We always promise our children that they can be anything they want to be, and yet our schools are not producing results that will allow them to fulfill their desire.
 

Whilst gaining qualifications could be a passport to high paying jobs. Some people choose to serve in lower paying jobs because they have a higher purpose, Barack Obama said "you read about some injustice and you say someone should fix that and you soon realize that nobody else will fix it if you don't" and that touches a personal nerve for it was fourteen years ago that I saw the students graduating from high school that were not up to the standards that were expected. It was then that I started researching, started to try and make difference, it was not that easy, politics entered the equation. There were setbacks, but setbacks make one stronger, more focused, to fix the lack of Technical Education on our Island. 

            It was thirty six years ago that the Bermuda Technical Institute closed for good. That was a technical high school which not only changed students' lives but changed the standards and economy of Bermuda and the influence of this school and its students have lasted a very long time.

            Our present public education system is in shambles. We read and hear about the continuing saga each and every day. We have been promised change but we must all understand that "Change does not happen from the top down it happens from the bottom up" and that means without the inclusion of the teachers, head teachers and all stakeholders change will not happen. These are facts we cannot ignore.  During the past several years I have produced a proposal for a private technical high school, to include all of our students, to include the prospects for our children to become not only useful citizens but managers and CEO's of their own companies.    The time for short changing our youth must end. It is my experience that the majority of our high school graduates are unable to read a rule, read a blueprint, or understand how their home water system works and WE can change this because change happens from the bottom up.  Eliza Cook said; "It is better to build the schoolhouses for the boy than to build the cell for the man"  that does not mean throwing money at the school house, it means putting effort and hard work into the education of our youth to improve standards and bring back the interest for the students.

            The school would be for 14-18 year olds, where in the first year they would spend two afternoons per week in industry, and the remainder of afternoons would be spent on soft skills and projects and team building, after five weeks they would move to the next company.

            A technical education entails teaching mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering principles, it is not to specialise our students, it is not an apprenticeship, it is a technical education enabling our students to make educated first hand choices about their career after high school.  Apart from the technical education there would be career advisory classes where careers advice and knowledge can be gained and researched to enhance their own experiences. It was Yogi Bera that said: 'If you don't know where you are going you might not get there" we intend that our students will know where they are going and how to get there by the time they graduate.  The school year would be five, eight week, terms, and two weeks between each term, static Christmas and four weeks in the summer. Why? we are committed to excellence and enjoyable education.  An academic programme to raise standards during the first two years in preparation of an international programme in the second two years so that every student will graduate with international qualification, an career path and either a job or the education to continue to college.  The school day would be longer than normal high school, and the school fees would be comparable with other private schools, but we would solicit scholarships, and bursaries linked to academic progress, we would also encourage the government to introduce a voucher system for deserving students.

            Our intention to use industry members as our selection committee, and industry management as our Board of Governors, because it is industry that understands what they require of school graduates.  In addition Parents, Industry, Students and Teachers would be fully involved on all fronts for this to be a success.

            Destiny should not be written for us but by us, we need to make this change happen for our future, teachers should not teach to a test, they should be teaching for our youth to become useful citizens with careers that they have chosen. This change will not happen by itself, it will only happen if we are all willing to work for it and it will only happen from the bottom up.  We will be looking for financial support; our youth do not have the means to make this change, it is our legacy we can leave for our children and grand children.

 

For more information check out www.bdaths.com.