News Release

CDB Launches USD43 Million Project to Rebuild School, Strengthen Education System in The Bahamas

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A woman stands talking to sitting children in uniform

The Bahamas’ education system is to undergo a significant transformation through the USD43 million Bahamas Education Sector Transformation (BEST) project launched by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of The Commonwealth of the Bahamas at the Grand Lucayan Resort Convention Centre in Grand Bahama on Monday, May 6, 2024.

Funding will go towards constructing a new state-of-the-art comprehensive school in East Grand Bahama and rehabilitating and retrofitting two primary schools damaged by Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

Since the hurricane, students in East Grand Bahama have faced commutes of up to 100 kilometres. The COVID-19 pandemic further disrupted the local education system, causing learning losses and exacerbating existing inequities in access to technology. The new and refurbished climate-resilient schools will be designed to improve student achievement, increase access and completion rates, and enhance community life.

The BEST project goes beyond building schools. The Ministry of Education will also benefit from enhanced data accessibility and information technology processes, and improved staff recruitment and development programmes.

CDB Acting Vice President, Operations, Mrs. Therese Turner-Jones, said the project will uplift the learning environment, improve teaching methods, and strengthen the education system's governance.

“The CDB is proud of its partnership with The Bahamas. Education is key to making sure all Bahamians have a better than fighting chance of competing in the global labour market. No child, whether he or she is on Sweeting Cay, High Rock, West End, or Freeport should be deprived of learning. Education is the single most important investment a government can provide to its population. No one should be left behind. This means including special needs in the education strategy, making use of technology, and ensuring that teachers are equipped to do their jobs,” Mrs. Turner-Jones said.

“The Bahamas has special challenges in that the population is spread across many islands with small populations. This requires additional resources to cope with the needs of children in remote areas who are entitled to good education. We are here to help the Ministry of Education work through these problems and arrive at ways to resolve them in the interests of giving every child a chance," Mrs Turner-Jones added.

Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Hon. Philip Davis, said the BEST project would help to make the Bahamian education system more inclusive, resilient and gender-responsive.

“By investing in infrastructure, curriculum development, teacher training and technological innovation, we will create an environment where every learner can thrive and reach their full potential. BEST is an investment in quality education for all learners,” Prime Minister Davis said.

The BEST project launch is among a series of activities being carried out by a CDB team currently on mission in the Bahamas. During the visit, the Bank representatives will also visit sites of ongoing interventions including the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) Enhancement Project and the Bahamas Water Supply Improvement Project. Additionally, the CBD team will meet with officials to discuss future support for Skills Development and Technical and Vocational Education programmes to enhance employability and workforce readiness in The Bahamas.