OBA: ‘Cannot Bulldoze Without Proper Dialogue’

January 7, 2019

Cole Simons Bermuda December 2018“If the Minister had listened to, and fully engaged with, our principals, teachers, parents and the BUT in the first instance, the challenges we are currently seeing in education could have been avoided,” Shadow Education Minister Cole Simons said.

Mr Simons said, “All those stakeholders, as well as the OBA, have been calling for better communications, dialogue and support for months and the lesson here is that the Minister cannot bulldoze things through without proper dialogue and support as well as resources to make things work.

“The colossal blow back which came at the end of last year took the Minister, and the Ministry’s, breath away and hence they had to reset the dial, which they are now striving to do.

“Now that there has at last been some dialogue, the Minister must continue to engage with all education stakeholders more frequently and I would urge him to hold quarterly meetings between the Ministry, principals and teacher representatives as they are the ones who are well equipped to provide valuable input from the front lines that will improve the quality of decisions made by the Minister and the Ministry.

“It has gone somewhat unnoticed, but we should commend the steering committee, which crafted the road map for the reimplementation of the Standards Based Grading system, for getting things back on track in a positive manner. This template should be used in the future when planning and deciding to roll out major initiatives which impact the delivery of education in Bermuda.

“As for report cards, it is totally unacceptable that they still are not available. The parents and students are in the dark in regards to our students’ achievements during the Fall term of 2018. Why could we not use the existing report card system until the new standard based grading system is effectively implemented and up and running?

“Lastly, things still remain unwell with our Principals, as they are still working to rule according to the Minister. I would invite him to provide an itemized update on where things stand with regards to addressing the excessive workload, security and resource issues which continue to provide professional anxiety for our principals.”

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Comments (14)

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  1. HELLO OBAERS says:



    • Double S says:

      Not one of you said that between 2013 and 2017. So shove your disingenuous calls for unity.

  2. How on this island could Cole Simons know what is going on in the public school arena. He and his “BAND” did absolutely nothing for this public school system. Get lost, Cole!!
    Dr. Curtis-Tweed would tell Cole that he did nothing for our school system, but appeared at Berkeley Institute, along with dunkley, et al.
    They were scolded.
    Go to Berkeley Institute and ask the students and staff , who were there during the OBA, are aware of O.B.A.’s nothingness approach to the school!!!!

    • DeOnion says:

      But the bigger picture says the plp has been in power for 16 of the last 20 yrars, these problems did not start with the oba …

  3. dawn DeRerd says:

    Quite right Mr Simons – goodness only knows why it took the minister so long

    • Rocky5 says:

      When your to busy looking in the mirror at your new bow ties…………

  4. Yahoo says:

    Uh Cole, weren’t you Education Minister at one point? What did you do?

  5. Youth says:

    Cole I thought Nick wanted to get rid of the UBP. Wonder if he was only referring to the former UbP white members hmmm.

  6. Tania Stafford says:

    sigh … political sniping will not improve learning outcomes – a bipartisan approach is needed to get to grips with our challenges in public education.

    The overall student body numbers are not huge, we need some clear thinking heads to work as temporary Boards for our schools BUT we also need a commitment that good teachers will be celebrated and weaker teachers will be supported AND the weak teachers who do not grow through support will be aided to find alternate employment.

    Our students deserve effective teaching at all levels and that will mean some people who are less suited for classroom practice or administrative jobs in the schools should be moved away from the profession. Teaching is not an easy job and is is not for everyone!

    • what says:

      ….which crafted the road map for the reimplementation of the Standards Based Grading system…

      Seriously? All that comes out of this education system is planning and more planning and no doing! That goes for both political parties and moreso for the OBA who are playing petty politics when we need to come together and get something done!

    • comfortably numb says:

      Nailed it Tania!

  7. A Little Wisdom says:

    We might be in a better position then to remove race from the process and be more focused on education and solutions. However, this does not mean that with the PLP in charge, that it will be able to move us forward.

  8. Vlad "the impaler" says:

    Not enough…
    Trash pick up…
    Public transportation…
    Why should the ministry of education be
    Aaaannnnnyyyy different?