#Nassau, November 17, 2018 – Bahamas – The Ministry of Education (MOE) is revising the geography curriculum used in public high schools throughout The Bahamas.
Perlene Baker, Education Officer, Social Science Senior High Schools, MOE, announced the new initiative at the opening ceremony of the 8th Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day celebrations and School Competition, Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at the Harry C. Moore Library at the University of The Bahamas (UB).
Ms. Baker explained that a GIS platform is included in the document for the new curriculum that will change the dynamics of how geography is taught. She said presently software is being used to provide knowledge for what is taking place in this era while The Bahamas continues to use old, ordinance survey maps. The new curriculum will upgrade the Ministry to 21st century standards. Ms. Baker also noted that there is an “urgent” need for 21st century training in GIS.
The focus of the week-long celebrations is to improve GIS literacy and to encourage institutions to integrate the technology in the existing curriculum.
Students from public and private high schools in New Providence and the Family Islands demonstrated their knowledge and skills of geographic information education during the GIS competition.
Representing Doris Johnson Senior High School, Central Eleuthera High School, C. R. Walker Senior High School, Huntley Christie High School and Queen’s College, the students made group presentations that depicted the use of technology as disaster managers.
Their exhibits, which were on display, featured GIS maps including information on the projected path of a hurricane, people affected by Hurricane Geo in San Salvador, flight durations from Southern Islands to New Providence, Long Island flood zone areas, power supply areas, surge assessment, shelters and emergency services.
Carolann Albury, Director, Bahamas National Geographic Information Systems Centre (BNGIS) said tools like GIS technology are needed to better position the country to increase its potential for informed decision making for a better quality of life.
“Education is key to all of this. From a technological perspective we recognize the importance for geo-spatial technologies and the need to integrate the technology to improve government’s efficiency. Knowing what, why and where things are and how they are interrelated or connected, having access to accurate and reliable data and information in a timely manner, are prerequisites to planning, research and analysis.
“These capabilities can influence change, influence policy decisions, can help to build a stronger nation, can help us be better stewards of our beautiful country and its resources. Everyone has a role to play. Embracing the technology is a must, procrastination is not an option.
Dr. Erin Hughey, Director, Disaster Services, Pacific Disaster Centre, USA, reflected on the importance of learning not only technology, but the science behind the technology, and understanding of the importance of authoritative data and of a nationwide system that ensures interoperability between the islands. She said GIS technology is a cross-cutting science that needs to be applied in every ministry, every element across all governments.
She challenged the students to look at how they may be able to use the technology to ask innovative questions that perhaps generations have not been able to ask because they did not have the data and information.
The Hon. Romauld Ferreira, Minister of the Environment and Housing, told the students that the work of preserving The Bahamas for future generations is their responsibility. He said, “I am looking to you to be a part of the solution to help to manage our country. We cannot do any kind of reflective management of our natural resources unless we know what is there. This is a basic and fundamental tenet. Once we know what is there and we apply the right information to have access to what we need to know, we can better manage our natural resources.”
The competition was a collaborative effort of UB, Pacific Disaster Center of the United States and BNGIS.
The week of activities also includes Curriculum Development training for stakeholders by representatives of Pacific Disaster Center of the United States.
Bahamas as Caribbean top 2024 Spring Destination
#Bahamas#Tourism, February 23rd, 2024 – The Bahamas has been categorized as the most popular Caribbean destination for travel in the upcoming spring season by travel insurance company Squaremouth, in a new report. It was the only Caribbean nation to make the list for the top 10 destinations. The report is derived from travel insurance purchases made through Squaremouth.
Regional Soldiers head to Jamaica to train for pending Haiti mission
#Haiti#KenyaMultinationalForce#CARICOM, February 22nd, 2024 – About 150 Bahamian soldiers are heading to Jamaica within the next one or two weeks for a joint training with Jamaican soldiers, in preparation for the pending Kenya led multinational force mission to Haiti according to Bahamian Defense Chief Commodore, Raymond King, in reports. Soldiers and security forces from Chile and Argentina will also travel to Jamaica for the training.
King informs that Kenya and Haiti are in the process of signing off on an agreement to allow Kenya to lead the force into Haiti, following advice from Kenya’s High Court which recently deemed Kenya’s decision to deploy police officers to the gang run nation as unconstitutional. This agreement includes a formal request for assistance from Haiti, allowing Kenya to legally intervene on the ground.
Major plans for The Bahamas announced Davis
#Bahamas#Development,February 22nd, 2024 – “Things are changing in The Bahamas,” were the words of Prime Minister Philip Davis as he outlined some of the Government’s plans to improve the nation through a decrease in the cost of living, enhanced security for Bahamians and the expansion of access to opportunities. Davis, who was presenting on February 21st, the Bahamas Mid-Year Review of the fiscal performance for the fiscal year 2023/2024, highlighted a long list of plans for the archipelago.
Here’s the full list stated in Davis’ address :
- A new energy policy and an expansion of renewable energy, including microgrids, and an emphasis on engaging local Bahamian firms and building local professional capacity;
- An expansion of Bahamian ownership in our economy, including support for entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, and an expansion of affordable housing –with hundreds of families moving into new homes by this summer;
- A modern and award-winning specialized tourism product, with new investments across our archipelago, and major visibility and branding campaigns in New York, Florida, and the UK;
- Progress on redeveloping downtown Nassau, long overdue;
- New commitments to education, including a Parental Engagement Unit; more teacher training, modernizing the curriculum, classroom enhancements, improving school attendance, and using the Renaissance testing results to design individualized support for students;
- An expansion of technical and vocational training, including certification at the high school level;
- An Empower Grand Bahama micro-grant programme for entrepreneurs; $1.5 billion in investments for Grand Bahama in the pipeline; the Beautiful Grand Bahama programme, in which collaboration has led to safer communities; and Collab Grand Bahama, which fosters partnerships between the government and the private sector to bring change and progress to Grand Bahama;
- Major upgrades to our health infrastructure;
- More support for our athletes and sports programmes;
- We’re on track to pave 65 miles of road in New Providence alone this year;
- Investments in NIB to improve fairness and efficiency;
- A National School Breakfast pilot programme, which is already giving thousands of our children breakfast in their primary schools, and is ready to expand;
- New classes, camps, lessons, and programmes at our Urban Renewal Centres;
- A Youth Guard to strengthen our capacity during national emergencies, and give more young Bahamians a path forward;
- A Task Force addressing unregulated shantytowns in New Providence and Abaco, with other islands to follow;
- The selection and training of new immigration officers;
- Saturation patrols and new investments and collaboration in crime prevention;
- A juvenile detention facility;
- A cadre of officers trained to recognize and manage psychiatric issues;
- Stronger partnerships and new patrol vessels to secure our nation’s borders;
- Major new investments across our Family Islands, including new airports, and road paving in Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Abaco, Long Island; Great Harbour Cay, and Crooked Island;
- The development of our nation’s blue carbon credits strategy; and
- A major investment in agriculture and national food security.
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