Reference to the Turks and Caicos Islands is synonymous with miles of beautiful white sandy beaches and excellent snorkeling on the coral reefs. These reefs support marine life, contribute significantly to the economy and protect the shoreline of these islands. Therefore coral reef conservation and preservation should be of paramount importance to us all. One of the ways to ensure this is through education.
Turks and Caicos National Museum, TC Reef Fund, Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs are all involved in the coral reef education of our youth on these islands and have now joined forces to develop a coral reef conservation and preservation curriculum for grades one through six focusing specifically on the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is being done in collaboration with the Department of Education and will be integrated into the National Curriculum, currently being developed by the Department of Education to be introduced into schools September 2016, at the beginning of the new school year.
A workshop will be conducted for teachers to introduce them to the coral reef conservation and preservation education program and the resources and support available to them to bring a practical component to the program. It is our hope that this program will foster a better understanding of and appreciation for our marine environment in our youth. We trust that the environmental groups that will be the offshoots of the program will be a catalyst to coral reef conservation and preservation island-wide.