On October 14, students of Angels Academy participated in a Mock Parliament session at the school. Students from Grades 5 and 6 were represented as the Speaker of the House, clerks and honourable Members of Parliament for select islands.
The audience listened in on the concerns of Arianna Munroe, representative for Rum Cay, who spoke about the great need of its people following the devastation of Hurricane Joaquin. Next, Jude Hart addressed the needs of Cat Islanders with regard to roads, and the need for a state-of-the-art hospital.
The honourable member for Mayaguana – Olivia John – gave an in-depth view of the island’s population, its sole mains of income through fishing and farming and the isolation from the other islands. There was a long list of areas needing to be addressed on Mayaguana, namely its roads, lack of transportation and the infrequency of the mail boat, Bahamasair and private airlines traveling there.
Andros was represented by Dawson Thompson, who expressed the desperate need for jobs for Androsians. He called on investors to develop bonefishing resorts, and for the government to upgrade the school, do road repairs and build a hospital.
Crooked Island’s honourable member, Jeremiah Weatherford, noted that these islands have been subjected to “living off the crumbs of the government’s purse.” His plea was for $50,000 to be given to each affected person in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin. Crooked Island, he said, also requires paved roads.
Other represented islands were Exuma, Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama, Long Island, Bimini and Acklins. Jayden Sears, representative for Grand Bahama, said that the island needs more teachers and improved buildings. He surmised that with more policemen on Grand Bahama this would equal less crime.
Mya Wheeler spoke on behalf of Bimini where Queen’s Highway is in urgent need of repair. The cost of repair, she said, is $60,000. Mya noted that the school needed repair as well, and there was also a great need for a hospital.
Following Mya’s comments, business was suspended and expected to reconvene at 10:45 that morning. Students were then dismissed to their classes.
According to their teacher Monique Curry, the students had recently learned about Parliament through their Ministry of Education curriculum. As the school observed National Youth Month during the month of October, Curry expressed pride in the students for doing their research on their selected island and on writing their own speeches.