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Re-Opening schools in TCI in this COVID-19 era; Q&A with the MoEYCSLS

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Questions & Answers with the TCI Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture, Social & Library Services

Magnetic Media: What will happen to students whose parents have to work; what has MOE, which is also responsible for youth and social welfare, set up to support such families?

TCI Ministry of Education: The Ministry through the Department of Social Services and the Department of Education are working closely together to provide support and guidance to parents wherever possible.

Magnetic Media: What is current registration; I am told some grades at the primary level are at capacity.  Many parents are no longer able to pay for private school education.  What provision is being made to accommodate families impacted by the economic fall-out caused by COVID-19?

TCI Ministry of Education: Registration for the 2020/21 school year for entry into Preschool 1 (Infant 1) and Form 1 of high school was conducted from 1st June to 30th June 2020.  The available spaces at both levels have been filled and the Ministry of Education is negotiating with private schools in the Private School Subsidy Programme to place students who did not get places in public schools.

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Magnetic Media: How many students are in need of laptops or devices to participate in virtual learning?  Is there a count; what is currently available and what needs to be obtained to ensure every learner is able to participate?

TCI Ministry of Education: Based on submissions made to the Department of Education, there are approximately 750 students indicated as needing a tablet or laptop.  The Ministry of Education purchased 500 tablets to be distributed to students based on a needs analysis.  An additional 250 tablets/laptops have been ordered.

Magnetic Media: Work had started on EMIS; an electronic education management system introduced to the public during the release of the newest Education Policy.  Where is that program currently?  It is my understanding this program will help to ensure, among other things quality learning?

TCI Ministry of Education: OpenEMIS is an open-source Education Management Information System designed to manage education systems; collect and report data on student attendance, behaviour, and progress; collect and manage data on teacher qualifications and attendance; and manage data on educational institutions to optimize resources and services.  EMIS is being used in public schools and the Ministry of Education.  Private schools have been registered on EMIS and they are being trained to use the system. OpenEMIS is a data collection and management software is not a teaching and learning software.

Magnetic Media: Why is TCICC roped in with primary and high schools; these are young adults more capable of maintaining social distancing and health protocols.  I would think this age group is more capable of coping… 

TCI Ministry of Education: The Turks and Caicos Islands Community College operates independently of primary and high schools.  The College has a Board of Governors who gives oversight to is operations and the Board, informed by recommendations from the President of the College, arrived at a decision that is in the best interest of the students served by the college, faculty members and other stakeholders.  The Board, President of the College and the Ministry of Education will review the strategy for reopening and changes will be made as deemed necessary and safe.   

Magnetic Media: Precisely, why did you (MOE) abort the hybrid learning option?

TCI Ministry of Education: The Ministry of Education proposed a blended or hybrid approach to teaching and learning for the commencement of the 2020/21 academic year before the close of the 2020/2019 year.  Coming out on a discussion with the Ministry of Health and understanding the implications for teaching and learning in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education supported a blended approach to schooling as the model for the reopening of schools.   This is captured in the draft guidelines that were developed and continues to be a feature of the guidelines.  A hybrid/blended approach is outlined in the Roadmap for Reopening schools.  The decision to reopen schools as online only for the first three weeks after formal teaching and learning begin was based on the number of positive Covid-19 cases recorded in the country before the official start of the 2020/21 school year.  This can hardly be seen as an abortion of the hybrid approach but rather as the Ministry taking steps to secure the health and safety of students as opposed to putting them directly in harm’s way.

Ministry of Education responses are from September 8, 2020

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

TCI News

Joint Operations Result in Interception of Illegal Migrants in Providenciales

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#RoyalTCIPolice, #Providenciales, June 10, 2024 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force intercepted an illegal sloop transporting SIXTY-SIX (66) irregular migrants on the evening of June 9th, 2024.

The detained group, comprising FIFTY-FIVE (55) males and ELEVEN (11) females, was
intercepted in TCI waters and handed over to the TCI Immigration Task Force for processing.

On June 8th, the Marine Branch of the RTCIPF intercepted a blue and white fibreglass boat
carrying thirty-two (32) irregular migrants.

The boat was spotted 27 miles east of South Caicos and found to be transporting twenty-six (26)
males and six (6) females. The irregular migrants were handed over to Immigration for
processing.

These successful interdictions came following information obtained from a US Customs and
Border Force aircraft.

A joint operation conducted on June 7th has led to the detention of irregular migrants in Blue
Hills. Acting on the information received, authorities detained forty-eight (48) individuals
running along a beach.

Officers conducted extensive searches of surrounding areas, and tragically, the body of a female
was found at Pigeon Pound. Further investigations are ongoing, but it is believed the incident is
linked to a vessel attempting to enter the country illegally.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (Specialist Tactical Operations) Mat Newton states, “I
wish to thank all law enforcement agencies for their invaluable assistance in intercepting illegal
sloops attempting to enter the TCI. Your dedication and collaboration have been instrumental in
ensuring national security and protecting our borders. Our Radar, Marine and Drone units, the
TCI Regiment, the Immigration Task Force, and the Customs Department conducted the
operations.

“The RTCIPF strongly condemns the attempts to enter the TCI illegally. Such actions violate the
law and pose severe risks to life, especially in adverse weather conditions.

“We urge those facilitating and encouraging these illegal attempts to consider the severe
consequences. Do not risk your life or the lives of others by embarking on such perilous
journeys.

“I am also grateful to those people from our communities who report suspicious activity relating
to illegal migration and would urge the public to continue keeping us informed.”
The RTCIPF asks the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime
Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to anonymously provide any information on
illegal entry into the TCI.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crimestoppers P3 app to share
information anonymously.

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Caribbean News

TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders

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TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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Crime

Male Charged With Murder

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#TurksandCaicos, June 7, 2024 – A 29-year-old male has been charged with the murder of BUTLER BRAVE PROPHETE. KERLY AGENOR, of Dock Yard, Providenciales, was charged today (June 06th) following advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In addition to the murder, the accused faces the following charges:

  • Possession of a Firearm
  • Possession of Ammunition
  • Discharge of a Firearm
  • Discharge of Ammunition

The charges against Mr. AGENOR state that on March 05th, 2024, in Providenciales, he murdered Mr. PROPHETE, Contrary to Section 3 of the Offenses Against the Person Ordinance Chapter 3.08.

At the time of his death, Mr. Prophete, 22, of Wheeland, Providenciales, was exiting his workplace on the Lower Bight and was shot dead.

Mr AGENOR remains in custody pending a Sufficiency Hearing.

In a brief statement, Superintendent in charge of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection, and Intelligence Dean Holden said: “I wish to thank the officers of the Serious Crime Unit for their dedication and commitment in bringing this case to a charge. Further, I wish to reassure the public and families that the RTCIPF is committed to bringing prosecutions against perpetrators and, when possible, closure to persons who have lost loved ones to these senseless homicides”.

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