2011 OBA Reply to the Throne Speech – Part Six


“The One Bermuda Alliance will provide the consistent leadership and political will to reform the public education system so that it works now for students, educators, parents and our community.”

– A fully integrated technical curriculum;
– Expanded preschools;
– A serious commitment to professional development for teachers and principals;
– An independent standards board to restore trust in educational testing results;
– A longer school day to provide more time for sports, music, arts and remedial support;
– More effective discipline methods pioneered in charter schools;
– Plan to consider a single-sex school for boys;

Without more detail on any of the above I don’t think I can really comment on much of the above. In general I am certainly supportive of the above, especially the expanded school day (which, amongst other aspects, will mean more children are under adult supervision, especially for the hours between the traditional end of school at 1530hrs and the end of the workday at 1700hrs). I am interested in the costs for this though, and I am concerned about what is meant by the ‘more effective discipline methods in charter schools.’

Health Care

– Significant investment in health promotion is essential to reverse trends in obesity and diabetes;
– Increased mandatory time in physical education at all schools and expanded mandatory nutritional education;
– Reopen the Medical Clinic (accessible, central and part of the Bermuda Hospital Complex);
– Amend the Human Rights Act to eliminate age discrimination;
– Legislate changes to FutureCare and HIP to make them fair, affordable and sustainable;
– Fees for FutureCare will be the same for all clients and all will receive the same benefits;
– A health insurance plan ‘will be created that will not bankrupt the country’;
– Up-front payments for medical treatment will be addressed for doctors, dentists and specialists;
– Immediate legislation of providing Financial Assistance to seniors owning their own home;
– More affordable beds for seniors in nursing homes;
– Address neglect and abuse of seniors in nursing homes;
– Introduce legislation to bring Residential Care Homes in line with best practices;

All of these sound ‘okay’ but I admit I have not really studied up on healthcare issues in Bermuda and I am not knowledgeable about the current situation. At best I’ll say that these ideas sound promising and I’m not opposed to them and I would like to see the details fleshed out a bit.

I should note, and perhaps readers are critical of this so far, but in my review I’ve criticised the OBA at a number of times for lack of detail. I understand that the Throne Speech reply is really not the place for this, and that instead it’s more a place to highlight general policy directions. I had understood the OBA was going to release a number of ‘position papers’ on these various issues (Political Reform, Education, Crime, Economy, Healthcare, etc.) which I assumed would flesh these ideas out, but to the best of my knowledge these haven’t materialised yet. So, my criticism is more a general one than anything else, and one could similarly criticise the PLP’s Throne Speech on this basis too.


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