Message from the Minister of Education

It is indeed a privilege for me to extend greetings to the organizers of The University of the West Indies School of Clinical Medicine and Research Bahamas, on this 11th Annual Research Day. This event continues to have a significant impact on our nation as it strives to improve the health of our people through indigenous research. It is also a reservoir of information which policymakers, educators, and non-governmental agencies draw from to make sound health decisions on behalf of our citizens.
I am particularly pleased to note that this year’s theme is, “Obesity in The Bahamas: Are We the Biggest Losers?” To those of us in the Ministry of Education, the issue of obesity is a grave concern as it is a serious problem among our student population. We have initiated many programmes in conjunction with local and international partners to combat this vexing problem. Some of these initiatives include: the Ministry of Health/Ministry Education Healthy School Initiative, The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) School Garden Project/Garden-Based-Learning Programme and the Ministry of Agriculture School Green House Programme.
It is an imperative that we win the fight against obesity or risk being the “Biggest Losers”. We lose when children are teased at school or cyber-bullied on social media for being obese. We lose because it affects their learning and their self-esteem. Many of them never recover from this maltreatment but rather as adults continue to adopt unhealthy lifestyles.
I trust that the findings of this particular research will be packaged and shared with all stakeholders including Policymakers, Educators, Religious Leaders and Parents to inform and equip them to battle obesity in The Bahamas. We cannot lose. We must win for the growth and development of our people.
Student researchers, I commend you for your contributions to this Research Day and wish you every success in your future career and efforts to make The Commonwealth of The Bahamas a healthier, wealthier nation.

The Honourable Jeffrey L. Lloyd, MP
Minister of Education