D.N.A. National Education Plan

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) recognizes that transforming Bahamian society into one that is healthy, prosperous and vibrant is linked to our country’s educational system. As the basic foundation and premise of life, education determines the quality of one’s future. The objective of education is to learn, grow, develop and use that learning to become a productive and responsible citizen to help the nation to develop and progress.

The DNA’s platform on education will provide a transformative framework to develop and nurture a community of life-long learners, who will keep our nation highly competitive in a global economy, while contributing to and driving national and worldwide development.

  1. Setting New National Development Goals
    • The educational system mission should be to produce students, who are responsive to national needs by driving national development. The DNA’s first priority is to outline new national development goals to direct the educational system.

      Former Prime Minister, the late Sir Lynden Pindling asked a question, which reverberates for today’s generation: “Is the education in The Bahamas relevant to The Bahamas and Bahamian children today and tomorrow?”

  2. Setting a New Vision Statement for Education
    • The DNA will propose that the vision statement for education–

      “To ensure that all persons in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas develop physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually in order to function responsibly and productively in an increasingly dynamic, technological, and complex society”

      Be revised to read:

      “To produce a community of critically thinking, socially conscious lifelong learners who, being aware of their social and environmental conditions, will be able to use their knowledge, learned skills, and resources to drive national and global development, making The Bahamas a highly competitive 21st century nation”

  3. National Challenges & The Way Forward
    • Tourism is the major driver of our economy, and the education model for sustaining this industry has been to prepare our students, primarily from high school, to find a job that places emphasis more on physical capital as opposed to human intellectual capital. So an underachieving student can leave high school, work in the tourism industry that relies more on his or her physical capital, and still make almost the same attractive salary as those higher achieving, ‘well educated’ individuals working more ‘mainstream’ jobs.

      The lack of emphasis in the economy on intellectual capital has resulted in a low demand, nationally, for a highly educated, highly skilled workforce. Hence, many Bahamians who have invested the time and effort to pursue higher education are often significantly challenged to find meaningful employment in the Bahamian economy. We need to encourage and motivate our people to become more producers and innovators. We need to see more labels reading ‘Made in The Bahamas.’

  4. Top – Down Approach to System Transformation
    • Objective: To produce institutions and students who are responsive to national needs and are prepared to drive national development.

      Getting a tertiary-level education should be the goal that all Bahamian aspire upon entering the educational system at an early age. With this in mind, the DNA has developed a Top – Down model, which focuses on improvements in tertiary education. This will be followed by improvements in mandatory education (high school – pre-school), continuing education and informal learning. These will be driven by, aligned with and connected to the improvements made at the tertiary level. A DNA government will ensure that the necessary reforms and incentives are introduced to the system. Such improvements in our education system can single-handedly become the most important task undertaken by any government in our nation’s recent history.

      The DNA’s proposal is to use a Top-Down approach to education begins with the over-arching goal of preparing students for tertiary education, whether it is in academics, vocational or technical studies. Instead of simply training high school students for the workforce, we will be training them for higher learning—raising the bar, pushing them for excellence in their chosen discipline.

    • As The Government, The DNA will:
    • Determine our over-arching, long-term goals for the nation (i.e. education policy) and then, with reasonable and realistic timelines, define the educational strategies needed to reach those goals.
    • Redesign old strategies and/or create new strategies by examining the best practices within the current system and in other jurisdictions, and implement those strategies.
    • Annually monitor, review and evaluate strategies, publically report success or failures and make the necessary amendments to improve education systems.

    • These three principles will be applied to all educational policy decisions with the aim to:
    • Provide all Bahamians and legal residents access to the best education available.
    • Ensure safety at schools.
    • Attract vocational and expertise teachers
    • Create the best curriculum and examination methods
    • Build teacher-student and teacher-teacher interaction
  5. Tertiary Education
    • Higher education provides the foundation for any nation’s innovative capacity and development. Therefore, pursuing a tertiary education should be encouraged from an early age and throughout the education process.

      The DNA has identified the following as national goals to transform College of The Bahamas (COB) into the University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) into an institution that will create an innovative workforce prepared to drive business and industry, provide expertise on public policy and good governance, sustain economic growth and ensure the protection for human rights:

    • As The Government, The DNA will:
    • High-end tourism
    • Banking, Finance, & the Legal field
    • Alternative energy solutions
    • Science & Technology (Innovation & Invention)
    • Hi-tech Manufacturing & Assembly
    • Agriculture Husbandry & Fisheries
    • Motion Picture & Creative Arts
    • Information Technology

    • To that end, the DNA proposes to work with the President of COB to:
    • Transform the College into the University of The Bahamas m
    • Engage private and public support for the expansion and construction of additional campus space in Grand Bahama and Andros for COB and BTVI, including new dormitories to accommodate Family Island and international students
    • Support the College’s effort to implement flagship schools and programs on each campus, which will assist national development as such:
    • Expand the institutions to Andros and Grand Bahamas
    • Transform BTVI into an autonomous high-tech, premier technical and vocational institute
    • Improve BTVI’s program offering to create an innovative workforce to drive business and industry by focusing on, among other things
    • Increase scholarships to Bahamian students studying at COB and BTVI, particularly in new areas of national development
    • Provide competitive salaries to attract highly qualified professional
    • Increase support for research that will contribute to national development
    • Expand information and communication technology for distance learning to Family Islands
    • Explore the feasibility and, if so, construct a four-year Military Science Academy/Institute in Inagua to train skilled personnel for the country’s national security efforts

    Development Benchmarks & Timelines:

    1. Short Term Goals: YEAR 1 & 2 - In Partnership with College President/Council
      • Begin accreditation process for UOB and BTVI
      • Begin feasibility study for Military Training Academy/Institute
      • Identify and acquire land for flagship schools and facilities expansion
      • Initiate endowment drive for flagship schools & facilities expansion
      • Have the college & technical institute engage in new program development, as per national development goals
      • Determine technology infrastructural needs for Family Island Long Distance learning

    2. Mid-term: YEAR 3 & 4
      • Continue accreditation process
      • Begin new flagship schools and living facilities construction
      • Initiate new programs and institutions
      • Begin laying infrastructure for Long Distance learning
      • Initiate new faculty recruitment drive

    3. Long Term: YEAR 5 to 10
      • Dormitory completion for flagship campuses
      • New buildings on stream
      • Long Distance learning on stream
      • New programs on stream

    NOTE: By expanding as we intend, the goal is to begin the process of creating new auxiliary economies – or “communiveristies” that would spring up as a result of these new university communities.

  6. Mandatory Education

    The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) recognizes that transforming Bahamian society into one that is healthy, prosperous and vibrant is linked to our country’s educational system. As the basic foundation and premise of life, education determines the quality of one’s future. The objective of education is to learn, grow, develop and use that learning to become a productive and responsible citizen to help the nation to develop and progress.

    The DNA’s platform on education will provide a transformative framework to develop and nurture a community of life-long learners, who will keep our nation highly competitive in a global economy, while contributing to and driving national and worldwide development.

      • Re-design national curriculum so that it is student friendly, recognizing student development needs at various stages
      • Review student assessment process to identify factors that may impair student’s learning ability
      • Identify gifted students and those with special needs to provide necessary support
      • Offer gifted and remedial program support, where needed, to ensure that students achieve necessary proficiency before advancing to next grade level
      • Focus on increasing the number of trained Special Education professionals, and literacy and numeracy “coaches,” who will assist teachers with students with developing individual education plans for students, who are not performing at grade level
      • Empower students to take ownership of their school by instituting practical programs so that students not only gain practical experience, but also contribute to the improvement of their school’s environment
      • Increase the number of guidance and counseling staff to assist and advise students with matriculation through the system
      • Upgrade facilities to accommodate the physically-handicapped students and staff
      • Foster a healthy eating culture and regularize school lunch program
      • Reduce class sizes to ensure a more effective and productive student-teacher interaction


      In conjunction with various stakeholders and educational professionals, the DNA will (1) streamline and focus the curriculum for mandatory education to ensure that it (a) lines up with and (b) prepare students for tertiary level education and the workforce. (2) The Party will, beginning in its first year, upgrade equipment and improve the curriculum.

      The DNA will design and implement an advanced national curriculum that outlines overall and specific learning expectations by subject and grade level in four core areas: English, Math and Science, Humanities, and Knowledge and Life Skills.


      The pursuit and attainment of academic excellence depends largely on the support system to build a student’s confidence. To ensure Bahamian students’ excellence, a DNA government will require the immediate upgrading of existing facilities.

      Goal: The DNA proposes to create a consortium of magnet schools or Schools of Excellence to meet and engage the variety of student interests, while preparing them for tertiary level education, the developing economy and the workforce. These schools will include: High Schools of Math and Science, Engineering and Technology, Trade and Commerce, Creative and Performing Arts, Sports and Sports Science, and College Prep and the Humanities.


      The DNA recognizes that a student’s success relies, in part, on the teacher, his or her personal qualities and character, educational and professional qualifications, and his or her enthusiasm for their work. Presently, the following are some challenges that teachers face, which directly and indirectly have an impact on student learning.

      • Understaffed schools
      • Ill-equipped and unprepared schools and education staff
      • Inadequate facilities, equipment and such
      • Inadequate funding opportunities to pursue professional development in subject areas across the board
      • High student-teacher ratio in school
      • Low remuneration
      • Do not have a sense of ownership and voice in the decision making, development, and/or advancement of the institution

      The goal of the DNA is to (a) attract and retain the right personnel to effectively develop and support top and lower level students equally and (b) develop personnel into the best practitioners possible. In that regard, the Party proposes to review and make changes to the preparation, induction and retention apparatus in the teaching profession.

      Preparation, Induction & Retention

      Goal: To transform our teachers into professional educators to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavours.

      As the Government, in conjunction with teaching professionals, the DNA will:

      • Continue re-evaluation and revision of Teacher Education Programme
      • Re-evaluate, revise and implement National Teacher Certification Programme
      • Raise academic standards for entry into Teacher Training Programme
      • Attract the most qualified candidates to the profession, particularly men
      • Offer competitive pay, better in-service awards and incentive packages
      • Improve the Teacher Cadet Programme to identify and attract gifted students
      • Create mentorship programmes for newly inducted teachers
      • Create learning communities for newly inducted teachers to exchange ideas
      • Provide continued learning and regional & international exchanges opportunities
      • Attract high-level educational and professional conferences to The Bahamas
      • Offer a greater financial commitment to professional development
      • Increase scholarship opportunities for post-graduate students
      • Improve access and availability to resources
      • Encourage a greater ownership in the profession by engaging professionals in systemic and discipline improvements
      • Continue teacher engagement in best practices and school reviews that will contribute to school improvements
      • Develop degree programs to include K-12, Special Education, and Language and Speech Pathology


      The DNA recognizes that, to ensure effective education delivery, Bahamians must interact and be nurtured in an environment that is well managed, engaging and inspirational. To that end, a DNA government will provide guidance, greater leadership and management within the Department of Education and create an engaging and inspirational environment by ensuring that the system is well managed.

      As the Government, the DNA will:

      • Revise the Education Act (1996) so that it is current with the educational needs of a developing first world, as it relates to technology and related resources
      • Increase the role of school boards in school management systems, as per the Education Act
      • Prohibit unnecessary government administrative intervention and promote providing guidance and supervision of public education
      • Establish more provisions for self-management and autonomy
      • Make it practise for schools, where problems are detected, to define a plan of action to overcome problems, with checks and balances—and possible incentives, to ensure successful implementation of plans
      • Establish performance standards and benchmarks for schools, as it relates to their operations and maintenance
      • Institute a national management system to record, collage and provide transparent data on teacher-student and system performance
      • Provide consistent training and/or restraining and upgrading of education planners, administrators and heads of institutions to effectively organize and manage the department and schools
      • Follow stringent administrative checks/balances and implement where necessary
      • Increase involvement of Parent Teacher Associations, Alumni Associations and Student Government Organizations
      • Re-institute and enforce truancy programme
      • Evaluate and re-engineer national assessment
  7. PART III: Enhancing Continuing/Adult Education

    As the Government, the DNA will:

    • Design programs for and increase availability of adult-education opportunities and those for persons over compulsory school-age to profit from the system
    • Develop a scholarship programme exclusively for adult-learning and Continued Education and others wanting to further their education, particularly to obtain a GED
    • Increase extra-curricular, enrichment and remediation after-school programs at education centres in conjunction with Members of Parliament.
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Democratic National Alliance - Bahamas

The mission of The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is to ensure that the needs and aspirations of Bahamian people - to be owners with the government in the political, cultural, and economic development of the nation - are met. The DNA is devoted to upholding, protecting, and deepening the democratic rule of law in society by promoting openness and accountability in governmental affairs, social justice and equality, and the right of the people to self-governance and authority in determining their own destiny.