Anglin ends ‘free’ graduation

| 16/11/2011

Minister Anglin explains the new graduation criteria.jpg(CNS): Students set to leave high school in the summer of 2014 will be required to pass five exams at Level 1 in the Cayman Islands National Qualifications Framework (CINQF)  in order to officially ‘graduate'. Students will no longer be said to have ‘graduated’ simply by turning up to school on a regular basis and behaving. Government launched the new academic criteria for graduation on Tuesday, merging the American concept of graduation, which is related to academic achievement, with the local British education system where students do not graduate but leave school with or without examination results.  With the new initiative, the minister says, all students who wish to obtain a high school diploma at the end of their compulsory education will also need to meet a minimum academic standard.

Alongside the new graduation rules, government is also introducing a system to clarify what students' different qualifications mean and to make levels of education for all Cayman students more understandable.

Following consultation with teachers, employers and other education stakeholders, Education Minister Rolston Anglin said, the ministry was introducing a National Qualifications Framework, designed to provide an easily understood and consistent system for evaluating and comparing qualifications.

The goal, the minister explained, is to answer questions such as: Do CXC and GCSE qualifications have equal value? How does a BTEC qualification compare to an IGCSE pass? What does a COEA qualification mean and what skill levels do persons with these passes possess?

“We’re constantly faced with these questions,” said Anglin. “It’s important that everyone in the community understands how qualifications are ranked and rated and how they match up to skills and knowledge levels. The Cayman Islands National Qualifications Framework (CINQF) will assist with all this.”

The CINQF has been developed to align with international and regional qualification frameworks, such as those from the UK and CARICOM. It ranks students' skills and abilities across five qualifications bands or levels.

“This will allow fair and consistent comparisons of qualifications from different international bodies,” Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler explained.

The first CINQF qualification band — Entry Level — is equivalent to upper primary standards. Following that is the Level 1 qualification band, which includes passes at CXC and CSEC grades IV – VI; and GCSE/IGCSE grades D through G. Passes at this level are equivalent to achievement at a Middle School/Junior High standard.

Passes at CXC and CSEC grades I – III or GCSE/IGCSE grades A* through C, fall into the Level 2 or Standard High School Level qualification band. Five Level 2 qualifications are recognised internationally as equivalent to a US high school diploma and mark successful completion of secondary education.

International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement diplomas, GCE ‘A’ Level passes or associate degrees will fall into the Level 3/Advanced Level band. At this level, qualifications indicate suitability for pursuing tertiary education options.

The final two levels include bachelor and post-graduate degrees or equivalent qualifications.

“This has the potential to transform our education system, both in terms of setting clear goals for students and providing much needed information for employers,” Anglin said. “We want all of our students to be life-long learners who know how to move forward in their educational journey.”

Rodrigues said that the launch this week represents the first phase of the NQF, and focuses on academic qualifications used mainly within the education sector but the goal was to further develop the NQF to include vocational and work-based training qualifications achieved through overseas national training agencies as well as local providers.

Introducing the new graduation criteria for Cayman Islands government schools, the education minister said this was something the business and education communities had been waiting a long time.

“They are a clear indication of my commitment to raise the standards of education in these islands. It’s not good enough to merely turn up and behave moderately well to gain a High School Diploma,” he said. “Modern society requires a minimum skill level, even at the most basic entry level of employment, and hence our criteria must reflect such requirements.”

The first students who will be affected by the new graduation standards are those who will graduate in June 2014.  From that time, students will be deemed to have formally ‘graduated’ from school with a level one diploma only if they attain at least 5 passes at Level 1 (on the CINQF), which must include English and mathematics, numeracy or mathematics functional skills.

To get a level 2 diploma they will need at least 5 passes at Level 2, which must include English and mathematics (CXC, GCSE, IGCSE, AS or AP), and to graduate with honours at least 7 passes at Level 2, which must include English and mathematics (CXC, GCSE, IGCSE, AS or AP).

All students will still require a minimum 90 percent attendance record during Years 10 through 12 and less than 15 days suspension during those years, though the education department is working on a scheme to allow students to undertake community service to work off excess suspension days.

Anglin said the new requirements also reflected his commitment to encourage lifelong learning. “What I like to term second chances,” he said. “Within these criteria are opportunities to accumulate the minimum academic standard over time, not just at one sitting.”

He added that the ministry would also build in ways to recognise adult learners who achieve the High School Diploma thresholds, even though they have already completed compulsory education. There will also be second chances built into the non-academic criteria, with the students able to work off days of suspension through community service if they remain suspension free throughout an agreed period of time. 

Mary Rodrigues, the education ministry’s chief officer, said the criteria were the subject of considerable debate among key stakeholders. “This is a huge milestone for the government education system and will help prepare our young people more effectively for the future,” she added.

The minister said that the new graduation requirements are designed to be within the reach of special education needs students within mainstream education at the high schools. Students within the Lighthouse School will continue to have a separate graduation and work will continue on a Special Diploma to recognise their achievements.  Wherever possible, the ministry said, it was committed to recognising and celebrating the achievements of students from the Lighthouse School at the regular graduation ceremonies.  

See details of new graduation requirements and sample of national qualifications framework below.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (87)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think before everyone starts celebrating and hailing Mr Anglin as a great thinker that you should pause and take a look at just what he stands for and what he is introducing into the education system here in Cayman.

    If you have no idea about how the western education system has been manipulated over the past 60 years you will never be able to understand what is going on in education today and why.

    Based on Mr Anglin's statements since he was appointed Minister of Education, he has bought into the UN blueprint which has done so much to destroy basic academic education in the western world. Looking to America or the UK is a fool's errand as they long ago surrendered their own educational systems to these same ideological Marxist theories and behaviour modification techniques first introduced by people like John Dewey, B.F. Skinner,  Benjamin Bloom and many others. I doubt Mr Anglin has any idea of the manipulation to which he has been exposed – or I certainly hope he doesn't, because if he does understand the implications of what he is doing he should be ashamed, as should all the "change agents", "facilitators" and "educators" who are putting all children in public schools on this path of destruction and "dumbing down".

    The United States has approximately 50 million functional illiterates and that number is increasing. Seems like a great blueprint to follow based on that alone eh?

    Mr Anglin loves to throw out the double speak, the misleading phrases and educational buzz words – witness here he twice refers to "lifelong learning" and one has to ask oneself once again, does he really know what it means? Does he comprehend the implications or has he been bamboozled like so many others?

    If The Minister of Education really can't see it, what hope do parents or teachers have? If you want to learn more about the duplicity, misdirection, untruths and social engineering of our children you need to do your homework.

    Of course, it is far easier to blame parents, society etc. and it is something that is common on these pages. The academic failure of millions of children however, has been deliberately engineered and is continuing. If you are unaware of this, it's time to start learning for yourself.

    To help parents andteachers understand why and how this has come about I will refer you to some reading materials that you will find astonishing and which will (or at least should) make you completely re-evaluate your views on education and the policies which our government are blindly following. All the links are at the foot of this post.

    If you take the time to read this material, I guarantee the revelations will shock and disturb you.

    My wife was told today, that the pre-school our children attend have been told by government that unless they comply with all aspects of a "new" curriculum, their license to operate will be revoked. We were also told that all teachers are to be "retrained" (read, re-educated and brainwashed) and there will be no exceptions. Those who will not comply or who are "resistant to change" will be ousted. Principals, teachers, parents and children are under attack and the results elsewhere in the world give little hope to those of us who care about any of them. Believe me when I say, we are well on the path to completely destroying basic academics in our schools, and, like it or not, misguided politicians are invariably at the vanguard of the movement.

    For a glossary of modern education terms and there real meanings see:

    For insightful, well researched and informed education activist articles visit the site of Bruce dedrick Price at:

    Read the book and watch the documentaries by Charlotte Iserbyt-Thompson (Reagan's Senior policy Advisor on Education and famous whistleblower) to gain an understanding of how and why the educational "reforms" have been instituted for the past six decades at:

    If you are reading this Mr Anglin, I highly recommend you read the book yourself – it's free to download and was once a bestseller in the Barnes and Noble education category.

    I'll end with a quote, from Benjamin Bloom, (if you've never heard of him you can learn more from the above resources or Google his name) who famously said:-

    "The purpose of education is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students."

    And there you were all thinking that your children went to school to learn how to read and write and do arithmetic. Silly of you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    65% illiterate is a low estimate – I know the high numbers of kids who are unfortunately illiterate. 
    The real issue is HOW to fix this… and the solutions are shared three ways: between the school system, the home, and personal initiative (in the kids)!
    Children and youths must be encouraged to learn,  work hard and reach for the stars!

    • Anonymous says:

      From the ignorance displayed in your posts I can see why you would be surrounded by the illiterate ones and have a distorted impression. Obviously that would be completely inconsistent with govt's figure of 90% literacy among those aged 15 and over within the Islands. 

      Of course we should always strive to improve standards but it really does not help that process when you have baseless, wild exaggerations like this.

      Either produce support for your claims (which I know you cannot) or stop defaming these Islands.  

  3. Cassava says:

    Reply to Anonymous 11/17/11. 09:18

    Why do you think that students with gifted hands wanting to do technical studies don’t need to achieve academically?

    Have you ever seen a plumbers or electricians exam? They will need to achieve high academics too to pass. Even automotive students who attend places like MMI or other technical schools are expected achieve academically.

    What do you expect from your mechanic as we progress with technology and more advanced engine systems that have to be hooked up to computers ? Our construction students need to know more than how to lay blocks. They must be able to read plans and understand material requirements.

    Take a look at our Seamen, many or the majority of them left these Islands having not even completed primary school and were taught on the ships. Many achieving great levels of academics and their various maritime degrees what ever they were.

    There are technical scholarships available to students for overseas studies. Students are required to have passes in English and Math and Other subjects are also just as important. Persons should make adequate enquiries as to the options for overseas & local funding available to all Caymanian students for college studies. Don’t think that scholarships are only available for the elite! That is backward thinking. Many technical Grants are available! Have you asked? Does not seem so.

    What kind of electrician do you want to wire your house? What kind of plumber to you want to do the plumbing in your house? What kind of mechanic do you want to work on your car or our National Airline before you drive or fly?

    If you don’t understand or know what is really available to All of our Caymanian students, just ask! Don’t be so negative with remarks that are untrue and don’t make sense!

    Go to UCCI and find out how many students are enrolled in the Pre-College program. Many young men and women trying to get themselves ready to start their Associate Degree, whether technical or standard.

  4. Anonymous says:

    OK – this may be gerat news to many, but I see it as simply the 'end of the road' qualifications for the many who dont unfortunately continue education and training.

    What is ALSO Urgently needed are similar benchmarks when pupils leave primary schools as well as when they finish Junior High level.

    We cant wait until they are 16/17 years old to tell them their lives are probably going to be failures – or successes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    POP QUIZ: For your teenagers to take tonight..

    1 – If you had 200 mangoes and you sold 25percent of them, how many would you have left?

    2 – Who is England's Heir Apparant?

    3 – What is the difference between the words   hare, hear, here, heir and hair?

    4 – Name two secondary colours.

    5 – Who wrote "Romeo and Juliet"?

    6 – If you had one fish and your brother gives you three more, what would you have?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Rolston I applaud you and the Ministry on this move.  However, I have GREAT concerns for those children who are not acamedically sound, but rather is very gifted with their hands and minds.  What about those Technical students? Some of them are currently away studying Plumbing, Mechanics, Electricians, Aviation and other technical subjects, Do you expect them to do English Literature, the sciences and American History and other Academics that are not connected to their technical studies? You expect them to maintain a 3.0GPA and higher?  The Technical schools are only requiring them to maintain a GPA of 2.5 and higher.  Are you going to pull the Ministry funding from them? If yes, what do you have planned for them at home? Will you put them on the streets…like the drop outs and the gangs?  Not every student are acamedically sound, Mr. Rolston, please understand that.  If a child is trying to become academically sound, should you not be trying along with him by funding him on and encouraging him along the way?  Are you going to make him/her fall through the cracks too? Our society cannot handle anymore dropouts.  Our Prisons cannot handle any more deliquents  I think you and the Ministry is and should still be obligated to help those students that are borderline on a 3.0GPA in those Technical schools.  If you can no longer help those students currently abroad, provide them with a Technical facility here in Cayman.  Not every parent can mortgage their homes to educate their children, not every parent is financially well off.  Not every parent is rich.  These particular children needs the help from Government more than those acamedically sound children do, as most of them have BOTH parents working and are in our high society providing for them. Most of these Technical gifted students are of single mothers and do need the Government help as much as possible.  I beg your sir, to do something to help these particular students, especially the ones that are really trying.  They will one day be plumbing these Islands, wiring these Islands, fixing your cars and fly ing you around in our National Carrier or Private Jets.  Wheras the acamedically sound students will get rich and leave you and the Islands behind, without a thought. Please Mr. Rolston do not fail these students.  Thanks again for everything.

  7. Anonymous says:

    My question is “is the Education Portfolio itself fit for purpose”? Are the civil servants at the top the very best we can find? Because whatever a politician proposes has to be implemented by them. My impression is that Education is slow, unresponsive and uninspired. If that’s right, Cayman will have these problems forever, whatever good intentions a minister might have.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems to me that we want top level civil servants but we want to pay them next to nothing and cut their salaries whenever we want to.

      Compliments to the minister this should have been done a long time ago. Now maybe the blind in this country can stop talking about uneducated Caymanians.

  8. Class of 1991 says:

    Finally. This is the best news I have heard in 20 years. Thanks Mr. Anglin.  I graduated from the Cayman Islands High School in 1991 and didn't have to, nor did I pass any of my classes. I slept in every class. I could hardly read when I graduated. LOL. not so funny now that I have young kids. Luckily I went to college overseas and got punched in the face by reality.  I felt great when I graduated from college because I knew I deserved and actually earned my diploma; unlike high school. Unfortunately my single parent worked two jobs and had no time during my school years to show me the right educational direction. Parents, please take time out for your kids daily. You cannot depend on the school system %100 percent to teach your kids to keep their pants up. Literally. My 2 cents on the issue.      

    • Anonymous says:

      If you didn't pass any of your classes in high school how could you go to college overseas? Either you are missing a part of your story or your story is a crock.

      • Anonymous says:

        Worse, she could "hardly read". LOL. They must have really low college entrance standards overseas.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is something about this account that does not sit well with me. Sounds a little too stereotyped. Usually a child who leaves school unable to read lacks either the ability or desire to gain an education or both and is headed for a life of delinquency. Yet it appears that the writer is reasonably intelligent and must have been highly motivated to gain a college education after such an unproductive secondary education. Are we supposed to believe that this was all on account of being able to graduate from high school (but not from college) without academic qualifications?      

  9. Britannian To Da Bone says:

    There is no "graduation" from secondary school in the UK.  It is an American concept.

  10. B.B.L. Brown says:


    Shame, Shame, Shame on the leaders(?) that initiated the system crippling successful education!  That being said, I congratulate the people responsible for this move.  Good work!  This will really make a difference in these graduating young men and young ladies going out taking take their place in the real world.

  11. Jamaica says:

    I enjoy this read!!! Well done Minister.  It is very terrifying and pathetic when you areapproached by an old or new graduate seeking a job.  Their spelling, penmanship and arithmetic is atrocious. I think it is a terrible sin how the school system have failed some of our children in the past and continues to fail the ones who are needy.  Everyone of us must have our math, reading skills and our language (English).  These are the basic foundations for any vocation we may choose. Whatever the circumstances or the chosen profession maybe, we need our Math and English.  It is as plain as A,B, C.  If any of us should become a shop keeper, doctor, barber, landscaper, lawyer, or even a witch doctor, we all need our English and Maths. We must be able to read, count and measure our portions.  We need to teach these children how to compose a story or give them a series of letter writing. Teach them long division, addition, subtraction and percentage.  It is really frightening that a majority of them cannot do simple and basic Mathematics. Well done Minister. NO MORE babysitting jobs to say we have graduates.  All this was a brutal injustice to the students and to society.

    • so Anonymous says:

      This also explains why it is so hard to get anything done that needs to go through the civil service or any government entity.  These services(with non service built in) are packed with all the past non functuioning but graduated Caymanians.  This explains why most of these service areas are non functioning, non compliant, and very expensive.

  12. Young Caymanian Teacher says:

    SO glad this is finally being put into effect. Now my students will actually try to learn something in my class, lest they remain there until they're 21.  For decades we've been deluding our children into believing that they can put forth minimal effort and get positive outcomes. 


    We teachers have struggled for decades to convince kids that good grades matter…but it's hard to get that message across when graduation is inevitable…no matter what! It's embarrassing how revolutionary this is for the C.I. public school system, but I'm rejoicing all the same.


    I just hope this is not a political ploy to get back in in 2013. If there were a way to guarantee that this will be effected regardless of which party is in power at the end of the election period, I just might vote in 2 years.

    Don't let me down, AGAIN…watching these kids leave my classroom with no skills, no ambition or incentive and no clue is heartbreak enough.




    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      Looks like the Minister is asleep on the job, at least he not asleep at the wheel!

  13. Anonymous says:

    That's great!! Now- how about longer school years- the amount of breaks these kids get is crazy!

    • Anonymous says:

      Year round school with longer school days.  Hire more teachers if that is what it takes and rotate the teachers throughout the day/year.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Still missing the mark. And kids will still fall through the cracks. Not everyone is cut out for academics. We MUST create a vocational track as an option for students – otherwise unemployment and crime among young men will only increase.

    • Anonymous says:

      That being said they still need to be able to pass math and english….Anything is possible for anyone with determination and drive.  Constant repeition and practice of something difficult is possible to master for someone who knows nothing.  Desire for a trade is different.  Stop with the inability.  Those young men you speak of had plenty of opportunity, it is a matter of taking advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to them.  Beggers should not be choosers.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is about basic life skills…reading, writing and math.  All trades, white and blue collar, use ALL of these. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You should reread the article, qualifications under BTEC and COPE for example are vocationally based. The general idea is, regardless of whichever track you are on you will gain some kind of qualification.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is good. The graduation ceremony is not very relevant but having some standards for successfully  "completing" school and a goal of getting a diploma to evidence it are important. A lack of standards for what it means or doesnt mean  to "leave" school at the end of the final term destroys all accountability at any level that the schools are effective. I don't pretend to understand the British system but it seems to me that talking about lack of jobs for the annual crop of "school leavers" is pointless if there are no benchmarks to indicate that an individual has been successfully educated by the school system.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think this is good news and long overdue.  However, I do see a problem in 2014 when those kids who have just moved up the grades without being able to do the work will have great difficulties trying to get the grades they need to graduate.  Also hope there is a system being put in place so that those kids who cannot do the work in their current grade are not automatically sent up to the next grade where they will just fall further behind.

  17. Anonymous says:

    "The first CINQF qualification band — Entry Level — is equivalent to upper primary standards. Following that is the Level 1 qualification band, which includes passes at CXC and CSEC grades IV – VI; and GCSE/IGCSE grades D through G"-   Seriously! surely all kids must already be attaining a level 1 pass – grades D – G . I think it should be set to all students having to attain a level 2 pass.


  18. Anonymous says:

    So, am I to understand that in order to "graduate" from High School, students need only achieve Middle School standards?

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS re-read what level 1 passes are though!


      CNS: Yes, sorry, you're right and I have deleted my note, which was wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually agree with you after reading it again.  You are quite right in your assessment.  Thank you for pointing that out as I missed that earlier myself.

    • Solja Crab says:

      I think you're misinterepreting the subject at hand.

      "The first CINQF qualification band — Entry Level — is equivalent to upper primary standards. Following that is the Level 1 qualification band, which includes passes at CXC and CSEC grades IV – VI; and GCSE/IGCSE grades D through G. Passes at this level are equivalent to achievement at a Middle School/Junior High standard.

      Passes at CXC and CSEC grades I – III or GCSE/IGCSE grades A* through C, fall into the Level 2 or Standard High School Level qualification band. Five Level 2 qualifications are recognised internationally as equivalent to a US high school diploma and mark successful completion of secondary education."

      Nowhere in that paragraph does it state a entry level diploma will be given upon completion of high school. TWO diplomas can be acquired: one upon completion of middle school and one upon completion high school. If a student only attends school until grade 10, then yes, he will only graduate with an entry level diploma.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well Done Minister Anglin! This is long overdue and hopefully the students, teachers & parents will all get on board to achieve the necessary requirements.

    Parents please invest the time needed to prepare your Children for classes.

    Have them on arrive time for school (well rested and provided with a proper breakfast)

    Have them dressed respectfully in their uniform and hair groomed properly.

    Take time in the evening to go through homework (if you can't personally help them hire a tutor) 

    Communicate with your children find out what's working for them & what's not so that they are receiving positive feedback for what is going well and find solutions for what they may be struggling with.

    A joint effort is required to prepare the youth for Caymans future.

  20. Solja Crab says:

    Well I just looked out the window and a pig flew by…

  21. Knot S Smart says:

    Good job Mr. Anglin!

    I have always felt that you are a good guy that just got mixed up in bad company…

  22. AYoungCaymanian says:

    Very good move Mr. Minister! About time!

  23. Anonymous says:


    While I am critical of Rolston generally (I expected more leadership from him in the UDP and not to cater to McKeeva), this is actually very well thought out.

    The inclusion of Math and English is critical, and the attendance rate just as critical as the two go hand in hand.  So I congratulate the entire Ministry of Education as well as Mr. Anglin in putting forth something that is good news for the entire nation.

    Excuse my ignorance, but is high school compulsory in Cayman?  I ask, because  in light of this excellent news, if it is not, then I would suggest that it is quite possible that some of the people who can't live up to these expectations will probably just quite school, perhaps still causing problems in the community.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I would also suggest that there is consequences for the parents if the children are not showing up to school and don't have either a written excuse from the parent or a doctors note.

    In other countries, it is taken very, very seriously if a child does not turn up to school as there is always the possibility that the child has been abducted on its way to school (I am talking European country). Clearly, this is not the issue here, but in those countries, the school will send out police to track down the child if it didn't show up within a specific period of time and trust me, if they find that the child was just skipping school or the parents forgot to call in letting the school know that the child is sick, there are serious consequences and cost involved.

    Besides making sure nothing happened to the child on its way to school, it also forces parents to be responsible in regards to there children's whereabouts and if not, they have to pay theprice accordingly.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Will these new CINQF "qualifications" be accepted bythe US and UK Universities for admission, or is this just a "ploy" to fool parents into believing their children are getting something of an education.  The quote: "The minister said that the new graduation requirements are designed to be within the reach of special education needs students within mainstream education at the high schools" is ominous. Sounds as if the examinations will be deliberately dumbed down so everyone can pass, just by turning up to sit the examination.  I'm sorry to be cynic, but this all seems like educational "window dressing" to me.

    CNS: The CINQF is not a qualification but a chart to show how the many external examinations (set by a recognised international body) that students take in the Cayman Islands compare to each other (as explained in paragraph 4). None of the exams within the CINQF are set by the ministry and no one in the Cayman Islands has any control over their standards. (Let's not go into the debate here about the controversy of exam standards in the UK.) Basically it's a useful tool to see what level of academics a person has reached.

    Whether the Cayman Islands diploma would be accepted as the equivalent of a US diploma if the person holding it went to the States, I have no idea. I believe that it is more a response to local demands to have something to show for the graduation ceremony, which is an entirely American concept and does not fit into the British system.

  26. Anonymous says:

    There will be a great many non graduates and at least these tedious ceremonies will be mercifully short. Rolston, can you please ban "graduations" at the pre-schoo; and primary school level too?

  27. Anonymous says:

    "…All students whowish to obtain a high school diploma at the end of their compulsory education will also need to meet a minimum academic standard."

    Wow…and we are still comlaining about the high level of unemployment?

    Wow…an we are still surprised to see the level of crimes increasing so dramatically?

    Mr. Aglin I salute your political courage to push forward "a minimum academic standard" for our children. But let me dream here for a second. I just have a crazy idea going through my mind…why not raising the bar for our future? Why not asking, let's say, instead of 50% (minimum standard), why not asking a 75% for a realistic chance of success for our children the complies with ALL academic requirements (UK, USA, Canada etc.). 

    The initiative has all the merit it deserves but unfortunately, in those challenging time, I'm affraid that a minimum academic standard will not be enough to secure a bright future for the people of the Cayman Islands.

    Mr. Anglin has initiate the movement going forward. Let's hope the system will follow for the sake of our children.

  28. Anonymously!! says:

    Its an excellant idea, now lets stop graduating children at age 16 who haven't learnt the thre Rs, reading,riting & rithmetic. These children need to be in school until they are 18 yrs of age, they cant find a job once out of school they have no desire to continue on with their education.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately age has nothing to do with it. I was 16 when I graduated from school, and I wen on to become CPA! I know many who graduated older than me and still have yet to achive 50% of what I have achieved. In the end it all boils down to dedication, and support!

  29. Ken P says:

    Thank goodness that is the best decision I've heard regarding our education system in the last 20 years. For too long Caymanians are amde to believe that education and life is a free ticket to ride and not made to realize that we're in a competitive world. Rolston has finally stepped up and done something to help fullfil the potential of young Caymanians and at the same time instill a strong belief based on hardwork and ambition.

  30. anonymous says:


    Finally someone who cares about our Caymanain children's future. Thank you 100 times.

  31. Cassava says:

    Excellent News!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    For the avoidance of doubt, there is NO graduation from secondary shools in the UK. This is one of these things that was imported here 'donkey years" ago from the US, simply because there were so many Caymanian kids who could not achieve even very basic exam passes in the UK exam system and something had to be done to please their parents. Terrible move. The elephant in the room that noone wants to talk about is why, after 30+ years of massive expenditure from Government on education, are so many Caymanian kids so totally inept at passing exams that are successfully taken all over the rest of the Caribbean and indeed the Commonwealth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please. The pass rate in Cayman is not lower than it is everywhere else in the Caribbean and the Commonwealth. That is just malicious nonsense.

    • Anonymous says:

      "…so many Caymanian kids so totally inept at passing exams that are successfully taken all over the rest of the Caribbean and indeed the Commonwealth".

      Please back up this damning comment by actual statistics. I hope you did not make it up. The only online statistics I could find that make any comparison with other Caribbean countries exam pass rates was pretty old (1991-1997) for CXC Maths and this reflected that Cayman, with an average pass rate of 87.76%, by far outperformed all other Caribbean countries in that subject in that period.,13,1991-1997 CXC Mathematics Pass Rate Percentage by Country


      • Anonymous says:

        I can only assume that the thumbs down mean that those persons are afraid that the statement cannot be supported by actual statistics. Why else would anyone object to a request for support of a statement where it is not consistent with the statistics we do have? 

        There appears to be tendency on CNS to make exaggerated claims about the poor level of education here. One post actually stated that the level of ILLITERACY among school leavers in Cayman is 65% but when challenged for the source of this information none was provided. Since we have recently achieved a pass rate of 45% of students at Grades A-C in at least 5 subjects (who are therefore college-ready) we know that on its face that is a false claim.

        I await to see whether this is forming a pattern and again there will be no response.     

        • Anonymous says:

          Statistics are what they are…Based on statistics, I should have 1.8 child…and I only have one (anyone seen the .08 anywhere? must be starving by now!)

          • Anonymous says:

            If you have alternate FACTUAL basis for making such statements I am happy to listen but statistics are the only means of making relevant comparisons to other countries pass rates which was the point of the original post. The trouble is that people make sweeping statements off their individual perceptions which may be based on a couple of incidents which are magnified in their minds to the nth degree but are not representative of the whole.   

            Incidentally the remainder would be 0.8 rather than .08. The 1.8 would be an average; it does not mean that each set of parents has 1.8 children. You do understand that concept, don't you? 

        • Anonymous says:

          65% illiterate is a low estimate!! As a born Caymanian and a parent, i know the high numbers of kids who are unfortunately illiterate. 

          Need proof? Just ask 10 school leavers from the 'top' sets to write their names, addresses and five reasons why they should be give a job ( or any other simple writing assignment).

          The real issue is how to fix this… and the Problems are shared three ways: between the school system, the home, and personal initiative (in the kids)!

          So too, the Solutions must be found in these 3 areas. Youths who are inquisitive and want to learn about a specific subject can indeed excel in any area. 

          We have multi millionaires in Cayman now, whose parents were functionally illiterate, but the kids worked hard and were encouraged to reach for the stars!

          • Anonymous says:

            It is exactly this sort of ignorance that I am trying to combat. Pure emotionalism, no facts.

          • Anonymous says:

            I would like to add something about the literacy rate that people might not know.  When the Census is done it includes people who have a work permit for longer than six months.  Therefore, the literacy rate includes people not educated in the Cayman Islands as well.

            Basically, the literacy rate is a poor benchmark.  I would suggest using exam results instead.

            My concern with this exam level 1 is it is not at a high school level so why bother to go to high school if they are graduating with a middle school education?  I think that this needs to be simplified like in the United States.  Give them subject exams.  I really don't understand teaching one thing in school and having CXC and all these other e's which is something totally different.

            Another idea would be teaching the GED program for the US.  If the children are going to high school they should have a graduation diploma for high school and nothing less.

            Special needs children should be on a different scale altogether.

            • Anonymous says:

              Was the literacy rate figure actually derived from the sensus?

            • Anonymous says:

              "I really don't understand teaching one thing in school and having CXC and all these other e's which is something totally different"

              Actually students are taught according tothe curriculum required for the external exam, be it GCSE or CXC. The GED would simply be a different external exam.  

          • Anonymous says:

            POP QUIZ: For your teenagers to take tonight..

            1 – If you had 200 mangoes and you sold 25percent of them, how many would you have left?

            2 – Who is England's Heir Apparant?

            3 – What is the difference between the words   hare, hear, here, heir and hair?

            4 – Name two secondary colours.

            5 – Who wrote "Romeo and Juliet"?

            6 – If you had one fish and your brother gives you three more, what would you have?





      • Anonymous says:

        10;20, I am not the original poster you responded to. Do you think the 87.76% pass rate that you quote refers to 87.76% of an entire year group(of, say, 275 students) of Cayman Islands government school students or 87.76% of the 25%  or so of that year group who were deemed by the school to have the ability to be able to be  entered for the exam? Just asking.

        • Anonymous says:

          For every country the relevant percentage will be for those who have been entered for the exam. For example, in this 2004 news report from the Jamaica Gleaner "Calabar High School had a total cohort of 401, but allowed only 206 students to sit the English exam. Only 67 passed, a pass rate of 16.7 per cent. In the official statistics from the Ministry of Education, Calabar's pass rate is given as 33 per cent, 100 per cent better than the actual performance".

          In the 2009 CSEC exam, only 21% of the candidates SITTING THE EXAMINATION across the Caribbean achieved acceptable grades in five or more subjects. We have recently seen that statistic at 45% for Cayman.

          Obviously the percentage of the total cohort entering the exam will depend on the schools, e.g. a comprehensive school is likely to have a smaller percentage entered than a grammar school or private school. Note that Calabar will be one of the better secondary schools in Jamaica. So far as I am aware the private schools in Cayman have never entered the CXC but instead the GCSE.    




          • Anonymous says:

            So, 19:50, our exam passes in Cayman (45%) are wonderful compared to the rest of the Caribbean (21%) and we should stop bitching about it as we have been doing for many many years? Well done teachers, students , and parents.

            • Anonymous says:

              My point is that while we should always aim for excellence and never rest on our laurels it is wrong and demoralising to falsely suggest that we are at the bottom of the bottom.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical expat bashing of Cayman and Caymanians without any facts at all.

    • Polly Tricks says:

      The state education system in Cayman is a disgrace.  A recent Government pamphlet praised the 90% literacy rate.  What a joke.  A 90% rate would ranks us around 100th place in the world.  If people want to complain about Caymanian unemployment they should focus their attention on second rate politicians and civil servants.

      Oh and by the way if you want a wolrd class education system try paying a little income tax.  Selfishness and greed is harming the nation's children.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you have any factual data that shows that the literacy rate is less than 90%, or is this simply based on your personal feeling that this is too good for Cayman? What is interesting is that an estimate of 98% adult literacy was given by UNESCO in 1995, PAHO in 2001 and the CIA World Fact Book in 2011.

        Education has not been under-funded in the past 30 years so income tax is not the issue at all.   

        • Polly Tricks says:

          My data comes from the Governments own pamphlet it produced last year.  I am so sorry that you are taking this so personally and defending what is an atrocious third world public education system that does more to stifle the future of young Caymanians than anything else.

          • Anonymous says:

            The govt. pamphlet says that the literacy rate is 90% (not less than 90%). You have said that this is a joke and that our public education system is atrocious so I inferred that you thought that it is substantially less than 90%. Was that the correct inference?

            People like you keep making unsupported calims that cast Cayman in the worst possible light. I am generally concerned about the level of propaganda on this issue. I have asked my questions in the interest of truth and fairness.  

            • Polly Tricks says:

              Well if you are literate, you are incapable of basic comprehension.  I said the rate, as quoted by the Government, was 90%.  That is atrocious and would put us 100th place in the world.  I make accurate claims based on official date and you are in denial. 

              • Anonymous says:

                A 90% LITERACY rate means that 90% (90 out of every 100 persons) can read and write.  It would be terrible if our ILLITERACY rate was 90% (that would mean that 90 out of every 100 persons cannot read and write). 

              • Anonymous says:

                I gather from your rather rude reply that my inference was incorrect and that in fact you believe that a 90% literacy rate is atrocious. Usually when someone says that a statement is a joke they mean that it is not credible.In this context that could have meant that you thought the govt. was fudging the real figure which would be substantially less than 90%. 

                As for 100th place, in many cases the lists that you see compiled by Wikipedia and others are simply estimates from certain international agencies. The point of my post was to point that there are estimates for Cayman circulating that place the literacy rate at  98% which is about as credible as the rankings in these lists. Sometimes it helps to read footnotes as well.

                I am not sure how "denial" came into the issue. There is clearly room for improvement.        

  33. Anonymous says:

    Ya think?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is insane.  So what is being said is 1/2 of the students (possibly more), just graduated for being in school and behaving???? Who on earth allowed this?  Maybe this explains why we have the problems we are having, gangs, unemployment, Work Permit holders.  Who is to be held accountable for this one?  Cayman is no better then a third world country. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Who is it be held accountable? Parents!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes I agree parents should be held accountable, but the school shouldn't graduate them, plain and simple. 

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is long overdue…Good move Ministry of Education!  Now please get on with all the other work that needs to be done to truly make the education system a "world class" system.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Mr Anglin this is an excellent decision, ending social promotion is listed by various education experts across the globe and political spectrum as one of the cornerstones of an education system intended to produce productive and skilled young people.

  36. Anonymous says:

    About time! 

    I'm tired of dealing with "graduates" that cannot read, write or add 1+1.

    He needs to impose a fine on BOTH parents when a child is suspended, has no food, shows up with their underware showing or fails a class as his next move.  

    • ya right says:

      hardware underware!! Sounds like you didn't get an A on spelling(or even a D)

      • Anonymous says:

        underware or underwear..however  you want to spell it! the point is well taken. Caymanians spend their whole life complaining and blaming other people for their downfall but how are we raising our children? theteachers can not longer discipline the kids at schools, parents  are too busy to pay attention and what is the end results? all these illiterate juveniles running around without a future and harrasing the decent working class…..enough is enough!

    • Anonymous says:

      I should fine you for stupidity! fine a parent cause the child has no food???????? obviously the parent does not have the money to give them for food so why the hell don"t  you give the child money for food and stop being an ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Anonymous says:

    This is a major step forward. Well done Mr. Anglin.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Finally. Would get an A+ from me if not so tardy.