Dr Gibbons on Dame Jennifer & Education

November 1, 2010

[Written by Education Shadow Minister Dr. Grant Gibbons]

I look forward to working with new Education Minister Dame Jennifer Smith to reform public education.

There is no other area of the PLP Government where the failure to take effective action has been more pronounced over a longer period of time than the area of education reform.

Dame Jennifer is the 10th Education Minister in 12 years. The portfolio has been tossed from one minister to the next like a hot potato; with each new appointment signaling chronic failure to take responsibility and get the job done.

Bermuda needs an Education Minister who is prepared to be accountable, who is ready to push through reforms that will finally equip our students to succeed.

Dame Jennifer has demonstrated a sincere interest in education and we hope she can harness the strength to push reform forward where others have not.

She was the first PLP Education Minister and today’s appointment brings us full circle, back to the promise she made so long ago. She did not meet hopes and expectations then, but we hope the years since have given her better insight into managing the challenge.

She needs to approach the job with a sense of urgency.

This is an area of the highest priority. There is clearly much to do that has not been done, with students and parents suffering for it, sometimes with lifetime consequences.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Critical Thinker says:

    I can’t understand the elation over Jennifer Smith as minister of Education. For the time she was there, she did absolutely nothing. Too many friends and family to fire to fix that dept. Well, I hope she understands the urgency now, and get on with it.

    • Misinformation says:

      It’s amazing how critical and thinker have mutual exclusivity with you. How long was the Dame the Minister for Education and under what circumstances? She led the PLP to two successive electoral victories and was back-stabbed in the process. Dame Jennfier truly served us as shadow mininster for education for decades and educational change takes time which she was not afforded. You are clearly a product of our government’s failure to educate its people, under the UBP and PLP.

  2. Rockfish#2 says:

    To the new Minister of Education,

    Congratulations on your appointment. In order to help the process along,please investigate the following:
    1.Part time/on call teachers being paid exhorbitant wages while staying at home.
    2.Teachers on extensive paid sick leave, and working elsewhere.(these people are known to the Ministry)
    3.Teachers being paid far above their salary grades.
    4.Nepotism.(The HR dept needs to be investigated as a matter of urgency.)
    5. Teachers claiming for extra pay without evidence of working for it.

    Just helping to save $150m