TCI News

TCI Education minister drops the ball on school opening message; avoids problems facing the department

#Providenciales, September 6, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – In the absence of a new school year message from the sitting Minister of Education, the former minister issued one.

“I know that there are challenges but keep focus on the task ahead. Teachers you play an important role in the lives of our youth. You are not only teachers but you sometimes play the role of doctors, judges and counselors. Be encouraged,” said Akierra Missick, who also had a message for students, “Students, I can not stress enough the importance of a good education. Listen, study hard and give your best. It is said that success follows a predictable course, a calculated sequence of choices; and it’s not the brightest people that automatically succeed. Great athletes, musicians and even computer experts all need both time and talent to reach the top echelon. In other words, practice isn’t the thing you do once you are good. It has to be nurtured as a habit.”

A day later and two days after the start of school, the current Education Minister Karen Malcolm expressed her thoughts as the 2019-2020 academic year began.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Education, I welcome back to school our Principals, Teachers and Students for the Academic Year 2019-2020. I am sure you had a relaxing and enjoyable summer vacation.”

There was reflection on the 2017 new school year which was tremendously hindered in its opening due to the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Irma and then Hurricane Maria.

“We are grateful to God for his protection and for not allowing Tropical Storm Dorian to hinder the reopening of school.  As we commence this academic year, we are mindful of what our neighbours in the Northern Bahamas are enduring at this time from the wrath of Hurricane Dorian. Let’s continue to keep them in prayer.”

Still, the new school year for public school system in the Turks and Caicos Islands began with its share of challenges and complaints.  One report of a physically unready high school in Providenciales and scores of children turned away due to a lack of space and a policy which reportedly denies acceptance of the children of some migrant workers.

Video was shared of the mob of parents and potential students which lined up at the Department of Education in down town Providenciales, hoping for help.

The Minister in her message steered clear of these untidy issues.

“I encourage our children to be respectful, kind and to do the best in their school work. The Ministry will continue to ensure that the infrastructure of our schools are safe, resilient and conducive to learning. We are here to support you and wish you all a successful year.”

Magnetic Media has asked for a comment on the situation with migrant worker children at public schools; that was since Monday and there is still no reply.

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