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Hello Turks & Caicos - ED5


RALLY ON THE DOCK AT HEAVING DOWN ROCK NOVEMBER 19 2016

#GAMECHANGER
After four successful years, the PNP branch in Leeward and Long Bay is proud to present Hon. Akierra Missick for Re-Election. We invite you to join us as plans for the next four years are revealed. Come out and see how you will benefit as we take the Turks and Caicos Islands to the next level

The TCI economy has gone through a complete transformation, from germination to cultivation. And now it is Harvest Time.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share in our grand plans and be a part of the growth and prosperity as we prepare to move up to the NEXT LEVEL.

#VOTEAK #ED5 #MENWOMENCHILD

PROGRESSIVE NATIONAL PARTY ED5

Media & Networking
Airport Road | Providenciales | Turks & Caicos
WhatsApp (649) 231 2000 | Snapchat.pnptci | pnptci@me.com

www.instagram.com/pnptci | www.plus.google.com/pnptci | www.facebook.com/groups/pnpptci
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Leeward and Long Bay thank you for tuning into the debate tonight. I believe it went well and I explained our plans that we have developed together. On December 15th I ask for your support as you re-elect Akierra Missick as your MP for Leeward and Long Bay. I also want to saying a heartfelt thank you to everyone who tuned in to the first Consituency Debate, you support across this Country is felt and I am so humbled by this whole experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Love AK #VOTEAK #ED5
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On December 15th, I ask the people of Leeward and Long Bay to re-elect me as their MP, so we can move to the next level. I've done the work to better our community as promised from lighting, road works, construction of a high school, start constructing Leeward Palms Park. Funding Long Bay Water project and tackle national concerns in education. Let us build on this foundation and secure our community with CCTV and dedicated emergency services, Long Bay Park, a primary school to serve us and the wider Provo community and a constituency office to take our Council to the next level.

#voteAK #votePNP #leewardlongbayMP I ask for your support.

Team AK
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Frequently Asked Questions and Facts

1. Was the election date of December 5 issue by the Premier a valid date?
Yes because it complied with the provisions of the TCI constitution which is the supreme law of the land.

2. Did the Premier had to change the election date from December 5?
No because it complied with the provisions of the TCI constitution.

3. So why did the Premier change the election date from December 5 to December 15?
Because the Election Supervisor needed to execute Election procedures and appoint a nomination date without any opportunities for legal challenge. The Premier and the PNP also did not want any legal challenge because we do not want to give any excuse to challenge our victory on December 15.

4. What would have happen if the Premier did not change the date from December 15?
A. The Premier could have asked the Governor to recall the House of Assembly under the provisions in the constitution to amend the Elections ordinance to comply with the constitution, but the country would have been in a state of uncertainty of the Election date for the next 10 days as it awaits the House to deliberate and vote on the change of the Election Ordinance which we could not guarantee that the PDMs would support.
B. If the Premier had just insist on the date staying to what it was of December 5 and do nothing else, the Opposition and other potential candidates could have challenge the validity of the election and hence cast uncertainly and again we do not want anyone to challenge our victory.
So the best course of action for the Premier was to change the date.

5. Why did the Election Ordinance in conflict with the constitution?
Because the constitution allows for an election to be called by the Premier in the shortest time period of 35 days but the Election Ordinance only allow it to be called no shorter than about 45 days. This is unacceptable as most countries in the Caribbean have the shortest time to call being 21 days.

6. When was the Election Ordinance drafted and passed?
The Election Ordinance was drafted and passed in 2012 by the Consultative Forum of the Interim Administration of which the Leader of the Opposition was a sitting member.

6. Does the Election Ordinance have to change?
Yes it must be changed in order to comply with the 35 days minimum as provided for in the constitution.
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Frequently Asked Questions and Facts

1. Was the election date of December 5 issue by the Premier a valid date?
Yes because it complied with the provisions of the TCI constitution which is the supreme law of the land.

2. Did the Premier had to change the election date from December 5?
No because it complied with the provisions of the TCI constitution.

3. So why did the Premier change the election date from December 5 to December 15?
Because the Election Supervisor needed to execute Election procedures and appoint a nomination date without any opportunities for legal challenge. The Premier and the PNP also did not want any legal challenge because we do not want to give any excuse to challenge our victory on December 15.

4. What would have happen if the Premier did not change the date from December 15?
A. The Premier could have asked the Governor to recall the House of Assembly under the provisions in the constitution to amend the Elections ordinance to comply with the constitution, but the country would have been in a state of uncertainty of the Election date for the next 10 days as it awaits the House to deliberate and vote on the change of the Election Ordinance which we could not guarantee that the PDMs would support.
B. If the Premier had just insist on the date staying to what it was of December 5 and do nothing else, the Opposition and other potential candidates could have challenge the validity of the election and hence cast uncertainly and again we do not want anyone to challenge our victory.
So the best course of action for the Premier was to change the date.

5. Why did the Election Ordinance in conflict with the constitution?
Because the constitution allows for an election to be called by the Premier in the shortest time period of 35 days but the Election Ordinance only allow it to be called no shorter than about 45 days. This is unacceptable as most countries in the Caribbean have the shortest time to call being 21 days.

6. When was the Election Ordinance drafted and passed?
The Election Ordinance was drafted and passed in 2012 by the Consultative Forum of the Interim Administration of which the Leader of the Opposition was a sitting member.

6. Does the Election Ordinance have to change?
Yes it must be changed in order to comply with the 35 days minimum as provided for in the constitution.
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#PNPKICKOFFRALLY #NEXTLEVEL

Summoning all PNP well-wishers to PNP Headquarters for our kickoff rally at 7pm TODAY. Let's get this campaign started as we mobilize a movement to return the PNP back to Government on 5 December 2016.


We have overcome too many obstacles during the last four years to let our Country fall into the hands of the Opposition at a time when we are poised for great success. So let's continue the progress in true PNP fashion as we champion our fight for a more prosperous Turks & Caicos Islands for our people.


TAKING OUR NATION TO THE NEXT LEVEL
#PNPKICKOFFRALLY #NEXTLEVEL

Summoning all PNP well-wishers to PNP Headquarters for our kickoff rally at 7pm TODAY. Let's get this campaign started as we mobilize a movement to return the PNP back to Government on 5 December 2016.


We have overcome too many obstacles during the last four years to let our Country fall into the hands of the Opposition at a time when we are poised for great success. So let's continue the progress in true PNP fashion as we champion our fight for a more prosperous Turks & Caicos Islands for our people.


TAKING OUR NATION TO THE NEXT LEVEL
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VISION DISCIPLINE ACTION:


Every politician faces a difficult reality between actions he or she must take, and whether the citizen or voter will be able to see or feel the result of those actions.

There are those times, when a leader must take an action, long before the citizen or voter understands it or feels its benefits.

Most leaders are terrified of this, and prefer to take only those actions that have immediate and obvious benefits. But such actions often only benefit a few for a short period of time. It takes leadership vision and discipline to take actions that puts the country on the right path for the long term; even when the citizen or voter may not understand or feel the benefits of those actions immediately.

When The Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing, MP – Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands -took office, the country’s finances were in a shambles, and there was fear and uncertainty about where the country was headed.

Many people demanded that the Premier lead a “protest government”; which is a government that would oppose the British or attack them and refuse to work with the CFO; which many Turks and Caicos Islanders believe undermines democracy. Our Premier understood these passions and sympathized with the limits on democracy. However, he knew that protests would not build schools, or pay the debt or keep the country safe for our people. He put away pride and replaced it with vision and judgment.

His first major action was to take the fight on VAT, not as a political issue, but a national one. In the first weeks of his administration, he joined with the Leader of the Opposition at a meeting at which they put the country first in opposing VAT. Then he turned to CARICOM, where a made a powerful speech, and won the argument to pursue a strategy based on the vision, discipline and management of the Turks and Caicos economy by his administration; an approach in which Turks and Caicos Islanders took responsibility for our own affairs.

The results are incredible:
Turks and Caicos has one of the lowest debts to GDP in the world
Turks and Caicos has fully repaid our debt
Turks and Caicos gained its first ever Standard & Poor’s rating
Turks and Caicos has opened historic discussions with Canada
Turks and Caicos has enjoyed three of the best Tourist seasons since the financial crisis
Turks and Caicos was voted as having the No. 1 Beach in the world

What does all of this mean?

Let’s examine the situation: When the Ewing administration took office, the view of the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) was that TCI needed VAT to be able to service its debts and stabilize the country’s finances. The Premier was not necessarily opposed to VAT. But rejected that it was needed at that time and rejected it being imposed on our country from the outside. He argued that we had the skills and could and would take responsibility for and manage our country’s finances to meet our obligations.
This meant some tax increases, and a number of experiments with tax systems, but through it all, we all learned how to discuss tax issues in a series of Town-meetings all over the country. The Premier and members of his cabinet faced the people and made their case. It was not easy, since the Secretary of State, DFID and the FCO placed enormous pressure on the government to meet every obligation to repay the debt. At times, its seemed that thy cared only about repayment. The government had to fight to preserve certain social services. But the government took the people’s concerns and re-worked the tax proposals until the government found the right mixture to secure the country’s finances.

At the same time, the government decided that it would not only repay the debt, but that it would begin preparing the country for future success. So instead of seeing the debt and the Sinking Fund into which funds were paid and the British Loan Guarantee as a burden, under The Premier’s vision and guidance, the administration took it as an opportunity. Rather than sit in the country just finding services to cut, the government worked with the private sector to organize several successful Tourism roadshows. When most leaders would have been overwhelmed by the harshness of the debt repayment requirements, the Premier took the view that it was necessary to go into the world with the support of our business community and to tell the Turks and Caicos story.

He also imagined a new international profile for our country. So he reached out in response to Canada – addressing the Canadian Parliament at the invitation of the Canadian Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, MP – and for the first time in the history of our country, the Premier defined our relationship with one of the largest economies in the world; giving Turks and Caicos a seat at the global table.

The Premier – lead by his Minister of Finance – The Hon. Washington Misick, MP – also used the process of repaying the debt to plan for Turks and Caicos Island reintroduction to the global financial system at the highest level in our history. With most of our debt paid, international banks were happy to lend us the final amount to complete our debt repayment as a sign of confidence in the Ewing administration’s leadership. And as result of these efforts, last year, we achieved our first Standard & Poor’s BBB+ rating. This means that the global financial system’s international banks and investors can now place a value on Turks and Caicos Islands’ finances that says we are not risky, that we are well-managed and that our economic future is bright; and that means that the government can borrow money more cheaply, at a lower interest rate, than nearly all Caribbean nations. This means the government can turn aggressively toward investing in the development of our country. It provides us the opportunity now to develop our education system and to provide youth programmes to engage our young people; ensuring our country reaches its potential.

In this way, our financial crisis has been used not as a burden. Our government did not slump their shoulders and complain about the hard task of managing the country’s finances. The financial crisis was taken as a way to lift Turks and Caicos to another level and it was done on our own terms, by our own people led by our Premier.

Some people are saying it’s the British or the CFO who are responsible for the repayment of the debt and other accomplishments. First, if we had followed them, the Turks and Caicos people would have been under a tax burden with VAT for no reason. If we had followed their advice, we would never have worked with our private sector to promote our country through roadshows. We can agree or disagree on the government’s approach, but let us as Turks and Caicos Islanders recognise where we were, what demands we worked under and how little was expected of us and how we came through “the valley of the shadow of death”, fearing none, blaming none, but believing in our God and our duty to do right by our people, we achieved this and more – such as one of our own as Attorney General and a new School in Long Bay – under the quiet confident leadership of our Premier, The Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing, MP. He listens, asks questions, demonstrates maturity and patience, all underneath the steely determination to get things done.

Some people may speak louder or boast or beat their chests. But today, Turks and Caicos is positioned better than any Caribbean nation for economic growth; we enjoy a great reputation as the destination of choice for high end visitors; our restaurants and beaches have gains additional world renown, all because our Premier had the inner strength to face the deeper challenges of our crisis, knowing that the benefits may take a little longer to be seen. But just as no one sees the farmer’s work at the time of planting, the farmer knows that all will benefit at the time of harvest.

We have 7 years of harvest from 2003; and 7 lean years to this year. Our house is now in order, and the years of prosperity, with God’s will, lies ahead of us. This is what The Hon. Rufus Ewing believed and this was yesterday and today’s work planted deep for blossom of tomorrow’s blessing.
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WASHY STRIKES HOME-RUN FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE

Launch of Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Programme on April 1, 2016


Next month sees the commencement of the Government’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) programme which will be managed by Invest Turks and Caicos with support from the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and Ministry of Finance.
The creation of the programme is an acknowledgement of the importance the Government places on small businesses. The Hon. Washington Missick, Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade, stated ‘The SME sector is the lifeblood of any economy. In Turks and Caicos it accounts for 90% of all established businesses; contributes to around half of our GDP; and employs around 40% of the Islands’ workforce. It is extremely important that we recognise and support these operations and create the business climate which facilitates growth, and encourages budding entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses.’

John Rutherford, Chief Executive of Invest Turks and Caicos, added ‘The successful running of this programme is a key objective for the Agency and we look forward to supporting the growth of the small business sector. We and our partners will be conducting a programme of town hall meetings throughout the islands, as well as promoting the programme through print, voice and social media. Government is keen that priority be given to those companies and individuals that have new, innovative ideas, matched by a strong business plan, and I would encourage all islander-owned businesses to attend a meeting to learn more about what type of business qualifies for these benefits, and how the process will work.’

The MSME Ordinance makes provision for the Government to provide Concession Orders to qualifying businesses which operate in identified priority business sectors. The Concession Orders will permit the company or start-up to specific benefits or reliefs depending on the size of the business.

Application forms for Concession Orders will be available from Invest Turks and Caicos offices at Courtyard Plaza, Providenciales, as well as at designated locations throughout the islands from 1 April. Processing of Concession Orders will commence in early May.

Qualifying business sectors are:

Agriculture subsectors of a) market gardening, b) hydroponics, c) farm mechanisation, d) livestock and dairy development, e) agro-business and f)apiculture (beekeeping);
Fisheries sub-sectors of a) fish farming, b) fish processing; c) farm mechanisation
Manufacturing, processing and commercial cleaning services;
Tourism sub-sectors of: a) bed and breakfast, b) vacation rentals, and c) tourism attractions.
Physical infrastructure considered essential to the areas listed under the Agriculture and Fisheries priority areas;
Technology and Innovation;
Arts and Music. #PNPTCI #ACTION
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CABINET MEETING MARCH 18 2016


Her Excellency the Acting Governor Anya Williams, chaired the 9th meeting of Cabinet on Friday March 18th, 2016 at the N.J.S. Francis Building in Grand Turk.

All Ministers were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

· Considered a request for a supplementary appropriation from the Attorney Generals Chambers in relation to additional legal costs incurred. Cabinet noted the additional costs of defending legal claims in 2015/2016 and supported the need for internal arrangements to be made to facilitate these costs.

Her Excellency the Acting Governor Anya Williams, chaired the 10th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday March 23rd, 2016 at the N.J.S. Francis Building in Grand Turk.

All Ministers were present.

At this meeting:

· In accordance with section 4(2) of the National Honors and Awards Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the National Honors and Awards Committee for a period of one year with effect from 1st April:

Willette Swann - Chairman - (Premier/LOO)
Rosabelle Adams - (LOO)
Cicely Ewing - (Premier)
Samuel Handfield - (LOO)
William Bill Clare - (Premier)
Gertrude Saunders Forbes - (LOO)
Alpheus Gardiner (Premier)

· In accordance with section 4 of the Community College Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the Community College Board of Directors for a term of one year with effect from 1st April:

Cheryl-Ann Shand-Forman - Chairman
Jennifer Lightbourne - Member
Ahmed Jones - Deputy Chairman
Leonardo Ralph Patrick - Member
Barbara Cox-Ambrister - Member
Principal TCICC - Member
Rachel Harvey - Secretary
P/S Education - Ex Officio
P/S Finance - Ex Officio

· In accordance with Section 8 of the Education Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the Education Advisory/Scholarship Committee for a period of one year with effect from 1st April:

Cereocia Pratt - Chairman
Rommaine Missick - Deputy Chairman
Stanley Taylor (Snr.) - Member
Rosheeda Russell - Member
Mikala Taylor - Member
Khristopher Braithwaite - Secretary
P/S Education - Ex Officio
President TCICC - Ex Officio

· In accordance with Section 14 of the Universities, Colleges and Training Institutes Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the Higher Education Advisory Board for a term of one year with effect from 1st April:

Jerry Clerveaux - Chairman
Almaida Tipton - Member
Candice Williams-Malcolm - Member
Rosita Smith - Member
Cora Nicole Malcolm - Member
Ya'sheen Stubbs - Secretary
P/S Education - Ex Officio
President TCICC - Ex Officio

· On the advice of the Minister of Tourism, Environment, Culture and Heritage, Cabinet approved the appointment of a volunteer working group to identify issues and conflicts in the water sports industry and to make recommendations for an appropriate fee structure of licences; zoning of different water sports activities and better management of the water sports industry. The working group shall be chaired by the DECR and shall include representation from the Maritime Department, Watersports Industry, Hotel/Resorts Association, TCI Sailing Operators, the Tourist Board and the Attorney Generals Chambers

· On the advice of the Attorney General, Cabinet approved the following Bills for submission to the next sitting of the House of Assembly:

The Control of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016 which seeks to amend the Control of Drugs Ordinance to ensure TCI's full compliance with the requirements of Article 3(1)(c) of the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances;

The Prevention of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2016 which seeks to amend the principal ordinance to ensure full compliance with the Financial Action Task Force recommendations in particular with recommendation IV on the reporting of suspicious transactions on terrorism and financing of terrorism among other areas;

The Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill 2016 which seeks to amend the principal ordinance to include a definition of arms trafficking of fence and to make consequential amendments to the Customs Ordinance in relation thereto;

The Financial Intelligence Agency (Amendment) Bill 2016 which seeks to amend the principal ordinance to include a provision for the Agency to make an annual report of its activities or work for the preceding year;

Law Revision (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2016 which seeks to make miscellaneous amendments to correct and improve a number of ordinances in consequence of the 2014 Law Revision.

· Advised Her Excellency the Acting Governor to grant an easement to Fortis (TCI) Limited over the seabed between Providenciales and North Caicos to facilitate the installation and operation of Power Transmission Cables, linking Providenciales to Water Cay, Dellis Cay to Pine Cay and Dellis Cay to North Caicos for electricity generation

· Advised Her Excellency the Acting Governor to approve the Immigration Regulations 2016 for publication in the Gazette. This is to come into operation at the same time as the new Immigration Ordinance and the new TCI Status Ordinance on 1st April 2016.

· In line with the Public Procurement Ordinance, Cabinet noted the advice of the Procurement Board on the award of the following contracts:

Upgrade works to South Caicos Sports and Recreational Facility (Phase 1)
Emergency Repairs to Eliza Simons Primary School
Vehicle for Invest TCI
Major Hill Road Development - North Caicos

· In accordance with Section 15 and 16 of the Physical Planning Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the Physical Planning Appeals Tribunal for a period of one year with effect from 1st April:

John A. Williams - Chairman
Paul Gardiner - Member
Brian Cyrus - Member
Marvin Simmons - Member
Robert Smith - Member
Natasha Hall - Secretary

· In accordance with Section 4 of the Physical Planning Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the Physical Planning Board for a period of one year with effect from 1st April:

Rico O'Brian Smith - Chairman
Royal Robinson - Vice Chairman
Russell Garland - Member
Kareem Williams - Member
Director of Planning - Ex Officio
Director of DEMA - Ex Officio
Director of Disaster Management - Ex Officio
Toriano Williams - Secretary

· In accordance with Section 3 of the Water and Sewerage Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the Water and Sewerage Board for a period of one year with effect from 1st April:

Permanent Secretary MIHP - Chairman
Chief Environmental Health Officer - Ex Officio
Director of PWD - Ex Officio
Director of Planning - Ex Officio
Director of DEMA - Ex Officio
Director of SPPD - Ex Officio
Emerson Hall - Member
Kyle Smith - Member
Energy and Utilities Commissioner - Secretary of the Board

· In line with Schedule II Section 10(4) of the Airports Authority Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the Turks and Caicos Islands Airport Authority Board with effect from 1st April:

Gordon Burton - Chairman (3 years)
Heather Allen-Green - Deputy Chairman (3 years)
Dwayne Gardiner - Director (3 years)
PS Finance or Designate - Director (3 years)
CEO TCIAA - Ex Officio
Ruth Gardiner Forbes - Director (1 year)

· In line with Regulation 4 of the Air Transport Licensing Regulations, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individual to the Air Transport Licensing Authority for a period of 3 years with effect from 1st April:

Clyde Ricardo Pardo - Member

· In line with Section 6(4) of the Civil Aviation Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals to the Civil Aviation Authority:

Andre K. Malcolm - Chairman
Harold Williams - Deputy Chairman
Clifford Hamilton - Director
Algernon Dean - Director
Permanent Secretary Finance or Designate - Director
Managing Director, Civil Aviation Authority - Ex Officio

· In line Section 27(1) (b) of the National Insurance Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals for a period of 3 years with effect from 1st April:

Jamell Robinson - Member
Clayton E. Been - Member

· In line with paragraph 3(2) of Schedule II to the Ports Authority Ordinance, Cabinet approved the appointment of the following individuals for a period of 3 years with effect from 1st April:

Yvette Marcelin - Deputy Chairman
Otis Morris - Member
Dwight Mills - Member
Permanent Secretary Finance or Designate - Ex officio
Director of PWD - Ex officio
Collector of Customs - Ex officio
Director of Ports Authority - Ex officio

· Cabinet approved an amendment to the Fisheries Protection Regulations to allow for pelagic fishing in the TCI using a number of fishing techniques including a long line method for which a specific number of licences will be issued and the conditions for maintenance of such a licence.

· Cabinet further instructed DEMA, following a review to develop a licensing system for different species of pelagic fish. The review needs to identify obligations under ICCAT and any other TCI or international legal considerations for the exploitation of pelagic stocks.

· On the recommendation of the Crown Land Advisory Panel in accordance with the Crown Land Ordinance, Cabinet advised the Acting Governor to grant a 999 year lease to Cockburn Harbour Limited over parcels 20307/70, 88, 89, 90 and 20308/58, situated at Cockburn Harbour, South Caicos, at a rent of US$31,091.00 per annum, for the purpose of renovating and revitalizing those parcels to restore existing historical buildings which are derelict, the abandoned historic waterfront building adjacent to the Queen's Parade ground on South Caicos and to create commercial space for retail business use through subleases to local entrepreneurs to engage in tourism related business ventures.


· Cabinet advised the Acting Governor to issue a tender under the Crown Land Ordinance for parcels 60000/245 and 60603/51 for commercial lease, having had an application for the use of that property.

· Noted that on the advice of the Premier, Her Excellency the Acting Governor agreed to issue a proclamation to prorogue the House of Assembly effective March 25th, 2016. The House will be reopened on April 18th, 2016 and it is expected that the official Speech From The Throne will be delivered.
#PNPTCI #ACTION
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HON. AKIERRA MD MISSICK BUDGET ADDRESS

THE SUCCESS OF EVERY CHILD CONTINUES


Mr. Speaker It is an honor for me to stand here and make what is the 4th budget presentation as Minister responsible for Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services. For this honor I must thank the Good Lord who is responsible for all things and then I must thank the good people of Leeward and Long Bay who elected me as representative of that constituency. Mr. Speaker to all our Beautiful by Nature People who occupy the length and breadth of this country and whom I have had the opportunity to meet, greet and talk to as I represented my portfolio, I am truly thankful.
Mr. Speaker to my team at the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport and Library Services, all the Heads of Department and everyone at all levels who contribute to the vision of the Ministry, I say thank you!
Mr. Speaker the Education and welfare of the nation’s children and my constituency is in a better place now that it has ever been! I make that statement boldly as I look back on the sector that stood before me when I was handed this portfolio in 2012. Mr. Speaker by making that claim I also say that we still have some ways to go and I AM PREPARED AND ABLE TO TAKE US THERE! Mr. Speaker I can say however that like the pages of a well written story the development of education, sport, youth and Library services are progressing through a thoroughly designed script guided by a five year strategy with clearly outlined objectives all aimed toward a planned end- ‘The Success of Every Child!’
Mr. Speaker in determining that planned end, we can trace the evidence through the continuous increases in allocation for this Ministry. In the beginning the Ministry started out with an 11.5% of the budget in 2013/14 this increased to 13.3% in 2015/16 of $224,000,000 to 13.6% of over $250,000,000 million in this current fiscal year. Mr. Speaker that is Progress! This party campaigned on education and Education is what we delivered!
Mr. Speaker we have had significant increases in the allocation of capital funds this year the Ministry will benefit from a total of 11,410,000 spread over two fiscal years for major capital works. You will hear that progress as I continue Mr. Speaker

THE ROAD TO PROGRESS- IN THE BEGINNING
Mr. Speaker I will outline how we will use this allocation to realize the strategic goal outlined and I will also inform you of some of our major accomplishments and challenges we encountered. Mr. Speaker we are all aware of what faced this Ministry in 2012:
Overcrowding and the threat of gang violence at CHHS
Lack of equipment and resources
Outdated laboratories at High Schools
An escalating need for spaces at Primary and Secondary levels
Lack of avenues to address skills development among teachers and students
Outdated equipment
Lack of sports programs and the need for upgrading of sporting facilities
No clear talent management programs for sports and other departments.
Library services on the brink of extinction
The need for increased youth programing and a clear Youth Policy to guide it
Outdated policies that needed to address new and emerging situations.
Underpaid teachers and principals demotivated staff.
Early Childhood Education needed regulating and Special Education needed a vision and strengthening.
Mr. Speaker today, let me tell you the story of how we responded to these challenges and how the current budgetary allocation will only allow us to continue to respond in this fiscal year and build on the foundation laid by this Progressive PNP Government!
ADDRESSING OUR CHALLENGES IN EDUCATION:
THE FIRE AT H.J.ROBINSON: ROAD BLOCK-BUT WE COMITTED TO PROGRESS
Mr. Speaker all of us are aware of the fire that destroyed the top floor of the recently completed (by this PNP Government) H. J. Robinson Administrative block. Also destroyed in that fire was years of student records and hundreds of thousands of dollars in new furniture and equipment. The setback was immediately addressed by this PNP Government who have allocated 2.2. million as priority, to the rebuilding of the block and procurement of furniture that was destroyed. WE ARE CONTINUING THE PROGRESS!
While this would mean the delay of another capital project, This PNP government knew it was very important to address the displacement caused by the fire and the impact it had on the students, staff, parents and community of Grand Turk. This PNP Government has invested 7 million in Education in Grand Turk and we will continue to address the educational needs, of this community and Country.
I am pleased to say that working closely with Public Works Department this project is already tendered for immediate implementation at the start of the new fiscal year. That is Progress!
THE FOUNDATION THAT WAS LAID:
During the course of past fiscal year, many of our campuses benefited from much need physical upgrades and construction of amenities and facilities, including:
Upgrading/replace science laboratories in all schools.
Mr. Speaker Clement Howell High School labs- this went out to tender numerous times, we have revised the scope of works and increased the allocation will meet the new scope for this fiscal year.
Mr. Speaker although we are yet to cut ribbon on MBHS, we did so at Raymond Gardiner High School.
Enid Capron and CHHS benefitted from new bathroom blocks and the same is ongoing for H J Robinson High School and Mary Robinson Primary School.
We completed the fencing on CHHS as an added measure to enhance security on that campus.
Mr. Speaker we addressed critical roof and ceiling matters at Enid Capron Primary School
Eliza Simons Primary School was allocated 200,000 for critical works on ceiling and fencing for the school
We addressed the replacement of the Ianthe Pratt flooring
Also acted quickly to secure emergency funding to demolish the H.J.Robinson ruins.
Mr. Speaker we procured over 750,000 in new furniture and equipment for all schools. All Schools.
Mr. Speaker we installed new playground equipment at the Adelaide Omeler Primary School on North Caicos.
CHHS has a new canteen facility
This year, will be no different, as we continue to upgrade the physical infrastructure of our campuses.
BUILDING ON A SOLID FOUNDATION: UPGRADING/PAINTING OF ALL SCHOOLS: That said Mr. Speaker we have allocated the following sums as part of our upgrading of school exercise. Nine Hundred and forty thousand ($940, 000), Mr. Speaker in the first instance this sum will begin the painting of schools as well as critical works to CHHS. Mr. Speaker a total of $3 million is budgeted for this project over the next two years. This will ensure that all schools are brought up to the ‘state of art’ PNP standard: THAT IS PROGRESS!
Mr. Speaker as we progress with the building works of Long Bay, phase three (3), it is the plan to make the CHHS just as ready as Long Bay High School. The works here are simultaneously planned to ensure that both campuses are up to par and meet required standards for learning and development, creativity and excellence.
ELIZA SIMONS: Mr. Speaker in this financial year we have allocated 1,800,000 to be spread over two years for the replacement of the destroyed blocks and furniture at Eliza Simons Primary School. Mr Speaker that school will benefit from a new school block and improved Early Childhood Development centre that will be fashioned on the scale of Ona Glinton’s Early Childhood Development centre being funded through the Caribbean Development Bank. That project is currently tendered for implementation by September of this year. THIS IS PROGRESS!
TCICC: Mr. Speaker the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College will continue its campus upgrades by readying classes for the introduction of additional technical and vocational areas of study and so the sum of $250,000 is thus allocated for that development. Mr Speaker, the TCICC will be the home of the TCI Trade School, and plans are well on their way with utalising the funds bid for by this PNP Government, from the European Union Development Fund in the sum of US$14.5M.
BUILDING ON OUR PEOPLE:
Mr. Speaker the physical upgrading of campuses is necessary to create an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning. It is imperative that this is accomplished if we are to see the benefits of the other strategies which are integral to Education and the other areas. We are cognizant that resources need to also be focused in other areas, allow me to outline some of these Mr. Speaker because we must continue the progress.
STRENGTHENING EDUCATION THROUGH ADDITIONAL HUMAN RESOURCES:
SALT CAY: we budgeted for an additional teacher that will be placed in Zone 1 at the Mary Robinson School on Salt Cay. We are aware that there is a slight increase in numbers and that the one teacher is stretched across several grades.
ELIZA SIMONS PRIMARY: To improve safety there will be the addition of one school warden for the Eliza Simons Primary School.
Additionally to enhance program development and management we have budgeted for:
Scholarship Secretariat Officer ( due to the increase in grants and students by this PNP government) and
A New Sports Officer for Providenciales and North Caicos

STRENGTHENING THROUGH CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT:
PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Mr. Speaker it is the expectation that the education system will cater to all children. There is some recognition, by this PNP Government, that the system may not be meeting the needs of all children. I am happy to confirm then Mr. Speaker that began on curriculum reform and we aim to have a draft National Curriculum for Infant 1 to Grade 2 and Grade 3 to Grade 6 within the next fews months. The national curriculum will be rich, broad and balanced, inclusive and culturally and morally relevant. The curriculum will be aligned with national development goals. Stakeholder meetings are being organized to facilitate full participation in the development of the curriculum. Mr. Speaker this review will allow us to launch our concept of the Turks and Caicos Island citizen who will be the product of our schools through this revised curriculum. Allocation increases within zone 1 are targeted at achieving this. This is progress and we must continue.

HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM:
CVQ: The Ministry rolled out the Caribbean Vocational Qualification programme at the commencement of the 2015/16 school year. Mr Speaker, this is a TECHINCAL Certification that students will receive on compleition of High School! We conducted sensitization workshops for teachers and administrators, trained assessors and verifiers for the programme and had a team visit a centre on Trinidad to observe their set up and see best practices in action.

We will continue to refurbish the specialist rooms at each centre (Each High School) to enable them to fully deliver a quality programme. To support the CVQ initiatives we have again allocated one hundred and twenty two thousand dollars (US$122,000) aimed at CVQ teacher development and the provision of critical resources. Additionally all four secondary schools have increased allocation to provide for resources to enable further implementation.
Mr. Speaker, the changes in our curriculum will result in a progressive Turks and Caicos Islands!

STRENGTHENING THROUGH THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY:
Mr. Speaker we have determined that this child will be a technologically gifted. We have made significant allocation for the upgrade of ICT within all schools. This project will result in each school having at least 30 new computers each. This project along with the implementation of the Education Information Management System, which is due for implementation this year will improve the management of information for schools, increase parental involvement and records related to our scholarship program.
In addition the Ministry purchased and installed Smart boards (Interactive Whiteboards) in twelve (12) of our fourteen (14) public schools. The use of smart boards in schools will transform the teaching and learning experience. Our students are excited about this roll out. Teachers will have access to a range of technological tools, software and the required training, aimed at improving hands on collaboration and creating the ideal learning environment. Through the use of the smart boards teachers will cater to the needs of each learner and their learning styles.

Each of our five (5) public schools and the TCICC campuses have been outfitted with a smart classroom courtesy of an agreement with Digicel and the Telecommunications Licensing Authority. Three (3) teachers from each school were trained to use of the technology and they will serve as lead trainers for the other staff members at their respective schools. Several other training initiatives were conducted for computer teachers from all schools. Training our teachers to lead the way with technology in the class room- That is Progress, Mr. Speaker.

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT:
This PNP Government holds to the biblical teaching that urges us to; ‘train up a child in the way it should go, so when they are old, they will not depart from it’. This teaching is reinforced by our commitment to ensure that our youngest citizens are the centre of educational progress.
The Ministry continues to support placement for children entering the education system at the commencement of compulsory school age (4 year olds) through the Private School Subsidy Programme. We are working with the Caribbean Development bank, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund, to build an Early Childhood Centre on the Ona Glinton Primary School campus. The centre will be a model for excellence in early childhood development and care and will be replicated at all schools. Mr. Speaker, Grand Turk will lead the way in Early Childhood Development. Mr. Speaker this is Progress.

EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS CERTIFICATION: Mr. Speaker in an effort to improve standards and working in conjunction with CDB the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College was identified to build a program that will be used as a continuing education model program for teachers of ECD classes. Mr. Speaker it is the aim to have the skills of all teachers in this area upgraded to provide new approaches to teaching in Early Childhood. The first batch of teachers will attend classes during the summer month’s period, we look forward to building on their foundation. No educator will be left behind on this Government’s watch, Mr. Speaker that is progress!
Professional Upgrading and Leadership Training for Educators:
The improvement to the physical structures of our campuses is not the limit to the continued upgrades in the TCIG Education system. In 2014, we embarked on a skill upgrading program for our Turks & Caicos Islander Teachers to ensure all of our Educators within TCIG Public Schools are holders of a Bachelor’s degree (at a minimum), which continued in 2015, and will be expanded on in 2016. We want to not only ensure that we have a learning environment that is conducive to learning but that our students are continually taught by the most qualified and passionate educators in this country. Mr. Speaker there were many opportunities created for teachers and leaders over the past year and these will continue during this year. A well-qualified and motivated teachers will make a well taught and motivated student.
The Ministry’s support for the professional development and upgrade of every teacher is ongoing. Eight (8) teachers and one Education Officer benefitted from scholarships for study during the year. Three (3) scholarship recipients returned home during the year from international study and are currently employed at the Clement Howell and Long Bay High Schools. Three (3) of our current teachers are expected to graduate from the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College with the Bachelor of Education Degree this calendar year. We will continue to prepare our people to be fully engaged at all levels of the education system. That is Progress!
Mr. Speaker our focus remains to facilitate the academic enhancement of all teachers without a Bachelor’s Degrees with the attainment of their diplomas. Mr. Speaker they called me crazy for requiring my people to be academically ready for teaching our young citizens, now they sing the praises of the advancement of our own people.
SUSTAINED DEVELOPMENT: Our teachers, particularly at the high school level have the opportunity to collaborate with teachers in the region through the notesmaster portal organized by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). The Ministry encourages use of this learning tool as it affords teachers access to lesson plans, teaching strategies, assessments strategies, syllabus content and a range of other teaching resources. Teachers in our schools can also upload their on content and share it will other teachers across the region. Notesmaster also affords teachers the opportunity to upload and manage content for their students so those who are away for extended periods will not fall behind in their studies.

With the onset of the introduction of the Education Management System, we are working on creating dedicated teacher work spaces on all campuses to provide them with upgraded, high speed computer access to encourage integration of technology in all aspects of teacher’s work life. We must continue this progress.
STRENGTHENING THROUGH ACCESS TO SCHOOL PLACES:
The Ministry is under an obligation both nationally and internationally to ensure that school aged children seeking public school places can be placed at all levels within the our education system. Truth be told, this was one of our major challenges. We have commenced addressing the concerns of space at the secondary level on the Island of Providenciales. The Government cut the ribbon on Long Bay High School phase 1 in November of 2015. This allowed us to welcome 200 first formers. All 200 students will complete a full five years at Long Bay High. I look forward to celebrating with the class of 2020 from LBHS.
The construction of Phase 2 of the Long Bay High School commenced in January to the tune of two million dollars (US$2,000,000) and will allow the Ministry to provide the number of school places to equitably meet Government targets.
Phase 3 is estimated at a cost of three million dollars (US$3,000,000) over two years and will bring Long Bay to a full High School accommodating forms 1 to 5.
THE BUILDING BLOCKS - POLICIES:
Mr. Speaker in addition to the policies developed over the past year, this year we will proceed to implement most of them including policies regarding new standards for schools, a new mechanism for the inspection of schools and policies regarding the implementation of ICT within schools.
Mr. Speaker this is in line with our upgrade of ICT and the above mentioned pilot on smart class rooms. The key for us is to ensure that we not only have the tools but that users are trained to use these tools to maximize teaching and learning. Mr. Speaker we intend to address the following policies and ordinances within this year.
Review of the Graduation Policy and The Education Ordinance.
Development of a medium term strategy in line with European Development Fund requirements.
Policy related to the National External Examinations Awards.
Full implementation of new inspection of schools and standards policy.
A review of the National Youth Policy
STRENGTHENING ACCESS TO CONTINUED EDUCATION THROUGH SCHOLARSHIPS:
Our goal is to develop a robust Scholarship Program that is adequately meeting the needs of our population. This is realized through the provision of financial support to TC Islanders who meet the criteria outlined in the National Scholarship Policy.
Mr Speaker last year we distributed eighty three (83) awards for international study and one hundred and seven (107) local scholarships and grants. Mr. Speaker the National Scholarship Program aims to equip Turks and Caicos Islanders, who meet the criteria, with skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Mr. Speaker we are constantly reviewing the policy to ensure that it is relevant to our students who apply. It is also to ensure that it addresses the needs of this country. Mr. Speaker we will continue this progress.
Mr. Speaker that said we are adamant that we must keep the scholar in scholarships, as that is the case Mr. Speaker the secretariat will ensuring that students are attending reputable institutions , that studies are supported in the Caribbean and United Kingdom in the first instance for full scholarships.
This is important to note. Your government will support you, but you must ensure that you adhere to the requirements. The Scholarship program is transparent and affords all groups, all Turks and Caicos Islanders opportunity to access it. Mr. Speaker this government wants all Turks and Caicos Islanders to succeed and this is important progress. Mr. Speaker this is the widest grant program and subject areas seen in years! Progress Mr. Speaker! Progress!
OUR ‘BRIDGE TO UINVERSITY' PROGRAM:
Study at the Community College will be afforded to all students meeting the entry requirement of the College – this will be fully funded by this Government. Mr Speakr, this means FREE Education at the TCICC for Turks & Caicos Islanders. Students must and will have to apply to the College, once accepted they will be given a full scholarship to study at The Turks and Caicos Community College. This progress will continue for years to come and Mr. Speaker this PNP Government believes in educating its people, but further Mr Speaker, knows that this institution will grow and offer innovative programs that students would look forward to studying and developing.
We encourage students to utilize the post-secondary two years to qualify themselves for University and or work. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker we are progressing to take over Barbados Mr. Speaker and be the most education population in the region. This step will allow us to do so Mr. Speaker. Progress!
Mr. Speaker this is our Bridge to University Program: Affording ALL high School graduates the opportunity to study at the Community College or pursue Advanced levels or other post-secondary pre university courses. The aim is to strengthen skills and knowledge, to enable a more educated workforce and strengthen the foundation of graduates for the workplace and readiness for University.
We encourage all students to utilize this opportunity created for them!
The introduction of CAPE/Advanced Levels at TCICC: Mr. Speaker as the Bridge to University Program is implemented, we have asked the college to begin preparations for the introduction of CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) and Advanced level studies. Mr. Speaker this program will allow students another pathway to tertiary level education. In some instances will improve their chances for acceptance to top Regional and UK universities.
Mr. Speaker over the years we have seen an increase in the number of students requesting assistance to study A’levels abroad. Mr. Speaker this must mean that there is a need or gap to be filled. Mr. Speaker we will fill that gap at our own Community College and ensure that we have robust progammes for our people to utilize.
Mr. Speaker the Community College will continue to expand its program offerings to ensure education and professional development of the People of these islands. Preparations have progressed to offer Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (Technical/Trade courses) at levels 3 and 4, this will ensure that all tradesmen can become certified and that new avenues for skill development will be opened. Mr. Speaker as we speak talks for developing partnerships with the Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute for development of key skills areas have begun. This is progress.
In order to continue the progress we have allocated US$250,000 to the Community College to continue its work toward expansion of technical and vocational subject areas. This sum is to ensure that we develop suitable labs for all of the technical areas at the existing sites that are industry compatible. A recent visit by my team at TCICC to technical schools in Trinidad and Tobago resulted in solidifying partnerships with other technical associations but also helped steer us as to how we should develop the existing technical areas to make our students more ready for the workplace or the creation of their own businesses.
Mr. Speaker, we do not talk the talk, this PNP Government walks the walk. We promised it and we will do it. This is progress.
Mr. Speaker you would know that over the past year we recruited a Public Relations Officer. Mr. Speaker this was a recommendation that came from the development of the TCICC 5 year plan. Mr. Speaker we continue to provide information , develop talk shows and work with schools to share program offerings, raise and promote the college as a first choice for post-secondary education, develop fund raising initiatives and gather the relevant information to ensure that the expansion of programs meet our National Development and Community needs.
The PNP Government built the Community College and the PNP government will ensure that it grows, row by row! We will continue the Progress!
SUCCESS THROUGH SPORT:
Mr. Speaker I mentioned the foundation on which we are building using our strategic plans for each department. Mr. Speaker over the past year we were successful in having the Sports Development Bill passed through this Honorable House. Mr. Speaker this ordinance sets the foundation for the existence of the Department of Sports, NGBs and guiding them in the development of their sport.
As a result of the ordinance, over the past few months we engaged with consultants to complete our four year Sports Strategy and talent management program which each National Sporting Body had an opportunity to attend the sessions, and have their input heard by the consultant. This Government is confident that this strategy will provide direction on how to build stronger and better programs, how to identify and enhance talent in sports and provide guidance regarding additional community based and grass roots program so that sport and sporting activity continues in this progressive Turks and Caicos Islands.

BUILDING A SPORTING LEGACY: The GUST LIGHTBOURNE SPORT COMPLEX.
The upgrading works at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex will be completed this year. Major upgrades to the weight room, bleachers, ceiling and roof work and other indoor works will be addressed. Continuing the progress that will ensure optimal standards at these facilities.
Mr. Speaker the upgrading of sporting facilities on South Caicos including installation of bleachers, fitness equipment, installation of basketball rims, landscaping new lights on poles, chain link fences among other things, will also commence shortly. Additionally we will see the establishment of the model Green fitness park in Leeward Palms. As I mentioned last year Mr. Speaker we are excited about the prospects of these parks in the hope that fitness will become commonplace in all communities. That it will be a matter of simply walking and using equipment readily available to all. This will foster a family centered fitness and sporting outcome.
Mr. Speaker a healthier and fitter Turks and Caicos Islands makes for a happier Turks and Caicos. That is Progress!
In the first year the cost of maintenance of both sporting facilities is built into the project and so additional maintenance fees will be evident within the 2017 fiscal year budget. Additionally these parks and facilities were designed along the ‘green’ concept and so material including lights will ensure minimum energy usage and so a reduced costs for utilities.
Mr. Speaker I pause to mention the down town ball park lights. This project seems to have been challenged with several delays, harder than building Long Bay High School, Ona Glinton Primary School or H. J. Robinson Auditorium! Nevertheless we expect these lights will be finally installed by end of April. Mr. Speaker this will reduce wear and tear on the field at National Stadium as games and other activities can resume at the Downtown Ballpark with the use of the expected lights, which are again environmentally sensitive and cost effective. We expect that the Downtown Ball Park will be revitalized and it will return as the preferred space for entertainment and sporting activities. This facility was built with progress in mind and that progress will continue.
UPGRADING CONTINUED:
This fiscal year Mr. Speaker the program for upgrading of sporting facilities will continue. We will provide upgrades to basketball courts throughout Grand Turk, Five Cays and address some critical needs at the National Stadium. Of course the project for the sporting facilities on South Caicos will continue, so that schools and the community will have access to proper playing and practicing facilities. We will also address the concerns of facility space at the Charles Hubert James Primary, Raymond Gardiner High School and Doris Robinson Primary and The Grand Turk Parade Ground. We will touch all islands with the upgrading project Mr. Speaker. That is Progress!
SPORTS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER: Mr. Speaker in anticipation of recommendations from the Consultation we have also seen it necessary to allocate funding for an additional Sports Development Officer. This officer will be responsible for the development and coordination of community based programs throughout Providenciales and North Caicos as well. The addition of another officer also means enhanced sports planning and coordination for sporting meets such as Inter High School track and field, working with National Sporting Bodies and enhancing community programs throughout the islands.
NGBS: Mr. Speaker we were pleased to report the addition of two new sporting bodies making a total of 19 registered sporting bodies participating in sports development in the islands. The newly formed boxing association and the hosting of the first ever female boxing matches augers well for this sport especially among the high school aged participants. Mr. Speaker judging from the initial level of participation and response we are both pleased and encouraged.
The climate for the formation of new sport and sporting bodies is ripe in the TCI. As Minister I am always available to guide new and old bodies on how to obtain funding from TCIG.
Mr. Speaker this fiscal year we were able to increase the allocation to this department by some US$35,000 or so. This is to further encourage participation and program development and provide additional support to schools and sporting bodies. Further to that Mr. Speaker we continue to support the TCAAA with CARIFTA and associations such as rugby, football, and basketball with a focus on grass roots and youth programs.
Mr. Speaker this year we were able to participate in the Sainsbury’s School games in Manchester. Opportunities were provided to our primary school aged children and our goal is to open our younger athletes to similar meets in the upcoming year especially after seeing the excellent performances and results from the recently concluded Primary School Classic.
The only way we can truly we address the development of sport in the TCI is through cooperation and partnership with the various National Sporting Bodies. The department and Ministry supported a number of activities that not only involved athletes participating in sports locally and internationally but we contributed to a number of events deemed worthy for fund raising purposes and events which honored stars, rising stars and major contributors to various sporting fields.
We inducted three Turks and Caicos Islanders into the local Sport Hall of Fame. Mr. Speaker, their photographs adorn the walls of the Gustarvus Sports Complex and Mr. Speaker this effort was thought to be a major event that can motivate younger and older persons to continue their good work, passion and drive in sport. Building a legacy in sport Mr. Speaker this is progress and it must continue.
The major goals for the Department of Sports for this upcoming fiscal year are as follows:
Improved marketing of sporting facilities – facilities are built for use by all.
Work with National Sporting bodies to implement inter primary school sporting competition.
Enforce partnership agreements with Sporting Bodies to ensure they comply with obligations to develop more after school and grass root programs.
Conduct a volunteer drive to increase community participation in sport. Let us progress sports together and volunteer our time and energy toward developing our country.
SUCCESS THROUGH YOUTH DEVELOPMET AND EMPOWERMENT
The Cadet Program
Mr. Speaker this Government in its manifesto promised the re-introduction of the Cadet Corps and we successfully achieved this and introduced and had passed the Cadet Bill through this House.
This good progressive PNP Government recognized the need to develop a youth focused program geared towards sustainable dedication among young people to this country. Mr Speaker this is progress and it must continue.
An advisory body to the Cadet Program will be established in April of this year. This body will assist with the mandate of the Cadet Corps and provide practical advice to me as Minister.
Much of the past year was spent on re-establishing this program, procuring needed equipment and supplies and attempting to build a cadre of volunteers. Mr. Speaker while we were successful in some areas, we continue to have challenges regarding attracting and maintaining volunteers. We urge our people to stop talking about love of country and show it by coming out and supporting our young people.
We are aware of the challenges and will institute several initiatives aimed at attracting and keeping both volunteers and students to the program. Mr. Speaker assistance for travel, books or other critical needs for cadets will be provided at a fixed amount. This of course will be provided according to merit and dedication. Mr. Speaker we are aware that there may be some challenges with after school or Saturday attendance and so this initiative will help ensure that both volunteers and participants are not disadvantaged but are encouraged to attend and serve our beloved country.
In the same vein Mr. Speaker it our aim to have at least five or so cadets participate in a regional program during the summer months. Mr. Speaker again this will be merit based and will hopefully be another form of incentive to cadets and leaders who will travel with them and represent the Turks and Caicos Islands.
THE NATIONAL YOUTH PARLIAMENT- REVIEW:
One of the major goals was the re-establishment of the National Youth Parliament. Mr. Speaker a major amendment was made to the planned composition of the parliament by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and for the first time this was opened to persons aged 18 to 25. Sadly Mr. Speaker we were not able to attract the numbers needed to begin the training and sessions. We are staying the course and reviewed the guidelines and revert to age participation that will ensure our high school students participate in the parliamentary process.
This year we kept the funding and will conduct a more focused and targeted marketing campaign of the program to encourage its development. Building respect for the parliamentary progress and encouraging youth to have a voice in decision making! Progress!
BUILDING STRONGER YOUTH FOCUSED COMMUNITIES:
Mr. Speaker, we began a significant partnership with the Junior Achievement Program. This commitment will help us to establish this program with the board across a wider set of our islands and schools. Junior Achievement is one mechanism where we will focus on developing the sense of entrepreneurship among our young people and is aligned to the series of workshops that began a few weeks ago in conjunction with Ministry of Finance, CED and Invest TCI. The aim is to expose young people as early as possible to factors related to developing ideas that will encourage participation in the development of local business ownership. We must stop settling to be the employee and teach our children how to be entrepreneurs! That is Progress!
This will ensure the wealth of this country rests with our people and that we are re-creating a spirit of entrepreneurship this country was known for.
We established a number of partnerships this year that resulted in a stronger involvement in various youth camps. It is the aim of the Department of Youth Affairs, to build volunteer capacity in various areas of interest hence we supported the Red Cross summer camp, the Disaster camp along with the usual general youth empowerment camps.
A major initiative over the past year was our ‘Stop the Violence Campaign’ this included week-long activities during the National Youth Week celebrations along with the development of PSAs for continued mobilization of awareness.
Additionally and as an off shoot of this and as part of the ‘Child Safe Guarding’ initiative, we implemented our Save our Boys campaign. Mr. Speaker the focus on stopping the violence, empowering our boys to ‘stop snitching’ and moving this initiative throughout the islands was critical as a response to the rise in violence, violent turf incidences and a sudden increase in gun related violence. Mr. Speaker we continue to put focus on such activities and are implementing additional strategies to curb such behavior. Mr. Speaker there were two installments of this program, close to two hundred (200) men and boys participated on Providenciales and Grand Turk and smaller events on North and Middle Caicos.
Mr. Speaker the over US$200,000 budgeted for Cadets and Youth Programs will be spent on major areas as outlined above as a continuation to strengthen work done.
It is our aim however to work with the related departments to establish initiatives that will focus on cultural aspects of our youth. Mr. Speaker that will be the major introduction this fiscal year as we aim to address the holistic development of our young people.
We look at the introduction of a student film festival in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and a performing arts festival featuring our schools.
READING SETS A FOUNDATION TO PROSPERITY:
Library Consultations: Mr. Speaker, I refer once again to my love for books and this time to say how it has promoted my insistence for the completion of a consultation on our library services. As I said at this juncture last year, Mr. Speaker we obtained the services of a consultant who conducted island wide focused groups with users, potential users and members of the community about library services and a vision for the future. The library benefitted from an increase in allocation close to US$20,000 for the implementation of new and extended programs.
The consultant’s report and recommendations provided a clear way forward for the development of Library Services here in the TCI. It calls for:
A review of salaries for critical staff- which was completed and evidenced as part of the salary re grading exercise
A re-structuring of the roles within the Library
Establishment of a National Library Service which will take into account public libraries, school libraries, college library and so on.
Establishment of critical sections within the library
Upgrading of all major services
Continued development of staff in skills and knowledge related to library sciences including archiving and so on.
Set up accounts with several schools and colleges to promote the use of the library for research by students at all levels.
Improve signage.
Institute programs with schools and teachers to promote reading among young people.
Mr. Speaker, libraries in the TCI will be a safe haven for our young people and citizens. They will be places of learning and information gathering and development as we build a knowledge based society guided by this progressive government. That is Progress!

USERS AND OTHER REGULAR PROGRAMS:
Mr. Speaker a major recommendation which was implemented is the changing of the opening hours for the library. Essentially the hours were extended as a response to views in the consultation and from users, especially young people. As of January the new library hours are:
Monday - Wednesday   8AM - 5PM
Thursday 8AM - 6PM
Fridays 8AM - 4PM
Saturdays 12PM - 4PM

Mr. Speaker as was noted above skills and knowledge development was seen as critical for staff and key stakeholders. As a result of the recommendations of the strategic report and through the Ministry of Education and the Deputy Governor’s Office, a training workshop was held for Teachers and Library Assistants in Providenciales and Grand Turk. The main focus of the workshop was for teachers to recognize Libraries as a critical partner in teaching and learning.
On the other hand the Library Assistants were trained in providing more efficient and effective service to the public and the promotion of the Libraries throughout TCI.
Mr. Speaker an initiative coming out of that training was the development of a program to encourage periodic scheduled visits by teachers and students. Students who visit with teachers and are not members are given cards to join the library.

In addition to this the Library Service will partner with the Education Department in creating a “reading challenge program” for primary school children grades 1-6 beginning April 2016. Books will be chosen for the children to read according to their age and capability and the child that reads the most books for that period will be given a prize.
Work has commenced on developing a Library Service newsletter. This newsletter will be published quarterly and distributed electronically to the patrons of the various libraries and other potential users. Among other things this will inform the public about services offered at the library, upcoming programs and new publications that are available. In addition to this, a booklet is being designed for each library for dissemination to visitors and new patrons alike informing them about the Library’s history, services, rules and programs.

Mr. Speaker we are expected to benefit from replacement of computers at all libraries. This will improve services related to computer use and encourage more students who conduct research or complete homework assignments to make the library their preferred choice to do such activities and more. It is our intention to expand the library in Kew, North Caicos! That is Progress!

IN CONCLUSION:
I am very excited about the changes that are taking place within the Ministry. Mr. Speaker our investment in technical and vocational training, our bridge to University Program our revised policies, a new sports strategy and library Services Strategy. Mr. Speaker upgraded campuses, a new high school and the provision of additional resources for schools, upgraded sporting facilities and new partnerships are but some policy initiatives that have been implemented and are already changing the landscape of prospects for our nation’s youth. I am pleased Mr. Speaker. That we have been able to satisfactorily achieve our mandate thus far, given the many constraints and challenges. We must continue to facilitate the development of our nation’s youths through Education, Sports, Youth involvement, reading and research.
Mr. Speaker we are confident that these are leading to our goal of creating a competent, qualified and equip citizen we can be proud of. I am satisfied that these implemented systems we can all be happy about and our youth will gladly exploit their benefits, as we seek to cultivate a thirst for love of this country, our people and of course our God. Mr. Speaker I urge everyone to know that this PNP Government is working and will continue to work for them and bring about these projects and many, many more.
We are keeping our promise to this country and are continuing on the road to prosperity.
Mr. Speaker we will continue the progress of this government not only now but in the years to come. The Foundation is laid, we are building on that Foundation! Mr. Speaker that is Progress!
Mr. Speaker, I thank once again the people of Leeward and Long Bay for their continued support of me as their Member of Parliament, and affording me the opportunity to change the TCI through the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport and Library Services.
Mr. Speaker, in a cheeky display of celebration, I want to announce that Groundbreaking for the Leeward Palms Park will be on April 6th 2016 at the junction of Yellow Elder and Palm Wells Drive, I look forward to seeing all my constituents there
God bless you and the People of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Good afternoon!




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