OBA poses string of questions over plans for new academic year
A string of questions have been asked by the shadow education minister about what plans are in place for the next academic year.
Ben Smith, a One Bermuda Alliance senator, called for information about Covid-19 rules as well as whether schools were properly equipped.
He said: “With the new academic year about to begin, why hasn’t the Department of Education published its plan in order for both parents and teachers alike to know what to expect?
“What will be the Covid protocols for students and teachers? Can teachers have access to their classrooms after school and on weekends to do prep work or will this continue to be restricted in some schools?
“Will teachers have to continue to carry out the cleaning protocols in schools if and when the cleaning isn’t being executed to a satisfactory level?
“Will we continue to see classes shut down and students fall behind if there is a Covid outbreak? What have we learnt from the last two years?”
It was announced in July that $150 per public school pupil would be available from the Government to help parents and guardians cover back-to-school expenses.
The Ministry of Education said last week that staff were working to make sure the one-time payments will be ready in time to assist with preparations for the new year.
Mr Smith asked: “While a number of parents will receive funds from the Government to return to school, have all schools been given the supplies needed for reopening?
“When the funding was announced for households, a teacher expressed the need for computers and other supplies for schools in the media. Have technological needs been satisfied?”
He said: “Have we increased the number of supply teachers in the Bermuda public school system so that the coverage of long term absenteeism or illness isn’t stretching teachers to capacity?
“Is there an updated plan for support on curtailing truancy of students? What is the education plan for preventing our students from being recruited into gangs?
“Parents need to know that along with the new plans for education, the basic needs for safety are being addressed.”
The Government has been contacted for comment.