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Education

Ministry fails, no school again for Grand Turk Special Needs children

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 16, 2022 – Special needs children in Grand Turk will not be starting the new school year with other students; once again the Government has failed to ensure educational opportunities for all children.

Parents of special needs students set to start at the Ona Glinton Primary school in Grand Turk were again disappointed when nearly a week after school was supposed to start, they were told a staff shortage means their children will not be able to be accommodated.  It is a disturbing repeat of previous years and a heartbreaking reality as the Ministry of Education has failed to get the desperately needed program off the ground.

On July 8 this year during a press conference to address the special needs situation, Minister of Education Rachel Taylor said: “We are at a critical turning point in our country and our special-needs community will not be left behind, you are at the forefront of our plans and programs, my government and I will ensure that you have all you need to progress.  No effort will be spared in ensuring that the needs, infrastructure and programs are in place to fill the gaps.”

Yet, on Sunday afternoon parents were advised by school officials of the vacancies and told they would be informed as soon as the staff need was filled. Only then would their children be able to enter school.

It leaves special needs children in limbo and parents and the community angered.

As neuro-typical students advance, their special needs children remain behind, not due to a lack of ability or compliance with the law which demands children over four years be registered in a school; but due to the inadequate response by successive governments.

In the press conference, Minister Taylor had said that the ministry had hired more special-needs teachers to deal with the growing population.

“We have on boarded additional special-needs teachers across the Turks and Caicos Islands so they can deal with the challenges. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need that special needs school and as a ministry we will deliver on that promise.” she said.

We now know based on a more recent back to school press conference it will take at least three more months for that school to open and it will open in phases instead of at full capacity.  We also learned as many as 15 teachers quit TCIG abruptly leaving a public education in a lurch.

And while the government is giving a big pitch on the establishment of that special needs centre, sustainability may be an issue as the initial class size will be tiny; an admission from the Education Director Edgar Howell.

“It is the government’s remit to make sure that services are provided for all of our children. This means plans are afoot to create a special needs center that all of our children whether diagnosed or not. We will start with a small group of students and then build out our capacity,” said Howell.

Permanent Secretary Wesley Clerveaux and Special Needs Officer Jas Walkin both admitted that the Ministry was aware prior to the press conference and prior to the summer that there were not enough teachers for all special-needs students on the island. Yet appropriate steps have still not been taken and notices have come so very late.

It leaves parents now scrambling to implement an alternate plan for their children, who are being left behind by their peers in the same age group.

One resident in an open letter stated, “It does not seem to be a real concern for the public servants who swore on the Bible to serve the Turks and Caicos Islands— A shortage of staff may have created a shortage of services in the school system but it is abundantly clear that special needs are surely not being given priority.”

There have been reports in Providenciales as well of children being turned away from public schools having to enter the private system to give their children a chance at an education.

Every year the inability to register hundreds of students, complete refurbishment of schools and fill teacher gaps rears its ugly head. Residents express outrage as millions of dollars in surplus is celebrated while basic constitutional rights are sidelined and underserved.

Education

More New Campuses for the TCI Community College says Education Minister Rachel Taylor

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2022 – North, South and Middle Caicos college-aged students will soon have the opportunity to access courses at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College without coming to Provo with the establishment of a new satellite campus by 2023.

The announcement was made by Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education in a recent town hall meeting in North Caicos in response to a resident who was concerned about fair access to free education for all students.

“Myself along with a few other indigenous twin islanders inquire as to whether online courses will be available for us because I refuse to pack up and relocate to the expensive Providenciales or Grand Turk to get a college education,” she queried.

The resident said she was confused as to why online services were not implemented with the rollout of free Community College for all islanders as virtual learning had been done without any issue during the pandemic.

“The President and her team will be in North Caicos before the end of the semester, which will be within the next few weeks. What we’re doing for the island of North Caicos as well as South and Middle is to introduce a satellite campus,” Taylor promised.

The campuses will be at the Raymond Gardiner High School in North Caicos and Marjorie Basden High School in South Caicos. In addition to those physical satellite campuses, students will be able to work online.

“Persons who would not want to attend the satellite facility, we want to ensure that they have the opportunity to carry out their courses online.”

The major key to the program, Taylor says, is good internet capabilities which can be difficult for the twin islands. The minister revealed that the government had been having discussions about the twin islands’ connectivity.

“We are definitely going to introduce the courses— very, very soon, you will see them being offered” she promised, “as early as next semester.”

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Bahamas News

Lyford Cay Foundations Donates $525,000 to University of The Bahamas on Day of Giving

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#TheBahamas, December 5, 2022 – On a day dedicated for a sustained period of giving, the Lyford Cay Foundations (LCF) gave University of The Bahamas (UB) a half-million dollar grant on Tuesday 29th November that will be used for student scholarships, academic necessities and to enrich the student experience.

The LCF is one of UB’s legacy donors and a valued partner in higher education.  Its generous gift was made on UB’s Day of Giving, also observed internationally as Giving Tuesday.

“We could not think of a better day to present this grant to University of The Bahamas than on Giving Tuesday, the day when individuals, corporations and non-profits come together to transform communities through giving,” LCF Chairman, Mr. Basil Goulandris said.

Mr. Goulandris added that the donation means LCF’s partnership with UB now extends beyond traditional scholarship grants.  The new grant will be used to fund study abroad opportunities, meal plans and university bridging scholarships for students who are in need and maintain a good academic standing.

“Our grants to the College of The Bahamas, and now the University of The Bahamas, have aimed to help people achieve their dreams and obtain skillsets most needed in our country,” said Mr. Goulandris.  “Our grants have enabled needs-based scholarships with the aim of equalizing opportunities for Bahamians.

“So much can be said about the breadth of our association with the University of The Bahamas.  The Lyford Cay Foundation is passionate about education, and we value the role University of the Bahamas plays in our national development.”

Tuesday’s donation brought the LCF’s investment in UB and its predecessor, COB, to over $10 million.  Over the past 25 years, the LCF has funded hundreds of student scholarships, the Virtual Library Project, as well as the completion of the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre, fittingly named after the late, former Chairman of the LCF.

“This is, quite frankly, phenomenal, and a reflection of the value and importance that Lyford Cay Foundations and its donors place on access to quality education within The Bahamas, in addition to beyond its shores,” said UB President Dr. Erik Rolland.  “We are honored at the longevity of this partnership, and are proud of the work both of our organizations are committed to the development of young Bahamians by providing these opportunities for higher education.”

Chair of UB’s Board of Trustees, Mrs. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, K.C., said Tuesday’s donation, though significant, pales in comparison to the near 30-year partnership between the two entities that continues to produce meaningful avenues to academic and professional success for Bahamian university students.

“This is a partnership and shared vision of immense value,” said Mrs. Maynard-Gibson.  “This is the work and the support that builds leaders, develops a country, and transforms the world.  Today, we’ve taken another step forward in this important work.  We’re truly honored to be doing this work with the Foundation, and on our UB Day of Giving, and Giving Tuesday internationally, we celebrate you and your donors for your philanthropic leadership.”

LCF Executive Director Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle, a UB alumna and LCF scholar, said she was delighted to be a part of Tuesday’s donation ceremony.

“As a beneficiary of the important work of Lyford Cay Foundations, and University of The Bahamas, I know first hand why moments like these matter,” said Dr. Virgill-Rolle.  “I benefited generously from Lyford Cay Foundations donors who helped students like me achieve our dreams.  As an alumna of the College of The Bahamas now University of The Bahamas, I also benefited from the outstanding education that this institution provides.”

Under the grant arrangement, scholarship funding may be applied to tuition and fees, books and supplies directly related to the course of study and UB meal plans.

University of The Bahamas has been intentional in forging new partnerships and strengthening existing ones to increase the capacity to fulfil its mission of supporting and driving national development.  The LCF grant comes during UB Charter month during which the institution marked its sixth anniversary.

 

Photo Caption: From left are: UB Student Government Association (SGA) President Matthew Williams; SGA Vice President Anthony Sturrup; Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager, UB, Inga Bostwick; Vice President of Institutional Advancement, UB, Dino Hernandez; UB President, Dr. Erik Rolland; UB Board of Trustees Chair, Allyson Maynard-Gibson, KC; Lyford Cay Foundations Board Chair Basil Goulandris; Lyford Cay Foundations Executive Director Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle; Lyford Cay Foundations Vice Chair Sarah Farrington; Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, UB, Antona Curry; Executive Director Corporate and Foundation Relations, UB, Kandice Eldon.

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Education

TCI Community College celebrates its 27th Annual Graduation Ceremony

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#TurksandCaicos, December 5, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Community College celebrated its 27th annual graduation ceremony under the ThemeResilience towards the Changing World of Work through Sustainable, Innovative and Quality Education and Training”. In the 28th year of the College’s existence, we have embarked on the blended and online learning modalities to offer programmes to students across the Turks and Caicos Islands.  The College offers several levels of certification, which include the Certificate, the Associates degree, and the Bachelor’s Degree, and for the first time, Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR).

Attendees to the ceremony included His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Nigel Dakin, Hon. Akierra Missick, Hon. Edwin Astwood, Leader of the Opposition, and other government officials.  H. H. Mrs. Oreika Selver- Gardiner Resident Magistrate, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

The President of the College, Dr. Candice Williams, articulated “As the CEO of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College I am responsible for the overall strategic leadership of TCICC, formulating and implementing progressive strategic plans for the development and improvement of the institution, whilst providing highly effective leadership across the organisation, to ensure the achievement of a shared vision, mission and purpose”. Dr. Williams also mentioned that the success of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College hinges on the collective efforts of “Government officials, employers in the public and private sectors, industry partners, our governing board, leaders and staff of TCICC, our accrediting bodies, students, alumni and residents of the TCI.” With the expectancy that all entities will “understand and embrace their roles and responsibilities in TCICC’s success matrix”.

Hon Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Labour, Employment and Customer Service, graduation message asserted that the “Success in reskilling and upskilling the labor force of the Turks and Caicos Islands will be heavily dependent on the way we chart this institution, making the TCICC our students’ first choice”.  Honourable Taylor also charged the graduates to be lifelong learners, to choose a path of service, and to be community oriented.

Ms. Glodeeka Moultrie, Valedictorian of the Bachelor Degree Programme, in her address, remarked: “It’s the beginning of a future with promise.  It’s now time to build. Build a culture of hope and success not only for ourselves but for a generation that depends on our leadership to survive.”

Ms. Danae Dennie, Valedictorian of the Associate Degree Programme commended the College for its ability to adapt to the new teaching modalities used during the Covid-19 Pandemic and expressed appreciation for the quality teaching and learning experience she obtained at the College.

Graduates were encouraged to view this time to reflect on a job well done. They were commended for successfully navigating the challenges met during the Global Pandemic and encouraged to continue in their pursuit of excellence.

Valedictorians 

Glodeeka Moultrie                                         Bsc. Business Administration (Human Resource Management)

Danae Dennie                                                 Associate Degree -Tourism Management

Salutatorians:

Shicora Harvey                                               BSc. Business Administration (Human Resource Management)

Natalia Noyes                                                  Associate Degree –Science

 

The Dean’s List reflects students who have obtained an overall GPA of 3.5 and above at the end of their programme.

Dean’s List

 

  1. Danae Dennie                                 Associate Degree -Tourism Management
  2. Raymond Kendall                          Associate Degree – Automotive Engineering  Technology
  3. Natalia Noyes                                 Associate Degree –Science
  4. Brinei Jones                                    Associate Degree –General Studies (Humanities)
  5. Angdwina Smith                            Associate Degree –Computer Science
  6. Glodeeka Moultrie                        Business Administration (Human Resource Management)
  7. Dominique Elliot                           Business Administration (Finance & Management)
  8. Kandi Selver                                   Business Administration (Human Resource  Management)
  9. Shicora Harvey                              Business Administration (Human Resource Management)

 

Best Performance in each Programme

  1. Jordan Fraser                                        Associate Degree -Architectural Design and Building Technology
  2. Raymond Kendall                                 Associate Degree – Automotive Engineering Technology
  3. Kaylana Selver                                       Associate Degree -Business Studies
  4. Angdwina Smith                                   Associate Degree -Computer Science
  5. Orpha Pierre                                          Associate Degree -Criminal Justice
  6. Myria Williams                                      Associate Degree -Culinary Arts
  7. Sherley Belzi                                          Associate Degree -Early Childhood Education
  8. Brinei Jones                                           Associate Degree -General Studies (Humanities)
  9. Ferlande Alesca                                     Associate Degree -Hospitality Management
  10. Ethan Stewart                                        Associate Degree -Marine Biology
  11. Pandel Lightbourn                                Associate Degree -Primary Education
  12. Natalia Noyes                                         Associate Degree -Science
  13. Manoucheka Hamiliton                       Associate Degree -Social Work
  14. Danae Dennie                                         Associate Degree -Tourism Management
  15. Dominique Elliott                                  Business Administration (Finance & Management)
  16. Glodeeka Moultrie                                 Business Administration (Human Resource Management)
  17. Theresa Lewis                                         Hospitality & Tourism Management
  18. Annelle, Joseph                                      Primary Education
  19. Stanley Taylor Jr.                                   Social Work
  20. Jalicia Astwood                                       Management Information Technology

The Turks and Caicos Islands Community College is committed to providing quality education to the communities it serves, and it is our vision for that TCICC becomes the institution of first choice within the Turks and Caicos Islands and beyond.

The graduation exercise can be viewed on the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTCICC

 

We are TCICC! Daring to Aspire Determined to Succeed! 

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