Announcement very soon’ on report cards
A date for the first new style report cards for public school- children is still up in the air, the education minister admitted yesterday.
Diallo Rabain said that discussions would begin “this week” with Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education, Department of Education officers, head teachers and the Bermuda Union of Teachers “in determining revisions to the roll-out of grades and report cards”.
He added: “An announcement will be made very soon on when those report cards will be released.”
Mr Rabain was speaking a day after teachers and principals received training in the new standards-based grading after a request from the Bermuda Union of Teachers.
He said that the training was led by a steering committee formed in October of teachers, principals and education officers.
Mr Rabain added: “I also thank the committee for developing the plan, which recharts our course for becoming a standards-based education system.”
He said that information about the plan would be provided “later this month”.
Mr Rabain added that teacher training would continue “until we get to the point where standards-based grading is where it needs to be within our system”.
Wednesday’s teacher training was held at the Fairmont Southampton.
The cost of renting the venue was not revealed.
Mr Rabain also confirmed that a work-to-rule by public school head teachers continued.
The industrial action by members of the Bermuda Public Services Union began in October.
Ms Richards said that “ongoing discussions” had been held with the union since the work-to-rule started.
She added: “We will continue those discussions this month.”
Ms Richards, who was speaking in public for the first time since she was appointed commissioner in September, said that she worked for pupils.
She explained: “Decisions and actions taken are always in the best interest of children.”
Ms Richards pledged to work with school officials, the union and teachers to “ensure that our children get the best”.
Shannon James, BUT president, said yesterday that the union looked forward to working with the ministry to “ensure that our children have the best education possible”.
He added: “In particular, I would like to thank the steering committee for their work in helping to find solutions to the issues we have highlighted.
“They are a group of educators who came together to chart the way forward with standards-based grading, who worked tirelessly over the holiday and fully understood the brevity and enormity of the task ahead and crafted a four-year plan for the successful implementation of the SBG methodology.”
Teachers and the Government have been locked in conflict over a range of problems, including standards-based grading, which the teaching union said had added stress to already overburdened staff.
On Wednesday, Ms Richards apologised to teachers for “insufficient support, training and communication, and for the impact that it has had on principals, teachers and schools”.
Mr Rabain said yesterday that the Department of Education and the BUT had agreed to meet monthly to improve communication.
He added that the Ministry of Education would hold briefings every month to provide updates to the public.