A Bermudian whose teaching career spans more than three decades in international classrooms around the world has commended the Ministry of Education, which “seems to be moving in the right direction”.
But when it comes to preparing tomorrow’s people, the toddlers in nursery school today who are Generation Z, he said: “They are far behind and need new investment in schools to bring them up to par.”
Streaming live all the way from China, Darren ‘Butch’ Burchall, has worked in schools in Brazil, Beijing, Ghana and Grimsby in the UK.
He joined panelists Coral Wells, Detective Inspector Mark Clarke, Chris Eggen and Phillip Trott on Saturday for KICS Live – The Conference, held at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.
When contacted by Bermuda Real, Mr Burchall said: “There definitely needs to be more Exempt Company partnerships with schools.
“Personally, I believe Government needs to create a new quango and take Education out of the hands of politicians and Civil Servants – much like Wedco and the BTA.
“When we get to voice our concerns, Bermudians are still afraid, or programmed not to rock the boat.”
His one criticism of the panel discussion: “Everybody on the panel stayed away from digging into the real issues in our schools and how we need to improve as a country to facilitate Gen-Z so that they do not get left behind.”
Asked for his overall impression of KICS Live—The Conference, he replied: “I loved it. It was a mark of genius.”
Co-panelist Philip Trott said he thought the panel “did a great deal to highlight how important it is to embrace technology as a part of our lives while emphasizing how necessary it is to learn how to use it responsibly”.
“The best part for me was balancing the gung-ho tech enthusiasts like myself with panelists like DI Mark Clarke and Chris Eggen, who reminded us not to forget about the social pitfalls and dangers associated with the irresponsible use of technology.
“I also appreciated Coral Wells and Darren Burchall bringing their expertise to the discussion as well.”
He also noted that conferences like this “show how technology can be used to share ideas immediately”.
“Even though Darren was in China, he was able to join us via video conference and contribute his thoughts.
“Technology has made our world much smaller in that we are able to speak and have meetings and make changes happen immediately, regardless of our geographical location.”
But he said: “The problem in Bermuda is that joining a web conference like we did on Saturday is still seen as a fad, whereas it is standard practice anywhere else. This should be the norm here, especially as isolated as we are, but it can only happen if we address our infrastructure needs with action instead of just talk.”
Admittedly, he said he wasn’t sure what to expect with the KICS conference. “But when I walked in, I was very impressed by the setup of the venue. It looked great!
“There were vendors and food provided for the guests and the presentation was top notch. I could tell that Angela had gone through some extensive preparation. She and her team were organized, committed and professional, even when faced with the inevitable technology setbacks.
“I could tell that Angela had gone through some extensive preparation. She and her team were organized, committed and professional, even when faced with the inevitable technology setbacks,” he added.
“As a panelist I felt very comfortable in my discussion, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I can’t wait for this event to grow and reach a wider audience, as I am sure that the information and ideas shared benefited all who attended.”