Op-ed: Taking the Politics out of Education
"The children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way" – Lyrics from "The Greatest Love of All."
It has been said that Bermuda's most excellent resource is our people; without investment in our people, particularly our youth, that resource will be depleted.
That is why reforming our education system is so important. The proposed changes are a response to falling confidence in our schools and the steadily increasing flood of students departing for the private schools. Our children deserve better, and we are determined to provide them with a world-class education that will restore confidence and give our teachers the resources they need and our children the education they deserve.
Over the past year, one of Bermuda's longest-serving Education Ministers, Diallo Rabain, has been crossing the country to make sure that parents and other stakeholders are fully informed and involved in the educational reform process.
What we propose is:
- The closure of eight primary schools with the replacement of a new and improved primary school for each parish
- The ending of the failed middle school system
- The introduction of Signature Schools at the high school level
- The creation of school boards to govern the operation of each public school on the island ● The formation of an Education Authority
Parents have told us that they no longer want the education of their children to be used as a political football and an end to the recurring public disputes between the schools, school boards, Education Ministry, and the Department of Education.
The new Education Authority will offer the opportunity to reset, renew and improve those relationships while taking politics out of the equation.
The new school boards will give the schools in our community a greater level of autonomy and provide opportunities for more significant input from the community, educators, parents, and students.
From listening to our constituents on the doorstep and conversations with stakeholders, we understand the public desire for our schools' efficient and successful operation without day-to-day political pressure and with the independence to be flexible and agile in delivering quality education for our children.
Through our collaborative reform process, we will create an education system that supports every young Bermudian, enables them to follow their passions and interests, build on their talents and capabilities and help them reach their full potential.