Jackson On Parish Primary Schools Proposal

February 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

“A suggested solution may be to transfer high performing schools to a new and larger site and allow more students to enroll and not dilute the academic gains of a school’s success,” OBA MP Susan Jackson said.

Ms Jackson said, “In the House of Assembly, the Minister of Education gave a comprehensive update on the Primary School Reform. Within the statement, the Minister broadly outlined the designing of high-level professional learning for teachers.

“That’s a broad statement and it would benefit teachers, parents and students to have the Education Minister identify exactly what the professional development, training, salaries and career programmes will be in order for teachers to be prepared. How long will the training be and will statutory bodies such as the Bermuda Educators Council be involved?

“The Minister mentioned a locally created training programme which is admirable, but it’s also important to consider the significance of providing teachers with globally recognized skills. Students aspire to travel oversees for further education. As much as we may want to develop locally, our students are competing globally. Our students deserve international exposure to education based on global standards.

“Where our students learn is also a factor to success. Closing high performing schools deserves further consideration. Time and time again, we hear stories of parents sending children far afield to attend high performing schools.

“The local community recognizes some of the high performing local schools have an historical origin and there’s an appetite for restorative justice, but we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. A suggested solution may be to transfer high performing schools to a new and larger site and allow more students to enroll and not dilute the academic gains of a school’s success. We cannot ignore the social and economic impacts.

“I am the product of a school closure during the introduction of integrated schools in the early 1970s and it was my experience, transferring into a less performing school, that the social and academic standard was no longer a challenge. The reverse, which I experienced at middle school, was that entering a higher performing school forced me to raise my standards to meet the academic challenge.

“My recollections are that in both primary and middle school, it was not the physical plant, but the social and academic standards that fueled my success. It would be interesting for the Minister to show evidence to the contrary.”

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