‘Good Step, Key Is Effective Implementation’

December 6, 2017 | 12 Comments

The recently released Strategic Plan for Public School Education is a “good first step for the Government,” Shadow Minister of Education Cole Simons said, adding that the “key now is having effective implementation.”

Mr Simons said, “As the Shadow Minister of Education, I am delighted that ‘Plan 2022: Bermuda’s strategic plan for Public School Education’, the multi – year strategic plan [Plan] for Bermuda’s Public School System has at last been presented to the people of Bermuda.

“For the record, the Opposition supports the vision that all of Bermuda’s students whether they are enrolled in public, private or home schools, should be educated to the level that allows them to be able to compete globally and locally, as well as be able to lead.

Cole Simons Bermuda Dec 6 2017 TC

“The Plan’s priorities include enhancing teacher practice and leadership, improving infrastructure, and ensuring student career and workforce readiness. I would like to know how these stated priorities will be implemented and delivered, because the Plan does not detail the methodology – which is the real crux of the matter – how will these priorities be accomplished? It is crucial that this plan be a complete blue print for the future, and not just an aspirational dream.

“There has to be strong leadership to implement and carry through the objectives of the Plan. This means that there has to be a clear understanding and acceptance that the change required can only be performed by an individual who is transformational — not transactional. Accordingly, this will require a restructuring of the Department of Education, to ensure that staff are equipped and able to effectively deliver the strategies outlined in the Plan.

“It is vital that an organizational restructuring be considered, as it is, from a Governance perspective, the first rung on the ladder of reform for the Department of Education, and it is critical for the effectiveness and success of the plan. While change is never easy, a realignment of the current staffing will signal the advent of a new era in the delivery of education in Bermuda. The senior management team must include those individuals who can create the best and most effective team.

“To achieve effective implementation, there should be a Director of Education [or Education Commissioner], a Director of Finance, a Director of I.T. Services, a Quality Assurance Director and a Director of Communications. It is this team that would drive the objectives set out in the new Plan and provide the necessary resources to enable the Permanent Secretary of Education to effectively support our students, teachers, and the Minister of Education.

“The Director of Education [or Educational Commissioner] and the Educational Technical Team will be the driving force behind the delivery quality of the Plan and ensuring the that all children enrolled in Bermuda’s school system receive a world class education. The Director of Education should be responsible for providing top level of professionalism and technical support all policy and educational decisions must have the consent and authorization of Director of Education.

“I am delighted to see that the Plan incorporates a prominent role for Bermuda’s middle schools. in that the middle schools will be utilised to support students from an academic, social, and developmental perspective, as they transition from primary school to secondary school. It is the middle schools that will be the conduit by which our students are introduced to technical and vocational programs, and prepare our students for the City and Guilds integrated Maths and English and other STEAM programs.

“It is clear that the stakeholders who crafted the Plan recognise the important role that the middle schools have people the development and education of our children. It is also clear that there is no support for the PLP’s proposed intentions to eliminate Bermuda’s middle schools, on or before 2022.

“This position reaffirms my publically stated position that the closure of our middle school is a non-starter. The Government has yet to provide the Bermuda public with the analytics and data to support how closing our middle schools will improve our students’ performance output. Therefore, I do not see how have arrived at the conclusion that middle schools should be eliminated. It is my hope that the PLP Government recognizes that the closure of middle schools goes directly against the future success of our students.

“The PLP’s 2017 Educational Platform stated that their government would reform public education by phasing out middle schools and by introducing signature schools at the secondary level, which will focus on the learning styles and interests of our children, including academic, technical and the trades, business, sports, arts, and special needs education. However, this Plan does not include any mention of the signature schools.

“Overall, the Plan is a good first step for the Government. The key now is having, effective implementation, and ensuring that the Department of Education has the necessary people on the team to carry out all the tasks for that complete and strategic implementation.”

The Strategic Plan for Public School Education follows below [PDF here]

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Comments (12)

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  1. puzzled says:

    Oh hush up man.
    You just want to keep your Hill job.
    Go drive Taxi…

  2. Casey says:

    This is a good reply from the new Opposition: thoughtful, supportive where appropriate and constructively critical with concrete recommendations where required.

  3. More says:

    We need more of this. Where the opposition agrees when it is a good idea – from either side.

  4. STRAIGHTFORWARD says:

    It is delightful that neither Cole Simons nor Grant Gibbons are at the helm for Bermuda’s public schools.
    People who genuinely care and have major concerns are at the helm. Very grateful and pleased with that.
    Not someone who is a minister for education , then dashes off for the betterment of america cup, leaving the public schools to move on, independent of that minister. Shame on Grant Gibbons!

    • bdaboy says:

      Shame on you…go back to school, you’re too stupid to post here.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      Blame Dunkley for MOVING Grant Gibbons. If you actually knew Grant you’d know he genuinely cares!

      Funny how the PLP didn’t care about Freddy tho…

      Shame on you for believing that garbage you wrote…

  5. Really Really BETTTY says:

    This is a more thoughtful reply by the Obaubp…..now the PLP HAS TOO;

    INCLUDE AND DEVELOP A PLAN OF IMPLEMENTATION

    ACCOUNTABILITY

    CONSIDER HOW MIDDLE SCHOOLS WILL OR WILL NOT BE PHASED out….

  6. Beverley J Connell says:

    “Restructuring of the Department of Education”………a critical conclusion which the 2013 SAGE report touched on in its review of the entire CS. When something (our entire CS) is structurally flawed, optimum results can never be achieved. Will this administration have the backbone to take this on?

    • Athena says:

      Seriously doubt there will be much action at all.

      What we really need is an Education Authority that is free from all the BTU and CS cronyism. The children deserve better than constant recycling of education ideas that only serve the administration and not the pupils.

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