By JADE RUSSELL
THE Bahamas Union of Teachers signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with the Bahamas Baptist University College and the Charlotte Knowles-Thompson Agency Limited.
The MoU between the entities strives to provide higher education opportunities for teachers along with other BUT members.
Dr Juliett Reid, president of Bahamas Baptist University College, said the agreement will benefit educators, non-teachers, and the children of those individuals.
She highlighted that the Bahamas Baptist University College will provide scholarships to teachers of the BUT, adding the institution offers various programmes in tertiary, high, primary, and early-childhood education.
“The choice of the beneficiaries will be decided by union members. In a similar way, non-teaching staff employees are able to look at, review, and decide which major, other than education, they would wish to pursue. And they will also receive a 20 percent tuition discount as well as 50 percent of the admissions fee,” she said.
Dr Reid said children of the union’s members will also be able to receive discounts.
“Children of members will receive discounts to any of our institutions. Whether it’s at the college level, secondary school level, primary level, or early childhood education level. In addition, we will be working assiduously with Mrs (Belinda) Wilson to put on conferences, workshops, seminars, as the need arises with the college personnel as well as our international partners.”
Charlotte Knowles- Thompson said the MoU will be established with some of her agency’s partner universities such as University of North Alabama, Liberty University, Walden University, Washburn University, Seneca College, and Mount Allison University.
The MoU will afford members of the BUT and their biological children through the Charlotte Knowles-Thompson Agency Limited the following benefits: free application, special grants and discounts.
“Scholarships ranging from academic scholarship, subject matter scholarship, athletic scholarship, music scholarship, band scholarship, housing scholarship, and insurance just to name a few,” Ms Knowles- Thompson said.
One reporter asked how the agreement is expected to help teachers, Belinda Wilson, president of BUT, explained that the union has members along with teachers that would benefit.
“We have teachers’ aides, we have librarians, we have guidance counsellors. And, especially for our teachers’ aides, we look at them getting a higher education. So, we are talking about degrees and certification.
“So definitely, then we have a lot of our teachers who are female, and they have children, the males do also. But this will also assist with them being able to send their children to colleges and universities, not only locally but abroad,” Ms Wilson said.
The start date for the initiative is set for January 2023.