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Scott: Back to school message

Wayne Scott, the Minister of Education(File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Minister of Education has extended his best wishes for success to the students who are starting the new school year today and their parents.

More than 5,000 preschool, primary, middle and high school students are attending Bermuda’s public schools this year — some of them for the first time.

“I’d like to wish all our students, our teachers, our principals and support staff a successful and productive 2015/16 school year,” said Wayne Scott.

“To our parents and guardians, you can be assured that the ministry will put your children first. We are committed to meeting the educational needs of each student so that they can reach their full potential. This year we look forward to a year of ongoing collaboration with our key stakeholders — that is, our students, parents, teachers, principals, unions and the community at large.”

Mr Scott added that the Ministry of Education will be encouraging greater parental involvement in the school communities to support the academic success and achievement of every child.

“The priorities of our education system will comprise the continuation of the middle school transformation plan, and the national strategies for math and for literacy which are all three-year initiatives. “New system priorities this school year include the implementation of a multi-tier support system for all schools, which introduces a framework of high quality support for student behaviour and academic success, and the introduction of an inquiry framework for early childhood education.”

Freddie Evans, the Acting Commissioner of Education, added: “We welcome our students back as they begin a new academic school year. It is with great anticipation that this year will be an exceptional one for our students. “The Department of Education is very fortunate to have committed and competent teachers, caring and involved parents, and both energetic and engaged students who are ready to embark on focused learning for achieving good success.”

Dr Evans also said that the “infusion and use of technology in the classroom” will be improved this year.

He said students can expect to be engaged with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) learning, that is specifically aligned with marine science, mathematics and design and technology.

Dr Evans said: “Our plan is to not only talk about Stem, but to initiate, practice and utilise the expertise available in these areas.

“The Department of Education is encouraging teachers, students, community partners and businesses to share their ideas, skills and knowledge in these areas so that the Stem teaching and learning experience becomes a reality in the classrooms for moving our students from strength to strength.”

Lovitta Foggo, the Shadow Minister of Education, also extended her best wishes to students and teachers “who will be working hard to achieve the goals set for themselves over the next school year”.

“It is that time of year again, when students and teachers head back into the schools to begin another year of learning, teaching, and mutual enrichment and development,” said the Progressive Labour Party MP.

“We have some excellent professionals in the Ministry of Education, who have been tasked with educating our youth and preparing them for the future. We wish them well in the delivery of these tasks.

“We also have many capable students in our system who are achieving great things,” she said.

“We support you and encourage you throughout this year and look forward to outstanding results.”