In follow up to a meeting held this week with the Minister of Education, Diallo Rabain and Acting Commissioner of Education, Kalmar Richards, the President of the Bermuda Union of Teachers admits his union was to blame for a lack of meetings with the Ministry.

In a joint statement released yesterday by the BUT and the Minister of Education, BUT President Shannon James said the lack of meetings was discussed.

“We were reminded that during a meeting between the minister and BUT last September, the minister had requested that the BUT and his office meet at least once per quarter with the BUT responsible for forwarding dates to meet,” he said.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, final meeting dates were never confirmed despite the Ministry of Education reaching out in February to set up a meeting in March.”

Moving forward, he said the groups agreed on a “series of dates for future meetings”.

“Now that both the Minister and the BUT, having met, have a greater understanding of where they both stand, I am sure that going forward we will enjoy many more fruitful meetings,” he added.

He also noted that a presentation and update was provided on Plan 2022.

“We were involved in the production of the plan, but now we understand more about how it will be implemented, as well as the checks and balances that have been put in place to ensure that it will be delivered as planned.

“We were also able to present some concerns on behalf of teachers, which the minister and acting commissioner of education took on board.

“We are confident we are headed in the right direction,” he added.

Education Minister Diallo Rabain

Minister Rabain said: “Once we sat down and discussed matters and I reminded the BUT of my outreach to them last year and my desire to meet at least once a quarter, it is apparent that wires had been crossed.”

He also stated that it was “critically important” that the BUT and the Ministry of Education work together to make sure students ““are the priority”.

The announcement was made in a joint press release issued yesterday by the BUT and Mr Rabain.

The BUT made a statement last week in which Mr James said that teachers were frustrated over a lack of discussions with Mr Rabain.

Mr Rabain described the BUT’s press release as “unfortunate”.

However, he added: “It served to show, and we all agree, that communication is key to any relationship.

“I have reconfirmed my commitment made to the BUT in September to meet at least once per quarter, and I am pleased that we were able to agree on dates for update meetings in June and September at our meeting.

“I look forward to working together to ensure that our young scholars receive the education that they deserve.”