Ministry silent on Evans reports

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  • Freddie Evans as Commissioner of Education

    Freddie Evans as Commissioner of Education

The Ministry of Education has refused to confirm or deny whether calls have been made for the termination of Freddie Evans as Commissioner of Education.

ZBM news reported that Ministry of Education sources made the claim he was sent a letter telling him as much.

The Ministry of Education refused to comment to The Royal Gazette on whether Dr Evans’s future as commissioner was in question or whether he was considered to be fulfilling his role.

Dr Evans also refused to comment when contacted directly.

Dr Evans was appointed as Commissioner of Education in March, welcomed by the chairman of the Board of Education Curtis Dickinson. The appointment, whose responsibility lies with the Public Services Commission, ended a long stint with no dedicated commissioner in place since the resignation of Edmond Heatley in 2014. Dr Evans, who has worked in the Bermuda public school system for 25 years, had previously been acting commissioner.

Since in the seat, he has led the development of a multi-year transformative Strategic Plan for the Public School System, which will be implemented during the next academic school year.

He hired education expert Dr Jeremiah Newell, who has turned around many failing schools in the US, to help guide the process.

When interviewed by The Royal Gazette on his appointment as commissioner, Dr Evans pledged to build support for students in the system who had experienced trauma and to champion sports and the arts. He also said he was in the job for the long term and looked forward to serving for at least ten years.

His tenure has been hampered by ongoing problems in the public education system.

Dellwood Middle School children were late returning to school after the summer break because of mould issues. Dellwood principal Tina Duke, however, publicly thanked Dr Evans and education minister Diallo Rabain for their close involvement in that situation [see separate story]. TN Tatem had gone through similar issues last year.

Before the summer break, teachers voted to work-to-rule over the failure to come to a collective bargaining agreement over several issues, including scale posts.

Earlier this month, a last-minute plan to combine two autism programmes just over a week before the school term started sparked a backlash from parents. Departure from routine and continuity can cause anxiety for those on the autism spectrum.

The Government quickly did a U-turn and scrapped the plan. In a letter shared with this newspaper at the time, Dr Evans offered his “sincere apology” and took full responsibility for the move.

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Published Sep 20, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 20, 2017 at 6:52 am)

Ministry silent on Evans reports

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