Office of the Spouse to focus on mentoring young girls
In the next year, the Office of The Spouse of the Prime Minister will focus on developing and implementing a mentoring program for girls in high schools across the country, Patricia Minnis said yesterday.
The office, which was established a year ago, was allotted $20,000 in the 2019/2020 budget.
“I have visited several schools in the Family Islands, speaking with young women, and from that I have gained some knowledge that our young people, particularly the girls that I am mentoring and trying to empower, need to know why they are in school,” Minnis said after Queen’s College’s Lighthouse Celebration.
“They have to come to school with a focus that I am here not only to learn but if I want to be a nurse then what do I need to do to be a nurse?”
She added, “So I am sitting down with some retired principals and teachers and we are trying to formulate a program to go into the schools to speak to ninth and 10th grades, because when they reach 11th and 12th it’s almost too late.
“That is to start this September. We will go to all of the high schools around the islands.”
Minnis said she hopes to apply some of the principles of the Leadership In Me program by FranklinCovey Education that Queen’s College implemented several years ago. The program seeks to provide students with leadership and life skills needed to succeed outside of a school setting. Queen’s College was the first school in the English-speaking Caribbean to be recognized as a Lighthouse School, a standard of excellence among schools that implement the Leader In Me program.
“One of the things that was said is, in teaching leadership to these students, you are responsible for your own education and that hit me because I am looking for a program [to implement] into the high schools around The Bahamas for young women,” Minnis said.
“I want to teach them that you are responsible for your own education because a lot of our students go to school just to go to school. It’s because they are sent to school…but they are not cognizant about why they are there, that they are there to learn, and they are responsible for their education. What do they want to do when they leave high school?
“So this leadership program that’s in this school, I spoke with Ms. Gibson to ask since she is retiring, ‘How can we use you in our school system to bring this to perhaps government schools, so we can see the impact that it has on our students?’”
Minnis added, “She’s touched on something that we need to look to in our public school system.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish