Schools closed on Sister Islands tomorrow

| 10/11/2008

(CNS): All governmentschools in Grand Cayman will be open and operational on Tuesday 11 November. Damage to educational facilities in Grand Cayman from Hurricane Paloma was minimal and efforts are already underway to address any necessary repairs. The education facilities in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman have sustained some damage and these facilities are currently being assessed. For the time-being therefore, all schools in Cayman Brac and the Little Cayman Education Service will remain closed.

Shirley Wahler, Chief Education Officer is on the ground in Cayman Brac and is personally liaising with the relevant agencies to promptly complete a review of the educational facilities in the Sister Islands, according to a release from the Education Ministry. The Department of Education Services has a range of contingency plans for the delivery of education in the Sister Islands and as soon as the facilities review has been completed, an appropriate plan will be implemented. At that time, a further statement will be released so that teachers, parents, guardians and residents of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman can be fully informed and updated on all of the provisions being put in place.

Hon. Alden McLaughlin, Minister of Education, has been working assiduously with all parties concerned and assures the public that the priority for the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture and the Department of Education Services is to re-open all education facilities in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman as soon as is safely possible.

As with all Government Agencies at this critical time, the Department of Education Services and the Ministry of Health and Human Services, particularly the Department of Children and Family Services, are working closely together to assist families affected by Hurricane Paloma. While both Ministries are conscious that some families from the Sister Islands may opt to temporarily relocate to Grand Cayman, assistance can be provided more efficiently if requests are directed to the appropriate agency. Consequently, Hon. Anthony Eden, Minister for Health and Human Services is advising persons in need of social assistance to contact the Department of Children and Family Services in George Town on 946 0024; in West Bay on 946 1950; and in Bodden Town on 947 7144.

Alternatively, the Department of Education Services is ready to assist families with school-age children who have already left the Sister Islands and need to be registered to attend school in Grand Cayman. The Department of Education Services will have personnel available to process registrations at its office in the Countryside Shopping Village in Savannah from 1.00pm on Tuesday 11th November and the Department can be contacted at 244 1845 for further advice and assistance.

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