Anglin promises stability

| 04/02/2011

(CNS): The educationminister has said there is a need to stabilize the country’s education system as a result of strategy overload and confusion among teachers. Rolston Anglin said that while his predecessor had instigated lots of conversation when he was in office he said there was very little consultation with teachers. The minister said that his new stabilisation plan for education differs from the national consensus on education drawn up by the previous minister because it will involve input from teachers. Anglin also said that some individuals put in place by the previous minister had “wreaked havoc on the system” as they were the wrong people in the wrong posts leading to structural “dysfunction.”

The minister told CNS that he believed that his plan was focused on the bigger picture and that it would give teachers the opportunity to have direct input on what was happening and give them a clear direction on where education was going. The creation of a consultative council, he said, would enable the profession to communicate directly with him and for educators to have real input on policies before they were implemented.

The current education minister stated that when he came to office teachers’ morale was at an all time low because they were being bombarded by change when there had been no proper planning or training for that change and they did not feel as though they had been consulted.

He said that the previous minister had raised the expectations among teachers with the national conference and a lot of conversation but they had been let down by the reality, which did not involve them. “After the 2005 conference the profession was on a high as they felt something big was going to happen,” Anglin stated. “But in the end that were let down as dictat after dictat was thrown at them. There may have been lots of conversation but there was no real consultation.”

Teachers, Anglin said, were being constantly told to implement new strategies that they were not trained for and that there had been inadequate professional, development and training to help teachers implement the changes. Change was being forced upon teachers, he said, without any plans for that change being made.

He also accused the minister of running a dysfunctional team, when he said a small number of individuals “wreaked havoc with the system”. The minister would not say who they were but stated some were civil servants who were still in the ministry but had been moved to posts that better suited their skills, as well as some consultants. Anglin said that he had put the right people in the right place within the education department.

Anglin denied that the latest plan was simply change for change’s sake or an attempt to undermine the previous minister in order to make his own mark on the country’s education system, but he said it was being implemented because he believed there was a need to stabilise a system that in large measure had crashed. He said the plan would document the priorities identified by the educators for improving the system.

"This plan documents the choices we made since 2009 after consultation with teachers, students, parents and other education stakeholders," he said. "It responds to the many pressing needs and challenges, and aims to create a stable foundation for further work".

The plan, he said, would set the strategic direction for the system making it clear "where we are, where we are going and why", as he said that was lacking in the previous efforts at reform.

Despite stating that teachers were suffering from strategic overload, he said the plan was the forerunner of a National Strategic Plan, which in turn will build on the Stabilisation Plan, taking a longer-term perspective.

The Education Stabilisation Plan is organised under four broad priority areas, the minister explained: "Enhancing Leadership and Governance", "Enhancing Student Performance", "Enhancing Skills for Work Readiness", and "Improving and Expanding Early Childhood Care and Education".

Every educator in the government system has now received copies of the plan, which is in draft format, to allow for feedback. Also distributed were copies of an Education Progress Report, which he said documents the progress that has been made since 2009 against the priorities identified in the Plan.

“Our challenge is to build, implement and support an education system that creates citizens who can contribute to the economic and social growth of the Cayman Islands,” Anglin stated. “We are not going to see the benefits of these new programmes tomorrow, but we’re about to embark on something that will be meaningful and exciting and that will have a profound impact.”

He said he wanted a world class education system for Cayman and that would be measured by the eventual world class outcomes.

To see the Education Stabilisation Plan and Education Progress Report go to 

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  1. Albert Jackson says:

    Education is to serious to be left to the politicians that want to change things the previous person put in place only to get credit or make sure the previous guy gets no credit. Either way this is ridiculous and must be addressed. Our children can no longer suffer from blind political ambition. We have to shake out the flaws of our education system, build on the good parts, stop fusing, fighting and acting childish on whose policies are better.
    The English have a pretty decent education system but they have never taken any interest in building Cayman’s education with “Early Childhood Development”. I have yet to hear any of our leaders say one word about this extremely important issue. So if they can’t address this then they are only blowing smoke.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, Albert.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sorry you haven’t heard of any of the great things going on in Early Childhood under the direction of Minister Anglin. Do a search on Cayman 27 website. Watch some of the video highlights. Do a search of Rooster Archives and listen to the in depth radio shows on on the minister’s Early Childhood initiative. Problem is people tend to criticize before they INVESTIGATE and INQUIRE as to what is going on. It only takes a little effort and the stroke of the keyboard to do a search. There are a lot of EARLY CHILDHOOD teachers, preschool owners and government officials working on this VERY Important issue as part of a task force under the Minister’s guidance!
      Wait…let me make it easy for you..Here are some of the links!
      To name JUST A FEW

      Let us be an example for our children and teach them to investigate and inquire before casting stones.

  2. Sunset Marauder says:

    Hoof-da-billio. Uruguayan dialect for “Yeah Right”.
    Anglin couldn’t promise a drop of rain during a hurricane. How do I know this?
    Because I read his election manifesto and compared it to his results.
    I came up with a big fat zero. So, as they would say in Uruguay, “Hoof da billio”

    How dare you?

  3. incognito says:

    I dont care about who hates who and who hates what.. what I can’t figure out is: What does Anglin know about Education?  I mean, if you want an audit or accounting done, then Yes.. But Education? Even though Alden has only a Law degree, I feel that he is probably more verse with education that any of the ministers. I wouldn’t go to Alden for Financial advice mind you. He has done is research and homework on this and has gone out and look for advice. Give credit where credit is due and leave the ppm vs udp crap out of it.

    We all know he shouldn’t have went ahead with two schools. Great, get over it.. at least your seeing the money go back into the country!


    Here is my Opinion. Take it with a grain of salt.

    Build the schools (which has been needed for more than a decade) and fill them with Good teachers. That’s the simple solution..

    Give our Youth a fighting chance.. If they fail, then at least we know we gave them all we could and nothing else.  This ordeal has only led to people being disgusted by the actions of our ministers..

    Leave politics to play with everything else, but keep our children futures out of the firing ring.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Even though Alden has only a Law degree”.

      On a point of information Alden is a qualified and experienced attorney that practised in the courts for many years. He does not have “only a Law degree”. Sandra Catron has “only a Law degree”.

      I take your point that this did not necessarily qualify him to be Education Minister.

  4. Both of them says:

    Both Alden and Rolston are playing politics and having a Pis@@@@ match over our childrens education. This is going to continue to brew and fester until Alden takes over from Kurt officially and then it is going to explode. Both of these men need to remember who hired them and what their jobs are. They are both cocky, arrogant and have lost touch with the people who elected them. This is what happens in education all the time, it has been kicked around since Truman Bodden days and every new minister feels he has the solutions and changes what the previous did. Education needs to be moved to an anthority and taken out of the direct control and hands of the Minister so that their plans have some longevity and we are able to see at least one initiative completed and the benefits of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Poster “Both of Them” you need to pay more attention and be a bit more discerning before painting both men with the same brush. Alden has exercised great forbearance and maturity over the past 20 months> Although Rolston has slammed him at every opportunity, he has never attacked the new minister. Why? Because as he said recently on the talk show, despite bad talking Alden’s efforts, Rolston has in fact moved ahead with almost every initiative developed under the former minister. The new Year 12 programme is a perfect example. This was developed under Alden and called the “Better Pathways, Brighter Futures” programme. Doubt me? Look at the PPM’s report “From Promise to Performance” put out before the elections as well as the PPM’s 2009 manifesto “Continuing the Progress”.

      Why Rolston has such great difficulty acknowledging the work of the former minister is beyond me but I put it down simply to insecuirty.

      What do you think Alden should have done in light of Rolston’s attack on the design of the new schools and his stated intention to redesign them? Stay silent? I think he handled it very well. Rather than just rebutting the minister himself, which would have been put down by the likes of you as simply one politician slamming the other, he brought the experts in to the discussion. Of course, Rolston’s supportrers think that was unfair. But you know what? Facts are stubborn things and now the country knows the truth about the rationale for the school designs.

  5. Michel Lemay says:

    The fact that Mr. Anglin does not want to meet with Alden is because Alden did his homework and has PASSION for the future generations. Mr. Anglin admit that meeting Alden won’t hurt in fact he will show you the long term picture. It’s time to start thinking about Cayman’s future Education system. And by the way if we had more persons of the likes of Mr. Mike Adams and his own passion in his ministry things would get done. You don’t hear him bashing anyone and yet he CARES about his Caymanians.and has the respect of everyone including myself.

    • Son of Thunder says:

      “Anglin promises stability”? He must be planning to overthrow big mac because that is the only way we will see stability! But we must always remember that “a promise is a comfort to a fool” especially when that promise is coming from someone in the UDP! Haven’t we learnt by now?

    • Anonymous says:

      Come on now…Anglin’s BOSS doesn’t take advice from anyone either. They ALL would much rather BASH than LISTEN. After all, it is the UDP and ONLY the UDP who knows ANYTHING in this country. God help us.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Come on Rolston. This is simply wrong and you are not discrediting Alden, you are clearly preventing education reform and denying our children. The reason why many of our teachers find change difficult is because following the raid by the UK and the USA of all the best teachers in the Caribbean 10 years ago, ALL of the Caribbean including Cayman was left with teachers we would not normally allow in the class room. If you succumb to the excuses of the teachers, you are not leading change for the better; you are simply ensuring that the Caymanian children remain unprepared for the future. I met one of your teachers a few weeks ago, I must tell you that this lady does not belong in the classroom. This lady, has absolutely no knowledge of anything, not even the names of the countries in this hemisphere. My God man, how many of these do we have? How many that still cannot use email? This is basic knowledge.

  7. karen says:

    You hang in there Anglin! Always stand up for what you believe in, what you know is right, even if you stand alone.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mr Anglin Have you actually seen what is happening in our high schools? I don’t mean coming in on an anounced visit where of course teachers and students behave differently from their everyday behavior. My child is in a class which the teacher describes as unteachable for 50% of the lesson due to the huge amount of behavioural problems which are not being dealt with efficiently by the TLC’s and LM’s never mind the principal who seems content to get his 10,000 dollars a month and does ittle else XXX. My daughter who is trustworthy and tells things as they are, is contantly missing time with her teachers because the present members of the education ministry have tied the hands of the teachers in what they can and cannot do to reprimand cases of severe poor behaviour in their learning enviroment. I suggest all of you who actually care about the future of your children take a long hard look at this system and how it will affect their future lives. It seems that schooling has been an experiment ever since PPM decide to build ridiculous schools for ridiculous amounts of money and Rolston is not making a darn bit of difference. It is time to empower the educators with the support they need to remove the distractions in their classes and allow the students who want to learn to have an enviroment in which they actually can, only us parents can do this by pressurising the ministry to change what is obviously NOT working.

  9. anonymous says:

    You know what is so disturbing with Mr. Rolston, he is always so angry and animated and he is coming across like he hates Alden.  He hates Alden for the fact that he started the ball rolling for the Education cause.  Alden was looking far in the future with his plans for the schools, the curriculum and the teachers.  He just so happened to run out of time as there was just so much to do.  Rolston if you had taken the time to consult with Mr. Alden before trying to dismantle and smear Mr. Alden McLaughlin name and accomplishments, along with the whole PPM’s agenda, you should had spent that time learning what Mr. Alden had planned in the first place.  All you had to do was to finish the job and the schools and teachers would had been ready by now for our children.  Why are you so hung up on smearing the other party’s name and accomplishments.  They had accomplished so much more in their short tenor than the whole UDP has accomplished in the 20 years they have been there.  Its a shame and you need to tune down your act and address your fellow Politicians in an honourable manner.  Never have I heard any of the PPM members, other than Arden outburst to the Premier, disrespect any members of the UDP.  The UDP McKeeva, CG, Rolston and Elio have all disrespected their fellow Politicians.  You guys are working for 1 Cayman, 1 future and 1 people.  Stop being personal and get on with the job.  Rolston, please stop being ANGRY!!

  10. Lost the plot says:

    It’s taken this guy 2 years to come up with this? What a joke. Rolston is for Rolston and God help us all.

    I want to know why is it that politicians all get richer after becoming civil “servants” and I use the term “servant” very loosely, because by definition servants serve others and not themselves.

    Wake up!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Rolston just rambles on using words that the ordinary man on the street do not understand and blaming everyone else as is his usual custom.

    However, I guess he feels somewhat relieved to know that our Beloved Leader actually made him say something!!

    Now watch to see what happens in a few weeks when yet another major shift is announced. Now that we are getting a “surplus” who knows what might happen? A brand new school complex in West Bay maybe? Staffed by Indians and Chinese, maybe?

    And the band plays on!!!!!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    How does he know that the morale was at an alltime low? What is he comparing it against?

    In my humble opinion teachers’ morale was (and probably still is) at an all time low because they are being compensated poorly and have to deal with a lot of parents who always seem to know better! Also, I believe that the current condition of some school facilities have deterrioated greatly. It is obviously not inspiring and motivating having to work out of such a location with so little resources available.

    Please don’t let EGO get in the way of doing what is right for our country.

  13. Blah Blah Blah says:

    Maybe if he stopped going on Rooster to “campaign”, things could get done.

    It’s a wonder Austin and Mr. Gilbert do not fall asleep while he’s there, because it’s always the same boring “previous government failed this or the previous minister failed that” crap. It’s getting boriinngg.

  14. Anonymous says:

    By changing everything up? That’s how we are going to become more stable? LOL … JOKERS!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    It’s disgusting to hear Rolston always bashing Alden. How is he qualified to say Alden had the wrong people in there. What sort of “test” did he do to determine that, or is it just his opinion?
    You know what, people always resist change and Alden set the fire on high to effect that change in the Education system. Those who were comfortable with the status quo probably did not like, did not want and could not handle that change. Guess what, it’s my humble opinion that they fit right in with Rolston’s agenda. So now rather than continue building on what Alden started, Rolston has chosen to criticize him with the aid of the pacified status quo. Two years into his leadership, have you seen any progress in the education system? Not a bit. Now he adds the caveat that he has stabilized it and the effects won’t be seen for years to come. You can bet that, because the change won’t come until Alden takes it back over and make things start to happen again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hear what you are saying but Alden’s little publicity stunt with Prakash, Austin and crew was probably not the best way for Alden to have handled himself either.

      It’s too bad that both of these guys seem headed in the right direction with practically the same goals but like most of us "crabs in the barrel" we climb on to each others back and tear each other down in order to try to reach the top first, not realizing along the way how many of our own we have stomped on to get there.

      Politics change people and not often for the good. I wish there was a law that saidyou could only run for a maximum of two terms that way if you are good you get elected for a second term and if not you don’t get the job again. For too long politics has become a career and the work that should be done is mired with politicians trying to retain their seats rather than biting the bullet, unpopular as it might be, for the betterment of the country and its people.

      Maybe it is time to tear down some walls and I am not talking about those in the schools either. Let’s stop tearing each other down and come together as Caymanians for the good and betterment of our country. The very act of bringing in non-Caymanian people to denigrate our leaders on a talk show is sickening but then again castigating each other on public radio is just as bad.

      It’s time for some old fashioned forgiveness and moving on.


      • Anonymous says:

        There is a huge problem here, both gentlemen need to stop the back talking and move on.  Its a true fact that neither one of them have done anything fundamentaly good in education as I see it. Get rid of Rolston, and make damn sure that Alden dont get his hands on it again. New blood is needed now. Im so sick of the baloony that comes from both of them. Both have huge egos and there is not enough space to have a cock fight between them so time they get roll ova too. Our children are suffering from their disgusting behaviour.