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Masks on for Students in TCI, Education extends face covering rule

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 14, 2022 – Mask mandates may have been dropped throughout the country but students will have to continue to mask up for classes for the foreseeable future.

The Ministry of Education has extended the mask mandates for students in school, alerting institutions of the decision just this week.

Students will be made to keep their masks on until the end of the school year in July.

Another defence in the ongoing Coronaivurs Pandemic, is the Ministry of Health’s increasing push for child vaccinations against Covid-19.

Vaccines for children ages 6-11 are now available in the TCI, however uptake has been low.

The Education Ministry has not released any communication on precisely why the mask mandates are being extended for students but the decision comes following a rise in Covid-19 cases on the islands.

Education

Ten Selected for the TCREA Real Estate Mentorship Program

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#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2022 – Since the official announcement of the Turks & Caicos Real Estate Association’s High School Mentorship Program, ten mentees have been selected for the inaugural group and will begin their journey on the road to embracing the fundamentals of the real estate field this month.

TCREA Ambassador and Director of the mentorship program, Mr. Trevor Musgrove, shared how pleased the committee was to have received thirty applications for the program, “We extended the opportunity to high schoolers and young college students aged 13-17.  Initially, the invitation for applications was shared only with Providenciales students because of the logistical challenge to accommodate in-person sessions with sister island students, as all our committee members are based in Providenciales.

Luckily, once the Ministry of Education came on board and endorsed the program, Honourable Rachel Taylor immediately encouraged us to extend the mentorship opportunity to all islands, pledging her Ministry’s commitment to handling the necessary authorizations and cost to ensure successful applicants outside of Provo would be able travel here as needed,” said Musgrove.

 The successful applicants and their respective schools are as follows:

·     Clement Howell High – Dashawn Brooks, Alyssa Callum

·      Raymond Gardiner High – Olique Stubbs, Lewis Walkin, Jr.

·      Precious Treasures – Aniyah Bovie

·      Maranatha Academy – Shamya Missick

·      British West Indies Collegiate – Pavla Lalakova, Andino Parker

·      Louise Garland Thomas High – Abnise Noel, Antoine Gedeon

Musgrove said they were pleased to have had applicants from North Caicos and were hopeful to have students from Grand Turk and South Caicos among the group, however no applications were received from those islands.

On Tuesday, May 10th the final group came together for a virtual meet-up and briefing, where they were formally introduced to the program’s mentors and were given an overview of what to expect in the coming months.

The teens will receive a monthly educational module over the next six months and will be provided 1-2 weeks to internalize the information. They will then enjoy a monthly in-person session with their mentors where they will put their real estate acumen to the test in interactive sessions, field trips, and more.

Program mentor Manfred Smith of Sotheby’s Turks & Caicos shared his elation for the program’s momentum thus far, “We are excited about providing this opportunity to introduce high school students to the real estate industry.  From the initial feedback, the students are also very keen to learn, which makes it rewarding for all as we contribute to the development of tomorrow’s professionals.”

Smith says the program also demonstrates TCREA’s continued commitment as good corporate citizens in the rapidly growing country.  The committee hopes that the mentees would grasp all that they can as they continue their educational pursuits.

The program’s Facebook page, @tcreamentors, is live and will document the group’s journey as they move through the program’s phases.  Along with Musgrove and Smith, the community can get to know more about the other committee members: Blair MacPherson of REMAX; Nina Siegenthaler of Sotheby’s; Vernica Delancy and Dedra Gray of Keller Williams; and Sean O’neill, of The Agency through the social media page as well.

At the end of the program, the students will sit a mock real estate license exam and will enjoy a retreat for a fun and memorable close-out. 

It is TCREA’s hope that this initiative will garner an interest and appreciation for the industry among high-schoolers and will act as springboard to the development of the next generation of local real estate professionals in these islands.

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Education

Education Defence mounted by Minister Rachel Taylor  

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 18, 2022 – “Education is undeniably critical to our success as we continue or march towards nation building. Budgets are not merely arithmetic…but in a thousand ways go to the root of prosperity of individuals nation building  begins with ensuring that there is a capable competent workforce to steer our country’s economic development,” said Rachel Taylor, TCI Minister of Education as she explained how the new Budget would  benefit education and youth.

Taylor’s Ministry had come under fire from the Leader of the Opposition for not having enough support to students including textbooks and online resources.

The Education Minister revealed that $4.5 million has been budgeted to help with broken down infrastructure which includes the decades long flooding issue at H.J. Robinson High School (Grand Turk) which has been left neglected over several administrations.  Taylor also talked up a new six classroom block  for Louise Garland Thomas  High (Long Bay) and a three classroom block  for Clement Howell High school (Blue Hills).

An additional $1 million, she said has been budgeted to further upgrade infrastructure across schools. Additionally Taylor informed that schools are to receive upwards of $130, for specifically for 18 and other miscellaneous items.

For the upgrading of equipment and furniture $800,000, has been allotted to schools, beneficiaries include Raymond Gardiner High in North Caicos; Marjorie Basden High in South Caicos; Doris Robinson Primary in Middle Caicos and Enid Capron School in Five Cays.

Security in the primary schools and high schools has been issue and Government will finally address it.  Minister Taylor, a former primary school principal announced $600,000 is earmarked for proper security contracts, bringing priority to safety of students in the public school sector.

In reply to the Leader of the Opposition, Edwin Astwood, Minister Taylor revealed that teachers in the Turks and Caicos government schools were being trained in several online areas including Kahoot Minecraft learning and others.

Taylor mentioned that the budget was an investment in the use of the Turks and Caicos’s and I’ll just see you but older persons who wish to better themselves as well.

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Bahamas News

Caribbean Students get reprieve, Education Ministers win appeal for more time until CXCs

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

May 12, 2022 – After an emergency meeting, the Caribbean Examinations Council CXC has resulted in the decision to grant students extra time to prepare, now the regional exam is delayed by three weeks.

That new start date: Monday, May 23, 2022, with results projected to be released in late August or early September 2022. Adjusted timetables were to be published Wednesday, May 4th.

CXC had initially said they would not push back the dates.

However, Education Minister of Jamaica, Fayval Williams had been lobbying for days for an emergency meeting with the Caribbean Community Council for Human and Social Development with the hope of delaying exams because students, she said, were underprepared.

Other countries in the Caribbean added their voices to support the petition for a delay.

Williams welcomed the additional weeks, telling local media, “We could not proceed as normal given the prolonged absence of students from face-to-face classes and the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years. It is only fair that we should give our students a fighting chance to do well.”

The deadline for the submission of SBAs has also been extended by two weeks for all CSEC and CAPE examinations.

The SBA requirements for some subjects have been reduced by as much as 50 percent and candidates will have the option to defer some of these exams to either January or June 2023.

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