Education reform

| 09/02/2014

Isn't it ironic that in the middle of current education reform the minister is suggesting that there is a need to reform the system? In 2012 the former minister led the development of what was considered strategic reform in education. The development of this plan included all stakeholders, or at least that is what we were led to believe. There are about 6 goals, I believe, which are expected to drive change and ultimate improvements in the system. 

The idea of having a system where education matches the needs of the workforce is also a key factor in this strategic reform. The new government, including the new minister, seemed to have bought into this reformation and publicly communicated their intention to work with it. Now, this is a strategic reform for 2012 to 2017.

To return from the UK after a few days talking with education officials there and then publicly state that the system needs reform is worrying. It is further ironic, given the fact that the current chief officer, who was also a key leader in the development of the 2012 to 2017 strategic reform, was a member of the delegation to UK. Now, if the minister had said that there is a need for us to expedite critical aspects of the 2012 to 2017 plan, then that would be more realistic. I stand corrected if this is actually her intention and would laud her efforts to push it forward.

Let me draw your attention to the 2012 -2017 strategic plan for education: See here.

Take a good look at strategic goal #5. All the objectives are aligned to achieving what the current minister is currently proposing after her recent visit. The problem with the system is that we keep changing our plans every time the government changes. As a result, we don't ever get to evaluate the effectiveness of any initiative.

The next thing is that we keep copying what the UK is doing rather than examining what will work best for our situation. Fact: what we adopted from the UK (curriculum and assessment models) is what they have recently found out and admitted is not working for them and hence they are in the middle of reform.

When the government indicated initially that they will keep the chief officers from the previous administration and when they verbally indicated their support for the 2012 to 2017 strategic plan for education developed by the previous administration, I was impressed and thought that for once we have a government who truly had the people's interest at heart.

I urge the minister to try the 2012 to 2017 plan. Give it a chance. See through its implementation. Evaluate it along the way and then make necessary changes accordingly.

(Originally posted as a comment to Rivers: $20k UK trip yields ‘tremendous information’)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

About the Author ()

Comments (20)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anon says:

    Govt schools cost 25k per student per year from what I recall.  Private schools cost parents 10k per student per year.  At this price level the private schools manage to earnprofits.  Private school education in Cayman is far superior to govt schools.  So, why doesn't govt engage the private sector to run the schools and pay the private sector 10k per student? That would save our govt 15k per student per year.  Let's assume conservatively that there are 6,000 students in local schools, govt would save 90million per year. Also govt could lease current schools for a fee.  Anyone see anything wrong with this?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a rather simplistic analysis of the situation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fees charged to parents represent only a fraction of the cost. Not for profit private schools receive annual government grants, are financially supported by churches and other sponsoring organizations and do a significant amount of fund raising.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is some serious doctoring of stats.

      Do you also realise that Governmentpays the priavte school to operate as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'm very disappointed in Tara if she said this as she promised the people of Cayman and allof teh educators parents, etc that we would continuer with the plan put in place by Ralston.  If this is true, I'm leaving Cayman with my child.  It has been difficult enough as it was and we were promised taht she would continue implementing the plan with minimal changes.  Mr. Anglin put in place a good plan.

  3. Anonymous says:


    As it relates to education, she simply wanted the job to try and show up Rolston but let’s face it he was simply the best, better than all the rest. Tara needs to work with what is there and build on that not to try a system that continues to fail in the UK. Tipical of us CAYMANIANS any thing the BRITS say it is gospel, what I would hope is that we will one day come to the realization that how we do things in this Island sometimes become the envy of the Brits who have this conquer and divide attitude for hundreds of years.

    Tara get your head out of the sand and do your job!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Starting a sentence with "Tarahaven't a clue" is no way to convice anyone that you have any knowledge about education.

  4. Coconutz says:

    Look, why is anyone surprised that the Minister of Education and her posse would at the end of her $20,000 jaunt try to justify it by declaring that wholesale changes are required to the education system?  Nothingshort of wholesale changes would have meant that the $20,000 jaunt was an abysmal waste of time and money.  Ultimately, no matter which way yout fart into the wind, it still comes back at you – in other words, it's all a racket.  The difference between a government racket and Bobo's everyday racket is that one is deemed "legitimate", the other is not.  Care to guess which one is deemed legit?  Let's just say it ain't Bobo's!  Get what I mean mes amis?

    Co co co Coconutz, co co co Coconutz!

  5. Anonymous says:

    If Mary Rodrigues and the majority of the LA send their children to private school, then its obvious they know the public system is horrible. She ought to be ashame for collecting such a fat salary for such a sh*t job!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, if President Obama, for example,  only gets 8 years to make a difference.  Why do our various department heads, chief officers and the like get 20 plus years to do nothing but "review, rewind, rebute, reneg, redefine, relax then RETIRE ???!!!  PEOPLE stop complaining…..let's just ask for a clean sweep, lets rejuvenate the education system….there has to be a way up !

  6. Anonymous says:

    Amen to that!

    • Anonymous says:

      The UK educationa system is broken- did'nt Tara know that?  Please do not let her bring their rubbish into our system.  What is wrong with you people any way?

      • Anonymous says:

        The UK's education system outperforms the OECD average of developed nations and achieves better outcomes on key education targets that Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United States.  Cayman would kill for that level of education system.

        • Anonymous says:

          Want to start an argument in a bar. Talk about politics, religion, or … education. 🙂

          • Anonymous says:

            Just walking up to a random person and punching them works well too.

        • Anonymous says:

          I'm sorry but you are wrong about the UK.




          The UK model is a failed model.  Children shouldn't advance to another grade taht has not passed their subjects.  A study was done about crime in Cayman and one of the contributirs listed was our education system.  The children keep falling behind so they get frustrated and drop out/turn to a lifeo f crime etc.

          • Anonymous says:

            The children don't get frustrated and drop out because of the education system. They are dumb, ill prepared for school by clueless non caring or absent parents and are totally lacking in discipline and respect for authority from the age of five onwards.Then they become criminals.

          • Anonymous says:


            As was posted above, Cayman would do anything to have the UK's ranking.

            Your Guardian link merely shows a minor movement in the UK's outcomes but still shows a very high standard of education.

            • So what says:

              Actually, you're education system is average.  You want to go ahead and brag about average, go ahead – but that's certainly no system that the Cayman Islands ought to emulate.  From the Guardian article: 

              The UK performs at about average in reading and maths for countries within the OECD. It is slightly above average in science. In reading, the UK's average score is 494, compared with an OECD average of 493. In maths, our score is 492 and in science 514. The OECD averages are 496 and 501 respectively.