wanted to do after I graduated I looked up schools to see if there were any that I liked that offered it. I see that there are a few in the Caribbean and in Canada that have good programs and I am working hard to get my grades up so I can be accepted. I am taking courses in Physics, General Science and keeping my grades up in Mathematics as well. I think it's important to put in all the hard work and long hours now so when I have to do harder courses or transition to other things in my life, it happens more easily.
Q. Why is it important to start early to plan what you want to do after graduation?
A. It is important to do this because you need to prepare yourself academically, financially and mentally for the direction you want your life to go. Without a plan you have some focus in your life and coming to school and working hard will make more sense to you. Many students get bored of school but that is because they don't see that this is an important stepping stone to accomplishing a lot later in life. I would advise all students to make goals--be it for a year or for five years. It's important to start thinking this way because life is not just about school and doing well, but doing what you can with what you have to make your dreams come true. And when you make plans also make a list or plan of how you will accomplish these things. For me it's about studying, researching my field of interest and being aware of changes that happen in it everyday.
Q. What study habits do you employ?
A. I think I have good study habits. I make time every day to review the work I did in school that day and the things I didn't understand as much I take more time to study it. Even on weekends I try to do a little studying by going over what I have done in the week. I don't have to study for more than an hour each day since I try to pay attention in class as best I can. These habits may not work for some students who learn differently but I would advise them to find what works best for them and be consistent in practicing it. Consistently good study habits will eventually lead to consistently good grades I find. I think it's also essential for students to always pay attention to their hardest subjects. You may not like it and it's easy to give up, but you need to keep at it. Even if it is the only subject you study some nights ensuring you work at it a little will show improvements.
Q. What is your weakest subject and what do you do to improve in it?
A. My weakest subject has to be English Language. I don't get terrible grades but it's the one I have to pay the most attention to and work hard to stay afloat. I try my best to write often in my spare time in order to improve my vocabulary and make my writing techniques better. I am seeing results. I would advise other students to find techniques to get them through their tougher classes whether it means rewriting notes from the class just to ensure you understand or recording what the teacher says so you can hear them again at home. No matter what, it is it is important to do whatever it takes to do the best you can.
NASSAU, Bahamas -- The most powerful tools for analysis and problem-solving emanate from innovations in technology and scientific discovery, a notion at the centre of a deliberate focus at The College of The Bahamas on the opportunities that Mathematics, Physics and Technology unlock.
The School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology recently used a week of activities to raise the awareness of the utility of these disciplines and how they are the linchpin of a fundamental understanding and development of the modern world. This was much the same theme that Antonio Stubbs, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, Transformation and Planning at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited delivered when he spoke to students and faculty.
As the demand increases for young, technologically shrewd individuals in the job market, COB students were challenged to use their knowledge, creativity and passion now to drive future innovations.
"You can't come here every day, sit in classes, take exams, get A's, graduate and go home and get a job. Put these brains together. Why can't you build the next super app? Why don't you guys put your minds together and develop some applications for the banking industry and the tourism industry?" he questioned.
Mr. Stubbs was the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony for Mathematics, Physics and Technology Week at The College and delivered a high-energy presentation, which captured the attention of the audience that filled the auditorium of the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre. He illustrated how technology has evolved so rapidly, particularly in the telecommunications sector.