By SIMON LEWIS
Bahamas Information Services
FREEPORT, G.B. – Both Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie and Education Minister the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald are fully committed to science and technology throughout the country, said Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville.
Dr. Darville’s comments came as he officially opened the 15th Annual SECME Mousetrap Car and Bottle Rocket Competition at the St. Georges High School on Thursday, March 28. The event is attracting participants from schools throughout Grand Bahama.
According to one of the event organisers, Dennis Knowles, SECME was established in 1975 as the South Eastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering by the engineering deans at six Southeastern universities.
SECME, according to Mr. Knowles, has since grown into the largest pre-college alliance in the United States, bringing together 40 universities, 70 industries and government agencies, and 107 school systems representing 900 schools and 20,000 students in 17 states plus the District of Columbia.
It now reaches beyond the Southeast to include school systems in New York, Indiana, Jamaica and The Bahamas.
The winning Senior and Junior teams in the competition will travel to Emery-Riddle Aeronautical University and its College of Engineering in Daytona Beach, Florida, where they will compete at the 37th Annual SECME National Student Engineering Competition. That event is schedule for June 16-23.
Addressing a large group of participants assembled in the St. George’s High School Gymnasium, Dr. Darville who, in addition to his medical career, is also a Canadian trained engineer, said he truly understands the importance of science and technology and what it means to the overall growth and development of the country, especially Grand Bahama, regarded as the industrial capital of The Bahamas.
“As Minister for Grand Bahama I have seen first hand the importance of technical training and how it is tied directly to our economic growth and development.
“Our vibrant industrial sector is certainly playing a vital role in job creation but now we must all put our best foot forward to ensure that we develop the manpower resources to capitalise on these new and exciting jobs,” he stated.
Minister Darville noted that companies like Grand Bahama Power, the Bahamas Oil Refining Company, Grand Bahama Ship Yard and the Grand Bahama Container Port, are all projecting growth in the industrial sectors over the next 10 to 15 years.
“They are also recommending career paths in science and technology for our high school students is a must, and they are constantly expressing the need for young professionals in all engineering disciplines.
“As public servants, educators, councillors we must capitalise on what is happening in our local economy and encourage our students to choose careers in science and technology and ultimately capitalise on these well paying jobs that will become available,” he stated.
Dr. Darville to commended the committed organisers of the program me “who have taken the bull by the horn for many years.”
He said about five years ago he was introduced to the programme at the Professional Engineer’s luncheon where one of the mousetrap’s winning design was displayed by one of the competitors and that he was amazed to learn about the level of competition involved.
“Students, your intelligence, your ingenuity, your determination, and your ability to work cooperatively as a group to achieve one common goal are valuable skills that you will carry on into adulthood,” he added.
SECME OPENING – Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville is pictured with several students from various schools on Grand Bahama competing in the Mousetrap Car event of the Grand Bahama SECME Competition. (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)
MEDICAL TALK – Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville welcomes Dr. Kevin T. Bowe, Medical Officer/VP Medical Services at the National Insurance Board (Nassau) to Grand Bahama. Dr. Bowe and Minister Darville held talks on matters involving NIB and healthcare assistance on Grand Bahama. Officials from the Ministry of Labour, Department of Environmental Health Services, and top management for NIB’s Freeport office participated in the meeting. (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)
Jamaica Rum Festival Endorsed
#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, endorsed this year’s fourth staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival at the Aqueduct in Rose Hall, St. James, on Saturday (June 25).
Ms. Grange, who officially opened the event, noted that rum, and spirits in general, has deep cultural significance in Jamaica, spanning centuries.
“From the cane fields, where our enslaved ancestors worked, through to today, where we have the best rum in the world… we have a lot to be proud of,” she added.
For his part, Tourism Director, Donovan White, commended the organisers of the festival, which attracted a significant number of patrons, including visitors from overseas. He said the Ministry of Tourism, through the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), was pleased to be a partner in the event that showcased top quality products by local rum purveyors.
Minister Grange, representatives from the Tourism Ministry’s agencies, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, were presented with limited edition Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum.
Contact; Okoye Henry
49th Independence Anniversary Celebrations Kick Off with National Pride Day
In its efforts to promote pride and unity throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Secretariat is encouraging a National Flag Raising Ceremony be held at all Government, and private corporate offices.
This ceremony should be staged at 9am on the Friday, simultaneously.
Bahamians are urged to wear the national colours of aquamarine, gold and black and assemble together as the National Flag is being hoisted and to sing the National Anthem, followed by a prayer.
The Secretariat is also encouraging participants to capture the event in photos and or videos, for posting on social media platforms, and inclusion in the national jubilee booklet and documentary next year.
Send images to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Caption: Sienna Evans beautiful costume was created by Patrice Lockhart. Special thanks to Commonwealth Fabrics for their generous donation of the Androsia fabric used in the gown.
Education Ministry Recommits to Expanding Uniformed Groups in Schools
#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – The Ministry of Education and Youth remains committed to increasing the number of uniformed groups in schools. This is in keeping with its thrust to fulfill this mission under the Safety and Security in Schools Programme, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, has said. She further noted that “it is a part of our series of measures to improve discipline among students.”
Mrs. Williams was speaking during the Council of Voluntary Social Services’ (CVSS) uniformed groups church service on Sunday (June 26). The service was held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Cross Roads, Kingston.
Mrs. Williams remarks came against the background of what she said were “heightened concerns” in recent months over incidents of violence in schools across Jamaica and calls for a more concerted effort to provide civic and character education for students. She noted that several initiatives within the Ministry to address these concerns were being expanded, among them support for uniformed groups in schools.
“The Ministry has been supporting uniformed youth groups in the development of a Three-Year Strategic Plan and [Memoranda of Understanding] with individual groups which will, at one and the same time, advance the missions of the groups and the mandate of the Ministry to these groups,” Mrs. Williams added.
The Minister pointed out that these cohorts, including Girl Guides, Brownies, Boys Brigade, Cub Scouts, Cadets and Pathfinders, “have played an invaluable role in shaping the character and awakening the social conscience of our young people for decades.”
“It has been well-established that students who participate in clubs are more out-going as they are engaged in activities that support socialisation with their peers. These students tend to be more comfortable in group settings where communication and team-work are necessary. This is a valuable asset as it will also benefit these students outside of the school setting,” she stated.
Additionally, she said they provide opportunities for informal learning and life experiences.
“Uniformed youth groups represent a cohort of the nation’s youth that is organised around a set of core values, such as honour, discipline, service, loyalty, commitment, integrity, perseverance, industry and spiritual fortitude,” the Minister emphasised.
She noted that while most are based in schools, units may also be organised at church and community levels.
“Indeed, we know that the church has been a main source through which many new members are recruited. There is a challenge, however, and that is, over the past few years, there has not been as robust an interest in these groups as in previous decades,” Mrs. Williams indicated.
She said it was acknowledged that the society’s youth now have many more interests and distractions, “but we should still try to encourage them to see the value in participating in groups such as these”, while citing an “urgent need” for volunteer adult leaders.
The Minister also noted that older and more traditional groups, such as Boys Scouts and Girl Guides, are international in scope and maintain linkages with the worldwide movements.
“Support from these fraternal organisations has, however, diminished over the years, and local organisations must find the resources to sustain operations and pay the required affiliation fees. So once again, it is important that we, in the local community, pitch in to provide the needed support,” she added.
In this regard, the Minister commended members of the uniformed groups and CVSS for ongoing efforts to forge long-term alliances that facilitate mutual support and joint action.
Further, she said, for representing the concerns of the social sector, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, at the regional and international levels.
“We, as a collective, continue to dedicate ourselves to creating a supportive and safe environment for our students to learn and experience as much as possible to become productive members of society,” Mrs. Williams stated.
Contact: Douglas McIntosh
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