Education

Danny Glover featured in Bahamas acting masterclass

March 27, 2017

Acclaimed Hollywood actor/director, Danny Glover, was featured alongside other top industry talents during the Bahamas Artist Movement (BAM) 2017 Dream Project Masterclass Workshop.

read more »

Preschool Teachers Get Gifted From BTC
"Preschool Teachers Get Gifted From BTC"

March 27, 2017

BTC presented mobile devices to Tiny Tots Preschool in honour of the Ministry of Education’s Pre-School Week. Public Relations Manager, Indira Collie said that, “This is the second time around that we’ve been involved in the activities...

read more »

Third time's the charm

March 26, 2017

When the final word is correctly spelled and the winner left standing at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Bahamian representative Jee'Von Pratt can already visualize himself in the arms of his father, Austin, and mother, Neneth, celebrating. Pratt's goal is to walk away from Washington, D.C. with the win.
The St. Augustine's College (SAC) student earned the right to represent The Bahamas at the Scripps National Spelling Bee after he correctly spelled the word "billon" to claim the 20th Bahamas National Spelling Bee title. This year the Scripps National Spelling Bee marks nine decades and is one of the United States' oldest and most iconic competitions.
Pratt was declared the winner after 17 rounds and four hours of competition, after an "oversight" led to his wrongful elimination.
Pratt, whose winning word was "billon", was reinstated after his coaches appealed to judges that he had been eliminated from the ninth round unfairly after incorrectly spelling a word, as the other two competitors also spelled their words incorrectly in the same round.
According to the rules, because all three remaining contestants spelled their words incorrectly, each student should have remained in the competition.
He went on to beat India Bowleg, 11, of Gateway Christian Academy, and Sarthak Saxena, 11, of St. Andrew's School, making it the second consecutive year a SAC student has won the title.
Pratt won an all-expense paid trip to the Scripps competition in Washington, D.C.; $750 spending money; an HP mini notebook; Webster's Third New International Dictionary; a one-year subscription to the Encyclopedia Britannica; the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award ($100 U.S. savings bond); a watch; an iPad; wireless speakers; and a cell phone.
Mere days after walking away with the win, Pratt was already refocused and back to learning words. There was no time off for the 12-year-old, because he knows he has his work cut out for him.
"It's going to take a lot more hard work. I'm going to have to sacrifice a lot more of my time, so I'm just going to jump right into it," said Pratt.
To prepare for the national battle, he spent two hours daily learning words. It's a schedule he plans to adhere to in his preparation for Washington.
Learning words won't be a chore for the seventh grade student. Spelling was one of his favorite subjects in primary school.
"I loved learning the words. It helps with my reading and writing," he said.
A spelling bee's purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.
The day after he won the title, he returned to school, where his win was acknowledged with an announcement over the PA system. He also received congratulations from his friends as well as a few unfamiliar faces.
Pratt said walking away with the trophy made him feel accomplished and as if he had made history.
"I felt like God was looking down at me and was proud of me," he said.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place May 28 to June 3 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
The Scripps winner receives a $40,000 cash prize and the Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved trophy; from Merriam-Webster, a $2,500 savings bond and a complete reference library; from Encyclopedia Britannica, $400 worth of reference works, including a 1768 Encyclopedia Britannica Replica Set deluxe edition and a three-year membership to Britannica Online Premium; as well as a trip to New York City for the champion to appear on LIVE with Kelly.
Pratt will be among more than 280 spellers in Washington for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. And this year, the Bahamian competitor will compete against a five-year-old. Edith Fuller, from
Oklahoma, who became the youngest contestant ever to qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee after she correctly spelled "jnana" and won her regional championship earlier in the month.
Fuller, who is homeschooled, beat more than 50 children at the Scripps Green Country Regional Spelling Bee in Tulsa, Oklahoma to advance to the final level of the prestigious competition.
Before Fuller's stunning achievement, the youngest spellers to qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee were six.
There is no minimum age to compete in the competition.
Fuller's accomplishment motivates Pratt.
"I just had more confidence in myself, because if she can do it, I can definitely hope to do it," he said.
And there's more to Pratt than just a good speller. He's first in his class, and has the highest grade point average (3.94) out of the seventh grade class.
He attributes his academic success to his father, who he said pushes him to do the best he can, to never settle for less or let his mind hold him back.
When he's not learning words, Pratt said he likes to read and play the piano. He also likes building Lego robots. As the youngest of six children, he says he's the spoiled one, and is always using his tablet.
In Washington, he intends to take in all of the monuments and sites.
Since 1976, the Scripps Bee has included competitors from outside the United States. This year, spellers from six non-U.S. countries will participate in the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee -- The Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and Korea.
Pratt will be heading into a competition that has also only had co-champions four times in its history -- 2014, 1962, 1957 and 1950.
Saxena and Bowleg will accompany him to Washington.
In The Bahamas National Spelling Bee's two decades, the winningest school has been Grand Bahama Catholic High School, with four champions; Anjanet Loon won back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007 and Deshae Morley and Denice Deveaux won in 1999 and 2001, respectively.
With Pratt's win this year, St. Augustine's College now has three wins to its credit; with Abeni Deveaux in 2009 and Donovan Butler in 2016.
St. Francis De Sales School and St. George's High School have had two wins each.
St. Francis De Sales School's wins have come from Robertha Dean-McIntosh in 2008 and Yelena Persaud in 2010.
Joeanne Salise won in 2003 and 2004 for St. George's High School
The Nassau Guardian is a sponsor of The Bahamas National Spelling Bee.
In The Bahamas, the Archdiocesan Spelling Competition, which this year celebrated its 50th year, is the oldest formal spelling competition.

Past spelling bee winners
2016 -- Donovan Butler, St. Augustine's College
2015 -- Charles Hamilton Jr., St. Anne's School
2014 -- Prachi Kondapuram, Queen's College
2013 -- Danielle Smith, St. John's College
2012 -- Peloma Cartwright, N.G.M. Major Senior School
2011 -- Sujith Abhishek Swarna, Forest Heights Academy
2010 -- Yelena Persaud, St. Francis De Sales Catholic School
2009 -- Abeni Deveaux, St. Augustine's College
2008 -- Robertha Dean-McIntosh, St. Francis De Sales Catholic School
2007 -- Anjanet Loon, Grand Bahama Catholic High School
2006 -- Anjanet Loon, Grand Bahama Catholic High School
2005 -- Chelsey Bipat, Kingsway Academy
2004 -- Joeanne Salise, St. George's High
2003 -- Joeanne Salise, St. George's High
2002 -- Kellen Knowles, home schooled
2001 -- Denice Deveaux, Catholic High School
2000 -- Britanny Wilkinson, Freeport Anglican High
1999 -- Deshae Morley, Grand Bahama Catholic High School
1998 -- Dominique Higgins, Prince William High School

read more »

First generation university grad honoring the sacrifice

March 26, 2017

Ernica Scott knows the meaning of sacrifice. She is a living example of it.
In May 2012, she accomplished a dream that her parents had for themselves, but never got an opportunity to fulfill. She became the first in her family to earn a college education, and, come June 2017, she intends to become a first-generation master's degree holder.
"My parents dreamed of going to university, but at the time they were not able to attend. Financially, they were not able to support themselves, so they just pushed and encouraged me to go," said the effervescent primary school teacher.
This spring, when Scott visited the Oakes Field Campus of University of The Bahamas (UB), her alma mater, she beamed while reminiscing about her college days. A moment later she was pensive, recalling her struggles to pay college tuition and fees. That was before she found out about the government bursary for students attending what was then the College of The Bahamas (COB).
"I received a full scholarship for my Bachelor of Education program. Previously, I was on another partial scholarship with COB, but I needed a full scholarship to be able to continue my degree, so that is why I applied for the teacher education grant. I could not have afforded to pay my tuition without that scholarship," she said. When she finally walked across the stage to receive her baccalaureate degree at the spring 2012 commencement ceremony, Scott's family shared in the overwhelming pride and profound accomplishment. It also fueled Scott's thirst for higher learning.
Within months of her graduation from COB, she was hired as a teacher at Garvin Tynes Primary School and began passing on to her eager, young students the knowledge and life lessons that she had acquired. Five years later, she is on the verge of completing a master's degree in new media at one of the top universities in Beijing, China.
For decades, through its disbursement of scholarships, the Ministry of Education has funded the tertiary educational pursuits of thousands of Bahamians who have been determined to make their mark on the world. In recent years, financial assistance for scholarships -- including the bursary, which is tenable at UB -- has grown more robust.
According to statistics from the Tertiary and Quality Assurance Division at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 1,064 persons were recipients of the bursary during the 2011-2012 academic year; that number has grown incrementally over the years and stood at 2,183 for the 2015-2016 year.
"Many people desire a post-secondary education, but everyone cannot afford it. The government has been deliberate about increasing participation in higher education for our citizens by removing the financial barrier that many Bahamian families face," said Jerome Fitzgerald, minister of education, science and technology.
"As a result of the Ministry of Education's intervention, qualified individuals may apply for government-granted scholarships for studies abroad, or bursaries to pursue studies at the University of The Bahamas. UB is our national university but it has a legacy of exceptional education that prepares students to help build a stronger Bahamas through their professional aspirations and civic contributions."
Scott is eager to help make The Bahamas more resilient and competitive through her own pursuits and by inspiring her impressionable young pupils.
When Communication University of China has its commencement ceremony in June, Scott hopes to be among the thousands of students to walk across the stage and through the doorway of new opportunities that a university education will bring. For the Bahamian educator, they will be opportunities created through sacrifice and perseverance.
"Having a university degree for my future means forward movement. It means that I have more opportunities to excel and more opportunities to help others to excel. With this opportunity we can have a more progressive nation, because we would have more educated people that can make more educated decisions," she said.

read more »

RBC Royal Bank Private Banking donates computers to Elizabeth Estates Children's Home

March 26, 2017

Any funds donated to the Elizabeth Estates Children's Home in recent times went toward basic necessities, especially as the home remained in recovery mode following the ravages of Hurricane Matthew. At the home, 18 children between the ages of 12 and 17 shared five computers. RBC Royal Bank's private banking team stepped up to help provide more access to computing resources and relieve the demand by staff and students on scarce resources.
RBC donated three laptop computers with Microsoft Office to upgrade the home's computer lab.
"Knowing the challenges Elizabeth Estates has struggled with since the hurricane, we knew they did not have the ability to replace damaged technology, [and] knowing the long list of needs they faced, with limited resources, we knew that investing in computers was not going to be high on their list," said Melissa Brock, head of private banking.
"We felt this was a good investment to help the kids with their school work," she said.
Brock said the donation supports RBC's purpose to help its communities prosper or recover from the ravages of Hurricane Matthew.
In addition to the computers, personal items were also donated for the children at the home.
RBC officials said commitment to education and youth development is a core part of its corporate social responsibility program, and that it was easy to see how the need aligned with the bank's values.
"We are so appreciative of our clients and the success of our new private banking services in our first year. And we believe we have a responsibility to give back to our local community. We are honored to be able to give back in this way to those who need it most," said Brock.

read more »

Bahamian political scientist pens simplified version of the Bahamian Constitution

March 26, 2017

Bahamian political scientist, Keisha Lynne Ellis, seeks to help every person in the country understand the Bahamian Constitution with her book, "The People's Constitution: A Layman's Interpretation of the Constitution of The Bahamas".
Ellis, a political science lecturer at the University of The Bahamas, noticed that many of her students possessed no familiarity with the constitution. It was an alarming realization that prompted her to begin her two-year, page-by-page journey of transcribing the tome that is the foundation of human rights and government power into a more simplified reader-friendly version.
The result is a pocket-sized book that is an easy to read and understand version of the complete original constitution.
"Few citizens understand the Bahamian constitution," said Ellis. "It is not taught in schools, and even most adults have never actually read it. Because it is written in legal terms, many people find it difficult or tedious to read. We cannot truly call ourselves a democracy if all of our citizens do not understand the foundation of our government. Most people believe that only politicians and lawyers have to know the constitution, but that is absolutely not true. As citizens we are all responsible for making sure that our rights are protected and that power is not abused."
Ellis said the public discourse that sprang from both the 2002 and 2016 constitutional referenda made it clear that the constitution is not perfect, but because so few Bahamians have actually read it, it is difficult for the average person to weigh in on amendments that need to be made.
"This leaves the population in a position of subordination to those who have had the time and resources necessary to sit down and study the constitution. This is not how a democracy should function," she said.
The boys at Programme S.U.R.E. were among the first students to have "The People's Constitution" introduced in their classroom. Programme S.U.R.E., which is operated by the Ministry of Education, is an alternative school for at-risk children who have been removed from the mainstream school system. Social studies teacher Ean Maura invited Ellis to talk to his students about the importance of knowing the constitution. Maura thought it was important that his students learn the constitution.
"Informing the students of their rights goes a long way in providing alternatives to addressing their concerns and potentially arrest their emotional divorce from the community and the nation. The language used in 'The People's Constitution' is much more digestible, which gives the words even more meaning and power and the constitution itself more relevance."
Ellis would like to see "The People's Constitution" used in more schools. As the date of the 2017 general election approaches, she urges everyone to arm themselves with as much information as possible so that they can make the best decision.
"The People's Constitution: A Layman's Interpretation of the Constitution of The Bahamas" is available at Logos Bookstore, Book World and Stationers, Chapter One Bookstore and Buy The Book. It retails for $10. Distribution to Family Islands is scheduled to begin soon.

read more »

Doris Johnson Senior High School students recognized by BTC

March 26, 2017

Doris Johnson's Senior High School students of the month honorees Janea David, Jayden Fritz and Cadmus Innis, as well as their peers, were encouraged to strive for success during the school's recent honor roll and student of the month recognition ceremony by Dr. Jonathan Ford, BTC's senior manager IT.
David was recognized for the effort she put forth among the 10th grade students; Fritz was the 11th grade honoree; Innis was the 12th grade honoree.
"Give it all that you've got every day," said Dr. Ford. He told the students that although their day of recognition was one to remember, it, by no stretch of the imagination, is the end; and they should continue to strive for excellence.
BTC adopted the Doris Johnson Senior High Student of the Month Program last year. Each month, three students are recognized for their consistency and determination to achieve their goals.
"BTC is pleased and inspired by the progress of the students since the inception of the student of the month program," said Indira Collie, BTC PR manager. "In fact, Principal Clarke has reported that the school has had an increase in students on the honor roll."
BTC has adopted five schools on New Providence and more than 30 schools around the country.

read more »

Love or hate

March 26, 2017

Let me once again reiterate the fact that literally everything in life is a choice, nothing just happens. So having once again highlighted this indisputable fact, you my friend, as you awake each and every morning, have a very clear choice as to whether you choose to be in a loving or hateful frame of mind.
Firstly, you can choose to love or hate yourself. But D. Paul, I don't fully grasp what you're saying here. After all, how can anyone actually hate themselves you may query? Well that's an excellent question. However, unfortunately there are millions of people who because of very negative programming received during their young, formative years do not love themselves -- they actually hate themselves. Yes, these are the people with chronic low self-esteem, who talk very little, seem to have a permanent scowl on their face and proceed to get involved in nasty confrontations with everyone whom they interact with throughout the day, evening and night. Once these people get the professional counseling they need to raise their level of self-esteem, then they'll be in a loving mode once again.
Yes my friend, once you really know and understand how awesome you are in reality then, and only then, will you start to finally appreciate and love yourself. Once that feat has been successfully accomplished, you're on your way to forming loving relationships with others.
With high self-esteem having been restored, you then have a whole lot of choices to make each and every day. Do I love or hate my parents, my spouse or significant other, my work, my country, and, yes, even my enemies? I need to approach them with love in my heart so that they can become my friend once again. Yes indeed, love really is the answer to building a better world.

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.

read more »

Ministry of Education to Move Towards Digital Textbook Initiative

March 25, 2017

Digitization of textbooks is on the horizon for public schools. The Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology made the announcement during the official launch of the Bahamas Primary Mathematics...

read more »

First Generation University Grad Honouring the Sacrifce

March 25, 2017

In May 2012, she accomplished a dream that her parents had for themselves, but never got an opportunity to fulfill. She became the first in her family to earn a college education and come June 2017...

read more »

Primary Mathematics Text Book Series launched

March 25, 2017

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) in association with Hodder Education Publications officially launched the only primary Mathematics text book...

read more »

Scotiabank Sponsors UB Fit
Scotiabank Sponsors UB Fit

March 24, 2017

Scotiabank is partnering with the University of The Bahamas on its inaugural UB Fit event. The Fun, Run, Walk, Skate, 5k or 10k and Health Expo is scheduled for Saturday, April 1 starting at the Oakes Field Campus...

read more »

CWCO Donates to C.V. Bethel Senior High School Science Seminar

March 21, 2017

Under the theme “Enlightening Minds to Make Sense of Science” the recent C.V Bethel Senior High School’s Science and Technology Seminar attracted 150 students scheduled to take Biology, Chemistry or Physics in the upcoming Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education...

read more »

Long Bay Cays Pre-School Renamed for 'Dedicated' Educator

March 21, 2017

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie said that the renaming of the Long Bay Cays Pre-School -- the ‘Cleora L. McKenzie Pre-School’ was "quite fitting" as it commemorated the contributions of a dedicated educator...

read more »

Work Progressing on $11.5 Million School in West Grand Bahama

March 20, 2017

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville on Monday expressed much delight over the ongoing construction of a new junior high school for Holmes Rock, West Grand Bahama...

read more »

Education Minister Tours Construction of School in Grand Bahama Specially Designed for Hurricane Capacity

March 20, 2017

Minister of Education, Science and Technology the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald on Monday toured construction of the new Holmes Rock Junior High School site in West Grand Bahama...

read more »

Hollywood Actor Danny Glover to be featured at BAM 2017 Acting Masterclass

March 20, 2017

Aspiring Bahamian Child Actors Afforded a 2-Day Experience with “LETHAL WEAPON” star Danny Glover , Jeffrey Poitier, Charmaine Neville, and more...

read more »

QC brings William Shakespeare to the stage

March 19, 2017

Theseus, Duke of Athens, is preparing for his marriage to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. A courtier seeks the duke's intervention because his daughter, Hermia, will not agree to his choice of Demetrius as a husband. She's in love with Lysander.
That is the briefest description that can be made of the William Shakespeare play "A Midsummer Night's Dream", which Queen's College (QC) students will tackle this year in their Broadway Over Queen's production.
Lauren Tovey, Queen's College English language and literature teacher, who has taken over the production this year and decided on Shakespeare, said it's something new and exciting for the students.
"Last year, the Royal Shakespeare Company had a whole year of putting on 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' all around the world, so I thought it would be good for us to get involved," said Tovey, a self-professed lover of Shakespeare.
"I love Shakespeare. I think he's fantastic, and I think he speaks to all sorts of people. His stories are clever, witty, funny. I like his comedies the best, so I thought it would be a real challenge for Queen's College to put on a Shakespeare, because it's not been done before. I think people are scared of Shakespeare, but it's really not that scary," she said.
Tovey said the students have been doing well, and after three months of rehearsals, the 25-strong cast is as prepared as they can be for when the curtain goes up on the two-day production, March 23-24 at The Geoffrey Brown Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
"The language was a bit of a struggle in the beginning, but now they're understanding what's going on. They've taken to their characters really well. I think it's going to be a really fun production."
Tovey said she hopes the students benefit from the experience of working with a new work of literature that will hopefully help them with their studies and that they have a good time putting on a Shakespeare play.
Their staging of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" comes one year after QC brought the romantic cult hit "Grease" to the stage. For that performance, directed by Gregory Deane, head of the modern language department, the cast was 75 strong.
Prior to "Grease" the school performed "Guys and Dolls" in 2014.
Before that they had two Broadway revues -- "Broadway Over Queens I" in 2010 and "Broadway Over Queens II" in 2011. Those performances were a mish-mash of melodies and excerpts from different musicals.
QC believes in catering to a wide cross-section of young people. As a fully comprehensive school operating under The Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church, the school's interest lies not only in academic excellence, but also in raising well-rounded, courteous, spiritually grounded global citizens. To that end, the school affords students the opportunity to participate in a number of activities and clubs, one of the most popular being the productions it stages under the Broadway Over Queens banner.
Shawn Turnquest, QC vice principal and head of school, has expressed pride in her school's performing arts program.
"We have a number of teachers who love and are interested in the performing arts, and we have a number of students who thrive on the performing arts and love performing," she previously told The Nassau Guardian.
Turnquest said QC students visit Europe every two years, and every time they go through London, they go to the theater. The music department, she said, takes students to either Atlanta or New York annually.
"Our desire is to expose students to theater, and because so many of them cannot travel, we want to bring the theater to them," said Turnquest.
Tickets for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are $15 per adult, $10 per child under 12 and can be purchased at Queen's College.

read more »

Engaging in a vocabulary expedition

March 19, 2017

Reading isn't just a habit or pastime to keep children out of trouble. It's also a way for children to improve their spelling, reading comprehension and critical thinking abilities, according to Nickisha Deveaux, vice principal of the primary division at Mt. Carmel Preparatory Academy.
With that in mind, the students and staff at the school engaged in what they dubbed a "Vocabulous Expedition" to foster better reading habits among students and promote better vocabulary to assist with better writing skills.
The lower primary school students engaged in a "Driving Reading Theater", while fourth grade students read to the principal. Fifth grade students recorded an audio book and sixth grade students wrote mini storybooks.
Adventure Learning Center officials visited the school, where they performed a puppet show geared toward reading. The event culminated with a vocabulary parade for which the students created costumes showcasing the vocabulary words they had been given. They also gave the definition of the word and a sentence using the word.
During the event, parents and grandparents came in to read to students. Portia Sands, the guest speaker at the parade show, emphasized the importance of reading, as she read from the story "Read Bookie Read".
The Vocabulous Expedition project was spearheaded by Adassa Pennerman and Garcia Forbes.

read more »

University of Florida partnership brings dental care to Andros students

March 19, 2017

A team of 20 dentists and dental students from the University of Florida, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Public Hospitals Authority and the Ministry of Education, brought oral healthcare to students in North and Central Andros. The initiative is part of the Adopt an Island program, spearheaded by Dr. Mitchell Lockhart, director of oral health at the Ministry of Health, which began in 2014.
"What we have done is recruit tertiary dental institutions to assist us in each of the Family Islands. This project in particular was the first one, and it's been on-going for the last three years," said Lockhart.
The team, which began seeing students on Andros on Sunday, March 5, is comprised of six professors, 10 students and a few Bahamian dentists who maintain practices in the United States. They have already seen 300 students. Dr. Lockhart expects that they will see and serve more than 500 students in North and Central Andros by the end of the week.
According to Michelle Bowleg, chief district education officer, that would account for about 50 percent of the current student population in the district. The team focuses on oral hygiene education, cleanings and general dentistry for primary school and high school students. The estimated value of the dental services provided is $400,000.
Dr. Ronda Moore, faculty member at the University of Florida and practicing pediatric dentist in Gainesville, Florida, said the team was happy with the progress it has seen over the three years its participants have been visiting Andros.
"We are very happy that the community has invited us back so that we can treat the children and serve the community," said Moore. "We have seen a progression between 2014 all the way down to 2017. There's been a great improvement in the oral health of the kids. We're very happy."
The Adopt an Island initiative has also run successful programs on Eleuthera and Bimini.
Dr. Lockhart said that, based on the success of the programs to date, he hopes that by next year the initiative will provide up to $1 million in treatments through tertiary partnerships. He said the goal of the program is to partner each Family Island with a tertiary dental institution going forward. To that end, the program has already been in conversation with Harvard University and with Nova Southeastern University.

read more »