Video: PLP Press Conference On Education

May 29, 2017 | 33 Comments

“We need a public education system that instills confidence in our parents to trust their children to attend and one that provides the all the facilities and programs necessary for all students to achieve their maximum potential,” PLP Spokesperson for Education Diallo Rabain said.

Mr Rabain was speaking at a press conference today [May 29] along with PLP Spokesperson for Labour & Workforce Development Rolfe Commissiong, and PLP Spokesperson for Disability Affairs & Senate Spokesperson for Education Senator Tinee Furbert.

Some of the things Mr Rabain said they intend include: Remove social promotion at all levels, provide Principals with more autonomy to run their schools, inclusion of Bermuda history as mandatory with all registered school systems, and strengthen the Bermuda College to offer more 4-year degree offerings in partnership with overseas tertiary institutions.

PLP Press Conference Bermuda May 2017

Mr Commissiong said,”Our teachers have been exemplary in their dedication to our students during a time of willful neglect on the part of the OBA government. For the last five years, our teachers have worked without raises as the cost of living in Bermuda increases and they have worked without a new collective bargaining agreement, providing them without security.

“During that time, they have taught and fought for our children. And in return, when protecting our children from toxic mould and serious associated health issues they have been called “mischievous” by the Leader of the country, Premier Dunkley, who is however content to prioritise expenditure on improving his Cabinet building.

“This is the rhetoric our teachers receive for going above and beyond the call of duty, in a situation where they are expected to do their work with both hands behind their backs.

“They are justified in their protests over the length of time it has taken to secure a new collective bargaining agreement. The BUT has seen their negotiations stalled since January. We are nearly in June and time continues to tick by.”

Senator Furbert said, “Education hasn’t gone forward under the OBA. It’s gone nowhere. With four Education Ministers in four years, there’s been no consistency.

“For too long, too little has been done to give our teachers and students the environment they need to succeed. For too long, too little has been done to ensure that access to quality education isn’t just for the children whose parents can afford it.

“Bermuda can and must do better on education, for our children, our country and our future.”

PLP Spokesperson for Education Diallo Rabain remarks

Good Afternoon and welcome to the members of the media.

I am joined today by my colleagues, MP Rolfe Commissiong, PLP Spokesperson for Labour and Workforce Development and Senator Tinee Furbert, PLP Spokesperson for Disability Affairs the PLP Senate member.

It goes without saying that a quality education can lead to solutions for many of the ills we see today in our society with our youth. Yes, it is of paramount importance that we get education right and the hardest thing about something as big and important as public school education is that there is no one size fits all plan that will work for everyone.

For years and through multiple plans, reports, strategies and Ministers, we still do not seem to be as close as we should to getting it right. The minor victories we have with the occasional shining star leaving public school is just not good enough. The percentage of the highflyers is still too low.

We need a Public Education system that instills confidence in our parents to trust their children to attend and one that provides the all the facilities and programs necessary for all students to achieve their maximum potential.

For far too long, successive governments have allowed political interference to affect the performance of those that we have trusted to ensure our Education System does what it is supposed to do, produce quality graduates. The long line of successive Ministers and their influence, whether positive or negative, over the system is proof of our need to start there with reform.

The next PLP Government will look to remove that traditional political interference by ensuring the Minister of Education will retain an arm’s length oversight of our educational offerings.

In other words, it is time for those educational professionals that are in place to bear the responsibility and accountability to ensure our education system is performing as it should. It is time for us to ensure that educators and administrators we recruit are able to do the job they are supposed to do, free of political influence.

Another area of paramount importance is the provision of teachers with adequate resources to ensure they are able to be the best teachers they can be. This is not limited to ensuring schools are equipped with the modern necessitates for today’s student such as Wi-Fi, adequate school supplies and updated technology.

Utilising the Bermuda College, a Teacher Training Institute to address annual and continuing training for our teachers and also providing an avenue to assist teachers needing to be certified will be established.

In addition to the envisioned new hierarchy just mentioned and more teacher resources, our dedication transforming education has not waivered since our 2014 reply to the throne Speech. We still intend see the following:

  • Remove Social Promotion at all levels
  • Develop ways to strengthen parental involvement which includes a revisit of the Hopkin’s Report recommendation of the establishment of School Board of Governors
  • Provide Principals with more Autonomy to run their schools
  • Introduction of additional ability to study for and sit exam certifications such as CXC, IB, RSA, and City & Guilds.
  • Continue to consolidate pre-schools with Primary Schools and introduce a mandatory foundation year for the final year of pre-school
  • Inclusion of Bermuda history as mandatory with all registered school systems
  • Realign our current curriculum to provide a national standard from Pre-School to High School
  • Create Signature Schools that will provide additional resources beyond what will be already offered at all schools and removing the geographical restrictions to allow any child to attend the school best suited for their skill set and interests regardless of where they reside or where the school is located.
  • Tap into resources already found locally by using retired teachers and specialty area professionals to help develop school programs
  • Strengthen the Bermuda College to offer more 4-year degree offerings in partnership with overseas tertiary institutions
  • Full examination of how our children are being taught to address today’s and tomorrow’s employment opportunities: S.T.E.A.M, for example, and align the Ministry and Department of Education to be more closely aligned with the Department of Workforce Development.
  • In consultation with industry and relevant stake holders, introduce exposure to Technical Education for today’s world as early as the first year of what is the current middle school education track.

The PLP is still committed to initially re-purposing the current middle school system with the signature school concept but with the eventual phasing out of middle school system to return to the previously successful 2-stream system.

Statistical data has shown that there is a severe lack of trust in the current Middle School System and one thing that is paramount is to restore trust in the Public-School System.

In order to avoid as much disruption as possible, the transformation of the current 3-stream system to a 2-stream will be not rushed and will be done in such a way to provide a smooth and orderly transition that will have minimal effect on students and teachers alike.

The PLP are confident that:

  • once our educators and administrators have more creative control over the system they work within,
  • once our educators are provided with the necessary resources needed to ensure quality delivery of learning and
  • once parents are confident their children will have the best possible exposure to the things necessary to have a truly rewarding and productive school career from pre-school to high school

We will see our Education System move beyond where it is currently to being the first choice for all of Bermuda’s parents. Education is critical and needs all of Bermuda to get behind the need to get it right.

PLP Spokesperson for Labour & Workforce Development Rolfe Commissiong’s remarks

Yesterday, in my capacity as PLP Spokesperson for Labour & Workforce Development, I released a statement regarding last week’s protest by the Bermuda Union of Teachers. Today, I am here to enlarge upon that statement as part of the PLP’s focus on education and how healthy Labour Relations can be an educational asset for our students and, of course, our educators.

Our teachers have been exemplary in their dedication to our students during a time of willful neglect on the part of the OBA government. For the last five years, our teachers have worked without raises as the cost of living in Bermuda increases and they have worked without a new collective bargaining agreement, providing them without security.

During that time, they have taught and fought for our children. And in return, when protecting our children from toxic mould and serious associated health issues they have been called “mischievous” by the Leader of the country, Premier Dunkley, who is however content to prioritise expenditure on improving his Cabinet building.

This is the rhetoric our teachers receive for going above and beyond the call of duty, in a situation where they are expected to do their work with both hands behind their backs.

They are justified in their protests over the length of time it has taken to secure a new collective bargaining agreement. The BUT has seen their negotiations stalled since January. We are nearly in June and time continues to tick by.

This is now their 5th year in Government and by not caring for our teachers, the One Bermuda Alliance government is not caring for our students. How can we expect any improvement in Education when there is no improvement in the treatment or our teachers?

The next Progressive Labour Party will be sure to work as hard as our teachers do to establish a healthier relationship with them and their union to provide them security and protection along with all the other major unions.

There is no greater asset in public education than our teachers, and they deserve the same support they offer our children day in and day out. This is not an option, it is a necessity.

PLP Spokesperson for Disability Affairs; PLP Senate Spokesperson for Education Senator Tinee Furbert’s remarks

I once heard, “Promises are worse than lies as you don’t just make people believe, you also make them hope.”

In 2012, the OBA made many promises; promises the Bermudian people believed and promises that gave Bermudians hope. They went on to break those promises, with no apologies and no excuses.

The OBA promised to do the following for our students:

They promised to implement fully integrated technical education beginning in the middle schools as recommended by the Hopkins Report.

They promised to expand preschool spaces to increase access to early education

They promised to extend the school day to allow more time for art, music, sports and academic support.

They promised to empower teachers by giving them the resources and support they need

The assured us they would provide a white paper on Inclusive and Special Education after the Green Paper was submitted in 2013. We have yet to see updates on this.

Pretty words and noble ideals… never delivered and in many cases not even started.

Education hasn’t gone forward under the OBA. It’s gone nowhere. With four Education Ministers in four years, there’s been no consistency.

For too long, too little has been done to give our teachers and students the environment they need to succeed.

For too long, too little has been done to ensure that access to quality education isn’t just for the children whose parents can afford it.

Bermuda can and must do better on education… for our children, our country and our future.

Our vision is realistic, achievable and has been drawn from our Bermudian experts, educators, parents and students.

But equally as important as being realistic and achieve able, our leader and our team have the will to make it reality.

We owe our children, our country and our future nothing less.

Please join us for a Town Hall on Education Wednesday May 31st at 7:00pm art Elliot Primary School. We look forward to the feedback of the community at this forum.

click here banner education

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics, Videos

Comments (33)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. wondering says:

    3 jokers on that panel

    • #PUTTINGOURCHILDRENFIRST says:

      Thanks For looking at innovative ways to address our outstanding Educational Issues. While Education is no easy fix, I give credit to the PLP for at least pushing forward a plan that gets Education headed in the direct of higher success for our Children.

      Continue to push on for our Children.
      Thanks for putting our Children First

  2. wondering says:

    Silly season has begun with a new face.

  3. wondering says:

    I am disheartened by Senator Furbert’s comments about promises and OBA as they are cliches and disingenuous coming from a person who has successfully championed physical disability pre-politics and silly season.

    Credibility eating -bbb

  4. no love says:

    All talk. Sadly did noting to improve education during their reign.
    Please explain where the money for all the proposed solutions come from?
    Didn’t think of that did you?
    Okay, pure BS by PLP, thank you. Business as usual.

    • Average Bermudian says:

      ubp/oba started (against public disapproval) and left this mess with education

      • sandgrownan says:

        Er no..Dame Jennifer was on that panel…

      • Lois Frederick says:

        The plp as opposition were part of the Joint Select Committee that developed the current Education Plan. Let us not forget that point.

  5. aceboy says:

    It’s funny. These guys are blabbing on about political interference. Three PLP official spokespersons speaking on behalf of their political party about politics not interfering (or having influence on) education.

    Nothing political about that….

  6. Wahoo says:

    Easy to be in opposition.

  7. Whimsical says:

    GREAT ideas if they are able to come to fruition…FORWARD thinking instead of dwelling on the past…..

    • Onion says:

      Hardly. The PLP take some buzzwords, throw them together into “ideas” and then offer nothing on real-world execution.

      In the real world there are budgets, staffing, capital expenses, cultural issues, and a massive bureaucracy. When in power the PLP failed on all of them.

  8. M.C. Beauchamp says:

    No one who knows anything about administering education believes any of this is true.

  9. sandgrownan says:

    Couple of comments – first many in the private sector haven’t had, and still don’t get raises – many for well over five years. And they have no job security. Teachers and civil servants are very privileged in that regard.

    Secondly, I think we all know the issue with public school education in Bermuda is entrenched ideas and personnel within the DoE. It doesn’t matter who is Minister, PLP or OBA, and the PLP had many years to do something and they didn’t (too busy flying Beyonce to the island and sending money to GlobalHue), but until there’s a clear out in the DoE, nothing will improve.

    Deal with that, then you Muppets might have the ghost of a point.

  10. Comfortably numb says:

    Money is not the issue defining educational success. Private schools produce outstanding results at a lower per student cost, government schools produce mediocre results. However, private schools are not unionized hence any under performing teacher is swiftly dismissed.Whereas, In the government education system, as in the Civil Service, it is very, very difficult to terminate an employee. Private school teachers do not strike or march, they just teach. Add in the dead wood that fills the Department of Education and you have a recipe for educational disaster.

  11. Onion says:

    This is exactly the same nonsense we always hear.

    Meanwhile they have nothing to actually offer, if they did then this wouldn’t still be an issue after 14 years of PLP government.

  12. Rocky5 says:

    PLP trying to rewrite history. If OBA was proposing privatising education we all know what PLP would be saying.

  13. Double S says:

    Both the political parties and Union need to loosen their grip on education…

  14. Concerned Parent says:

    Sounds great but its not going to happen. Politicians on both sides do not care about education – I think we have years and years of proof about that. It’s all talk – and they particularly like to talk about it leading up to elections, but I can guarantee we’ll be hearing more of the same old rhetoric in five years time with no more change.

    Our children and teachers have been being short-changed for years in a multitude of ways. And the kids who suffer the most are those with a variety of disabilities who are denied access to support because they don’t tick enough boxes (or they tick the wrong boxes) for the extremely limited concept of special educational needs.

    There is an urgent need for teacher education, especially in areas like autism, where some teachers continue to treat students on the spectrum (especially those considered ‘high functioning’) as bad, disobedient, etc. There are children who have learning disabilities, like discalculia, but are getting no remedial assistance because schools don’t really know how to work with these students.

    PLP – OBA – Martian party… stop with the talk-talk-talk and finally show us some action.

  15. puzzled says:

    Next.

  16. Mary says:

    standing strong for codology and politicalbabble in the race for to get on the gravy train

  17. Trump supporter says:

    YAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Realist says:

    Even if we gave every teacher, Para educator pay increases and optimal buildings with resources the odds of improved student performance is not linked to these factors. Research and reality is clear….the quality of instruction is key. Unless you carefully do a review of the quality of the instruction you won’t improve outcomes. The best doctors produce good results as do lawyers etc. In public education you don’t necessarily have high quality teachers due to Union and beauracratic interference. You cannot fire a lazy incompetent teacher….only transfer them. Some of the teachers in public education are just not of high quality. And to fix that it will require very astute leaders willing to do what’s best for children.

  19. LongBay Trading Inc. says:

    It is all about maths folks!

    The OBA has been in office for 4 years – repeat 4 years and their biggest pirority was to plug the sinking ship – which they have at least slowed the leak. They are also, while working to stop a sinking ship, working very hard and very fast on as many issues as possible that plague Bermuda Inc. but with so much to do when a ship is about to sink, it is about all hands and immediate action to save Bermuda Inc., the sinking ship.

    The PLP started with a money in the piggy bank so there was no sinking ship. They then had FOURTEEN YEARS to fix education. Yes FOURTEEN Years – and what exactly did they do in all that time? Nothing.

    4 years versus 14 years……………you do the math.

  20. wahoo says:

    How much does it cost the taxpayer per year to teach one kid? I think I heard $30,000 a couple years ago so that number could have only gone up. If we need even more money pumped into our schools then we will need to raise taxes. People without kids are bearing an unfair load wouldn’t you say? I think that if you want a child and have a child you should be responsible for a larger portion of that expense (did I say responsible?).

    Also are we not teaching kids manners? That is another gripe but leave it for now I guess.

  21. Seascape says:

    Why didn’t PLP address these issues when they were in power…

  22. Rasta says:

    When the plp getting new people? Rolf, wayne, Derrick. Zane. Show voters some new faces.

  23. wondering says:

    “Mr Commissiong said,”Our teachers have been exemplary in their dedication to our students during a time of willful neglect on the part of the OBA government. For the last five years, our teachers have worked without raises as the cost of living in Bermuda increases and they have worked without a new collective bargaining agreement, providing them without security.”

    This is no testament to the small minority of useless educators and administrators who control the masses with their outdated and inept approach to change – BERMUDA as a country has and continues to fail itself where education is concerned.

  24. King Jammys says:

    “Develop ways to strengthen parental involvement” it is crazy to think parents are not actively involved in the education of their children this mind set needs to be changed immediately.

    Do our teachers get tested to ensure they are sufficiently skilled to handle the curriculum? What is the assessment process in place for the teachers?

    I refuse to believe our children are not intelligent. Has to be the quality of the teaching that is lacking.

  25. PBanks says:

    The amount of confidence in the current state of public education has to be near rock bottom.

    Promises and political statements are one thing, but we need from our elected representatives some true champions of the cause. Ones who will get the officials, union heads, PTAs together and really work for the benefit of our school-age children. If the system needs to be disassembled and rebuilt from scratch, so be it.

  26. Onionjuice says:

    Why does the PLP want to get at everything the OBA are doing, but they can do better.. Why do they never find things on there own that needs attention.. and I do not believe that these school building got in these conditions over night… Years in the making. PLP should have built a new school rather the condos on south road in warwick. $$$ wasted money

  27. UmJustSaying says:

    Education. One of the main reasons why no politician should be trusted. Just look at what we have BECAUSE OF THEIR FAILURES.

  28. LongBay Trading Inc. says:

    PLP – epic fail.

    Nothing else really. Their legacy lives on……sadly every day.

Leave a Reply

="banner728-container bottom clearfix">