BPTSA: “Open & Transparent” Education System

September 3, 2015

The Bermuda Parents Teachers Students Association [BPTSA] said they want an education system that “does not pay lip-service to our children’s primary educators” and is “open and transparent. ”

“The BPTSA recognises the importance of its mandate. That mandate is to optimise parental involvement in Bermuda’s education system. Parents have no greater responsibility than educating their children,” the organisation said.

“We educate our children so that they may face the myriad challenges the future will introduce, in a way which shows commitment to purpose and a desire to achieve meaningful goals.

“That type of education is not possible when parents are divided, distracted, and willing to hand their responsibilities over to others. It is virtually impossible for parents to make informed decisions which benefit their children without first seeking out and obtaining answers to the questions that confront us now.

“The BPTSA will not be distracted from its responsibility to inform parents of the issues that exist in our education system. We will not fail to forecast the coming storms.

“We want an education system that does not pay lip-service to our children’s primary educators. We want an education system that is open and transparent. We want an education system that is motivated by the desire to improve children and families.

“Those who have followed the litigation between the BPTSA and the Ministry of Education will already know that we asked the court to suspend the transfer of an excessive number of educators, the decision to appoint a working group to advise which schools will be closed in the 2016/17 academic year and beyond, and the implementation of the Education [Parent Council] Rules 2015 [“the Rules”]. We took that stance because we felt it was necessary to attain our greater objectives as parents. The court refused our request.

“The BPTSA asked the court to retake its decision with respect to the Rules. We feel that the court made its ruling without the benefit 2 BPTSA Press Statement [2 September 2015] of an important legal consideration.

“The BPTSA wants the court to clarify the true legal significance of the Rules before parents are asked to make a voluntary decision about whether they should form these bodies. The BPTSA does not believe the Rules optimize parental involvement. They work against it.

“As is to be expected, the Ministry has opposed our request for the court to retake its decision. They say the Rules cannot wait. A number of our PTA members have informed us that the Ministry has already instructed principals to tell their PTAs that forming parent councils is mandatory if parents want to be involved in the education of their children. This is not true.

“The BPTSA is hopeful the court will reconsider whether the implementation of the Rules should be suspended at least until our case is complete.

“But even if the court does not do what we ask, as parents we demand that the Ministry cease in its attempts to misinform our members about the true import of the Rules. Parents deserve better than petty Ministerial conspiracies.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Muhammad Goldberg says:

    The MOE appear to be taking steps to ensure all public schools are performing at similar levels. This means taking educators from better performing schools and transferring them to lesser performing schools, and vice-versa. Of course this is going to upset many people but unfortunately you don’t get everything you want with ‘free’ schooling, limited public resources and a unionised teaching workforce.

  2. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    It’s reached the point where when I read or hear the words “open and transparent” it’s a struggle to take in anything that follows.

    Now, that said, I find myself wondering if the people involved in this put as much effort in actually being in there working with and helping the students directly as they do talking about and dealing with the system.

    I don’t mean that to be critical or harsh, I’d simply like to know.

  3. Colourless says:

    Parents were informed before the beginning of the summer holidays that teachers and principals would be transferred. I understand that some of them even requested a transfer. How does the BPTSA respond to that? And why wait until the very end of the summer holidays to take a stand!
    With regard to the statement: ‘Parents have no greater responsibility than educating their children’ is true but wishful thinking on that group’s part. Will the PTSA be waving a magic wand over those parents who willingly hand this responsibility over to others with the belief that it is the teachers’ / government’s job? That it’s certainly not within their remit or something they intend to do.
    Finally, who are the BPTSA? It’s almost as if they are the best kept secret of the people they are trying to represent.

  4. Fed Up Bermudian says:

    Open and Transparent means that you get to see and understand what’s going on and have some input. You don’t have a ‘say’ as such. Just because you are consulted with doesn’t mean that your ideas or opinions determine the outcome- you are a stakeholder and therefore have only some input. Ultimately, decisions rest at a higher level. And as another Colourless said, what if those were voluntary, or mutually agreed? Who is the BPTSA to tell someone who doesn’t want to be at a particular school that, no, you aren’t allowed to leave? Do you really want someone who doesn’t want to be there to be teaching your children? I can say that I would not. More needs to be done wrt to openness and transparency, but I think that there are two very valid sides to this coin.