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University of The Bahamas By October


COBEducation Minister Jerome Fitzgerald says the University of The Bahamas will come on stream by October.

The minister, who was a guest on Jones and Company this Sunday, says the university will be more ominous than College of The Bahamas was.

The legislation for the University of The Bahamas recently passed the House of Assembly with bi-partisan support.

Minister Fitzgerald said it will take two to three years before the national grade average can see any real improvement.

“I would say based on trajectory I’m expecting another two or three years,” he said.

Last year exams results in the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary School Education (BGCSE) revealed a national average of an E in Mathematics and D+ in English.

Results in the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) mirrored similar results with a D- in English and an E+ in Mathematics.

Minister Fitzgerald said many people expect the average to suddenly turn around; however he said it takes time.

“You don’t change this overnight; you can’t change this in five years. The educational system does not work like that. The changes take time. You have to start from those who are in grades one, two and three. We revamped the grades one, two and three.”

The minister celebrated the fact that results from last years GLAT examinations for grade three and six have improved in comparison to those of past years.

“We cut out a lot of the subjects they were doing in grade one and three, increased the reading comprehension and mathematics. I said to them why are we teaching science and the kids can’t read,” he said.

Meanwhile Minister Fitzgerald acknowledged that the level of income a person receives in The Bahamas is many times not based on the level of education a person receives.

The minister said that many times in the past, reliability has not been placed on a first class education because persons realize they can survive without a top education.

“That is one of the biggest factors that has contributed to not only crime but the level of appreciation that we should have for education,” Minister Fitzgerald said.

“You had students who would leave school who had not taken one BJC. I would venture to say that today in our country, probably 40 -45 percent of our population does not have three or four BJCs.

“That is an indictment on the educational system but is also an indictment on us to understand the importance of having what we consider a basic education. When we set the graduation requirement now, we set it on what would be considered a basic education based on world standards.”

The minister said when standards were set, the government made sure that students knew they could not graduate without four BJCs.

“We realized that by the standard we set for the high school diploma now, the first set, even though we had the best BJC results we had in 2014, only 25 percent would qualify to graduate, which told us that although we were saying 50 percent graduated, when you compared it to international basic education we were more like 25 percent.

“That’s the startling truth. Now what are we going to do about it? That is why I get so upset now that we have mapped out a bipartisan plan and I would hear Hubert Minnis say they have no plan or hear Loretta Butler-Turner say she got the book but did not read it.”






Written by Jones Bahamas

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