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Island needs to better understand its past, minister

Diallo Rabain (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda needs to sit at the feet of its elders to obtain their knowledge and the history of the island, Diallo Rabain, Education Minister, has said.

Giving an update in the House on the progress of the History and Legacy Working Group, the Minister said the island needed to better understand its past.

Mr Rabain told MPs: ”An African Proverb says ‘if we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors’.

“Often I hear in the community that Bermuda history is not captured sufficiently, that members of the public do not have a firm grasp of the Bermuda story, compared to other countries worldwide.

“This lack of understanding of our story can make people not appreciate or feel as attached to or proud of their island home.

“In December of last year, I announced the creation of the History and Legacy Working Group.

“Through the work of the History and Legacy Committee, it is intended to not only tell the story of the evolution of education in Bermuda but also ensure that the well-deserved pride in education delivery be restored.”

The Minister said the committee’s key aim was marking how Bermuda had evolved as a society.

He said: “Ultimate responsibility is to ensure the documentation of Bermuda's educational history – and make recommendations on the best ways to preserve, honour and commemorate the history and legacy of education in Bermuda.

“I am a firm believer in sitting at the feet of one's elders to obtain knowledge and wisdom.

“The working group’s knowledge and understanding of the impact that the sociopolitical, economic and religious climate had in shaping and “informing” the development of education in Bermuda was expanded.

“They also brought to light interesting facts that I did not know, such as nursery schools came into being when women started working outside of their homes more, post the Second World War and that the age to begin school was initially seven years old.

“There is even more to be explored and discussed, such as the many areas for learning in Bermuda. Institutions like the former Howard Academy, the Dockyard as a place of maritime learning or the specialised schools that have existed to provide education in specific career paths over the years will be a focus as well.

“With so much information to be unearthed and stories to be shared, it is imperative to have processes in place to ensure that all resources are organised and in good working order.

“I commend the History and Legacy Working Group for formalising the role and structure of the eventual History and Legacy Committee and proposing an organisational structure for them.

“The passion to understand, value, and appreciate the evolution and history of education in Bermuda heartens me, and I am excited for the opportunity to highlight and share that fervour and enthusiasm with the rest of the island.”

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Published March 23, 2022 at 7:25 am (Updated March 23, 2022 at 7:25 am)

Island needs to better understand its past, minister

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