Statement In Response To FNM Chairman Dr. Duane Sands


I have read the obscenely opportunistic comments of the Chairman of the Free National Movement. His comments misrepresent the facts. These are not the worst results in history. The worst results in the last five years in fact occurred in 2020 and 2021 when the Chairman sat in Cabinet, and it was during this tenure that the nation saw the worst era of neglect in the history of education.

Indeed this year’s results show some encouraging improvements in foundational skills. The examinations were accessible to more students, with more of them taking BJC exams than has been seen in previous years. This year’s BJC results A to C passes improved by 4.11%, A to D passes improved by 5.19%. English Language and Literature improvement were some of the best results in the 10 year period.

I wish to applaud the leadership of the Ministry of Education and our hardworking and dedicated teachers nationwide. They have worked admirably in the aftermath of the years of lockdown to help to get our children and young people stabilized in learning and in recovering psycho emotional health. These professionals deserve the respect and gratitude of the nation.

As most will know the extended closure of school campuses in this country led to significant learning loss – a fact which has been empirically established through universal testing and also as a result of the extended absenteeism of thousands of children which necessitated the launch of the campaign – “Find Every Child” and now resulting in unprecedented levels of attendance.

The Ministry has now implemented reforms not only to address the disastrous effects of the prolonged shut downs and extensive learning loss at all levels but also to redress legacy issues in an educational system which has been underperforming for decades.

These reforms will ensure that never again will children leave school unable to read and write: no longer will children facing challenges be pushed through the system without appropriate interventions.

The learned Chairman I am certain is aware that declining results have been experienced in both the UK and USA including this year and it would be more helpful that he would provide intelligent dialogue which honestly represents the serious nature of the crisis in education faced globally.

It is unfortunate that his comments come when he sat in the Cabinet whilst children fell off the radar for years and no step taken to seek to rescue these children.

The Chairman has no credibility to speak to this issue for this and other reasons including the report of his issuance of an almost two million dollar contract without Board approval and to someone who was to give evidence against a political opponent in a criminal trial
and in breach of standard PHA procedure.

I invite all hands on deck of all people of goodwill to join with us as we take unprecedented measures to assure the success of our youth population.