Shadow Ministers Commend STEAM Academy

July 13, 2015

The Shadow Minister for Human Affairs with responsibility for Workforce Development, Rolfe Commissiong, along with the Shadow Minister for Education Lovitta Foggo, commended the Department of Education in partnering with both, the Great4Learning organization – led by Mr. Darren Burchall – and the Ah!Tempo Performing Arts Academy, in order to conduct this summer’s, “Summer STEAM Academy”.

STEAM, like STEM focuses on science technology engineering and math. Although with STEAM, Art is added as another important innovation.

“We highly recommend to Bermudian parents that they encourage and facilitate the participation of their school age children in these worthwhile programmes, particularly with respect to those young children between the ages of seven and fourteen years of age,” they said.

“Additionally, there are other, largely free summer programmes, available for our young people that also focus on coding, programming, robotics and technology more broadly; such as Code Tuna, the Hackathon Coding workshops, the Technology Leadership Forum events, and the celebrated Waterwise programme.

“We are also gratified that our call to action on these issues as an outgrowth of our debate in the House recently, has resonated strongly with Bermudians across the country and in every sector.

“The recent thumbs up by Mr. Mike Charles, Secretary General of the Bermuda Union of Teachers, was gratifying and provided a needed reality check, as he asserted by way of a recent interview that, “the public education system is severely lacking” in the utilization of technology.

“We also wish to echo the recent public comments of Dr. Llewellyn Simmons, Director of Academics at the Department of Education, in his call for schools to be properly equipped to deal with this 21st century national imperative.

“Dr. Simmons is adamant that not only must we provide the necessary investment in needed hardware and software for the young student but that we must also ensure that there are enough qualified teaching personnel in the public school system to meet this critical challenge.

“In closing, we again assert that the work to create the Bermuda we wish to see in the year 2025 must begin now; and it must begin with this investment in our young people.

“We therefore call on the OBA government to deploy the additional funding required for our public education system so that our young people will have the tools that they require in order to succeed in meeting this global challenge.”

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