Education

Stabbing at Government High School
Stabbing at Government High School

January 19, 2017

Reports and images of a student stabbed are circulating on social media...

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BTVI and US Embassy strengthening alliances

January 18, 2017

United States Embassy and The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) officials recently engaged in a productive dialogue. The US Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, Penny Rechkemmer and Education and Cultural Specialist, Chanelle Cleare, met with BTVI president...

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Terreve College keeps status after judicial review

January 18, 2017

TERREVE College was successful in its judicial review case against the Department of Public Service, maintaining its status as an approved private tertiary institution on the list of schools recognised by the department...

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Public Service and UB Sign MOU for Training and Assessment

January 17, 2017

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of the Public Service and the University of The Bahamas (UB) for the continuous development and training of Public Servants...

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International Education Award Builds Connections Between The Bahamas and Kamloops, British Columbia

January 17, 2017

Vantage Airport Group, which operates both Lynden Pindling International Airport in The Bahamas and Kamloops Airport in British Columbia, Canada, today announced that its inaugural International Education Award has been granted...

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Bahamas Ambassador to the United States addressed 'The Dream of '67' at UB 50th Anniversary

January 14, 2017

The journey from Majority Rule to modern times, has been an ‘interesting’ one in Bahamian history, according to Ambassador of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the United States of America, His Excellency Dr. Eugene Newry in his Distinguished Lecture on ‘The Dream of ‘67’ as guest speaker in the University of The Bahamas’ 50th Anniversary...

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An educator ensuring success

January 11, 2017

Educator Tameka Cameron Walker was flabbergasted when she was faced with students who weren't making the necessary grade point average (GPA), but who could listen to a song, memorize it and understand it. She could not understand why those same principles weren't being applied to schoolwork and comprehension.
Walker said, if students are reading and not grasping the meaning, they are just calling words. Comprehension is vital, she said. It is not how fast a student can read, but how they take the information off the page and put it into their cognitive scheme and understand it.
With her interest in the idea piqued, Walker, a tourism studies teacher, pursued a master's degree in 2015 to learn about the strategies related to reading comprehension and better help her students. She has been seeing success stories that she and reading specialist, Lakell Johnson, whom she assists, can be proud of at Anatol Rodgers Secondary School.
"There are so many stories I could relay, but my grade 12 class that just graduated, I had students in that class that took the BGCSE [Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education exam] in 11th grade, and one person in particular got a D grade. That student took the exam over and they got a B grade. And there's a little boy who is in seventh grade who is in my reading intervention program, I just looked at his report card and I'm seeing improvement in his English language grade," said Walker during the school's report card day on Monday.
"I have seen where students have improved, and some have moved up a letter grade, and I'm seeing improvement, even though it's marginal for some students, but I see where they're working."
Walker says a reading specialist is like a reading coach. Working with Johnson they look at children who are working below the required 2.00 GPA. If the student is in high school and reading at a primary school level, they pull the student out of their regular language classes twice a week and work with them on comprehension strategies to help them with reading. Both teachers' efforts are needed, the children are receptive and want the help.
Walker and Johnson work in a system with a 1,200-strong student population.
Endowing students with reading comprehension and writing skills are communal goals within every educational system, according to the educator of 17 years. She says students at all grade levels should engage in daily leisure reading in an effort to improve comprehension and writing skills.
"Reading has to be an everyday thing and a way of life. In the primary school, where they might be given a text to read, and given a week or two to complete a text, in the high school, students do not get text to read as a literature text unless they're in the literature class. But if students even stop to buy the newspaper to read, just to be current with information, it will help them in their academic development, but it has to be a daily effort. And when you read daily, you will be able to write better because reading and writing go hand-in-hand."
She encourages parents to purchase newspapers and books for their children to read daily. She said students' afterschool timetable should have a half-hour mapped out for reading.
And while most children are into electronics, she believes they should use technology for more than just fun and games, but to actually do research.
"The challenge we're having is that children like technology, but they're not trying to learn the technology and use it for research. They're just using it for games and fun stuff. Parents also have to look for books that children like," she said.
According to Walker, an active development of comprehensive tips for reading informational texts might prove beneficial for candidates enrolled in school-based as well as national or international examinations.
"Paying close attention to text structure might aid in strengthening reading comprehension among emergent, struggling and exceptional learners," said the tourism studies and reading intervention teacher.
As the text structure is the organization of the text, the structure can be viewed both externally and internally, and teachers should assist students with reading comprehension by reiterating the importance of understanding text structure. This knowledge can assist with students' comprehension of the written material, which may be in the form of fiction/literature and non-fiction materials (leaflets, books, excerpts, research papers, publications, passages, manuals and articles.)
"When a reader has an appreciation for text structure, he is able to read at a glance and gain meaning from what he has read. Also, when a reader understands the purpose of structure in a text, he will always read his external text structure such as the table of contents, chapters title, headings, sub-headings, underlined words, bold, italics, illustrations and definitions in an effort to decipher pertinent information," said Walker.
"For example, the table of contents provide a list of information within the text and bold words suggest important terms that the reader should be able to define. Internal text structure on the other hand focuses on the body of the text and how it is organized. Internal text structure includes sequence order, description, cause and effect, proposition and problem/solution. Internal text structure differs based on the subject area and the topic being communicated, therefore, students should be taught how to sight internal text structure from the get-go. Students' ability to identify text structure will add greater value to their reading comprehension."

Internal text structures
o Sequential order: This involves words such as "during", "next", "first", "following" and "immediately".
o Compare and contrast texts: These have words such as "although", "otherwise", "similarly" and "on the other hand".
o Descriptive texts: These will have words such as "between", "across", "below" and "appear to be".
o Cause and effect texts would have words such as "accordingly", "for this reason", "in order", "is caused by".
Walker said people should be cognizant of the fact that there are texts that might also have a combination of text structures.
"Based on my years of teaching experience, it has been evident that exceptional students observe that there is a difference in the organizational pattern of poetries, plays, stories and novel when compared with the organizational pattern of a language, social studies or science text.
"Many exceptional readers are already acquainted with this strategy of using text structure, however; the emergent reader who might fall in different age groups along the reading spectrum might get turned off from reading if they are not trained to use text structure. However, with practice they, too, will be able to improve their reading comprehension skills," she said.
Walker encourages her students to pay attention to text structure when they read, and said this is advice she would give to everyone.
"By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to garner relevant information from the material, and strengthen your analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, all of which are important in understanding informational text," she said.

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Maritime institutions forge partnership

January 11, 2017

The LJM Maritime Academy (LJMMA) and the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) have established a significant affiliation agreement to partner in areas of mutual interest in the education and training of students enrolled in maritime programs at their respective institutions. The agreement, signed by President of LJMMA Dr. Brendamae Cleare and Executive Director of CMI Dr. Fritz Pinnock, is for an initial period of five years, with renewal possibilities.
The agreement will honor the parties' intentions in areas such as program/curricula development, joint program offerings, student and faculty exchanges, shared certification through accreditations, sharing of relevant facilities, joint seminars, workshops and webinars. It also fosters collaborative research and grant-seeking initiatives.
Pinnock said the partnership is momentous, as it signifies the strengthening of maritime training and education in the shipping industry through the joint forces of two premier maritime institutions in the Caribbean.
"This partnership will revolutionize the way training is provided throughout the Caribbean region and will become a key example of the success of joint efforts and fused initiatives," said Pinnock.
Dr. Cleare was pleased to able to partner with the established regional institution, and excited about the numerous possibilities, which she said would result for both offshore and land-based maritime services.
"Partnering with CMI is historic and is taking maritime education in the region to another level. The synergy is strong, and our combined efforts will ensure that the education and training in the maritime arena will be paramount to meeting the increasing demands of seafarers globally. Additionally, as a team, the institutions will be able to effectively deal with challenges and explore all possibilities of training required in the Caribbean region, whether they be land-based or offshore."
Dr. Cleare said the timeliness of the partnership with the academy presently planning a maritime conference for October 2017, meant that CMI could collaborate in the planning of the venture in a number of ways.
LJMMA, an accredited tertiary-level maritime training institution was established in December 2011, and is located at Maritime Cay, New Providence. CMI was established under the Caribbean Maritime Institute Act 1992, amended in 2001, with registered offices situate at Palisadoes Park, Norman Manley Highway, Kingston, Jamaica. CMI is the region's center of excellence for the provision of tertiary maritime education, training, research and consultancy.

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The Bahamas to host Inter-American Meeting of Education Ministers

January 11, 2017

Education ministers from the Organization of American States (OAS) will come together in The Bahamas next month to discuss the education agenda of the 34 member countries, and by extension, the Latin American and Caribbean region at the ninth Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education (9IAMME).
In addition to education ministers, local and international senior education officials, school administrators and teachers are expected to attend the conference.
For the first time in the meeting's history, a trade exhibition will feature innovative educational products from approximately 20 local and international exhibitors, who will also display good practices in education.
The theme for 9IAMME is "An Inter-American education agenda: Building alliances towards achieving the sustainable development goals".
The meeting will be held February 9-10 at the Atlantis resort, Paradise Island. Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald is conference chairman.
The conference is organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; the OAS; the Inter-American Council for Integral Development; and the Inter-American Committee on Education.
During 8IAMME in Panama City, Panama, in 2015, three working groups were established to compile ideas, good practices and challenges relating to three common concerns to member states. They included Working Group 1: Quality and equitable education; Working Group 2: Strengthening of the teaching profession; and Working Group 3: Early childhood care.
At the 2017 forum, ministers will draw on the findings and recommendations of the working groups to devise policies for their respective countries. The working group outcomes will also be the impetus for collaboration between member states to benefit from each other's expertise and good practices.
Fitzgerald said The Bahamas has made significant progress in education.
"The Bahamas has been at the helm of the global education discussion. We have made significant strides in education and have garnered international attention," he said.
The Bahamas Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has responsibility for more than 50,000 kindergarten through 12th grade students, in approximately 170 educational institutions in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, which are dispersed over 14 districts in the major islands.

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What's inside shows on the outside

January 11, 2017

Yes indeed, as today's title puts it, what's inside shows on the outside, yes it does. Excuse me D. Paul, would you please explain exactly what you mean by the title of today's article because I'm just not getting it, you may query? Why certainly, I'd be delighted to. A phrase I heard from, I do believe it was Earl Nightingale goes like this, "Everything is from the inside out and not from the outside in." D. Paul you still have me somewhat puzzled. Okay, have you ever heard someone say true beauty is within? Now I'm quite sure you've heard that phrase used on many, many occasions. But once again D. Paul what does it mean? Well it simply means this.
Everything in life first commences in the mind as a thought, so a person could be extremely beautiful or handsome-looking and yet, because of their ugly, negative, destructive thoughts, they will not be very attractive at all to others who will indeed observe their unpleasant disposition. So as today's title puts it quite clearly, what's inside shows on the outside, yes it does. So you need to, not only check your exterior when you get up in the morning but also check your inner thoughts, your mental attitude to make sure that it's as it should be.
So in conclusion, it's not just enough to spend a whole lot of time working on your exterior appearance, unless you also spend a whole lot of time working on your inner thoughts too. That's right, in the end, it's all about one's attitude -- that is if you really wish to appeal to a whole lot of people and thus succeed.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Fitzgerald blames schools for supply teacher payment delay
Fitzgerald blames schools for supply teacher payment delay

January 05, 2017

THE Ministry of Education has implemented a strict timeline for the submission and processing of payments for supply teachers after irregularities led to scores of teachers going unpaid for months, according to Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald...

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The Bahamas Set to Host Inter-American Meeting of Education Ministers
The Bahamas Set to Host Inter-American Meeting of Education Ministers

January 04, 2017

The Bahamas Government willhost the Ninth Inter-American Meeting of Ministers of Education (9IAMME), February 9-10, 2017 at Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island.Ministers of Education are expected to discuss recent regional developments and challenges...

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Payouts begin for overdue salary of supply teachers
Payouts begin for overdue salary of supply teachers

January 04, 2017

AN education official yesterday confirmed that the Department of Education has "secured" cheque payments for 67 of those supply teachers contracted by the Ministry of Education who have not been paid for months, explaining that an additional 71 pay outs were being "worked out" for later this week...

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Hitting the right notes

January 04, 2017

The pursuit of dreams and aspirations is indeed possible, if you ask LaKwan Bain. The 20-year-old, who for a time was discouraged, has come to realize that doors will open once you put your mind to achieving goals, and people see that you're determined to go somewhere in life. He believes that there are people who are waiting to give you a push toward your dreams, as has happened to him, and he is grateful for it.
Bain's musical prowess was noticed by former University of The Bahamas (UB) music lecturer Dr. Christy Lee, who spoke to Bain about the opportunities available at the institution to further his education when she left the country to return to the United States; she told him about the music scholarships he could apply for.
He applied to Maryville College and traveled to Tennessee in March 2016 to audition. His repertoire included works by Beethoven and Mozart. He also added an organ piece and a jazz improvisation that he arranged for the audition. The end result was a full scholarship valued at approximately $32,000 per year to pursue his bachelor's degree. He transferred from UB to Maryville.
Bain has to maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) to retain his scholarship.
"It was a bit surreal at the beginning getting in, but it hit me because my mom [Jacqueline Bain] did not get a chance to go to college, and my dad [Karven Bain] did get the chance but couldn't finish because of financial complications, so the ability to actually go to school and have all of my financial needs met is just amazing to me," said Bain.
Even more amazing was the opportunity to perform a special holiday piano duet with college president Dr. Tom Bogart in Bain's first semester at Maryville College. The duo performed "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", and the performance was posted to the school's page and on YouTube.
During the two-minute-nine-second performance, Dr. Bogart said he had the pleasure of making a little holiday music with the Bahamian student, and encouraged alumni, parents and friends to donate to the Maryville Fund that would allow for continued support of students like Bain.
"Although it's certainly possible to play piano as a solo instrument, my preference is always to make music in collaboration with others. At Maryville College we talk a lot about collaboration. We look to businesses and organizations for their support, of course. But it is the partnerships... the duets that Maryville College has with individual alumni, parents and friends that are foundational in making this place rigorous and relevant, innovative, accessible and supportive to talented and promising students like LaKwan."
Bain was notified of the opportunity to play with the president via email from the president's office.
"I was like 'wow'! We set up two pianos on the main theater stage and we did a duet of the song 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'," he said.
The opportunity to perform with the president, he said, served as validation that dreams are in fact possible.
"I've been in music as a profession between five to seven years and have seen so many people leave it and go and pursue something else and totally give up on music as a dream," said Bain, who was involved in music ministry at his dad's church; plays at St. Christopher's Anglican Church in Lyford Cay; and serves as music director at the Youth Development Through the Arts under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, among other roles.
He added: "I've had moments in my life where I thought that it wasn't achievable, but coupled with the scholarship and now this [playing with the president] just serves as a confirmation that dreams are actually possible if you want to pursue them."
Bain, who began playing the piano at age six, said there were many times in his life when he would get discouraged about music. In fact, when he enrolled in UB, then the College of The Bahamas, he went in as an engineering major.
"Something inside of me just kept pulling me to the music department so I switched in my first semester and everything is just history."
Bain said dreams can come true and are indeed possible.
"Doors will open once you put your mind to what you want and people see that you're determined to go somewhere in life. There are people who are just waiting to see you and just waiting to give you a push, and I'm grateful for that. And I want to encourage all young Bahamians to pursue their dreams and aspirations because they are indeed possible."
But his dream would not have become reality if he had not been academically sound. Bain said he's always been a bright child whose parents always "preached" the importance of education.
"All through primary and high school, having all those years with them [parents] always on my back, when I went off to school it was no different -- I was self-motivated, and it was just something that I needed to do be a successful student."
Bain's ultimate goal is to be a minister of music.
"I want to open up a school for church musicians -- to train them, because I don't know of many people that are actually doing that," he said. He said college life has also provided him with the opportunity to interact with students and professors from different cultures, races and creeds.
"It was interesting and exciting for me to interact with different people who aren't necessarily like myself, but we work together to promote a common good."
He also said education is crucial and that people with a love for music should know that there are schools that offer music scholarships, including UB.
Bain returns to Maryville College at the end of the month to begin the spring semester.

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Young Marine Explorers to study Hurricane Matthew impact

January 04, 2017

Young Marine Explorers (YME), a Bahamian marine conservation organization based on New Providence, is working with Coastal Ecology Lab at the University of Miami to document the impact of Hurricane Matthew on coastal and marine resources.
The Waitt Foundation, an international organization with the mission to protect and restore ocean health is funding a six-month project in which YME students will study the impact that Hurricane Matthew has had on the shorelines and coral reefs of New Providence.
This project sets the foundation for future studies on Exuma, Grand Bahama and North Andros. Hurricane Matthew, which came up from the south to the north of the country, had an unprecedented impact on the people and communities of the four islands. YME teams will look at the loss of natural capital, such as fish populations, spiny lobster and mangroves that protect the coast from hurricane waves and winds to determine what the potential long-term changes might be to mangroves, beaches and coral reefs.
The passing of a second major hurricane in two years prompted YME founder and CEO Nikita Shiel-Rolle to take the YME youth programs in a new direction.
"This hurricane has changed everything. We will be talking about the before and after of this storm for decades to come. This storm will change not only how we live on the island, but will increase our need to understand what changes have occurred just off our shores," said Shiel-Rolle, a conservation biologist.
"This will be the first study of its kind in The Bahamas to actively engage high school students in applied conservation science that will document the natural resource cost of a major storm event."
Bahamians are naturally resilient to hurricanes and tropical storms, but after Hurricane Matthew many people are only just now beginning to see the enormous scale of the growing costs of recovery. The indirect costs of hurricanes emerge slowly after the storm and include lost wages, long-term effects on health and the loss of natural resources. We can easily see the trees and vegetation stripped away on land, but it is much harder to know what the immediate and long-term impacts will be on ocean resources and what this will mean for our economy and wellbeing.
Shiel-Rolle said hurricanes and storms in the past, such as Tropical Storm Noel, moved sediment and pollutants into near shore waters, resulting in the die-off of sea-grasses and sponges. On Long Island, she said the passing of the tropical storm in 2007 resulted in a coastal "dead zone" (result of an algal bloom that consumes all the oxygen in the water thus killing all other living organisms in that area) that impacted the livelihood of fishermen throughout the island.
The size and scope of Hurricane Matthew passing through the entire country, she said, presents a unique opportunity to look along the hurricane path from south to north at the damage to a large portion of the marine environment.
"Hurricanes and tropical storms are strengthened by unusually warm ocean waters. With sea level rise and global warming trends, The Bahamas may be facing an increasingly large number of severe storm events in the future," said Shiel-Rolle. "Young people who have the opportunity to learn about hurricane impacts on their shorelines now will be able to incorporate this information in the future for their personal safety and protection. The new YME Hurricane Matthew initiative can provide valuable training and exposure for high school students on four islands, by emphasizing the importance our natural resources play in supporting our way of life."
The YME Hurricane Matthew initiative will have four components: YME will work with students to document hurricane impacts in their neighborhoods, and encourage students to share their hurricane experiences across islands; students will work with mentors to carry out coastal assessments in key locations around the country to document coastal erosion, loss of vegetation, flooding and destruction of homes and buildings; students will learn about water quality and land-based sources of pollution to coastal water; and students will learn about mapping hurricane impacts along the coast and in the water.
YME has been offering marine conservation programs for the past 10 years but has redesigned this year's curriculum to enable students to work alongside Shiel-Rolle and Coastal Ecology Professor Kathleen Sullivan-Sealey.
"As a nation we have just experienced a massive hurricane that has drastically impacted our lives. I believe as Bahamians we need to be proactive if we are to ensure that we are prepared for future natural disasters, which could also have major effects on our coastal and marine environments. I am very happy that YME has the ability to mobilize and engage so many youth in a research project that will positively influence our response to hurricanes in the future," said Shiel-Rolle.
The project will lay the foundation for a long-term monitoring program that will be managed by YME. The data collected by members will produce valuable information that can be used by both governmental and non-governmental agencies. The usual YME curriculum engages students in marine leadership education classes hosted after school and on Saturdays. For more information about YME visit www.ymebahamas.org.

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Canadian boarding schools to host recruitment fair

January 04, 2017

A group of 14 of Canada's most prestigious boarding schools will be on New Providence on Tuesday, January 17 for their annual recruitment fair.
The event, organized by Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS), offers families an opportunity to meet with representatives from a wide variety of schools -- all boys, all girls, co-ed, urban, rural -- which are spread across Canada. Some schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, others offer advanced placement (AP) courses, and all offer a range of arts, athletics, community service and leadership programs.
The New Providence event will be held at the British Colonial Hilton Nassau, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Canadian boarding schools are home to students from over 100 countries around the world who are drawn to the safety and security of life in Canada with its culturally diverse and welcoming population. Ninety one percent of boarding school students report that their schools are academically challenging, compared with 70 percent of private day and 50 percent of public school students.
Canada scores the highest among English-speaking nations in math, science and reading scores. The latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results released in 2015 by the OECD places Canada ahead of the United Kingdom and the United States (and all other primarily English-speaking nations) in student performance in all three disciplines. For more information visit boardingschools.ca or contact Fiona Parke at fparke@cais.ca

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A delicate instrument

January 04, 2017

I'm guessing that a whole lot of people will be wondering right now about the title of this particular article, a delicate instrument, saying to themself or another, "I wonder what instrument D. Paul is going to be discussing here today?" Well my friend I've got a feeling that as much as you think about it, you will never figure out exactly what I'm referring to. Well let me stop you all guessing at this point as I reveal to you my valued readers exactly what I believe is a delicate instrument and which should be treated as such.
It's the human body, a miracle of divine engineering, which as long as you treat it like the delicate instrument it really is, will serve you well. Yes my friend, when you stop to think about it for a moment or two, the human body is a true miracle designed by the Creator to transport you, the real you which is of course as I have relayed to you on many occasions before, the spirit within. That's right, you are pure spirit but it is the human body that transports you around during this incarnation on planet earth, and it's indeed a delicate instrument that needs to be taken care of in a special way.
Yes it's delicate -- when it gets too cold it shivers to warn you and visa versa, when you get too hot, it perspires to cool you down. God's creation, the human body, the transporter of the spirit with, the real you, needs to be treated as such.
So what are some of the things that we should do to treat this delicate instrument with care? Number one: You should feed it with fresh, nutritious food each and every day. Number two: Be sure to properly lubricate it by drinking plenty of water, six to eight glasses per day. Number three: Exercise it regularly, at least 20 to 30 minutes per day to keep all the parts fully operative. Number four: Take vitamins and nutritional supplements to augment your diet. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking

January 03, 2017

Here’s a New Year’s challenge for the mind: Make this the year that you quiet all those negative thoughts swirling around your brain.

All humans have a tendency to be a bit more like Eeyore than Tigger, to ruminate more on bad experiences than positive ones. It’s an evolutionary adaptation that helps us avoid danger and react quickly in a crisis.

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Unmotivated to exercise? Dopamine could be to blame

January 03, 2017

Perhaps you have told yourself many times that, as of next week, you will start exercising more. Perhaps next month. Maybe even next year. For many of us, however, sticking to a disciplined program of physical exercise is one of the hardest New Year's resolutions. New research offers clues as to why finding the motivation to exercise can be so difficult.

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School supply teachers have not been paid salary for months

December 30, 2016

SOME 200 "supply" teachers across the country have gone months without receiving their salaries, Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) officials said yesterday...

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