Nassau, The Bahamas – Six computers and sports equipment have been donated to Government High School. The donation was made an official hand over ceremony by His Excellency Ambassador Hu Dingxian on behalf of the Chinese Government on Monday, February 7.
The donation represents some $10,000 worth of goods presented to the school since January 2011 to support the school’s premier Performing Arts Magnate programme and Physical Education Department.
To date, some 41 students have been enrolled in the school’s performing arts programme, the only one of its kind in the region. The performing arts programme was created in l998 when the Chinese government donated $250,000 to the Bahamian government to assist in the field of education.
Since then, the Chinese government has given additional annual support in order to maintain the programme. Minister of Education, the Hon. Desmond Bannister expressed appreciation for the donation to the school.
“It is a delight for me join His Excellency Ambassador Hu, and the Government High School family on such a wonderful occasion as this,” said Minister Bannister.
“The mutual relationship that we have enjoyed between our two countries has benefited our students in a most positive way and for that, we are grateful.”
Ambassador Hu said that he was ‘honoured’ to assist. “It gives me great pleasure to be here at the beginning of the Chinese New Year on behalf of the People’s Republic of China,” said Ambassador Hu.
“Education and human resources are the key to a country’s success, therefore, I encourage you to study hard and work diligently and participate in your country’s future.”
Mr. Bannister said the Ministry of Education is always ‘excited’ when stakeholders share its passion for providing opportunities for Bahamian students.
“Both music and sports are regarded as specialist subjects, and I am certain that most would agree with me when I say that they are both necessary to the development of the ‘whole child,” said Mr. Bannister.
According to Ms. Marva Musgrove, subject coordinator of the performing arts programme, students in the programmes have excelled in both their disciplines and academically, representing 95 percent of the highest scores in the BGCSE at the school. In order to qualify to be in the magnate programme, students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Once students meet the requirements, they are able to participate in the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Hand bell Ensemble, Magnet Chorale, Dance Ensemble and String Ensemble. In addition, unlike regular school performing arts programmes in which students have only up to three hours per week, students in the magnet programme have up to 10 hours of concentration in their chosen subject.
By Betty Vedrine
Bahamas Information Services