#Nassau, November 20, 2018 – Bahamas – Marcellus Taylor, Director in the Ministry of Education (MOE) termed the Government’s Private Pre-School Partnership (PPP), an “extra” important initiative as it symbolizes the union of persons who, prior to now, operated separately.
Mr. Taylor outlined the purpose of the launch of the PPP, the second component of Universal Pre-Primary Education, officially launched by the early Childhood Education Section of the Ministry and Department of Education Wednesday, November 14, 2018 during a ceremony at the Learning Resources Unit, Mackey Street.
A representative of the Office of the Attorney General presented and outlined the terms of the contract between the Government of The Bahamas and private pre-school providers.
In the first phase, the number of 3 and 4-year-olds enrolled in public pre-schools was increased. This phase seeks to increase the number of free spaces available to families who are challenged to pay for pre-school education. Based on the contractual agreement, vouchers of up to $2,000 per child will be provided to secure the enrollment of children in approved, private pre-primary schools.
Mr. Taylor explained the importance of the contract as throughout the years the MOE has systematically worked to improve the relationship between the Ministry and the pre-school providers by introducing training, ongoing professional development opportunities and registering facilities.
He told the operators that the work they do, and the Ministry does, is to get pre-schoolers to the level which requires a deeper level of partnership, which is manifested in the contractual agreement.
“Today symbolizes the formalization of it. As we move forward we know we will continue to work to improve this program so we can get more children enrolled because at the end of the day we want all of our children to have a quality pre-primary education so they enter grade one ready to learn.”
The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, said he is enthralled for the occasion to officialize the relationship between the providers of early childhood education in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Government of The Bahamas through the Ministry of Education.
“Based on our 10-year census there are approximately 12,000 3/4 year-olds in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Today, less than one half of those are enrolled in a MOE registered pre-school programme,” said Minister Lloyd.
“Understand the implications of that. It means that half of our children, or more than half, enter the first grade of the formal education establishment ill-equipped to negotiate those very important academic, vocational, social, emotional, intellectual skills and that in a world where the pace of knowledge acquisition or knowledge development is accelerating at a frenetic pace.”
Minister Lloyd shared a recent experience at a technology conference in Grand Bahama with the pre-school providers and education officials.
“It is mind-blowing what is now today the operating paradigms of the universe in terms of our own lives. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics and the like are not futuristic. This is no longer Star Wars, this is today the reality of the world in which we live.
“This is a different world that is moving at a pace that is even beyond our imagination of just a few years ago. I am greatly impressed that you have come forward to partner with us to enable us over the next years to facilitate the ambitions and aspirations of our people particularly those who cannot speak for themselves – our three and four-year-olds.”
Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Leja Burrows, Senior Education Officer and Bishop Perry E. Newton, Director, Little Professor’s Academy also participated in the ceremony.
Header: The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, gives remarks at the ceremony.
Marcellus Taylor, Director of Education, gives an outline of the purpose of the launch of Private Preschool Partnership.
Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary, presides over the contract signing between pre-primary education providers and the Government of The Bahamas.
Minister Jeff Lloyd.
(Photos/Edgar Arnette, Ministry of Education Communications Department)