Bahamas Welcomes Cuban Teachers
The Department of Education yesterday welcomed to the country 21 Cuban specialist teachers who will teach in subject areas where there is a shortage of trained Bahamian teachers.
“We hope that this exchange will contribute to and build the present and the future of hundreds of children and young people throughout The Bahamas,”said Cuban Ambassador to The Bahamas Jose Luis Ponce yesterday, at a news conference held at the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
The teachers include specialists in the sciences, special education, technical studies and mathematics.
The education exchange agreement between the governments of The Bahamas and Cuba began in 2003. Teachers from Cuba come to The Bahamas for two years under the agreement. They can receive a one year extension to continue working in the country.
“The service that they provide is service that we have no problems with. They have done excellently the times that they spent in our schools,”said Director of Education Lionel Sands.”We have benefited quite well from those services.”
Three of the 21 new Cuban teachers will be assigned to Grand Bahama schools. One teacher will be sent to Exuma; one teacher to north Eleuthera; and another to an Abaco school.
Ponce advised the teachers to focus on their mandate while working in The Bahamas.
“Your mission is to teach following the best traditions of your profession in our countries and beyond their borders,”he said.
Sands said the 21 teachers will join the group of new teachers hired by the Department of Education for an orientation session today.
“I feel great to be here and to increase the relationship between both countries,”said Cuban teacher Junior Arteaga.
The Cuban teachers will all be deployed this academic year.
“The 21 teachers you see here I’m sure they will make their best(effort)in your country,”said Cuban teacher Benjamin Cuni.
By BRENT DEAN
Nassau Guardian Senior Reporter