Anglin defends law delay

| 24/08/2009

(CNS): In the face of public criticisms, Education Minister Rolston Anglin has defended his recent announcement to delay the implementation of the Education Modernisation Law (2009), which was passed in the Legislative Assembly in March of the year with his support. Anglin said he still unequivocally supported the bill, as he did in opposition, but that he was not prepared to compromise its effectiveness by enacting it without the necessary structures that will make it work. The minister said the law was skeletal in nature, leaving more of the specifics to be defined in the regulations, which have not yet been written.

“There has been some criticism about the postponement of the new Education Modernisation Law (2009), which I acknowledge has, in part, been generated by the fact that I have not sufficiently explained why this necessary step was taken,” Anglin said in a statement on Monday, 24 August. “The law continues to have my support as Minister. It will be implemented. The only question is when. After consulting with the ministry’s Chief Officer; the Deputy Chief Officer, who has been in charge of the project since it was launched by the former minister; a representative from Legislative Drafting; and the overseas consultant hired by the former minister for education, it was unanimously agreed that the 1 September start date was not feasible.”

He said many things needed to be in place before the law could successfully be implemented, including the development of a wide range of regulations which have not been drafted.  “The Education Modernisation Law 2009 is skeletal in nature, which is quite different from many other laws in that it leaves more specifics than usual to be defined in the regulations. And those who follow the making of laws know that it is the regulations that give any law its teeth.  In this instance, the Regulations give the New Law its meat and teeth,” Anglin added.

The minster said he was also concerned that the original timelines would not give stakeholders enough involvement in the development of the regulations or the appointment of the two bodies – the Education Advisory Council and Professional Standards Council as educators have been away for the summer. Anglin explained that the consultation period would now start in September. Finally, he stated that principals and educators in both the private and government schools have reported a lack of familiarity with the law in its final form so an awareness-raising campaign was needed before the law could be implement effectively.

“The postponement of the new Education Modernisation Law is about what’s best for our children, teachers and parents. Governments are at times accused of both moving too fast, and of moving too slow. Both of those accusations, at the time that they’re levelled, can be right. Choosing the wrong speed at which to move sometimes leads to outcomes that are not in the country’s best interests. We are working to avoid that with this law,” the minister said.

He emphasised that he was committed to implementing it as quickly as possible but was not prepared to compromise its effectiveness by enacting it without the necessary structures to make it work.

“I believe this law is an adequate starting point. The government will bring it into effect as quickly as possible,” he added. “My commitment to this law was firm from Day One, so this is not about politics.”

The former education minister and the architect behind the new law, however, told CNS last week that he believed the delay was political, since although the bodies had not yet been appointed and the regulations not written, the preparations were laid, and as the regulations would be a reflection of the policies already in place, it meant the timeline should have been sufficient. Alden McLaughlin said that staff in the ministry and the legal drafters had all agreed that the 1 September start date gave them sufficient time to write the regulations and implement the law.

He said that educators were familiar with the law as it was the formalisation of the changes which had already happened in the education system.

“The law was designed to underpin the fundamental changeswhich took place over the last few years," McLaughlin said last week in an interview with CNS. “Rather than develop an education law and then make policy to fit the law, the law in this case supports the policy changes that have been made already.”

McLaughlin said that the delay was ominous as he believed the new government intended to roll back the improvements that have been made to the education system over the last four years, changes which McLaughlin said had been made in consultation with stakeholders throughout the system.

He raised his concerns that the new minister was not prepared to follow through with the work required, for example to meet the needs of students once another year was added to the school leaving age which was part of the law. McLaughlin said that a number of UDP supporters on the campaign trail had suggested the policy changes to education had introduced things that were “too difficult" for Caymanian students, such as plans to introduce the International Baccalaureate.

“Education is not one of this government’s priorities; they have no vision about it,” he said. “This is just part of a move to begin developing a case to stop the improvements.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Please ppl answe these  questions


    1. Who and What has the PPM spent the money on?

    2. What  has UDP done for this country?

    1 last comment PPM especially Mr. Alden Mclaughlin did more for education than Mac/UDP has done in his tenure…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Am I reading what Rolston said correctly.  “The postponement of the new Education Modernisation Law isabout what’s best for our children, teachers and parents. Governments are at times accused of both moving too fast, and of moving too slow."

    This Law is long overdue and should have been in place from the 2000 – 2005 UDP Government. Our children are always being put aside for McKeeva’s financial projects and he will break the laws to get his projects started.  Once again he wants his people to suffer by starting a pension holiday, so he can get money for his East End dock, that is not needed at this time and his cruise ship tenders too.  McKeeva you are lucky to be the only leader in these jurisdiction without an education, please do not deprive any other Caymanian from that priviledge.  Please impliment the new Education Law now, as is.  At lease it is a starting point and please do stop your quest to fill the rich man’s pocket more and think about your people for a change.  You are too bullish and desperate for money, start acting in your people’s favour. Take care of all the existing projects first, before moving on to create more long term expenses for us.  Stop the unnecessary borrowing, streamline the existing portfolios, cut out the extravangances, if you want to do something right for your people.  You can start by Implimenting a docusharing system for the government and clear out all the unnecessary paper usage.  Get the prisoners busy, by cleaning our streets, cleaning our buildings and let them do any other extra curricular necessities. Mckeeva and Rolston, please impliment the Education Law now!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    All PPM supporters, please don’t reply to the below post.  Just sit back and watch what is going to happen.  LOL

    • Makam says:

      I agree….instead of giving these UDP cretins legitimacy by responding to their posts ALL contributors to these forums should refrain from replying to the usual UDP mindless mantra and address the issues as intelligent adults.

  4. Anonymous says:

    PPM screwed up!  If the PPM had done things properly instead of leaving the country in the disaster it’s in, I’m sure we would not have any problem in finding the funds to implement everything that needs to be done.  How can you get anything done when there are no funds for it.  Great going PPM.  UDP now has to bear the brunt of public criticizm for making hard choices.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Poor Rolston.  He’s not a bad guy.  He has good reasoning but I don’t think he understands the man he calls his leader.  I just hope he checked whether his opinion is in line with that of the LOGB.  What we need to hear is Mac’s intentions because we all know his opinion will trump Rolston’s.  I recall Rolston saying that the Government was not exploring a pension holiday…..look where we are now.