Categorized | National News

PM Launches Urban Renewal G.E.D. Programme

Grand Bahama’s Urban Renewal 2.0 office has teamed up with Terreve College to give Bahamians a second chance at attaining success.

Prime Minister Perry Christie was in Freeport, Grand Bahama this past Monday for the official launch of the Urban Renewal G.E.D Programme.

The G.E.D, often called the GEHSED (General Education High School Equivalency Diploma), is designed for those students and individuals who did not graduate high school or did not achieve or obtain a high school diploma.

The programme is planned for one year and three months and students will be offered courses in computers, English, Maths, Biology, History as well as life management skills.

All students must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average in each subject. Upon completion, they will receive a diploma with the college’s seal and pertinent signatures.

The prime minister told the 20 participants in the programme that it was a second chance opportunity that enabled him to achieve success, after being kicked out of high school. “Let me tell you about me. I made my mommy and daddy happy, happy, happy, when I passed for Government High School. Students from all over The Bahamas had to take an exam and those who excelled were admitted to the school.

“After two years in the school I was put out, 14 years of age, and the judgment was I could not learn. I went home that day and saw my mother and father with tears in their eyes, ashamed because in The Bahamas they had seen their oldest child expelled from school because quote on quote, he was dumb. “I had to go back to the school I had parted from and I remember walking into the assembly when the children were saying, ‘oh he got put out of school.’ I could never forget the shame, the disgrace,” the prime minister recalled.

Mr. Christie added that a popular teacher named Donald Davis came and told his parents that mistakes were made about their child and that he could learn. The prime minister further recalled his days as an athlete and how he used that to show fellow students his worth and his ability to be a team player on the relay squad. He then went on to become a triple jumper and recalled building a pit in their yard to practice.

Mr. Christie also remembered watching a number of people jump, who had been selected for the Bahamas national squad, including popular sportsman Keith Parker and felt that he was better than them. He said despite the squad being selected, Tommy Robinson and Lester Byrd, a former Antigua Prime Minister (then a student) told Paul Adderley, then President of the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association (BAAA) that Christie could beat those fellows who were selected.

“So they had a special jump-off for me and I qualified and they put me on the team. I became the second Bahamian to win a medal in international competition. I didn’t give up, I didn’t give in,” the prime minister said. Mr. Christie went on to recall going to night school, and his desire to be someone special and to engage himself with individuals who had the same ambition in life.

Mr. Christie said he passed four or five O’ Levels.

The man who was headmaster at the time, H.M. Davies, he said saw the results that he passed from night school, and said he should not have been put out of school.

He asked the future prime minister if he would like to return. Mr. Christie also touched on his decision to study in London and how he entered the debating competition at the university and won.

The prime minister said he showed his parents he was never going to give up and they watched him become an attorney, and then being elected to the House of Assembly over and over from 1977. Unfortunately, he said, his parents did not live to see him become prime minister.

“I am telling you this story because in your own life you have to decide right now, I gat it in me.” ”Because I am who I am, I believe in the redemptive power of second chance. There are thousands of Bahamians who did not have the opportunity, men and women, but who are brilliant and our job is to be able to inspire them to get up off the ground if they have been knocked down and to know that the test is not how many times you get knock down. The test is how many times you get back up.” Mr. Christie further told the students that urban renewal can help promote a better way of living.

The prime minister went on to speak about two special projects designed to assist mothers whose children need special care, which his government will soon implement.

“Those who cannot speak for themselves and have parents who cannot speak for them, the state, and I represent the state, must place itself in a position to do for them what they cannot do for themselves,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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