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Rabain wants talks with teachers after no confidence vote in education leadership

Under fire: Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, and Kalmar Richards, the Education Commissioner (File photograph)

The education minister today offered an olive branch to teachers who passed a vote of no confidence in him and senior education staff.

Diallo Rabain said that he had had no communication from the Bermuda Union of Teachers since the vote, which called for senior education department staff to be replaced, but that he was keen to keep dialogue open.

He said: “I have heard that there’s been a vote of no confidence – unfortunately there has not been any correspondence from the Bermuda Union of Teachers on exactly what it is based on but we will continue to reach out to them.

“The last meeting we had with them was last Wednesday before they had their emergency meeting and we were moving ahead – we had discussions and we talked about the various options to return to school.

“We will continue to keep the lines of communication open. I know that in the meeting I did have with the Bermuda Union of Teachers I believe that I did say we should consider having a third party come in and actually help us work through some of the issues that we were having at that time.

“We’re still waiting to hear from the Bermuda Union of Teachers about that offer. But hopefully we’ll be taken up on that offer and we can move forward.”

Mr Rabain was speaking after the Bermuda Union of Teachers passed the motion of no confidence in him, the ministry’s permanent secretary Valerie Robinson-James and Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education.

Reasons for the rift have yet to be revealed, but it is understood that teachers had felt ignored and that the BUT was not given enough respect.

Mr Rabain said “I do believe that all we can do is get together and talk, get around the table and talk and discuss ideas on what is the best way forward for our students.

“As long as all of us keep that in mind … remember, schools only exist to educate students.

Mr Rabain highlighted that schools were not there for ministers, civil servants or teachers, but for pupils.

He said: “They exist for students – and if students are not there, there’s no need for anyone else to be around.

“We have to get back to that centre of what is best for the students and what we need to reform. My door is always open.“

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Published February 16, 2022 at 7:32 pm (Updated February 16, 2022 at 8:55 pm)

Rabain wants talks with teachers after no confidence vote in education leadership

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