Education

We must discourage public shaming via social media

We must discourage public shaming via social media

 

  • Circulated video of our youth disturbing
  • Parents, Guardians should cease from recording, distributing & sharing videos
  • Young people should be mindful of content they disseminate in cyber space
  • Parliamentarians and responsible Ministers need to raise greater awareness


Recently, videos of a disturbing nature have been circulating depicting our nation’s youth in a less than savory manner. We in the DNA implore agents of the Department of Social Services to heighten their alert and conduct investigations into the homes and environments of these young individuals where and when necessary. Often, matters of this nature are overlooked or taken for granted until it becomes a substantial problem in our society that is beyond control.


In addition, we in the DNA caution parents/guardians or close relatives and friends to cease their recording of these terrible acts and consequent uploading and sharing of the same via social media. The risk of our children being psychologically damaged permanently as result of public shaming is too great a risk to continue this ill-advised behavior.


The DNA cautions the youth of our nation to be very mindful of their actions and what they post in the public forum whether of themselves or others.  They should also consider the wise saying that what you give to the world you can't take back.


As a final note, Parliamentarians, particularly the members who have responsibility for the Ministries Of Social Service and Urban Development, National Security and Education should champion legislation with penalties as well as agitate, foster and implement programs which create increased awareness to prevent and discourage members of society from posting damaging videos up on the internet involving adolescents.


We must consider as Bahamians what kind of society we would like to cultivate for the next generation of Bahamians and act in a manner that can bring about change in a more positive and productive manner.

E. Corderro Armbrister

DNA Spokesperson for Social Services and Urban Development

DNA Stands in Solidarity with Teachers

  • Bahamian youth must be at center of government policies

  • Government reactive rather than proactive on public education system

  • Teachers are valued professionals

  • Epidemic of violence in certain schools must be addressed

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is of the belief that the future prosperity of The Bahamas hinges on the education and economic empowerment of our people. It is our position that the Bahamian youth must be at the center of government policies, initiatives and programs. Our education system cannot be tainted by politics or a reluctance to implement a real governance platform.

 

We are calling on all school administrators, especially those within the public sector to stand up for their teachers and ensure that all rules are enforced. The requisite focus must be placed on ensuring that there are no compromises in the application of rules and regulations within our education system.

 

Individuals familiar with the educational system are aware of the challenges faced daily by our hardworking educators. It is extremely difficult to work in conditions where teachers are constantly looking over their shoulders in fear or being blatantly disrespected in their classrooms. Teachers are weary of this situation and there is a level of frustration with the lack of attention to this matter. 

 

The approach to matters confronting us within the public education system has been reactive rather than proactive. It is unfortunate that issues that could be addressed right away are being swept under the rug until the matter becomes more serious. This is not the type of position or environment that is needed. Administrators must always be proactive and intentional in reforming the system. 

 

Teachers are one of the most valued professionals in any country and The Bahamas should not be an exception. They work tirelessly by going above and beyond albeit they are not adequately paid as they continue to positively impact and prepare the next generation of Bahamians. 

 

The DNA calls on the Minister of Education to get involved. Meet with the teachers of the SC McPherson Junior High School. We salute them for standing in solidarity to protest a system and environment that hinder effective learning. 

 

For too long, the Bahamas Union of Teachers has spoken about an epidemic of violence in certain schools. Evidently, nothing tangible is being done and their needs are not being met! It is time for the Minister along with the Ministry of Education to bring about plans that counter violence in schools. Legislation must be put in place to make serious actions punishable by imprisonment and granting school authorities to permanently expel violent students. 

 

If we don’t act decisively with a strong hand to prevent these matters, we will constantly see issues like this and more resurfacing. 

 

Dr. Matheo J. Smith 

DNA Spokesperson for Education


Government must deliver on promised free tuition

  • Youth education must be paramount

  • FNM continues to disappoint Bahamian youth

  • No relief in sight with 15% UB tuition fee hike

  • Mixed messages from PM and Minister

  • Government must get priorities right


The recent announcement by the President of the University of The Bahamas (UB) that tuition fees will be increasing beginning in the Fall of 2019 took many by surprise.  Additionally, the revelations that the costs for attending UB were up to approximately $30k for a UB student were also startling. Many were alarmed by the President’s announcement considering the fact that the Prime Minister had on many occasions promised that tuition at UB would be free for Bahamian students – a campaign promise which the current administration has failed to deliver on.


It is imperative that our societal leaders craft policies and programs that will create a path that is clear to the middle class for Bahamians from all walks of life to ensure our nation's economic prosperity. This entails opening the doors of higher education to more Bahamians in the best way possible by ensuring access and affordability.


Today, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require education and training beyond a high school diploma. Yet almost half the students who begin tertiary level education in this country do not finish within four to six years. The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has noted the recent report that the University of The Bahamas will implement a tuition hike for the 2019 fall semester for new entrants.


While we empathize with UB’s plight and the financial challenges that the institution faces, we believe that this proposed 15% increase will further put tertiary level education out of the reach for the very families that need it most and further disenfranchise Bahamian youth. Higher education should no longer be a luxury for the privileged few but a necessity if our young people are to be positioned for competing in the global economy.


Even more perplexing are the mixed messages and lack of coordination within the government. The Prime Minister and Minister of Education seem to be on different pages on the timing and details of the free tuition initiative promised by the Free National Movement (FNM). According to media reports, the Minister threw the PM under the proverbial bus when questioned about the disparity between the PM’s announcement and UB’s planned fee increase.


A visionary Bahamian government should be committed to restoring and enhancing our world leadership in college completion and ensuring that every student who choose to take advantage has access to an affordable and high-quality postsecondary education. Students everywhere, including many older students juggling work and family responsibilities recognize that higher education is essential to increased opportunities and that fact has fueled a substantial increase in college enrollment rates in recent years.


The FNM like its predecessor has failed to prioritize the education of our youth. Specifically, the current administration is not delivering on its promise that guaranteed, “free tuition to every qualifying Bahamian.” Prospective college students are often priced out of the education they need to set themselves up for future success while recent college graduates continue to feel the weight of their student loan payments holding them back from fulfilling their full potential.


We submit that this is no time to raise any tuition fees for students if we are aiming to create a sustainable economy with equal opportunity for all Bahamians. The DNA calls on the government to live up to its promises and make college affordable for every Bahamian without further delay.


Now more than ever, tertiary level education remains the greatest driver of socioeconomic mobility in The Bahamas, but if we don't do more to keep it within reach for low and middle class families and those striving to get into the middle class, it could have the opposite effects; serving as a barrier, instead of as a ticket to a brighter future for all.


We encourage this Government to reverse a quarter-century-long trend of disinvestment in higher education, promote reforms to support student success and embrace their role in overseeing institutions. For far too long, the government has focused almost exclusively on inputs enrolling students in college to say that there is an increased enrollment, but they focus little on outcomes which is graduating from college with high quality degrees.


It is time to reset the incentives that underpin the system to focus on meaningful outcomes. We cannot continue to fund an unsustainable status quo.


Dr. Matheo J. Smith

DNA Spokesperson for Education


YDA Laments T.A. Thompson Incident

The Young Democrats Alliance (YDA) is saddened by the recent violence at the T.A. Thompson Junior High School which resulted in the death of a student. Another promising life has been cut short by a senseless killing on our streets.

We wish to extend our sincere condolences to the parents, immediate and school family of the student that was fatally stabbed earlier today. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

This unfortunate incident brings to mind a similar stabbing at the Doris Johnson High School some time ago and it is heartbreaking to see history repeating itself.

The YDA is appealing to the youth of our nation to drop their weapons and stop the killing. The future of our nation lies in the hands and collective effort of the youth. We are the ones that must take on the mantle of leadership and receive the baton of nation building for the sustenance of our commonwealth.

It is time for us as Bahamians to come together and address the menace of youth violence. The YDA is calling on both Ministers of Education and Youth & Sports to collaborate with the families of all murder victims to implement initiatives aimed at preventing further killings and stemming retaliation in our communities.

We must come together as community leaders and patriots to strengthen the communities. Every member of a community can make a difference and help prevent youth violence. We are calling on all Bahamians to:


  • Be a mentor, tutor or volunteer at schools or youth-serving organizations to guide youth and model non-violence;

  • Support the healthy development of all young people in the community; whether they are youth at more immediate risk for violence or youth who don’t show obvious signs of difficulties;

  • Provide meaningful and appropriate opportunities through businesses or social/civic groups so youth can develop their interests, skills, and talents;

  • Encourage our youth when they behave well and help them see the benefits of making good choices;

  • Take immediate action when youth violence occurs by letting young people know violence is never okay, coach them on how to resolve conflicts calmly and nonviolently, and involve other adults such as parents, teachers, or law enforcement in this process.


The YDA is calling on all those who love our country to come together regardless of our differences for a common good. This is indeed a call to action. The Democratic National Alliance is grieved by the level of youth violence in our nation and stands ready to lead the charge to stem this epidemic.


Laron G. Moxey

YDA President