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TCI: Opposition Deputy Leader suggests virtual learning platforms ahead of COVID-19 school closures

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – March 19,2020 — Come this Friday, 20th March 2020, all schools are to close until Monday, 20th April 2020. With the UK Government predicting that the COVID-19 Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may not peak until 14 weeks from now (i.e. around the 22nd June) it is optimistic to believe that schools will remain closed for just one month.

Schools are being asked to finalize plans to continue the delivery of the curricula using the various means available to them, and to share their business continuity plans to the Ministry of Education by today, Wednesday, 18th March 2020. We are aware that this is easier said than done, and we sympathize with you. Schools, particularly the public schools, do not have the experience, training, tools, or IT systems and support, to be able to deliver courseware over the internet to the more than 7,000 students (based on the Turks & Caicos Islands Government Vital Statistics Report 2018) who are between the ages of 5-19, in such a short time. To successfully move classes online, schools will need at a minimum the following:

1.         A Virtual learning platform,

2.         Teachers trained to deliver classes via the Virtual learning platform,

3.         Students trained on the use of the Virtual learning platform, and

4.         Each student to have access to either a PC, tablet, or smart phone with a reliable internet connection so they can access the Virtual learning platform. 

Getting all these items in place to have virtual classes for the next 30 days is practically impossible. Even trying to do so over the next 3 months is a huge task. However, for those schools that are interested in trying, I highly recommend “Webex for School Teachers”. It’s a great platform and it’s free.

To ensure that this distance learning exercise go as smoothly as possible, we encourage all schools to ensure that before they close on Friday, they have contact information, particularly email addresses, for all students. For students who don’t currently have an email account, I highly recommend Gmail. It’s free.  

In absence of structured classes, you students will be required to exhibit a level of self-discipline and self-management that many adults don’t possess. This is asking a lot from you, but it is necessary during this time. This period may feel like summer started early, but you must be discipline during this time and dedicate at least 5 – 6 hours per day to studying, especially those students who are part of the class of 2020. If your teachers are unable to give you a full day’s worth of class material, then I encourage you to use the spare time reading your textbooks, and for those math and science students, practice, practice, practice, those questions.    

To the class of 2020, the cancelation of classes could not have happened at a worse time for you. You’re getting ready for final exams, in a little more than 3 months you’re graduating, and in September, you’re starting a new chapter of your life. I know you feel that all of this is unfair, and it is. However, all is not lost. Remember, that God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, and when you are tempted, he will provide a way out so that you can endure it.                   

The next month, and maybe even the next three months, you will be tempted by everything but your schoolwork, but you must ignore the temptations. If your school doesn’t have access to a Virtual learning platform, then utilize existing social media and communications platforms – like Facebook and Whatsapp – to study together in groups. Make sure that everyone in your class participates. With everyone reaching for the same goal, it will encourage each person to give their all. Having study groups will make it easier for persons to work through problems effectively, and most importantly, it will encourage the sharing of knowledge. Make sure that no one is left behind.   

“Problems can become opportunities when the right people come together”, and Class of 2020, God has chosen you for this challenge. I know that you will make it through it, and you will make the entire country proud. We stand by you, and we will be here for you.

I pray that God continue to bless and strengthen you to overcome the challenges ahead.      

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Tim and Henry to the Rescue: A Harrowing Search and Rescue Mission Highlights Need for Marine Vessel in Grand Turk

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#TurksandCaicos, July 12, 2024 – At approximately 2:45 pm on July 12th, a 911 emergency call came in from the police department in Grand Turk, informing Ed Forbes of a distressing situation. Four young adult tourists had gone out on paddle boards off Cork Tree Beach in Grand Turk, when one of them fell off the board and could not get back on. Evidently, they underestimated the wind speed and their own brute strength.

Ed Forbes, co-owner of Exclusive Escapes Grand Turk, played a pivotal role in coordinating the rescue. Responding swiftly to the emergency call, he immediately reached out to the local search and rescue team. His prompt actions and calm demeanor were instrumental in mobilizing the necessary resources.

Within 20 minutes or so, Tim from Emerald Escapes, along with Henry and Kindry from Blue Water Divers, were on the scene. Their experience and swift response were crucial in ensuring the safety of the stranded paddleboarders. Working seamlessly together, they managed to locate and rescue all four individuals without any need for medical attention.

However, this incident also underscores a critical issue that has long plagued Grand Turk: the need for a dedicated marine vessel for search and rescue operations and cruise passengers incidents. Despite numerous promises made to concerned citizens over the years, this vital resource remains unavailable.

The swift response of Tim, Henry, and Kingdry highlights the community’s resilience and dedication, but it also brings to light the gaps in emergency preparedness that could be addressed with better equipment and support.

A dedicated marine vessel would significantly enhance the efficiency and safety of rescue operations, ensuring that responses to such emergencies are even more effective.

Ed Forbes
Concerned Citizen

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Invest TCI Opens New Office in Grand Turk

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 11th, 2024—Invest Turks and Caicos Islands (Invest TCI) proudly announces the launch of its new office in Grand Turk, located at the Digicel Building on Old Airport Road. The grand opening of the new location occurred on Friday, July 5th, 2024, under the theme “Empowering Enterprises in the Capital.”

The establishment of the new office marks a significant milestone in Invest TCI’s growth strategy. The primary objective of the expansion is to provide enhanced services and support to the business community in Grand Turk. By increasing operational capacity, Invest TCI aims to facilitate sustained growth and success for enterprises within the country.  Beyond economic advancement, this initiative is set to yield substantial community benefits, including the creation of employment opportunities.

The grand opening ceremony attracted a diverse range of attendees, including recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) programme, members of the business community, government officials, and Invest TCI staff. The event was moderated by Mr. Keno Forbes, Vice President of Investor Services. Special remarks were delivered by the Premier, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, who congratulated the InvestTCI team on their hard work and encouraged the community to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new office. He reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a supportive environment for businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Additional remarks were provided by Invest TCI Chairperson, Ms. Cindy Ewing; Business Advisor, Ms. Lashena Simmons; Director of the Business Support Unit, Mrs. Anissa Adderley; and Vice President of SME, Ms. Alexa Cooper. Their contributions highlighted the collaborative effort and dedication that have driven the success of Invest TCI initiatives.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the new office, Invest TCI CEO, Mrs. Angela Musgrove, stated, “Our vision is clear and compelling: to further empower Invest Turks and Caicos Islands, the agency offers incentives and support that enable more efficient and innovative practices. We are committed to helping businesses thrive, and in doing so, we are helping our entire community.”

Invest TCI recognizes the integral role that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises play in the economic and social development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Through its Business Support Unit, the agency provides comprehensive support services to startups and existing entrepreneurs, ensuring they have the tools and resources to succeed.

The grand opening of the new office in Grand Turk represents a significant step forward in Invest TCI’s mission to support and empower businesses across the islands. The agency looks forward to fostering economic growth and development and ensuring a prosperous future for all.

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LAST AMERICAN TOURIST SENTENCED TO A FINE OF $1500.00 OR SIX MONTHS IMPRISONMENT IN DEFAULT, SHE’S ALSO SENTENCED TO 23 WEEKS IMPRISONMENT SUSPENDED FOR ONE YEAR

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(Thursday, July 11th, 2024) Turk and Caicos Islands – The last of five American tourists arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) for being in unlawful possession of  ammunition could finally leave the TCI today, Thursday, July 11th, 2024.

Sharitta Grier 46 pleaded guilty on 25th June to having two rounds of.38 ammunition in her bags, at the Howard Hamilton International Airport in Providenciales on Monday 13th May, 2024, when leaving the Turks and Caicos Islands after a surprised Mother’s Day vacation trip, from her daughters.

Her Ladyship The Hon. Ms. Tanya Lobban-Jackson agreed with senior defense counsel, Ms. Sheena Mair of F-Chambers that there are exceptional circumstancés in Grier’s case, by this, the court departed from the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment and ordered a lighter sentence of $1500.00 or Six months imprisonment if fine is not paid. She’s also sentenced to 23 weeks imprisonment suspended for one year.

Holding for the office of the Director of Public Prosecution via link was Dr. Angela Terry Brooks, deputy director of the DPP’S office.

The prosecution office did oppose exceptional circumstances and invited the court to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of twelve years imprisonment.

A more detailed court report will follow.

Wilkie Arthur
Court Correspondent
Eagle Legal News Media

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