Minister plans school sell-off

| 08/07/2014

(CNS): The local education system could be facing a dramatic change in the near future as the minister considers the creation of grant-maintained, charter-based academies or independent schools financed via a combination of private sector and government money. However, such schools that choose to adopt to the new system will be able to pick and choose students, rejecting those that have learning difficulties or behaviour problems and running the risk of creating a two tier system. The education minister has confirmed that she is “critically reviewing the education system” and the law to facilitate independence for public as well as private schools.

Caymanian parents won’t necessarily have to pay for their children’s education if they do not have the means, and the cost of attending private or grant-maintained schools will still be met by the public purse. However, which school a child attends would, under such a system, have a great deal more to do with their ability to pass entrance exams, auditions, tests or other selection criteria rather than the catchment area in which they live.

Tara Rivers, the education minister, said that the review of the current system would prioritize tackling behaviour concerns, governance, vocational services and the introduction of an independent and objective inspections regime. However, the minister also appears to be taking a very different approach to that set out in the PPM manifesto, which pointed to equality in the education system and the need to implement the law drawn up by Premier Alden McLaughlin when he was education minister between 2005 and 2009.

Rivers told CNS that she will also be looking at that education law, which was passed just before the end of the PPM’s previous term but was never implemented by Rolston Anglin, who held the education reins during the UDP government. 

“The intention is to revise and update the Education Modernisation Law … over the coming year to facilitate the changes, and to deal with technical breaches and other requirements necessary to update the Law in light of the new Constitution of the Cayman Islands and other relevant legislation coming into effect since the passing of the original law,” she said.

“The proposal is to establish a governance model that will revolutionise the delivery of public education services through public-private partnerships. A board or boards of governors or similar entity is anticipated to be established and will manage the operational aspects of each of the schools under their purview, with regulatory oversight provided by the Ministry of Education, and each school will be assessed regularly by the independent inspections unit to be established,” the minister added.

Rivers said the aim with a public-private model of education is to raise the standard of education and to facilitate the Cayman Islands in becoming a centre of excellence for education.

“The proposal is still under discussion and development within the ministry and has yet to be discussed in full detail with Caucus,” she revealed

Although in its early days, it appears that while the minister has the full backing of her Coalition for Cayman colleagues, who ran a double page advertisement in the local paper on Friday calling for reform, CNS understand that she may not have the full backing of the PPM government.

CNS has contacted the premier for comment but is still awaiting a response.

Rivers’ elected C4C colleagues are understood to be backing the plans, as does the wider membership of the C4C, the platform of the political group on which Rivers campaigned. It is understood that C4C members are doing the rounds to persuade local NGOs and associations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, to back this radical departure from the vision of the premier. When Alden McLaughlin was education minister he spoke often about creating a world class modern, education system based on equality and the learning needs and abilities of the children in the system.

In its campaign advertisement the C4C heralded the idea of adopting an ARK type system akin to the UK but which has come in for considerable criticism.

Those who have concerns about the system say it leaves kids who can’t make the grade in the specialist schools concentrated in under-funded government schools, creating a two tier system not unlike the much maligned grammar and secondary modern system, which was changed in the 1970s because of its inequality, segregation and early labelling of children as failures.

In the face of recent genuine concerns in the government school system, not just about the poor standards of behaviour among students, but teachers as well, the clamour for an overhaul from those parents engaged in their kids’ education is loud and clear.

However, when the examination statistics are all confirmed by the education department very soon, the public high schools are all expected to post record breaking results this year which far outrank schools in the region. Despite the difficulties faced by a not insignificant number of children, most of Cayman’s students in the public school system are not failing anywhere near as badly as people believe.

Nevertheless, there is still a significant number of children with special educational needs and who have behavioural problems as a result of the neglect or abuse they are facing in their home environments. But the ability for private, grant-maintained, charter or academy schools to choose their students via entrance exams and other criteria will marginalise these most vulnerable kids and the ones that need the most attention.

The public purse will then be left to pick up the full tab for all those children and create schools especially for failing students, not only marking them from the very beginning but placing them in more overcrowded disadvantaged environments. With funding cuts and a higher concentration of lower socio-economic parents, these schools will then struggle to attract private sector money of any kind.

The segregation of children is not always very successful and rarely so for those at the bottom of the socio-economic or academic pile.

This issue was brought to the fore by the previous minister, Rolston Anglin, when he closed the Alternative Education Centre. The unit had been created for children with behavioural problems with the intention of creating a specialist learning environment for those kids who were struggling in the mainstream. However, the centre's only claim to fame was that almost all of its former students have either been killed in gang related violence, are currently in jail or have been released after serving at least one prison term.

See related story on CNS:

Brac graduates blaze a trail

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  1. Quincy Brown says:

    We are still going to need sharecroppers, fishermen, garbage collectors, carpenters, dish washers, painters, mechanics et al. These students should attend gov't schools and trade centers. The students well poised to take up positions at Maples and Calder, Walkers, Ernst & Young, DART Corporate, Westar and Enterprise City should have attended Prep, Grace, St Ignatius, CI International School. Private schools are very expensive and only the chosen elite usually attend. Though there are students from poverty stricken homes and communities who receive special grants and scholarships, the majority of those who attend Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and Princeton are from the aristocracy. We live in an age where we all have access to education [in this part of the world] and those who choose to not embrace ever changing technology, will no doubt be left behind. And those who can not afford modern IT in education will also be left behind. Would like to see more young people serving in tourism.

    Education for ALL. Not Free for some and costly for others. Free for all [KM] or everyone has to pay [AS]. Political views.

    Just my 2 cents.

     

    Quincy Brown

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry Quincy you got is all wrong. All the carreers you name are for people on work permits. We too good to wash dishes and dump garbage for ourselves now a days.

       

      NOT!!!   

      • Anonymous says:

        All these consultants and political figures come up with these big changes to make to the educational system. The system doesn't need charter schools, academies, walls or no walls, new schools and high tech computer programs. The educational system needs consistent discipline, rules and regulations that are followed, reading, writing and math skills being taught . Bottom line!

        Stick around long enough in education and you will see a repeat of all this "crap"( acadamies, walls, no walls etc.)- "they" try it for a couple years, realize it does not increase learning, try some new "inititative" and if you stick around long enough, the "crap" comes back around under a different "innovative" name. Reading, writing and math skills plus discipline will get someone further in life…tried and true!

    • Anonymous says:

      What tosh. 

  2. young caymanian says:

    Are we all ignoring the fact that our entire Legislative Assembly was educated in the public school system???

    What was so wrong with the system they were educated with?

    Why can we not re establish these same values, re open the sixth form centre at the public school and see where it goes from there?

    I would have much preffered to attend sixth form at the school I graduated at, rather than having to pay $1200 p/m for tuition at private school.

    My two cents.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct,however you aremissing another point, why does it cost Gov $25-30k per childin the public schools and only cost 12-15k in private. Something is wrong there.

      Iam  firm beleiver that as in the past when i wasin HS our parents had to pay  fee per yr we shoud not bhanding out charity we need to earn it!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Now find out how much of the private fees will be/are covered by government grants…

        • Anonymous says:

          $1.5 million (per government that is what the subsidy is) across all the private school students?  Not going to be that much.  Even if there are only 1500 private school students – less than half the public school numbers — that would only be 1000 per student.  The cost per student difference is $12000 to $13000.  Bottom line – government could theoretically cut the education bill in half by shutting the public schools and paying for all the students to go to Prep or CIS!

          • Anonymous says:

            really????  so where are you goin g to put them all?? cuz CIS and Prep have loads of unused spaces….

            • Diogenes says:

              Poster was wrong – according to the education report there are nearly 2800 private school students – subsidy of approximately $540 per student.  As for the other point, sure there is a limit to how many CIS or Prep could absorb, but if they can educate kids (and make a profit) why shoudnt other operators be able todo the same?  Hell, you could even give them the brand new school to run.  Fundamental question is why the cost to CIG is so much more than the price for which the private sector is willing to do the job.   

      • Anonymous says:

        the reason its cheaper in private schools is because they exclude students that have behaviour issues and special education needs whenever possible.  Government cannot do that.  private schools also receive subsidies from Government every year.   Education in public schools when comparing fairly is cheaper, but the figures often used to compare are costs of a private school vs. cost of a public school + special education needs + education department costs = unfair comparision.

        • Diogenes says:

          Good point, but the equation needs expansion.  The private schools offfer far smaller class sizes and far better resources, all of which should significantly increase cost per student.  For example CIS has class sizes of 16, "smart" white boards in every class, and first class sports facilities.   Not saying that outweighs the cost of special needs students, but its not as simple as you may think. 

          • Anonymous says:

            Except CIS aren't 'paying' for those sports facilities any more than the school PE classes at the Lion's Pool mean the schools are 'paying' for that pool as part of their school costs. And in CIS case that extends to the fields, ARC, etc.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am a PTA member and have friends who are PTA members of other schools.  Government schools offer all of those same things. the average class size is 18 i believe, but dont quote me on that one, but it wouldnt be above 23. Many classrooms, I believe the majority, have smart boards, overall resources are kept up to date. public schools also have well maintained sports facilities for students and those facilitites are made available to the public to use for free. All of those maintenance costs are covered by the education department for the benefit of the entire counrty.

    • Anonymous says:

      If yu take a good look at the LA for the last 30 years you can better understand the problem.

      The CI School system SUCKS and far too many of the grads are completly unqualified to get a job…let alone hold it.

      Any change is better than what we have at preseent.

      • Anonymous says:

        Folks,,, the majority of public school graduates are smart, honest, hard-working young people, some in the workforce right after high school, some going on to University.  To any of them reading this stream I want to encourage you to not give up despite the efforts of those that want to take your country from you and those that are too busy squabbling to realise that they are insulting you with there inaccurate and unsupported generalities.

    • Anonymous says:

      All members of LA educated by public school system? No wonder our country is in a mess.     

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why can’t everyone see we are becoming too divided as a nation. Instead of tearing our future apart, why not try to build it up and use the seed (our children) that God Gave us as the good building stones of our island. Our children are suffering bad,and no matter what anyone try to say or deny, “We” the parents/teachers/principals are to blame. Not all but MOST. No matter how great a parent we think we are, there is always room to be greater. That I learned the hard way. I prayy for our children and for what the love and greed of money is doing to their future in their own home.

  4. MEM says:

    What makes private school so successful? The fact that the parents who can actually afford to school their children privately are EDUCATED AND HAVE MORALS AND VALUES. They are obviously not hood-rats, drug dealers, unemployed or at the lower end of the socio-economic scale, this makes ALL the difference. These private school children come from good backgrounds, even if their parents aren't around to parent them, they have qualified nannies. Their parents have the money to keep them fully occupied with additional training, then there are the extra-curricular activities that teach many additional life lessons that not too many public school parents can afford to sign their children up for. In the private school system there is a greater concentration of educated, matured parents, whereas our public school systems are dominated by barely educated parents from the lower spectrums of society and many of whom had their first baby at 16 (no not every parent, but believe me there are enough to spoil the pot!). These parents drop their kids off in their "pimped-out" cars with blazing loud, vulgar reggae music as these young innocent childrens step out to school probably with memories of daddy beating mommies head in the night before. YES THIS IS CAYMAN, and our politicians and "higher-uppers" are too faraway from the scene to see the action. Learning begins AT HOME and I don't give a $h!t how many fancy Clifton Hunters we build, how many "academies" we create, how many various curriculums we implement, how many education ministers we elect or how many adverts the coalition places in the Compass, NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE for as long as these poor excuse for parents keep breeding.

    Case closed!

    • Anonymous says:

      so parents that can affoard to send their children to private school have as you say "Morals and Values" and the children come from good backgrounds.

      It sounds very much like you are living in "LaLa land" Much white collar crime comes from these  same upstanding, respectable people that you are singing praise to. Just because a person sends their children to public schools does not mean that they too do dont have the same "High Morals and Values" My children went through the cayman public school system and have done very well for themselves, having done their associate degrees and now in Canada doing their Bachalors degrees.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        I will take a white collar crime over rape, assault, murdered, gangs, drugs related violence or bulling every single time, no questions ask. wouldnt you?

      • Anonymous says:

        I think that would be "Bachelors" degree my friend

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      That's exactly right. 

      All this is going to do is separate the good students from the weaker students and create a three layered education system (private, public for good students and public for weaker students).  It will also create more layers of people to point the finger at if things go wrong.  It's hard to imagine how this will not increase the cost of education for government and yet again waste money that we don't have.  Correct the issues with the current system and hold people accountable (teachers, students, and most importantly parents).

      Decisions like this should be made by permanent civil servants dedicated to education not the Education Minister of the day that doesn't fully understand the issues and simply wants to attach their name to something.  

      There is no need to reinvent the wheel every time the government changes.  That applies to everything that government is involved with not just education.  Look at the issues with the dump as another example of poor leadership by elected officials who don't have the wherewithal to understand the importance of the issue or the balls to make a decision.  

      • Anonymous says:

        The other side effect will be on employability. God help you if you go to a non academy public school as employers will assume that your intelligence or commitment has already been tested and found second rate.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head. Kudos and preach!

    • Anonymous says:

      The socio-economic status of a child's close friends at school is the factor with the highest correlation to positive life outcomes in terms of relationships, happiness, income and criminality (or lack of criminality). 

  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm sorry… has everyone missed the part where our students are doing better than ever before in their final results????  It seems to me that the education system is improving.  It also seems to me that this is once again another change to the system.. I have a novel idea.. if its improving.. why not leave it alone for longer than 4 years and see where we get to?!  Cayman's education system is not imploding as some would have us believe.  its improving.  So why the rush to  change yet again?  This seems to me to be nothing more than a power grab by wealthy individuals who up to this point have remained silent and uninvolved.  By the way Academy schools work because they are able to segregate and exclude.  Minister Rivers has not given any details on whether she plans to adopt this model or try to do it without segregation.. at which point I would ask what evidence is there that using a model built on segregation but ignoring this key facet is successful.

    • tellmenah says:

      The parents of the children are more educated than the previous generation ( book smart). Thus the improved grades.. Keep the next round of school leavers for just one more year of continued education  and you will see the value in continued education for thier children ..

  6. Anonymous says:

    I saw this coming. A C4C/PPM supporter in West Bay brought this up and did you note that how many MLAs, government leaders, top businesses people are sending their children to Prep? 

    Check it out!

     

    Now they can better control who becomes or remains the eite group in Cayman. This breaks my heart as I watch the gap between the haves and have nots dramatically increase, yet these 'highly intelligent' leaders have no clue as to how quickly they're going to destroy the very community they believe their children will dominate. When the majority are scrambling for a few low paying jobs, turning to crime, these ame privileged chidlren will have to run….luckily they probably have that second or third house and passport so wont be so damaged but the sad group of voters who keep believing thelies would have ruined it all for their children.

  7. Anonymous says:

    So the same people who have been unable to work the current system will be expected to institute a new system and run that effectively.

    Ah te hopes and dreams of polticians spending our moey.

  8. tellmenah says:

    Give all the children 2 more years of school. How can you expect a young person to step out of school at 16 and become a productive member?  

    • Anonymous says:

      its called A-LEVELS!!!!!

      British system. Finish high school at 16, then do your a-levels till you're 18!

      MORON 

      • Anonymous says:

        yes, but how many enter into the A levels program versus how many opt/flunk out?

      • Anonymous says:

        Only a tiny percentage of children -even British ones(!) – are academically able to "do" A levels.

        MORON

        • Anonymous says:

          Well what does that tell you?!? MORON. Please learn about the education systems in Cayman, we have American here i.e Triple C, and all our government schools are run under the british law for education because WE ARE INDEED a dependent territory of the U.K.

          My reason for calling you a moron is that you do not understand the school system to which you have referred. If you want to see your child stay in secondary form till age 18 then send him/her to an American school. ok?

          What Ms. Rivers has proposed is long over-due.  

           

          • Anonymous says:

            Long overdue?  Ha ha ha  Idjit!

          • Anonymous says:

            That was my first post Moron since you have communication problems.

            Plus I took no sides in your pissing contest.

            When posters are costantly calling peope moron i have to quesion their educational level.

            This country has schools with both system as you noted. If you are looking to send you cildren ultimtely to the UK then the UK style educaion is best suted but most studnts end up going to the US for which wehave a second edcaton system.

            Now please go back to preschool and ask them t teach you some more words.

        • Anonymous says:

          I believe the requirements to attempt A levels is passes in 5 O Level subjects. When I was in school the A level group might have been 20 students but there were still others that could qualify but preferred to go to the US Universities. I think the US Universities dont giveproper credit to A level passes.

          So maybe a lutin would befor al thoe that pass the equred number mus go on to A Levels. The problem is not wih these top students but with number of failling students  

          • Anonymous says:

            My A-Levels were treated as full college credit at a good US University. The English high school system, done properly, is academically superior. We should however raise graduation age to 18 and force those who are not A-Level bound into technical and vocational pursuits for those extra 2 years; in addition to making sure they can read and write.   

  9. Justice says:

    We paying politicians salaries for stupid researches and dumb ideas. If this isn't discrimination of its worst kind, I don't know what is. 

    When are caymanians going to stop taking this stupidness from our government? 

  10. Anonymous says:

    It is good idea to help the talented ones and to stop them being dragged down by the stupidity of the masses.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is the problem we have in this country. We elect people who may be well educated like the Premier and now Minister Rivers who have absolutely never managed anything before and  catapult them into such powerful positions with wide ranging consequences . 

    They have grandiose plans like any new manager has on his first assignment, but not really practical. Time to get more experienced persons I say to be elected who have already made their mark and have  nothing to prove.  Education should not be  a place for experimentation.

    When will we learn. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah being an associate lawyer is hardly management level  experience. 

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Too true, being an associate attorney is just being a billing monkey.  No management is involved.

      • Anonymous says:

        Being an associate lawyer does NOT make a good educator or facilitator of Education!

        However, I am in support of the current proposal and hope it sheds a light on those representatives from the Ministry of Education who have NOT been doing their job for years.

        The madness must stop.

         

  12. Anonymous says:

    Funny that many of the coalition members send their children to private boarding schools off island, or to private schools on island and presumably have little experience or knowledge other than hear-say of the real issue at the on-island government schools. Couch-side coaching. How about they disclose which schools their children attend/attended before trying to bring uk elite school practices and admission policies to cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe if thety do that our brightest kids will be able to get a world class education without having to be sent to a private school. As long as our system sets our gifted kids next to a crack baby the system will fail our children on both sides of the spectrum!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right – they send their kids to private schools,   But while we are pointing this fact out, how many of the current children of the current LA go to private schools vs government schools?  

      Government schools are not what they used to be!

       And if all Caymanians could afford private schools, they would be sending their kids to private school over government schools.  

      Private school eduacation should be afforded to all.  It is known that governments are "great" at doing everything all the time.  Our past governments have allowed our schools to fail our kids.  This government has a chance to make it right.  If private schools are doing a better job than government schools educating our children for less money – then let the private sector eduacate ALL the children.  Lets stop the segregation – all the children deserve a great education.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Did I miss something?  This system seems to be focused on the upper levels of school.  Many of the issues begin in the primary schools.  So we will neglect the children at the primary level and then when it comes time for them to pass an entrance exam to get into middle/high school we are going to look at them and say "sorry you don't make the grade – here is the school for you."

    I fear that the when they refer to learning difficulties children with a learning disorders will be the victims.  A child with a learning disorder just needs to approach the same tasks in a different way – it does not mean the child is not capable of doing the same level of work.  It has also been found that some children behavioural issues stems from children who have challenges learning and disguise these issues with bad behaviour.  I'm not saying all behavioural issues are caused by learning challenges – but in this day and age I would hope that these possibilities are being investigated.  BUT I fear not.

    Finally, and this has nothing to do with the article – why do we have a school system whose curriculum is based on one of the Caribbean when or children attend colleges primarily in the US, UK and Canada – even the two colleges on island are US based in grading.  These children come back and work for bosses who were educated as above.  These managers look at resumes and need a translator to understand the education sections – especially since the system changes every 4 years!

     

     

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Cayman should stop importing stupidity.

    You let these people around your children with there half animal behavior .

    You expect your children to do good. when ther are raised around the dreck of another country

    Perhaps all new workers should actually be able to read and wright .

     A passing grade from high school.

    Not just speak jibberish.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Not just the grown ups, what about the children that are imported into our schools.  Behavioural problems is the name of the game.  Stop the immigration process.

      • Anonymous says:

        No children are imported into our schools. Anyone working in Cayman on a permit that have kids must send thiem to private schools.  it is another screwed up law that has led to segregation in the schools.  

      • MEM says:

        Most of the problem children I have seen in the public school system are wholly Caymanian, with caymanian parents (many with teen parents). If they were to interview each of the identified problem students and their parents then they'd see, changing the schools will not help without changing the parenting!

    • Anonymous says:

      A good laugh for me.  Wright??  Or did you mean write! 

    • Anonymous says:

      That's write – being able to read and right is crucial lol

    • Anonymous says:

      The irony of this post is not lost on me… The spelling and grammatical errors are for all to see… There instead of their… ther instead of they… wright instead of write… Got to love when a Caymanian complains 🙂 Why import stupidity when stupidity is clearly already here!?

      • Anonymous says:

        That's exactly what the troll wanted you to believe and respond. 

    • Anonymous says:

      In order of error:

      1. Their

      2. Good, they are

      3. Country.

      4. Write 

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop trolling with all the deliberate misspellings while pretending to be a Caymanian. No one could possibly make that many errors in one short post while complaining about the ability to read and write.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice try, you're not Caymanian.  If you know the word "dreck" you would not make any of the other mistakes that you have made.  Grow up you little troll.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your correct I am not a Caymanian but i have cayman children.

         I send my children to private school and keep them away from the Dreck on this island as best i can.

        I know my writing sucks but that is ok I am smart enough to make enough money to retire here in Cayman I retired at 38 so I have plenty of Balls to call it the way Isee it

        And now i am almost 50 so i think i know more than most

        And for my spelling i read at least 5 languages 

        That said i stick by my statement about you all importing Dreck 

        Furthermore you must like how cayman is failing  

          

  15. The Janitor says:

    So what happens to the "problem" child?

    • Michel says:

      There alreadi not being treated good. We have a grandchild with it and they had him get med. And still was only allowed 2 full days in class. No clue. Not good.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry to hear that Michel.  I know a lot of parents are going to other parents that have children with problems asking them for help.  That is so sad.  In Grand Cayman, the Special Needs Foundation can help.  Unfortunately, in the Brac, we have no where to turn for help.

  16. Michel says:

    Are You kidding me ? Run by investors? Mr. Premier you are Full or surprises and lack on your promises you made us when campaigning. Where going from bad to worst and it’s my strong opinion that Caymanians are becoming 2nd class citizens Thank God we have good men like Hon.Antony Eden and MLA Al Suckoo in our B. T. District that listen to us and take the time .But you need to work on your G.T. Headquarters as I met with a G.T. on a very important personal matter and he never bothered to call me back. Not very impressive. God Bless, Michel Lemay

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm not even a PPM supporter and these comments seem irrelevant.  Doesn't the article say that this "idea" does not currently have the support of the PPM?

      Also Tara is a WB representative who ran under the C4C platform – what does her plan have to do with the PPM GT headquarters.  Do your comments relate to the issue at all or are you just in the mood to bash the PPM?

       

  17. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting…I wonder what the Brac model will look like!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think its a brilliant idea. Children need a school where they are challenged to be successful. Unfortunately the public schools are not performing. Children need discpline and structure and a quiet room to hear what the teacher is saying. Not hear some diliquent children making noise and not paying attention and disturbing the class. They only have a certain amount of years while they are young to achieve intelligent speech and be able to add ,subtract, multiply and divide. They need to be focus. 

    Why should children who want to better themselves not have a fair chance to be educated properly? If private, grant-maintained, charter or academy schools can allow children ability to have A proper chance then let's change the system. The  time for us to do something is now.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Schools of this type don't HAVE to be selective. More of a concern though is the number of schools of this type which have been judged as failing in the last year or so in the UK – almost 3 times as many in percentage terms than in the state sector. In fact things are now so bad that the British Education Ministry is having to set up over-arching  bodies to supervise them at very large additional expense. And, of course, all this is despite the fact that these schools are better funded!  Such an approach could certainly have a place in Cayman but out-sourcing to the private sector is no magic solution in itself and would require very careful regulation.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this will fix the problem in the future, but what about now!!!! The schools have been graduating children for years that can't even read or write properly….what do we do with them? what do we do with the children graduating now who fell through the cracks, of a school system that failed?  lets not forget the 10 million dollar school

     

  21. Anonymous says:

    Red Light #1. Cayman is an extremely small educational jurisdiction ….. for the past two decades we have been adopting 'models' characterisedby/ based on the assumption that bigger is better and the more money one spends the better the product will be. Cayman is an extremely small educational jurisdicton are we starting top-down again and failing to work on the root(s) of whatever problem(s) there may be? 

    Red Light #2. What does this mean? ' '“The proposal is to establish a governance model that will revolutionise the delivery of public education services through public-private partnerships. A board or boards of governors or similar entity is anticipated to be established and will manage the operational aspects of each of the schools under their purview, with regulatory oversight provided by the Ministry of Education, and each school will be assessed regularly by the independent inspections unit to be established,” the minister added.' Have we heard similar 'speak' before? Moreover, this model is not new as any student of UK or Caribbean education will tell you; nor will it 'revolutionise' just si if at all .

    Imported ideas and imported jargon should be truly subjected to the usual sequence of ingestion, digestion, absorption-assimilation and, of course, egestion; all guided by a sound understanding of or society and what is good and best for us. 

  22. Anonymous says:

    So we will be like Jamaica where the kids take their gsats in year 6 and then get "placed" at high school according to their gsat grades?  A few good high schools and the rest piss poor, and the stigma that goes along with it if your child goes to one of the schools knows as "crap."

    Damn shame. I wish I could send my kids somewhere else. But I cant afford private scools and we are Caymanian. I cant run "back home" to the US or Canada etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you should have run your finances before having children, then you would have options when it come to where you send them to school instead of just "expecting" the government to pick up the tab.

  23. Anonymous says:

    In a small jurisdiction such as this, "dividing up the talent" like this would be divisive and discouraging for all but the brightest students; some would argue that it would be racist as it would adversely affect the lower socio-economic members of society who happen to be, in the main, black.My guess is it will be deemed politcally and socially unacceptable and will, as an idea, just go away.

  24. Anonymous says:

    HOW ABOUT A TRADE SCHOOL??????????????????????????????????????? instead of just saying " they stupid" "cant learn" or they lazy why dont we try different types of education. Just because a child is not great at math doesnt mean he wont be the best chef in  town, doesnt mean he wont be the greatest plumer. Oh forgot it easier to just pay for a permit.

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”



    ― Albert Einstein

    • Anonymous says:

      My child is horrible at math. However as a parent I put the extra time into helping and working with my child. Looking for extra things to do online. Math games. Worksheets. These children are not bad at math. The problem is no one had taken the interest and the time to work with them on it.  The same goes for English, writing skills, science, any subject. 

    • Anonymous says:

      sold her seat in WB, why not the schools?

  25. Anonymous says:

    What they fail to mention is the two year program that Mr. Anglin put in place to assist all children.  His Early Childhood program is what is needed to continue to help those that have fallen behind and prevent it from continuing further.  Hopefully, Human Rights will prevent this segregation.  If they think they have crime now wait with this new model and see what happens.  More Caymanians will fail.  People that don't have children shouldn't be in charge of Education.  Those who feels it knows it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop allowing all those imports into our school system.  When they are allowed into the system the costs is borne by the taxpayers, by having to provide special teachers  for their learning disabilities, their needs and inability of parents to provide for them.  How much burden can the Cayman Islands accept from abroad, in addition to our own.

      Behavioral problems works both ways, what we know that is ours and what we don't know that is  brought in.  Education in public schools here is free but not so free in other jurisdictions.

      • Anonymous says:

        My son is 100% Caymanian and so are most of the kids with disabilities. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You understand that the Minister and the Chief Officer do have children, right? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Are their children in private or public school?

        • Anonymous says:

          Posters comment was that they didn’t have children not where they sent them. Do try and read before spouting.

  26. Anonymous says:

    easiest thing – send your kids to the Brac!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think sending children to Cayman Brac to school would be a good idea as there are less distractions there so the children will be more focused on learning. However, the ones sent there should be ones who are willing and able to learn and are of good behavior.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Personally I think this is a good idea, kids that study and work hard should be rewarded for thier hard work, it also gives those that want too something higher to strive for. It's not fair to the hard working kids to have to sit next to disruptive students all day. The reality should be that if you want a good education and success you have to work and study hard, if they are not academically advanced there should be other options that students try form like construction, Elctrical, Plumbing or even Dive related Careers this could be in a votech program that they would also have to get accepted into. And for those students that punch and kick teachers, maybe classes at northward. All the others who settle for just the basics can get the basics maybe teach them how to flip burgers of stock shelves, this in itself may convince them to strive for more.

  28. Anonymous says:

    No "head rolling" at the top???? Just generic structural changes so we can wait years, and those at the top keep thier jobs,  before we see any real progress. 

  29. Anonymous says:

    When will the education minister address the government's obligation to provide free primary and secondary education to all resident children?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Do it

  31. Anonymous says:

    I find it funny that decades ago we (& the UK  and most other places) switched from public/grammar school to ‘comprehensive’ schools where everyone was able to access the same level of education, because we realised that the opportunities afforded by a good education should be available to all, i.e., comprehensively. (Please forgive me if I get the names of the education types wrong, it was all before my time.) Now the UK (and US) and now seemingly Cayman are going to move to ‘academies’. Because ‘those kids’ can’t handle as good an education as ‘these kids’. It won’t be sold that way, but that’s what happens. (See UK OFSTED reports & various US school assessments.)

    I also find it funny that while we supposedly try to shrink government there will be another level of 'management' at these 'public' schools, in the form of a board of governors. Anyone who has observed UK Government 'shrinkage' will have observed that all it does is push the work out of governent, via third parties, that ends up costing more (more management layers, profits as well) though it does reduce internal headcount. But these are the people we listen to to shrink our public service.

    Rather than pursuing the ‘theory’ they espouse how about we learn from the practice they have achieved and don’t go there. Yes, education is evolving (or revolving) – and it needs to – but ‘academies’, i.e., early segregation based on perceived abilities, should be seen as regression. (I prefer a comprehensive group/individual-cross-field-project-based, teaching system, if you feel it’s unfair to castigate without offering alternatives. But that’s neither here nor there to the proposal of ‘academies’ for Cayman.)

    • Anonymous says:

      The 'comprehensive' system in the UK has been a tragic failure since it was introduced by a socialist government decades ago. The ridiculous notion that all men are equal when it comes to intelligence and intellect has been proven to fail, and fail spectacularly.

      The old left wing argument that all children should be given the same opportunity only holds water until it becomes obvious that some children need more support, or others given more challenges. Then the one size fits all scenario falls over.

      The UK experiences exactly the same issues in the state school system as Cayman. Poor teaching, fear of discipline, unruly children, bad parenting, poor educational standards and falling results. Compare the state system to the private or grammar system and the difference is for all to see, higher standards across the board and a demand for places that far out strips supply.

      The advent of the academy system has been broadly well received and is producing some excellent results from former comprehensive schools. Discipline has improved, standards are definitely on the up and children are achieving their individual goals and aspirations. However, not all children learn at the same speed, they don't all absorb at the same rate and some will never grasp more intensive learning. It is unfortunate that some kids have behavioural issues or learning difficulties, but they need support from specialists, they certainly won't get it within an over populated class whose teacher has more than enough to contend with. Within such a small local population these kids must be a very small minority. If they're not, why are they not and what is the causal factor. Are there familial, societal or cultural issues that need attention, is the population size itself a factor?

      The UK is different in one respect, it is struggling to absorb years of unrestricted immigration as a result of past colonial guilt and membership of the EU. Many of its schools are populated by children whose first language is not English and whose culture can be at odds with the established population. In fact, many of the newcomers are raising educational standards because of their cultural belief that education is the only way forward.

      This is not an excuse Cayman can fall back on, so it's problems are all of its own making. Why is it that Cayman's private education sector does so well in comparison, is it that those kids whose parents can afford to pay or foreign kids are cleverer, I doubt it, or could it be that the state system is rotten from the top to the bottom and parents do not understand the importance that education will make to their children's lives. Could it be that many Caymanian parents are lacking in parenting or life skills and education themselves, do they believe that just being Caymanian is enough to succeed in a western free market economy. One only needs to listen to some representative MLA's or prominent members of society to realise that some have definitely taken the short route to success and that education came second to money and ambition.

      Whatever the truth is, something must change and change soon. Young Caymanians must get a balanced education that servestheir abilities and aspirations, not a one size fits all system that fails them all. If the brightest and the best can advance through a selective system then that must be the right course for them and the country. Left wing socialist thinking has destroyed many societies through dogma and political correctness, it has seen the rise of indiscipline and indifference amongst our children and a degradation of personal accountability in parents. It seems that everyone knows their rights, but few know or exercise their responsibilities.

      If academy learning is the way forward, then advance Cayman, leave this failed system behind and offer your kids a brighter future.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      I don't believe the "Comprehensive" system achieved any worthwhile improvement in education standards in the UK – if anything, just the opposite.

  32. Anonymous says:

    It won't happen. But now I see why we have been bombarded by Mr Legge's views on education in the Compass editorials recently – all preparing us for this.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's right we know how fond Mr. Legge is of Tara from previous editorials and articles. smh.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr.Legge's views as expressed in that foreign developer controlled shambles of a publication most assuredly have no relevance to this discussion. This isn't Washington  (DC) any more than it's Paris (France). Next thing we'll have that George F. Willard  dude telling us what to do for crying out loud.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant idea!!!! Lets hope that more privatization will follow.  Trim the fat and become a lean running machine.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Except that it sounds as if you are still going to pay for it. PS after they privatise whats to stop them from increasing fees etc

    • Castor says:

      Society has a collective responsibility to educate  their children. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Were you drunk when you penned this? I'd prefer to think you were because (sorry) it's imbecilic. You think schools are bleedin' factories or something?

  34. AB Sees says:

    The current system is blatantly failing. WE need to make changes internally and externally within the education department and schools to ensure our children are provided with the neccessary learning tools that will equip them to succeed in their own country. It is promising to see and hear of Minister Rivers plan and i hope that she will listen to the others who are in support of this move.

    Please put egos and personalities to the side, it is "our Caymanian children" that we need to focus on. A good education is the foundation for future success.      

    • Anonymous says:

      The biggest egos on display here are that of the minister and the status holders who put their name to the two page spread.  It is factually wrong, the arc acadenies are not the success they appear to be and lest anyone thinks  otherwise, the perceived success of these academies is down to them selecting children.  The most successful countries in the world are those that have a non selective process and have virtually no private schooling.  Yes there are problems in our state education system but things are changing.  However change takes time and there are no quick fixes.

      C4C is pursuing a reckless solution when they really have not identified what the problem is. They have no experience in education or running schools. Would i call a lawyer to fix my plumbing?  No.

       

      our premier would be wise to haul in his minister of education and counsellor with a view to stopping people working against the interests of caymanians and not pursuing the oarty line which is that of equity.