Minister offers services in absence of teacher

| 09/11/2017 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service

Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly (front, right) answers questions in Finance Committee

(CNS): The minister for education has committed to resolving the stand-off at East End Primary School regarding the continued suspension of the Year 5 teacher. Parents staged a demonstration at the school Thursday in order to attract attention to the absence of a teacher for that class and other challenges facing the school in relation to staff shortages. Responding to queries about the situation from Arden McLean, the district MLA, Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who was once a teacher, said that she was going to resolve the problem, even if she had to go and teach the class herself.

She told McLean, who had brought a petition to Finance Committee from the parents who had organised the sit-in and padlocked the school gates, that she had also gone to the school earlier in the day to find out what was happening and confirmed that no lessons had taken place that day at all and the school had remained closed.

Cayman News Service

East End MLA Arden McLean attending the school demonstration

O’Connor-Connolly said she understood the sentiments of the people of East End. Although she pointed out that she was not responsible for civil service issues, she said she would pass the petition on to her chief officer, who had told her a teacher was due at the school later this month.

“It has already been brought to his attention and I have given instructions this morning that we need to get a teacher in East End, even if that meant I went and sat in the classroom and taught again until the 22nd, which is the date that was intimated that they would get a teacher,” she said.

This is the second time that the same group of children have gone without a teacher for an extended period. Parents are concerned because for the last three weeks the Year 5 class has been taught by a classroom assistant who is not a fully qualified teacher.

Following publication of this article the department of education services issued a statement indicating that it is facing a significant shortage of supply teachers but a substitute teacher would be sent to the school tomorrow. The statement also indicated that the teacher who was suspended had been placed on required leave following the start of a Child and Family Services investigation, which is on going and has not been detailed.

See the statement in full from the DES here.

Press Statement – EEPS Update – 9NOV17

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Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “Class, who was Picasso? Seriously, who is he, I’ve never heard of him.”

  2. Unison says:

    Can’t wait to see the day when our primary schools are privatize. Government is doing a poor job at education, and just what are they teaching our children ???

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not get excited by the “leadership” of Juliana O’Connor’s offer to “teach the class herself”. She used to be a Physical Education teacher. I’m not sure that is what’s needed at East End!

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:


    • Anonymous says:

      If she has a degree in physical education, most likely she has education classes in English, Math, classroom management, class instruction, and many classes in Science including Biology, Anatomy , Kinesiology, Chemistry, Health, plus foreign language classes. For all those that are chucking…google the requirements.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is a old saying . If you don’t stand for something you fall for everything. Keep that in mind .

    • Anonymous sent says:

      This is unreal. The education ministry found it necessary to put some on temporary leave while they investigate an issue at the school but instead of the parents thinking this is a good thing the decided to lock out everybody. A substitute teacher was found and sent to the school yesterday but they didn’t like that and apparently is demanding that the former teacher who is under investigation be returned to the school. You really couldn’t make this stuff up. T

      • Anonymous says:

        This is unreal. The education ministry found it necessary to put some one on temporary leave while they investigate an issue at the school but instead of the parents thinking this is a good thing they decided to lock out everybody. A substitute teacher was found and sent to the school yesterday but they didn’t like that and apparently is demanding that the former teacher who is under investigation be returned to the school. You really couldn’t make this stuff up. They should be thanking the ministry for having the best interest of the children at the forefront of this matter. They should also understand that they cannot pick and choose who will teach at the school. The chairman of the new education council should also have a stern talk to the member from east end who apparently was there agreeing with the parents. He should know better.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am aware this isn’t about any particular school, this is a great concern about HOME SCHOOLING. I home school my children and ensure proper socialization. I am aware of many parents are not keeping up with the home schooling and for over three years NO ONE FROM THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT comes and checks on the children. I even called the Department of Education and talked to the person in charge, his remark was they were short staffed and didn’t have anyone, but they were on it. One month later still nothing is being done. So how on earth are any of these children getting an education. Who is monitoring the Education Department??? CNS you really need to look into this, not only are the children not getting an education in school, the children in homeschooling aren’t even being tested or followed up on DISGRACEFUL!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good for the parents to take initiative since they weren’t getting anywhere going through the proper channels! Yes, it’s a shame for the other children to miss school but now that light has been shed on this, school will open & the Year 5 students will get the education they deserve and require.

    Grace Christian Academy went through an awful situation similar to this, just last year! Kindergarten teacher quit after a few months and they children were left with unqualified subs for over TWO MONTHS!! So parents still had to pay the almost $1000 monthly tuition for having a hair dresser try and teach their children how to read and write! SHAMEFUL!!! I hear the Dept of Ed was “looking into this matter” …hhhmmmm

    • Anonymous says:

      if you can afford 1000 a month for your child’s school, then shut up and get your own personal teacher.
      East End issue is a governmental school, for the average people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes but sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. Is this a real solution or a bandaid?

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Now then class, if tarmac cost $0 a square meter, and I surface my friend’s driveway of 20 sq meters, how much will it cost?”

    hahahahahahaha brilliant!! You win comment of the week!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why can’t the MLA’s stay out of civil service matters. Political interfere in civil service appointments must end. Even the Speaker gave that instruction. Why did the Premier allow his ministers to breach the instruction of his Speaker.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you 9:11. I could not agree more. Politicians don’t know anything about recruitment and they don’t care about putting the right people in the jobs. They only hear one side of a story and automatically believe it. How crazy is that.

      The Civil Service has done an amazing job at promoting Caymanians. The DG made it clear that only competent and qualified Caymanians would be promoted. Clearly that does not bode well with this bunch.

      • Anonymous says:

        if only “competent and qualified Caymanians” are promoted then why are there so many incompetent ones still employed. Lots of incompetent expats employed too.

  8. ABC 123 says:

    That Minister has BALLS. Others, take a page out of her book. A true Leader indeed.

    • Anonymous says:

      No she is responding because it made it to the media. This and other issues have been known to her and she has not prioritised them because the eastern districts are not considered or budgeted for appropriately at her insistence. Don’t confuse this for balls.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Many agree with her own self-assessment of her capabilities.

  10. Red Ranger says:

    The future our of education rests in the hands of some really undependable people.

  11. PD says:

    Lets look on the bright side, at least we can get something for all that money we have been paying her all these years!

    • Anonymous says:

      You really want your children to be taught how to pave certain things that should never have been paved? ie either incompetence or something much worse.

      • Boggy Sound man says:

        Its called the Cayman way because she is a senior long time elected representative. Between her & Mr. Speaker Bush the children will get a real good education.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What a joke. One minute an MLA is not responsible for civil service matters and the other minute MLA’s are abusing their position trying to get a certain unqualified individual hired in the civil service as Chief Medical Officer. Shame on all of you. I have never seen such a breach of the constitution in my life. Just lost all respect I had for this bunch. But the civil service i know and respect won’t bend to such interference. A new low for MLA’s.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What a selfish bunch of parents! They have the attitude of “My child isn’t getting taught so nobody elses children can either!” What about all those children who do have a teacher such as reception, year 1,2,3,4 and 6?! If you have a problem go through the proper channels or involve only the year 5 class. Some East End parents need to take a good look at themselves and sort themselves out! I know it’s frustrating XXXXXX, but blocking the whole school is not cool.

    • Anonymous says:

      THANK YOU!

      2:39 am

      This is the attitude of the majority of “parents” from EE! They have serious psychological issued up there! One has to wonder….should it be the parents being taught or the kids? Parents need a few lessons too it seems!

      Yet, all ARDEN can talk about on LIVE TV in the assembly is, “when will the generator at the EE civic center be serviced, when last was it serviced, is it being services mechanically or electrically”….just unbelievable!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        The only selfish bunch of parents were the ones continually sending their kids to that school and turning a blind eye to the class with no teacher in it. It’s a disgusting mindset to ignore to ignore such a problem because it’s not your child in that situation. If the tables were turned you would be wondering why the whole island wasn’t supporting you.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree that children have the right to be taught by a qualified teacher, but they need to think of a different way to approach things that doesn’t involve the whole school missing out. All children have right to be taught, everyday, that includes that are not in year five. Take the protest to the ministry with banners, T shirts and songs. Call the press to let them know you will be protesting and try to get all year five parents to agree to keep their kids off until a new teacher is found. Oh no, sorry that would be too difficult because then they would have to actually leave the district of East End to go into town. It’s much easier to get a padlock and lock the gates, then they just have to fall out of bed and stand outside.

    • Anonymous says:

      It worked though

    • Anonymous says:

      The parents didn’t lock the gate. Someone got wind the parents were coming and locked them out. That is why they are sitting down outside of the gate.

      Selfish parents?? What are they to do when the have expressed their concerns continuously to no avail. People complain that Caymanians never do anything, and when they actually get out there and demonstrate, people complain about that as well.

      I am glad Caymanians are getting active about their children’s education. However, this is a drop in the bucket….there are very serious structural issues that must be addressed and parents need to start getting active about those issues as well.

  14. Anonymous says:

    All that matters is that Julianna is a Christian and can virtue signal to other Christians to gang up on other teachers that do no share the same religion. We should blame all our problems on teachers who are not Christian and so ostracize, block promotions, and in general make feel uncomfortable at every opportunity. God bless each and every one of us as long as us is a chosen few to control all the resources and benefits.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Close down the school. Send them all to another school like Savannah or Prospect. East End is too far out anyway. And government will save more money.

  16. Diogenes says:

    I guess the Honorable Minster doesn’t have a problem speaking in relation to education or even educating literally as long as it is on a stage in front of graduates or in a classroom full of students rather than in the LA chambers where she is being livestreamed and recorded for the whole world to see.


  17. Anonymous says:

    Shambles ?

  18. Anonymous says:

    She was going to teach the class?? You mean she actually going to do something ?

  19. Anonymous says:

    For 50 years East End primary has been a major problem in our islands, discipline wise and ability of the students compared with the rest of Cayman. I will leave my fellow Caymanians to suggest why…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Soooo no other school have issues then?because I assume you 1. have been to every school or 2. have a child in each one of the schools on island to have first hand experience

    • Anonymous says:

      Because EE has a lot of incest (so does WB – ironic, as it is the two ends of the island). Sorry but this produces many levels of ignorance.

      Cousins and cousins having children….mix-up business!

      Parents who don’t care for their kids properly, who don’t feed their kids proper meals etc. What do you expect?!

  20. Wise men did not return says:

    This has certainly brought the issue to the public attention.So the rest of years must also missed school?
    Is this how parents teach there children to resolve issues.
    There is a date set for the new teacher to start. Boy what a bunch of donkeys.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ju Ju teaching would be hilarious, especially if she agrees to take a pay cut to be in the classroom, for say, I dunno…a lot less than the 5k a month she spouted earlier this year, which now sounds like crickets chirping.

    Now then class, if tarmac cost $0 a square meter, and I surface my friend’s driveway of 20 sq meters, how much will it cost?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is better if she does not speak. You should be listening to her right now in the LA . She is the most condescending and insulting human being that I have listened to in a long time. As a matter of fact for someone who professes to be a Christian she is very disappointing. She is being down right rude. As for the east end school the parents and the rest of the rabble rousers really do not care about education or else they would not have closed the school preventing the other pupils from getting to their classes. The police should have been called to arrest them for obstruction and interfering with government property.

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