Science to become core focus in schools

| 10/09/2018 | 63 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): A new National Science Education Strategy will be implemented in government schools over the next five years which, according to ministry officials, will “cultivate a scientific mindset” and bring the core subject to the forefront in all schools. Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said science is a fundamental subject, along with English and maths. “Science plays a key role in the development of inquiry, collaboration, reasoning, and critical thinking skills – things that are important in all the subject areas I am responsible for,” she said in a release about the new strategy. 

The ministry said that the strategy was developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders, with the objective of developing a passion for science in all schools by raising the level of scientific curiosity, skills knowledge, and confidence of all students.

Starting a campaign of “Inquire, Innovate, and Inspire”, officials hope this will encourage everyone to develop scientific skills in their daily lives and to engender a passion for science.

“The Cayman Islands poses unique scientific challenges that can be more effectively resolved with an understanding of the Caymanian context,” Cetonya Cacho, acting chief officer in the education ministry, said without explaining what those unique challenges were. She added, “It is important that the country unite to cultivate a scientific mindset and increase the pathways available for students wishing to pursue a scientific field of study, in order to ensure the country’s advancement and sustainability.”

The goals of the strategy are to ensure all students have access to high-quality science that includes scientific inquiry-based skills as well as subject knowledge; enhance the quality of science-related teaching and learning through innovative school leadership and teaching capacity; and improve the skills, engagement, and participation of students by developing science-related opportunities, through partnerships with tertiary institutions, businesses, industries, and charities that inspire students to connect with scientific careers.

Officials urged all students, parents, guardians and the general public to read about the strategy, learn about the key performance indicators and incorporate the spirit of this campaign, “Inquire, Innovate, and Inspire”, not only in their school lives but also in their homes and businesses.

Stephen Ta’Bois, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) specialist with the Ministry of Education said, “The strategy is easily accessible for all, and everyone is encouraged to read it and incorporate the applicable parts into their everyday lives.”

According to the ministry, several activities and events are being organised to inspire the country to be more science-focused, including a ‘Pop-Up Science’ event from 1-3 November and fun national scientific challenges on the education ministry’s Facebook page or Instagram.

The ministry stated that information on the strategy will be available on its website, though it did not say when.

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Comments (63)

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  1. Unison says:

    Well done, Minister Julianna O’Connor-Connolly. I may not agree with with all your policies. But I do agree with cultivating a scientific mind set in our children.

    Ignore the MISFITS on this site, which are backwards on scientific research and findings – deliberately repeating EVOLUTION to promote their atheistic nonsense.

    Information cannot be created without intent. There are no examples of data that is created without intent. You have the beautiful molecule and language of DNA that was recently rediscovered and destroys theories like you know what. And the language or code is comparable to English and human language in the way it is structured – alphabets, A,C,T,G. SO SUCH FACTUAL SCIENCE THIS WILL HELP OUR CHILDREN WITH ENGLISH AND RATIONAL THINKING.

    With the DNA alphabet, grammer, meaning, and intent – destroying the chances of mindless matter and energy producing information and beings with intrinsic ends (so it is taught by these 21st century misfits). And only these misfits (like, Stephen Dawkins) will want our children to believe there is no God whilst their evolutionary theories crash by DNA revelations.

    Yes, I am in the camp with Anthony Flew and other great thinkers! I welcome the indepth science in our schools. So our children will know and never forget, “how great is our God!”

    Unison 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re so daft lol.

      adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), thymine (T) and uracil (U) make DNA and RNA. Each is a different building block, or nucleic acid.

      The fact that this code can be modified by internal and external factors only lends more support for evolution. A set of birds need long beaks to reach their worms. Over years, the birds with longer beaks pass their genetic code on, while shorter beaked birds struggle for food and don’t pass on their code.

      That is natural selection, or evolution. My 5 year old understands this. Just because you downvote it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. Scientist

        Like what internal factors are you talking?? Your saying this masterful code that makes blood, skin, tissue, organs, et cetera, comes from some inside factor? So what is it?

        And what externals? I understand the DNA proofreads itself from any “externals” changing it.

        So what do you mean by saying internal and external factors?

        Please teach us!

    • Evolution is not atheistic. Anthony Flew, even after accepting a “creator” (who he said may well be dead now and was certainly not a personal deity), still accepted the validity of the theory of evolution.

      You seem to be confusing your ignorance with knowledge, while attaching the trappings of subjects upon which you have barely a superficial understanding as justification for doing so.

      • Godfearing says:

        I dont think evolution is an issue here. Some christians embrace aspects of it. I think what Flew defends is the fact that you really have no evidence of where this language comes from. But its a spectacular intelligence that still to this day have evolution theorists picking at strays to explain.

        I like what he says in his last interview. This coming from a man who is practically responsible for all atheist blogs and defences against theism on the internet:

        https://youtu.be/VHUtMEru4pQ

    • Anonymous says:

      Science does not care about your “camp” or your “intent”, or your personal attacks of calling people “misfits” , or in general your schizophrenic rants. That is why people love science, because con-men like yourself are a dying breed that have lived off of indirection, and emotionally charged words that have no meaning. And we can prove you are a fool with scientific thinking and finally get to solving real problems without idiots like yourself confusing future generations.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stephen Dawkins? The result of a genetic splice between Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking?

    • Unison for Governor says:

      DNA has nothing to do with the presence of some wizard. It’s the code of life and that’s that. Stick to the god made everything from dirt explanation and, at least then you’ll seem a bit more competent with your little hocus pocus theory.

  2. Anonymous says:

    omg…i have never seen so many words that say so little. classic management speak waffle that was cut and pasted from the internet.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Follow France and ban mobile phones at schools. That would be the first WISE step to switch kids attention to studies and develop communication skills

  4. Anonymous says:

    I say again, Cayman’s public education system was far better in the 1960’s & 70’s before politicians involved themselves directly in the school curriculum!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    its’ a pity that Alden and Moses did not pay more attention to the science classes in school. they would have known the meaning of the devastation that is being carried out with regards our environment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    True science would cut through the Sh&*t that is happening in our schools. They aint promoting something that would reveal their incompetency. This is about promoting puzzles and games, not research and discovery.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no true science anymore. The one who pays gets tailored “scientific” results. Studies conducted the way to arrive to the wanted conclusions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Spoken like a true CNS know-it-all armchair scientist. Your work isn’t getting published by any journal worth their salt if you’re paid off.

        If you find that if you add A to B, you get C, someone across the planet in an independent lab has to replicate your paper’s methodology to add A to B to get C before it’s considered valid science.

        If they add A to B and get Z or nothing, your work is invalidated. This is how peer reviewed science works. There’s no guessing or doubt.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Science is being used as the new buzzword to encourage critical thinking, but that thinking is really only being used to rationalize religious beliefs. Their goal is not to teach science, but to learn what science has discovered so they can twist the results to continue believing in a religion that will keep the status quo. Don’t be fooled.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think any funds to create a science program will be diverted by religious nut faculty into creating an ARK to invite more religious nut tourists. Look at the faculty at UCCI. Most got their job/promotions or build up their volunteering credit through the churches. You would never be able to be a President or Vice President if you do not “fit” in the social structure that churches have laid out. It is truly a sad situation that nobody cares to change.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What the hell have they been doing all this time? Did it ever occur that it would help with the reading and math as well?

    • Anonymous says:

      They have perfunctory meetings, virtue signal, fire teachers who speak the truth as bullies, play politricks to get that sweet administrative job so they can take take trips, and conference,they love to talk about conferences when the buiding is literally crumbling..its complete insanity.

      I was at a meeting recently that was a complete joke, it was a meeting to confirm who were friends and enemies, nothing of substance was talked about.

      The pay is good because you have to deal with alot of jokers and incompetents. The pay is not good because the education systme is good.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly!
      Start teaching chess and music in primary schools. That will get children’s brains working.
      Why expats 4-6 yo kids play chess competitively and musical instruments at your Xmas tree lighting? They also speak 2-3 languages.

  10. 3 out of 2 people have trouble with fractions says:

    The hamster wheel spins faster as the lunacy continues. First it was Language, then it was the Maths, then ICT, and now Science. Spit out one gum flavour to trade it in for another flavour of the week. Tomorrow’s headline and pictures of Mad Scientists will read that the Cayman Islands Education system is at the fore-front of Science and that great progress has been made in the past month. Spend millions on materials and training that will gather dust, only to change the focus back to Language the year after. Repeat said formula multiple times without shame.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The education minister believes that the moon has shone on these islands for 2000 years. She actually said that to an astronaut who presented her with a picture of Grand Cayman that was taken from space.

    I wouldn’t trust her idea of “science”.

  12. No to bobo says:

    What science has to with being an accountant or barrister?

    • Anonymous says:

      Everything, both should be based on evidence, and science is included in all liberal arts degrees. If a proper degree was required before being a barrister, we would have better rounded people in these positions.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It used to be that if one wished to have any type of STEM career in Cayman, it meant passing the fairly rigorous entry exam at Cable & Wireless to be sent directly on an apprenticeship type scholarship for engineering technicians to technical college abroad.
    The company would go into the high school and identify their high potentials for development through this route. After such primary training, other barriers were set to be overcome, and they would select those worthy of advancement to become technologists with further training. There were not many employees that went on this advanced training, and even less became degreed professional engineers.

    Many more however were sent to trade schools in the Eastern Caribbean to become craftspersons with a few craftspeople upgrading themselves by taking their high-school equivalence and then becoming eligible for the full apprenticeship programme.

    Successive Governments however over the years did not monitor the level of training for whatever reason, as they appeared to deem it a company issue and were blindsided by the claims made.This absence of monitoring and policy setting undoubtedly has contributed to the national shortfall in STEM we have today where e.g. the ICT players in the marketplace conduct very little education and training. Education after all is a national prerogative by a government for a country’s populace and should not be left for the private sector.

    It is therefore admirable that science is now seen as an important driver of the future economy and the initiative to educate school children. Hopefully this is just a start for further development of STEM in the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      You got the job. Now you understand that we don’t really want to teach our children science. If you are a good place-holder your contract will be renewed.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh lawd, stringing all these “big” words together without one iota of understanding and clarity. What exactly are the unique scientific challenges pray tell? Hasn’t scientific subjects always been taught, e.g. Biology, agriculture, botany etc.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Will the creationists teach evolution?

    • FSM says:

      Sure, why not? An Atheist can be a Pastor after all. The question is, who would make the better teacher regarding these topics?

      • Anonymous says:

        I suggest bring in teachers from Third world countries, continue moving failing teachers from school to school, allow teachers without the proper qualifications to be hired and continue to not renew good teachers because they have spoken the truth. Result!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant picture. L.A. in session?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Science is great and its advancement in our schools is noble. However the primary focus should be on English grammar and mathematics. Toooo many of our high school “graduates” cannot write correct English in order to write a simple job application letter or multiply well. Focus on the 3 R’s!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I hope this means that it will include the science that effects the environment. It sounds like something our polititians could use to save the environment.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Glad to hear this but some of our politicians can’t even grasp the concepts of environmental responsibility and sustainability. I doubt very much these concepts will be taught in all schools as science conflicts with Christian dogma of the kind taught here.
    Over the years keeping kids in the dark ages here has only served to foster “pillage & plunder” mentality, line the pockets of a chosen few families and politicians but definitely not advance these islands sustainably. I also can’t see church groups welcoming this change.

  20. Jotnar says:

    May be an idea to fix the appalling performance on English and maths before making science the core goal.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know whether it is on the curriculum now, but public schools really need to add World History to the syllabus! Now that I am in the world of work, I see how important it is to know about world history, especially working in an environment which is as diverse as Cayman.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wait – we weren’t teaching science?!? Explains a lot!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am genuinely curious.. are high school biology courses still going to omit teaching about speciation from natural selection? It’s a safe assumption that a Christian minister wouldn’t want evolution being taught in her schools, which is unfair. Present the facts to the student and allow them to find their path.

    I only say this because in high school, my science courses spoke nothing of evolution. Then I went off to study for a bachelor of science degree at an American university, only to realize how naïve I was to try and argue with a Ph.D lecturer in bio 2 that evolution isn’t real. It was quite a shock that I think could have been avoided.

    • lol :) says:

      And could it be you are still naive, and he string facts together to support the scientism?

      • Anonymous says:

        I prefer empirical evidence.

        You prefer stories written by people who believed the sun orbited the Earth and proclaimed that a man can survive in a fish for days.

        Who’s the naïve one again?

  24. SSM345 says:

    Science was the very reason why I turned off from religion and JujJu just confirmed the reasons why:

    “Science plays a key role in the development of inquiry, collaboration, reasoning, and critical thinking skills” none of which are afforded by religion that’s rammed down your throat in school or church.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget the tinfoil hats…????

  26. Anonymous says:

    Agree science is very important and should be emphasized early. Lead by example. Why follow failed models from other countries when you can/could do better locally?

    “The Cayman Islands poses unique scientific challenges that can be more effectively resolved with an understanding of the Caymanian context,”

    What? I read this several times. This sentence is indicative of where one problem lies within the schools.

    Science requires the ability to read and understand content. Math is vitally important as you can’t take a chemistry or physics class if you can’t do the math. Start with those two items and start early. Stop social promotion and stop graduating kids that can barely read and write.

  27. Anonymous says:

    About Time.

  28. Pickle Rick says:

    Those creationist are not going to be happy about those wacky scientists and their crazy theories of evolution

  29. Anonymous says:

    Evolution at the centre of this? And the Big Bang? No? Thought not.

  30. anonymous says:

    Who knows, we may have a budding Nobel Prize winner in molecular biology lurking in the backwoods of West Bay.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Maybe they can use these science skills to combat the rising obesity issues from lack of physical activity and poor nutrition.

    Nothing screams inquire innovate inspire like a 10 year old obese child getting 45 minutes per week of poor physical activity.

  32. Anonymous says:

    First topic- Evolution

  33. Anonymous says:

    About time!

  34. Anonymous says:

    You cant cultivate science with religious nuts and poltricks getting good teachers fired. They will bring in a pony-show expert, caymanians will steal a few ideas and when he/she is done they will “sciencefied” and move on to their next 5 year plan. 5 years is what you need for a group to forget what was the orginal plan so nobody gets fired at the top.

  35. Anonymous says:

    How about literacy?

  36. Anonymous says:

    Great! but try getting scholarships to study sciences?! next to impossible…they only want kids to study business!!!????????

  37. Anonymous says:

    What has been the focus? Definitely not English as a first language.

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