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Education Reform Education programs QUARTERLY PROGRAM UPDATE NEWSLETTER


Let's Talk Learning Research Apprenticeship Program

Community Research Initiative By fostering partnerships in education, locally, regionally and internationally, ORG Bahamas has identified several factors which impact the success of education reform initiatives. Let's Talk Learning, a community-based social research initiative, explores one such variable - the community context - and focuses on community members’ perception of their experiences with schools. The communities identified in this study were selected based on a clustered group of schools, which were shown to be statistically under-performing on the 2018 GLAT 6th Grade examinations. This group of schools is arranged around the Centerville constituency, with two of the schools and student commuting neighborhoods falling in the St. Barnabas and Bain Town constituencies. These constituencies, while some of the oldest residential areas in New Providence, are historically ones of low socioeconomic status.

Strengths-based studies on community development show that, while not a determining factor in itself, persons of lower socioeconomic status experience inherent economic, social, political and environmental adversities which limit the ability to mobilize themselves and their communities for advancement and improvement in quality of life. To this end, Let’s Talk Learning is the first step in both collecting community assets — understanding the value placed on community-based schools and members’ expectations of those institutions — and understanding adversities within the communities that restrict development.

ORG Volunteers collecting survey data in Bain Town.

The preliminary data from the report reflects a high value and appreciation for the quality of education in public schools, as well as heavy parent and community reliance on schools for children’s overall development. The findings, while still under review by ORG’s Education Committee, has prompted the need for an additional interview with a focus group to create a baseline understanding of community perceptions of “quality education”. This paper development continues into 2020 with an aimed publication time of early Spring 2020.

ORG'S APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM 2019 Cohort - C.R. Walker Secondary School

The ORG Apprenticeship Program was designed to increase educational opportunities and job-readiness through empowerment and interventions designed to facilitate socioemotional learning, improve self-efficacy, promote diversity awareness, and introduce skill development in disadvantaged youth. We intend to create opportunities and alternative pathways for education and employment in youth underserved by a traditional education system. To date, 12 students have been successfully recruited for the program; 18 students shy of the recruitment goal of 30 students. However, the program currently competes with the government's launch of a simultaneous pilot apprenticeship program; recruiting students for careers in business, the maritime industry, and allied health.

"I should be selected for this program because I am broken and would ike to be mended. I have the potential to be an awesome individual. All I need is guidance." - ORG Apprentice 2019 Cohort

Our program which is designed to work in three phases: Preplacement 1. Math and reading support 2. General employee training and soft skills

Below: Program participant recruitment at C.R. Walker High School

Apprenticeship Placement 3. Job placement and career education Participants have begun the preplacement stage – taking a math and reading assessment to better understand areas of needed support. Preplacement will continue weekly until students begin job placement in Spring 2020. During this time, program coordinators work to identify Workplace Partners for Apprentice placement and designing Workplace Process Schedules in conjunction with the organizations to establish training goals for apprentice career roles. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a mentor or workplace partner please email: with the subject "Workplace Partners".

Above: Apprenticeship Cohort 2019 sitting Math and Language Arts Benchmark assessment.

"GPA is very low, but I will love to get into this program to help my future goals" - ORG Apprentice 2019 Cohort

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