Primary schools given failing grades

| 02/08/2018 | 132 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Less than two-thirds of Year 6 students left government primary schools in 2017 having achieved the expected reading level, according to a new report from the Office of Education Standards published this week. Follow-up inspections of primary schools since the base-line inspections in 2014/15, where all schools were graded unsatisfactory, found the quality of teaching has improved but standards of achievement have not and in some cases are now worse. Only 61% of children left government primary schools reading at the expected level, down from 73% in 2015.

The writing skills of students were even worse, with 47% of students performing as expected at the end of Year 6 in 2017, compared to 62% in 2015. Inspectors noted a slight improvement in maths skills, from 43% of children reaching expected levels in 2015 to 52% in 2017.

Reading, writing and maths attainment at Year 6 in government primary schools from 2014 to 2017

Teacher assessments indicate that a higher level of performance is expected this year, but reading and writing standards remain weak, the report found. It also noted a “lack of strategic direction and guidance in schools to address” the decline.

During this 2017-18 inspection, all ten of the government primary schools were re-inspected. The inspectors observed almost all the home-room and specialist teachers and looked at 305 lessons over a six month period. They judged around 85% of lessons to be satisfactory or better, but only 5% of the children in government schools were exposed to lessons considered excellent and only 30% experienced ones that were good. Half were satisfactory and 15% weak.

There were also significant differences in achievement at the ten schools. While Red Bay and West End primaries were the only two schools to be rated ‘good’, none of the schools were graded ‘excellent’. The two weakest schools were George Town and Sir John A. Cumber; the other six were rated ‘satisfactory’ — far from a ringing endorsement for 80% of the schools.

The inspectors found a significant variety between schools’ performance, and that the lack of progress was more pronounced in schools in districts where there are greater levels of economic deprivation.

Peter Carpenter, the head of the newly formed independent Office of Education Standards, said the government curriculum in primary schools needs a “systemic and holistic review” to bring it in line with international best practice and current UK requirements.

“A notable challenge regarding the curriculum for Years 1 to Year 6 is that there remains significant differences from school to school, both in terms of quality and equality of opportunity,” he said. “Curriculum planning and delivery for non-core subjects, such as physical education, music, modern foreign language, social science, creative arts and information and communications technology (ICT), all need improvement.”

The curriculum for English and mathematics has been reviewed and improved since the baseline inspections, the report found. But the curriculum in other subjects was described as outdated and inconsistently implemented across schools. The report also identified a mismatch between expected levels of achievement in Cayman and other jurisdictions.

The report said there had been improvements in school leadership and teaching, with better arrangements in place to monitor and evaluate teaching and clearer remits for senior staff. Principals were also said to have demonstrated a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their schools. The report nevertheless noted a number of issues with staffing problems.

During the inspections, an undisclosed number of teachers were absent from their schools. Inspectors reviewed the arrangements when home-room or specialist teachers were away, and while classes were covered by support staff, the curriculum was not often communicated to the relief staff, who were almost always not qualified teachers. In this circumstance, the quality of teaching was often weak, with poor student behaviour and unsatisfactory classroom management.

There are also much wider problems for the government primary schools, given the actual drop in achievement, despite increases in investment in local schools and a boost to teacher numbers, as well as additional support and special needs teachers.

The reports ‘foreward’ was written by the current education minister, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who welcomed the independence of the inspectors so that the education ministry’s “efforts may be objectively scrutinised”. She made no comment on the less than stellar results but described the creation of the OES as “one small success”.

“We are no longer in the same place and are moving forward to a more successful future,” she said.

Officials said that the OES is now turning its attention to government high schools, early years
centres and all private schools.

See the full report in the CNS Library

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (132)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, JP, MLA,Minister of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands.
    > she obtained a B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) [WHERE AND WHEN AND in WHAT?] and taught at the John Gray High School [WHEN?].
    She later obtained her LLB from the University of Liverpool and was a practicing attorney [WHERE AND WHEN?] before entering politics .

    compare to:

    Pam Stewart is the current Florida Commissioner of Education.
    Education:
    >B.A., elementary education/early childhood, University of South Florida
    Master of Education, counselor education, University of Central Florida
    Postgraduate coursework at Stetson University, certification in educational leadership
    >Stewart began her career as a teacher in 1975, including working as an elementary school teacher in Ward-Highlands. From there she went on to become a guidance counselor, district teaching specialist, assistant principal, and principal. From 2004-2009 Stewart served as deputy chancellor for educator quality at the Florida Department of Education. She then became deputy superintendent for academic services for the St. Johns County School District. In 2011, she returned to the state Department of Education to become chancellor of public schools.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Our Minister for Education is not appropriately compared to a Commissioner. The more appropriate comparison (though with obvious challenges given the difference in population size, political systems and other relationships) is the US Secretary for Education, Betsy DeVos.

      DeVos graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics. DeVos is chairwoman of the Windquest Group, a privately held operating group that invests in technology, manufacturing, and clean energy. DeVos and her husband founded it in 1989.

      The Florida Commissioner would be more appropriately compared to our Director of Education Services, Lyneth Monteith. Who started as a classroom teacher in 1981 before moving on to be head of social studies, a senior tutor, School Leader, acting campus manager, deputy principal and then principal of John Gray High School (where she was from 2011 until being appointed to her current role in March 2015). Monteith holds a bachelor of education degree from Leeds University and a master’s degree in educational management from Bath University.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Whats your point exactly? The Education Minister has a University degree and as a working mom obtained her LLB. No easy feat by any means.. a tribute to her ability and tenacity. She has also successfully navigated a male dominated political class and has done very well. She was an able Premier and also served as an extremely good Speaker of the LA. And I am not her biggest fan – but what I am is willing to give credit where it should be given.

  2. AlanP says:

    Modern time brings new challenges to schools. Distraction!

    May be the Cayman Islands should follow France?
    France to completely ban use of smartphones and personal tablets in schools.
    https://9to5mac.com/2018/08/01/france-smartphone-ban-schools-cars/

    May be the Cayman Islands should follow Finland(the best education system in the world)? http://unitedexplanations.org/english/2012/12/17/25-amazing-lessons-about-finlands-education-system/
    – A three-year undergraduate degree plus a two-year Master’s degree are required to become a teacher. Only 10% of applicants get admitted to the teaching programs..
    – Education expenditure in Finland amounted up to 6.8% of GDP

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  3. Anonymous says:

    When an accounting firm I worked for had fired a caymaninan (support staff), she got a job at a public school as a teacher!

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  4. Anon says:

    11 10? The spelling and sentence structure on these comments are always bad. You parents need to look at your grammar and spelling too. Yes there is on line education for adults.
    Oh, what in h….. is BROUGHTUPSY.
    Nevva evva heard of this word. A little slang is cool but really now. You guys do not know of word contraction and Principal meaning the head boss at the High School?
    OK. So is it true that Government has mandated that expat children go to private schools? Why?
    They do not have a choice?
    Is Govt paying for this or the parents?
    Good article subject right there CNS.
    Can you tell us CNS?
    We will be reading to see your response.
    I bet many Caymanians do not even think of this or are clueless about this?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    One factor of the poor academic results stems from the segregation of expatriate and Caymanians in the school system.. When I arrived here 30 years ago the writing was on the wall, Caymanians were creating an educational ghetto by not permitting expatriates, who overall had a higher level of education, to participate in the education system.
    It also created a lack social integration as well.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If I could smash that thumbs up button some more I would. When I look at the level of cohesiveness between parents, students and teachers at the private school my child attend it breaks my heart knowing alot of kids in the public school would benefit from it had there not been this segregation.

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  6. Teacha 2 says:

    I agree with 03/08/2018 at 6:15 pm. I also worked in several government schools for many years. For the most part, I saw many hard-working teachers, whether local or expat do their best to try to help their students achieve…

    CNS: The rest of this comment is now posted as a featured comment here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      School administrators and principals or presidents are the problem, and have been the problem for years. but every time they get a good administrator they kick him out because he is not local, religious, Caribbean, or is not the right skin color(pure racism against whitey because he was your great great great slave-owner…what a crock of sh^*t). So there is no need to list out all the symptoms when the problem stems from poor leadership that is excused through cultural rationalizations. Students pick up on that and realize they can get away with anything and administrators in some cases let them, especially if the teacher is an expat not from a carribean culture.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The above comment by Teacha 2 is spot on.

      A. Teacher

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    • Anonymous says:

      Teacha 2 at12:36.
      Please contact me Ezzard Miller at 3275757 or ezzard@candw.ky I would like to talk to you in more detail.

      Ezzard Miller

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is a great post. While is simplifies the issues, it hits the nail on the head 7 times! Perhaps this writer can find a way for Government to actually read, process, understand and act on the issues identified…..CNS – is there anyway for you to bring this post to Government’s/Education Department’s attention?

      CNS: I’ve given it its own thread as a featured comment. However, if the politicians and education officials don’t check the local media, there’s not much I can do about that – you can email them or share on social media. I note that Ezzard Miller has paid attention, however.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “More disciplined students achieve better educational results, and in undisciplined classrooms with distraction combined with a lack of respect for teachers and education means time is wasted rather than spent on learning. The findings in this study support the argument that how schools and classrooms are ‘run’ need to be reconsidered, and perhaps the expectations a society places on its students needs to be increased.”

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-02-discipline-effective-monetary-investment.html#jCp

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    • Teacha 2 says:

      Absolutely. Thank you for pointing that out. Unfortunately, most western countries, including the Cayman Islands prefer to throw money at the problem instead of holding students and their parents accountable. One of the best and most effective principals in the Cayman Islands was a Mr. M. Walker. His schools were highly disciplined and ran like Swiss watches. He set high expectations that were always met – students and parents had no choice other than to meet them.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, I used to work in a government school and no matter what the Principal did ( pizza nights, raffles, bingo, point schemes for classes) she could not get the parents to the PTA meetings. They did not give a rats arse. The same parents came out every month, but it was only a handful. I worked there for 7 years and in my opinion the schools are much much better than they used to be and the majority teachers are working really hard. There have been a lot of changes and it is very stressful to be told you are failing and you don’t do it like this anymore, you have to do it like that. Some need more training, but on the whole the teachers are doing their best especially in LIteracy and Numeracy. They’ve had a rough time and have had to learn a lot in a short space of time. The other subjects do need sorting out though, especially PE! Oh my lord! When I worked there it was acceptable for children to play on space hoppers for the whole of their PE time. The behaviour was terrible and the PE coach just totally gave up!
    A bit of support for schools wouldn’t go a miss. Nobody wants to fail, it’s going to take at least 5 years of hard slog before results improve completely.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I wish I knew what the real problem is with the schools. I went to a private church -run school, graduated, got a good paying job, did every course that I could get management to assist with fees ( thankfully most courses were fully paid by my employers) Eventually got married,raised our kids, sent them to private primary school and government middle and high school and they are all educated to bachelors and masters level. They are now sending their children to private and public schools and everyone is progressing well. It really must be some problem other than the curriculum and teachers. Most of my friends have taken the same path as I did and their kids and grandkids are also progressing well. Perhaps being responsible goal- oriented parents, who loved attending reporting sessions and being active in the PTAs made a difference. Just wondering in print!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The principle gave up when a pizza party didnt work. I stopped reading after that, its all you need to know about the current system.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You’re in dire need of reading remediation. Where exactly does it say that the principal gave up when “a” pizza party didn’t work? And, it’s principal, not “principle” – two different things. If you really want to get picky, “it is” is abbreviated to “it’s” not “its”. Just saying.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Lets get to the point, a “leader” gives up way to easily with gimmicks to reach the parents of her students. That is why the schools are failing, but you would rather play spell-check.

          (there are a few words that are misspelled for you to amuse yourself to death since you have nothing to say)

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          • Anonymous says:

            Apparently you missed the first, and most important point… Nowhere does it say that the principal gave up… And that isn’t the reason that schools are failing. Schools are failing because many kids treat school as a joke not as a learning institution. The spelling mistakes are strictly for amusement, that is correct.

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            • Anonymous says:

              For those who need things spellled out for them: Kids lookup to leaders and administrators…to lead. When the leaders do not take their job seriously, are not effective in their job or as a disciplinarian, or make insincere attempts to connect to parents(pizza parties), then do not expect students to not take school as a joke.

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    • Anonymous says:

      5 more years…5 more years…5 more years…what classic have I read where this slogan is used to create propaganda of promises that are never met?

    • Anonymous says:

      What we all want can be accomplished in one semester, but not with the current lot of adminstrators who have been milking the system for decades.

    • Anonymous says:

      As a parent that is always engaging with the teacher regarding my child at school, and following up with homework, extra work etc., I never went to a PTA last year. Clearly this was not for lack of interest, but timing. If you notice, usually the schools hold the PTA on the same weekday at the same time, so if you can’t make it once, it’s likely you’ll never be able to make it.

      There are plenty of reasons apart from lack of interest that some parents can’t make PTAs – they could work evenings, they could have small babies at home where it’s impractical to bring the child to the PTA, or can’t afford or get childcare for at the time the PTA is on, or maybe they have worked all day and have to come home to prepare meals etc. for their family. In today’s day and age where either both parents work, or there is only one parent, maybe it’s time to think of new ways to engage.

      I guess my point is the system needs to work both ways, if the parents can’t make the PTA’s, then take the time to find out why, don’t just make assumptions, and most of all, don’t give up.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is a problem with parenting and is only made worse by the fact that parents don’t have to pay school fees. The only way to get the parents focused is to charge them school fees whenever they have children that don’t have learning disabilities but are failing to meet the basic educational standards.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks god I never send my daughter to government school. They don’t learn nothing.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    one of the highest divorce rates in the world coupled with garbage schools…..bad combination. scary future for cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, and to all those people who keep tagging their social media statuses with that #ILiveWhereYouVacation crap, need to stand behind efforts to improve this country, instead of celebrating it’s complacency.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That high divorce rate is due to the transient expat population who come here married and end up divorced for one or as in or another.

      Many, many, MANY expats come here and split. Infidelity with co-workers, the strains of being too far from home and family support, one spouse wants to go home the other doesn’t want to leave… lots of reasons.

      To assume that it’s only locals getting divorced is crazy – especially when you consider that there are more expats than locals. For Caymanians to have impact on the increase in divorce, they would have to marry 3 or 4 times each. Also culturally in the Caribbean many couples tend to be common law. So… yeah.

      But still, the local school have a problem and it mostly terrible sperm doners and egg incubators (can’t call them parents) coupled with bad government policies. One thing that should have been done years ago was to make education an authority rather than a ministry.

      Passing the ministry from politician to politician has resulted in mish-mash systems.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No I think it’s babies that are born to daddies who have multiple baby mamas. Vice versa obviously. Divorce rates aren’t a factor at all because these lazy parents aren’t married.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    If all the people in education just get people who they are comfortable to work with, then you will find all the problems in educations will be solved. I don’t want to work with any trouble maker proposing his own ideas , especially if he is not cayman.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I need some help here, what are my options if I’m opposed to schooling that affiliated with a Church, and I can’t afford (and don’t like the exclusivity) of CIS?

    Is there an affordable school on island that’s not affiliated with a Church or is my only option Government school?

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    • Anonymous says:

      No and yes

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    • Anonymous says:

      Many ‘church affiliated’ schools offer excellent education. You should probably being putting your feelings for the church aside for the sake of your child. I know of at least one school that allows you to ‘opt out’ of religious education. Remember it is not so much about bible thumping but more about instilling good values and morals

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      • Anonymous says:

        Can you let me know which school let’s you opt out? thanks!

        In regards to my feelings about the church, we all have different beliefs, and I happen to feel strongly about mine. I am very tolerant of other’s religions, however I don’t think that should mean I need to follow other peoples beliefs blindly, and I’m not comfortable being a hypocrite.

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  14. Count of Monte Crist-o-m-g says:

    The root of the crime tree we are now seeing is our education system. If a person fails in their primary/secondary/tertiary level education, they will inevitably have a very low chance of employment (beyond that of manual labor, which apparently we are too good for), which then leads to:

    1. a life of low-wages, if any;
    2. a propensity to continue the trend in following generations (poor/uneducated people still know how to reproduce);
    3. an increased chance of resorting to other means to obtain monetary support (begging, welfare or criminal behavior)

    A very brief cycle of prosperity is coming to a close for the inhabitants of these fair islands. Remember when our young men were so eager for work, that at the ages of 15,16 etc they boarded oil tankers with the simple task of “wiper” or “oilman” (posts which were located in the lower holds of the ships, and VERY MANUAL labor)? They were so diligent in their work, that the largest transporter of crude oil in the world (National Bulk Carriers), whom recognized the work ethic of these island people, set up a recruitment office on this tiny speck in the Caribbean sea? I fear to say that what was once a common trait (diligence & work ethic) is now only found in about 1/3 of our young men. Do you also remember when our hard working males left, it was the equally diligent females whom “kept the ship afloat” at home? I fear to say that common trait has also left us.

    So now we are in the downturn of another cycle, where the First Generation Made the Money, the Second Generation “minded” the money, the Third generation SPENT the money….We must now start again, and this 4th generation apparently lacks the desire to make the money again….

    So we are faced with a few choices. Spend SOME money on education, or spend ALL of the money on Welfare/Prisons. #ChooseWell.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Comments about shocking reading standards in particular and poor overall educational standards in general in our primary schools were made as far back as 35 years ago or more but because many of those commenting were expat teachers shocked at what they found they were deemed racist by the so called reading and early childhood “specialists” in the Education Department and nothing was done except throw more money and useless reading schemes at the problem. And parents who cared and who could afford it, including many Caymanians making great sacrifices to afford the fees, sent their kids to the private schools.

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  16. Pray says:

    Do you know every year they are making the standard of Education harder to reach? It was not like this years ago. Now, because of this booming computer age, it has become more challenging for children. Parents are part to blame. But if you continue calling a bird dumb because he can’t swim (these high standards), eventually he will think he is dumb.

    So these are the two major problems I see.

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    • Anonymous says:

      These kids are capable just like all the other kids in the world – seems it’s only people like you that don’t believe it – and that’s the problem.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s hard for children to be better than their schools, that’s the problem. The report is about making the schools better. No one is calling the children dumb.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Who gives a rats ass about some stupid schools. We’re getting a new dock!!!!!!!

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    • Cheese Face says:

      Exactly, screw the schools! Let’s cater to scumbag low paying tourists who will trash the place! Yay!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    These comments are such bull. Have any of you gone to a graduation ceremony. where everybody is happy. That is all that matters. Teachers are happy and can keep their jobs, students are happy because they don’t have to learn anymore, and parents are happy because now their kids will have a job. All these other measures do not matter. Just keep celebrating kids, you will find in the job market, that is all they want. Put a big smile face on your resume and tell them “you know people”

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Get better quality teachers and education leaders? Nah, lets spend the money on an obscure boardwalk that no one is going to use…

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  20. Anonymous says:

    So where are the parents of those children in all of this? Perhaps if they would take some more interest in their kids and spend some time with them each night reading and getting involved with their homework etc the results would be different? Too many treat school as a cheap daycare rather than an institution which requires some work.

    There is a misconception that children at private schools perform better because it is a “richer” school. The fact is that PARENTS have to be involved with their child’s schooling and are actively involved with homework supervision/help and open communication with teachers and school staff etc. Don’t let your child fall behind and then expect the teachers to perform some miracles to get your child up to par.

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    • Anonymous says:

      ☝????Comment! Yes!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much for saying all of that! Parents need to start taking responsibility for their children and stop leaving them at the mercy of the world.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Completely agree with you on this, but even some of the top student in public schools would not rank so high in some of the private schools. So the standard of education is relevant here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes 12:21 but can they read and write at an acceptable level or not?

      • Anonymous says:

        I disagree, the children that are meeting the International Baccalaureate standards set by the school are obviously meeting the standards. The problem is that the majority of the children are not meeting the required standards…

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    • Anonymous says:

      judging by some comments, some parents think the education level is set too high and that is why they are failing! when the parents think that, what hope do the kids have!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah…..nothing to do with the fact that children of professional parents go to school with a larger vocabulary than the children of working class or poor parents, which automatically leads to an unlevel playing field.

      Nothing to do with the fact that private schools can kick students with behavioral issues to the curb.

      Nothing to do with the fact that our government can run nothing, neither garbage collecting nor immigration nor car licensing well.

      The ignorance of the commentators is astounding. We see the government ‘s inefficacy in almost every facet of Caymanian society, yet our internal biases lead us to blame the parents.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0J4yNRaPx24

  21. Anonymous says:

    Terrible. Your government is failing you while trying to pass off a cruise dock that won’t help your children at all. But the children will still be paying for it as adults.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They’re just Caymanian kids…. but a NEW DOCK!!! No brainer. Where is Big Mac in all this? Finger in pie?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The education system is just fine thank you. We may need to fire a few people because they dont think like a real caymanian, but the kids are all doing fine.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is not the Government failing us. We are failing ourselves. Stop looking at everything for Government to do and sort out and take responsibility for yourself and your children.

      Shiny buildings and good teachers alone cannot educate a child. It all starts at home where the time needs to be spent and the priorities need to be set.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, and the government hands out enough free money to these people so they can keep em in line and stupid. The government needs to change for parenting to actually happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Think about all the watches though.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The anti-Caymanian sentiment in several of these posts are palpable.

    03/08 7:53 am : childrens right to a free education is determined by theirs/their parents immigration status and not national origin. Work permit holders should know this from their own resarch before signing on.

    02/08 5:59 pm: fantastic. Apparently you actually work with some Caymanians in the Cayman Islands. Imagine that!

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not anti caymanian. That’s pointing out how your government and parents have failed you. And you’ve just proven it by thinking it’s prejudice comments instead of the truth of what’s holding people back for the gain of the government. Keeping them stupid is a thing in corrupt governments.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I do not believe the government is failing anyone where education Is concerned. Loser td see failing their students and students are failing themselves. I was talking to a teacher recently who told me that by the time she gets the class to settle down and start to teach half of the time has passed. There seem to always be one disruptive one causing most of the problems. Life is too easy now -a- days, some of these parents and students don’t really want any thing worthwhile out of life.

        • Anonymous says:

          “I was talking to a teacher recently who told me that by the time she gets the class to settle down and start to teach half of the time has passed.”

          That hit the nail on the head.

          I attended both public and private schools decades ago, and mentor many young people today.

          The difference between the behaviour at some of the public vs private schools is alarming – just my own experience over several visits recently. At one government senior school I was almost run into and bounced off the walkway a few times no apology and often hear curse words flying. Same week at a private senior school students walking – not allowed to run in sidewalks, students stopping to open doors for visitors, greeting you. Naturally this is not every child but this is simply the general overall Impressions left due to the general decorum (or lack of it) at the various schools I have been to. There are many bright and amazing students with outstanding manners at the public schools and a couple of them told me they feel embarrassed and let down by the bad behaviour of the others. I really feel for them.

          I agree with the posters who are saying we focus too much on curriculum, teachers; from my past experience as a student, and present experience as a mentor and parent I think we need to open up the dialogue on how much of a contributing factor poor parenting or home life is. Not blaming parents here because I know it is hard work. However, parents need to be held to task with parenting and many parents need community support to overcome addictions, poverty etc.

          I’ve heard it all distilled to “it’s how you are brought up” and I do think that is the essence of the problem BUT I am also aware we are not all given equal playing fields when we start our parenting years.

          So our children (and Cayman’s students) will get our certain good (or poor) skill sets and get well fed (or not) pending socioeconomic factors, have both parents (or not), and whatever students get (or don’t get) at home throughout these school years likely has the largest effect on them and how well educated they can be – that is to say – on their potential.

          • Anonymous says:

            I agree with both of you but until you understand that your government could allocate more money to the public schools overall and it would help. But because they say they don’t have any extra money to give to hire extra teachers or pay them a decent wage the kids are just going to come out of public school as dumb as when they went in.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Don’t care. As long as Cayman illegally refuses to provide free primary and secondary education by discriminating on the basis of national origin, they can sink lower and lower. That is karma.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you honestly want to send your kids to government schools

      Did you not read the article

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    • Anonymous says:

      You should not be wishing this on the children.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So lemme get this straight – because your kids can’t go there for free – all the local kids should suffer!? How dumb are you??

      1) Why would you even want your kids to go there? Newsflash – most local parents don’t want their kids to attend the public schools. Did you even bother to read the article?

      2) If you did, please read the article again and work on your own comprehension level ASAP. Understand that if more local parents had private school choices that they could actually afford – their kids wouldn’t be there either!!!

      3) Glad you mentioned karma. Enjoy the karma you called down on yourself by wishing bad on others, especially kids!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t use a term you don’t really understand.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like another job for the super genius online PhD cadre. Their super powers are they can append “Dr.” to almost any phrase when they get together and address each other.

    “We have a problem with the schools…Dr.”
    “What do you want me to do about it….Dr.”
    “I just attend committees and apply for positions with a higher salary…Dr.”
    “Who are you?, Your opinion does not matter like the rest of us…Doctors”
    “If we actually fixed the problem with the kids..I would not have a job and be able to work with all my friends…who happen to be, and I am not name-dropping, Doctors”

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  25. Anonymous says:

    If and when the inspection of the private schools confirms their performance is markedly higher than the public schools, at a spend per pupil of less than the public schools the Government should immediately leave the education business once and for all and privatize all schools. Vouchers can be given (increased amounts for children with special needs) and then all children can go to private schools. Society will become integrated again, and everyone will be able to benefit from a higher quality of education. Government can waste the millions saved on something else, or even better, reduce import duties on basic foodstuffs to help lower the cost of living!

    Stop repeating the experiment. The Cayman Islands government is not capable of providing world class education. It should stop treating our children as guinea-pigs in its experiment.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Please tell me more about how we need to finance a cruise berthing facility

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Yeah let’s just neglect education, crime and conservation and build a monstrous port that no one wants instead! This government has their priority’s so messed up and it’s all because of greed!!

    We are screwed people! We have elected a bunch of people with a 3rd world mentality and that is just what we are becoming!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. If you take a ride out on Sundays that how you see how worn out our Island looks. The streets are never washed the buildings need painting the garbage is all over the streets and piled high and forget about going to the beach that’s even worse.
      We have a third world government and a third world country.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Yet our political “leaders” are still playing political football with our education system – a new Education “Plan” every new Government! There is no consistency.

    How can we have improvements when morons are in charge of our political system and our Civil Service??!!

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Yah…sure and how long will it take for this miraculous change to occur? And what happens to the children you have already pushed through the grades? Will a magical spell provide them the basics they should have been taught over the years? They need extensive support. Who will pay and provide this? What happens to the resources needed for the new students coming in?

    I was told this year that I cannot source trained documented professionals to homeschool/tutor my child due to a technical/legislation issue involving what is considered traditional homeschooling. Since using the company my child has advanced almost 2 grade levels! She enjoys school now and feels successful! My child attended a private school where they didn’t even provide her basic support due to her having a processing issue. No school on island will take my child due to her needing extra support (we tried all) BUT I was told that the Dept of Education will place her in their fine public schools. If I don’t comply or the agency we will be fined and run the chance of being charged with not complying with the Education law. What about a change to legislation terminology to encapsulate alternative learning facilities for those children who perform better in smaller groups who have trained professionals who will use scientifically supported teaching lessons for those with dislexia or processing issues, to name a few, that ARE not candidates for Hope? Nope not them. Let’s stick to the old rules of “homeschooling”. and shove kids into the black hole of public education where they will be lost.

    My comments are Really? And are you kidding me??? You can’t sort out your own house and you are telling me that despite my child finally making gains in school you want to place her in an environment where it is guaranteed that she will fail. Look at your statistics! You have teachers who are not trained in special needs, you have children who don’t know how to learn and therefore are disruptive, you have antiquated teaching habits, sick buildings, social issues the children bring to school, violence towards other children, and yes, even in the elementary schools.

    Sure thing. I will sit back and let you dictate to me what my child’s human rights are. Thank you CNS for this insight it will help in the fight.

    This government is grossly ignorant. By allowing the youth of today to faulter, you are stealing their future opportunities to be successful in an already competitive world wide market. That is systematic abuse.
    Government’s short sightedness will come back to haunt each individual sitting on the Education Counsel and Dept of Education. I see the future. You will pay for your inaction when you don’t have enough funds in your pension pool, you will have to pay for insurance due to increased demands from indigent locals. That won’t worry you too much. You have been privileged. You will sit in your posh houses with bars on your windows and ponder why your island has so many social and economic issues. Remember my words. It’s because of your failure to invest in your countrys youth. Lip service and new boards that are full of inaction who do not listen to the voice of their people. Shame on you all. The poor youth they don’t stand a chance

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am not a qualified teacher, but I am glad to volunteer time to do what parents should be doing with their children every day. Sitting down with children and teaching them to read and write. But I have found that this very problem with education is so deep rooted that now many parents are so ill schooled themselves, they lack the ability, inclination or skills to even raise children. It’s scary when you look at the big picture. It never used to be like this.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Children who are not educationally, physically, mentally, socially, financially or any other way ready to have children are having them and burdening the schools and government with their babies. No ambition, no guidance and so the cycle keeps repeating itself. Sad!

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    • Anonymous says:

      @2:12 am
      excellent comment. You are an honor parent. Don’t give up. My niece was concluded to be dyslexic, and what is strange, a friend’s child born weeks apart from my niece, was also dyslexic ( something in the water???).
      Anyway, the State they live in provides summer classes for children with learning disabilities, sort of like Arrowsmith school in Toronto. Their disabilities were evaluated and special individualized programs created.
      Both children are teenagers now and one already taking flight school lessons and flew with a coach from Denver to Alaska. My niece is taking pre-college classes.
      One more point. My sister kept her daughter on gluten free diet since she was diagnosed with dyslexia. Her severe asthma was a history until she was old enough to decide on her own what she wants to eat. Something to think about.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Maybe less religious education and more reading and writing ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      More of all of the above.

      I don’t know if people realize how BASIC religious studies are in the public system.

      Problem is no matter how hard you work with the kids all day, they go home to the same sick environment. Pointless. Teachers understand this best!

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  31. Anonymous says:

    How many politicians kids go to these schools?

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  32. ADA says:

    Outside of the Cayman Islands, could the Minister of Education even win a simple High School popularity contest? Methinks not.

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  33. CAD says:

    The Cayman Islands Educational System is a glorified babysitting service… Teachers can only do so much. There is a saying that you can lead a human to knowledge, but you cannot make him think. In many cases you cannot even lead some of the kids to knowledge. Far too many kids are beyond help and certainly beyond the help that a teacher alone can provide. The Inspectorate is another unnecessary and expensive joke perpetuated on the people of the Cayman Islands just for government to be able to say that they are striving to make improvements. The return on investment is zero.

    The Education Minister’s comments on the “less than stellar” report are out of touch with reality and laughable. “We are no longer in the same place and are moving forward to a more successful future.” Wow! Really? That’s what she got out of it? “A more successful future?” LOL Nope, Ms. Minister, you’re not at all moving anywhere near forwards to a successful future but rather backwards.

    The only way that things will improve in Education is when students and parents are once again held accountable. Does the report say anything at all about students being held accountable for their learning? Nope, it does not! The blame is thrown on the teachers, on the schools, etc., mostly all in the wrong places. When students come to school rested, well fed, from a stable home environment where routines and consequences are enforced, and they are told that school is a place to learn, not some place where you go to cause mayhem, students thrive whether Inspections team say “boo” or not. End of story.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    …and then there’s “WORC”, uff.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Yet, the Education Minister who is also the Minister for Agriculture will be off on jollies to Jamaica, with the Premier. What a joke. These two can’t find the time for the children of thier own country? Cayman is going to hell in a thatch basket.

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  36. Hi oot says:

    I’m shures them cud talking proper caymanian and writing caymanian like I used to cud when I was a children , hehe

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  37. Anonymous says:

    i work with some caymanians…. not surprised.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I work with some expats and i can assure you can barely make out their writing. Caymanians are the reason you all are allowed to come here and send money back to your “shithole” countries. Most never even want to go back home – especially clowns like you

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      • Anonymous says:

        I guess reading is not your strong suit, unless it is spoon fed to you with your own entitled font. At least complaining about handwriting is a way to cover your cluelessness about the meaning of whatever is written. You can probably get a degree with that attitude if you complain enough, and there are lots of useless clowns in the cayman education system who will take up your argument that rely on people like you to keep their job to prove they are needed.

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      • Anonymous says:

        truth hurts?

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    • Anonymous says:

      As a Caymanian myself, I could not agree with you more. I worked for local Bank, and the email correspondence between staff and managers, mainly Caymanian, was shameful.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Traitor!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Just speaking the truth. I am not telling you to not be proud of your accent, but there is a time and a place for everything. When it comes to working in one of the largest international financial centers of the word, you need to raise your standard to international levels if you expect to compete, and being ignorant is not being competitive.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m native and have met some pretty illiterate expats; in the UK, not here.

      Do we have illiterate Caymanians? YES

      Name one Country that doesn’t have its share of illiteracy.

      If you want your kid to succeed, start your training from birth. Stop depending on the Government, the teachers, the facilitators, to raise your children.

      You should not be sending your kids to school without the basics. That includes manners and ethics.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Having worked in the system for over 35 years, let me add my two cents. The issue of achievement levels decreasing is obviously complex, however, when inspection reports show improvement in teaching but not learning, perhaps it is the way teaching is measured. Teachers strive to teach according to the changing rules including gathering materials from myriad sources when in fact textbooks are available from very reputable companies. A lot of energy is wasted reinventing the wheel that could be better spent on teaching.

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