“The Ministry of Education has been allocated a budget of $135.25 million, representing an increase of $7.2 million compared with last year’s budget,” Minister of Education Diallo Rabain said.
Minister Rabain said, “Today, I would like to share the Ministry of Education’s 2022/23 Budget highlights.
“The Ministry of Education provides an invaluable service to the people of Bermuda and our nearly 4,400 students. Being the only school system in Bermuda that is truly comprehensive, our work is essential and rewarding as it contributes to our country’s growth and prosperity.
“In addition to the ongoing work to provide high-quality educational services to our students enrolled in the Bermuda Public School System from pre to senior school and at Bermuda College and continuing the work of the Bermuda Libraries and Archives, in the 2022/23 fiscal year, we will undertake the work needed to advance the reformation of our education system. This includes:
- 1. Transforming our public schools,
- 2. Preparing for the implementation of the Education Authority; and
- 3. Putting a much-needed spotlight on the preservation of our educational history.
“The Ministry of Education has been allocated a budget of $135.25 million, representing an increase of $7.2 million compared with last year’s budget. The bulk of this increase, some $4.4 million, is a result of the expiry of the 10% austerity measures agreed to by our union partners [$3.1 million], and the salary uplifts agreed to when all Bermuda Union of Teacher posts were regraded in 2019 [$1.3 million]. The balance, just over $2.8 million, consists of funds required to continue Bermuda’s Education Reform [$2.6 million] and minor related operational costs [$240k].
“Despite this overall increase, we have taken seriously the need to review budgets across the board and can report that efficiencies resulting in budget reductions have been found in:
- The Bermuda College Annual Grant,
- CedarBridge’s Academy Grant,
- The Department of Education,
- The Department of Libraries and Archives,
- Grant allocations to private agencies,
- And operational expenses, including travel, communications, and professional services.
“These reductions have been essential to ensure that Education Reform remains the priority of the Ministry of Education.
Transforming our public schools
“The upcoming fiscal year will see the implementation of new policies that ensure a public school system that achieves the vision we have for each and every learner, that being an inclusive, equitable and future-focused system for Bermuda.
“One of the significant highlights in the coming fiscal year includes the scheduled launching of the new signature learning programmes at CedarBridge Academy and The Berkeley Institute in September 2022.
“CedarBridge Academy will offer Trades and Professions along with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, otherwise known as STEM, while the Berkeley Institute will offer Health and Social Care along with Financial and Insurance Services. These signature programmes will make up to 30% of the incoming S1 students’ curriculum, with the other 70% being the existing core curriculum.
“During the past year, through the Learning First initiative, educators, leaders, young people and their parents and business and community partners have been working to develop improved approaches to learning, teaching, and schooling aligned with 21st Century best practices. The work has been exciting and includes designing and testing with stakeholders the new features of transformed public schools and developing and executing the system conditions required for their successful implementation.
“I am excited about what is in store for our students, especially for our current M3 students who are, as we speak, engaged in a process to help them choose their Signature Learning Programme and, therefore Senior School that they will enter this coming September.
“We will also begin to conduct surveys of our existing school buildings in the next few weeks. These inspections are necessary to develop a phased and costed roadmap for our Education Reform agenda’s building and construction programme component.
“This roadmap is necessary to pave the path for the opening of some Parish Primary Schools and additional Signature Schools scheduled for September 2023 and to have a line of sight to the phased approach to opening transformed public schools in the years that follow.
“To be ready for the academic years that begin in September 2022 and 2023, this year’s budget allocates funding to support the training and professional learning necessary to enhance the competence and confidence of teachers, educational staff, school leaders, and Department of Education staff.
Preparing for the eventual implementation of the Education Authority
“The work of the Education Authority Working Group is ongoing. There is still much work to do, including hosting more meetings with our current school boards, as it is critical for their input into this initiative. Shortly we will begin the search for a interim Chairperson to join the team as we move towards the phased implementation of the Education Authority that will eventually lead our public education system.
Putting a much-needed spotlight on the preservation of our educational history
“A promise was made to establish a History and Legacy Committee to engage with the community to document, commemorate and preserve Bermuda’s educational and school history and legacies. We saw this promise begin to unfold last year in November when a short-term working group was appointed. The work of the History and Legacy working group is well underway, and I expect to see a report in early April, including recommendations on how to recognise, preserve and put on display the long and proud history of Education in Bermuda. A budget allocation of $107,000 has been set aside for the work of the History and Legacy Committee.
The Department of Education
“As stated at the beginning of my press conference, we will continue to provide high-quality educational services to our students from pre to senior school in the Bermuda Public School System.
“Within the Department of Education, we are very confident that the efforts that are being undertaken for education reform will achieve the following:
- improved student outcomes,
- increased student success, and;
- enable all students to “lead personally and professionally, contribute locally, and compete globally.”
“While the Department of Education will continue to provide support for Education Reform, their day to day operations of the running of the Public School System efficiently remains the priority. Efforts to continue the work necessary to bring about the changes in the way educators lead in schools and at the Department of Education, in the way that teachers teach, and most importantly, in the way children learn will remain the Department’s primary objectives.
Bermuda Government Scholarships and Awards
“I am happy to announce that we have retained the Bermuda Government scholarships and awards funding at about the same levels as previous years. The Ministry has budgeted $1.415 million to administer the Ministry’s annual Scholarships and Awards programme this upcoming fiscal year. Last year’s total of just over 100 scholarships and awards should be matched again this year.
“The College Promise program that provides public high school students with the opportunity to attend the Bermuda College tuition-free will also continue. Roughly $250,000 has been set aside to fund the merit-based program for public school graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. In September 2020 and 2021, enrollment more than doubled as 67 and 60 public school students, respectively, registered and enjoyed the benefits of the College Promise programme.
“During the 2022/23 fiscal year, the Ministry of Education will continue investing and supporting our citizens by providing the necessary funding to upskill themselves through Bermuda College. The $300,000 financial aid grant to the Bermuda College, which has been in place since 2017 and has seen almost 200 students directly benefit and graduate from the Bermuda College with a degree or certificate, will be continued.
The Bermuda College
“When glancing at the Budget Statement, it is easy to note the reduction of some $728,000 from the Bermuda College’s Annual Grant. As I explained earlier, while we did receive an increase from last year’s budget, virtually all of that increase was utilised for salaries and education reform and reductions have been made across all of our departments. However, despite this reduction, Bermuda College is committed to continuing the excellent delivery of programs that have seen their enrolment go from 926 studenst in 2016 to 1305 students in 2021.
“As an accredited institution with the New England Commission for Higher Education, Bermuda College is the most economical choice for Bermudians and residents seeking post-secondary education.
“Out of the many initiatives Bermuda College has ongoing, I am most excited about establishing the National Educators Institute. This will provide a centralised entity for the professional learning and conversations of Bermuda’s public and private school educators, counsellors and mentors. Over this past year, more than 20 educational professionals from both public and private schools and Bermuda College have been working to operationalise the four  tiers of the NEI—Pedagogy and Practice, Social- Emotional, Research, and the Summer Institute. One of the key outcomes from work undertaken during this past year is the development of professional learning standards. The work within the National Educators Institute will continue this upcoming year and align with what is happening with Education Reform.
“Some of the exciting programs and offerings that can be had at Bermuda College consist of:
- Dual enrollment program with our Public Senior Schools
- the $300,000 financial aid grant,
- the Annual Roche Science Week,
- Certification Courses in Compliance with the International Compliance Association,
- working with the Bermuda Insurance Institute and developing the re/Insurance advisory board comprising of industry leaders and representatives from St. John’s University and Georgia Statement University
“These, along with the infrastructure upgrades, including the eventual grand opening of the $3.8 million new Athene Career Development Centre, are some of the fantastic offers to be realised in this upcoming year.
The Bermuda Libraries and Archives
- “The Bermuda Libraries and Archives provide critical and timely services to the Bermuda public, and that will continue in the upcoming fiscal year. The Bermuda National Library and the Bermuda Youth Library offer many programs to our families and users under 14. Popular Programs found the libraries include:
- The STEAM Program,
- Tutor.com Homework Help,
- Storytime Saturday,
- Book Babies,
- Dial a Story,
- Teen Advisory Board,
- the Girl’s Club,
- the Chess Club,
- Adult Story Time,
- the Annual Senior’s Tea and;
- free internet access
“While curbed by COVID, the Library has had to adapt and still provide functions to the general public, which will be continuing this upcoming year.
“The provision of archival and research assistance is another key job of the Bermuda National Library and Archives. During the past year, eight years of the Royal Gazette have been digitised from January 1954 to December 1962. Funding will allow four more years of the Royal Gazette to be digitised this upcoming year, from January 1963 to December 1966. Records at the archives were invaluable in providing critical assistance to the Commission of Inquiry into the Historical Loss of Land research. Anyone who has visited the Bermuda National Library website and used it for research will find a wealth of knowledge, especially the archives section.
“Today, I have provided a brief overview of what the next fiscal year will involve for the Ministry of Education. I encourage all to tune in on Monday, March 21, where I will go into more depth about the total budget. Our efforts are critical to the success of our island home, and I look forward to a positive and purposeful 2022/23 fiscal year. Thank You.”
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