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BAHAMAS: Ministry of Education announces plans for re-opening of schools for face-to-face Instruction



#TheBahamas, February 23, 2021 – As public schools in New Providence, Exuma, Eleuthera and Abaco open and students return to the classroom for in-person learning beginning February 23, 2020, Director of Education, Dr. Marcellus Taylor, appealed to parents to communicate with school officials and work together as a team for a successful transition.

“We know that challenges will exist,” said Director Taylor. “Colleagues in Grand Bahama, Andros and other islands that have engaged in face-to-face [learning] can attest to this but they have been able to meet the challenges because in those areas they have worked together as a team. I don’t see why in New Providence, Eleuthera, Exuma and Abaco we cannot do the same. Every stakeholder has a role to play. The Department of Education and the Ministry of Education (MOE) are doing our part to make the schools safe and to provide quality education for our children. We call on you to do your part in ensuring that this endeavor is successful.”

The MOE hosted a press conference Monday, February 22, 2021 at its headquarters on University Drive to announce plans for the operation of face-to-face instruction for the aforementioned islands. Senior education officials in attendance included: Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Serethea Clarke, Undersecretary; Julian Anderson and Sharon Poitier, Deputy Directors of Education.

The Ministry closed its school doors on Monday, March 16th, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, most of the MOE schools in New Providence, Abaco, Eleuthera and Exuma, will open using a hybrid model.  

“We want to be very clear that schools opened in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on October 5, 2020. At that time most of the schools opened using a virtual platform. However, a number of schools across the Commonwealth of The Bahamas were face-to-face from day one. Islands such as Cat Island in the MICAL District and Grand Bahama were face to face since then. What we are doing at this point is permitting the final batch of schools to engage in some form of face-to-face instruction,” said the Director.

The three models presented by the MOE are: face-to face, hybrid, and remote/virtual learning.

“The preferred model for us is face-to face. As much as we can move towards face-to-face that is our intent.  We will ensure that our students and teachers and all involved in the education enterprise are safe during the COVID-19 era. But we will never forget what our main remit is, which is to provide quality educational services,” said Mr. Taylor.

The MOE is guided by a Strategic Plan for the Safe Reopening of Schools which was produced at the beginning of the new school year, outlines health and safety measures, and engaged more than 3,000 stakeholders who assisted in finalizing its completion.  

In preparation for the opening of schools, the MOE has undertaken the following: intensive training of stakeholders including janitorial staff, implemented a system of daily checks for school bus operators with help of support staff, procurement of high quality, commercial grade cleaning agents and other supplies. 

Under the hybrid model, students will attend school on a reduced schedule but are expected to engage in learning activities when not in school. 

“The learning activities when the students are remote will be either delivered virtually just as they were last week and/or students receiving work from their teachers to take home with them so they can work on it while they are away from school.

“This is very key and critical and we want parents to be aware of this so you are cooperating with the schools, sending your child to school on the days when they are supposed to be there, and also on the days when they are not supposed to be there, making the appropriate arrangements.”

The Director remarked that under the health and safety protocols, the Ministry of Health has mandated that not more than 50 per cent of the student population is in school at any time. 

The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, said in order to determine the best way to transition schools in respective islands from remote/virtual learning, to face-to-face instruction, executives in the Department of Education engaged in internal and external consultations and received information from districts and schools that had already returned to face-to-face instruction. 

“What that team learned in effect was that the Ministry needed to address several critical areas: health and safety, building equipment and supplies, staffing, transportation, training and care of students. To a very large extent these factors have not only been considered, but addressed.  Where they haven’t been that particular school will not recommence face-to-face instructions until they are,” said Minister Lloyd.   

By Kathryn Campbell (BIS)

(BIS Photos/Ulric Woodside)

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Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, September 19, 2023 – Royal Caribbean is working on a major project, announcing plans to open a new adults-only “escape” Hideaway Beach at its CocoCay private-island destination in The Bahamas, come January 2024.

The “beachfront paradise,” set to be situated at the western side of Perfect Day at CocoCay, behind Thrill Waterpark, will have a private beach and multiple pools with DJ music, 20 private cabanas and several spots for “drinks and bites,” the company says.

Not only that, it will include a “hidden VIP experience.”

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO is of the impression that this will bring a compelling, sought after new way to enjoy a day at its private island.

He said, “Hideaway Beach is a completely new vibe and experience that vacationers are looking for on Perfect Day at CocoCay.”

It is going to be a getaway spot for adults, only 18 or older allowed to enter.

“Everything from its hidden-like location to the exclusive beach and pools to the private cabanas is designed for adults who want a day just for them,” the CEO said.

The space, according to Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President of Private Destination Development, will be able to host between 1,500 and 2,000 guests.

No specific day was provided for the opening.

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Eleuthera Medical Center Marks 5 Years, Private community clinic ‘grows with the demand’, adds Dental and Dermatology to slate of services



#Eleuthera, The Bahamas, September 19, 2023 – A Family Island clinic that started with a vision to serve the community with the best in private medical care and wellness regardless of a patient’s financial standing celebrated its fifth anniversary this month, announcing new services it said were those most strongly requested by patients.

Eleuthera Medical Center (EMC), the flagship of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems, marked its anniversary adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of medical specialties that includes primary wellness, vision, gynecology and pediatrics. Some services are offered on an ongoing daily basis provided by physicians at one of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems (BWHS) four clinics, others are offered on a rotating basis by visiting medical specialists and associates on a regularly scheduled rotating basis.

“When we opened our doors to this clinic in 2018, we knew there was a need for full-time medical care and especially attention to wellness in Eleuthera,” said EMC and Bahamas Wellness Health Systems founder Dr. Arlington Lightbourne. “But we underestimated how appreciative the community would be that there were always physicians on call, that in the case of an emergency we could respond, that we provided an ambulance and emergency care saving patients from having to be airlifted to Nassau or beyond.”

Lightbourne said the years have not been without challenges.

“For nearly 18 months, we endured COVID, conducting testing outdoors, trying to keep our spirits strong and staff well so they could care for others and yet in a small community like Eleuthera where you know someone in everyone’s family it’s hard not to feel the pain and suffering others feel,” said Dr. Lightbourne. “But we doubled down and said we are here for the long haul and whatever the path is to provide the best in care, to make that care affordable and to improve the wellness of the community overall, that is the journey we are on, and it has been an incredibly rewarding one.”

To support that emphasis on wellness, the clinic located in the settlement of Palmetto Point adjacent to Governors Harbour in the heart of central Eleuthera, offers regularly scheduled lectures and town meetings with a nutritionist and wellness expert who is part of the team. Lightbourne’s interest in well-being stems from his work in Emergency Care at both PMH and Doctors Hospital where the vast number of cases he treated were the result of non-communicable diseases and conditions including heart attacks, high blood pressure and cancer related to lifestyle – poor diet high in fats and low in nutrition and lack of proper physical exercise.

Today, he said he is seeing more interest in preventative care, a sign that Bahamians learned from Covid and its aftermath that wellness matters.

“We have a brighter future ahead of us and I am proud of what we are doing in Eleuthera and our other clinics to make a difference in The Bahamas with careful diagnoses and individual attention to how people conduct their daily lives when it comes to their overall wellness,” said Lightbourne, now the deputy director of the Bahamas Medical Association and an authorized NHI provider.

BHWS also operates clinics in Nassau, Spanish Wells and Lower Bogue.


Photo Caption: The Hon. Clay Sweeting, MP, Central and South Eleuthera, welcomes the Bahamas Wellness Medical Center’s ambulance. He is pictured with Dr. Jessica Moss, Emergency Medicine Specialist and Vice President & Medical Director at Eleuthera Medical Center, and Dr. Arlington Lightbourne, founder of the expanding clinic, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary serving the community by adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of specializations.

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Bahamas News




Coral Harbour Base, 18 September. ‘23 (RBDF): The Royal Bahamas Defence Force was honoured to attend a Day of Celebration at the Mall at Marathon on the occasion of  Brazil’s 201st Day of Independence (7th September, 2023). The occasion also marked a celebration of friendship and unity.

In a remarkable display of cultural exchange and diplomatic ties, Young Officers led by Lieutenant Blair Bethel, joined in the celebration. Against the backdrop of cultural exchange, Brazilian Singer Ellen Oléria held a special musical performance bringing a taste of Brazil’s vibrant culture to The Bahamas. Her performance showcased the infectious rhythms of Portuguese music commemorating their rich history and vibrant culture.

The RBDF, under the leadership of Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond E. King, is dedicated to the meaningful involvement and development of service members as we share the responsibility for accomplishing the Defence Force’s Mandate. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force extends its congratulations to the people of Brazil during this momentous occasion as we look forward to fostering mutual understanding and building a brighter future between The Bahamas and Brazil.

For additional information, kindly reach out to the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at Connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates, and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel.



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