Parents are ‘missing link’ in education, says Anglin

| 07/06/2011

(CNS): The education minister has pointed to the lack of input from parents and families as part of the problem of poor achievement among Cayman Islands students. Rolston Anglin said that what happens at home has a significant influence on what happens at school and families need to be far more involved in their children’s education, from making sure they arrive at school on time to assisting with homework. Anglin described parents as the “missing link” in the goal to improve standards and said the cultural perception that parents clothed and fed their kids but then sent them to school for someone else to teach had to be addressed.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday morning, where the minister and his chief education officer, Mary Rodrigues, revealed the details of an advertising campaign that has been running on TV, radio, in the print media and on supermarket flyers, the officials spoke of the need for the wider community to value and support education.

“We need to ensure that we recognize, as a society, that what happens at home influences what happens at school,” Anglin stated. “For years in Cayman we've talked about how low the attendance is at PTA meetings and the low involvement of parents in education.”  He said it was the same faces that always came out to support the school but he wanted to widen the participation.

The minister added that the bright kids in the system as well as those who faced challenges were also under achieving. He said the community couldn’t just blame the education system without looking at what was happening in the home. Anglin stated that while school does what it can to remove barriers to learning, it had to do it in conjunction with society, the community and the family.

“We need to help kids succeed,” he said. “I believe it can happen but we have to all truly value education and what it does for our lives. We should all be concerned about a quality education system, if not we will all pay the price at end of day. It is about all of us.”

In an ideal world the minister said parents should get on board in more meaningful way where they monitor and push their kids. He said rewards and treats should be tied to good grades as well as ensuring home work was done properly and on time. The minister said all parents needed to keep up with what goes on in their children’s classrooms.

The minister acknowledged that there were difficulties for some parents who had not achieved the level of education necessary to help their children with the contentof their studies but, he said, they could still be supportive and encouraging, and said he didn’t agree that poor levels of education among parents was an excuse not to be involved at all. Even if, like his own parents, they couldn’t help with quadratic equations, he said they could encourage their children to study and ensure they set aside time at home for school work.

He said the lack of parental involvement in children’s education was the significant missing link in the progress towards higher educational achievement. Describing the problem as a cultural phenomenon, he said too many people believed parents sent kids to school to be taught and they played no part in this. As parents their job was to clothe and feed their kids, and the job of teaching them was down to the school. He said the concept of learning was missing in Cayman’s rapid development.

For too long parents were left behind and society had expected kids to learn despite what is happening at home, the minister stated.  “We need to come up with new approaches to support parents,” Anglin added, pointing to the parent seminars that have started at John Grey which he said would be expanded and improved. He also noted that schools too had to learn to communicate with parents more effectively as parents also complained of a disconnect between them and the schools where their children attended.

The failure of the community as a whole to value education was showing up in the country’s unemployment, underemployment and crime statistics, the minister said but it was time to turn things around by involving the wider community, raising awareness and promoting the concept of education for life.

Rodrigues explained that the campaign, which started in April and will continue through June, was designed to build the public awareness and inspire action within the community. “We need to ensure education is front and centre and important to everything that we do as a society,” she added.

The advertising campaign is focusing on different elements, with TV and radio ads promoting parents involvement, importance of literacy, early childhood education, lifelong learning and the importance of educators. Rodrigues stated that several different people had recorded messages for the ads, including the Speaker of the House, Mary Lawrence, herself a former teacher. The education minister and the premier were also expected to record ads shortly, she said.

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  1. Tropical blue sea says:

    I agree 100% with Mr. Anglin. I too was a child neglected by my parents. They were too consumed with running their business and securing assets that they never took the time to raise me.

    My parents paid the nanny and Triple C to "take care of me." You can go to the best schools, wear the nices clothes and have all the resources in the world but it will not grant you success if your parents are not willing to guide you.

    I hung out with children from affluent homes who were just as lost as I was. Sadly, all of our parents were busy making money.  As kids, we decided to drink, party experiment with ganga and find all sorts of mischief with the help of our parents money. Our grades suffered but I had enough sense to wake up and realize I wanted a better life. I chose to leave the island and attend community college and transfer to a University. I had to work extremely hard to attain my degree. My parents did not play a role in my decision nor did they guide me. I am a product of the blind leading the blind.

    I see children who are following down thatsame road. It makes me very sad and I know many will not even consider college or pursuing their dreams because of bad parenting and neglect.

    Cayman needs to make a change or will suffer greatly as so many nations are.

  2. Miami Sunrise says:

    Mr. Anglin is very correct. As a child I too was left with  the nanny and sent to Triple C while my parents neglected me. They were so consumed with running a business and making money they forgot I needed parental guidance and my grades suffered because of it. My parents never check my grades, homework or met with my teachers.

    Caymanians must stop paying schools and nannies to RAISE their own children. 

    Like so many other kids from affluent Cayman homes, I did as I pleased and hung out with other kids from "good homes." My parents were friends with the parents of the kids I went to school. They assumed these kids came from good "Cayman homes." Little did my parent know, we got into all sorts of mischief and wasted our parents money. Our parents were too busy to notice our poor grades, our non stop drinking or experiments with ganga.

    I did go on to college but I had to go to a community college then transfer to a University. I had to work VERY hard to graduate and it had nothing to do with my parents help or guidance. They may have given me money for college but they neglected me and did not even bother to meet with my teachers or check my grades. They only wrote checks to ensure I turned out well. Many kids are suffering because of their own parents and it has nothing to do with the schools they attend.

    Please make an effort to stay on top of your kids and not neglect them. Cayman is destined to fail kidsare left to their own devices.

  3. no name says:

    And another thought…this had me thinking about the recent story of a mother who became aware that her son was performing poorly and acting up at school.  She recognised that in some way she was failing him and sought help and guidance to identify why his behaviour was deteriorating.  Despite her errors I think she is an amazing mother.  She owned nothing but  enough sense of responsibility to admit that she was not supporting her son and bags of courage to find help.  We all make mistakes and get things wrong as parents – after all kids don't come with a manual – but if your child's behaviour is poor at home and/or at school then something is amiss…seek help – rather than being criticised for poor parenting you are likely to be admired for being a good enough parent to try to be better for your child.

    Those of you who are reading all this and are busy thinking…."its not my fault.  Why is everyone blaming the parents?" This article is probably referring to you.  Video games andTV are no substitute for good parenting.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Attitude from so many parents is so bad nowadays that they think their child can do no wrong and instead of looking inwards to see what link is broken at home, they continue to shift the blame to anything and anyone else.

    They are YOUR children, they were not put in this world by the schools, government or anyone else so step up to the plate and take responsibility and stop making excuses.

  5. Anonymous says:

    While this matter certainly starts at home one way or another, I think it would also be helpful if the companies on this Island would move towards the year 2011 and offer more part-time jobs, job-sharing, or flex hours.

    I know a lot of mothers who would be willing to cut back on their income and go part time, but it is either full time or nothing. I know a lot of parents who would happily come in to work early and leave when kids come out of school and then be able to focus on them rather than having to drop them at some day care etc, but companies are just not budging when it comes to flex time.

    I know of some companies who do not even allow the parent to go out between 2:00 p.m – 3:00p.m.  to pick up their kids as lunch hour is strictly between 11:30 and 1:30 or so.

    Employers really should understand that family comes first and where possible provide a bit more flexibility.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets start with proper policies in Government. If flex-time was introduced nationally, then we would need less roads etc., because as it is everyone is tryin to use them at once.

  6. TennisAce says:

    I have been saying this for a long time.  Parents are the missing and/or weakest link in the education conundrum.  I saw where one parent up top said that the school should email the child's homework.  Hey, how about looking through the child's bag in the evenings and checking school work or sitting down with the child and saying what did you do at school today.  Let me see your school books.  

    I always told my children when they told me that they had no homework. You always have homework.  Put down the tv remote.  Take up the child's school bag.  Go through the day's school work.  Talk to your children.  Find out what is happening.  A child who is sullen and disrespectful at home is usually sullen and disrespectful at school.  Why would any parent think that a child does not act out at home but does it school? That is a parent with their heads buried in the sand. 

    Criminals do not become criminals just because they knock heads with the wrong crowd.  Children do not leave school functionally illiterate because the schools lack qualified teachers.  Children become criminals and functionally illiterate because parents do not take the time to be parents.  They are too busy "working".  

    I worked for years in a very high profile industry.  I worked long hours and I raised 2 children.  I checked homework every single night.  Bedtime was at 8.  Telephone calls from friends were cut off at 7.  I woke up at 5 to make porridge or whatever else for breakfast.  They were never late for school and they had to take the regular bus.  No school bus and no air-conditioned car.  They both have degrees and are now working professionals.  I did all of this as a single woman and I did this in Jamaica.  

    The children in this country are blessed.  They live in a wonderful society that offers them so much.  My children are re-paying student loans that they had to take out when they were at  university.  It was not easy.  They go to school on designated school buses and live in air-conditioned homes, and yet they are not progressing.  Parents, wake up.  You are losing your children and you are so intent on amassing material things that you are not even realising this.  Enough

    • Anonymous says:

      I witnessed school children in uniforms all over the place in the night in Jamaica.  I asked my husband about it and he said that sometimes they have to pay a taxi to get home.  I even witnessed the police breaking up a fight.

  7. Bookworm says:

    The Minister's statement reflects probably the most serious problem in the Cayman education system but fails to consider the solution. The banning of non-Caymanians from public education is the single biggest loss to Caymanian children's futures.  Why?  Because an active middle class parent body is the most important factor in affecting a school's performance.  With the work permit system, the ex-pat community is definitionally weighted towards well-educated middle classes.  Permitting ex-pat children to attend public schools would be the single best step towards improving standards of teaching Cayman.  The Cayman Islands is already in breach of its human rights obligations by refusing to allow this.

    • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        I would like to know also.  What difference would it make if expats are allowed to attend the public school system?  I obviously don’t have children but I thought that anyone was allowed to attend expat or local with the expats paying a higher fee.  Such as is the case in other countries.  At least for university, there was a fee for residents (in state) and a fee for non-residents (out of state) and out of country.  Is that something feasible for the public schools here?  Or is that already in place?

      • Bookworm says:

        In terms of studies of what makes a difference to a school's performance the "How" was in my first post – "Because an active middle class parent body is the most important factor in affecting a school's performance.  With the work permit system, the ex-pat community is definitionally weighted towards well-educated middle classes." 

    • Teecha says:

      You are of course correct but you are not going to get a whole lot of support. They were also amongst the few in the past who actually paid their school fees and at the same time provided a much needed element of competition and inspiration to those around them.

      The introduction of the CXC exam was another notable factor in the demise of the Cayman Islands Education system, but that's for another day.

      • Just Commentin' says:

        Spot on Teecha!

        The CXC is wonderfully suited for a "banana republic" education system. If that is what we aspire to being let's continue with the CXC. In my opinion it is a horrible fit for the Cayman Islands.

    • Really now? says:

      WHAT?????…………"improving standards" ??

      With a statement like "Permitting ex-pat children to attend public schools would be the single best step towards improving standards of teaching Cayman."….is truly discrimination at its best!!

      Now who died and made you champion of proving that ex-pat children are superior to Caymanian children?

      The fact of mere association would make the ex-pat children of the same culture, standards and values.

      Your thinking is very shallow, prejudice and definitely racist – definitely not welcomed here.

      You should re-think your position.


  8. Anonymous says:

    " The cultural perception that parents clothed and fed their kids but then sent them to school for someone else to teach had to be addressed." Only the very backward thinking parents who had little education themselves or did not know the value of it had that philosophy.

    This may be the case with certain families nowadays, but it never used to be for many of us in our 30s and 40s.

    Some parents therefore are probably in need of being educated themselves in such basic values if their children in turn are to be successful.

    This bodes the question, where did society go wrong?


    • Anonymous says:

      Society went wrong when children began having children, even though they were still on breast milk themselves.  There are no ageable grandparents anymore, only young ones who have no time to offer sound advice to the babes.

      We need a complete turn around in society.  We need to stop acting blind to all that is happening to our children.  Regardless of our stance in life, we must take time out for our children.  We have to pauseon our own socialising behaviours and tend to their needs first.  They are the tomorrows, we are the yesterdays.  Feed them with sound values and attitudes for a better tomorrow.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I agree withyou MR ANGLIN on some of these issues. some children are going to school late, un tidy,witout breakfast,and sleepy. parents do not give thier children enough attention. you can see some children on the roads late at night in thier school uniforms.where are the parents, not doing thier home work,not going to bed early enough to get enough sleep to be alert in school the next day.  what happen to the discipline in school. the teachers are at thier mercy if they have to deal some of these children. parents you have to pay more attention to your children. instill in them the importance of getting a good education.  NOW MR ANGLIN I under stand that we are teaching the children under the english system. for the love of country can you tell why is it that we are doing an american test in the primary school this week(TERRANOVA). i think that is confusing the children , we must remember that they are very young and lack consentration skill. do not blogg thier minds this could be worst that thier parents not being there for them.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Talk to good educators here, as my family has done, and you'll find that academic standards cannot be enforced when teachers are bullied by parents of trouble-makers and threatened with loss of job through political connections.  This is true for nearly every school on this island including UCCI.  By the way, this happens at many schools in other countries too.  Teachers are not as supported by parents and administrators as they were a couple of generations ago and though inept or abusive teachers need to leave the profession, too many of the best ones are leaving on their own to work in less hostile environments for better pay.

  11. Merlena Mclaughlin says:

    Oh now he wants to address the Education System. Well tell me how sensible was it for the Education System to allow students to now get out of school at 16? Why didn't Govenrment add a year after Year 12 to ensure today's youth has had the uttmost exposure and maturity to enter the world after high school? If he is so concern he should fix the mistake that was made to take away a year from High School. Offer A'levels like they use to do and give the kids a chance to grow up while getting education.

    • Teecha says:

      60% (or thereabouts) of those taking A Levels when they were in fact offered at the Cayman Islands hhad no business doing so.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Agreed. If I could only avoid those rocks in the side of the road I would be home with my children too and I wouldn't be one of the "missing links". Unfortunately I have to work long hours at "The Office" Minister !

  13. Anonymous says:

    Parents are 'missing link…' says Anglin – dare say our dear Minister has figured out the process of evolution?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Re: Rolston's unfortunate description of parents as "the missing link". Since this anthropological reference describes the evolutionary gap between species, one has the image of knuckle-dragging, grunting youth and the highly evolved and normal grandparents. So the missing link parents must be the evolutionary transition, except in this case it's devolution – the descent of man from highly intelligent functional beings to water-crawling single-cell protoplasm?

  15. Whodatis says:

    Generally I agree with Mr. Anglin.

    That being said, I suspect that the situation is being oversimplified.

    What percentage of Caymanian students are "failing"? Furthermore, what exactly, apart from the obvious such as illiteracy, constitutes a "failed Caymanian student"? Is there any way to compare the standards to students from other western nations – which by the way all seem to be dealing with an education crisis?

    I say that because in EVERY society, be it America, England, Canada or Scotland, there are those students that are failing, will not amount to much and will eventually head down the wrong path, enter a life of crime and add to the overcrowded prison statistics of at least 2 of the aforementioned countries.

    I know there are many among us that like to pretend as if our peculiar economy does not attract the top socioeconomic and educated folks from other countries but this is a fact. Our few thousands of expats have left behind MILLIONS of "waste-of-spacers" (or simply "average joes") in their home countries. (That is not a swipe at anyone but a simple statistical fact.)

    The simple truth is that it is only the minority of students / young people, regardless of nationality or background, that will manage to "make it" to the levels required for the even the basic roles of our vibrant economy.

    Add to this a lack and unfortunate avoidance of alternative career paths (manufacturing, agriculture, mining etc.) and we have a situation ripe for a breakdown – quite possibly what we are witnessing today.

    However, none of the above negates the Mr. Anglin's main point of parents are the "missing link". If your child has left high school and he or she is unable to adequately read and write – you have failed as a parent.

    The bottom line is that Cayman is far from a typical western nation. Our history, rate of development and standing industrial realities are unlike any other. Therefore it is foolish to apply a standard test and expectation for the population. That is not to suggest that we are to be complacent and inactive, on the contrary, we must recognize our unique reality and act accordingly, otherwise, we won't make it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those excuses and denials will keep the Caymanians of the next generation at risk.

      Go to a local public high school and speak with a teacher there. The situation is dire and excuses and denial are exactly what is not called for. Parenting is weak in Cayman and that problem is displayed in numerous ways. I am not even discussing single parent families with multiple children from different men.

      The social unit in the country has broken down and the children most suffer. How many parents attend parent-teacher meetings?

      Alcohol and drug use is common and much of this is learned at home.

      Spin it any way you want, to reproduce is a responsiblity and Cayman is feeling years of irresponsiblity in home life in Cayman.

      • Whodatis says:

        Do you understand English?

        My overall point is that everything that you are describing is not a problem unique to Cayman.

        For example, have a look at this 3 minute video and pay close attention to the official statistics throughout.

        (Welfare Addiction in UK)

        Surprised? Shocked? Confused?

        Feel free to post your thoughts subsequent to viewing.

        • Anonymous says:

          I understand English and I also understand an ignorant attempt to refocus on red herrings.

          We are talking about this society and not England or the US.

          This little country of 50,000 is a size that ought to be managable and your bringing in other countries problems is less than useless.

          If you want to bury your head in the sand then do so.

          My preference is to accept there is a serious problem and work toward a solution.

          • Whodatis says:

            Obviously something has rubbed you the wrong way.

            Every country has problems my friend, even Cayman – no one is denying that.

            However, it is clear to see that most other countries (E.g. the provided video link) could only wish for type of "problems" – even considering the RECENT rise in crime.

            Cayman is still one of the best places to live in the western hemisphere, if not the world – that alone speaks volumes.

            Wouldn't you agree?


    • Anonymous says:

      Your right!  Cayman is a typical third world nation.  Complete with third world parenting.  But how to change this?  Education.  Education and Education.  Keep trying.  Stop voting for obviously uneducated fools and don't give up.

      • Whodatis says:

        I am guessing you are not from Cayman.

        Judging from your perspective, would you not be better off back in your home country?

        Then again regardless of wherever you hail from – what has the election of "educated" people done for your nation as a whole?

        I pray you are not British or American because we canend this discussion right here my friend. Both economies and socioeconomic frameworks are crumbling as we speak.

        Oh the daily hollow and narcissistic rants on CNS … they provide such great amusement to the reasonable among us.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh joy the old pat retort, "If you disagree then go home…"

          You speak of reasonable dialogue and then throw out that line.

          The social fabric and family life in the Cayman Islands is in trouble and it is very clearly shown in the schools.

          Talk all you want about other places if you so choose.

          I prefer to live in the here and now. I have cared enough to have been to the high school and spoken to students, have you?

          What have you done?



          • Whodatis says:

            "The social fabric and family life in the (insert any given western nation) is in trouble and it is very clearly shown in the schools."

            Have you been to Glasgow, Belfast, Manchester, Berlin, Chicago, or London recently? And I don't mean on a business or pleasure trip – but to the "inside" of these places?

            I am Caymanian however travel and experience have taught me to view the world through a clear lens – I only wish more would do the same. Instead I see a lot of finger pointing and criticism as many are ignoring the reality of from whence they came.

            * If you must know I have been to the high school, middle school and specialised schools (children at risk) for talks and exchanges.

            In addition to that I have hundreds of younger cousins and extended family members with whom I engage in dialogue at every given opportunity.

            In any event, this particular exchange is disintegrating into something quite ridiculous – consider me backing off.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have parents that are too comfortable to be bothered and teachers that 'do not give a hoot'.


        Parents wake up, it is our children  and we have to make it happen for them!

    • Whodatis says:

      Dear respondents,

      I agree with you – however, I take issue with individuals when they spin this into a "Caymanian" dilemma.

      Someone earlier referred to Cayman as being typically "3rd world" – to that individual I will pose the question – "In this context of discussion, what nation would you consider to be 1st World?"

      The UK? USA?

      Where exactly is this utopia of a nation to which so many folks on where continually compares the Cayman Islands?

      I suggest for more of you to remove the rose-tinted glasses and get a grip on reality.

      Modern day "1st World" nations are becoming more "3rd World" with every passing day.


      Re: "Those excuses and denials will keep the Caymanians of the next generation at risk."

      Those are notexcuses and denials – it is reality.

      Are you suggesting that the majority of British and American citizens are well educated, graduated and productive members of the white collar working community?

      I suppose the vast postal delivery services, car manufacturing plants, oil mining fields, mega factories, shipping companies, grand scale construction projects etc. play no role in "saving" many of the "failed" (in regards to education) members of their societies?!

      Of course "education" is the key (although within the Caymanian context we would have to disregard all other related true and real discriminatory factors) however, we must understand that we are demanding something of this tiny island nation that has NOT been achieved ANYWHERE else on earth!

      Yes, that includes even in the heralded and paraded "1st World" / British / American / Canadian / European parts of the world.

      Anyway, I know this is mostly a waste of breath (or taps), for many simply refuse to maintain their self-respect and embark upon a fair and balanced discussion at times like these. Hopefully, my words will go some way to helping my Caymanian folks understand the precarious situation is which we find ourselves.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Parents are always there to teach the children.  However for the period of time that the parents have sent their child to school, they would expect that they are receiving quality education.  Personally if I didn’t think that my child was getting the quality education at school, then what is the point of sending the child to school.  If I had the means to stay home with my child, I would home school.  Unfortunately many parents like myself do not have those means and rely on the school system to put their part to provide.  I am in the schools everyday, dropping off my child and talking with the teachers.  However I have more confidence as my child is in a private school.  If I sent my child to public school it would only be to certain primary districts with the proven track record that those teachers care about the students and not just the paycheck and would not continue into the high school as it is currently a mess.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I highly doubt teachers are there for the "paycheck"

      We are there day in and day out taking care of YOUR child. You know…the one you sent to school hungry or without the proper sleep…or maybe without the pencil or notebook and missing their homework. The child with the attitude because they watched you battle last nite? Or was it that they could not study as the house was too loud? They were not on time because they missed the bus or didn't get a ride to school on time because they were not taught by their parent/parents that education was important. We wipe their noses, button their coats, tie their shoes, correct their language….and their spelling and we do this because we want them to improve, to be better citizens…to "make it in this world"!

      We attend their sporting events, their shows, their field days, their proms and their graduations. We do this because we are proud of them. At these events, sometimes we are theirstand-in parents as mom or dad is just not around.

      We are not doing this for the paycheck. We do this because we love the career we have choosen. We love your children..even the tough ones. We want them to succeed. We want them to do better. We want parental support. And….when we see them succeed, it is worth way more than a paycheck to us.

      signed…a public school teacher…

      Oh and please do not correct my spelling or grammar…it's been a long day taking care of your children 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        My there are so many issues with this post. 

        The original poster did say that it was “primary districts with the proven track record that those teachers care about the students and not just the pay check”.  If you correctly read and analyzed the post you would have understood what was written.  I am deeply disappointed that as a teacher the post was qualified to say “please do not correct my spelling or grammar” that only reinforces the dismay of many parents with the public school system.  The children that are in the classes are learning from you.  If you don’t know, then how will they know that it’s incorrect?  Also if it is that you didn’t have the time to re-read and check.  Then what are you teaching the children?  Do not be careful with your work.  Your first effort is acceptable.  Do not do your best?  If someone provides criticism even in a constructive manner, ignore it or retaliate?

        You’ve added that you are “taking care of your children” I hope that you are teaching our children and not just “taking care” of them.  As that is the role of a teacher – to teach. The public school system is not a day care.  Teaching is a difficult job and it is something that does not stop at 3pm.  The listing above of all the events that teachers attend is part of a teacher’s job.  It is not something extra.  It comes with the territory.  If you are unhappy, then maybe it is time to rethink your career as a teacher.  Children are not stupid and can easily tell when teachers do not care for them as an individual. 

        Schools are a partnership with parents and teachers.  If one in the equation is not pulling their weight the equation will falter. 

        Teachers do not blame the parents and parents do not blame the teachers.  Work with each other.  It is the best scenario for the children.




        A concerned parent

        • Anonymous says:

          First off, it was written asa "joke" not to "correct my spelling as I have had a long day etc." and not to be taken so literal. The rest of the post was what really was the message.

          I am not sure re. the GC school system, but it is NOT in my job description or  mandatory that I attend all the events that I mentioned. I attend them to support my students. All the events I  attend are on a voluntary basis. The only events I need to attend are our mandatory teacher's meetings and parent conference/open house.

          I have absolutely no idea where in the post that it says that I am unhappy with my chosen career. I believe that it would show just the opposite. When students show success, it is worth more than a paycheck to me. Isn't that the topic?

          If you are a concerned parent then I am sure the teachers could use you in the classroom as a volunteer. Please do call the school and help out!


          • Anonymous says:

            It is not is your job description but it is required for teachers to attend events. It comes with the territory.  It is the nature of the job.

            It is the nature of all jobs to do more than what is required.  It is the nature of work ethic, to strive for progress, to participate and to aspire to be more than what a role originally requires.

            As a teacher you should not teach mediocrity but teach the children to reach for greatness.  These children need to be taught to aspire to be the best they can be.  It only takes one interested individual to teach a child to care about themselves but totally village to reinforce that perception.

            Teachers encourage the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization to come into the schools to assist if they can.


            And teacher, if you think teaching a child sarcasm will help them in the workplace, think again.  Attitude is a common complaint of the school leavers.

            • Anonymous says:

              I am not a teacher in GC so our rules are probably much different, but our day ends at 3:07. It is NOT required for us to attend any after school event or function, but most of us do this on our own time.

              I often wonder how many people in the "office" would put in an extra 10-15 hrs. a week without pay to support their co-workers? Knocking down the job of the "teacher" is done all the time, though. Tonight I will be driving an hour each way to go to a state tournament of a sport that I have absolutely no interest in to support the students I teach that have made it that far. I will not make it home until after 10 p.m., but I am heading in early for an hour of homework help before school starts. I will not be getting an extra penny for my time or gas, but I am sure at least one of my students will benefit from my efforts.

              There is no sarcasm  in my post, we need lots of volunteers in our classrooms and schools. If anyone has the time, please visit or call a teacher. We could even use donation of books, supplies etc. Anyone with a career willing to come in and speak??? Believe me, we could use you- just call the school nearest you!!

              • Anonymous says:

                Wait….you are not even a teacher on the island?

                Then how would you truely understand the current issues at hand?  There are issues that need to be fixed that are not written into this article.  The parents that have children attending the government high schools and the teachers teaching at these schools are the ones experiencing the problem.  I understand that the teacher/parent/child dispute is global, however this particular issue at the moment, is specific to the circumstances. 

                The issue cannot be solely fixed by having the parents come into the schools more.  The entire government system has been revamped into a mess.  They have split the high school into a variety of schools within a school.  The quality of education received is now hit or miss.  The curriculum has changed multiple times within a short span that the students are unable to keep up with the new requirements.  With some of the material in a subject area not transferring over to the new designated ‘system’ of teaching and grading. 
                The teachers were promised improvement and feel the uncertainty as the promises have been broken.  The students are worried about their future and the ones that aren’t will become society’s next lost souls.  The parents without the means to transfer them to private school feel even more uncertainty.  This is the issue.  Hence other posters saying that Anglin is now blaming the parents when it is not the true issue at hand. 
                Of course not every parent is completely innocent, but I feel that it is overwhelmingly the school at fault.  Once a firm structure of the school is put in place and the students are not performing, then put the blame back on the parents, as yes it is ultimately their fault for not stepping up to the plate.
                It is a very difficult task ahead.  I truly blame the administration for this one.  If you want to implement change it should be made gradually and once a change has been decided stick with it.  Changing on a whim is disruptive and counterproductive to all involved.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Wow, sounds like you all need to form a school committee to start addressing some of these issues. If you start to tackle one issue at a time, I am sure some of these could be sorted out. On the board have administration, teachers and caring parents.

                  It happens quite frequently that schools are split apart. I work at a h.s. where there are 5 separate "buildings" in one high school(over 3000 students). Each building has a different "theme" or goal. Each building has their own principal (headmaster) and assistant principal and one discipline department shared between two buildings. Each building has their own dress code. (ie..each student wears khaki pants, but is indentified by the building and color of their shirt). If they enter a building that they do not belong in, we know immediately by the color of their shirt.

                  Re: The ever changing curriculum- it happens everywhere. As parents, make sure you get a copy of the requirements and check on your students progress quarterly. Get everything in writing and keep a copy of everything in a folder. If your child is planning on heading to college, start planning for that in their first year of h.s.  My suggestion is to get a calendar and mark all important deadlines. Another folder is needed to keep track of all assignments, letters of recommendations, and begin creating a portfolio early in their h.s. years. Community service is huge so make sure your child is completing some sort of service. Also,  studying a foreign language is also beneficial when applying to a college( 2 yrs. of a foreign language is usually what they look for). If your child is involved in sports or clubs have them keep track of awards that they receive and positions that they are awarded.

                  Not sure if these suggestions help, but they are just that, suggestions.




          • Anonymous says:

            If you are not a public school teacher then you don't know what you are talking about regarding the problems faced in the public school system.  Some of the problems are only at specific public schools at the primary level.  The high school level also the problem is only for certain divisions.  It is not completely systematic.  The performance and failure of the public school systems rest with the teachers as a collective that are able to prepare the children for the real world. 

            It is difficult if there is only one teacher that cares or only one teacher that is actually good at what they do to teach the children.  A collective is needed.  If you 'are' actually at the public school system and you are the one good teacher with the remaining teachers not performing, please help the islands to recruit teachers of your caliber.



      • Annoymous says:

        Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe the reason these kids are coming to school hungry, not properly dressed, without school supplies is because they are children of children?

        We have forbid sex education and the repercussions thereof in our schools for decades, all the while our youth are sexually active and can out smart their parents in that regard as well, because we lived in a society of 'sex' was a bad word, you don't speak it, discuss it, or think about it in any form.

        We now have the reality of children having children and they have never been educated on what they have to do and how to take care of their kids while being kids themselves!!

        This is where we have come because we are a very backward society when it comes to addressing the issues of 'sex' because of our 'christian' heritage.  God gave you the brain to exercise good will, and in so doing that also meant to exercise good will in teaching your children why it's good to wait or why it's even better to be protected if you are going to have sex.

        The family unit is broken in this country, and it will remain this way until we stop with this 'don't speak, don't discuss' sex mentality!!

        Education is key to our children's future, and if we are going to lay blame on parenting, then we might as well close the schools, and let our kids figure out what they need to know via the tv, internet etc.  The whole idea of sending the children to school is to educate them.  Put some policies in place that parents must attend X amount of school meetings, those who can't get a ride there, arrange for free transport, or better yet, get with the companies these parents work at and have meetings on site with them and educate them on what they are are not doing, we cannot simply think that they are going to do it.   They are kids themselves, and came from broken homes, they have no idea or are oblivious to what they have to do.  Make it mandatory that they are involved otherwise take their kids away and put them in foster homes with people whom will educate them.  But don't get up in the public and tell me that 'parents' are the problem!!  Society has created the problem, we have overlooked them for too long!  

        This way Teachers won't have to feel so obligated to find food for their children, clothing, or school supplies, and can get down to teaching your children and grooming them to be good scholars and citizens.  We have to stop this ignorance that's a plague in our society.  If you came from a well mannered home then HIP HIP HOORAY to you!! Not everyone did, and beating it into their heads ain't gonna make it any better or fix the problem.

        Let's be proactive and find other avenues to deal with it, because doing the same thing over and over is clearly not working, and you can't expect to get a different result either.

        To put it simply, it's called GIVING A HELPING HAND TO THOSE WHO need it! Be the society of Good Caymanians we all rave about.  Take the community raising the child approach again, it made many of us good citizens and it can do it again.  

        Thank you.

        • Anonymous says:

          No sex education in GC schools? Is that true??

          How about parenting classes for teenage parents?

          Any classes for at-risk teens?

          Health based clinics in the schools?

          Are these new problems in GC schools- problems that are just starting to really show up?

          Just curious.

        • Anonymous says:

          " We have forbid sex education blah blah blah" Not only is your grammar depressingly illiterate, you are talking TOTAL CRAP so stop doing that. Sex Education has been dealt with at Middle School level since the mid 1980s thanks to the school administration, public health and especially the parents. That doesn't stop kids from appalling homes behaving as they see the people in their home behaving ie sex with whatever man seems to come by (briefly). Why should they think what they are told in school is the right thing when their mothers and their -er – men -are behaving like slack human beings with no responsibility.

          • Annoymous says:

            I am not sure which school you attended but I attended school in the mid 1980's and I have yet to have one teacher, school counseller, or nurse educate me on 'sex'.  So you are TALKING CRAP, or are you one of those whom refuse to wake up from the sleeping coma thy have injected into you.  Anyway, keep thinking that way and see how far it gets you.  

            Furthermore, children are having children, and this society has done nothing at all to even address it why many of the 15% of people on govt. assistance is single mothers and guess what they have been there for years getting assistance.  So you go and get your facts straight before you accuse others of TALKING CRAP!!



          • Anonymous says:

            …..and your grammer is any better? Stick to the issue at hand, the poster made their point, without attacking anyone.  You should try the same.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I believe it all boils down to discipline and consistency…at home and in the schools.

    Students need to be at school on time and if not, there needs to be consequences. If there are no consequences for not meeting the rules of the school, then students realize that school and rules are not important. If a student does not follow the rules- implement detention where a student does not just sit in a room, but have to make up the time and the assignment. If they do not show up…then they have to show up with a parent. Once the parent starts having to show up….believe me, the student behavior starts to improve. 

    This is just one simple example, but it should be followed for everything from missing homework, to tardiness, to absences and behavioral issues. etc.

    • no name says:

      If a child does not learn to respect simple school rules in their childhood, then later in life they will not respect the law.  It is the responsibility of parents to re-enforce the discipline applied by the school to teach kids about consequences of their actions.  Backing the child against the teacher simply teaches them that they can and will get away with poor behaviour.

      Parents that behave this way, and you know who you are, you are training your child to disrespect authority and to not be accountable for their own behaviour……little things now add up to big things later.  Be warned.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have seen the reality of this, particularly in the young male adults.  The mothers babying their child and siding with them as the mother doesn’t have a steady male in their life.  It follows that the boy turns into a man with the mindset that they don’t have to listen to anyone because mama taught me that I can do what I want.  The interpersonal relationships built with these individuals generally fail as they were not taught proper conflict resolution.  These young men have children and the cycle continues.
        How about a solution?
        • Lengthen the class days until 5-5:30.  It will serve many purposes:
        o Keep idle kids out of trouble with supervised activities
        o Help parents with children that roam the streets and do nothing
        • Implement new classes which directly address the issues at hand.
        o Have mandatory etiquette classes beginning at the primary level
        o Teach conflict resolution
        o Have mandatory meetings with the school counsellor (Weekly? Monthly?)
        • Dietary Classes
        • Real cooking classes by chefs – students may expand their interests
        • Have the students work at school once they have reached the high school level.  All students would be required to do a job at school.  By the time they have graduated they would have completed the on-campus work program.  The various jobs include, maintenance of the grounds, cooking in the kitchen, painting the building, being a teacher’s assistant etc.  
        • Have a proper website with information so that teachers and parents can interact online.  Let’s go with the times.  It is unfortunate but some parents have very restrictive jobs which do not allow for them to personally come into the school.  However, these same parents may be able to keep in contact with the teachers and the schools electronically.  Have posted email addresses for the teachers and principals with a biography on them.  Have a calendar for each class with the students schedules posted online such as assignments, exams etc.  Attach a copy of the assignment online.  You can even post the grades online in an area for the student to log-in and see.  Thisworks for all the parents and the students. 
        • Have a comment box for all those involved to provide suggestions
        Not all of the suggestions are feasible, but it is a start.  Let’s think about how to encourage well rounded students that are inspired to learn.  Forget the blame game now

        • Anonymous says:

          Love your ideas!!

          There is a program that the schools can look into that teachers can put in the grades, assignments, attendance and comments daily and parents/students can log in with a separate password (also daily) to check grades, attendance, and assignments. Parents can see exactly what is missing (and if their child was missing) each and every day or each and every period.

          As for the work around the school program- wonderful idea. I would also outreach programs in the upper grades where they must go out into the communtiy the nursing homes, animal shelter, etc.

          As for a longer school day- not sure that would go over with budget constraints???

  18. T. L. Haranguer says:

    True I rasta, do not have em if you are unwilling to raise them for at least 18 years.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the term "Missing Link" Alright. Plenty of those running around

  20. Anonymous says:

    I have a few suggestions:

    1. Maybe if the schools joined the 21st Century and used e-mails.  All the parents have e-mails.For example,  e-mail calenders of events to the parents

    2. Call parents if there are problems at school. The school had problems with my son instead of calling me,they sent me a letter in the mail.  Not the best way to communicate with parents.

    Don't wait till things are out of control.  If the child starts acting different: call the parents.

    3. I would recommend making use websites. .  The website used to be outdated and now they have taken them down completely.

    For example, each school should have a website and the homework asignments should be posted.


    P.S. All my suggestions are good for the environment and save paper.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was Tue @ 15:39 would like to add that I don't think we should be blaming the teachers.  I can honestly say that there is no way that I would want to be a teacher.  Not unless I was paid like $100,000 a month and I would quit in two months.  The truth is some of these children behave terrible and it is the parent's fault.  The teachers can't say anything to the parents because they will curse them.

      On the other hand, like I mentioned, the school didn't call me and I was the parent that insisted that if there is a problem that they are to call me.

      This system of graduating children without passes need to go.  Our children shouldn't graduate if they can't read or write.

      I commend Mr. Anglin for the Early Childhood program as sometimes children are labelled 'bad" when they have learning disabilities.  Sometimes, they understand different and we need to work with them at their way of learning.

      WE are all in this together but I really would like to see the schools work on getting out information better like updated websites and communication with parents.

      We were suposed to have a meeting with him to discuss some issues but he didn't show up.  I would also like to add that instead of blaming parents, he should talk to parents.  

    • The Beaver says:

      Trust me, I know how my kid behaves at school without the teacher having to tell me.  The Beaver

      • Anonymous says:

        "Trust me, I know how my kid behaves at school without the teacher having to tell me.  The Beaver"

        What are you telepatic? or do you have hidden cameras in the school?  I don't see how it is possible to have a problem at school and not be told by someone.

        If you think your child is perfect, well good luck with that one.  My co-worker thinks her son is an angel too but I have noted otherwise.  You would be surprised how your children act when you are not around.

        I never got in trouble at school: not that I was an angel.  Only that I wasn't caught.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I think I know who the 'missing link' is

  22. Anonymous says:

    well said rolston…sometimes you almost sound like you know what you talking about …but then the next day you stand behind mckeevas latest blunder….

  23. Anonymous says:

    he has a point my child attend the public primary and i am back in school.

    as i have to ensure the child does homework – help with homework- help with projects – ask friends to help when i dotn know the answer an this is an every evening thing.

    i have to read every night with the child and the child knows their multiplication tables. me as a grown adult still needs to learn my multiplication tables.

    if i did nto get involved the child would be left back – but i wnat to know about the high schools.

    why are the children getting left back there and the primay publics are good really good.

    is there an answer to that – teachers not teaching not showing up for class?

    who address the failure there?

    • Get rid of the bad apples says:

      Yes, just what is our attendance rate for teachers?  I hear that the teacher's aides end up doing the job all too often.  

      The problem is that we now have the same issues as our civil service, no accountability and no way to get rid of bad teachers.

      The teachers in the system are not worried about who is in political power, since they are! Civil servants for life…how do we fix this?

      Until we make standardized testing the only way to keep your job, we will have to suffer with long tenured edcucators who answer to no one.




  24. Anonymous says:

    So because he has not ideas on how to move the education forward he is going to blame the parents? Smooth move Mr. Anglin. Having had children in the public school system for the past 12 years I can say that the system have never been worst.

    • CC says:

      Hold the phone big guy!  Stand up and take your punishment like a man.  The administration (yourself included) have been enjoying big fat paychecks for a very-very long time as we continue to churn out illiterate children and refuse to hold any kids back.  The only graduation test used to be attendence, disgraceful!

      The parents are ACCEPTING "C's as a passing grades (which would be failing grades overseas).  Parents do need to start questioning the system that has failed them!  

      We have bad apple teachers that won't accept their own accountability on standardized international testing….it is a vicious cycle sir. You cant keep pushing kids through year after year and hope they come out okay…we see the results and they are bad.

      Stop blaming others…this is a very small school system that has failed due to a decade plus of bureaucracy and nothing more.  It could be easily fixed, but hard decisions need to be made.  Retire or Fire the bad apples who refuse to comply with testing and accountability.  Offer good teachers the sky to stay here long term and shake up the administration! 

  25. Anonymous says:

    Rolston is called  "entitlement." Us caymanians nowadays feels like the government owes us or the government will take care of us. The mentality that there will always be jobs because we can kick out the qualified expats no matter how uneducated or unqualified we are is the standard but very wrong.

    Unfortunately, this is the stuff that wins elections and until somebody rises up and says we need to be better educated and we can't live and expect the government to take care of us we will continue to become more and more of a welfare state.


    It is so unfortunate and I see and hear it everyday. The middle class in this country is dying fast and no one seems to care. Whatever happened to going to school to get a good education so that we could get a good job? Why are we graduating kids who don't even have six grade level skills. Why after 12 years are they not educated? Is it the system, the teachers the parents, the way we are brought up? What's wrong with us?

  26. Well Enlightened. says:

    What a dog's meal.

    Anglin described parents as the “missing link” in the goal to improve standards and said the cultural perception that parents clothed and fed their kids but then sent them to school for someone else to teach had to be addressed.

    Thanks for telling us Rolston, we had no idea parents were important.

    Rollie is now a top educator!

  27. I agree says:

    I totally agree with this minister, Anglin, that happens at home is the big factor as to how well students do in school.  Encouragement, love and warmth is the greatest factors a parent can instill.  However, unfortunately, most families have the family arguments right in front of the kids with the major 5-pound major cuss words.  This is so disturbing.  Then we wonder why we see 5 year old's on school compounds being aggressive and cussing these same 5-pound words.  Anglin needs to do something for Caymanians who are under seige in their own country, being jobless and under pressure, and that is to have some public meetings with PARENTS and get psychologists to give their points of view on how violence, arguments and family disagreements can affect children.  The current pastor of Baptist Church — across from Lion's Center — would be a really great man to have at these meetings.  He's already been on tv in Cayman regarding some other situations happening to Cayman.  He's a great man, not only a pastor but a psychologist too.  Anglin, go find him and work with him!!! SAVE CAYMAN'S YOUTH!!!! PLEASE!!!!  As a child who grew up in a violent home in Cayman, I BEG U!  You're on to something Anglin, that means you KNOW!  So, go forward now and help save your youth, please.  Thank you.