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.
Educational Aids Strengthen Learning Experience for Provo Students
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: Scores of students in Providenciales will benefit from back-to-school supplies donated by Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Beaches Turks and Caicos resort, strengthening the instructional process in four schools at the start of the new school term.
More than 2,000 students from Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron, Oseta Jolly and the Thelma Lightbourne Primary Schools were presented with a generous supply of educational materials including notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, knapsacks, reading material, sports gear and musical instruments from members of the philanthropic arm of the family all-inclusive resort. While sharing the gratitude for the gifts received, the leaders at the various institutions lauded the efforts of the more than 20 volunteers on hand.
Neekimo King, Principal of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School shared, “Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation over the years have adopted our institution as their own. These reading books will go a far way in increasing our library stock and improving literacy among the students while the physical education and the guidance counseling units have received lots of materials to bolster the learning experience for our students.”
Sophia Garland, Principal of the Enid Capron Primary School was equally elated as she expressed how beneficial resources will be for the teaching and learning process.
“These supplies, including the books, will definitely aid in increasing literacy amongst the students and the many teaching aids that we have been received will create an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning.”
In sharing with the schools, James McAnally, General Manager at Beaches resort noted, “Sandals Foundation and the resort remain committed to the development of the education of our children, the environment and the communities in which we operate. These four government operated primary schools were identified for these supplies to help in fostering their academic and extra-curricular growth.”
McAnally continued, “A big thank you to the Sandals Foundation Ambassadors who came out and helped with making these distributions possible.”
Vice principal of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, Diana Dean, also expressed gratitude noting, “With these tools, I am sure the students will be excited about learning and the teachers will be better equipped to deliver the lessons.”
The Sandals Foundation and Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort have long been supporters of education and community development in Turks and Caicos, donating to a number of schools and youth sports programmes. Since 2011, the organisations have been assisting students at Ianthe Pratt, Enid Capron Primary Schools and other schools across the islands in their holistic development by providing educational supplies and the opportunity for Sandals and Beaches resorts guests to meaningfully engage with the students through a weekly literacy enhancement programme, hosted in partnership with Island Routes Tours – Reading Road Trip.
Header: Staff and students from the Enid Capron Primary School share a moment for the cameras with members of the Sandals Foundation team as the school received educational items from the Beaches Turks and Caicos and the Sandals Foundation.
Insert: James McAnally, General Manager, Beaches Turks and Caicos (front left) makes a presentation to members of the Ianthe Pratt Primary School recently with sporting gear and educational items looking on are members of the Sandals Foundation team, Sesame Street Character
UB Statement: Portia M. Smith Building Under Assessment
#The Bahamas, January 27, 2023 – In response to concerns expressed, University of The Bahamas released a notification on Thursday 26th January 2023 that effective immediately the Portia M. Smith Building at the Oakes Field Campus is closed until further notice as a precautionary measure.
Immediate steps have been taken to engage the Ministry of Environmental Health to conduct a thorough assessment of the building. In the interim, personnel assigned to Portia M. Smith have been instructed to work remotely to maintain the continuity of operations. A further communication will be issued once the assessment has been completed as we continue to provide timely updates.
Please be assured that the health, safety, and welfare of members of the University community and the general public are paramount and we are working with urgency to address this matter.
‘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!
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