May 6, 2024 – GRAND BAHAMA, The Bahamas – 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.

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