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International Women’s Day



“DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”


#TurksandCaicos, March 9, 2023 – Throughout the world, women’s rights continue to make significant advances and the Turks and Caicos Islands is no exception.

In 1910 Clara Zetkin recommended March 8th, as a date for celebrating the achievements of working women at the International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen, and women have been celebrated every March 8th since then.

This year marks the 28th Anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action which the United Nations (UN) considers to be a progressive road map for gender equality.

The UN observance of IWD recognizes and celebrates the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education and curtailing the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, women have undoubtedly made their mark in leadership, politics, administration, the justice system as well as in the medical field. Today, women continue to penetrate different industries and are now making their mark in innovation and technology, an area which was once male dominated.

The Turks and Caicos Islands celebrates the women in innovation and technology who are creating a path for young girls and other women and are successfully demonstrating that women can do it all.

In light of this year’s theme the Commission draws your attention to our very own women in innovation and technology.

Giselle James-Wright, is employed with Digicel as Switch Engineer/Mobile Operations Manager. She currently works on the Mobile Switching Centre and other cellular mobile platforms, as well as provide administrative support to the operations of the Mobile Operations and Maintenance/Radio Access Network Team.

Carmaine Ariza, is employed with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government as an Application Support Specialist. Ms. Ariza has over a decade of experience in information technology. She specializes in administrative product training and is responsible for assisting and educating users on using progressive systems and applications as well as troubleshooting application problems.

Kebba Thomas, has worked in information technology for over two decades and is the only female in the IT Department at Fortis TCI. Mrs. Thomas is employed as the Senior IT Officer and has been in the post for over nine years. One of her main responsibilities is to provide support for the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) environment that helps to manage and monitor the equipment that generate, transmit and distribute energy.

Yolande Robinson, Yolande Robinson is a trained Kindergarten and Elementary School teacher and the owner of Learn and Lead Education Centre. She uses technology to deepen the learner’s experience. She has worked in the field of education for over 20 years and knows that for all learners to excel there needs to be multiple approaches. Technology is a tool that Yolande uses as a bridge to facilitate learners from where they are to where they need to be. At Learn and Lead, educational resources are used to aid in intervention with children. In training and coaching, Yolande uses multimedia experiences to facilitate a deeper connection to the material being learned. Her gift to educate, inspire and empower individuals has been heard over the airwaves on positive parenting and teaching techniques, and on podcast episodes that have challenged us all to shift perspective.

When asked about the importance of technology, Yolande states, “I don’t know what I would do without it! Technology makes my work come alive. It helps me move from the vision that I have to the products and experiences I provide.”

Cathrice James-Williams, is the Director of Information Technology at the Turks and Caicos Islands Financial Services Commission and has over two decades in the field of IT. Mrs. James-Williams is a certified Cyber Risk Specialist and owns and operates her own business, Techprise Learning Solutions, where she helps companies automate their processes and provide cyber awareness training. Cathrice, won the Woman in Technology and Engineering Award in 2020 for her outstanding achievements in technology and engineering.

Barbara Ambrister, is a well-seasoned Information Technology Specialist with more than three decades of service in the industry under her belt. Her extensive work in IT began in the Bahamas where she was the Director of Information Technology at the College of The Bahamas. Here in the Turks and Caicos Islands, she was the IT Manager for the National Health Insurance Board where she was responsible for the implementation, system development and design. She was also the Vice President for Information Technology at IBG Bank where her responsibilities included but not limited to oversight of physical infrastructure, installed and managed all facets of banking software and system security. She is currently the Chair for the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, a Pastor and Author. Mrs. Ambrister is also the owner or Innovative Consultancy Services.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Human Rights Commission recognises that significant progress has been made in terms of gender equality throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands but that there is more work to be done to achieve an equal and enabled society.  Today we to encourage women in leadership to empower each other and to provide a seat at the table where barriers to all industries are non-existent for women and girls.

Happy International Women’s Day!!!!

Bahamas News

Work of NAECOB critical in ensuring high standards in education, says Minister Hanna-Martin



By KATHRYN CAMPBELLBahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas, March 29, 2023 – Over 100 schools in New Providence, public and private, and some 30 plus schools in Freeport have been inspected by The National Accreditation and Equivalency Council (NAECOB) to ensure high quality standards for the delivery of education.
“We will cover every island, every cay in this country to make certain that the facilities that we send our children to are adequate, conducive for learning, safe and sound for education,” said Thelma Grimes, chairperson, NAECOB.
“We are going to head to Cat Island and all the others before June.This is our announced visit. They [schools] have a chance to get things fixed that are not finished and [afterwards] we will have the unannounced.”
The Council informed the media of its progress during a briefing Monday, March 20, 2023 at its headquarters, Tonique Williams-Darling Highway.
Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member explained that the council’s seven inspectors are tasked with visiting every site or virtual space operating the following: primary/secondary schools, private/secondary, post-secondary, recognized, training, allied health and business institutions among others.
 Mr. Newbold said inspections include an examination of:
 -Safety and security standards-Human security which begins at the entrance to the property’-Physical security: safety mechanisms including smoke detectors, fire alarms and extinguishers (service date verification, and evacuation plan)-Primary grounds, playground equipment, swing sets and slides-Curriculum-Information management system (student records, staff schedules, registration certificate with NAECOB, business license, photos of the national leaders etc.)
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Institute thanked NAECOB for their efforts. She described their work as “critical” and a part of an overall national thrust to ensure that the quality of education in the country is at a high standard.“We’re the Ministry of Education and they’re our schools. We are accountable to NAECOB. They ensure that what is happening on the campuses throughout the nation meets the physical standards and the qualitative standards of education. You would have heard classroom size and teacher/student ratio. We may have challenges, and we do at the Ministry of Education but when these issues are brought to our attention we are obliged and compelled to seek resolution to ensure that the standards are met.
“This is a quality assurance measure for the Ministry itself and our schools to ensure that public and private and public schools meet these standards. We value that. Because the objective of the Ministry is to ensure that we meet the standards so that our young people who enter these institutions are afforded the best opportunity possible.
 “Education is a cultural value; a norm. We submit ourselves to the work of NAECOB to ensuring what happens is done at least to make the acceptable standards of the delivery of education in our schools,” she said.
Cassia Minnis, registration officer, said “registration” certifies that a local educational institution/provider has met the criteria to offer an educational service in The Bahamas as outlined in the Education Act. She said it is mandatory that all educational institutions/provider offering/proposing to offer an educational service in the Bahamas must be registered according to the NAECOB Act and the Education Act.
 She said NAECOB is aware of “small” schools operating within residential homes and warned that this is in contravention of the law.
She encouraged the public to view listings of all registered institutions on the website at
NAECOB is responsible for registering and accrediting primary schools, secondary schools, post-secondary schools, and any institution that offers training in The Bahamas.

BIS Photos/Mark Ford

Header: Seated at the table, from left: – Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin; Dominique McCartney Russell, Acting Director; Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer; Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson; Howard Newbold, Inspector, Council Member; Shena Williams, Council and Inspector; Dorothy Anderson, Inspector; T. Nicola McKay, Deputy Chairperson;  (seated behind) Willard Barr, Council and Inspector.

1st insert: Thelma Grimes, Council Chairperson

2nd insert: Howard Newbold, Inspector and Council Member

3rd insert: The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training

4th insert: Cassia Minnis, Registration Officer

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Golden Jubilee Events Announced, Celebrations Across 33 Islands & Cays



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – As the 50th anniversary of our nation’s independence approaches, Bahamians everywhere are teeming with excitement and expectancy around the year-long celebrations set by The National Independence Secretariat.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister joined H.E Leslia Miller Brice, Chair of The National Independence Secretariat to unveil the Calendar of Events for the 50th Independence celebrations.

The calendar comprises a host of events, initiatives and recommendations for celebrations throughout all 33 islands of The Bahamas.

At this jubilant occasion the PM stated, “Celebrating independence is about acknowledging the greatness around us, the greatness within us, and the greatness ahead of us.

We are Bahamians. That identity is special.”

View the newly released calendar of events here:…

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: 12,362 Seniors Registered Under New Social Pension Programme



#Kingston, March 28, 2023 – There are currently 12,362 seniors registered under the Government’s new Social Pension Programme.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the disclosure during the sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House on March 2, at Gordon House.

The initiative targets all Jamaican citizens 75 years and older who are not currently in receipt of a pension (overseas or local) or any other retirement, old-age or disability benefit or regular income, and are not living in a government institutionalised care facility.

“We are evaluating the manner in which we qualify persons to go on the programme. This is a discussion we will have to have, as some people fall through the cracks simply because they might have a refrigerator, or they might be lucky enough to have a television at home,” Mr. Samuda said.

“The direction in which we are heading, to have those things, does not move you from poverty to prosperity. So, the Government has an obligation to do everything possible to improve their quality of life, and so we will be looking at that,” the Minister added.

Mr. Samuda said between March 2022 and January 2023, the programme disbursed $446 million.

To register for the social pension programme, persons may visit any of the Ministry’s parish offices islandwide.

They will be required to complete a social pension application form, accompanied by their Tax Registration Number (TRN), National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card, and proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or a valid passport.

They should also take along a valid identification (ID), such as a driver’s licence, passport or voter’s ID, proof of bank account and any other document that may be required to process the application, for example, proof of citizenship.

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