Education Issues To Be Addressed At Bahamian Forum

With the start of a new school year days away, Minister of Education Desmond Bannister will address critical education-related issues at the upcoming Bahamian Forum, an open discussion, set for August 24 at Sandyport.

Bannister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Carmichael, is expected to tackle topics ranging from the practice of social promotion to parental involvement, from methods to improve overall scores to the addition of specialized teachers.

“Bahamian Forum is dedicated to providing the public an opportunity to learn about what is happening around them and to contribute to those matters that will ultimately affect their families and their lives,” said Dr. David Allen, founder.

Since its launch in 1985, the Forum has presented dozens of lively discussions on diverse topics. The most recent, held in July, drew a standing room only crowd of nearly 200 who wanted to listen — and talk — to Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade and MP for Bamboo Town Branville McCartney.

“We believe that with as many as 60,000 children and young people in The Bahamas preparing to enter or re-enter school in the next days, there can be no more timely topic than the state of education, both public and private in The Bahamas and no better person to discuss it than the Minister of Education Desmond Bannister,” said Dr. Allen.

Education receives the lion’s share of the national budget, nearly one in every four dollars spent by the government.

“The Minister has pledged his support for reforms in the education system that has failed many. His interest in literacy and increasing the presence of arts in the curriculum is well-established and it will be interesting to learn how schools are being selected for additional programs, also how the public system is prepared to handle what is expected to be a 15-20% default from the private school system as a result of economic hardship.”

A former minister of state, former chairman of the Free National Movement and former president of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations, Bannister graduated from Grinnell College, Iowa, completed his legal studies at Norman Manley Law School in Kingston, Jamaica and was called to the Bahamas Bar in 1988. He has lectured extensively and served as an acting stipendiary magistrate.

There is no charge for admission to Bahamian Forum but seating is limited. The event starts at 6:30 pm at Barnacles, a popular casual indoor-outdoor restaurant on the water in Sandyport.

Source: Diane Phillips & Associates