Categorized | Featured, National News



In his national address to the nation last night, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said his government  “is continuing our school modernization program, with expanded and new school facilities that will improve the  learning environment as facilities are  built, renovated  and upgraded.”

He said education is at the very core of our economic and social development.

“We cannot, and we will not advance as a country, if we fail to make great strides in education and training, at every level. Since majority rule, we have made tremendous progress in universal access to education.

“Today our challenge is to build on our success and to make far-reaching progress to improve and to transform Bahamian education for the 21stCentury.  Education, is vital for our competitiveness, and productivity as a nation,” the Prime Minister said.

“ Our great ambition and mission as a country, must be to harness these talents, and this incredible energy, to make our Bahamas one of the more successful small countries in the world.

“We must reform, transform, and improve every stage of learning: preschool, primary school, junior and senior high, as well as BTVI, the University of the Bahamas, and other education and training agencies.

“We have to think big, and to act boldly to secure our future! Beginning this September qualifying students will be able to attend the University of the Bahamas tuition-free. We will make more announcements on this at a later date.

We are committed to expanding access to technical and vocational skill training, for many more Bahamians.

“In August 2018, we allocated $2.6 million dollars for scholarships at BTVI. The Government awarded, $1,000 scholarships, to students enrolled in full-time programs, inclusive of preparatory programs, certificate programs, diploma programs, and associate degree programs.

“The scholarship, which is named “The Bahamas Be Your Own Boss” (BYOB) scholarship, is geared toward providing students mainly between the ages of 18-25 years old with the requisite technical and vocational skills, to start businesses and/or, secure employment in the business sector.

The Prime Minister said, “approximately eighty percent of the scholarships, were awarded to students 18-25-years-old, who met the criteria.  Special consideration, was given to Family Island students, who reside in areas, where fulltime programs are not available. The remaining scholarships, will be awarded to individuals over the age of 25 years old, on a case-by-case basis.


“The Government’s Bahamas Early Start or BES Project is designed to enhance the early childhood sector by strengthening, the equitable delivery of comprehensive, and quality childhood development for all children from the earliest stages of development.

“ This project will impact both public and private pre-schools through:  the revision of the national pre-school curriculum; the training of teachers, care givers, and teacher’s aides, on effective strategies in early childhood education; and through parent information and education,”  said Dr. Minnis.

He said in April 2018, the Ministry of Education introduced the Universal Pre-Primary Education Initiative to key education stakeholders. The initiative will increase access to pre-primary education for three and four year olds throughout the country.

“At the beginning of the 2018/2019 academic year three new preschool classrooms were opened in New Providence, with an additional four new state-of-the-art preschool classrooms just about completed.

“To date, more than 700 additional students have been enrolled in public and private preschools through the Universal Pre-primary initiative.

“Of these just under 400 vouchers have been paid to the Ministry of Education-approved private preschool providers through the Private Preschool Partnership Program.

“Three and four year olds whose parents could not afford to send them to preschool now have access to pre-primary education, to prepare them for first grade.

We have launched a Lower Primary School Literacy effort,” said Dr. Minnis.

“The goal, is to implement strategies to increase the percentage of students achieving A-D in Language Arts in the Grade Level Assessment Test, known as GLAT.


“After our administration came to office the Ministry of Education, launched a pilot programme to introduce tablets to preschoolers in public preschools.


“Eleven preschools including on: New Providence, Grand Bahama, Long Island, Andros, Cat Island, and Abaco, participated in the pilot project.

“A laptop and LCD projector were given to each teacher, and an Amazon Fire Tablet, to each student.  These devices are being used to support the teaching and learning process in preschools, by providing students, and teachers, with technology that may help to develop and to enhance 21st Century learning skills.


“Teachers and teacher’s aides, were trained in the use of the technology devices and the Whispercast Management system.

“Students use selected educational software on the devices for a maximum of thirty minutes three days per week to support the current interactive preschool program.

“This exercise provides them with the opportunity for hands on discovery, play,       creative expression, and outdoor physical activity.


“Infrastructural upgrades have taken place at most of the preschools, to accommodate the increased demand for Wi-Fi and internet connectivity. The remaining schools will be upgraded by 2020, through the Smart School Initiative.

“We will launch a pilot program at the Anatol Rodgers High School for the use of tablets in high schools.  The pilot will test the efficacy of digital literacy, on student achievement at the high school level, and examine student attitudes, toward using technology across the curriculum and subject disciplines.

“Digital media provides significant learning opportunities for students, to improve literacy and other academic outcomes.

“As technology and information develop, school communities will have to tailor their approach to instructional practices and adapt current and future trends to improve student learning in a digital world.

As of December 2018, the Ministry of Education acquired 12,000 digital devices for distribution in our schools.


“Contracts have been signed with the country’s two major internet service providers to install high speed internet services, in all government-operated schools.

This high speed service, will enhance teleconferencing and closed-circuit television.

“Teleconferencing, will help us to expand e-learning, and meetings between district superintendents, principals, and others with the Ministry of Education.

“ We also intend to boost distance education, which will enable schools throughout the country to engage in instruction that may not be available at their school.  This may include instruction from other jurisdictions,” stated the Prime Minister.

“We are continuing our school modernization program, with expanded and new school facilities that will improve the learning environment as facilities are built renovated and upgraded.


“A new San Salvador High School was completed in 2018.

A.F. Adderley Jr. High, CH Reeves Jr. High, Eva Hilton Primary School, and North Eleuthera High School, have been expanded and renovated.    We are reviewing, urgent structural repairs, to be addressed before the start of 2019/2020 school year,” said Dr. Minnis.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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