Video: Education Minister Press Conference

December 6, 2018

[Updated] Minister of Education Diallo Rabain is holding a press conference this morning [Dec 6] which the Ministry said was “regarding an update on Bermuda Public Schools.” We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The Minister spoke about recent challenges and discussions with the Union, and said that “It has been brought to our attention, that para educators throughout our system have decided to…have been instructed to call in sick today.”

The Minister said that “despite what I would term positive discussions, we are still faced with action from the Bermuda Union of Teachers [BUT] and their members at an unsustainable rate.”

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 12-minute replay is below

Update 12.47pm: Minister Rabain said, “Today I stand before you as the Minister of Education. More importantly the father of Layla Rabain who is P5 student at Elliot Primary.

“You may ask why that is relevant. It is relevant to me, because decisions that affect the Bermuda Education System have a personal effect on my legacy…my daughter. My family showed the ultimate confidence in our educational system by entrusting our gift, our love, our treasure to the Bermuda Public School System.

“The Ministry and the Department of Education have been criticized for not having the will to fix problems within the Bermuda Public School system. I strongly disagree with that assertion.

“When this Government took office, we stated in our election platform that Education is a priority. We meant what we promised, and we will not be deterred from facing issues and challenges within the entire system head-on.

“As a parent who has a child in the public school system, I have faith in our system to deliver a high-quality educational experience to our children. However, this cannot be achieved with these constant disruptions we have been experiencing lately. It is having a negative effect on all of our students and their educational experience.

“The Ministry and Technical Officers have been doing everything we can to listen and meet with the BUT to discuss the various challenges brought to our attention by the Union and discuss solutions. Despite what I would term positive discussions, we are still faced with action from the BUT and their members at an unsustainable rate.

“Last week Thursday, the BUT forwarded us a list of 23 items of concerns based on the outcome of their membership meeting held last Tuesday. On Monday, we met with the BUT for just over 3 hours to address these concerns.

“In what I can term a very positive meeting, we were able to identify 8 of those items that fall within the current Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations that the BUT is currently engaged in with the Bermuda Government and will be handled that way. For the rest, of the list, some of the concerns had already been addressed or were in the process of being addressed. The concerns remaining require long-term solutions and ways to go about addressing them were also discussed.

“We did not get here overnight, but we are committed to making the necessary changes that are required. We will put in infrastructure and the changes necessary to deliver on our promises to reform education in Bermuda. We will continue to operate in good faith with the students, parents, teachers and the BUT and we will come together to accomplish what needs to be done.”

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Comments (17)

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  1. Deep Throat says:

    where are the specifics!? Lots of blame on the BUT – but not once does he say what has actually happened and what he has done, not once!

  2. WSP says:

    Go buy another bowtie,clueless.

  3. DeOnion says:

    so he talks, and talks and …. talks some more. Can he outline the action he has done? His time must soon be up as Minister, surely?

  4. question says:

    why doesn’t he just tell the teachers “25-11″?

    Isn’t that the magic answer to everything?

  5. INNA says:

    What?! No bow-tie?!?

    Things must be heating up in the kitchen!!!!

  6. Second World says:

    The buses don’t run, the education system doesn’t work, trash piles up due to lack of collection, while the national debt soars.

    Bermudians don’t have jobs, seniors worry about affordable health care and all the GVT can do is spin rhetoric and play the blame game.

    We need some adults in the room please….

  7. watching says:

    I thought the Minister actually was very clear in mentioning that some of the issues are part of the CBA which is being negotiated at this time, so those issues clearly cannot have immediate resolution.

    Additionally, there are other issues that will clearly take time, such as infrastructure etc.

    And there are those that can have immediate fixes, and it is my understanding they are in train.

    So why the continuing industrial action?

    And why do I feel like the BUT and its teachers are just trying to use their power without being practical and logical in their thinking.

    And who loses out the most? The children.

    • Double S says:

      Amazing how your views and subsequent responses has changed since your Party came into power.

    • question says:

      In the PLP election manifesto it said the PLP would immediately: “Correct health and safety issues in schools, install wifi and provide functioning computer labs, and ensure all necessary services, personnel, resources and supplies are provided to schools to allow them to deliver the curriculum effectively.”

      Of course, that was a year and a half ago, when they were trying to get votes. Now that the election is over there is no need at all to actually do any of that stuff. They’re too busy flying around attending seminars, and awarding $1.2m bonuses to businesses owned by ex-PLP ministers.

  8. Boz says:

    Same crap…different minister….all they do is talk…then radio silence!

  9. Deadhead says:

    “Wheels on the bus go round and round,round and round.”

    • OMG says:

      Actually the wheels on the bus have been cancelled again today so they aren’t going around. Nor is our garbage being picked up regularly

  10. Lay the blame directly at the feet of the major dysfunctional OBA supposed political party. They had thrown out “carrots”to the entire public school system.
    Let us NOT FORGET, the disastrous Gibbons, who was the minister for education, and threw that away in favour of the nonsensical America Cup Bermuda.
    Absolutely ridiculous.
    OBA set up OUR children to have less than sufficient educators at the primary school level.That shortage, stands, as I write this. I am ecstatic and jubilant that those monsters have stepped aside.
    Diallo, you are doing a better job than Wayne Scott, Graham Gibbons or the lethargic Cole Simons EVER did!
    Do continue on, mon ami!!

  11. Truth is killin’ me... says:

    Honeymoon is OVER my people!!

  12. Goldie Locks says:


  13. Goldie Locks says:

    Be careful what you ask for