Public and Private School Students to Rally for Peace

- Advertisement -

Nassau, The Bahamas – Some 2,000 students in New Providence and more than 8,000 across the nation are expected to rally for peace during the Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training’s “Peace Begins with Me” March and Rally, Friday, March 15, 2024.

(BIS Photos/Patrice Johnson)

Plans for the Peace March and Rally were announced on Monday, March 11, 2024 at the William Johnson Auditorium, Joe Farrington Road, following the National Awards ceremony.  Participants included: Germaine Butler, Acting District Superintendent; Sherry Martin, District Education Officer; Shavania Ferguson, Vice-Principal, Eva Hilton Primary School; Perry Cunningham, Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools and Carvin Spence and Kaitlyn Adamson, students of C.I. Gibson Senior High School and Government High School respectively.

Education Director Dominique Russell-McCartney explained that the idea for the Peace March and Rally came about as a result of meetings the Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Education Minister, had with various student focus groups.

“The Minister, on occasion, meets with students and listens to their voices. It is from the meetings and conversations with children that the idea was born to have students advocate for peace in our country.

“Like us, our children are concerned about the violence. The reality is peace is a basic human need and the lack thereof creates fear and instability.”

The Director said the goal is to have all children engaged in peace building initiatives including mediation, dialogue and participation — essential components of a peace token.

“This is not a one-off event,” said the Director. “It is simply a component of all of the peace initiatives that we are engaged in at the Ministry of Education. We are here to say we support our children.”

She encouraged the public to support the initiative.

Chavanna Darville, Chairperson, Peace and Rally Committee, explained that the event transcends geographical boundaries and serves as a platform for public and private school students to come together to spread the message of peace and harmony.

The march begins at 10:00 am at Southern Recreation Grounds and ends at Clifford Park.  Immediately following the march students will assemble on Clifford Park for the Peace Rally.

Ruth Pennerman, Education Officer, said the programme will include dances, poetry reading, speeches by primary, junior and high school students, Rake and Scrape and other musical selections, a prayer covering and the grand finale — a Junkanoo Rush Out.

The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training, said a very powerful demonstration of young people of all ages across the nation in public and private schools showing the nation that they have voices, that they have a stake in not only what is happening now but what the future will hold, is expected.

“Despite their tender years, we believe that this is a very important exercise because we have seen in recent times violence perpetrated by young people and young people being the victims of violence.  This is a trend or a phenomenon that we are not prepared to allow to grow in this nation.

“We believe in the young people in this nation regardless of the schools, communities, how much money their parents have or don’t have.  We believe in them. We support them. We want the nation to see them in action on Friday.  The Ministry is coordinating and facilitating it.

“At the Rally you will hear what’s in their minds and in their hearts,” said Minister Hanna-Martin.

- Advertisement -