Minister of Education, Science and Technology Delivers 2016 Back to School Address

Yesterday evening, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Jerome Fitzgerald, delivered his annual Back to School address. As students from across the archipelago return to school this September, Minister Fitzgerald reminded Bahamians that knowledge is an exceedingly valuable resource that will contribute to the development and modernization of The Bahamas.

In his address, he noted there is a direct correlation between the level of education of a nation’s citizens, and a country’s growth, health and level of economic development. Improvements in the education system are instrumental in building a stronger and more modern Bahamas.

Minister Fitzgerald highlighted some of the accomplishments of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology over the past four years:

  • More than doubled investment in scholarships from $7.75 million in 2011 to $16.2 million in 2016.
  • Spent over $6 million in technology in our Junior and Senior high schools throughout The Bahamas.
  • Implemented The Bahamas High School Diploma, which sets a new standard for graduation. The first graduation is set for June 2017.
  • Taken a holistic and bipartisan approach to improving the education system from preschool to tertiary education through the Shared Vision for Education 2030.
  • Making substantial investments in BTVI whose enrollment has increased by 35% over the past 4 years.
  • Passed legislation to allow for the College of The Bahamas to transform to the University of The Bahamas, which will take effect November 10, 2016.

“Students, parents, teachers, administrators and the public at large, I am delighted to report that during the past four years, with the support of every person within the Ministry of Education, the encouragement of my parliamentary colleagues and the resources provided by the Prime Minister as Minister of Finance, we have been able to deliver on every single promise as outlined in our Charter of Governance; including doubling our investment in education,” stated Minister Fitzgerald.

To conclude his address, Minister Fitzgerald emphasized that parental involvement in a child’s educational experience is absolutely necessary, and urged all parents, grandparents and role models to be more actively involved in the education of their children.

“I believe in our bright and untapped minds with unlimited potential.  Now is the time to harness that power within every single student in country,” said Minister Fitzgerald. “Let’s all work together to further our Shared Vision. This is my Bahamas, this is your Bahamas; together let’s build a Stronger Bahamas.”

Watch the address in full on the Stronger Bahamas YouTube.

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