Thursday 26 November, 2020

Bermuda begins public school transformation process

Bermuda education minister Diallo Rabain. (Photo via gov.bm)

Bermuda education minister Diallo Rabain. (Photo via gov.bm)

Bermuda education minister Diallo Rabain has assured the population that the transformation of the country’s public school system will be “authentically Bermudian.”

He was speaking at a media conference Wednesday.

He noted one of the government’s 2020 platform initiatives for education reform states: “complete the transformation of the Bermuda public school system...(and) provide a more equitable education system that produces graduates who can choose either vocation or academic careers…and implement a two-tier school system with the phasing-out of middle schools and the introduction of signature schools at the secondary school level.”

 Rabain provided an update on the work of the education ministry’s governance team and the assistance received from the team of education change agents from Innovation Unit (IU) Australia New Zealand Limited. 

“There have been a few people who have asked why we have contracted with an external body that has experience in this area to design Bermuda’s school system. I repeat what I have said numerous times already, that is not the case. Bermudians are designing our future school system. But what is necessary (for) an environment where you are dealing with change and complex change is that you need people who are experienced in change management which is an actual discipline. And that is the reason why the Innovation Unit has been brought on board. As it is critical to ensure we have a school system that is specifically for Bermuda, the concept, design, and execution of our reform will be carried out by Bermudians.” 

He said the government’s education reform consists of school structural redesign which encompasses the phasing out of middle schools and the introduction of a two-tier system that includes signature schools at the senior level. He added the reform consisted of implementing the “learning first” phase that will address the required changes to education to create a more equitable system. He explained learning first is an ambitious system reform programme to collaboratively design an improved school system with a focus on classroom learning. 

He reported stakeholder and community consultation will take place from October 2020 to April 2021 “and be used to develop and realise an authentically Bermudian, best in class, school system.” 

“It is critical for us to have a system that is authentically designed for Bermuda. The ministry of education is committed to sharing opportunities to participate and we have planned several activities to involve internal stakeholders – students, principals, teachers, and education professionals, education advocates, and the general community. We intend to keep the guiding principles of transparency, inclusivity, and engagement to the redesign of the public-school system to produce a system the Bermudian public deserves.”

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