Education neglected in pursuit of America’s Cup

Published on January 14th, 2015

The America’s Cup has a habit of attracting the spotlight. When you are the oldest international sporting trophy, this happens. But when the spotlight turns toward the Auld Mug, that likely means the spotlight is turning away from something else.

As host to the 35th America’s Cup, Bermuda has a list of pressing issues, with quality of education being among them. According to the general secretary of the Bermuda Union of Teachers, Mike Charles, public schools in Bermuda are akin to those in third-world countries.

“The budget is being cut. It was cut by seven per cent last year and five per cent this year and programmes are being cut. They are giving exercise books where the staples in the books are rusted, so when the students open the books, they fall apart. Many schools don’t have copying paper.”

Mr Charles spoke out as Government prepares to announce a new Minister of Education. The outgoing Minister, Dr Grant Gibbons, is to focus on preparations for the America’s Cup. Mr Charles said he commended Dr Gibbons for securing the America’s Cup but he believed that education had been neglected as a result.

“If they would invest half as much energy and gusto (in education) as they are with the America’s Cup, the returns on that would be 100 per cent better than any America’s Cup could bring to Bermuda.”

Bermuda will host the America’s Cup in 2017.

Excerpt from The Royal Gazette.

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