Cost saving report buried

| 26/06/2014

(CNS): Cayman News Service has appealed a decision by the Education Ministry refusing a freedom of information request to release a 2011 report demonstrating how a substantial amount of money could be saved annually by amalgamating the two primary schools on Cayman Brac. Publication of the report and a related PowerPoint presentation, which was shown to a select group of parents in March this year, was blocked by Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues, who bypassed the ministry’s FOI manager and responded directly to the request, refusing on the grounds that the 3-year-old document contained proposals that have not yet gone to Cabinet for consideration. 

It is not clear when the PowerPoint presentation was made and for whom, but CNS understands that in March 2014, it was shown at a meeting of government officials, including Deputy Premier and district MLA Moses Kirkconnell, Sister Islands members of the Education Council and six parents of Brac children who were at the time the presidents and vice-presidents of the three Brac PTAs.

One of the parents who was at the meeting told CNS, “It was decided that it would not be feasible as it would put too much financial burden on the people of the island having to drive to 2 different sites, etc.”

The FOI request, made on 18 February this year, was partially granted and CNS was supplied with figures regarding the student/teacher ratios of primary schools in the Cayman Islands, as well as the Lighthouse School.

However, the documents regarding the amalgamation and what savings to the public purse could result were refused. Because the request was answered by the most senior officer at the ministry, the appeal was made to the Information Commissioner’s Office on 25 March, but no conclusion has yet been reached.

In her refusal letter, Rodrigues said it was not in the public interest to release the documents.

“[T]here must be space for public servants to provide advice and opinions and make a wide variety of policy recommendations for the consideration of Cabinet and Cabinet must be able to consider and make decision on these recommendations in a conscientious manner. As the proposals have not yet gone to Cabinet for consideration, it would be inappropriate at this time to prejudice Cabinet’s deliberation and potentially confuse the public regarding what policy direction the government intends to take by releasing the requested records.”

The chief officer also found that disclosure of the documents might “inhibit the free and frank exchange of views for the purpose of deliberation”. She claimed that civil servants “must be able to share all possible options and provide advice and recommendations freely and frankly to be considered by senior management and by policymakers in order to ensure decision-making processes are robust.”

An additional factor against the disclosure, Rodrigues said, was that public servants might feel “restrained in the execution of their duties by the fear of proposals that they make — particularly if those proposals are not accepted by the government and contain recommendations that would be unpopular among the general population — being made under the FOI Law.”

CNS journalist Nicky Watson said she believed the documents were being suppressed by dragging out the FOI process unnecessarily. “The arguments against disclosure could apply to almost any report in any government entity and certainly does not seem to be in the spirit of freedom of information,” she said. 

“Regarding the parents who have seen the presentation: PTA members have no expectation that their executive officers will provide input regarding important policy decisions on their behalf, in secret, and without consultation with the wider membership, and do not give them the authority to do so,” Watson noted. “Therefore, if the six parents were there in their capacity of PTA officials representing their members, it is reasonable to assume that the education officials would have expected the PTA members present to have passed on the information to, and asked for feedback from, their respective associations, thereby making the presentation, or at least the facts included, a public matter.

“If they were not present in their capacity of PTA presidents or VPs, then the government officials have now made their presentations to six members of the public with no authority or mandate to provide advice on public policy, thus also rendering it partially in the public domain. Either way, the government officials have now opened this presentation to public scrutiny. Having done so, they have negated the argument thatthis information was for Cabinet only.”

Watson added, “The original document by the ministry regarding cost savings by amalgamating the primary schools on Cayman Brac was, I understand, prepared in 2011. It is unreasonable to argue indefinitely that this is a matter for Cabinet to make a decision on before it is made public.”

“What I find most concerning is that, as well as saving money for the whole country, I understand that this proposal may include educational benefits to the children of Cayman Brac. The ministry needs to present if to all the parents and teachers on this island, not just a select few, so that they get real feedback from all the people that this would affect. I cannot imagine why they haven't already done so,” she said.

Category: FOI

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This can easily be solved by the Education Minister publishing the report.  Unless the Education Minister is a complete waste of space.  Ah well, forget it.

  2. UHUHUH says:

    In response to:  ARE YOU PEOPLE SENSIBLE   /   27/06 14

    You commented: The Chief Officer must release a report that hasn't yet been considered by Cabinet?  And what purpose would that serve, pray-tell?  

    It appears, that you maybe  someone who is, directly or indirectly  connected to the Ministry. It also appears that you are someone who does not care about the potential, [if not actual] inefficiency in the operation of our education system, which has been exposed thru this article! But equally important, I find it necessary to ask you to please read the whole article before making comment.

    On the other-hand here is a quote from Chief Officer Rodrigues. And I Quote: 

    [What] Rodrigues said, was, that public servants might feel “restrained in the execution of their duties by the fear of proposals that they make — particularly if those proposals are not accepted by the government and contain recommendations that would be unpopular among the general population — being made under the FOI Law."  End Quote:

    Speaking of Diatribes! Is it just me, or is this just plain old [here I'll let you fill in the blank] So to the writer who suggests that we be sensible!

     I say: "Charity Begins at Home" BOBO

    These repeated diatribes against the Chief Officer are not serving a good purpose.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Would it not be a lot quicker just to name the unhidden information from CIG? Very short list!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nicky: think about your own statement at the end of your article. Why do you have elected officials? Is it not to represent the people? Likewise, why would a school have elected representatives for the PTA? The people who were in attendance would have been the same ones who represent the parents of the schools. 

    Could you imagine a cabinet meeting where every government employee was in attendance? We have representatives for a reason.  For those that are upset, I'm not sure who they are other than yourself, let them come forward at PTA elections and hold a spot on the executive boards. 

    I'm willing to wager that they won't because it actually takes commitment to be a part of such a board.

    Some times, some people only want to make noise and not put forth the effort to actually move an insitution forward.  

     

     

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    The basis for the FOI request refusal is so arrogant.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Time for Tara to step up and do nothing again.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Really Nicky? You are blaming the chief officer? These are proposals for Cabinet. The FOI Law says they are not to be released.  ASlso dont forget that this advice came from the ministry. So the proposals for cost savings came from the ministry! If you want a copy ask your minister or the education minister to give permission to the chief Officer to release this?  Also ask why these proposals were not accepted. I am sure you will find that it was not the civil servants who made that decision. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh boy 17:31. No one is saying that their shouldn’t be expectations for good quality because education is free. The issue is where are you all and what do you do to support the public schools?

    It’s one thingto make a complaint or demand excellence but there is another thing called support.

    How many days or hours have you 17:31 given to a public school in the last academic year?

    What do you to to help to support a public school given the demand of services by the general public? That’s the point!
    Sitting behind your anonymity and casting your judgments doesn’t help.

    Did you have anything to say following the two graduation ceremonies for JGHS & CHHS? Did you send a positive comment to CNS to commend the achievements by students, teachers, leaders, parents etc.? That’s the point!

    • Anonymous says:

      I posted the comment at 17.31.  I am entitled to make that comment because I teach.  How many days have I given to the public school system in the last academic year?  Every day.  How do I know that standards are poor?  I see it on a daily basis. 

      A culture of low expectations is what has this system in such a dire state.  Combine that with gullible people, who believe every word coming from the mouths of CEOs who are protecting themselves by failing to make the tough decisions that are necessary in their roles, and you begin to understand why things are so bad. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is it foolish pride or laziness that keeps the majority of Bracker parents out of this equation?? Critical positions not filled (Music and special needs) for years, teachers that don't show up to work on a regular basis, principal position not being filled, maternity leaves not being covered, no succession planning, inept appointments, resigning of contracts for positions they are not capable, qualified or interested in fullfillingt, playgrounds empty, computer labs, classrooms and washrooms unable to adequately address students …. we could go on and on! The WE PTA has tried to make up the shortfall for years and the East is unable to raise the funds and political support in both past and present governments. The reality is that if we are not able to get the funding for three sites we would be better off to concentrate on one to make it the best CIG can muster considering the small population. We better realize fast there is no political will to spend anything more than bare bones on the Brac and this has far more serious impacts to our children, parents and future as a nation than a carpool to school or a local restaurants's profits.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don't we just have boarders on Grand Cayman.

      shut the schools down on the Brac and save a fortune

  10. Anonymous says:

    Are you people sensible? 

    The Chief Officer must release a report that hasn't yet been considered by Cabinet?  And what purpose would that serve, praytell?

    All of a sudden, CNS and the CNS commentors are the deicision makers in Education!  They seem to know what should be done in Education and all other Ministries.

    Why don't you, Nicky Watson, demand and an explanation from your representative in the Brac, who is also a Minister?  What is the purpose of your continuous attacks on specific civil servants.

    These repeated diatribes against the Chief Officer are not serving a good purpose.  You people sit onthe outside and act as if running to the largest portfolio's of employment and labour is some easy feat. The demand for these services on this island is large and the services provided are free.

    Public school parents dont pay for education except for examination fees, graduation fees etc.  But yet the public schools have the least support and are always attacked. 

    There would certainly be a different set of circumstances if proper payment for education was required by the Government.  Only those persons who genuinely cannot afford education for their children wouldnt be required to pay with a proper process to determine that. 

    History can show that when persons pay for services they present a different attitude in receiving it and it isn't taken for granted.  I bet there is a different attitude for the use and consumption of electricity and water. But God forbid that should be free.  What a mess we would be in.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, because education is free, those in receipt of it shouldn't expect good quality?  They should only be allowed to complain/expect high standards if they are actually paying for a service?  Because they are not paying for it directly they should not question how money is spent?

      Are you sensible? (11.18)

    • Anonymous says:

      That's why the chief officer send her kids to Prep

       

    • Anonymous says:

      It is called freedom of information and it means that the public get to know better about what is going on in their government and public services.  You represent the attitude that will keep Cayman mired in poor public services andcorruption.  Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Surely buying a bus and employing a bus-driver, if parents can't drive to two schools, makes better financial sense?

    With the extremely low pupil-teacher ratio there, those pupils should be achieving highly.  If they are not then questions need to be asked. Retain the highest-performing teachers and use the performance management process to remove any who are not achieving.  That, combined with retirements as they arise, should reduce the salary costs.  Add to this any savings accrued by virtue of decreased running costs (building maintenance, lighting, a/c) and this should enable the funding of transport.

    Is there a Principal retiring this year?  Is that vacancy being filled…pushing someone up the salary scale unnecessarily?        

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Ms. Watson. Let's take a few more jobs out of the Brac's ailng economy so that it can completely collapse. While we are at it lets increase the economic burden on parents whose income is significantly less that those living in Grand Cayman…

    Perhaps you are looking at this issue in reverse. Based on Cayman Brac's exam results compared to Grand Cayman it would appear that the real problem is mismanagement, underinvestment and unwise spend on public education in Grand Cayman.

    Education, cost of living etc. will always be higher in a small remote location than it is in larger more developed area. If successive governments had come with a real economic plan to heal the Brac's economy rather than simply adding more citizens to the wellfare list and wasting money foolishly. Just maybe the cost of educaton per student would not be as high if there was a growing, economically viable population.

    Cayman Brac's youth score the best results in the public school system in the Cayman Islands, why would we want to jeopardize their education?

    CNS: You must one of the lucky few who has seen the report (or have been told about it) and, since you have highlighted the cons without giving us the pros so that those of us who haven't seen it can weigh the two, your comment is difficult to address. However, the claim that the external exam results are down to the continued segregation of Brac primary children rather than the extraordinary efforts of school staff and the support of parents is highly debatable. Personally I think it's garbage. 

    Also note that this article does not call for the amalgamation of the schools. What I am seeking is to have the same information you have open to the public so that everyone can have input rather than a select few.

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS, I have not seen the report either. The point was NOT the maintaining of district primary schools alone. Rather it is that of value for dollars spent. We should be VERY carefull about making any changes to what is the most successful public school system in the colony.

      CNS: I completely agree, but that is no reason not to openly discuss ways it could be improved.

    • Anonymous says:

      Heavens above, you must be a Bracker with that mentality.  Government should spend more money than is necessary just to provide people with jobs?  Where is that money going to come from?  Did you sleep through the last five years of recession and $100m deficits?  Where is that money going to come from?

      Introduce income tax on the Brac I say.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps a fairer question is this: why should children in the Brac be entitled to a pupil-teacher ratio that is so much lower than their GC counterparts?

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS: The Brac PTA boards had no input in any decisions.  They were TOLD what was going to happen.  Unfortunately, they were not aware of anything until the meeting.  The Education Minister should have taken this to the public instead of making it look like the PTAs agreed to it.

      CNS: Yes, I agree and I am not critical of the PTA members present. My argument is that the presentation has now been made partially public and should therefore now be made available to everyone else. The FOI was refused on the grounds that it was for Cabinet only.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If Tara was a doer rather than a talker she would be moving Mary away from her position.  But I have no faith in Tara.  She talks the talk, but she does nothing.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Let's get the real facts. It was no accident and is well known that some of the PTA members (also well placed PPM supporters) invited to this meeting did not support the amalgamation of the Primary Schools and for purely XXXX reasons. In the end their justification for not combining the schools was that the Ministry/ Dept of Ed provided no proof that amalgimation would actually save money. Is it logical to purpose that maintaining, staffing three sites as opposed to one wouldn't result in cost savings?? Cayman Brac schools are in terrible condition and are staffed generally with teachers and administrators that are underqualified, inexperienced or have been moved around the system due to lack of performance. The Ministry invited these parents knowing that they would be the only ones to voice an opinion and they could conveniently suggest that these are the sentiments of the majority of parents on Cayman Brac which is far from the truth. MOST parents are sick and tired of the conditions and excuses the Dept and MInistry has shoved down our throats for 10 years and given a choice would certainly be in favour of combining the schools as a last ditch effort to improve the ghetto conditions on Cayman Brac.  Time to mobilize parents and bury these special interests and political influence.

    • Anonymous says:

      The parents of the schools would not support amalgation.  This has been brought up before and it's not feasible due to school size and transportation issues. ( As it is now, Creek & Spot Bay only have bus service in the evening and West End has no transportation at all.)  However, the PTA members were totally blindsided and could not have consulted with the parents as they didn't know what the proposals were before the meeting.  The PTA members thought that it was a follow up meeting about proposals put forward by the PTAs regarding each schools needs and how to make things better for all of the schools in the Cayman Islands.  PTA boards were told not asked for ideas.

      I don't know what ghetto conditions that the poster speak of.  These are good schools and good students.  Yes, Spot Bay school has no playground but isn't that Education's fault?  As usual, Spot Bay school is treated with distain.  Mrs. Wahler managed to show uo for the West End school leaving ceremony but not for Spot Bay's.  Wonder why?  

      Maybe, Nicky should visit the schools and see the real problems going on.  Who is going to keep the businesses in West End open when all of the parents have to go to Spot Bay to pick up their children?  Maybe, you need to check out how West End school is treated compared to Spot Bay?  Did you know that the Principal is leaving and they expect the Principal at Creek to manage both schools?

       

      • Anonymous says:

        So how many children does that make the Principal responsible for? How many teachers? How many support staff? I'm sure it is a bearable workload.

    • Anonymous says:

      You sir, or madam, are an idiot!  Maybe the PPM ran the PTA elections too? How in the world could you think that the PPM had something to do with school PTA elections? The people that were invited, were invited because of their position as stated in the article. This has nothing to do with their political affiliation. 

      Where exactly does your research come from when you say "MOST" parents? Have you conducted a survey to prove this statement? I am so glad that you were not representing any of the schools because your blanket statements would definitely "throw the baby out with the bath water."

      I am also curious… "Under qualified?" Do you have any idea that just to teach you here you must have a bachelors degree? You can say "inexperienced," but you must get your facts straight. 

      Finally, thank you for not being a part of the PTA because surely with your one sided and stereo-typical views the children would continue to suffer. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Ministry of Education, Sports, Labour and Pensions must be the Information Commissioner's favourite Ministry because it must be the Ministry that has had the most Appeals submitted to the Information Commissioner, keeping them employed, all because of their continued refusal to release information to many FOI Requests.

    Will someone please teach the Ministry of Education, Sports, Labour and Pensions that the imparting (releasing) of information is the beginning of the education process to become educated. 

    The weak excuses for not releasing information are just that excuses – not facts.

    We the people begin to learn and understand our system of governance when information is released by the creators or holders of the information.

    We the people want to learn and understand the thought and deliberation process of those persons in government that will result in the adoption of policies, laws and plans that affects all persons in the Cayman Islands, us the tax payers. 

    We the people will no longer accept "taxation without representation", yes, we demand the release of all information that leads to decisions, ultimately we will pay the bill for implementation or when no implemantation is done, either way we pay.

    We the people, the governed, want to better understand the value system used by persons in government as they discuss the form governance over us will take.

    We the people wish CNS success in your appeal for the release of information.

     

     

     

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    CNS- Can you please do a FOI on these positions because i understand that somepeople went through the interview process already  before the jobs were advertized in the compass.Is this another scam to get the PPM government croonies and elite  promotions within the services?I'm an unemployed caymanian that always looked in the newspapers and online for good government jobs but if those position aren't advertized how i suppose to apply for them.Can you please find out what are those positions please.Thanks CNS.

     

    Central government’s full-time equivalent staff was budgeted at 3,912 workers for the upcoming 2014/15 fiscal year.

    The largest budgeted increases in full-time equivalent staff were in the Ministry of Tourism, with 26 additional positions, the Ministry of Home Affairs with 14 funded positions and the Ministry of Health, which planned 12 positions.

    Other ministries and departments that increased staffing plans were the Ministry of Community Affairs (four positions), the Ministry of Finance (seven), the Ministry of Financial Services (five), the Ministry of Education (four), the Portfolio of Legal Affairs (four), the Auditor Generals office (two) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (one).

    Staff numbers in the Cabinet office, the Ministry of Planning, and the Portfolio of the Civil Service shrank slightly when compared to the current 2013/14 budget.

    Statutory authorities and government-owned companies reported overall full-time equivalent staff of 2,402 people planned for the 2014/15 budget year.

    The largest proposed staff increases were seen in the Health Services Authority, with 29 new full-time equivalent positions, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, with 14 additional positions, and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, which also had an addition 14 positions.

    Other staff increases were seen at Cayman Airways (seven full-time equivalent positions), the Cayman Islands National Insurance Company (three), the Cayman Turtle Farm (three), the Maritime Authority (one) and the Sister Islands Affordable Housing Corporation (one).

  17. Anonymous says:

    Dear All: Please read the actual letter provided by the chief officer.  I raise only 2 points.. firstly the FOI law provides for legitimate witholding of information if it is felt that the disclosure would prejudice the Government's decision-making in some way, ie. if they aren't finished deliberating on the matter.  So I dont think its fair to call for the chief officer to be fired, and perhaps a better approach would be to ask the politicians to discuss it with us instead of only iamongst themselves.  Secondly, the chief officer choosing to answer the question directly is sensible to me, since the FOI law calls for appeals of decisions made by the FOI person in the department to be appealed to the chief officer before it can be appealed to the FOI office.  It is apparent that the chief officer should be involved in the decision-making to not give CNS the information given its significance.  So it is good that she didnt simply have the FOI officer sign the letter and then accept an appeal of her own decision.  What she did allows CNS to appeal to the FOI Office sooner rather than later. 

  18. Guess Who says:

    For years there were attempts to join Creek and Spot Bay schools.  Whenever it was merntioned there was mass public outcry.  Julie herself said it would never happen in her lifetime.   The way around was to put the infants at Creek and the Juniors at Spot Bay, that way the Spot Bayers didn't feel that they were losing their school.  But there was still some ill feeling over the matter.    Mary is only doing her job; she's from the Brac so she knows how the parents will feel, so she is simply being kind by not allowing irresponsible journalists to stir up public feeling over something that the government obviously haven't even considered yet.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Mary doesn't give a hoot about what happens in the Public school system. The fact that her kids have never attended a public school demonstrates how much faith she has in our public school system that she claims to be working so hard for. In fact check all of those in the Education Ministry who have snubbed their noses at the public school system and put their kids in private school, that should tell you all what they think about the public schools. I have to commend Mark Scotland and his wife as I understand that their kids have always attended public school and they can afford to send their kids to the best private school this island has to offer. That is the kind of support and faith that Mary should show in the public school system. XXXX How am I supposed to believe that these people have our kids' best interest and and is truly interesred in delivering quality education when making decisions when they themselves are not stakeholders and have basically snubbed the public school system? You can't force the CO to send her kids to a public school but if a CEO of a company bought shares in every other company except the one he/she actually worked for, I would wonder "What is wrongwith the company?"

    • Anonymous says:

      22.21 – I think you will find that Chief Education Officer Shrley Wahler's kids did go through the government school system…….

  20. Anonymous says:

    Time for Mary to retire.

    • Anonymous says:

      She is certainly a big part of the problem and not part of the solution. 

  21. P&L says:
    OMG… THIS IS SO VERY SAD. Are you paying attention to this?
     
    If our leaders keep this Chief Officer they condone publicly this disgusting behavior. So let's watch this now.
     
    And her response, if you can squeeze between those jargon filled lines, is BS. She thinks she sounds smart and makes sense but she does not. 
     
    Clearly some will delay or even bury the truth to protect themselves despite who it hurts.THIS EDUCATION DEBACLE is PROOF to us all that this Chief Officer DOES NOT CARE ABOUT OUR CHILDREN OR THE STATE OF GOVERNMENT FINANCES. She clearly cares more about getting the HOTTEST NEWEST BMW than our children or our country. I feel embarrassed for her.
     
    ALDEN AND TARA. THE FLOOR IS YOURS… OUR CHILDREN NEED YOU TO FIX THIS… IF MARY STAYS… KNOW FOR SURE YOU ARE BARTERING WITH YOUR VOTES…
     
    THINK CAREFULLY.
     
     
     
     
    • Anonymous says:

      Mary Girl, sounds like you have someone who wants your job badly. We have always been proud of our Bracer and you have certainly earned it. So sorry for you as it seems like it is your turn now, as Caymanians are like CRABS. Soon allof our very own people will be destroyed by them selves and we are rated the highest in doing a good job at that. SHAME SHAME.

      • Anonymous says:

        You want to keep a failing person in the job just because it means Brac representation?  Among the children suffering because of the poor decisions your Mary is making are your own Brac children.  How can class sizes be so low and yet results so poor?

        • Anonymous says:

          It is obvious you are ignorant of all the factors influencing good results in the school system.   I bet you are a parent–a poor one who is contributing to a big part of the problem with education today. Read and refrain from commenting if you lack understanding.

        • Anonymous says:

          Results poor?  The Brac schools do way better than the Grand Cayman schools.

          • Anonymous says:

            Better than GC schools does not make them good… but if low results are acceptable then way to go

      • P&L says:

        FIRST OF ALL… I DO NOT WANT HER JOB. I am a qualified professional and have a great job.. So take a seat.

        You don't even see that this "Protect the Brac at ALL COST" mentality is what allowed a report that would have saved money AND provided a higher quality of education to YOUR CHILDREN was held back likely just to protect a few jobs. 

        Because of your limited economy we keep making stupid decisions as a country… Like flying 85% empty airplanes over there far too often… Surely 2-3 days a week be sufficient.

        Most may not know but crabs do well living in close proximity to each other… They are known to work together to provide food and protection for their family. It is only when they feel threatened and get tossed in hot water that the analogy begins to take shape. So you see… I actually prefer to get along with the crabs in my bucket… But when I see a rotten one… I prefer we work together to toss it over the bucket wall! Do you understand where I am coming from yet?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Ha! The Freedom of Disinformation!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Time for Chief Officer Mary Rodriques to go or be fired she had her chance and has lost the plot.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is how you begin the process of being placed on Required Leave (paid vacation), and they are playing right into Mary's hands.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Was Ms. Watson ever a part of a PTA? If so she must know that many issuses and ideas are discussed in private between a PTA board and school administration. Just because Education Department is unwilling to give her all the details it does not necessarily mean anything sinister.

    • Anonymous says:

      Her children have been out of school for donkey ages so she has no clue what's going on.  Why didn't she raise a stink about the lack of a playground at Spot Bay?  As usual, Spot Bay getting the crap end of the stick.  The worst part is Creek and Spot Bay have the best teachers and the best students.  Of course, that's why they are trying to bring them down.  Then we have two MLAs with no children in school, a green Education Minister throwing her weight around.  Thanks for all of teh broken promises about helping our schools.  Anyway, come next election our votes will do the talking.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is interesting that you are making a judgement on the quality of teachers on Cayman Brac and worse, comparing Creek and Spot Bay with West End.  Who are you?  What authority do you have on teaching?  The real problem is that people like you are very short sighted, shallow and clueless about what quality teaching is.  The greatest problem with education, especially on the Brac is that too many parents want to be teachers and school leaders without the qualification and experience necessary.  There is a significant lack of parental support for schools and politics dominate every major decision.  If this culture does not change, we are heading for failure and our children will ultimately suffer as a result.   Lord, help us!

  25. Anonymous says:

    What should be cut in Cayman Brac is social services and fire service.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least the fire service in the brac cleans their own vehicles unlike the Police who get theirs clean by CB rent a car and the work all night on their shift unlike the Police who go home and sleep on their night shift!

      • Anonymous says:

        The fire service spend most of their time idle, the police are overworked.  Your point is a bad one.

    • Anonymous says:



      Itotally agree with Social Services being cut. Its redicilous.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Watson can't imagine why? More money spent on gas for parents and less jobs for teachers and other school staff.

  27. Anonymous says:

    The CO of the Ministry of Education needs to be fired! 

    Is there no end to what she would cover up?!!!

    • Education failure says:

      The failure of our system lies directly on Mary.  Why do we continue to allow such a shambles with only 6000 students?

      We have the chance to be a global benchmark with such a small population.  Recruit and pay decent teachers better, get rid of the lemons and stop giving the adminstration rewards for such failures.

      John Gray and George Hicks and Clifton Hunter would be ashamed and the first ones to Tar & feather these well paid executives.  I do not sleep well knowing this continues.

      • The Truman Years says:

        To be fair, the systemic failure started with Truman. The shocking choices of Chief Education Officer following Andrea Bryan have compunded the issues. Flatley and Walher shoulder much of the blame.

  28. Anonymous says:

    We must continue to keep our people in the dark!  If we don't the politicians lose their power base.

    We should accept that and be happy with knowing only that which they fool we need to know.

    Until we have OMOV as promised by the PPM  in their manifesto we will continue to have to put up with this horse manure type of selective release of information.

    They got elected based on a promise they refuse to keep.  Many of us will not forget this. It is not too late to keep the promise but the clock is ticking.