Students in the Turks and Caicos Islands will be short of 15 teachers this year as 13 have already indicated they will leave before September’s opening date, and two more are set to leave during the school year, increasing the number from the initial ten that resigned in late August.
Director of Education, Mr. Edgar Howell explained, “As a result of what is going on in the world, the Turks and Caicos Islands has been impacted by resignations. To date, there are 15. The opening of school will be impacted directly by 13, the other two will leave during the school year, which will give us the opportunity to have those positions filled or to have temporary appointments in them.”
Deputy Director of Education Mark Garland hinted that the resignations had come suddenly, describing them as “unforeseen”. As a result of those unforeseen resignations, the education ministry won’t be able to start school with a complete complement of staff.
“In situations such as these, efforts would have been made to employ teachers on a temporary basis until we are able to fill those vacancies via the recruitment process.” he said.
The unfortunate aspect of the recruitment process however is that it can be lengthy, because of the significant number of steps involved. In addition to that, Garland said even after a suitable candidate has been identified, individuals may reject the offer, forcing the ministry to restart the process.
The TCI is not the only country suffering from resignations; Jamaica and the United States have reported hundreds and thousands of gaps respectively.
In a previous press conference, Minister of Education Rachel Taylor had indicated that the gaps were specialized teachers, including home economics, science, and mathematics. All three representatives assured that the Ministry is working as quickly as they can to fill the gaps
Permanent secretary in the Ministry, Wesley Clerveaux, told residents not to be alarmed at the vacancies, stressing that they had substitute teachers in place that they could call on to provide support in the meantime.
Next Year, more courses, more staff, new location for TVET says Minister Taylor
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2022 – TVET offerings in the Turks and Caicos will definitely increase, especially for incarcerated people according to Minister of Education Rachel Taylor. Taylor was responding to queries from a resident about the limited course offerings in a Town Hall meeting on Monday November 21st.
“By next year you will see more programs being offered, not just at the prison, but also at the community college.” she said.
Mentioning that the Turks and Caicos Community College already offered courses like Commercial Food Preparation, Customer services as well as Electrical Engineering, but not some others like masonry, she said that the one thing they were working on was synchronizing courses between high schools and higher education.
“We will have to align the courses that are offered in high school also in the community college. Persons may not be aware but the Caribbean Vocational Qualification is actually level one of TVET, so when our students finish with the carpentry and the masonry and data entry, they can move into level two at the community college.”
In order to make that happen there are several things the government must do, she explained.
“Currently, we have to get onboard additional manpower at the community college [that] has already been budgeted.” She said that interviews were already taking place for adult learning assessment officers and a larger space at Alliance Business Plaza had been procured.
“We have recently purchased Club Pillows, which will be our new Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, which will provide us a better outlet to introduce additional courses.”
Referencing the new program geared towards inmates, she said, “The first phase of the MOU is the introduction of the Commercial Food Preparation and Customer services so we will definitely increase the offerings. We will have that dialogue with the inmates in terms of the — kind of training they would want to receive.”
Increased TVET offerings had been one of the major requests from young people during a recent youth survey. The Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute has also been flown into the TCI to consult and help broaden the offerings provided in the technical, vocational programme.
Sandals Foundation Sponsored Sharks4Kids programme expands conservation efforts
#TurksandCaicos, November 24, 2022 – With the objective of strengthening ocean conservation, Sandals Foundation has collaborated with the marine educational organisation, Sharks4Kids, to engage nearly 2000 children in interactive learning sessions about sharks.
During a week-long visit to primary and secondary schools in Grand Turk, South Caicos, and Providenciales, the students learned about shark conservation, shark tagging, and science, as well as the lemon shark and other sharks found in the Turks and Caicos Islands’ clear waters.
“As we continue to work towards sustainably managing and protecting our marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, it is more evident that environmental awareness is a crucial component of this process,” explained Georgia Scarlett, Environmental Coordinator at Sandals Foundation.
“Many people are unaware that sharks help to maintain delicately balanced ecosystems by influencing prey distribution and density,” Scarlett added. “We saw how critical it was to assist in increasing environmental education about these species so that more people are aware, understand their role in enhancing biodiversity and benefiting from healthy and productive oceans, and change their perceptions of these creatures.”
Jillian Morris, the Founder of Sharks4Kids, expressed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of shark conservation and the significance that this programme that engages children in shark education will have on the achievement and maintenance of healthy seas and oceans.
“Kids are the future for our oceans and for sharks. We must empower and inspire them. By providing facts and hands-on learning opportunities, we are changing fear to fascination.”
Through this partnership, Sandals Foundation and Sharks4Kids participated in the recently held Turks and Caicos International Film Festival, which continued its ever-present theme, ‘Oceans and Environment’. This provided a larger platform for the continuation of enlightenment, empowerment, and inspiration amongst students, locals, and international guests. The teams took part in the Youth Day Expo, where students participated in mock shark tagging and a virtual reality shark dive. Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos also contributed to this awareness chart by sponsoring the festival.
Header: During the Sandals Foundation-sponsored Sharks4Kids school tour, nearly 2000 children from Grand Turk, South Caicos, and Providenciales participated in interactive shark education sessions.
1st insert: At the recently held International Film Festival Youth Expo at the Edward C. Gartland Youth Centre, students from Ianthe Pratt Primary School capture metrics of a demo shark.
2nd insert: Students participated in 3D shark tagging at the recent International Film Festival Youth Expo at the Edward C. Gartland Youth Centre, increasing their awareness of sharks found in Turks and Caicos waters.
UWI Bestows Honorary Doctor of Law Degree on Sandals Executive Chairman Adam Stewart for ‘Innovation and Creativity’ in Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy
November 17, 2022 – In a ceremony befitting the region’s largest university honouring the region’s largest private employer, the University of the West Indies bestowed an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree on Sandals Resorts International Executive Chairman Adam Stewart November 5, calling him a ‘modern Renaissance man’ and lauding his ‘innovation and creativity’ in creating growth for the region.
The event recognizing Dr. Stewart (Hon.) took place during UWI’s graduation ceremony at UWI’s Mona Campus, Montego Bay, Jamaica in front of a crowd of hundreds of students, faculty, staff, family and friends.
While Stewart is best known in The Bahamas for his leadership at Sandals Royal Bahamian and two resorts in Exuma, he was honoured for a wide range of contributions from healthcare and natural resources management to generosity during COVID-19 when he handed over the Sandals Carlyle Resort for 18 months free of charge for use by the Jamaican government and donated JA$30 million on top of it to deal with the crisis. Dr. Stewart also encouraged his Sandals family – some 16,000 strong around the Caribbean region – to be ready to open back up better than ever the minute the signal was given in each country.
“Adam is the embodiment of the modern renaissance man leading the charge in the Caribbean in the innovation and creativity critical to achieving high levels of growth,’ said Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor, UWI. “His is the type of acumen and agility that The UWI prides itself on honing to meet the needs of our burgeoning region. Congratulations Dr. The Hon. Adam Stewart. Well deserved!”.
Dr. Stewart took the opportunity to focus not on his achievements, but to encourage UWI graduates to take pride in their culture and find their inner ‘superpower’.
“Work with fascinating companies,” he advised, sharing the awe he felt working with his father, Sandals founder Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, who passed away in January 2021. “When you wake up in the morning and you’re taking a shower, and preparing for your day, be truthful with yourself. Find the thing inside you that makes you tick. Find the thing inside you that makes you want to get up every day.” When you do that, he told them, you will find the superpower that resides within.
For Dr. Stewart, it has never been about finding what makes him tick, but always finding the time to work on and achieve all those things that make him tick, including his philanthropy. Stewart is founder and President of the Sandals Foundation, the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization aimed at making a difference in the Caribbean communities where Sandals Resorts operates. One hundred per cent of the monies contributed by the public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean. He chairs both a Jamaican non-profit that supports hospital facilities and that country’s Tourism Linkages Council, which seeks to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of local suppliers, making the strength of tourism work for all.
In The Bahamas, the Sandals Foundation has provided hurricane relief, supported conch conservation, and funded PACE, the critical program that allows young mothers to continue their education. It has paid for 3,000 students to tour by boat and learn about the importance of mangroves. In Long Island, the Sandals Foundation has uplifted education and healthcare needs, including funding the Scrub Hill Cancer Society.
The doctor of law degree was the latest in a series of honours for Dr. Stewart, For his outstanding contribution to tourism and the hotel industry, he received the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) in 2016 and later that year, was named the Caribbean American Mover and Shaker – Humanitarian of the Year by the Caribbean Media Network. In 2017, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) honoured Stewart with the Jerry Award for outstanding contributions to Caribbean development.
Stewart sits on the Board of Directors of Wysinco Group Limited and is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). A graduate, Board Director and active alumnus of The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Stewart recently orchestrated a partnership between FIU and The UWI, where he serves as Ambassador of the Western Jamaica Campus. Pledging support from SRI, and signing an MOU, The UWI and FIU will work together to establish The Gordon “Butch” Stewart International School of Hospitality and Tourism in honor of Stewart’s father and SRI founder, Gordon “Butch” Stewart.
Photo Caption: UWI bestows Honorary Doctor of Law Degree on Sandals Executive Chairman Adam Stewart. Photo (l-r): Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies and Principal of Mona Campus Professor Dale Webber, Adam Stewart, The UWI Chancellor Robert Bermudez
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