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Simons hits back at PLP on education

The Opposition is playing fast and loose with the facts when it comes to labour relations and school reforms, according to the education minister.

Cole Simons' statement comes following a Progressive Labour Party press conference held yesterday, in which shadow Diallo Rabain outlined a series of proposed changes to the education system.

PLP MP Rolfe Commissiong and Senator Tinee Furbert also spoke at the event.

Mr Simons accused the PLP of having a “short memory” prior to the Government taking power in 2012.

“Budget cutbacks, teacher redundancies, lack of consultation, lack of collaboration, protracted contract negations and arrogance — all contributed to a widespread dissatisfaction and disappointment with the PLP's management of the school system,” the minister said.

“For 14 years the PLP failed Bermuda's students. Yet they now claim to have all the answers.”

Mr Simons said it was “shameful” that the party was now using children to prop their own “political mischievousness”.

Pointing to Mr Rabain's call to eliminate social promotion, Mr Simons said that it currently does not exist within the public system.

“Our students are not being promoted to the next level without first meeting established minimum requirements,” he said.

Referencing a likewise call for the inclusion of Bermuda history in all school systems, Mr Simons said the topic is currently covered in social studies areas including history, geography and civics.

A promise to implement fully integrated technical education is currently “in train”.

“We value the work of our teachers, our school principals, our educators and Department of Education staff and will ensure that we serve collaboratively in the best interests of our children,” Mr Simons said.

Cole Simons, education minister (File photograph)

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Published May 30, 2017 at 6:07 pm (Updated May 30, 2017 at 6:07 pm)

Simons hits back at PLP on education

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