Education law leaves room for private sector

| 20/10/2016 | 27 Comments

(CNS): The education minister finally steered the education law through the Legislative Assembly Wednesday with support on both sides of the parliament. Describing the process of bringing the bill, Tara Rivers said it had been a “highly consultative process” and that the law had not been developed in a vacuum but in partnership with all of the stakeholders. She stated that the legislation paved the way for the involvement of the private sector in the public education system, adding that it addressed the “concerns of today” but had the “flexibility to address the concerns of tomorrow”.

Since the calls following the EY report to privatise the public school system in some way or introduce academy or charter type schools, which have received very mixed results in other jurisdiction, the ministry has backed off the idea for the time being. But Rivers said the legislation paved the way for much more non-governmental or private sector involvement in the provision of education, especially, she said, where there were limited resources.

Avoiding use of the term ‘privatisation’, she spoke about partnerships and opportunities to harness partners who want to help address provision and capacity but did not clarify what that meant. She pointed out too that the new law will regulate and set standards for existing private sector schools as well as public schools, but above all the law paved the way for government and the ministry to set education policy.

The minister said the priority of the law was to introduce concrete action plans nationally and address the concerns of the baseline inspections and standards, but there would be future opportunities for “innovative solutions”.

When she presented the legislation the minister said the law would guide the management and practice of education from early years through vocational training.

“It’s a comprehensive provision for education from cradle to grave,” Rivers said, adding that it would provide the substantive framework for all education policies and provide people of all abilities in education. She pointed out that it was also the first piece of legislation passed by the government in line with the new disabilities bill.

Among the many changes the law sets out compulsory subjects, which in addition to maths and English now includes religious studies, civics and Caymanian culture.

See the draft bill in the CNS Library

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Category: Education, Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. Secularism says:

    If religion is to be a compulsory subject, Scientology, Pastafarianism, Islam, Mormonism, Confucianism, Hinduism and the many other religious ideologies are not be excluded in teaching as they are all of equal value.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    So how many ministers of education have held office, and now we’re hearing they never actually had control of education and for years watched it deteriorate, they all should be held accountable. So shameful




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    • Anonymous says:

      The first dipped cmes to mind is Tru Tru. He went as far as saying, ” no gangs, they are groups”, and wasn’t he loss from then? He was the meandering Minister, who has schools In this abyss.




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    • Anonymous says:

      No. dat jus away it is bobo




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Well the goal stated to me by a C4C member few years ago might be realised after all. Guess even the so-called rich need help with these expensive school fees, all under the pretense of helping all. Whoever believes that should go live in the bush with duppies!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Keep the whacky private sector away from schools. They will focus on profits and losses and our education system will get worse. Think about the service we get from private sector companies. Flow banks etc




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      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman Prep, St. Ignatius, CIS, not to mention Harvard, Yale ….




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        • Anonymous says:

          Guess what? Cayman Prep and St Ignatius are church sponsored schools, I am pretty sure Religious Education is compulsory at these schools and they and they are still successful.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Religious studies now compulsory? Cant we teach these kids something useful to use in the work place so they can make up their own minds on religion from an educated viewpoint? Has this place not yet learned that most of its problems come from religious zealots and it has no place in the work place, schools or government?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Here, here! Two thumbs up!




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    • Anonymous says:

      “most of [Cayman’s] problems come from religious zealots”? Really? Funny we don’t here too much ‘religious zealotry’ spouted by the thieves, robbers and murderers we have. Not to mention the abusers, as well as the drunk drivers. In your anti-Christian bigotry you go too far and so make yourself sound as unhinged as a … zealot.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Your answer, 5.06, demonstrates why Private schools are needed. Where did I mention “thieves, robbers etc?’ Incidentally some of those whom have to resort to thieving etc due to a lack of a proper education. I never said I was anti Christian, just anti in those places I mentioned, but it would appear you never learned to read properly.




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    • Anonymous says:

      What is wrong with using an antiquated book and system to prepare our children for the future? Lets continue to teach our children a super-powers-marvel-comic-book-father-figure is looking over their shoulder to simplify all incidences in life as good or evil, rather than teach critical thinking skills?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Look at the people who are now teaching our kids critical thinking skills. Not one of them have ever opened a book on logic, but they can quote scriptures like mindless numbing prater. That is your future in the technological age. And these teachers all receive their positions through church references. These teachers are constantly praised in emails for their many failures and are given bigger offices, bigger promotions, and are encouraged to collectively mob-rule the unbelievers.




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  5. MM says:

    I still find it curious as to how the Government can provide almost KYD$2 million dollars per year as supplemental funding to private schools (many of which are only attended to by the privileged) and yet have an education budget for their country owned and operated Public Schools that equates to approximately KYD$500 per student….

    The average tuition for a private school space is KYD$900 per month… is there now any question as to why the public school system is thoroughly lacking a number of necessary resources and provisions? That is quite a hefty difference in the per student budget; which will obviously bare a noticeable difference in the quality of education obtained.

    Quick tips for Government:

    – Lower the Stamp Duties on fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as children’s clothing, toys and necessities; including baby pampers, wipes and medications – allow your less fortunate constituents the opportunity to provide for their children and release the pressures and strains of poverty. This action alone can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of our youth. Less stressed parents are more able to positively assist their children.

    – Raise the stamp duty on oceanfront properties (may I suggest 9.5%, it was once 12.5%) – this will assist with increasing Government revenue and when the overall value of the properties are factored in; I doubt it will discourage development more than to ensure that some ocean front actually remain available. Canal front lots could attract 8% stamp duty.

    – Fund a properly organized and operated literacy program within the prisons; we are all well aware that the illiteracy rate in Northward is super duper high – illiteracy is also linked to higher levels of aggression and obvious employability – these prisoners can use their ‘time’ no way better than in learning to read, write and add!

    – Amend the laws and open discussions with the home countries of all non-Caymanian prisoners; aim to have all non-Caymanian prisoners who have served excess of one (1) year time sent home to complete their sentences within the next 12 to 18 months; ensure a ban on re-entry. This can save Government over KYD$3 million per year.

    – Education Minister – get your @$$ up and head out to your schools!!! Talk to random students, sit in the back of classrooms; listen to lessons, take notes, inspect premises, sit down with individual staff members, eat in the canteens, attend the PTAs; what else do you have to do? LA hadn’t meant in almost 6 mths; would have been a good use of that time.

    I could go on and on and on with extremely economical, cash-saving and easy to implement policies that appear to be so common-sense that I do not understand why I even have to type this $h!t.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I suggest you check your cost amounts. As for “the priviledged”. I decided to send my Caymanian son to a private school. When he began in 1997, I rode a bicycle to work for a few years so that I could put money towards his education. So K.M.A. about priviledged. It is up to each of us to determine the best way to spend our hard earned money.




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    • Jotnar says:

      Where do you get your numbers from? The public school spend per student is higher than the private sector. And the $2m supplement is massively less than it would cost got to educate the expat students in the public system. But the elephant in the room is not the money, it’s the parents. If you have parents that dispatch their kids to school without breakfast, that don’t make them do their homework and let them run amok with their teachers thereby ruining the education of other kids whose parents do give a damn, why are you surprised at the result. Throwing money at the situation is not a solution. Installing proper discipline and having alternative education for troubled and Special needs kids would be a far better solution, but of course would require effort and political risk.




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      • MM says:

        Read the Government budget and divide the total spent for primary education and/or high school education by the number of students it states are being educated…




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    • Anonymous says:

      How did you work out $550/month per student. The education budget is 150 million plus some. There are 5000 kids in the system. That equates to 30k per student.




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  6. Anon says:

    Interesting…




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    • TNT says:

      Im so tired of these people who come out and say Oh I didnt eat for a month so I could send my child to prep or where ever. Look some of us have more than one child so no matter the sacrifice it would be possible. But look prep–catholic–triple they have their fair share of paying and not getting what you expect. With blame going everywhere–I hear in my office about all the stuff no one is willing to expose. Kids make bad decisions no matter what school they go to—but I feel the consequences are different depending on your status. John Gray defeated Catholic last year at a debate. Make small changes, and results will come.




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