Education bill paves way for private sector involvement

| 09/06/2015 | 32 Comments
Cayman News Service

Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs

(CNS): The revamped version of the 2009 Education Bill will be coming to the Legislative Assembly in September, paving the way for the existence of many different types of schools but it will not allow complete privatization of government-managed schools. The new law, when it is passed, will enshrine much of the current national education policy in law and establish a formal inspection regime.

Formally banning corporal punishment and legislating the National Curriculum, the law also allows for schools to partner with private sector entities, though establishing charter or academy schools is not possible within the parameters of this law.

The draft Education Bill, 2015 is based on the legislation passed during the previous PPM administration in 2009, which was never implemented, but has been slightly “tweaked”, Ministry Counsellor Winston Connolly said at a press briefing to launch the public consultation to ensure it is up to date and meets the needs of the country’s developing education system. Following the decision by the previous education minister, Rolston Anglin, not to enact the law, education continues to be governed by the 1983 legislation.

Education Minister Tara Rivers said the new bill, for the first time, calls for the teaching of local history and culture in all government schools and encourages the private sector to include it on their curriculum.

But the main objective is to push the local education system towards international best practice, while legislating for issues such as special educational needs, conflict resolution and crime reduction, technical and vocation training and private-public partnerships in schools.

The details of how the modern education system will work will be in the regulations, however, which will come to the Legislative Assembly with the bill, Rivers said. In the meantime, the ministry has launched a public consultation process and is inviting comments and contributions on the proposed final version of the law before it goes before legislators.

Download the Consultation Draft Education Bill 2015

Take part in the Ministry of Education’s survey on the Education Bill 2015

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Category: Education, Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The problem is foreigners are writing and teaching Cayman History and Culture so now so called Caymanian traditions aren’t Caymanian traditions but adopted traditions from other countries.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tara would you like to retract your statement in the MLA the other day. You know the one that said the report was not yet ready. Ready for what, rewriting?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Of course there is a place for teaching culture/ history of one’s heritage. However there is finite time in the school day. To be competitive in the modern world we need a concentration on STEM (science, technology,
    engineering and maths). Ask anyone from India or China for example.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Clause 28- “reasonable force” . Who determines this?

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Paving the way for the existence of many different types of schools but it will not allow complete privatization of government-managed schools”. Wake up Minister Rivers, how many “different types of schools”can there be in a country with so few.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is culture….but are we talking about the old culture of hard-work, family and seamanship, or the modern of crime, greed and corruption?

  7. Anonymous says:

    It appears that the thinking is “We will experiment with non researched education nonsense in the state schools while we send our children to the private schools”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    How about doing the right but controversial thing by mandating the teaching facts like evolution and the Big Bang rather than waste time on politically motivated gestures about local culture? Oh the question kind of answers itself.

    • Robbie says:

      Evolution and the big bang theory, is not a fact. It is just that a theory. There is actually more scientific research (even by die hard evolutionist) that argue that Darwin was not correct and also geologist have been stating that the so called age of the earth is no scientifically correct and earth is not as old as we once though. Do some research

      • Anonymous says:

        Antarctic ice core data and the Geologic Column are bunkum. Besides, radioactive dating is bad for you – just stick with good Christian girls.

  9. Robbie says:

    The comment about not wasting time on local history or culture is certainly a very uneducated one. To understand where you are and where you want to go, one must understand where you have been. A part of national pride in any country is understanding the struggles, your past, your culture and being proud of that. People such as the one who made the comment does not respect the Caymanian people and should not be hear if that is how you feel and If you are a Caymanian and made such a comment then you clearly have an identity issue.

    There is a Caymanian culture, culture is not static and it changes as the ethnic and racial dynamics of a country changes.

    Education is not a matter to be messed with. One must understand why everyone is not allowed in public school. The government has an obligation to the nationals of the country first and free education is provided. There is not enough classroom space to house everyone. So the government must prioritize and Caymanians come first, then children of government employees. Besides what make anyone think that the “elite” class of this country whose employers pay school fee for them would want their children to mix with the “common” folk anyway? Creating private public partnerships will not change any of the issues just mentioned.

    Believe it or not, those so called government children are the ones who perform best when the go to the private school to do A’levels, so the government schools are not as bad as people try to portray. They don’t get to hand pick their students, teachers have to actually work. If the private school were so great in Cayman, check all the tutoring services and I will guarantee you that more than 50% of their clientele come from private schools.

    Back to the main topic, Tara needs to release the report that was done and yes she has gone ahead with what C4C had in mind. The notion she is pushing is one that is failing in the UK and other countries. Therefore I trust that those advising her will do their research and make recommendations based on the social , economic and cultural dynamics of the Cayman Islands and not cut and paste off the web as we have seen before.

    The current Acting CO for education has no education background, his acting deputy has all of 2 years in the classroom straight out of college and and a whole of 2 years management a a principal so hmmmm, well ammm, hmmm loss of words for a minute. We need help in education when it comes to practical policies as clearly the practitioners are not listened to.

    • Anonymous says:

      The denial of free education to non-Caymanian resident children is of course a breach of their human rights.

      • Robbie says:

        No it is not.

        Go read the constitution of the Cayman Islands.

        You have the right to access the educational system, and a right to effective education.

        This right obligates the government to make a concerted effort to provide free primary and secondary education to its “CITIZENS” in the future, within its economic means.

        However, this right does not automatically guarantee free primary and secondary education.

    • Anonymous says:

      The comment you criticize was limited to the private schools. So why were you bleating on an the state sector?

    • Anonymous says:

      “There is a Caymanian culture”. Go on, give a summary of what could possibly require school time to teach children that could not be learned simply by living in the Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      The point is she does not consult her own education team because she might get answers she does not want to hear. Nicky I challenge you to ask anyone in the Ministry of Education how many times they have been asked their opinion or thoughts on any educational issue and then do an article. I bet it would make interesting reading.

      CNS: No civil servant would answer that question on the record.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The education system has been a complete mess since taking the middle school out. Too many young kids (10) exposed to teenagers.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Jane goodall an expert in behavior of chimpanzees noted that when a chimp from an outside troop entered a new troop the other chimps learned new tricks from the outsider
    and the troop was better off to survive.
    The cayman public schools are a failure because outside children are not allowed to mix with the locals …… ask any local school child where dinosaurs live and they will tell you Africa ,,,,so sad and hat is the future of cayman inbreeding and stupidity

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be one of those chimps or dinosaurs yourself to write such stupidness

      • Anonymous says:

        unna knoz u cantz go in da watr if hot out unna knoz duppye live in bush unna knoz youz stand under tree in litin storm rain makz uz sik
        y gotz 2 pay 4 me vote ship leavz an cum back cayman muz be centr of world
        Gayz are the devls messenger white man don’t work caymanz r intitled

  12. Anonymous says:

    We still have schools teaching the creation story as fact…Really!?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that the report commissioned to decide which educational route to go down has been supressed and they have gone ahead with a watered down version of what C4C wanted. So much for commissioning reports and taking expert advice. Once again Ms Rivers proves her worth. Just publish the report Minister, the first version in the interest if transparency.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I hope the private schools do not waste time teaching local history or “culture”. The former is irrelevant, the latter is non-existent.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am one of the dreaded expats but I find your post offensive in the extreme.

      • Anonymous says:

        Be offended. Being taught such pointless tripe is not going to help get my kids into the Ivy League or the Russell Group.

        • Anonymous says:

          So go educate them in those countries or better still lobby government to block the teaching of their own history (however limited it may be).

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