|Minister praises Baptist College's role in training Bahamians|
|Monday, 09 July 2012 08:12|
NASSAU, Bahamas – Education, Science and Technology Minister the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald recognised the Bahamas Baptist Community College for its role in educating Bahamians and said the institution is well-positioned to assist the Ministry in advancing its mission to foster competence, character and citizenship in the pursuit of excellence in education.
“The Bahamas Baptist Community College (BBCC) has the distinction of being the largest private post-secondary institution in the country, and as such, it provides its leadership with the opportunity to further expand and be creative as it responds to the increasing need to equip Bahamians with necessary and relevant skills,” Minister Fitzgerald said.
“The low teacher: student ratio in the day and evening classes, college preparatory programme and affordable fees make education at BBCC more accessible to a wider cross section of our society. As I have stated often, I respect and applaud all who recognise that education is a shared responsibility.”
Minister Fitzgerald gave the keynote address at the College’s commencement exercises at the British Colonial Hilton on July 3.He explained that the Ministry has already begun the “urgent” process of restructuring the education system to better prepare citizens to participate in an already competitive global economy. The Ministry is presently focused on creating a more relevant connection between the curriculum and the types of careers that promote the sustainable development of our economy. He said greater emphasis is being placed on Applied Academics which connect classroom learning with the development of skills that students can automatically transfer into the workplace. Art, music, physical education and health, family and consumer sciences, foreign languages and computer technology are among the subject areas.
“When we expose our students to courses that integrate practical applications and problem focused approaches with teaching mathematics, literacy, science and communication, we ultimately improve the employability of our people,” said the Minister. He pointed out the Ministry’s plans to work with public and private post-secondary institutions, such as BBCC, to establish or expand existing Internet-based education platforms to host academic programmes that give adult learners, the physically challenged and working professionals the opportunity to continue their education, while working at home at their own pace.
“We will explore in particular, those programmes that easily lend themselves to distance learning such as computer information systems, public administration, accounting, and law and criminal justice.” Minister Fitzgerald told the 2012 graduating class that their pursuit of higher education indicates that they “recognise the importance of life-long learning to achieving success and they fully embrace the principle that education is the key to empowerment; that empowerment is fundamental to success, and that success is born out of purpose, persistence and perseverance”.
“Personal empowerment can be daunting as you focus on your own aspirations. For a moment, you had to put aside the needs of your families. Take comfort in the fact that, for you to strengthen and better provide for your respective families, you had to become empowered and equipped with new knowledge,” he said. “Your arrival at this point is indicative of one thing which you would have learned along the way: That success rarely just happens. It entails much hard work, planning, focused attention, and unwavering belief in yourself.”
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