Posted by: Ms Morris | January 15, 2010

Starting off on a good foot…

Despite recent events, I am going to start my first post of the new year on something that has made me truly happy.

I never supported the UBP Government’s decision to change the educational system, I thought it was a mistake from its very inception. I have always spoke in favor of returning the educational system to primary secondary, a position I have never wavered on. So I am delightened, in fact thrilled to read that the PLP Government are finally, seriously considering changing the system back to a primary/secondary system with the possibility of specialised schools. As my dear friend Jon would say: Sweet!

Yes, the plans are preliminary but if this is what the ministry has in mind then I’m all for it. And I also like that they are looking to make these changes as soon as possible. It is unfortunate that there will be possible job losses, especially in these hard economic times. At the same time with more students going into other schools, I suspect the student teacher ration will be affected. Maybe the Ministry can consider keeping some of these persons as teacher’s aids or assistants.

As a lover of the performing arts I am excited to hear about the possibility of an art’s focused senior school. Bermuda has such unbelievable talent that could be and should be developed. We could be producing more Twanee’s, Home Grown’s and Collibuds so fast! Maybe this is the reasoning behind the music studio in the Throne Speech? Before I let myself get carried away in the possibilities of a new and improved education system let me say this: If you think these proposed changes are a good idea then let the government know by any means available to you. Email, call, write a letter, stop them in the street if you have to. I have a whole theory on the change in the education system and our current social ills which explains my passion on this particular topic.

I never thought the issues within the previous school system were so problematic that they needed a complete revamp. It wasn’t that broke that it needed fixing.  Improvements within the system we had was what was required at the time.

And I do believe the middle school system is a failure in many  countries. That the Bermuda government is considering scrapping it for something better is ideal. I’m urging everyone and anyone who thinks that is the direction that the Ministry of Education should go to make their opinion known. If they are interested in listening give them something to hear. The positive affects for Bermuda are wide reaching.

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Responses

  1. “Maybe the Ministry can consider keeping some of these persons as teacher’s aids or assistants.”

    No Get rid of them. That is the problem with the ministry now, it is being run like a social programme. And our kids are feeling the effects. Too many failed teachers are being kept on the payroll within the MoEd and performing no better at their administration jobs.

    The MoEd is rife with nepotism and performance does not count for anything.

    Sack a few friends and family and watch the rest snap to.

    You want to educate our kids? First step is to have them educated by people who are qualified and are there for more than just the holidays.

    Next step is to get the parents off their behinds and into school on a regular basis. parental participation is key, not much even the good teachers can do if the kids are neglected at home.

    And yeah the middle school idea was plain stupid and whoever Ok’d that should be dragged out into the street and flogged. We definitely need to revert back to the primary/secondary system.

    I am not so sure we need another senior school built, why, is someone short on money? I am not sure I trust the government to carry it out within a reasonable budget and timeframe.

  2. Letz, sounds like you’re just as passionate as I am. 🙂

    I have to discagree with you on the senior schools. Too many students fall through the cracks there presently as well. Middle school may be the worst but it doesn’t stop there. And I don’t think we need to build another really large school. If we’re closing primary schools then those buildings should be used as your specialised senior schools. Northlands was a high school first a sensible possibility and Prospect is a viable option as a sports focused school since National stadium is so close.

    I must say I really, really want to see a performing arts school. and in order to do that you must have people who are appropriately trained. Teacher training and certification is necessity. The island does not benefit by having children who are not well taught. Like in any job that affects abother person’s psyche or future training shouud be mandatory and ongoing with certification. Government is supposed to be working to make this accross the board but I don’t think it would hurt to throw a little fire underneath their feet.

  3. Education system is nothing more than institutionalized racism.
    Corrupt tax haven that produces homosexuality and abortion.
    Instead of having five wives and seventeen children a man wants to marry a man.
    Trash it and create a welfare check so we can breed.

  4. I agree, Warwick Sec is ideal to revert back to a Senior school.

    i would like to see specialised schools as well, but they seem to be positioning them as replacements for academia, which they should not be. We should nurture the talent, but they also need to know how to think. Art without knowledge is just an empty vessel. What would the sports stars do if they were injured, or get old?

    I could see perhaps a specialised school for grades 12 and 13 with a strong focus on the children’s strengths, but they need the foundation to build on first.

    I really do not have a problem with the closing of schools, but 5 schools, is a pretty significant amount, and what will they do with those properties? There is little money to develop them, not without digging us further in debt.

    It is the teachers and the parents they need to focus on, not so much the facilities. A school house in an old barn would be fine as long as the teacher was dedicated and competent and the parents were involved at home.

    But I will have to say it looks like Dr. brown has FINALLY figured out what we have been saying for years, “The Premier said many people paid lip service to wanting change but when it came to actions such as sacking poorly performing teachers, they shied away from it.

    “Everybody wants to go to Heaven and nobody wants to die,” he said. “We don’t want to pay the price for change and improvement. We don’t want to put in the work any more.”

    Too little too late I am afraid.

  5. I don’t see specialised schools as a replacement for academia. It’s about developing the natural talents of young people. We can’t send people out into the world without having the tools to be productive in it. That’s part of the reason we’re in this violence mess in the first place.

    If the government is as serious and comitted to the education of our young people as they say they are (and I have to believe they are if they’re willing to make this turnabout) then they can find curriculums that will go well with the updated system.

    As for the buildings maybe they could turn it into office space. Since the deal to purchase John Swan’s building fell through. Wait did it fall through or was it only leaked? Either way it would save them money on buying property and it shouldnt take too much to convert the space into something appropriate.

    Since government apears to be doing its part then definitely it’s time for parents teachers and students for that matter, to pick up their game. Everyone plays a part and the blame game doesnt help anyone. Either way we’re heading in the right direction. While it is too late for some it’s not too late for many. I suppose the question now is what do we do for the ones who missed out?

  6. Hi Davida,

    Just wondering how does El James not making it to a meeting with parents about possible school closers and sending Mr. Monkman to the meeting only to have him tell the people that he has a dinner engagement with his wife before he even started his presentation.
    Are you sure that this government is serious about education?

    CDF (formally Ex-Progressive Mind)


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