Education Minister El James' recent comments concerning his confidence in the private school system over the public one only further highlights that the public school system is broken and should be scrapped in favour of a voucher based system. Our island will never overcome the historical effects of racism if we cannot level the playing field for opportunity. The education ministry has simply added far too much beurocracy and time and time again failed to rise up to the standard set by the private schools. so why not cut out the middle man and give everyone the means to the same level of education?
Quoted recently in The Royal Gazette, Minister James suggested
"We have an education system that we want to make the number one choice on this Island," he said. "If it's not the number one choice at the moment, everyone has the choice to put their children where they want."
Unfortunately this isn't the case. Everyone with the means to put their children in the private system can do so, but not everyone has the means, especially those Minister James' party claims to represent. Thus, the cycle perpetuates where a wealth disparity once created by racism is no longer maintained by racism but the maintenance of the status quo. Namely, those who are and have become wealthy can pass on the opportunity of a good education however those who are not and have been deprived of the opportunity have no means to provide it to their children. Sadly, the rich continue to get richer and the poor poorer.
Minister James continues
"I'm going to look at where [the private schools] are; I'm going to use their levels as my target. That's where I want to be or even better."
Why use private schools as a target when you could cut out the middle man and actually use the private schools? Simplify the system but cutting the Ministry of Education down to an oversight and standards body, sell the public schools to the private sector and give every Bermudian student a voucher they can use to attend the school of their choice.
Both a UBP government and a PLP government have proven is that education is not working in the hands of the public sector. We continue to change tack, strategize, add level upon level of beurocracy and in the end all that happens is that those without the means continue to suffer. It is a terrible shame that no Bermudian should be proud of. Can we please just cut out the middle man and pursue a voucher system so everyone can have the means to opportunity as opposed to just the rich?