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Discriminatory MonkeyPox name to be retired

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

November 30, 2022 – Mpox is what the Monkeypox disease will be called going forward according to the World Health Organization which decided on a rename citing incidents of racism. The announcement was made on Monday November 28th; three months after the WHO had announced their intent to seek the change.

“When the outbreak of monkeypox expanded earlier this year, racist and stigmatizing language online, in other settings and in some communities was observed and reported to WHO.”

The organization explained. The names of the two clades were changed earlier this year as well. The two clades of Mpox had been named after the areas in which they were found, in the Congo Basin and West Africa.

“Consensus was reached to now refer to the former Congo Basin (Central African) clade as Clade one (I) and the former West African clade as Clade two (II),” the WHO said in August.

The changes come as the globe experiences its largest outbreak in history with thousands of cases across the globe in areas where the virus had never historically presented.

Mpox disease, formerly known as monkeypox disease, was named by scientists in 1970 after the virus which causes it which was first discovered in monkeys in 1958. While the disease has been renamed, the virus that causes it is still called monkeypox virus.

A virus and the disease it causes are separate entities, for example the Spanish Flu disease, is caused by an offshoot of the H1N1 virus and COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus While neither of these diseases are named after their viruses Monkeypox was.

It is now up to the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) to rename the virus.

Both Mpox and Monkeypox will be used simultaneously to refer to the disease for the next twelve months until monkeypox is totally phased out.

Education

NATIONAL PRIMARY SCHOOL SPELLING BEE RESULTS

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 14th June 2024 – Sponsored by F Chambers and Islands Printing, and in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, on June 4, 2024 saw a keenly contested Primary Schools Spelling Bee.

After an intense competition, we are thrilled that Marbelli Costillo of these amazing sixteen (16) spellers emerged victorious as the top speller. Marbelli represented Provo Christian School. We are extremely proud of each and every one of the spellers who showcased their exceptional spelling skills and represented their schools with excellence.

To the spellers we can say that your hard work, determination, and dedication have truly paid off. Your commitment to learning and your passion for language have set you apart as outstanding spellers and students.

Congratulations once again to all the participants. Keep reaching for the stars and never stop exploring the power of words!

Sixteen (16) spellers from across the country competed for the coveted title of Champion Speller, they included:

Adelaide Oemler Primary: Amber Gonzales and Coach Stafford Salmon

Alpha Christian Academy: Elaynie Regis and Coach Heather Robertson

B.E.S.T. Institute: Sydney Kay Brisbane and Coach Tanisha Rigby

C Hubert James Primary: Tivon Wright and Coach Uldean Harris-Wright

Community Christian Academy: Khamora Coalbrooke and Coach Glenda Jones

Eliza Simons Primary: Kevaun Lamoy Lewis and Coach Althia Rocke

Enid Capron Primary: Herifer Fermin and Coach Elizabeth Vandenburg

Ianthe Pratt Primary: Karessa Wynter and Coach Daniela Carroll

Iris Stubbs Primary:  Hernadgeka Pierre and Coach Debrica Davids-Beckford  
International School of the TCI: Lola Jimenez and Coach Iman Rudi-Bonotti

Ona Glinton Primary: Malachi Warlock and Coach Jacqueline Henry

Oseta Jolly Primary: Edley Charles and Coach Tevyon Lewis

Precious Treasures International School: Jaden James and Coach Monique Fletcher

Provo Christian Academy: Marbelli Castillo and Coach Terry-Ann Roberts

Richmond Hill Preparatory: Dabria Thomas and Coach Veranick Burrick-Sinclair

Shining Stars Preparatory: Danae Leslie and Coach Aldith Campbell

The top Three winners were

Winner  Marbelli Castillo, Provo Christian School

1st Runner Up Jaden James, Precious Treasures International School

2nd Runner Up Lola Jimenez, International School of the Turks & Caicos

The following prizes were sponsored by Sponsors F Chambers, Island Printing & TCI Paint

Grand Prize/Winner: MacBook Air

1st Runner Up Prize: Apple iPad Mini

2nd Runner Up Prize: Apple iPad Mini

Top 7 of final 10: Asus Memo Tablet

Remaining Participants: $50 gift certificates

Complimentary Trophies for everyone

The Champion Coach received a Lenovo laptop sponsored by the Department of Education

A special thank you is extended to all volunteers who helped to make the competition a success:

CHAIRPERSON Ms Jacqueline Henry

SCORERS Ms Evadne Williams and Mr David Bowen

JUDGES Mrs Claudette Dean, Pastor Pedro S Williams and Mrs. Latoya Skippings

PRONOUNCERS Ms Shelaine Been and Ms. Kawanza Morley

TIMEKEEPER  Mr. Jermaine Fulford

Profound thank you is extended to Ms. Tanya Swann, Director of Sales and her team of Groups and Conventions at Beaches Turks and Caicos for coordinating the hosting of the event at the resort and providing complimentary snacks.

Commenting as Lead Sponsor: Mark Fulford Managing Partner of F Chambers said “It’s good to see a growing participation in the TCI National Spelling Bee. This year we saw 16 schools compete and the energy and healthy spirit of competition grew as well. As sponsors we will continue to work with the Ministry of Education to raise the caliber of this prestigious event. It is always a pleasure to give back and we salute our corporate friends at TCI Paint who joined hands with us again to make all the donations a reality. Congratulations to the 2024 winner……and all the participants on a Job well done. It is evident that a lot of work was put in and simply making it to the National Spelling Bee deserves recognition.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor extended congratulation to all sixteen (16) schools who participated in this year’s National Spelling Bee. They are all winners and have represented their schools well! Special commendation to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners whose efforts have aided in their victory. Through this event, our young spellers experience the joy of learning new words, understanding their pronunciation and meanings, enhancing their spelling skills, and enriching their vocabulary. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the brave young ladies and gentlemen chosen to represent their schools. I also express sincere gratitude to the teachers, members of the Education Department led by Mrs. Sarah Kennedy and our private partners for their dedication to the success of this event. My Ministry views these events as crucial for the overall development of our children.

The Ministry and Department of Education event coordinator, Mrs. Sarah Kennedy commended the participants for not only demonstrating their spelling prowess but also their ability to handle pressure with grace. “We applaud your achievements and the dedication you have shown to honing your spelling skills. Each one of you is a shining example of the values we hold dear for the future for our beautiful by nature islands”.

She also expressed heartfelt gratitude to the coaches and parents who have provided guidance, support, and encouragement to our spellers throughout their preparation for this competition. Your unwavering belief in their abilities has played a vital role in their success.

Turks and Caicos Islands National Primary School Spelling Bee continues to promote success  and again we say thanks to the sponsorship of the leading corporate sponsors, F Chambers and Island Printing, TCI Paint, FLOW, Radio Turks & Caicos and Beaches Turks & Caicos.

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Education

1 World Foundation Impactful Visit to support children across the Turks & Caicos Islands.

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May 21, 2024

 

The Department of Special Education Needs Services (SENS) of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture is proud to announce the successful completion of a comprehensive screening initiative led by the dedicated 1 World team. Over the course of their visit, the team provided invaluable assessments and support to 55 children under the age of 8, across the islands of Grand Turk, South Caicos, North and Middle Caicos, and Providenciales.

The 1 World Foundation’s mission was to address various referral concerns, ensuring early detection and intervention for developmental and educational needs. Their work has significantly contributed to the well-being and future success of our young learners.

Director of SENS department, Dr. Anya Malcolm-Gibbs, expressed heartfelt gratitude for the team’s dedication: “We are immensely grateful for the 1 World team’s commitment to our children. They have provided services to this country over several years, and their expertise and compassion have provided critical support to our families. I wish to commend our Coordinator of Assessments, Mrs. Lashaunda Skippings, who spearheaded the initiative and ensured a smooth and effective visit.” Commenting on the program, Mrs. Skippings noted, “The assessments conducted by the 1 World team have been transformative for our children. By identifying specific needs early, we can tailor our interventions to better support each child’s unique development journey. This initiative has brought hope and clarity to many families across our islands.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor, praised the initiative and its outcomes: “The visit of the 1 World team marks a significant step forward in our commitment to inclusive education. Their work aligns perfectly with our vision of providing comprehensive supports to all students, ensuring no child is left behind. We are dedicated to continuing this partnership and building on the progress made.”

During their visit, the 1 World team also engaged in a productive courtesy call with the Minister of Education, the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Cherylann Jones, and the Director of SENS. The meeting with the CEO of the 1 World Foundation provided an opportunity to discuss future collaborations and reinforce our shared commitment to the children of Turks and Caicos Islands.

This initiative exemplifies the power of partnership and the profound impact that dedicated professionals can have on the lives of children. The Department of Special Education Needs Services looks forward to continuing this important work and building a brighter future for all our students. For more information, please contact the department on sens@gov.tc.

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, YOUTH, SPORTS, AND CULTURE STRENGTHENS EARLY INTERVENTION INITIATIVES WITH TRAINING FOR K1 AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 20th May 2024 – On Friday, 17th May 2024, the Special Education Needs Officer of the Education Department, Mrs. Faiada James, organized a pivotal training opportunity for K1 and Special Education teachers from across the Turks & Caicos Islands. This training, facilitated by the Coordinator Assessments, Mrs. Lashaunda Skippings, underscores the Ministry of Education’s commitment to enhancing early intervention strategies within the education system.

The training initiative provided educators with comprehensive sessions on General Soft Skills for Screening Exercises, followed by hands-on training for the administration of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The ASQ is a developmental screening tool designed to identify children’s strengths and areas where they may need additional support. It evaluates five key areas: communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem-solving, and personal-social skills. Early intervention facilitated by the ASQ is crucial as it allows for timely identification of developmental delays, enabling educators and parents to provide targeted support and resources. This proactive approach significantly enhances children’s developmental outcomes, paving the way for their future academic and social success.

“The training was an enriching experience for our teachers,” stated Mrs. Faiada James. “We are equipping our educators with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively identify and support the developmental needs of our youngest learners. This initiative is a crucial step in our commitment to providing inclusive education for all.” The training was also attended by the Teacher Development and Training Education Officer, Dr. Keran Williams, and Early Childhood Education Officer, Ms. Heidi Williams.

Mrs. Lashaunda Skippings emphasized the importance of this tool, stating, “The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is instrumental in our early intervention efforts. By identifying developmental delays early, we can implement strategies and support systems that significantly improve a child’s developmental trajectory. This training ensures that our teachers are well-prepared to utilize the ASQ effectively.”

As part of the Ministry’s ongoing efforts to refresh and reinforce the use of screening tools in schools, all students entering K1 this September will undergo developmental screening using the ASQ. This initiative reflects the overall commitment to ensuring that every child has the best possible start to their educational journey. Director of Special Education Needs Services, Dr. Anya Malcolm-Gibbs, remarked, “seeing such a strong turnout of 30 teachers from across TCI is truly inspiring. Early screening and intervention are key components of our strategy to provide comprehensive support.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor concluded, “I am immensely proud of the dedication shown by our educators. The ASQ training exemplifies our commitment to ensuring that every child in the Turks and Caicos Islands can succeed. By identifying and addressing developmental delays early, we are laying a strong foundation for the future of our children and our nation.”

The Ministry of Education is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment. By equipping our teachers with the necessary skills and tools, we are taking significant steps towards improving educational outcomes for all students, particularly those with special needs. This training underscores the collective effort to improve early childhood education and ensure that all children in the Turks and Caicos Islands have access to the support they need to thrive.

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