How can Premier David Burt defend Education Minister Diallo Rabain for his comments—even if they were from last year?
Out of context? There is no context in education when a Minister dismisses parents and teachers from asking questions in the face of a sweeping education reform.
Refusing to share research findings to support public school reforms is unacceptable. Sharing research with parents and teachers has everything to do with those directly responsible for educating our children. The Education Minister is being seen as willfully withholding information requested by Parent Teacher Associations and educators, period.
While the Minister is professing transparency and saying he’s listening to the people in Bermuda, he is doing exactly the opposite. Parents are being misled! The Minister is either blatantly discriminating against educators and parents or is willfully withholding evidence to enable parents and teachers to evaluate and challenge his decisions
Parents and teachers have a right to know what’s going on and how it will impact their children.
The Minister doubles down in a video clip stating their views don’t matter anyway. This is the exact opposite of transparency. If the Minister is doing the right thing, then there’s no reason to keep research or any information related to educating students hidden.
This recent video clip exposes the Minister’s lack of transparency. People have a right to know and a right to ask questions. People are calling out for answers and the answers are not coming.
Minister Rabain stated publicly in his November 2020 Throne Speech initiative that his Ministry would work collaboratively with education stakeholders as they are part of the foundation of the education reform. He also promised to apply the guiding principles of transparency, inclusivity, and engagement to the redesign of the public-school system to produce a system the Bermudian public deserves.
Now, how can the Minister refuse to share data with the very people he collected the data from? A Minister who refuses the need for transparency is missing the opportunity for educators, parents, and stakeholders to test or prove the education reforms are really fit for the purpose. Sharing research findings is a good faith demonstration to educators that their voices matter; looking at the research and determining whether an idea can be turned into a reality.
When the Minister of Education reveals substantial public education reform, all of Bermuda’s stakeholders in education should have access to research. The Minister should welcome feedback. If public opinion doesn’t matter to the education minister, then he’s in the wrong role. Again, the One Bermuda Alliance is calling for him to resign.