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Sunday, April 16, 2006 

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Why public schools are failing our kids

Meredith Ebbin
Senior Writer

Government MP Renee Webb this week called for power to be taken out of the hands of the education ministry and returned to those who are working on the front lines — principals and teachers. She also said parents should be given more of a say in education by having them elect their own school boards.

Ms. Webb sparked debate when she told Parliament that government high school graduation rates — 53 per cent last June — were not good enough. In a special feature in today’s paper, the Bermuda Sun reports comments from three educators and a parent. All four were unanimous on two ills — a top-heavy education ministry and a tendency to adopt the latest fad. Ms. Webb told us: “I agree it is top heavy — as a consequence education is too centralized in the hands of the Ministry. We need to put education back in the hands of principals, teachers and parents.”

She also said the ministry’s tendency to latch onto the latest fad had been “to the detriment of children”.

Our interviewees lauded good facilities, well-equipped classrooms and a high level of support for children with disabilities. But two faulted public education for failing to come up with a curriculum geared to students who are interested in trades careers. And while many teachers were excellent, some were said to be inept. Officials from the Education Ministry did not respond to our request for comment.

Copyright 2006, Bermuda Sun Ltd

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