Education

Community urged to shape education plan

  • Minister of Education Cole Simons (File photograph)
  • Jeremiah Newell

Community volunteers are being sought to help plan the future of Bermuda’s education system.

People will be given training so they can act as hosts for “community conversations” designed to gather input from all walks of life, education minister Cole Simons said today.

American-based education expert Jeremiah Newell has been hired to help develop a strategic plan for education, Mr Simons told the House of Assembly as he updated MPs on progress in his ministry.

“I call upon the entire community in Bermuda to join with the Board of Education and be a part of this strategic planning process, Mr Simons said.

“The goal of the Board is to have a transformative public education strategy that is developed by Bermudians for Bermudians, as the success of public school education affects everyone.”

The minister said the core elements of the strategic planning approach include:

• training volunteers for community facilitators;

• identifying community leaders to serve as hosts for community conversations;

• authentic community engagement through small group, community held conversations;

• administering a survey to gather island-wide community input on public education;

• establishment of an Ambassador Design Team: a diverse group of strategic planning writers.

“I solicit the support and input of the entire community — parents, students, teachers, principals, guardians, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, small and large business owners, business professionals, retirees, churches, sporting clubs, everyone who cares about the future of Bermuda — to participate in the upcoming community conversations that you will be hearing more about,” he said.

“Additionally, for those who may not be able to attend a community conversation, an online survey is currently available on the Ministry of Education website at www.moed.bm to provide your input. We have over 200 responses to this survey already. This will be a strategic plan based on the input from the community.”

Dr Newell, the CEO of Jeremiah Newell and Associates, has “significant experience in designing and leading strategic planning processes for public school systems”, Mr Simons said.

“He specialises in transforming public education agencies into high performing, learning-focused organisations,” he said.

“For more than a decade, Dr Newell has worked in diverse, large and complex education systems to drive strategic change and improvement.

“Dr Newell and the Commissioner of Education, Freddie Evans, will work closely together to lead out on this strategic planning project during the upcoming months.”

Two final stakeholder information sessions are scheduled for the first week in April that will include representatives from private schools and the business sector, and then the public community at large.

To see Mr Simons’ statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”