History & Legacy Committee Submit Terms

May 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

The History and Legacy Education Committee Working Group “was successful in submitting the terms of reference” on March 31st, Minister of Education Diallo Rabain said, adding that he “looks forward to the formal establishment of the History and Legacy Committee this year, and the work that is to come with preserving, honouring, and commemorating Bermuda’s educational history in the near future.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly, Minister Rabain said, ”I rise to provide my Honorable Colleagues and the Bermudian community, with an update on the History and Legacy Committee and the adoption of its terms of reference.

“The History and Legacy committee was established due to the concerns expressed by the community during the consultation on Parish Primary schools. The proposal shared plans for the discontinuation of 10 primary schools to support the vision for parish primary schools that would act as the hub of the parish with its community rallying around them. This, however, generated concerns regarding the loss of the rich history and legacies of Bermuda’s schools.

“Today, I am excited to announce that the Working Group was successful in submitting the terms of reference on March 31st,2022. I have approved the terms TOR and have provisionally adopted all recommendations subject to further development and implementation. The History and Legacy Committee will thus use these terms of reference as a framework to guide and carry out longer-term work.

“I would like to thank the members of the Working Group, Chairperson Mrs. Heather Whalen, Mr. Randy Scott, Dr. Quito Swan, Dr. Theodore Francis, Mr. Adrian Lodge, Mrs. Alberta Dyer-Tucker, Mrs. Rhonda Woods-Smith, and, Ms. Taneesha Ottley for their willingness and dedication in developing this underlining work. I am also most grateful to those who have made contributions by assisting the Working Group in the development of the terms of reference.

“I look forward to the formal establishment of the History and Legacy Committee this year, and the work that is to come with preserving, honouring, and commemorating Bermuda’s educational history in the near future.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr Speaker,

Today, I rise to provide my Honorable Colleagues and the Bermudian community, with an update on the History and Legacy Committee and the adoption of its terms of reference.

Mr speaker,

The History and Legacy committee was established due to the concerns expressed by the community during the consultation on Parish Primary schools. The proposal shared plans for the discontinuation of 10 primary schools to support the vision for parish primary schools that would act as the hub of the parish with its community rallying around them. This, however, generated concerns regarding the loss of the rich history and legacies of Bermuda’s schools.

My determination to establish this committee to document our educational histories followed extensive conversations with community members, public school alumni, as well as current and former educators.

Mr speaker,

In December last year, I announced the initiation of the preparatory work of the History and Legacy Committee by the appointment of a Working Group, its members, and Mrs. Heather Whalen as Chairperson. I shared that this Working Group would be a small short-term group that would develop the terms of reference and supporting deliverables in preparation for the formal establishment of the History and Legacy Committee.

Mr Speaker

In my previous update on education reform and the History and Legacy Working Group, I shared with my Honorable Colleagues and the public, the progress the Working Group had undertaken in developing the terms of reference and other supporting deliverables for the formulation of the History and Legacy Committee.

Mr Speaker

Today, I am excited to announce that the Working Group was successful in submitting the terms of reference on March 31st,2022. I have approved the terms TOR and have provisionally adopted all recommendations subject to further development and implementation. The History and Legacy Committee will thus use these terms of reference as a framework to guide and carry out longer-term work.

Mr Speaker

Within the terms of reference, the Working Group provides the organizational structure, guiding principles, objectives, and broad deliverables that the History and Legacy Committee would undertake. Due to the nature of the History and Legacy Committee’s work, the Working Group proposed that the committee be constituted as a statutory board to ensure consistency and continuity as it expands and evolves with the continuation of educational history.

It was also recommended that the committee function as a steering committee that will oversee critical processes to invite, approve and oversee projects to meet the outcomes of documenting, preserving, honouring, and commemorating the history and legacy of education in Bermuda. The Working Group noted the immense extent and complexity of Bermuda’s educational history and decided that it was too great for this committee to undergo this work alone; and that the true context of this story can only be told with the help of the Bermudian community. The Working Group agreed that the public should make recommendations on the best ways to preserve, honour and commemorate the history and legacy of education in Bermuda.

Mr Speaker

Throughout the development of this monumental work, the Working Group had met weekly, and additionally as needed, to discuss and complete their deliverables. Within these meetings, they carried out interviews with historians and former educators for insight into the nature of education in Bermuda during various time periods to help determine the scope of educational history in Bermuda and how that should influence the range of areas and periods to be covered by the History and Legacy Committee. The Working Group also consulted with representatives from the Bermuda National Library and the Bermuda Archives on the various types of written materials and artifacts within their respective collections. These collaborations played a significant part in the final recommendations for the terms of reference.

Mr Speaker

The next step towards the formulation of the History and Legacy Committee is the selection of members by the appointment of the Minister. Firstly, the members of the Working Group will be invited to express their interest in serving on the committee followed by members of the public.

Once the History and Legacy Committee has been formally established, committee members will review and agree on internal operations as per the terms of reference, determine the scope and guidelines for various proposals, and solicit proposals from the community on the specific scope they wish to embark on first.

Mr Speaker

The success of the History and Legacy Committee is the responsibility of ALL Bermudians as it is OUR story to tell in the way that WE want to tell it and show it and in a way that will benefit US. Our community deserves to know and have access to every part of Bermuda’s story like other countries world wide. It is my hope, that through the work of the community and the History and Legacy Committee, we can tell the story of the evolution of education in Bermuda,and that it will develop and transform our confidence and belief in education delivery.

Mr Speaker

I would like to thank the members of the Working Group, Chairperson Mrs. Heather Whalen, Mr. Randy Scott, Dr. Quito Swan, Dr. Theodore Francis, Mr. Adrian Lodge, Mrs. Alberta Dyer-Tucker, Mrs. Rhonda Woods-Smith, and, Ms. Taneesha Ottley for their willingness and dedication in developing this underlining work. I am also most grateful to those who have made contributions by assisting the Working Group in the development of the terms of reference.

I look forward to the formal establishment of the History and Legacy Committee this year, and the work that is to come with preserving, honouring, and commemorating Bermuda’s educational history in the near future.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

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