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Historic dissertation made available online

A dissertation dealing with racial bias in Bermuda's education system written more than 40 years ago will now be available online.

People will be able to access Muriel Wade-Smith's A Survey to Identify and Prioritise Goals for the Bermudian Education System in digital form through the Bermuda National Library.

Dr Wade-Smith said that her dissertation, submitted in 1978, was about “the goals of education in this country”.

She added that she had compared the goals of education models for other places with Bermuda's as outlined by the Department of Education in 1948.

Dr Wade-Smith said: “What struck me was that all the other places never mentioned race, but Bermuda's did.

“To me, the goals were biased against children in the public school system, which were mostly black.

“My recommendation was that we included different groups in re-establishing what the goals in education should be.”

She said that her friends and family had told her that the act of making the dissertation available was “long overdue”.

But she added: “I say everything happens in its time.”

Dr Wade-Smith said that yesterday marked the start of what she had predicted last year of the “volcanic eruption” that was needed in education.

She added: “I believe that today is the beginning of good fortune for education for Bermuda's children.” Dr Wade-Smith said: “I believe that I have been commissioned to bring about two elements in the education of Bermuda's children.”

She said of the those areas was African-centric education.

Dr Wade-Smith said: “It is incumbent upon us that we give our children their history, and their, culture, and their roots.”

She identified the other element as justice.

Dr Wade-Smith said: “Justice is conduct that shows that one is acting in accordance with what is morally right or fair.

“So if we want the tumbling out of the blessings, we must prepare ourselves to deal with Bermuda's education system from truth and justice.”

She added: “Sometimes the truth hurts, but it brings us to a better place.”

Dr Wade-Smith was a co-founder of the Bermuda Christian Deliverance Academy in 1994.

She later opened other schools in the Caribbean.

Dr Wade-Smith apprenticed at the Berkeley Institute in 1960 and later went on to work at a local primary school.

She received her first degree, a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Miami University, in 1971.

She completed her Masters of Education three years later in 1974 and later her Doctorate of Philosophy in Elementary School Administration and Early Childhood Education.

Diallo Rabain, the Minster of Education, said that Dr Wade-Smith “embodied what it means to exhibit Bermudian academic excellence in every way”.

He added: “She has been a pillar of strength in her community and shown what it means to advocate for children and education here in Bermuda.”

Mr Rabain said that Dr Wade-Smith had made “significant contributions” to the academic community in Bermuda.

He said: “She has also worked diligently to spread her knowledge and expertise internationally.”

Mr Rabain said that it was important that Bermudian contributions to academics were not forgotten. He added: “Our aim is to glean insight and knowledge from present and past works of academia to inspire the course of Bermudian education moving forward.”

Wise words: Muriel Wade-Smith's 40-year-old dissertation on education in Bermuda is now available online (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published September 07, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated September 08, 2019 at 12:42 pm)

Historic dissertation made available online

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