Tuesday, May 18, 2021


Schools Reopen on Monday. What Should We Expect from President Wilson?

President of Bahamas Union of Teachers Belinda Wilson threatens industrial action if the Ministry of Education does not present a clear plan of its reopening procedures, as public schools begin the new school year on Monday.

In a voice note, Wilson said,”They (education officials) keep sending me the guidelines (health and safety) for the Ministry of Environmental Health. We’re asking how the Ministry of Environmental Health guidelines equate to what happens in schools.

“So it seems, the only language the education officials understand is industrial action.”

She said after six months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, confusion and uncertainty about the health and safety protocols for teachers and students still loom.

Schools with recent COVID-19 cases on campus according to Wilson

Wilson said these schools were recently reported:

  • R.M Bailey High School
  • Anatol Rodgers School
  • Carlton E. Francis Primary School
  • Willard Patton Preschool
  • Albury Sayles Primary School
  • A.F Adderley Junior High
  • C.H. Reeves Junior School

Belinda Wilson wants a seat at the table

Wilson wants the Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd, Permanent Secretary Lorraine Armbrister and Director Marcellus Taylor “to mature.”

She is calling on them to meet with the union to agree to a workable plan for the reopening of schools, adding that other issues plague the system since schools will reopen using a digital platform.

Digital challenges claimed by Wilson

  • challenges with the tablets
  • internet connection
  • curriculum content on the platform
  • teachers can not log on to the platform for training

Belinda’s rocky relationship with education officials may hamper other discussions

Wilson’s relationship with Director Marcellus Taylor is known to be rocky, but her relationship has recently hit a rough spot with the education minister when Lloyd said Wilson sent him WhatsApp messages containing the words “f— y’all.”

Lloyd said his ministry will not hold discussions with Wilson until she apologizes and stops behaving in a “disrespectful and insulting” manner.

Lloyd told reporters that his ministry has tried its best to work with Wilson but to no avail as her actions have threatened the quality of education for Bahamian students.

Featured Image: Tribune

Roofer Falls From School’s Roof and Dies

A roofing expert slipped and fell to his death on Tuesday afternoon, following work on the roof of Jack Hayward High School.

Reports are that 43-year-old Eltoro Ian Johnson was working on the roof of the school at about 3pm, when he lost footing due to rain.

He was exiting the roof when he slipped and fell.

Johnson was transported to the hospital, but later died.

The Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd extended condolences to Johnson’s family.


Darville Says Lloyd Ignored Mayaguana. Why He Believes Emmanuel Should Show Support

Opposition Senator Michael Darville is calling on MICAL MP Miriam Emmanuel to stand up and say something on the issue involving the amalgamation of the school system in Mayaguana.

“It is interesting that in the face of all of this, the duly elected member for MICAL has not made a public intervention and remains silent to date.”

Darville said combining the primary and secondary public schools in Mayaguana is “a regressive education policy and a move backwards to the outdated ‘all age school’ education system.”

He said Education Minister Jeff Lloyd is ignoring the cries of the community, but he awaits Emmanuel’s response to the plight of her constituents.

What happened to the school system in Mayaguana?

Education officials closed the public schools, Abraham’s Bay High School and Pirates Well Primary school to combine the education system on the southern island.

Lloyd said this was the best move and Education Director Marcellus Taylor agreed, saying it allows for all teachers to teach on one site instead of leaving to teach at the other building.

Taylor said this new move will improve teaching and learning on the island as enrollment decreases.

Abraham’s Bay High School would become the administration building.

Where would the schools be relocated?

The schools will be relocated to the proposed refurbished site in Pirate’s Well which is the Lodge Hall building.

Teachers Union Leader Belinda Wilson said the government should pause the move until all parties come to an agreement. She described the lodge building as “dilapidated.”

Darville said the building is inadequate, not COVID-19 compliant and believes the refurbishment cannot be completed in time for school opening.

What do parents want?

On August 7th, parents and students held a protest, demanding that the schools remain as is, saying it allows for social distancing in an era of COVID-19.

One mother said the settlement of Betsy Bay was crippled by the closure.