Column: Minister On End Of The School Year

June 27, 2019

[Opinion column written by Minister Diallo Rabain]

As we near the end of another school year, I feel it necessary to speak to the state of our education system, the progress that has been made, and our plans for the future.

When the PLP government regained power in 2017, and I was appointed Minister of Education, I committed myself to education reform that will raise our education standards, that will increase opportunities for our students to excel and compete, and that will provide professional development and career options for our teachers and staff.

While some may look at our education system through a negative lens, that view gets us mostly nowhere. We must look forward and look at the opportunity we have to restore confidence in our system, and it’s perception.

We must cease with the “Apples vs Oranges” private school vs public school debate and competition, and realise and respect that families have options. We are all we aware that private schools can pick, choose and refuse students for enrollment purposes. Public schools must accept and teach every child that is ‘able to learn’, regardless of the level. This is no attack on private schools and their operation model, but merely pointing out the facts and why the persistence of putting the two systems against each other does not help in the overall plan to enhance education across the island.

The persistent challenge in Public School that we do have is ensuring that the those of the highest abilities can soar as high as they can while ensuring that those with lesser cognitive abilities are still able to achieve to their highest levels. It is a delicate balance that the system and the Department of Education and the teachers within must struggle to deliver daily. That being said, as a parent and as the Minister of Education, I am firmly committed to my daughter being a public school educated student, and am confident that she will excel in our system and beyond.

In the past year, we released Plan 2022 – A Strategic Plan for Public School Education. Elements of this plan have been implemented, and we are working towards all milestones as indicated in the plan. We are moving ahead with our strategy to restructure the system.

In our 2017 platform, we spoke to the phasing out of middle schools. We continue to be committed to this promise and pledge to proceed, ensuring proper consultation with all stakeholders. As a government, we are aware that all stakeholders may not have the same opinions; however, all opinions are valid and wanted. At the end of the day, though, there will be some difficult decisions to be made. We will make these tough decisions, and we will move forward with what is best for ur children and for Bermuda.

There have been some instances of industrial action between the BUT and the Government. In a healthy democracy, this is accepted and supported. We must all be heard and listened to and I always welcome the input of the teachers and their union representatives. My only request as we move forward with education reform is that all of us continue to put the education of our children first.

I sincerely thank all the teachers and parents for their commitment and dedication to their craft and their children. It has been a tough year, but I believe mostly a successful one.

One unfortunate aspect of education reform is that there is often a lag time between the implementation of reform and visible results. Rest assured that your government team is firmly committed to ensuring better quality results and achievement for your students and children. I hope you all enjoy your summer and return to school in September, ready for another year of progress towards a better education system.

- Minister Diallo Rabain


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Comments (7)

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    THIS NONSENSE CONCERNNG OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WAS LAID IN THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT’S laps from the vicious O.B.A. government. Do your stats. You will see that P.L.P. is undoing a LOT of major social, economic, moral, ethical issues because of the O.B.A.
    Remain vigilant Bermuda. Do your MATH!!

    • question says:

      The PLP have been in power for 16 of the last 20 years. So if there are ‘vicious’ previous governments who left ‘major social, economic, moral, ethical issues’, you should look in the mirror.
      You own it.

      “Do your MATH!!”, as you put it. 16 / 20, 25-11. It’s YOU who got us here.

  2. Rocky5 says:

    Typical PLP – all opinion, but not ONE FACTS showing any progress in improving Public Education. Just shows, PLP more concerned about holding onto power than making improvements/change/progress in the lives of average Bermudians!

  3. toadinthehole says:

    Absolutely nothing of substance here whatsoever

  4. somuchless says:

    So Diallo, did the ministry ever get around to installing WiFi in all the schools or was that a flop/lie as well?

  5. Realist says:

    Wow he absolutely said nothing. Not one thing about progress. Who writes these speeches? If you state what you’re going to cover then follow your topic. Where are the progress examples?

  6. Slipnut says:

    Collecting a salary by reading prepared speeches by non Bermudian consultants. We need to step up and demand more action and less talk. The level of stress though our Island is at an all time high. We need a plan going forward. Winter is months away. Tic Toc