General Election 2020: OBA On Education

September 17, 2020 | 3 Comments

The One Bermuda Alliance [OBA] held a press conference this afternoon [Sept 17] to discuss education.

Cole Simons remarks:

Good day Bermuda, good day teachers, students – and parents.

Over and over, we hear on the doorstep that education in Bermuda is the number one priority.

Along with the state of the economy – it is.

The cornerstone of education is to provide services to the people of Bermuda that will ensure they have fair access to quality education and training opportunities, that will help them fulfil their economic and social potential.

It can also be used as tool that can be effective in reducing the inequities that result in the socio-economic disadvantaged.

A good education provides the solid base which allows our youth to succeed and prosper – to grow into fine members of the community and be our future leaders.

The One Bermuda Alliance strongly believes that the best way to achieve this is to take the politics out of education.

We will establish an Independent Education Authority, with professionals managing our education system, providing objective assessments of schools and student performance to ensure that education is the cornerstone for life.

We have seen how successful the Bermuda Tourism Authority has been since the politics was taken out.

The One Bermuda Alliance believes an Education Authority can have the same – positive – impact.

Our students spend a huge amount of time with teachers, but those teachers cannot be all things to all students and look after all their needs.

Consequently, a one Bermuda Alliance Government would supplement every school with a team of Foundational Counsellors.

They will support our children and instil the skills needed for life, from early developmental learning to guidance in later years when transitioning to working life.

We will also increase focus on early childhood development by expanding the Child Development Programme [CDP] to ensure our children have the necessary support and that parents are more aware of CDP and its benefits.

You cannot concentrate properly on an empty stomach and the One Bermuda Alliance will continue to support school meals for children in need.

Likewise, a healthy body helps fuel a healthy mind.

We will create a National Physical Fitness Programme to encourage well-being, sound health, exercise and good personal diet.

While giving greater support to our students is very important, so is giving greater support to our teachers.

Consequently, a One Bermuda Alliance Government would establish a Continuing Professional Development Centre for our teachers.

This will help to enhance teaching skills, professional and personal development and maintain high standards with continuous training, support for teachers.

Teachers continue to use their own money to buy essential supplies. That is unacceptable.

The One Bermuda Alliance will therefore ensure a per term budget for teachers to provide supplies and equipment for children in their classrooms.

We will also continue to support “Plan 2022: Bermuda’s Strategic Plan for Public School Education”, which is the culmination of a public consultation process which began under the previous OBA Government.

I started this by saying ‘good day’ to parents.

Many of you hold two, or even three jobs.

You are stressed by work demands.

A One Bermuda Alliance Government will therefore better align the school day with working hours.

This will ensure our children benefit from after-school sports, art activities and any other educational support programmes and it will help those working parents who are juggling so many responsibilities.

We believe these changes will have a very significant and positive impact on education.

We will do better.

Thank you.

Dwayne Robinson’s remarks:

Good afternoon,

As my colleague Cole Simons stated, education is at the forefront of most people’s concerns.

It is crucial to get it right otherwise we are letting down generations of young people.

But I want to talk about the transition from education to working life, which is a big step, especially if a student is not properly prepared.

With the aid of our workforce development team, we will streamline the transition from education to working life.

This will be achieved by identifying existing and job opportunities and aligning educational foundations with real job opportunities.

A One Bermuda Alliance Government would continue to develop business-led jobs guarantee schemes to ensure Bermudians are trained for jobs that actually exist and jobs in developing industries.

And we would create Economic Development Scholarships which support our students‘ development and progress in existing, and newly emerging industries.

Finally, the OBA would create both art cultural scholarships and art education scholarships.

These will open up other avenues for our young people, to help them develop as people and to pursue exciting career opportunities.

Thank you.

Nicky Gurret’s remarks:

Good afternoon,

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am passionate about the arts and how the arts can help young people in so many ways.

When I announced my candidacy, I said I saw the arts as a way to relieve the stresses of life, channel artistic energy and bring people together to create a beautiful environment.

So, today I am delighted to announce that a One Bermuda Alliance Government will implement a full and consistent integrated technical and arts curriculum, starting in the middle schools, with particular focus on STEAM.

STEAM is an approach to learning that uses Arts, Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics for guiding students’ educational development.

It also gave me great pleasure to listen to my colleague, Cole Simon, give details of an extended school day which means there will be even more emphasis on the arts.

As an active member of the Bermuda Society of Arts, the Bermuda Dockyard Art Gallery, Masterworks and BMDS, I see at first-hand how beneficial the arts are to young people.

It creates lasting friendships. It gives young people confidence, it draws them out of themselves and gives them the freedom to play

It makes young people act as a team.

These are all attributes that will help them when they leave school and enter a competitive jobs market.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Bermy says:

    Hate to say it but this party has had its time and is done. What we need is a coalition govt, some young fresh minds and to pack away the baggage and bs both parties carry with them

  2. @1 says:

    “We will do this” “we will do the other” is this depending on permission from the present leaders of the world? W.H.O. ?

    • .am says:

      I think it might depend on them being elected. Hard to otherwise implement when you have no power to do so.

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