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BAHAMAS: Teachers Key to Moving to Digital



#Freeport, GB, November 17, 2018 – Bahamas – Teachers will be key to the success in ‘digitalizing’ learning institutions in the country, said Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd during the Grand Bahama Technology Summit on Friday, November 16, 2018.

Being held under the theme, “The Future is Now,” the summit was officially opened by Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis, on Wednesday. The event is being held at the Grand Lucayan and ends today.

Minister Lloyd further stated that the government’s education system is made up of 172 school campuses and 60 satellite buildings that provide support for schools all over the country’s islands and cays, and each island deserves the same quality of education and opportunities as those in the urban centres of Nassau and Freeport.

There are approximately 50,000 students from pre-k to grade 12 and 5,000 in tertiary institutions, along with about 25,000 in the private sector. It is challenging, said Minister Lloyd, to provide quality education with a cohort of between 4 to 6,000 teachers, especially specialized teachers in the areas of math and the sciences.

The government started the digitization of the educational system as soon as they came to office in 2017.  He said, that in this day’s environment, the most effective tool for ensuring closure of the gap between performance and expection is technology.

The Minister of Education said that on September 9, 2018, the government formed a relationship with BTC and Cable Bahamas to provide fibre optic infrastructure to the 172 schools.

“This is a three-year, $17 million initiative; this year, we expect to spend approximately $8 million in this particular exercise.

“You will recognize that the intention is that we want every single school campus to be a smart school. That is, fully integrated utilizing the latest technology particularly as it relates to our far flung islands where we are not able, year after year, to provide those critical teachers in specialized areas — once again, like I indicated, in math and the sciences.”

The accomplish this, he continued, it will be done in phases. In the first phase, all districts will be linked with the fibre optic capability so that the schools and buildings will have full internet/Wi-Fi capacity. To date, many schools do not have full internet or Wi-Fi capability.

“So this fibre optic capability is going to provide internet access and Wi-Fi network — what we call the United Unified Threat Management Security Solution — and will also give those campuses, those teachers, those institutions, those districts the ability for students to come with their own devices.”

Phase two has already begun, continued the Minister, in that pre-primary and primary school students are receiving tablets and laptops. Some 29,000 devices will be distributed over the next 12 to 18 months.

Phase three, or EMIS, Education Management Information System is the information that will enable personnel at the Ministry of Education the ability to “recognize, understand, manipulate as necessary and to plan effectively what the requirements are for our institutions, our school systems going forward next year, next five years, next 25 years.”

The system will also permit parents and stakeholders to engage with the educational system and allow the Minister himself to know what is going on with any given school, classroom or student and provide reports on where the Ministry is with regard to the delivery of education.

“This process will facilitate student enrolment, engagement with parents, and the opportunity for administration and administrators to know precisely what is going on throughout the system.”

Minister Lloyd said that with a population of over 400,000, the country has many people who may not have completed high school, and there are some adults who may want to further their education: for those people, he continued, this system will give them the opportunity.

Referred to as MOOC — Massive Open Online Courses, it will give people the opportunity to finish high school as well as those who feel they need to upgrade their skills.

“What we have found in our system is that we are introducing a tool with which many adults are not comfortable, I’m talking about teachers. They do not have the ease, the facility, that our younger people have and so they are, quite honestly, afraid.”

He continued, “At the centre of this transformation is the teacher. In fact, I prophet to you this. It is us older folks that need to close the gap with the younger children that we are teaching. Our three and four-year-olds are coming to school already somewhat technologically savvy.

“[At] The heart of this transformation in digitizing our educational system — we can lay down all the fibre optic we want… but if our teachers do not come along, and in fact get ahead of the curve a little bit, then the system is going to fail.”

Many of the teachers in the system have not become comfortable with technology, and so there is now a “systematic sustained transition” so that teachers can move from analog to digital.  He continued, “This for us is the most fundamental objective and process that we must undertake, and that’s not a tomorrow exercise or a next year or next five years. We’ve got to do that at the Mabel Walker Institute and other training environments, right now.

“The success of this roll out, this 21st century experience is dependent upon the teachers.”

While once the teachers stood at the blackboard and taught the class, it is no longer the case he said.  Students are no longer taught to regurgitate, but solve problems, and teachers are the facilitators of this.


By Robyn Adderley

Release: BIS



DIGITIZING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM – Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, told attendees of the 2nd Grand Bahama Technology Summit, November 16, 2018 that the government is in the process of digitizing the entire educational system in the country so that all students have access to the same quality of education.   (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)


ROBOTICS DEMONSTRATION – Students of the Bishop Michael Eldon High School, making up Northern Bahamas SECME, held a Vex Robotics demonstration during the 2nd Grand Bahama Technology Summit on Friday, November 16, 2018.  (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)



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CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence



Rashaed Esson


Staff Writer 


“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.


She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.


Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.


“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.


“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”


The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.


She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.


For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average. 


In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.”  Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.


Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”

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Bahamasair Introduces New Flight Service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Georgetown, Exuma



#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – Bahamasair celebrated a significant milestone on Wednesday November 15, 2023, with the launch of its new direct service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Georgetown, Exuma. The new route enhances accessibility and convenience for Bahamian residents and travelers seeking direct access to the Exuma Islands.

The inaugural flight carried approximately 50 passengers. The new service, which will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, allows Bahamian locals to explore mainland Florida, while at the same time, providing travelers direct access to Exuma without the need for a stopover in Nassau.

During a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), Tracy Cooper, Managing Director of Bahamasair, was delighted with the new service. He highlighted that the decision to add the flight to the Airline’s roster was a direct response to the public’s demand. He added that the move signified Bahamasair’s commitment to delivering a quality product.

“Today, we are thrilled to inaugurate our first flight between Georgetown and Fort Lauderdale, marking a significant milestone in expanding our reach and enhancing connectivity,” Mr. Cooper said. “Next year, we are looking to acquire more airplanes, leading to increased rotations and even more accessibility.”

For the route, ATR aircraft will travel between the Georgetown International Airport and Terminal 1 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, with an estimated flight time of approximately 90 minutes.

Lamar Fisher, Broward County Mayor, emphasized the significant impact of Bahamasair not only on the airport, but also on the county. The mayor pointed out that The Bahamas currently ranks as the 5th largest international market for FLL. He highlighted the strong cultural, historical, and business ties between South Florida and The Bahamas, expressing optimism that the new route to Georgetown would strengthen the connections.

“We welcome the Georgetown route,” said Mayor Fisher “We look forward to the tourism, business and trade benefits to come, connecting Broward County to another island in The Bahamas.”

Highlighting the significance of this milestone, Dr. Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Director of Aviation at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, characterized the launch as historic. He conveyed his enthusiasm as The Bahamas reached another major achievement, having welcomed approximately 7.9 million visitors in the first nine months of 2023.

Dr. Romer underscored the government’s strategic vision to boost overall arrival numbers.

“This milestone is particularly noteworthy because, despite the ongoing efforts of our longstanding partner airlines to bring people to The Islands of The Bahamas, I am delighted that our national airline, Bahamasair, has left its mark and etched history,” he said. “We are highly pleased with Bahamasair’s initiatives; they consistently make us proud. Their exploration of new routes has our full government support.”

According to Dr. Romer, the new route not only adds value to the airline’s route network but is also valuable to Exuma’s economy.

“This inaugural has significant economic value and benefit because each person who comes into Exuma on a plane contributes 28 times more than a cruise arrival,” said Dr. Romer. “So, when we look at Bahamasair adding additional seat capacity to Exuma, that translates in a tangible way to heads in beds and money into the economy of Exuma.”

Georgetown, Exuma serves as the gateway to an unparalleled Bahamian experience, with access to pristine beaches, ranked among the world’s best. Exuma is also home to the world-famous swimming pigs. Exuma and its neighboring island to the South – Long Island – will both benefit from the new route. Over the past 26 years, Bahamasair has provided transportation to FLL. During that period, the Airline has conducted over 65,000 flights and transported more than 4 million passengers.

With Georgetown, Exuma added to its schedule, the Airline now offers seven (7) daily flights to Fort Lauderdale to and from other Bahamian Family Islands: Nassau and Freeport, Grand Bahama.

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Stolen Money likely circulating in The Bahamas 



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – Some Bahamians could unknowingly be using stolen money from the bank after one reported being robbed of the cash.

According to a press release from the Central Bank of The Bahamas eary this month, a commercial bank informed them that it was violated by an armored car robbery and bundles of money were stolen.

It said the stolen funds include bundles of Series 2022 $10, Series 2018 $20, Series 2006 and 2019 $50 and Series 2009 and 2021 $100 banknotes.

The Central Bank urged that these banknotes could be in circulation.

In making sure the public knows as much as possible about the stolen money, the Central Bank released information and images on the banknotes. This includes serial number details.

Additionally, the complete list of serial numbers has been provided to authorities and commercial banks where possible, the release said.

The 2018 series 20 dollar notes have a serial number range of N760001 to N765000. All the others have non-sequential numbers.

People are urged to contact the Commercial Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, Royal Bahamas Police Force, at (242) 322-4191 or (242) 501-9991/2, if they have the banknotes or suspect any suspicious activity related to the notes.

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