“Students And Educators Deserve Nothing Less”

September 11, 2015

“The first week of the school year, has bore witness to several complaints from teachers, students and parents regarding the state of some schools and regarding student schedules not being ready,” Shadow Minister of Education Lovitta Foggo said today, adding that we must ensure we are ready to serve our students as our “students and educators deserve nothing less.”

Ms Foggo said, “This school year has begun with our students facing the new year immaculately attired and ready to learn and our educators, only too happy to provide inspiring tuition.

“Unfortunately, many of our institutions of learning have opened their doors, while having to experience hiccups. In spite of such, we know our educators have championed such challenges and remain keen to ensure a fruitful and quality education for our students.

“Earlier this summer, comments from Minister of Education, Wayne Scott and Minister of Public Works, Craig Cannonier, speaking to the readiness of the schools for the upcoming school year, were premature, and did not accurately depict the full state of affairs system wide.

“Our students, educators, and parents arrived at some of our facilities finding grounds and facilities which had not been adequately prepared. The structural conditions and infrastructure of all schools must be in place to ensure a safe, secure and quality atmosphere, conducive for learning. Our students and educators deserve nothing less!

“During the Budget Debate of 2015-2016 on Education, the OBA promised that education would not be compromised as a result of their budget allocations. Yet, we hear rumblings of shortages of substitute teachers, Learning Support educators and others, even situations of ancillary staff shortages; all being crucial for smooth operations within our walls of learning.

“Added to this, the first week of the school year, has bore witness to several complaints from teachers, students and parents regarding the state of some schools and regarding student schedules not being ready.

“This is unacceptable. We require our parents to have their children prepared and ready for the school year. We must ensure that from day one we are ready to serve our students in every capacity of learning and on all fronts! They deserve nothing less!

“Any level of unpreparedness at the beginning of a school year sends the message that we are not serious about education. It promotes a lack of confidence in our system and perpetuates the perceived disparity of the quality of education being delivered in the public versus the private schools.

“We have talented and capable students in the public system and they should not be treated as second class citizens. We were assured by the OBA government that education would not be compromised. The start to this school year is not reflective of such.

“We are duty bound to hold the government to its word. We must do better to ensure our students have the physical and technological resources that ensure they begin their school year in the best possible position. From day one to the last day in a school year, the state of our schools and the staffing, must be in good order. The OBA must do better to ensure such.

“We, the PLP, have no doubt that our teachers and student will work diligently to demonstrate that, in spite of less than perfect conditions, they can and will achieve excellence in our public education system. We thank you in advance and you will have our continued support throughout the year,” concluded Ms Foggo.

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Comments (36)

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  1. bermy27 says:

    This is just CRAZY

    Get it together Bermuda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Seriously? says:

      Yes the Government should borrow even more money to make the schools perfect.

      People just don’t get it. We are broke and we have to do without.

    • Regina says:

      So let me get this straight: not a single fact mentioned here and that is OK?
      Sounds about right for a member of the PLP.
      This is the true definition of talking for the sake of movin’ ya lips.
      Same s***, different day.

      • Maddog says:

        OBA ARE FAILING OUR CHILDREN!!!!

        THATS A FACT!!!!!

        • Tolerate says:

          Ms Foggo is correct in highlighting the failures with the opening week of school as backed by BUT; however when has there NOT been open day issues? This is NOT to say it should be ignored,and I hope the issues are swiftly addressed.
          BUT; please STOP making a political football over EVERY issue Bermuda has; school started this year among changes and challenges to the Ministries decision to relocate staff, it was predicted there would be a few concerns.
          My question is; why a press statement so early on the first week; a week cut short by a Monday holiday?
          I try my best to stay open minded on ALL the complaints the opposition have; but at times they do themselves a disservice on their delivery.
          I can see why many no longer even take the time to read their full press releases.

          • Maddog says:

            Hey miss informed…

            THE OBA HADE A PRESS CONFERENCE AND MADE PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT ALL SCHOOLS WERE OK…BASED ON THE ONE SCHOOL THEY FIX UP..SO THEY MISS LEAD THE PUBLIC AGAIN!!!!!! GOOD LOOKING OUT MP FOGGO!!!!!!!

            YOU NEED TO WATCH THE NEWS AND STOP BLAMING THE PLP THEY ARE NO LONGER GOVERNMENT
            BUT SOON COME!!!!!!

  2. Double D says:

    As a means to dispel the notion that this is simply another piece of disinformation by the PLP to attack the Government of the day an to prove their constant claims on wanting transparency the Shadow Minister should do the following:

    - list all the schools to which the complaints are related

    Failing to do so in your above press release makes others believe that these so called ‘rumblings’ are just another example of the ongoing campaign of half truths and blatant lies.

    Please Ms. Foggo for the sake of transparency and our children please list all the complaints and the schools to which they are related.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I’m having a hard time remembering when there hasn’t been rumblings from someone or another about things not being perfectly ready for the school year start… you are right, list the issues and where, otherwise it is another hearsay complaint for the sake of complaining. I’m sure there were issues, there always has been and always will be.

      • Colourless says:

        I was thirty plus years in the system, and for 30 plus Septembers the majority of the schools were far from ready on opening day! Sounds as if nothing has changed.

    • clearasmud says:

      @Double D – yesterday the head of the teachers union listed several problems with the lack of preparation of our schools so clearly there is a problem.

  3. San George says:

    Pass the hat Ms. Foggo – the government is the tax payer; it’s not government. Ask the parents for money and we will see how important the things we complain about really are to them. Let’s be grateful for what is being provided and take responsibility for short-falls. Okay, it’s not the Ritz but we have a lot better than a lot of people.

    Poured a little water on my soul!

  4. SANDGROWNAN says:

    Aren’t “student schedules” the responsibility of the teachers themselves and the “experts” in the Dept. of Education. Hardly the Minister’s responsibility.

    Buildings/Grounds are a different matter, however, given the RLP’s habitual tactic of being loose with the facts, I’d hesitate to comment until we know more.

  5. Please says:

    Please list the names Ms. Foggo. Its funny because when the other administration was in power the same complaints were made. Im for neither party in this instance I just want you all to be real and stop trying to nit pick at shortcomings, to boost your political career. Do you have any intention on resolving these matters? Don’t act like you all are in the day to day operation of Government and know whats happening with the education system. When in power we all know you are “told” it by senior civil servants and you just read off what they tell you….Stop speaking to problems, anyone can do that, whats your solution?? How will YOU make a difference, what are you bringing to the table besides complaints?

  6. Mixitup says:

    And the sad part is this.. I can assure you that not a blade of grass, nor a building, nor a venue will be out of place or not ready when Americas Cup is due to begin…

    • Double D says:

      What’s even sadder is that you are willing to believe anything from the Opposition’s vague press statement concerning ‘rumblings’ without actually having any examples to justify their running to the press!

      One would think if the Shadow Minister was oh so concerned about ‘rumblings’ she would’ve contacted the Minister to seek an explanation on these so called ‘issues’ and if an unsatisfactory explanation was provided then the Opposition would run to the press with their so called concerns.

      But that’s a responsible Opposition and not one that is more than willing to politicise public school children for their own selfish political benefits.

      So again PLP, name the schools and the issues noted against each institution.

      • Varied says:

        The lateness of generating class schedules was mentioned by the BUT head yesterday, so this isn’t some PLP conspiracy, folks.

    • hmmm says:

      So we should privatize all schools to fix it…OK

    • Seriously? says:

      Oh – so you want America’s Cup to fail too?

    • Earth watch police says:

      Yes if they privatize now.

  7. Terry says:

    Third last paragraph speaks volumes of political interference by the PLP.

    Everyone goes to these closed door sessions and a hat is provided with folded pieces of paper.
    They pick one and then take a number on current issues and speak about what it said.

    Headlines today are about people being pissed off about $77 million paid to AC et al.
    $100 admittance.

  8. watching says:

    There is no need to specify all the issues of concern. The fact remains that the Ministry is aware and should have sorted it all out. There have been countless accounts of these instances on social media and elsewhere and the government which campaigned on accountability, transparency and openness is once again finding itself working contrary to those principles.

  9. Kraken says:

    Privatize the grounds keeping and it would have been done
    Privatize the maintenance and it would have been done

    Stop claiming every teacher is a model one and weed out the indentured lifers and we would not have a problem

  10. geebie says:

    Oba has some real fool supporters! Ego hungry!!!

  11. QDJS says:

    So exactly what “hiccups” are stopping the students from being educated? Is the tall grass distracting the students while they’re supposed to be learning? I don’t see what the big deal is, as long as everything on the inside is ok. And in terms of the schedules not being ready, that happens every year at Berkeley and CedarBridge because not everybody can get all the classes that they want.

  12. The Truth and Nothing but the Truth says:

    Just another sound bite full of PLP BS just like WB yesterday, blah blah blah talking and saying NOTHING!!!!!

  13. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    Who is gonna be the whistle blower?…from the Minister to the Janitor, SOMEONE KNOWS QUITE WELL WHERE THE PROBLEM LIES? …Who will admit to having their hands tied…Our problems are far greater than you can imagine…everything happens for a reason…There is an Agenda that MUST be adhered to far beyond OUR control…OBA PLP Whoever you put there, does as instructed…OR ends up like a slum…Bob Marley told you many years ago when he sang “so much trouble in this world”.

    Just in case you didn’t catch it.
    “So Much Trouble In The World”

    So much trouble in the world
    So much trouble in the world

    Bless my eyes this morning
    Jah sun is on the rise once again
    The way earthly thin’s are goin’
    Anything can happen.

    You see men sailing on their ego trip,
    Blast off on their spaceship,
    Million miles from reality:
    No care for you, no care for me.

    So much trouble in the world;
    So much trouble in the world.
    All you got to do: give a little (give a little),
    Give a little (give a little), give a little (give a little)!
    One more time, ye-ah! (give a little) Ye-ah! (give a little)
    Ye-ah! (give a little) Yeah!

    So you think you’ve found the solution,
    But it’s just another illusion!
    (So before you check out this tide),
    Don’t leave another cornerstone
    Standing there behind, eh-eh-eh-eh!
    We’ve got to face the day;
    (Ooh) Ooh-wee, come what may:
    We the street people talkin’,
    Yeah, we the people strugglin’.

    Now they sitting on a time bomb; (Bomb-bomb-bomb! Bomb-bomb-bomb!)
    Now I know the time has come: (Bomb-bomb-bomb! Bomb-bomb-bomb!)
    What goes on up is coming on down, (Bomb-bomb-bomb! Bomb-bomb-bomb!)
    Goes around and comes around. (Bomb-bomb-bomb! Bomb-bomb-bomb!)

    So much trouble in the world;
    So much trouble in the world;
    So much trouble in the world.
    There is so much trouble (so much trouble in the world);
    There is so much trouble;
    There is so much trouble (so much in the world);
    There is so much trouble;
    There is so much trouble in the world (so much trouble in the world);
    There is (so much in the world);
    (So much trouble in the world)

  14. bluebird says:

    Will not be too long that the gravy train will stop and then you will hear some P**sin and moaning

  15. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    o is gonna be the whistle blower?…from the Minister to the Janitor, SOMEONE KNOWS QUITE WELL WHERE THE PROBLEM LIES? …Who will admit to having their hands tied…Our problems are far greater than you can imagine…everything happens for a reason…There is an Agenda that MUST be adhered to far beyond OUR control…OBA PLP Whoever you put there, does as instructed…OR ends up like a slum…Bob Marley told you many years ago when he sang “so much trouble in this world”.

    Just in case you didn’t catch it.
    “So Much Trouble In The World”

    So much trouble in the world
    So much trouble in the world

    Bless my eyes this morning
    Jah sun is on the rise once again
    The way earthly thin’s are goin’
    Anything can happen.

    You see men sailing on their ego trip,
    Blast off on their spaceship,
    Million miles from reality:
    No care for you, no care for me.

    So much trouble in the world;
    So much trouble in the world.
    All you got to do: give a little (give a little),
    Give a little (give a little), give a little (give a little)!
    One more time, ye-ah! (give a little) Ye-ah! (give a little)
    Ye-ah! (give a little) Yeah!

    So you think you’ve found the solution,
    But it’s just another illusion!
    (So before you check out this tide),
    Don’t leave another cornerstone
    Standing there behind, eh-eh-eh-eh!
    We’ve got to face the day;
    (Ooh) Ooh-wee, come what may:
    We the street people talkin’,
    Yeah, we the people strugglin’.

    Now they sitting on a time bomb; (Bomb-bomb-bomb! Bomb-bomb-bomb!)
    Now I know the time has come: (Bomb-bomb-bomb! Bomb-bomb-bomb!)
    What goes on up is coming on down, (Bomb-bomb-bomb! Bomb-bomb-bomb!)
    Goes around and comes around. (Bomb-bomb-bomb! Bomb-bomb-bomb!)

    So much trouble in the world;
    So much trouble in the world;
    So much trouble in the world.
    There is so much trouble (so much trouble in the world);
    There is so much trouble;
    There is so much trouble (so much in the world);
    There is so much trouble;
    There is so much trouble in the world (so much trouble in the world);
    There is (so much in the world);
    (So much trouble in the world)

  16. well…dere’s several ways o curin hiccumups…

  17. Axlerod says:

    Lavita Foggo says “Students and educators deserve nothing less.” What a statement! Who cares about the “educators”!?? We shouldn’t. They are employees not students!! They only want more money and easier more generous benefits. If they can’t get those….they simply work less harder! That’s it, period!

    Why are we even mentioning them in the same breath as the students? Teachers, bureaucrats, and politicians are all part of the same conglomeration of problems that exist in public education in Bermuda today. Stop caring about the teachers, the only concern should be the students and the performance and output of the school SYSTEM. Teachers are part of the problem. People like LF constantly minimise….or obfuscate…. the problems with teachers by hiding them behind our precious youth, the students. They – teachers- are part of the problem.

    Bureaucrats hold back our kids by watering down the curricula to suit the poorly prepared teachers showing up for a job after 5 years of “education” – most of it inappropriate for teaching kids. Stricter standards for teacher qualifications are required to weed out the poorly educated and prepared teachers. Teachers are holding back our kids because they refuse to get the proper education themselves that would improve our school system.

    ALL teachers teaching middle school year1 or higher should have to have a degree in essential subject matter: English/ English Literature, French/Spanish/Latin, Science (Bio/chem/physics/Earth sciences),Mathematics/Economics/Statistics; and a teacher training qualification. Too many teachers today simply have degrees in education! What is a degree in education? All form and not enough content, that’s what!! And this is why the public education system is full of non-qualified persons teaching our poorest kids – who need the best education possible to break out of the cycle of their parents failures. Government should mandate that all teachers must have a specialist degree (content!) and it should mandate and control the numbers so that teachers do not game the system. We do not want to end up with say 200 teachers with degrees in french and only 10 with degrees in math. Certain categories of degrees should be closed to new entrants after there are Amount already in the system! We must stop the gerrymandering that is the game being played against the system by the teachers and their traitorous union!

    Sit down and stop talking Lavita, you are no expert on education policy or education managment.

  18. Triangle Drifter says:

    Must have been Lovitta’s turn to flap her lips this week trying to seek relevance.

    Where was she when the PLP had a procession of inept Ministers of W&E who each year left the schools in the same state, late to be ready for the academic year. This with a CS & W&E workforce with a very pro PLP leaning.

    Now we have an OBA Minister, of questionable ability, in charge of a department which is still very much a PLP supportive bunch.

    Where is that Sage Report? When will some of its major recommendations regarding privatisation be implimented? W&E, along with the MOE, is ripe for it.