Minister Highlights Plans for Educational Reform

In a virtual statement delivered last evening, Minister of Education the Honorable Diallo Rabain, JP, MP, told the public that the great challenges within Bermuda’s education system that have existed for quite some time will not be solved by just maintaining the status quo or lingering on the cusp of change.

Real change and reform needs to happen to ensure that the leaders of tomorrow get the best education possible.

“ The goal of educational reform [in Bermuda is] to remake and reform public education so that each and every child, in each and every public school in Bermuda, can grow and develop, so that they can learn from excellent teachers in world class schools, within a world-class education system,” his statement read.

Minister Rabain then touched upon the Progressive Labor Party’s (PLP’s) strategic plan for educational reform, entitled Plan 2022.

The plan consists of three main areas; the Learning First program, designed to redesign teaching and learning and create a curricula more relevant for students now and into the future, a change from a three-tier to a two-tier educational system through the gradual phasing out of middle schools and the introduction of signature schools, and the development of an independent educational authority for better management and accountability of the public school system.

The Ministry of Education observed that the general community wanted leadership and teaching, schools, education in general and the Ministry and Department of Education as a whole to be run not only differently, but better and with better outcomes for all students.

A large part of the PLP’s educational reform would be the introduction of parish primary schools. As of this September, there will be 2,074 students in one of 18 of the island’s public primary schools; seven of which have fewer than 100 pupils and none of them having more than 195.

This issue will be fixed, according to the statement, by having one primary school in each parish except Pembroke, which will have two. Each school will be able to accommodate up to 300 students with no more than 15 in each individual class and will have a lot of green space for their physical and social development.

After a long consultation period, the Ministry has decided to use the following school facilities for parish primary schools: East End Primary, Francis Patton, Harrington Sound Primary, Elliot Primary, Victor Scott, West Pembroke School, Paget Primary, Purvis Primary, Dalton E. Tucker and Somerset Primary School.

All the other public primary schools on the island will be discontinued by 2027, and Prospect Primary in Devonshire will be repurposed as an exceptionalities signature school. The

rephasing process will commence after the 2022-23 school year and end around 2027. Despite this, a procurement manager for the project will be secured as early as this fall.
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