Diallo Rabain remarks
Help for pupils with behavioural problems
Two special support centres for troubled school pupils are to be created, the education minister announced yesterday.
Diallo Rabain said that the Department of Education would introduce two support centres for primary, middle and senior school pupils.
He added: “There has been $512,000 allocated in this year’s budget to establish these centres and hire additional education therapists, school counsellors and a social worker.”
Mr Rabain added: “This has been something our teachers and parents have been asking for and we are responding to the needs of our students.”
He said that teachers were “at times faced with behavioural challenges that go beyond what they can handle within the classroom”.
He added that, although the Government had introduced the multi-tiered system of support programme, designed to provide help to pupils with behavioural and academic problems, “we still find that some students require additional assistance”.
Mr Rabain said: “Those students with severe behaviours require consistent daily interventions and support, something that cannot be given in the traditional classroom setting by the traditional classroom teacher.”
He was speaking as he highlighted the Ministry of Education’s priorities for the 2020-21 financial year.
The minister said that $1.4 million had been allocated to the restructure and redesign of the public school system in line with Plan 2022 — the Government’s blueprint for education.
Mr Rabain said the plan outlined “the longer-term transformational strategies for establishing specialised schools and the need to renovate and/or consolidate school facilities”.
He added: “This requires planning, redesign and the reconfiguration of our schools.
“The ministry has identified the need for external help; help that specialises in change management is needed.”
Mr Rabain said that the Government would hire experts in the field this year.
He added: “Soon we will commence consultation with the various stakeholders to share with them the framework of the future of public schools in Bermuda so we can begin the process of collaboration to get us moving in that direction”.
Mr Rabian said that the Government would continue to fund the College Promise programme at Bermuda College.
The programme was set up for Bermudian pupils who graduated from public high schools with a grade point average of at least 3.0.
The minister said: “Qualifying students will continue to attend Bermuda College tuition free, with $250,000 allocated to this programme for 2020-21.”
He added that 23 pupils were on the programme at present.
Mr Rabain said that the three areas highlighted in his speech were only a “snapshot” of initiatives planned for 2020-21 and said people should listen to him deliver the education ministry’s Budget Brief in the House of Assembly on March 13.
He added that the 2020-21 year would bring “continued growth and progress in improving our public education system”.
However, he warned that the year “will see some very difficult conversations and decisions having to be made”.
Mr Rabain said: “The Ministry of Education will remain focused on the task at hand; we will work diligently and not shy away from making the difficult decisions necessary to restore the public’s confidence and ensure our children have the best.”
• To read Diallo Rabain’s remarks in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”
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