Hundreds of teachers in the public school system headed back to the classroom for the first day of school in anticipation of welcoming their new pupils at the start of the 2013/2014 academic year.
Area Vice President for Grand Bahama Quintin Laroda revealed yesterday that for the most part, the day went off without a hitch.
"I haven't gotten any complaints yet from the shop stewards about any issues in the schools," he said.
The week before the official start of the new year is used to prepare classrooms and settle in to the environment.
" What I liked this year is that most of the schools got started this morning with a prayer breakfast which is a good start for the school because it is an opportunity to honor God, to pray for a safe school year and to meet the challenges at heart," he said.
"I think it's a good introduction at the beginning of the school year, there is some camaraderie and interaction and there is a plan to work."
He said educational officials also visited the schools to welcome the teachers back and assist administrators in setting the right tone and establishing the camaraderie necessary to run an effective school.
Typically, administrators would host a class or workshop to set the pace for the new school year.
"I spoke to several teachers today from various schools and that's what was being done," said Laroda.
"I commend that kind of stand, particularly one that is prayerful and tries to bring everybody in line with the Christian spirit and the spirit of camaraderie."
Laroda also congratulated the teachers in the Grand Bahama District for the impressive last year.
"They're doing a very good job with the examination results. My understanding is that Grand Bahama performed considerably above the national average. Those teachers and students definitely should be congratulated for their effort and the challenge now is to surpass what was achieved this year," he said.
With the addition this year, Laroda said he is also pleased to welcome the new teachers to the Grand Bahama District.
"I want to let them know that they are joining a district whose history with education and unionism is a glorious one and I'm hoping that they would play their role as educators and union members."
Ecstatic about the additional teachers who were brought onboard and the fact that a number of them are music teachers which is an area that has had a shortage for sometime.
Laroda noted that having music teachers at schools in the west is also welcomed news.
"I saw some auto-mechanic teachers on the list and that would be a tremendous thing for education in Grand Bahama.
"We had two high schools - Jack Hayward and Eight Mile Rock - without auto-mechanic teachers for the last two years and if those mechanic teachers show up, I think that would do a tremendous amount of good."
With auto mechanics being a trade that is expected to be around for eternity, Laroda said there needs to be more trained Bahamians in the skill.
He also expressed his that The Beacon School, an institution for special needs children, will also have more teachers.