School tech upgrade, more free preschool spots for Andros

MASTIC POINT, Andros – The Ministry of Education is set to begin its technology upgrade at the primary school in Mastic Point this year by ensuring that all students from preschool through grade three receive a tablet, said Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.

The teachers will also receive a laptop and a projector to ensure the groundwork is in place for digitization to occur, said Prime Minister Minnis. So far, the Ministry has distributed 2,725 tablets, 123 laptops and 133 projectors to students and teachers in various public schools.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Mastic Point Primary School renaming ceremony in honour of veteran educator Mrs. Rozelda M. Woodside, on Friday 6 March. Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Public Works, the Hon. Desmond Bannister and North Andros MP, Mr. Carlton Bowleg also attended the ceremony.

“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,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

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 preschoolers between the ages of three and four years, in the North and Central Andros district are having their tuition paid by the government to attend private preschools.

This initiative, known as 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 preprimary school.

The Prime Minister applauded Mrs. Woodside for almost six decades of service, helping to mold the lives of thousands of Androsians, producing students of character and competence.

Mrs. Woodside started teaching in the late 1950s at the Staniard Creek All Age School as a monitor and joined the Mastic Point Primary School in 1970, where she remained – with the exception of a one-year transfer – until her retirement.

Prime Minister Minnis also commended Mrs. Woodside for her work within the Baptist Church and Church of God, particularly as a minister, youth director and Sunday school teacher.

“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,” said the Prime Minister.