News Archives

Bahamas to face Swiss in Beach Soccer World Cup opener

Bahamas to face Swiss in Beach Soccer World Cup opener

Tue, Feb 28th 2017, 11:00 PM

THE Bahamas will face Switzerland, Senegal and Ecuador in the group phase of the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Nassau.

At the draw on Tuesday night at Atlantis, Paradise Island, the Bahamas as hosts were placed in group A with a powerful European team, the African champions and tournament debutants from South America...

Griffin Promotes 'Finer Points of' National Parenting Programme

Griffin Promotes 'Finer Points of' National Parenting Programme

Tue, Feb 28th 2017, 05:00 PM

The Department of Rehabilitative and Welfare Services, Ministry of Social Services and Community Development, has developed and established a cutting-edge National Parenting Programme that is reaping positive results for those parents and children participating in the Programme.

Addressing a Special Assembly held at the Sybil Strachan Primary School (formerly Carmichael Primary School) on Thursday, February 23, to honour “outstanding parents” of the school, Minister of Social Services and Community Development, the Hon. Melanie Sharon Griffin said the National Parenting Programme has been tailored to encompass topics such as positive parenting initiatives, child communication, discipline, managing finances and stress management.

Mrs. Griffin encouraged parents to take “full advantage” of the classes – particularly those who are experiencing challenges with their children, as there is no substitute for parental involvement.

“In this age of Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and other types of social media, there is still no substitute for good, old-fashioned parental involvement. Be there for your children, listen and try to remember what you felt at their age, yet always remember that you are their parents, not their buddies.”

Established in 1994 within the Child Welfare Division of the Department of Social Services under the Supervision of then Chief Welfare Officer Ms. Elizabeth Diggis, the National Parenting Programme was launched out of a concern over the escalation of single parent families; the numerous single mothers who were experiencing challenges rearing their toddlers, pre-teens and adolescents and the apparent disintegration of the family, and the many social ills that permeated the society such as high rates of teen pregnancies, juvenile delinquency, child abuse and HIV/AIDS.

The National Parenting Programme provides parents with information that promotes healthy family relationships. It is designed to create a comfortable environment where parents can share with and learn positive parenting skills from facilitators and other parents and creates a support network for parents by offering encouragement, information and referrals.

Parenting Education Classes are held at twelve-week intervals (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) from 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm at the Programme’s new location – the Hillside Business Plaza, Thompson Boulevard. Community-based sessions are held for eight weeks.

“Despite what seems to be the overwhelming belief that parenting is a skill that comes naturally to everyone, this is not the case,” Mrs. Griffin said. “There is a very real need within our communities to educate parents about their roles and responsibilities. Parenting, like any other skill, can be improved upon.

“My Ministry’s Parenting Classes seek to move parents beyond the authoritarian, spare the rod, spoil the child mentality to one that acknowledges that children have rights, which is a different mindset from the one we grew up with.”

Minister Griffin said the purpose of the progamme is to prepare and train parents for the roles they are expected to play and the responsibilities they have been assigned as parents in order to assist with building stronger families and by extension, better communities.

Children, Mrs. Griffin said, are the backbone and the future of the country and as such, there is a need to ensure that they grow and develop in safe, secure and happy environments – including the home environment.

“This is why it is imperative that we encourage them to be the best they can be. Our country needs a group of confident, well-rounded young people who will be ready and fully equipped to take this country into their hands when their time comes.”

Mrs. Griffin said one of the “best ways to do this” is through providing positive examples as parents and adults.

“Understand that whatever you do regularly as parents, your children will think of those things as normal and will emulate them. The reality is that you cannot get out of children what you do not put in. For example, when children see their parents and guardians take an interest in reading and learning, they are much more likely to become regular readers and critical thinkers. In this regard, I encourage everyone here today to become life-long learners.”

Minister of Social Services and Community Development, the Hon. Melanie Sharon Griffin addressing students and parents of the Sybil Strachan Primary School (formerly Carmichael Primary School) during a Special Assembly held to honour the school's outstanding parents. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

By Matt Maura

Bahamas Information Services

Parents, Students Welcome Swiss Educators

Parents, Students Welcome Swiss Educators

Tue, Feb 28th 2017, 03:41 PM

With a population of eight million and no natural resources, Switzerland turned its attention to education, became a world leader and last week opened the doors to more Bahamians benefitting from the unique Swiss education experience when educators from some of the country’s most elite schools met with teachers, counsellors, parents and students in Nassau.

“We received such a warm welcome everywhere we went,” said Tanya Espinosa Feuz, the Nassau-based volunteer representative of SwissLearning, an association of one dozen leading boarding schools and hospitality training institutes. “The level of interest among Bahamian parents was great and demonstrated how much emphasis parents in The Bahamas place on providing the best education possible for their children especially if that education offers an opportunity for broader exposure to other languages and cultures.”

At Windsor Academy where more than 150 students attended an assembly to learn more about what Swiss schools offered, questions ranged from how close they were to good ski slopes to whether you could study coding and robotics. For the visiting educators, Windsor was an eye-opener. When they asked students if they knew someone who went to boarding school, nearly every hand in the room shot up.

“Parents want the best for their children and if that means one year or more away to prepare them for university, they will often sacrifice to make sure that their daughter or son gets that experience and preparation,” said Espinosa-Feuz.

According to Nathalie Eynard of Le Rosey in Rolle, Switzerland – known as the School of Kings -- diversity is key whether in places of origin or area of study.

“We have 68 nationalities represented,” Eynard told students. “And at any given time, we have an average of 50 in every grade level. Most importantly, it is not simply where students are from that creates the experience, but that we provide an atmosphere for them to decide and focus on what they really want to do whether that is making movies or studying law.”

International exposure and friendships are a major component adding to the appeal of a Swiss education, with former students from The Bahamas saying they have kept in touch for decades and the friends they made during their days in Switzerland have opened many doors.

For high school students who look to Switzerland for at least a part of their education, spending a gap year – the year between finishing high school and starting college – offers the opportunity to improve college entrance exam performance while discovering what they want to study as they move forward. Gap year and hotel management programs place emphasis on a few key features -- learning other languages, work experience and trips to destinations as distant as Africa to participate in charitable endeavors. Languages are a vital part of every curriculum, including month-long summer camps at several of the boarding schools.

SwissLearning founder Christophe Xavier Clivaz told students that one of the greatest benefits of a Swiss education is to “find a talent you never knew you had but once you find it, it can now change your life.”

Students whistled appreciatively when they heard Switzerland ranked as the most innovative country in the world. But they also wanted to know along with languages, academics and hospitality, what sports were offered and which schools were in the best skiing areas.

“We have skiing, at some of the schools every day,” said Clivaz. “We have cricket on ice, ice hockey, mountaineering, climbing, hiking, sailing on lakes, we have just about every sport there is except scuba diving because the one thing we don’t have is coral reefs.”

During their whirlwind trip, Swiss educators paid a courtesy call on Governor General Lady Marguerite Pindling, met with Ministry of Education officials Monique Hinsey and Reginald Saunders, visited several schools and hosted a presentation and reception at Old Fort Bay Club that drew more 120 persons.

Parent Claudia Knowles and sons speak with Paul Dyer, Leysin American School, at a reception hosted by SwissLearning at Old Fort Bay Club February 2. Swiss educators were in Nassau for a whirlwind tour sharing opportunities for boarding school, gap year study, summer camps and hospitality management in Switzerland, the country considered the world leader in education.

Swiss educators including Andreas Vasarik of the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz met with parents and interested parties during a reception at Old Fort Bay Club that attracted more than 120 people recently.

More than one hundred students at Windsor Preparatory School attended an assembly and quizzed Swiss educators about life at school in Switzerland with questions ranging from what sports, languages and work experience opportunities were available to whether or not they could study robotics.

Ministry of Education officials meet with SwissLearning representatives. Pictured l-r Reginald Saunders, MOE, Tanya Espinosa Feuz, SwissLearning local liaison, Christophe Xavier Clivaz, SwissLearning founder, and Monique Hinsey, MOE. With no natural resources, Switzerland focused on education, became a world leader and recently shared opportunities for Bahamians to experience a Swiss education when representatives visited The Bahamas.

Mutheu Clivio, a parent of a St. Andrew’s School student, explores Swiss education opportunities during a reception hosted by SwissLearning at Old Fort Bay Club.

Swiss boarding high school graduate Brendan Foulkes, right, show SwissLearning founder Christophe Xavier Clivaz the diploma his uncle signed when Foulkes, a Bahamian, graduated.

Local volunteer SwissLearning representative Tanya Espinosa Feuz coordinated February 2017 visit by Swiss educators.

Paul and Karelea Rothschild listen to presentation by Swiss educators at Old Fort Bay Club February 2.

Nathalie Eynard of Le Rosey in Rolle, Switzerland, explains the institution’s offerings and diversity of student population with nearly 70 countries represented in its small student body. Le Rosey is often referred to as the ‘School of Kings.’All photos except Photos 3 and 4 by Cay Focus Photography.

Diane Philip & Associates

Bahamas beaten as Guadeloupe advance

Tue, Feb 28th 2017, 01:04 PM

Hosts Bahamas secure shot at fifth place

Tue, Feb 28th 2017, 12:44 PM

PM flips the bird

Tue, Feb 28th 2017, 12:03 PM

Union claims Atlantis seeking to terminate staff missing work for medical reasons

Tue, Feb 28th 2017, 12:00 PM

A HOTEL union yesterday warned the Atlantis resort against allegedly seeking to terminate employees who have missed work for medical reasons, charging that it would “fight” the company “tooth and nail” to preserve the jobs of workers at the Paradise Island property.

Bahamas Hotel Catering & Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) Secretary General Darrin Woods, speaking with The Tribune, yesterday claimed that the company is allegedly “moving in” on employees who have missed significant amounts of time off from work - either due to an industrial accident or illness - with a view to terminating them...