Government Building Named in Honour of Dame Ivy Dumont

BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis officially named the building housing the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture the Ivy L. Dumont Building. The ceremonies, July 5, 2021 on University Drive, were part of the 48th Anniversary Independence Celebrations. ‘It is a great honour,” the Prime Minister said, to recognize “a distinguished Bahamian patriot.”

He noted, that she hailed from Long Island, “the birthplace of a number of Governors General and extraordinary educators…. “As an educator, public officer, politician, religious and community leader, consummate professional, unionist and as the first female Minister of Education and Governor General, Dame Ivy Dumont has been an extraordinary citizen and servant-leader.” The Prime Minister said, “While much of Dame Ivy’s biography has been recalled today by others, please allow me to highlight a few chapters from her storied journey.

“In 1992, under the first Free National Movement Government led by the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham, Dame Ivy was appointed a Senator and Minister of Health and the Environment. “During her tenure in the ministry, she instituted a number of pioneering
achievements in the Ministry of Health. “This included her recognition of the epidemic of non-communicable diseases and its costs in lives, productivity and health care costs.

“As early as then she spearheaded a national health drive to encourage Bahamians to adopt healthy lifestyles.

“What she spearheaded then, is even more critical now, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically demonstrated the risk of comorbidities.” He continued, “Dame Ivy’s adept leadership as Minister of Education between 1995 and 1999, and as Minister of Education and Youth until 2001 was a critical period of transformation in Bahamian education.

“As Dame Ivy is an educator at heart, she possesses a keen understanding of what was required to advance our education system.
“Under her leadership, the first indigenous Language Arts book for primary school students was published and utilized throughout the government-operated school system. “Dame Ivy paved the way for technological advancement in education, overseeing
a project to computerize the school system.

“Her impact on student development included:
• The Government’s Guaranteed Scholarship Loans Programme
• Expansion of the Teacher Cadet Corp
• Re-introduction of two-tier high schools
• Implementation of magnet programmes and the expansion of distance education

The Prime Minister noted that with Dame Ivy’s extraordinary range of intellectual gifts, she exhibited humility, generosity, patience, fairness and resilience: “In naming this building in her honour, we are memorializing her stellar contributions to nation-building, her example as a citizen, and her generosity of spirit.

When new generations of students ask, ‘Who is Ivy Dumont,’ we have an extraordinary Bahamian story and example to share with them.”