PLP Holds Town Hall Meeting On Education

June 5, 2017

[Written by Maya Palacio]

On May 31, members of the Progressive Labour Party [PLP] held a town hall meeting at Elliot Primary school at 7 pm, to discuss their plan of taking out the middle school system in public school education.

Members on the panel were Senator Tinee Furbert [spokesperson for disability affairs], Diallo V. Rabain  [spokesperson for education] and Rolfe Commissiong.

“We firmly believe that it’s time to transition away from the middle school set up,” says Mr Rabain.

“That -taking out middle schools- is something that we want to implement because we looked at the statistics through the years and there is a mistrust in the middle school system.”

PLP Panel Bermuda June 2017

Mr Rabain says their plans for cutting out the middle school system is based on statistics shown in their presentation that from the year 2004-2014 the enrollment for middle schools in public education is consistently lower than primary and high school.

“We are seeing this drop off in middle school and we’re seeing students return back for high school.”

Mr Rabain stressed that this process would be done after intense research to ensure this is the best decision for the students.

“We’ll look at all feedback to produce something that will be sure to get where we need to go with everyone taken into account.”

In attendance were teachers, principals, students, parents and general members of the community.

PLP spokes Education Bermuda June 2017

Other members of the education community addressed the panel’s decision to take out the middle school system.

The president of the Bermuda Union of Teachers [BUT] Shannon James says, “When done right, it -middle schools- can address the means of that age group because this age group is different. Over 11 and under 15 age group has their own challenges. This age group has things built into the system. Specific things to ensure that age group is done right. We haven’t been doing it right.”

Other issues that were mentioned in the meeting were gang influences in the school system, providing necessary resources for educators in school, a teacher’s learning centre for annual training, transitioning away from past ideas, removing political influences, and lack of consistency within the educational system.

In the future, the panel hopes to have more town meetings.

“We like having the town meeting because we want people to come and give the hard questions,” says Mr Rabain. “We are here as representatives of the people and so we require people’s feedback to let us know which direction they feel their island should go and that is always going to be of paramount importance to the Progress Labour Party.”

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  1. Zevon says:

    Sonthe PLP is planning to close schools.
    When was the parental consultation? Don’t they think that parents should be consulted prior to schools being closed?

    Typical PLP. Everything decided by a few elites behind closed doors.