OBA: ‘School Principals Facing Burn-Out’

November 8, 2018 | 12 Comments

“School principals are facing burn-out, with some working up to 18 hours a day,” according to Shadow Education Minister Cole Simons.

Mr. Simons said, “They should not be forced to put in very long hours to get on top of their workload. Our schools are continuing to experience huge problems as Principals work very long demanding days. I was told that even if Principals do three hours of overtime every day, they will still not be on top of their game.

“For instance, the Department of Education is insisting on analytics of almost all students, in particular students not making the grade. While this is positive, it is very time consuming and encroaches on the administration of schools which also includes teacher peer reviews and assessments. Each school has also been asked to craft their version of standards based grading protocols as the programme was not effectively introduced or rolled out.

“Once this is completed and the draft standards are defined, the schools have also been asked to submit their suggested standard to the Department of Education, instead of vice versa. I would have thought that the Government would have defined the standard based grading protocols and standards for Bermuda’s education and this in turn would be harmonized across our school system.

“As for middle schools, at the beginning of each school year our middle school Principals have the added challenge of providing remedial support for students promoted to middle schools as a result of social promotions – when the fundamentals required in primary schools have not been mastered.

“Social promotion is becoming more prevalent and an increasing number of primary students are not prepared, or qualified, to enter Middle School where teachers are teaching at primary school level. A number of teachers have also indicated to me that in some schools, manipulative skills and hands-on training activities are not used after P3. This is unacceptable as these skills should be used to the end of P6.

“We need to bring a halt to social promotion at all levels of our schools system. In its stead we need to deliver more intervention and remedial programmes that will support students that need more time to improve their academic skills and to have a better understanding of the subject matter.

“In light of the above, as the shadow Minister of Education I am of the opinion that there should be more dialogue, support, communications and consensus building between the Department of Education, the Public Service Commission, and principals from our primary schools, middle schools and secondary schools.

“We are almost there. Only dialogue, listening and consensus building will get these initiatives across the finish line, with the winners being our students.”

We asked the Ministry of Education for comment and will update as able.

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (12)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    18 hour days! Oh really! Who believes that one? Not even close. Not in our public school system. They might get a little sympathy if they were a little more truthful. The occasional 10 hour day might be a little more believable.

    • Disney Cruise left Goofy behind.

    • Jevon says:

      As a person that works in Education and have seen emails time stamped after 4am and 5am, 18 hour work days are not unheard of. When your Deputy spends the entire weekend at school trying to get ready for school to start.

      Those hours aren’t always spent at the physical school probably but doing 18 hours in a leadership position position I would say is common place.

  2. The irony of it all.Mr. Simons, in being the THEN Minister for Education, attended a graduation at Berkeley Institute, only months ago.
    Dr. Curtis-Tweed, Bwerkeley’s principal then , scolded Cole Simons , Dunkley and those of the oba who attended the function.
    Dr. Tweed stated that oba had channeled barely any funds towards Berkeley’s betterment.
    Mr. Simons speaks out of a 4- sided mouth!!He speaks nonsense. He could care less about the thousands of Bermudian students at Berkeley, but has the nerve to talk about principals’ burnout.
    He could care less. His track record proved that!!

  3. Duh says:

    As was the case when you were Ed Minister Sir. Stop Bogarting!!!

  4. Teacher says:

    Social promotion has been going on for a long while now, and under various governments, and under Cole Simon’s tenure as well. Simply put, there are so many issues, so many factors, so much incompetence from the upper echelons, that NOTHING that is ever implemented will either last or work properly. I will never blame poorly trained teachers and inefficient principals, because we must always ask “ who hired them and who is appraising their performance or lack thereof?” The education Apple in Bermuda is rotten at the core, and only by slash and burn will we have any hope. The whole apparatus needs to be broken down and rebuilt properly. At the end of the day, the kids are the only ones that suffer with our political tug of war over their education.

  5. Lol says:

    Where was all this concern for education when you all decided taking money out of the school system to fund a boat race was more important?

    • Foundation says:

      True, but remember the pay increase the PLP gave teachers and firemen last year, the 2%? That money was OBA profit money from that boat race. Politics is a cloudy, murky thing…

  6. Bs says:

    This is 100% BS! 18 hours a day? Cmon man stop being so dramatic as it makes all other points incredulous! Stupid politician!

  7. comfortably numb says:

    Utter BS! As far as I’m aware, no public school principal has a teaching load, unlike their counterparts in the private system who do have limited timetables but do teach to get a “feel” for what’s going on at “ground level”. Perhaps if public school principals did venture out from their air conditioned offices from time to time we might see some improvement in the abysmal levels of achievement in the public system.

Leave a Reply