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Education & Labour get $51 Million in New Budget touts Minister Taylor

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 23, 2023 – With a massive 21 percent  increase, reflecting $51 million in allocations to her ministerial portfolio this financial year, Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education is promising upgrades to education, special needs, sports and more as the PNP attempts to craft a lasting legacy in these sectors.

Education

Taylor promised to take Special Needs, which was moved to her Ministry on April 1st, to the next level with the new injection of cash.  Included in this budget is $100,000  for a new wheelchair access van for the SNAP Centre. a $900, 000 allocation for refurbishment of the Special Needs Centre and a $1 million allocation for hiring staff including specialists.

Another $500,000 is allocated for the internship program to continue.  Taylor provided updates for residents regarding this.

“There are many students who are currently on the apprenticeship program and doing well.  They have done so well that during the first two months they were hired permanently.” She said

Also budgeted was $3 million for international scholarships, $425,000  for UWI contributions and $6.4 million for the Turks and Caicos Community College which now offers free tuition.

For the National Daycare Program $457 000 has been allotted along with $513,000 for the National After-School Program.  In addition  $600 000 has been set aside to hire more teachers to alleviate the current shortage; $150,000 for textbooks; $172,000 is slated for bus services in Providenciales and more

Youth

Taylor responded to the evidence of multiple cuts in youth activities across sectors (pointed out by Edwin Astwood, Leader of the Opposition) maintaining that there were more employees to carry out those activities even without more cash.

“He did not see an increase in the overall amount that we give to youth but I must remind him that we have seen an increase in man count to assist the cadet program within the ministry of youth. Our programs will not materialise unless we have the manpower.” she said.

“It doesn’t have to be directly under the Youth budget.  This year is all about our youth.” Taylor stressed

She gave evidence of this in the upcoming the creation of a National Youth Agency and expansion of the cadet program

Sports 

A $3.7 million dollar aquatics centre under the Sports commission touted as a green initiative to be fueled by clean energy has been announced.  Also budgeted to improve local sports is a new set of vehicles for the sports commission, $500,000  for refurbishment of the South Caicos Sports field.  Another $1.5 million is set aside for community parks and recreation areas that will hopefully be put to use this year after years of failure to complete similar projects.

The Minister also revealed several new Capital projects were on the table to the tune of $3 million dollars in this financial year. They included:

  • $ 700,000  for the expansion of the Victoria Public Library
  •  $2.1 million for the renovation of the Alliance Business Centre
  • $1.5 million for drainage upgrades at the HG Robinson High School
  • $400,000 for furniture and equipment for various schools

Taylor stressed  that the budget was fulfilling the citizens’ contract: “This large sum of money will bring much progress, development and jobs,” she maintained.

Education

SCU AND TCICC STRENGTHEN HOSPITALITY IN THE CARIBBEAN  ~Using industry knowledge to train and develop ~ 

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The Sandals Corporate University (SCU) continues to strengthen its reach and impact in the Caribbean and, in doing so, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC). This twoyear agreement will assist the TCICC in strengthening its Hospitality and Tourism programme to build local capacity and develop leadership in the industry from within the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The MoU signing is the second of its kind for the SCU in the region, following a recent agreement with the UWI Global Campus. Held at the Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa, the ceremony was attended by the Premier of Turks and Caicos, the Hon. Charles Washington Misick, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime, Gaming and Disaster Management, the Hon. Josephine Connolly, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, President/CEO of TCICC, Dr. Candice Williams along with other dignitaries and leaders from both SCU and TCICC.

In his keynote address, Honourable Misick articulated the vision behind the partnership between the two entities. “The partnership between Sandals Corporate University and the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College was conceived with the vision of strengthening the local workforce. In under four months, we’ve made remarkable progress. By elevating educational standards and creating job opportunities, we’re not just enhancing the Human Development Index (HDI) for the Turks and Caicos; we’re building a more efficient economy.

“As we embark on this partnership with Sandals Corporate University, we recognise its transformative potential for our students and our country. Through collaboration, innovation, and shared expertise, we will enhance the quality of education and training and create pathways for our students to excel in their careers and become leaders in the industry,” noted Dr. Candice Williams.

In his remarks, Mr. Stewart affirmed the significant role of Sandals Corporate University (SCU) in the region, encouraging team members to embrace it as a catalyst for personal growth and self-improvement. He also commended the partnership with SCU and TCICC, noting “SCU’s commitment to providing internships annually is just a fraction of the exciting opportunities available through this collaboration.”

Honourable Taylor praised the partnership, adding that it represents “a visionary initiative aimed at harnessing our collective strengths to bolster a sector that is vital to our economy. As we formalise this agreement today, we are planting seeds for a future that holds unparalleled opportunities for our students, educators, and the hospitality industry at large.”

The SCU will also work with the TCICC to identify subject matter experts from Sandals and Beaches Resorts who will be willing to give guest lectures, provide input into the curriculum being developed for the TCICC’s Hospitality and Tourism Management programmes and provide opportunities to promote enrolment of Sandals and Beaches team members in relevant programmes offered at the TCICC.

Additionally, the SCU will endeavour to facilitate the placement of up to 100 interns from TCICC within Sandals and Beaches Resorts per year for work experience and a formal Internship programme for students at various levels. Lastly, the SCU will, where possible, provide the opportunity for TCICC students’ international certifications through their partnerships with accrediting bodies in all aspects of hospitality management and technical related areas

 

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Caribbean News

OVER 120 TRAINED TEACHERS GRADUATE FROM SAM SHARPE COLLEGE

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MONTEGO BAY, May 2 (JIS):

More than 120 newly trained teachers, specialising in subject areas such as English and Mathematics at the primary and secondary levels, are set to enter the education system in September.

The recent graduates of the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College in Montego Bay were presented with Bachelors of Education (B.Ed), associate and advanced degrees for successfully completing their programmes of study, during a valedictory ceremony on April 25 at Calvary Baptist Church in St. James.

The 2024 graduating class included 46 students who specialised in primary education, 17 who completed their four-year course of study in early-childhood education, nine in special education, and nine in school counselling.

At the secondary level, three teachers specialised in biology and mathematics, six in English Language and Literature and three in modern languages.

There were 16 graduates with advanced degrees in primary education, 11 in early childhood and three with associate degrees in collaboration with the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

President of the Jamaica Methodist District, Bishop Christine Gooden-Benguche, who delivered the keynote address, charged the graduating class, as they enter the school system, to “see each day as an opportunity to live life with quality while igniting minds”.

She urged them to learn from their successes and failures, see possibilities through new engagements and innovations, and to build healthy partnerships and relationships.

“Keep your minds stimulated with new thinking and seek divine guidance,” she added.

Principal of Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, Ricardo Bennett, said that the institution continues to grow, innovate and redefine itself as a multifaceted and multidimensional learning environment under a new strategic plan spanning 2023-2028, entitled ‘From Decisions to Action’.

Over 120 Trained Teachers Graduate…2

The plan, he noted, is supported by six pillars of development – agile positioning and partnership, curriculum and instruction, total quality management, institutional capacity, operational efficiency, and entrepreneurship and research and innovation.

The teachers’ college is also exploring international partnerships to offer master’s and doctoral programmes.

Valedictorians for the Class of 2024 are Chantalle Smith and Debbie-Ann Allen-Christie, who are graduates in primary and early-childhood education, respectively.

 

CONTACT: SHARON EARLE

JIS REGIONAL OFFICE

MONTEGO BAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Minister of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture signs sport declarations at General Assembly American Sports Council – CADE 2024

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Press Release 

Washington, USA, April 26, 2024 – Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture, signs CADE declarations at the General Assembly American Sports Council, CADE 2024 held in Washington DC, USA.

 

The Sport meetings commenced on Thursday, 25th April and continued through Friday, 26th April, 2024. There were three meetings held during the two days: A bi-lateral meeting hosted by the USA for English Speaking Caribbean countries; CONCECADE (Meeting for Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean); and CADE (meeting with South America, Central America, and the Caribbean and North America).

 

Accompanying the Minister were the Deputy Permanent Secretary of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr. Amin McCartney, and the Director/CEO of the TCI Sports Commission, Mr. Jarrett Forbes. Sport leaders from thirty (30) plus countries from across South America, Central America, North America, and the Caribbean were present.

Amongst the topics discussed were: a report from the recently hosted Pan-American and Parapan-American Games in Santiago Chile 2023 and its legacies; Jamaica’s approach to developing mass participation through its Sport for All programmes; USA Commission for Athlete Representation; Inclusion in sports through strengthening para and special Olympic programmes; the commitment and social benefits of physical activity in schools; Structure and application of the Paralympic sport system in Columbia; and anti-doping in sports.

After the General Assembly, common positions for the future of sports in the Americas were taken with a final declaration and bilateral agreements of the CADE Assembly 2024.

Comment from the Minister of Education Youth Sports Culture and Library Services

 

“It was a pleasure to attend the General Assembly of the American Sports Council – CADE 2024 for the first time as the Minister of Sports for the TCI. It provided a greater insight into the roles and responsibilities of each entity and the kind of support we can garner whether financially, technically, or in the area of training. The CONCECADE bi-lateral meeting with Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean provided an opportunity for Caribbean Member countries to voice their concerns in relation to legacy matters including the dissemination of minutes and other content in English. This year yielded the largest number of Caribbean Ministers in attendance for the English-speaking countries, providing an opportunity to share best practices and collaborate with their counterparts.”

 

CADE Declarations signed by the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture include:

 

First: Sports is something very special – it brings people together from every corner of the world, from every possible background. Each person, from every age, should have the opportunity to participate in the sports they enjoy. It is essential that all of us throughout the Americas reiterate our longstanding commitment to the development and implementation of sports policies for every segment of society, without any discrimination of any kind. It is essential to recognize that sports also have a critical role to play in addressing many of our social issues, including gender equality and inclusion, health promotion, education, and livelihood.

 

Second: Paralympians are amazing athletes and an inspiration to everyone who gets the chance to see what they can do. It is essential for every country to ensure that Paralympic athletes have robust opportunities to train, compete, and celebrate their amazing and vital contribution to sports.

 

Third: The Americas is proud of the success of the 2023 Pan American Games hosted by the Government of Chile and organized in cooperation with Pan Am Sports and the Chilean National Olympic Committee. We offer our deepest congratulations to all athletes who competed, their coaches and families, and to all those in Chile who worked so hard to ensure the success of the Games.

 

Fourth: The success of sports in the Americas has many elements, but first among them is the commitment to excellence of our athletes. The dedication, discipline, and spirit of everyone who seeks to be the best in their fields is an inspiration to us all, especially our children, who need role models and heroes to look to as they pursue their dreams.

 

Fifth: The Members of CADE commit to strengthening CADE as an organization with the vision of it building on the strong foundation that already exists, to becoming an even more robust hemispheric multilateral organization specializing in Sports.

 

Sixth: All CADE member countries are signatories to the UNESCO convention and we reiterate the importance of the convention as a government multilateral institution with critical anti-doping responsibilities and an obligation to work collaboratively with all sports and anti-doping stakeholders.

 

Seventh: Anti-Doping is a critical responsibility for every country. In this regard, it is vital that public authorities, whether through their Sports Ministry or otherwise, ensure that sufficient funding is available to national anti-doping organizations so that they are able to effectively implement their important obligations to ensure fair competition. It is the responsibility of the government to support the institutions our athletes are part of, to ensure the integrity of sports. The CADE general assembly very much appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from the WADA President for the first time.

 

Eight: The Olympic Movement plays a very critical role in the World of Sports. They are a vital stakeholder year-round, not just when it’s time for the Summer and Winter Olympics to develop Sports. They are part of the Sports ecosystem, which includes sports ministries, the International Olympic Committee, Pan Am Sports, the National Olympic Committee, Sports Federations National Anti-Doping Organizations, and a wide array of support and sponsors. It is critical that these vital relationships among all stakeholders remain strong. We thank the International Olympic Committee for their participation in this year’s CADE Sports Summit and invite them to participate again next year.

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