Education is a community affair
If Bermuda is to resolve what has become a dilemma in our education system, the entire community must be involved.
In other words, whatever system is implemented to improve methods for teaching our children can be successful only with full participation of parents, teachers and the entire community.
There are obviously problems within the system that only those directly involved would have access to on a daily basis. What most people are deeply concerned about is having our teachers resorting to work stoppages to highlight matters they feel are not getting proper attention from the education ministry.
Somehow without attempting to say who may be at fault in disputes between teachers and the ministry, at least there is the appearance that something is dreadfully wrong in communication.
Apart from the many issues that much of the public will not be privy to regarding our education system, communication between the ministry and the teaching fraternity may in fact be the main problem. Of even greater concern is that such issues if allowed to persist could add to the many problems that already exist with parents and guardians struggling in a tight economic climate to keep young minds focused amid so many negative distractions.
Although governments have a lot on their plate in a world where there are so many challenging situations that impact people globally, the education of children in the most effective manner is vital for future generations. We cannot turn back the clock to a time when there were fewer distractions for students. Even during that period, there were problems, which is the case in just about every area of community life.
What is most important is not the actual problem, but whether both sides in a dispute can keep the motor running while diligently seeking a solution. Over the years, we have seen work stoppages in many categories to protest this or that situation. That is a right that must be protected, although workers usually take that step as a last resort. Also over the years, there has been improved legislation to address disputes before they spiral into work stoppages that often hurt both sides.
Bermuda needs an effective education system not only from an academic point of view, but a system where parents, teachers and the community are on the same hymn sheet — working closer together in dealing with problem students, while ensuring that proper values for life are key factors in the educational process.
It will be a major task, and that is why the community must play an important role as part of the process. However, not much will happen unless there is a giant step taken in improving communication between the Government, the teachers and the community.
It is not a question of winning or losing points. It is a question of how best to provide our children with an education that will not only make them successful, but good citizens for a better Bermuda.