#NASSAU, The Bahamas – February 26, 2020 — Interpersonal and communication skills and preparation for certifications and internships are among the essentials that teachers must impress upon students in Family and Consumer Science said Keyshan Bastian, Assistant Director of Education, Career and Technical Education Section.
“Your degree does not make you qualified. Your experience speaks to what you are able to do and the lifelong field that you develop. It doesn’t matter if you have a Masters’ Degree or PH.D. If you’ve never been in industry, you’re still coming in as a junior,” said Mrs. Bastian.
“If they’re coming in to make beds, let them spend a day making beds. If they’re coming in to work the front office, let them spend a day working front of office.”
Mrs. Bastian was among a panel of industry professionals who participated in a discussion during Family and Consumer Science Education Unit Spring 2020 Professional Development Workshop put on by the Department of Education for public and private junior and senior high school teachers. The theme for the workshop was ‘Curriculum Implementation: Transitioning Students from School to Work and Beyond’.
She urged the teachers to be monitors and coaches, and to network with industry.
“We need our children to be coached into what we want them to be. They don’t leave high school as high school students, come to industry and be where they are, but if we have a relationship that’s on-going we are allowing them the opportunity to develop the kind of experiences they need.
“We want industry to tell us more of what it is you want them to come out with so we can push them in that direction. Collaboratively, we want to prepare the kind of students so industry is running, fighting to get them with joint partnerships,” she said.
Furthermore, Mrs. Bastian appealed to industry professionals to invest in teachers.
“You can only take students as far as you’ve been. You can talk about the experience because you’ve been a part of the experience. Whatever we want to see in our students we’ve provided the opportunity whether it’s through an agency like the National Training Agency (NTA) or the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute.
Providing an overview of NTA, Gadville McDonald, Executive Director, said it is a competency based training organization that focuses on workforce development.
He said NTA partners with training providers and industry leaders to ensure that individuals are properly trained and prepared to contribute to the industry on day one.
“We make sure they have NTA certificates at the end of completion but we [also] make sure they have international certification,” said Mr. McDonald.
“We’ve trained 600-850 students annually — who have not successfully completed high school and are not necessarily prepared for the workforce. We take them through 4 weeks of mandatory workforce preparation, ensure attitude and mindset are right – for the most part that is the number one challenge in our country.
“We’ve been successful over the last 5 years of training over 6,000 young Bahamians. More than 40% of them every year choose the hospitality industry,” said Mr. McDonald.
The panel also comprised industry professionals including Simmone Bowe, Director, Human Resources, Ministry of Tourism; Martysta Turnquest, Outreach Specialist, BahaMar; Suzanne Pattusch, Executive Vice President, Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association and Ricardo Ramos, Global Organization Program Director, Air BnB.
Representatives from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute and the National Restaurant Association participated in the two-day event held at C. C. Sweeting Senior High School.
National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.
“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.
Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.
Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”
The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.
Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.
Consumer protection, 85 businesses to be put under watch
By Dana Malcolm
February 2, 2023 – Grocery stores and dozens of other businesses will be under the microscope soon as the government begins aggressively enforcing the Consumer Protection Ordinance passed back in 2016 with an all-new Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement (C.A.R.E) Drive.
Carried out by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition the drive aims to “actively educate providers whilst enforcing the main provisions to protect consumers under the Consumer Protection Ordinance,” a press release explained.
Firstly, Consumer Officers charged with protecting the people of the TCI from unfair business practices will be assessing the prices of selected breadbasket items in 23 different stores countrywide each month to see whether price gouging is being carried out by businesses.
Breadbasket items are currently duty-free under the Food and Fuel Tax Break until the end of the financial year in March and all savings from those tax exemptions should be passed on directly to the consumer. After each assessment, which will continue for several months at least a monthly price report will be published on the Department of Trade’s website.
In addition, the Consumer Officers will be monitoring other business activities across the country “to ensure that providers are compliant with their duties to consumers.”
Those responsibilities include:
- Giving customers certain basic information about goods and services being sold;
- Informing consumers about terms and conditions before any payment is made (e.g., warranties, refunds, returns, exchanges, etc.) and;
- Abstaining from misleading and deceptive conduct, false representation and unfair business practices.
The government says they will reach at least 85 businesses with the C.A.R.E. Drive but they did not indicate the process behind how these businesses had been singled out. Non-compliant ones will be fined after a thorough investigation and warnings are issued by the Department of Trade.
With this in mind, business owners are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with their duties under the Ordinance lest they be caught in breach. The government did not say what entities would be assessed and whether that included major retail grocery stores, gasoline dealers, water companies, electricity providers, telecommunications companies and other essential providers of the services that all islanders spend on.
74 Foreign Nationals Convicted in The Magistrate’s Court
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – In Magistrate’s Court #1 today, seventy-two (72) foreign nationals were arraigned before Magistrate Algernon Allen Jr. for various immigration offenses.
Thirty-two (32) Cuban nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) of them were subsequently sentenced to four months in the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDOCS). Thirty (30) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department of Immigration to be deported.
A total of forty (40) Haitian nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) received custodial sentences of three months at BDOCS, and thirty-seven (37) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department to be deported. In addition to the charge of Illegal Landing, one (1) Haitian man was also convicted of Knowingly Attempting to Misleading an Immigration Officer and subsequently sentenced to six months at BDOCS on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Three (3) Haitian nationals were also charged with Overstaying. Two (2) pleaded guilty and were convicted. Respectively they were fined $2,000.00 or, in default of payment, served six months at BDOCS, conditionally discharged, and deported. One (1) Haitian female pleaded not guilty, and the matter was adjourned to a later date. Upon payment of fines, completion of sentences, and discharge, all persons were ordered to be turned over to the Department of Immigration for deportation.
The Department remains committed to executing our mandate to ensure compliance with the Statue Laws of our country.
For more information, call the Public Relations Unit at 1-242-322-7530, visit our website at www.immigration.gov.bs, or call our Investigation hotline anonymously, at 1-242-604-0249.
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