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Bahamas Department of Education holds Professional Development Workshops for Family and Consumer Science Educators

#NASSAU, The Bahamas – February 26, 2020 — Interpersonal and communication skills and preparation for certifications and internships are among the essentials that teachers must impress upon students in Family and Consumer Science said Keyshan Bastian, Assistant Director of Education, Career and Technical Education Section.

“Your degree does not make you qualified. Your experience speaks to what you are able to do and the lifelong field that you develop. It doesn’t matter if you have a Masters’ Degree or PH.D.   If you’ve never been in industry, you’re still coming in as a junior,” said Mrs. Bastian.


Simmone Bowe, Director, Human Resources, Ministry of Tourism, addresses educators during a panel discussion put on during Family and Consumer Science Education Unit Spring 2020 Professional Development Workshop.  Seated from left is Martysta Turnquest, Outreach Specialist, BahaMar; Ricardo Ramos, Global Organization Program Director, Air BnB; Suzanne Pattusch, Executive Vice President, Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association; Keyshan Bastian, Assistant Director of Education and Gadville McDonald, Executive Director, NTA. Other participants in the panel discussion are pictured seated.  
(BIS Photographer/Patrick Hanna)

“If they’re coming in to make beds, let them spend a day making beds. If they’re coming in to work the front office, let them spend a day working front of office.”

Mrs. Bastian was among a panel of industry professionals who participated in a discussion during Family and Consumer Science Education Unit Spring 2020 Professional Development Workshop put on by the Department of Education for public and private junior and senior high school teachers. The theme for the workshop was ‘Curriculum Implementation: Transitioning Students from School to Work and Beyond’.

She urged the teachers to be monitors and coaches, and to network with industry.

“We need our children to be coached into what we want them to be. They don’t leave high school as high school students, come to industry and be where they are, but if we have a relationship that’s on-going we are allowing them the opportunity to develop the kind of experiences they need.

“We want industry to tell us more of what it is you want them to come out with so we can push them in that direction. Collaboratively, we want to prepare the kind of students so industry is running, fighting to get them with joint partnerships,” she said.

Furthermore, Mrs. Bastian appealed to industry professionals to invest in teachers.

“You can only take students as far as you’ve been. You can talk about the experience because you’ve been a part of the experience. Whatever we want to see in our students we’ve provided the opportunity whether it’s through an agency like the National Training Agency (NTA) or the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute.

2020 Atlantic Hurricane Storm Names

Providing an overview of NTA, Gadville McDonald, Executive Director, said it is a competency based training organization that focuses on workforce development.

He said NTA partners with training providers and industry leaders to ensure that individuals are properly trained and prepared to contribute to the industry on day one.

 “We make sure they have NTA certificates at the end of completion but we [also] make sure they have international certification,” said Mr. McDonald.

“We’ve trained 600-850 students annually — who have not successfully completed high school and are not necessarily prepared for the workforce. We take them through 4 weeks of mandatory workforce preparation, ensure attitude and mindset are right – for the most part that is the number one challenge in our country.

“We’ve been successful over the last 5 years of training over 6,000 young Bahamians. More than 40% of them every year choose the hospitality industry,” said Mr. McDonald.

The panel also comprised industry professionals including Simmone Bowe, Director, Human Resources, Ministry of Tourism; Martysta Turnquest, Outreach Specialist, BahaMar; Suzanne Pattusch, Executive Vice President, Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association and Ricardo Ramos, Global Organization Program Director, Air BnB.

Representatives from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute and the National Restaurant Association participated in the two-day event held at C. C. Sweeting Senior High School.

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