By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, November 14, 2022 – Students in the Turks and Caicos will get the opportunity of a lifetime at the end of November when they get to have a conversation with Astronauts thanks to an initiative by the Disaster Fighters Campaign.
The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies made the announcement recently indicating that the conversation will center around how astronauts in space use their unique vantage point to monitor natural disasters like hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis and others.
Teachers and students in the region will make contact with the International Space Station and the DDME says the event is an opportunity to discuss how science and satellite monitoring can help us make better decisions on the ground when we are affected by natural hazards and climate change.
Students will send in questions beforehand using an online form and the students who send the ten best questions selected will ask them directly to the astronaut. The deadline to send the questions was November 9th. The exact date of the conversation will be confirmed the week before the event happens by the International Space Station.
‘Greening Our Schools’ Campaign launches nation-wide
#TurksandCaicos, January 25, 2023 – The Department of Education’s (DoE) Curriculum Development Unit in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources’ (DECR) Outreach Unit today launched the ‘Greening Our Schools’ initiative across the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The initiative will work with primary and high schools around the islands to foster environmental awareness and action by developing resource, energy and environmentally literate citizens through service projects, leadership and activism. The program, which will take effect in September this year, encourages schools to choose from four themes and to creatively solve the problems faced by the school and their community under the chosen theme.
Schools will have to choose from the following themes, namely Biodiversity, Electricity Conservation, Water Conservation, and Waste Management. Schools will systematically be guided through the initial process and will be reviewed at the end of the school year, where they may qualify for ‘Green Flag’ status upon successful review of their project. The coveted prize, the ‘Green Ribbon’, will be awarded to the school with outstanding performance – enhancing sustainability practices among all schools with Green Flag status.
The DoE and the DECR are excited to foster environmentally-minded young people who will responsibly benefit the future of the Turks and Caicos Islands, especially in a world fraught with negative environmental impacts.
Look out for Rocky the Iguana and representatives visiting schools in promotion of Greening our Schools!
No Fire Drill; Ona Glinton Primary School evacuated on Tuesday
#TurksandCaicos, January 25, 2023 – From TCIG: On 24 January 2023, the Administrators of the Ona Glinton Primary School were made aware of flickering lights in various classrooms on the compound. In response to this, Public Works Department (PWD) was contacted to address the concerns.
Upon examination of an electrical meter box by PWD personnel, it was discovered that the box was aflame, causing total loss of electricity to the entire school facility. The school’s Critical Incident Management Fire Evacuation Plan was immediately activated, and staff and students were promptly removed from the classrooms to the designated safe area.
The Minister of Education, Hon Rachel M Taylor, expressed her gratitude to the staff for their swift actions to ensure the safety of students. She also thanked the parents for the quick response to collect students from the school compound.
Representatives of the Public Works Department and Fortis TCI are on the compound working to address the issue and restore electricity to the school.
New Promise on Delivery Date for Special Needs Centre
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 24, 2023 – The new Special Needs Centre announced by the government for January this year will not be ready until September according to Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education. Taylor made the revelation in response to Magnetic Media questions during a press conference on January 16th detailing the new school and daycare programs initiated by the government.
“We had originally indicated that we would have commenced the first phase in January but after receiving such great news we are going to be able to fully operationalize our special needs unit in September of 2023.”
She reminded that the Special Needs Department formerly under the Ministry of Health would officially move to her Ministry on April 1st this year.
But while acknowledging that parents had been waiting for some time and thanking them for their patience, Minister of Education Taylor said all students were being given the necessary assistance in the interim.
Despite this, at the beginning of the school year several parents had complained that they were forced to enroll their special needs children in private schools because public facilities did not have either the capabilities or capacity to care for them effectively.
Ministry of Education, during the press conference informed that money in a subsidy to support special needs families is available, however parents explain that more ideally the public facility would have been better, as private school fees are expensive.
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