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Students Of Cavaliers All-Age Receive Tablet Computers



KINGSTON, Sept. 17 (JAMAICA INFORMATION SERVICE PRESS RELEASE): The nearly 100 students of Cavaliers All-age School in West Rural St. Andrew began receiving tablet computers today (September 17), as the Government’s $1.4 billion Tablets in Schools pilot programme was rolled out at the institution.

The school is the second to be equipped, following a similar exercise at Salt Savannah Primary and Infant School in Clarendon, last week.

In July, the school’s staff, comprising six teachers, one guidance counsellor, and the principal, received their tablets and were trained in their use.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, described the project’s implementation as “gratifying”, pointing out that the long-term objective is facilitating access by all persons to information and communications technology (ICT).

He assured that “every single student at Cavaliers and every single teacher will get a tablet computer.”
Minister Paulwell said the pilot is important, as if it goes well, then the programme will be rolled out to benefit over 600,000 students, who attend Government schools in Jamaica, and their teachers.

In his remarks, West Rural St. Andrew Member of Parliament, Paul Buchanan, welcomed the project’s implementation at Cavaliers, pointing out that it will provide the basis for the children “to learn and obtain the skills that are necessary to give us… growth.”

“You are one of the pioneer schools…of this programme. We are making a statement that…(you) will be availed of all the resources to ensure that our children get…the best education there can be,” he added.

School Principal, Renée Charlton-Wolfe, said she is “elated” and “honoured’ that her institution is among those selected for the year-long pilot.

She pointed out that the technology will “definitely” assist in advancing the students’ educational development.

“It’s (an ideal) way, I think, of getting them really involved in learning, and we are really excited about the opportunities that this will create for the children,” she stated.

Ms. Charlton-Wolfe also anticipates significant benefits for the teachers “because we will all be able to improve our technical skills.”

Parent Fabian Durrant, whose son was among the first recipients, welcomed the undertaking.
“This is historic; I am sure the children will appreciate and make use of the tablets. I see (the project advancing) the way the children will learn and the way education will be brought across. I am sure that if they find fun in learning, it will be easier for them to…grasp what they (are being) taught,” he said.

Mr. Durrant noted that his nine-year old son, Jevauny, who is in grade four, has been performing well academically, having recorded 11 A’s and 14 B’s in his final report for the 2013/14 school year, and expressed confidence that the Tablets in Schools project, will further enhance his son’s performance.

“I am proud, and quite sure that Jevauny will advance. I appreciate (what) the teachers (are doing for) the children; it’s a good sign of what is happening at the school,” he added.

Simone James, whose daughter, 10-year old Grade Six student, Tianah Polo, was also presented with a tablet, said she is “elated…because (the tablet will) help with homework”, adding that “it will also help with preparations for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).”

“The (Tablets in Schools Project is) a very good programme. I am thankful to the Ministry and the E-learning programme for implementing it. Tianah is doing exceptionally well and (the tablet she received) will (enable her to do even better),”
Ms. James said.

The Tablets in Schools Pilot Project, being undertaken by the Ministries of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, and Education, is being implemented in 38 educational institutions over the next 12 months. It is targeted at 24,000 students and 1,200 teachers in six pre-primary, 13 primary, five all-age and junior high, 12 high schools, one teacher’s college, and one special education institution.

In addition to the distribution of tablets, the initiative also involves delivery of computers and multimedia devices, including interactive white-boards/projectors, scanners, printers to pre-primary and primary schools. This is in addition to the installation of Wi-Fi at all institutions.

Following a review of the pilot, the project is expected to be rolled out in other institutions across the island, targeting an additional 600,000 students and teachers.

The Tablets in Schools project is being executed by e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited.

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Caribbean News

CIBC FirstCaribbean TODAY shuts another TCI branch, CONFIRMED 



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 



#TurksandCaicos, April, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos will be losing yet another banking branch following confirmation of reports that CIBC FirstCaribbean bank in Grace Bay will be shut down on Friday March 31st.

CIBC representatives confirmed the shutdown to MM Thursday March 30th. Employees at the Leeward Highway branch moved over to the Grace Bay branch in January to allow for necessary upgrades and expansions to infrastructure.  That shift lasted for four months and employees were scheduled to move back to Leeward Highway in early April. No mention of a closure to the Grace Bay branch was made in the January 12 press release that detailed the upgrades.

Citing those upgrades, which are now complete, Managing Director of the Bahamas Operating Company, responsible also for TCI, Dr. Jacqui Bend said, “CIBC FirstCaribbean is continuing to work on a number of initiatives aimed at improving the processes and technologies that our teams use to support our clients and employees alike.  We have committed further investments in simplification, automation, and security across our bank and, as always, our clients will be the beneficiaries of this renewed effort,

It’s a repeat of the firm’s new mantra focused on self-service and digitization that has seen the local presence of the country’s oldest bank diminish more and more.

CIBC defends the decision explaining that retail client services had already been ceased at that Grace Bay branch and the closure of it earlier this year, while expansion Leeward Highway’s location was designed to ‘reconfigure and improve’ their network for the future.

“While there may be a few teething issues being encountered while our teams and clients adjust to their new surroundings, our teams are working with an ‘all hands on deck approach’ to expedite service to our clients,”  she said in the statement shared with Magnetic Media.

The shifts to more digitized services eliminates the in person experience and residents have voiced discontent with the strategy.  Earlier this year CIBC First Caribbean indicated they would pare down services and the in branch experience at their Grand Turk location.

It left Grand Turk with no banks within which they could enter to get that ‘human touch’.  While there was outrage, Government remained silent.

Since January 3rd, customers of the bank have had to shift to the digital approach which now requires smaller cash deposits and smaller cash withdrawals to be made via ABMs, which are more state of the art and it also means applying for many of the banking features online.

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Caribbean News

Three days, two matches, two wins for Natl Men’s Football   



Dana Malcolm  

Staff Writer  


#TurksandCaicos, March 31, 2023 – Belief in themselves and an inspiring new coach has caused a dramatic shift in the Turks and Caicos National Men’s Football team according to captain Billy Forbes; the TCI National Men’s Football team secured two impressive back-to-back wins.  

“The guys are buying in now, having a coach that they can look up to, who has played professionally before– it’s really amazing,” he explained.  “For me, I’m really proud of the guys because three or four years ago that would have been us losing the game probably like 6-0, something like that.  For us to go down 1-0 and come back and win it- I think that was fantastic, you can’t really ask for much more.”  

He was speaking to the press after a March 28th match against Bonaire.  The team is on a winning streak following back-to-back victories over the US Virgin Islands and Bonaire in the Concacaf Nations League.  The most recent match with Bonaire almost looked like a miss just one minute in- but as Forbes said they pulled it together.  Coach Hayden Mullins, former Crystal Palace, Portsmouth, and National English Footballer detailed the nail-biting match. 

“I thought we started slow; we gave a goal away in the first minute,” he said.  “The pleasing thing for me is we went from one nil down to 2-1 up at halftime.  We had something to build on.  Full assessment?  The game had everything, we had a red card; we missed a penalty; we went goal down; but the resolve and the character from the guys was perfect. It’s exactly what we’re looking for.”  

Sebastian Turbyfield (# 1 goalkeeper), concurred with his captain and coach.  Turbeyfield performed quite a few gymnastic feats to keep TCI in the running throughout the match.  He described his teammates as having a completely different resolve and promised they would only be getting better from here.  

Mullings said the team is one that the country can be proud of and ‘could definitely get out of league C.” 

The men returned to the country on March 29th

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Bahamas News

Earth Day celebrations  



Dana Malcolm  

Staff Writer  


#TurksandCaicos, March 31, 2023 – Earth Day is coming up on April 22, 2023, and the Department of Environment and Coastal resources is hosting a poetry competition for TCI youth to mark the event.

Students of all ages are encouraged to write a sonnet to celebrate the TCI’s natural beauty; the winning poem will be published in the Times of the Island Magazine. 

The deadline for poems to be submitted is April 30, 2023, and students should submit their poem via email to or in person to any DECR office. Entries must include the student’s name, age and school.  

The department promises that there are prizes to be won for the top poets. 

April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement 53 years ago and helps demonstrate support for environmental protection. The theme for this year is “Invest In Our Planet.” 

This year‘s theme follows years of missed climate action goals by governments globally, including poor climate financing. The Turks and Caicos and other small island developing states are particularly at risk environmentally because of the growing threat of climate change. 

Currently the country is working through the Environmental Health Department DECR, Fisheries Department, and more to create sustainable fishing, farming, and marine practices that will benefit the country economically, but also protect its natural flora and fauna.  

Projects include sargassum research, coral nurseries to rebuild the country’s coral reef, farming in schools, marine spatial planning to create an effective plan for the use of marine resources, participation in the UK Blue Belt program to protect local marine life, and much more.  

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