Pre-School Week officially opens with talent display and exhibition

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Official opening ceremony of Pre-School Week. Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd is at the podium. (BIS Photos/Derek Smith)

Pre-schoolers representing Government Pre-schools throughout New Providence showcased their talents in dance, song and poetry during the official opening ceremony of the 15th annual Pre-school Week and Exhibition. The event was organized by the Early Childhood Education Section of the Department of Education and held Monday, April 8th in the foyer in the Ministry of Education. Parents, teachers, bystanders, senior administrators and officials watched as the toddlers bravely displayed their abilities. Lejah Burrows, senior education officer explained that the purpose of Pre-school Week is to build an awareness of the importance of preschool education specifically for government pre-schools.

She said the exhibition depicts the week’s theme “A Walk Through The Bible” and displays children’s learning through art and the work they do. “Each school has focused on a Bible story. Not only are they using the Bible story during their spiritual development time, they have related and integrated it out of the curriculum. They will write stories, sentences, count and add items out of the Bible story. They will relate it in any way that they can to all of the development areas,” she said. There are some 67 government preschools throughout The Bahamas including stand-alone pre-schools and pre-school classrooms attached to primary schools.

Mrs. Burrows underscored that the government’s initiative includes plans to increase the number of government pre-schools and spaces in private pre-schools so that more children can have access. The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education, recognized the organizers of Pre-School Week as he briefly greeted the children.He said, “It is wonderful that we are focusing on the foundational years of our educational teams. If we don’t get it right here, it’s going to be more difficult to catch up. Every scientific data that I have studied speaks of the critical nature of what now we know as pre-primary but we’ve grown up with as pre-school education. “At this age 3 – 4 is when they learn, fundamentally, social skills: that is, I am important, but so is everybody else, and how to negotiate the world with their literacy, numeracy and computational skills. This is absolutely essential and every resource that the Ministry has, has to be dedicated to this age group at this time in their lives. This is why our focus in this administration is pre-primary education along with technology, professional development and curriculum reform.”

Marcellus Taylor, Director of Education emphasized the importance of pre-primary education as he officially opened the week. He said the Department of Education recognizes the importance of education at this age and stage and explained that is why one of the primary goals is to increase the percentage of students 3-4 years old who are entering into a pre-primary program that is strong and has a very well developed curriculum. “That is one of the reasons why we have so much confidence in our pre-primary curriculum because it covers multiple spheres of what a person ought to know and do. They have a holistic approach to student development. They focus on cognitive development but they also focus on social development and spiritual development. That’s why this year’s theme is a good one because it brings the focus on the spiritual development which is what nurtures the values and attitudes that students ought to have.” Mr. Taylor also engaged the pre-schoolers in a question and answer segment. The students showed their knowledge of the Bible by correctly answering each of the three questions posed.

The week’s events includes the following activities:

Monday, April 8 – Parents Evening – C. W. Sawyer Primary School

Tuesday, April 9 – Sports Day, Thomas A. Robinson Sports Centre

Wednesday, April 10 – Literacy Fair, Willard Patton Pre-school

Thursday – Costume Parade, Road March from Willard Patton Pre-school to Festival Place, Arawak Cay

Friday – Teachers’ Luncheon

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