Diallo Rabain Statement
Rabain backs Richards on report deadline
A directive by the education commissioner for student progress reports to be issued by the end of the month will be met, the education minister said yesterday.
Diallo Rabain said: “Nothing in life is guaranteed, but as far as I am concerned, the commissioner has issued the end of February as the timeline ... and that is the date that they will be released.”
He was speaking after Kalmar Richards set the deadline for public primary and middle schools staff last week.
Ms Richards said in her letter that a second progress report would be sent to parents in April, with a final report card in June.
Mr Rabain was asked whether the announced dates were supported by the Bermuda Union of Teachers and the Bermuda Public Services Union, which represents principals.
He said that “conversations are taking place” which involve both unions.
The minister also gave an update on talks with both unions.
Mr Rabian said that he had met the BUT on January 28 for a “very productive” quarterly meeting “that focused on collaboration with the ministry and identifying areas for transforming the public school system”.
He added that a joint consultative committee meeting held with the BUT and the Department of Education was also held last month where “several concerns” raised by the union in December were “discussed and resolved”.
Mr Rabain said the concerns included new phone systems for Prospect Preschool and Dalton E. Tucker Primary School and fire alarm upgrades.
But Mr Rabain added that the BUT had asked for the assistance of the labour office for talks on problems that included primary school substitute teachers and the hiring of teachers on yearly contracts.
He said the meeting would take place next week.
Mr Rabain also discussed talks on a work-to-rule launched by principals last October.
He said that meetings with school principals had made “meaningful progress”.
Mr Rabain added: “Of the 24 issues that were initially submitted, there are only three matters that remain outstanding.”
He said the rest involved pupil services, the school improvement plan and standards-based grading.
Mr Rabain added that talks with the BPSU aimed at ending the industrial action had resumed last week
He said: “We are now waiting to hear back from the principals.”
Mr Rabian also discussed “comprehensive” IT audits that were conducted in all 18 primary schools last month.
The schools with the greatest number of problems were Francis Patton, Port Royal and Victor Scott.
He added: “These issues comprised ageing Cannon multifunction devices, and non-working smartboards and smartboard projectors.”
Mr Rabain said that the audit found that 28 computers needed to be replaced.
He said the IT team would be back in the schools over the next two weeks to fix the problems.
Mr Rabain said that the IT team had also contacted suppliers to look at the possibility of “delivering fibre-optic connectivity and increasing bandwidth to all schools within our system”.
He added: “The IT team is also working on finalising a solution for reducing the response time of PowerSchool, the department’s internal communication platform for parents, teachers, principals and students.”
• To read the Minister of Education’s full statement, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”
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