Diallo Rabain remarks
Rabain commits to signature schools for 2021
Specialist signature schools will be introduced in the 2021-22 school year, the education minister has promised.
Diallo Rabain said that the Ministry of Education hoped to open two of the schools by September next year after “widespread public consultation”.
The move is part of a plan to phase out middle schools and replace them with signature schools, which provide secondary school-aged pupils with specialised academic and technical education.
Mr Rabain said: “I want to remind all that changing a decades-old school system doesn’t happen overnight. Education is like a massive ship. It does not turn on a dime.”
He added: “Instead of rushing in with unrealistic promises, we will take our time — we will measure twice, or as many times needed, to get this right.
“I know that reform doesn’t always happen fast enough, but, I can say this — we are committed to our students and ensuring that they have every opportunity possible.”
Mr Rabain said: “I want to assure Bermuda that we have started the necessary process to rid ourselves of middle schools and introduce a system that will provide our country with quality graduates and we will finish the job.”
Mr Rabain was speaking at a press conference at the Progressive Labour Party Alaska Hall headquarters on Court Street, Hamilton.
He said that the Ministry of Education had started talks on how to restructure the public-school system with consultancy group Innovation Unit Australia New Zealand, which was signed up in March to help with the transition.
The contract with the organisation will last three years.
Mr Rabain said that vocational and business education would be introduced alongside academic education so that pupils could “recognise the importance of trades in our economy”.
He added that the education ministry would ensure that “critical early education is paramount with the already developed foundation year curriculum”.
Mr Rabain said that teachers would also get more support, which would include professional development and education programmes.
He added that an Authority for Public Education would also be introduced and would be responsible for the management of school performance.
Mr Rabain said that Bermudian history would move to the forefront of both public and private-school education.
He added: “No matter where you go to school in Bermuda, it is critical and necessary for students to know and understand our history, our culture and our heritage.”
Mr Rabain also proposed the construction of a “multimillion-dollar career development centre” at Bermuda College to concentrate on technology and IT innovation.
He added that the centre would have a construction budget of $3.5 million.
Mr Rabain said that the centre would “produce jobs for construction workers within Bermuda”.
He added: “In this age of online learning, we will strengthen already existing ties with The University of the West Indies virtual open campus to expand the curricula available to our students.”
• To read Diallo Rabain’s remarks, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”
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