PM Laments Low Male Achievers
BY ANDREW J.W. KNOWLES
With males comprising just 15 per cent of the College of The Bahamas (COB) graduates, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham admits that male achievement in education becomes one of the more urgent challenges facing the country.
"We are all concerned, for example, that males now comprise only 15 per cent of COB’s graduates," Prime Minister Ingraham said.
"The imbalance between the number of female and male graduates speaks to a deeper and broader national problem of male educational achievement. The subject is ripe I believe, for study and research by COB as we seek to develop innovative and practical ideas on how we may address the gender gap as it begins to manifest at the primary and secondary levels of our school system."
His remarks came during the official opening ceremony of the $28 million Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre last Friday morning at COB’s campus.
Recognising that male achievement touches on areas of national life from family life to crime prevention to economic development to public health, the prime minister said this "great national challenge" requires innovative and cross-disciplinary responses from fields such as sociology, social psychology, education, criminology, economics and other disciplines.
"If ever we needed to find innovative solutions to a critical national issue, we urgently need to do so on the challenge of boosting male achievement and reducing the level of criminality by young men."
"Even as the country turns to government and others for responses, it also increasingly turns to the institutions of higher learning to provide the research and ideas for innovation that will help us to collectively address this great challenge," the prime minister said.
Standing as a structure that promises to be a centre of excellence, learning, research and innovation, the library marks a milestone critical to the advancement of Bahamian scholarship and national development.
It also is a compelling milestone for COB as it continues to prepare itself to achieve university status.
Prime Minister Ingraham noted that the architectural vision and sweep of the centre serves to unify the college’s campus with entrances facing the entire college complex and surrounding neighbourhoods.
He also added that it points to a mission of outreach to the surrounding communities and also to a broader mission; one suggested by its technological capacity.
"This centre is host to a virtual library which is to connect and unify our far-flung island chain while also connecting the Bahamian archipelago to the world. The library will provide more than cutting-edge technology. It will help to preserve, inspire and advance the Bahamian imagination in every field of endeavour and scholarship. Indeed, the virtual library will significantly assist in the historic challenge of developing an archipelagic nation such as ours."
Proud that her husband’s dream of a library worthy of a university had been realised, Monique Moore said the modern structure would open the doors to new worlds of knowledge and prove that "the best things in life are worth waiting for."
"I am only sorry that Harry could not wait around long enough to see his dream become reality," Mrs. Moore said.
"He would be standing here, his slow smile breaking into a broad grin, that twinkle in his eye sparkling and he would nod his head in approval. Yes, he would say, this is good."
The elaborate library and information centre boasts a holdings capacity for 150,000 volumes, institutional archives and special collections and features a small auditorium, classrooms, media production studios, individual and group study spaces, support offices, a 24-hour Internet café and a museum commemorating the life of former Prime Minister the late Sir Lynden Pindling.
April 11th, 2011