Education

Let the brainstorming begin

CBE director expects ‘fantastic’ innovations to emerge from inaugural CBE ‘Innovations in Education Competition’

When the inaugural “CBE Innovations in Education Competition” is all said and done, Catholic Board of Education (CBE) director Claudette Rolle said the board expects to see “fantastic” ideas emerge from the inaugural competition for the development of education in The Bahamas.

Encouraging and supporting CBE teachers to develop learning resources or strategies in technology to advance student engagement is the goal of the competition, which challenges teachers to use their summer break to develop innovative projects that are culturally relevant and tailored to current curricula.

“We hope from this launch to be able to inspire our teachers to come up with very innovative projects that we can use, not only throughout the Catholic system, but throughout education, to further develop our students and so that it can transform our nation.”

The final day of entries for the competition is July 9; submission of innovations deadline is September; presentation of innovations to judges takes place October and the winners are selected between October and November.

In less than a week after the launch, CBE officials said 10 percent of teachers, aides and/or administrators had signed up to display their creativity and innovation.

“We know that at the end of it we are going to see some fantastic things come out of it for the development of education in The Bahamas,” said Rolle.

“CBE Innovations in Education Competitions”, which is open to all CBE primary and high school teachers, was launched on Wednesday, June 16.

As the 2020/2021 academic school year closes, CBE officials said the challenges and uncertainties that the COVID-19 pandemic presents for educational systems around the world continues to loom.

In March 2020, schools throughout The Bahamas closed and shifted to online and remote learning. This forced many educational institutions to quickly adjust and address barriers such as teacher preparedness, access to online resources and devices, and student support at home.

“The teachers have worked hard all year,” said Rolle. “Technology has been a part of what they do. They have imbued our school system with technology – and a lot of them have actually used their own resources to come up with very innovative ways to be able to deliver education, and so we are grateful to our teachers and all of our partners to help us to get this launch going. We know that at the end of it, we are going to see some fantastic things come out of it for the development of education in The Bahamas.”

Rolle also expressed the board’s gratitude to their partners in education. She said without them, they would not have been able to realize the initiative.

Tyler Tarver, dean at Northern Lights College (NLC) who presented virtually at the launch on the topic, “Differentiating Instruction Using Google Forms”, gave all CBE teachers free access to his 2021 Premium Virtual Professional Development Program to access all of his virtual summer 2021 professional development sessions and times. The offer includes 34-plus individual sessions, offered at three different times each throughout the summer on Google, classroom management, and full conferences – an $842 value per building/school.

“It is my honor to have the opportunity to help some amazing teachers add to their repertoire, so as to better assist students,” said Tarver. “I wanted to be a part of this, so they can know they’re valued more than ever, and so they can get some tools to save them time and continue dominating education.”

CBE officials have said presently that there are still many unknowns about the upcoming 2021/2022 school year, but that what is certain is the continued importance of the integration of technology and education to improve student learning.

CBE is the largest private educational system in The Bahamas. CBE schools are located on the islands of New Providence, Abaco, and Grand Bahama. The CBE family of schools includes Aquinas College; Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy (Grand Bahama); St. Francis de Sales (Abaco); St. Cecilia’s School; Sts. Francis & Joseph School; St. Thomas More School; Xavier’s Lower School, and Every Child Counts (Abaco).

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