House: details on middle school reform
A prototype for the phasing out of middle schools was unveiled in parliament today.
Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, outlined “sweeping positive changes” for a two-tier education system along with the introduction of signature schools.
Mr Rabain, who last gave an update on the plans in March, said: “Without doubt, to phase out middle schools and introduce signature schools, is the flagship education commitment of this Government to the people of Bermuda.
“Using design-thinking and prototypes allows us to design and test the proposals, improve upon them and test again to produce changes that meet the promise of the Government and the current and future needs of our community.”
Mr Rabain said that more students who would have attended middle schools will, at a younger age, have access to City and Guilds and NCCER certifications as well as other international certifications, expanded dual enrolment with the senior schools, and employability skills.
“This is being developed to expose our students to a broader variety of potential life interests at an earlier age,” he said.
Signature school students who are preparing for postsecondary education, training and employment will participate in co-operative education, work placements, apprenticeships and internships.
“This is not only to prepare students for postsecondary education, training and employment, but to help students grow in the world as thinkers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who will lead and further develop Bermudian society.”
Educators will be expected to obtain new sets of qualifications that meet international standards, Mr Rabain said.
He added that the new system requires “modern, fit-for-purpose facilities” and calls for the development and recruitment of School Redesign Teams.
Over the last two months, the first prototype has been shared with education stakeholders and that presentations are planned for the wider public.
Mr Rabain said that the idea of an Education Authority “is still very much being considered” and discussions with advisory group Bermuda First, which recommended the move, are still ongoing.
“We will transform our current system from three-tier to two-tier based on best practices and genuine input from the Bermuda community. Our goal is to provide our children with the structure, resources, and support to enable them to participate in, profit from and lead the 21st Century economy of Bermuda.”
• To read Diallo Rabain's statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”