21st July 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Why the destruction? (Ronnie Eunson)

All Shetlanders were proud of the educational opportunities and the subsequent career achievements of young Shetlanders.

In some unfathomable act of strategic vandalism we now find that our island communities are to be rent asunder with rural schools being pitted against a Lerwick-based education. Which councillors were elected with a mandate from their electorate to carry out such perfidy?

Shetland’s opposition to a devolved government in Edinburgh was justified by the poor track record of all Scottish administrations to listen to the periphery. Why are Shetlanders now willing to place even greater challenges before those who live outside Lerwick?

The SIC wishes to create strategies for the whole Shetland community by involving and empowering all islanders. Why then do they feel inclined to wreck the excellent school facilities, which previous councils justifiably invested in and valued?

The SIC has made many mistakes over the years, but there are a few things Shetlanders have been unanimously proud of – education is one. How can councillors justify the consequences of such a despicable process with no consideration of the financial waste? If saving money is the sole determining factor for this closure strategy, then ask the communities affected by closures. They will soon help.

“Tough decisions” are being taken we hear by our partly politicians. Rubbish! The tough decisions are those where you figure out ways of maintaining all schools open. Can some elected members not act with a little more dignity and respect towards the Shetland electorate?

To those councillors, who are so sure they are right in closing schools, please, pause and consider the damage which will be done to future generations.

Ronnie Eunson
Uradale,
East Voe,
Scalloway.

One comment

  1. Christopher Ritch

    It is obvious that Jonathan Wills, in common with some other councillors, had made a decision to vote to close schools before the consultation began. In the chamber last Tuesday, Jonathan argued that the Council was acting as Education Authority rather than Development Agency and that economic arguments were irrelevant. He seemed unaware that the proposal paper clearly states that local authorities are required to take account of sustaining economic growth and to the strength and vibrancy of communities. Also that the Council must take account of these before making any changes to the school estate.

    I also wondered if Jonathan has read he HMIE report on the closure of Uyeasound? Contrary to schools service spin, this report contains the following points:

    The council has not fully explored or explained the educational benefits and the reasons for not pursuing any alternative.

    It now needs to provide further information on the likely social or economic effects of the proposed closure on the community.

    In finalising its proposal, the council needs to address parents’ concerns with regard to exploring viable alternatives to school closure.

    So far, none of these points have been satisfactorily addressed.

    Reply

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