Saturday, September 8, 2018

242NewsBahamas - We Can't Go Forward if we still work in the Past! & 242 Weekly News Highlights

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"We Can't Go Forward if we still work in the Past!"

Dear Readers,

We've heard countless stories about how students leave school without basic literacy and numeracy skills but we haven't made changes to the curriculum or improved the WAY we teach students. We continue to hear stories about a shortage of teachers but newly hired teachers receive their confirmations and school assignments late. And each year, it seems that school repairs are completed later and later. In fact, even as thousands of students, teachers, and administrators returned to the classroom for this week,  multiple reports have revealed that public schools from New Providence to Rum Cay remained in a state of disrepair. Add to that the release of this year's dismal BGCSE results and its clear that our education system needs to go back to the drawing board.

There is obviously a need to revamp the way we do things in education and I know there's no magic pill or quick fix but I'd like to focus this editorial on 3 key areas: How we teach students, How we Fund Education and How we treat Teachers.

1. In the age of technology, where toddlers learn to operate smart devices before they can talk and most young adults have to have their electronic devices surgically removed from their person its amazing that we've not opted to integrate technology into the classroom environment in a meaningful way. Think about the way the world works, everything has gone digital EXCEPT the classroom, and yet we wonder why students seem uninterested in what they're being taught. Instead of using technology to help students embrace the power of learning we force them to learn in ANALOGUE while the everything else in their lives functions in Digital. As far as I'm concerned that is a frustrating reality which I believe has contributed to some of the issues we see facing students. I'm also of the opinion that we're not teaching students things that they NEED to know to survive in the world as we know it today. Much of the curriculum seems to focus on creating drone-like citizens rather than free-thinking, creative and problem-solving ones. Though we say we want to see our students excel and that we are serious about preparing them to lead their generation. How we teach students tells a different story.

2. This leads me to the issue of how we fund education. Each year it seems that the budget for education continues to be cut in favour of other things. If we're serious about improving the public school system then we need the government to put its money where its mouth is. I can't tell you how many teachers I know that have to come out of pocket for things like school supplies and classroom resources. Textbooks or even copies of lessons found therein after often hard to come by which means that in large size classrooms someone will go without. And what about how we fund school repairs? In addition to creating a designated maintenance team for each school to tackle minor issues all year round, we need to start making funding available much earlier in order to mobilize the work. I recently had this discussion with a colleague who pointed out that more often than not, funds are not made available because the government's budget year begins on July 1. Though I understand this I'm curious about why (if we KNOW repairs are required EVERY YEAR) policies have not been implemented to make emergency funding available. We cannot continue to do things they way they have always been done, we have to start changing things and making decisions that will benefit the country in the long run. It really comes down to planning, maintenance teams can submit a report by the end of May detailing what repairs are needed at each campus, and funds should be IMMEDIATELY to facilitate them.

3. Teachers are really a group of unsusng heroes. Each year, I hear criticisms about teachers and commentary about the teachers union and its president. Some people have suggested that she's too combative, that she's always complaining and that the union and its members seem to care more about money than they do about teaching our students. But they do teach, and parent, and discipline...they do it all. They are required to deal with students many of them from troubled homes, or who have behavioural issues and learning disabilities and everything else you can think of. But Its almost as if we expect teachers to just grin and bear whatever is thrown their way. We forget that teachers are people too, with families to take care of and bills to pay. Could you realistically continue to go work on a job that doesn't pay you on time, or in an environment that was an ongoing construction site, or infested with bats, or pigeons, or mould? Would you be effective at your job if you weren't being supplied with the things you needed? If you didn't feel valued or respected? I believe we have to change the way we view our teachers and the work they do and create a relationship of partnership and support with them.

Again there's no quick fix the decisions that need to be made are difficult and will require real action and involvement from all stakeholders from the government to parents teachers administrators, churches...ALL OF IS. But i'm prepared to back to the drawing board...the future of our students and our country depend on it.

This Week's 242 News
PM promises to give report on Grand Lucayan hotel sale at next sitting of the House
When the House of Assembly resumes in September after its summer break, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis will outline details pertaining to the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort.
He made the announcement during a press conference following a tour of the sprawling property on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 during which he also announced that the government signed a $65 million sales agreement with Hutchison Whampoa and that a $10 million deposit was made. Read More
GB International Bazaar's Burnt Straw Market Demolished
The Building and Development Services Department of The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), Limited demolished the remnants of the previously burnt section of the International Bazaar's Straw Market on Thursday, August 30th, 2018. The memorable blaze that ripped through the market in March of this year, left at least a dozen straw vendors displaced. The burnt structure created an eyesore, which later progressed to an unauthorized dumpsite. Read More
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VirSymCoin Takes the Bahamian Dollar Digital
In just forty-two days, Grand Bahamas Crypto-asset firm VirSymCoin (VSC) will unveil its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) but crypto-enthusiasts in New Providence won't have to wait that long to take advantage of the VSC experience. On Friday, September 7 at the British Colonial Hilton in
downtown Nassau, the company founded and chaired by Bahamian entrepreneur Dario Roberts, will host an open and informative meeting giving interested persons full access to all things Crypto.  Read More
All Hands on Deck
Royal Caribbean Cruises Onboard With Back-to-School Giveaways
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) teamed up with civic and charitable organizations equipping students with the tools they need for a successful start to a new school year.
"If we can do good work on behalf of our young people then as a company we're better off for it," said RCL's vice president of government relations for the Americas, Russell Benford. Read More
5 Star Partnership with NEMA to Benefit Scores of Bahamians Impacted by Hurricanes
Each year, Natural disasters and Hurricanes cost millions of dollars in damages, destroying homes and businesses and uprooting and displacing families. In fact, it is estimated that up to 2.2 billion dollars in losses were incurred in the region due to hurricane-related destruction. Here in The Bahamas, we are all too familiar with the damage that a major storm can inflict, with storms like Matthew, Irma, France & Gene now a part of our national history and daily vocabulary. Read More
Famed Triathlete Brings Message of Motivation
To Grand Bahama Youth Ahead of Conchman 2018
Ready, Set, Go! Come November 3rd the sound of the starting pistol will signal another exciting GBPA Conchman Triathlon, which returns to the beautiful Taino Beach on Grand Bahama Island. Since 1986, the event has provided an environment of friendly competition for both residents and visitors while encouraging physical health activity. Read More
Bahamas Waste Committed to Help Finding a Cure
While advances in screening and treatment have dramatically improved survival rates, Breast Cancer remains one of the most common forms of the disease affecting both men and women in The Bahamas and around the world. In fact, according to global statistics, there will be 23.6 million new cases of cancer each year by 2030 - a reality which underscores the need for increased awareness, early screenings and proper treatment to eradicate cancer. Read More
Bahamas Waste Supports Science Education this Summer
STEM - the acronym which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a global curriculum focusing on these four disciplines. In recent years, the focus on STEM education has given young people across the world access to programs and tuition, which prepares them for a number of lucrative careers in such fields as Industrial Engineering, Statistics or Computer Information Technology.. Read More
Click Below for this week's weather in The Bahamas:

August was a big run distributing 55 bags in total....the largest number yet. The bags were accompanied by children's back-packs filled with essential school supplies for each of the children on the runs, beautifully prepared and labelled by Lena's group. We did received some very grateful thanks from the children themselves.

We lost contact with Stacy when she moved from Garden Villas. We have just found her living in Coral Gardens with most of her 7 children &  1 grandson. She suffers from asthma, high blood pressure and type 1 diabetes requiring 4 injections daily, She has been seriously ill, spending the last month in hospital.

Hurricane Season:

Getting closer to the worst part of the hurricane season (September & October), we are continuing to stock up the warehouse in anticipation of a catastrophic  storm although praying that it doesn't happen. There is plenty of room for additional supplies, recognizing that nothing ever gets wasted. All canned goods, bottled water & soft drinks especially goods that can be consumed without cooking.

Our grateful thanks to Albert, Ediany & Kristen Carbon for the lovely donation of Yardley soaps which will be used in the bags for our September run.       

Soft Toys, Towels & Blankets: Kathy has begun stock piling soft toys, clean towels & blankets. The towels & blankets were very welcome immediately after hurricane Matthew and would be part of any future disaster relief effort. Otherwise all would be added to the Thanksgiving and/or Christmas runs.

Future 2018 Run Dates
Mark your calendars .........
     Saturday 22nd September
     Saturday 20th October
     Saturday 24th November

THE CROSSREACH TEAM                                                           

".....I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."                                                                            
(Matthew ch.25 v.40)
Upcoming Calendar
New Providence
Grand Bahama
  • September 7th, 2018
    • Prostate Cancer Screening Clinic 5:00pm - 9:00pm at Pearce Clinic
  • September 7th, 2018
    • The Bahamas Federation of Performing Arts Legal Round Table 7:00pm at Cornelius A Smith Building (Customs /Immigration Building)-Training Room
  • September 8th, 2018
    • Freeport Rugby Football Club Family Fun Day 3:00pm at The Freeport Rugby Club
  • September 28th, 2018
    • Local Farmers and Craft Market 9:00am - 1:00pm at The Rand Nature Centre
Family Islands
  • September 9th, 2018 
    • "Rock Sound Regatta Rock Sound Sailing Regatta" at Queen's Highway, Rock Sound
  • September 26th, 2018 
    • Ali's Antique Car show at Governor's Harbour
  • September 26th, 2018 
    • Ali's Antique Car show at Governor's Harbour
For More Abaco Events click the photo below
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