Earlier this year I wrote to voice my frustration when my Prime Minister made a National Address and said not one word about education. I begged him and my Party to get their act together and focus on education.
Nine months later I’m embarrassed to say the situation at education has gotten worse. The Vision, Focus, Energy and Leadership we had under Fitzgerald is gone. Many of us as educators didn’t agree with his politics but we all agreed he was a damn good Minister of Education! He had total command of Education and inspired those around him.
After so much promise I’m sad to admit that Jeff Lloyd is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job and after only one and a half years in office he appears tired! Many of us is Education find this shocking as most of the hard work was done in the previous 5 years and a clear plan and vision was laid out and left in place. We thought we would follow “The Shared Vision for Education 2030” and improve on it where necessary. Nothing has happened!
I recently read again EDVISION from Strategy to Execution 2012-2017 which was produced by the Ministry of Education and in its 170 pages not only laid out our accomplishments over that time but the direction for the future.
A few things in it stuck out to me however. The Table of Contents, so much was accomplished; The statement by Carl Bethel, appeared to enforce the belief we had at the time that we had matured to the point where there was a bi partisan approach to education and lastly the interview at the end with Minister Fitzgerald. This is the first time I’ve read it in its entirety and it just reinforced that education was heading in the right direction and reminded me why there was so much optimism then. I wish Jeff Lloyd would have read it but I’m told that when retired Director Sands presented it to him when he first became Minister he tossed it back at him and said he wasn’t interested in that. What a shame!
I listened to a voice note recently where someone compared Jeff Lloyd to Minister Fitzgerald and as a FNM supporter it broke my heart to hear it because everyone in education knows that person was telling the truth!
We need Vision and Energy in Education again.
A Committed Educator of 35 years.