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BNGIS Students Make Connections with Geography November 29, 2009

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in English, Haber (News).
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Students competing in the 2009 BNGIS Competition learned about building global relationships and connections, by using geographic software.

They showed their talent in the field at the Geographic Information System (GIS) Day Celebration, held at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre, Police Headquarters, November 18.

“The big picture is that we are obligated as a government, and as citizens, to invest in our youth and equip them in 21st century technology that may be used in the school system around The Bahamas,” said the Hon. Phenton Neymour, Minister of State for the Environment.

“An important requirement for building vibrant, safe, and sustainable communities is to have a smart society that has the necessary knowledge and skills to understand our environment and better manage our resources.”

BNGIS encouraged participants to make a positive contribution and be a savvy student population that solves problems and competes in a technologically driven world with new skills.

“The Bahamas National Geographic Information Systems Centre has been very serious about its commitment to promoting GIS in the school system and to improving GIS literacy among teachers and students alike,” said Mr Neymour.

Partnering with the Ministry of Education was the first step toward exploring the different options to ultimately increase national productive capacity and efficiency.

“Emphasis was not only place on providing technical guidance and building local capacity within the field of GIS and geography, but also focused on engaging in dialogue to consider introducing spatial technologies such as GIS in the existing school curriculum,” he said.

Students are challenged to think about how to improve the standard of living of the Bahamas, alleviate poverty, reduce crime and acts of violence, improve response to disasters, plan and create new cities, spaces, places for work and play, and develop strategies for a sustainable development of the country’s natural resources.

The Centre has secured a grant for GIS’ education project from Jack Benjamin, president of the Environmental Science Research Institute (ESRI), in Redlands California.

It is a multibillion dollar company and worldwide leader for GIS software and services.

“The support of ESRI and the regional software provider, Spatial Innovation Limited, has been a positive development and extremely effective in helping the Centre, and the Ministry of Education, to make meaningful use of GIS software, Global Positioning Systems, and materials in schools, and for it to become a reality in schools in The Bahamas,” said Mr. Neymour.

“We are excited by the fact that College of the Bahamas has now developed a GIS course. By introducing GIS from the primary school level to high school, we can ensure a smooth transition into higher learning for those students who have interest in GIS or occupations that use GIS,” he said.

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