Thursday, Jul 2, 2020
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BAMSI set to host free virtual education series

As Bahamians begin to navigate their way forward under the gaze of COVID-19, facing what is certain to be a new normal, many are looking to take advantage of the “shelter-in-place” protocols by learning new skills, both as a way of enjoying themselves and also as a potentially new source of income. Riding this wave of industriousness right alongside them, the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) is set to roll out a free lecture series that covers a diverse range of topics. Throughout the months of May and June, BAMSI’s academic arm will host its free virtual educational series to help people tap into their best and most creative selves.

The virtual education series expands on BAMSI’s agriculture and marine-related focus, covering an eclectic array of topics, including art and the environment, food security, bush tea do-it-yourself activity kits and aquaponics. The series, which begins this Friday, can be enjoyed by anyone with internet access and participants may register for one or all the classes.

Dr. Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, BAMSI’s executive director, said the decision to launch the series, which includes two sessions on job readiness, was made to help Bahamians begin to think about how they can forge a better path for themselves in a post-COVID-19 environment.

“This is one of the ways BAMSI is giving back and contributing to the positive well-being of our community, even as we face an uncertain future. Imagine taking an hour or two once a week to learn something that brings joy and educational empowerment, that strengthens your vision for a brighter future and helps you feel more enriched [and] that holds incredible value, and BAMSI is excited to help participants begin that journey.”

While the lecture series is an end in itself, the hope is also that individuals will be inspired to seek further training and education through the institute’s certificate and degree programs. Dr. Hanna explained that the seven-week certificate programs in backyard farming and agriculture are set to roll out on June 1, with degree programs slated to begin in September.

While many companies are trying to find their footing in this new marketplace, BAMSI is poised to be a change agent for a country that is looking to shore up its food security at both the commercial and community levels. As the world grapples with the new coronavirus and countries turn inward to protect their citizens, the question of food security has never been more foremost in the minds of Bahamians. Through its farm in North Andros and growing partnerships with farmers across the country, BAMSI is on the front line, helping to secure the supply of fresh produce to Bahamians.

The institute’s academic arm is also playing a pivotal role in shaping a new future. It is offering the public the opportunity to take advantage of a cross section of courses that will help them develop new careers, gain traction for entrepreneurial ventures, or simply support the dreams of a backyard farming enthusiast.

Dr. Hanna noted, “In light of the incredible impact that COVID-19 has had on every aspect of our lives, from changes to the Bahamian economy to this tremendous focus on our ability to feed ourselves, to how we practice social distancing in our everyday lives, BAMSI wants to take on the role of empowering our people to focus on how they can craft a better way forward for themselves, their family and The Bahamas as a whole.”

For more information on BAMSI’s free virtual education series, visit www.bamsibahamas.edu.bs.

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