49 Hurricane Joaquin displaced students placed into Anglican Central Education Authority schools

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November 04, 2015

The Anglican Central Education Authority (ACEA) has accepted a total of 49 Hurricane Joaquin displaced students to continue their education at Anglican schools for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year. During the period, all tuition and ancillary fees will be waived.

Seven students were placed at St. Anne's School, 39 at St. John's College and three at St. Andrew's Anglican School in Exuma. The students came from four of the Hurricane Joaquin affected islands -- one student from Acklins, 19 from Crooked Island, nine students from San Salvador and 20 from Long Island. The accepted students range in age from four through 17, covering all grade levels.

The ACEA received assistance from Generali Worldwide Insurance (Bahamas) which provided a total of $200 per approved child to facilitate the purchase of three complete uniforms, one physical education (PE) uniform, socks and ancillary items -- which were purchased at a discounted price at specific stores that agreed to assist in the relief efforts, allowing the students to maximize the funds.

Lorene's and Shayne's Department Store also provided assistance with the purchase of uniforms, underwear and shoes.

"The Anglican Diocese and the Anglican Education Department are indeed grateful for the partnership offered by Generali Worldwide and the participating department stores," said Italia Davies, director, ACEA. "It has made a world of a difference in the lives of the children who have been affected.

The students are expected to attend school regularly, complete all assignments and to abide by the school rules as per the ACEA Student Handbook, according to Davies.

"We wish all of the students good luck in their studies, and pray that their transition and adjustment to school in New Providence will be smooth," she said. "We anticipate that the year will be exciting and filled with many new opportunities."

Davies also said the ACEA would accept the students as full-time paying students in September 2016, should their parents/guardians desire for them to continue their studies with the Anglican school system.

The Category 4 storm packing winds in excess off 100 miles per hour, devastated several islands in the central and southern Bahamas. Long Island, San Salvador, Samana Cay, Crooked Island, Acklins, Great Exuma and Rum Cay experienced the worst of the storm. Cat Island and North Eleuthera were also adversely impacted.

The ACEA did not have any schools in the affected islands, but would have had students who attended Anglican churches on the various islands, and opened its acceptance to anyone wanting to take them up on the offer, as the respective facilities allowed, because they realized that the government would not have enough space to intake all affected students in their schools.ACEA class sizes max out at 25.

Davies did not anticipate any of the displaced children who would have attended public institutions in their home islands coming into an Anglican-governed school and having to play catch-up in the classroom as the Anglican education system used an integrated curriculum, but were basically on par with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology. She said that as long as students were placed in their correct grade levels, that they did not anticipate there being much of a catch-up or deficiency.

For incoming Family Island students she said it would more or less be an adjustment to class sizes if anything, as many students would have come from institutions where class sizes may have been between 10 to 15 students, or 20 students at their highest.

In an earlier interview, Davies had said, "We are giving them some continuity as far as their education is concerned, but we are cognizant of the fact that we will have to do additional work with them, because we have to deal with their mental state. They have what I call a double whammy -- they've gone through the hurricane and lost everything, and now they have to be displaced and come to a new environment and try to deal with that, so it's just our way of being able to offer some kind of healing and be our brother's keeper and assist wherever we can. All of those children in the Family Islands are our children, and are our brothers and sisters no matter what. We're all Bahamians. We're all in it together," she said.

The ACEA offers its students a well-rounded educational product that fosters the development of students' spiritual, academic, physical, social and emotional wellbeing, thereby affording their relevancy and adaptability for future citizenship and life in an ever-changing global environment.

"We believe that all children have a right to be educated, and especially in our case, a good, Christian education so that they can prove themselves or make worthwhile contributions to society," said Davies.

The placement offer is part of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas & The Turks and Caicos Island's ministry and outreach.

Click here to read more at The Nassau Guardian

News date : 11/04/2015    Category : About Bahamians, Business, Community/Charity, Education, Weather, Nassau Guardian Stories

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