Mastic Point Primary School renaming ceremony






Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a pleasure to be here with you to congratulate Mrs. Rozelda M. Woodside, as we witness the Mastic Point Primary School being renamed in her honour.

Having first taught at the Staniard Creek All Age School as a monitor in 1957, Mrs. Woodside has committed her life to the teaching profession.

During her career she worked as a Pupil Teacher, Subordinate Assistant Teacher, Trained Teacher and Principal.

Mrs. Woodside’s lifework is synonymous with the Mastic Point Primary School.

In 1970 she took up a teaching post at this institution and remained here, with the exception of a one year transfer, until her retirement.

Over almost six decades of service she helped to mold the lives of thousands of Androsians, producing students of character and competence.

Mrs. Woodside: You have remained dedicated to your profession, which despite the varied challenges, in a vocation that transforms lives and builds community.

Along with your sacrifice of time and resources, I applaud you for the countless times that you agreed to volunteer your services by holding free after school classes.

I have been told that you have always had a desire to teach, since you were a child.

Through your work you have shaped the minds, hearts and characters of thousands of our young people.

Today there are pastors, professors, policy makers, physicians, entrepreneurs and countless others who are making a positive impact on our society because of your influence. For this we are grateful.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We know that success in education is more than achieving passing scores or performing well on national examinations.

While we place great importance on these areas, we also recognize that the overall well- being of our students must also be addressed.

Mrs. Woodside understood this and contributed to improving the social and religious fabric of her community.

Her work within the Baptist Church and Church of God, particularly as a minister, youth director and Sunday school teacher is commendable.

Additionally, the valuable contributions she made as a Children’s Ministry Director is immeasurable.

Mrs. Woodside: Your contribution to the socio and economic enhancement of the children and the elderly in your community, through your provision of groceries, meals, uniforms and school supplies to the less fortunate, is evidence of your commitment to the most vulnerable in your community – children and the elderly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This primary school has been instrumental in providing a solid academic foundation for countless children.

For this, we applaud also the contribution made by the first Principal Mr. E.J. Bowe, who played an important role in the school’s development, and who joins us today to also extend congratulations to Mrs. Woodside.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

This year you will start to see the realization of technology upgrades here.

We will begin our technology upgrade here in Mastic Point, Andros, by ensuring that all of our students from preschool through grade three receive a tablet.

Their teachers will also receive a laptop and a projector to ensure the ground work is in place for digitization to occur.

We want to ensure that all of our students here in Andros, from pre-school through 12th grade are able to receive the necessary technological devices to equip them to become globally competitive in a digital society.

We believe that public private sector collaboration is key to us ensuring that all of our three through four-year-old children are given a firm foundation to prepare them to enter grade one.

Toward this end, I am pleased to report that the Ministry of Education has partnered with three private preschools in North Andros and two private preschools in Central Andros to increase the number of children who are able to receive free pre-primary education.

Currently more than 100 pre-schoolers between the ages of three to four years, in the North and Central Andros district, are having their tuition paid, by the government, to attend private preschools.

This initiative, called the Universal Pre- Primary Education program, was launched with a mandate to accept students who could not be accommodated in the government preschool sector.

This programme allows private preschools to receive vouchers from the Ministry of Education of up to $2,000 per child, to secure the child’s enrolment in the approved private pre-primary school.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

My government is putting in place the platform to ensure that we are able to continue the transformative work that was put in place by Mrs. Woodside and others.

Today we honor Mrs. Woodside as an educational leader who worked to form the character and lives of generations of Androsians.

How wonderful that we are here today to pay homage to her today as we rename the Mastic Point Primary School in her honour.

Mrs. Woodside, on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas I thank you for your contribution to national development.

May I also acknowledge and congratulate your family, friends and colleagues who played a role in your long and distinguished career.

Congratulations on this singular honor. May God continue to bless you and your family.

And may God bless the good and wonderful people of Andros and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Thank you and good morning.page16image18064576