Educators from around the Commonwealth of The Bahamas joined in the opening ceremony of the First Virtual Teachers Conference, September 7, 2020.
The event organized by the Ministry of Education, is an opportunity for new and returning teachers to explore the future of education led by experts in the field. The 2020 conference was designed to guide them in maintaining high standards in education
Officially opened by Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd, the four-day event focuses on the theme: ‘Embracing the New Reality with Resilience and Resourcefulness.’ Topics include: Health and Safety, Remote Education and Instruction, Psycho-Social Needs of Students, Teachers and Parents, Curriculum Reform. Strategic plan for reopening of schools.
The opening ceremony featured greetings from Lorraine Armbrister, Permanent Secretary; Belinda Wilson, President, Bahamas Union of Teachers; presentations by teachers including a musical selection entitled ‘Lean on Me,’ and a prayer written by Joan Knowles-Turnquest.
In his remarks, Minister Lloyd told the teachers they must be agents of change with values, knowledge and attitudes that permit every student to succeed. He encouraged them to remain resolute in their call to inspire and bountifully impact a generation of 21st century citizens.
“As educators in this modern and revolutionary era, paramount to your success is the concept of adaptability. This includes not only adapting to new technologies and teaching strategies, but rather adapting to or welcoming new personalities and realizing the importance and benefits of working as a team, as a collaborative spirit that builds trust among colleagues, mitigates conflict and unravels new levels of creativity that can break education barriers. How transformative is synergy among educators all of whom are endowed with unique gifts divinely appointed,” said Minister Lloyd.
In pursuit of the students’ academic success, he urged the participants to inculcate in them that they have the power to steer their own destiny.
He challenged them to present themselves as empty vessels waiting to be filled.
Between July 14 and August 25, 2020, the Department of Education has hosted more than 25 training sessions and engaged more than 3,500 education stakeholders. Dr. Marcellus Taylor, Director of Education, attributed this to a paradigm shift in how the delivery of quality education to students is approached.
“Previously you were focused on ways to improve your students’ literacy and numeracy levels, and by extension our country’s graduation rate and these foci remain crucial. Currently, however, our focus must now be placed on the successful delivery of quality education, while at the same time maintaining healthy and safe environments for all education stakeholders.”
He encouraged the senior educators to embrace the technological advances that younger teachers may be accustomed to using, advising that there is much that they can learn from each other.
The first session ‘Displaying a Spirit of Resilience’ was led by Dr. Richard Adderley, Clinical Psychologist.