East End MPs conspicuous by their silence on education reform
It is with great interest that I have taken in as much information as I can in relation to the Minister of Education’s plans for the future of educating our children in this island. I must admit that I find myself somewhat dismayed at a policy that lacks clarity as to the effects that it will have on the children involved.
What is particularly alarming to me is the lack of representation by the four area MPs for St George’s Parish. Where are the persons that were elected to represent the constituents of St George’s North (Renée Ming), St George’s West (Kim Swan), St David’s (Lovitta Fogo) and St George’s South (Tinée Furbert)?
The minister is about to destroy education in its fullness for the East End of the island and there is no voice raising the concerns of the constituents from among the elected officials.
The minister plans to close Clearwater Middle School as well as the three primary schools — St David’s Primary, St George’s Preparatory and East End Primary. What are parents living in the East End who don’t have great resources to overcome this hurdle supposed to do? Why is it necessary to close all three primary schools in order to renovate one? Would it not be more prudent to close the one you were going to renovate; renovate it and get it ready for occupation; and then when the job is done, close the other schools and open the newly renovated school?
It would seem that very little consideration has been given to the interruption that will be caused by these closures. No sound reasoning would seem to be in place for carrying out these changes in this way.
Fellow OBA candidate Glenn Tucker recently wrote a very thought-provoking opinion on the closure of these schools, and I would like to echo his concerns. He talked of the needs of those with learning difficulties and those who are neurodiverse. Has consideration been given regarding the impact these changes will have on these most vulnerable individuals? The arrogance of the minister to steer clear of the public forums held on this issue speaks volumes to the attitude of this present government. By his own admission in Parliament, he attended in person a mere four of 40 stakeholder meetings.
Was it not a government minister who made the statement “We don’t want your vote” — or words to that effect? What do these actions demonstrate to the public? Obviously, not a government that is concerned about the issues of the constituents!
Once again, let me state my concern over the lack of representation by Progressive Labour Party MPs elected to represent the East End of the island. There would appear to be no concern for the effect that the proposed moves will have on both child and parent. What is even more troubling is the lack of concern by this present government over the impact that it is having on the voters/constituents who are affected by these proposals.
It is obvious that Bermuda needs to move to a government that will be more concerned with the wishes of those that elect them. I truly hope that this present government will see the folly of its ways and change course.
• Thomas Harvey is the adopted One Bermuda Alliance candidate for St George’s West (Constituency 2)
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