Scott: PPPs can tackle school issues

| 26/06/2019 | 111 Comments
Cayman News Service
Dan Scott addresses the Chamber Economic Forum

(CNS): Education Council Chairman Dan Scott has pointed to the private sector as a source of resolving the ever-increasing pressure on space in Cayman schools that he said could also reverse the divisions that have been created in the education system between local and expatriate children.

Scott said that if the private sector invested in new school buildings, government could guarantee a certain number of students, which it pays for, reducing the burden on the public purse to invest in the bricks and mortar.

With education one of the many issues of concern raised at the recent Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum, Scott raised the idea of public-private- partnerships (PPPs) as a way to resolve the ongoing costs to the public purse of building facilities to meet a growing population and find a way to reintegrate students.

Falling short of describing what has happened in the education system as segregation, he accepted that it would be better if students from all the different backgrounds were in school together, just as they were before space became a premium in the government system and all expat children were forced into the private sector.

When Chamber President Chris Kirkconnell delivered his welcome address as the forum opened, he illustrated the point of how education in Cayman has failed the students and the wider community. He said academic excellence had to become a priority for public and private schools. At a minimum, no student should be leaving school without a skill or the ability to read and write.

“Declaring that a goal should be that children leave our schools with the ability to read and write not only sounds like a given but it is almost borderline insulting,” he said. “But the fact of the matter is that we are sending our youth into the workforce every year without these fundamentals.”

He said there are young people who, after 15 years in the education system, leave school without even being able to write their names on a job application. As well as failing the children and dooming their future, he said this was setting up the whole community to fail.

When Scott spoke about the Education Council’s work so far, he said it was undertaking various initiatives to deliver the very best standards of education, including the introduction of the UK’s curriculum. He said government would be financing all of the books, resources and materials needed to deliver this across all schools.

Noting the pressure on government to create more space in school, Scott said that as the population grows, demand for school places would outstrip space in short order. He said there was an opportunity for more private sector involvement. Scott said that government is currently spending a great deal of money on education and in his view it could encourage the private sector to take on the construction based on a guarantee of a certain number of student places that would be financed by the government directly.

He said they should not be able to cherry pick and would have to take the students government sent, but “together we could get back to a more integrated system”.

He said that the challenge for government schools, which led to the division, was the number of students, and so the primary focus of government is that every single Caymanian student receives an education. The way to do that with finite resources and growing student numbers would be to work with the private sector as most people agreed that an integrated system is better, he said.

Although government schools have come in for some serious criticisms following poor exam results and poor inspection reports, some private sector schools have also been given failing grades by the new inspection regime, in some cases being graded below the government schools, which calls into question their ability to deliver the education that students need.

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (111)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Funny how the bean counters are expressive when it comes to cost in helping provide proper funding to the education for the young of the country, but some dock we statistically don’t need? Bean counters nowhere to be seen because at the end of the day it doesn’t put money in their pockets to make long-term investments in the education of the country.

  2. Make public education the NUMBER 1 PRIORITY. says:

    Segregating Caymanian children from expat children in the public school system was a political move that backfired. Period. When I moved here in the 80’s, the public schools were integrated and Caymanian and expat children grew up together, each benefitting from exposure to the other. It was the politicians of the 90’s that used the “Us vs. Them” tactic to garner votes. Back then, when Caymanians weren’t moving up at work, we blamed the expat managers above us. When Caymanians were refused jobs, we blamed the expat managers in charge of hiring. Some of that blame was deserved, some not. But it was the politicians that latched onto the Us vs. Them Blame Game and rode that wave of discord for their own benefit. Back then, segregating the schools was seen as “See? We’re making all the rich expats pay to educate their own children! We’re using the public purse to educate our own!”. We Caymanians ate it up hook, line and sinker. Little did we know that we were only hurting ourselves. Segregating the public schools drove a deeper wedge between Caymanians and expats. Where there was once opportunity to get to know each other, there is now very little opportunity to travel in the same circles. Back in the 80’s, the non-working expat spouse would involve themselves in the public schools their children attended, volunteering and keeping the school administrators on their toes. Most Caymanian families have two working parents, so now there is very little parental involvement in the public schools on an everyday basis. The expat parents tended to be better educated and could point to inefficiencies in the public schools, bringing immediate attention and immediate change. Now the public schools fail to educate our children to even the standard levels. Mr. Scott is absolutely correct that the public schools should be reintegrated, however I fear that it is too late because now, even Caymanians of modest means would rather struggle to pay for private education than put their kids in the public schools.

    Caymanian parents, we need to insist that excellent public education be available to our children. It is the ONLY way to rid our country of increasing crime and underemployment. Our political leaders need to make public education their NUMBER 1 priority! Tell them to put that $400,000,000 into the public school system, and NOT in GT Harbour to build cruise ship berths!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    What a pile of trashy statements and comments here. As usual, there are many misconceptions published here for the World to see without providing official, reliable statistical evidence, to back up those statements and comments.

    Until you can explain in proper detail what the problems are, you’ll never have the solutions. Nothing I’m reading here is accurate or constructive. God help us.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Very well said

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    • Anonymous says:

      12.01pm Well shame on you then. Obviously you have the ‘accurate’ knowledge of what is wrong but won’t share it. Go ahead ‘ explain in proper detail what the problems are’.See how accurate and constructive you can be.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    What we need are more church schools.

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Mr Scott is right that the private sector need to carve their hiring behavior that is causing all the over crowding in the Schools .
      If the private sector wasn’t bring in all the people with 3 and 5 children you wouldn’t have class room problems and government wouldn’t sell no new work permits, and the people on the Island would be able to find a job.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And government wouldn’t have money to pay for the schools, civil service salaries, NAU handouts, free medical care for seamen, the indigent and friends of MLAs….

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      • Anonymous says:

        Mr Scott knows “f” all about education and cares not a jot that we have a very segregated community in Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    An uneducated population benefits the politicians.
    Add religion to it and that’s the end of it.

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    • Read! says:

      Right you are. May I add:

      “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.” —Seneca

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  6. Anonymous says:

    In the long run it is better to have private schools versus public schools because children do better. Teachers seem to be different in private schools more caring for one. They are concerned that kids do well in their class. Plus its cheaper for Gov’t to give them money rather than Gov’t build a school. An example? Triple C School cost aproximately 5 million dollars for more than 500 children. Clifton hunter High School went over a 100 million for 800 students? Why? No one checked who was taking stuff out and not bringing it back. Plans for the school were for a school in snow and ice? Who checked this stuff. If they build another one it will run over a 100 million again. Dan is right, its the best solution.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You could have picked any other school other than Triple C which just had a report issued with a failing grade. Why didn’t you pick one of the schools that passed the inspection report?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wait a minute, Triple C got a unsatisfactory inspection!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the Dump & PPP, there must be something going on behind the scenes. Please note, Dart has already begun marketing OLEA, which is immediately next door to the dump, with units starting around $600K and completion date of April 2020. Now, would Dart be selling that development already if they didn’t know that there was something definitive in the works about moving the dump?

    I wish we, the citizens and taxpayers of Cayman knew!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve also noticed the cutting back of the vegetation that used to hide the dump. As if someone is trying to make it more prominent to push an agenda.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Weak leading the weak. In a failing school system where teachers and middle management have lost direction the answer is to promote a weak, number crunching administrator with no whole school leadership experience to be principal of one of our leading high schools.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And proof, if you needed it, that Cayman really has no idea about education and is hell bent on promoting people to positions for which they are unsuited. But never mind its only the kids who suffer!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    How about some charter schools? The public schools in my city in the US are 100% charter operated (privately run by non-profit entities under contract.) All but two are open enrollment. They are waaay better now than when the School Board operated them directly. If a current charter’s test results are crappy, they get a year to fix it or else the school is contracted to a different group or shut down. Previously, the teachers’ union and the corrupt board who were in control didn’t care how terrible the education was.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not all charter schools are created equal. I like the ability to change them out if they don’t achieve what they say they will. But truly what is the benefit of the private investors?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Didn’t say they were equal, just better than they were before. They make it much easier to fire people for incompetence or laziness. They also limit the ability of members of the “administration” (whether it is a school board or a ministry) to give orders to benefit their cronies, relatives or political supporters. There are no “investors”. The charter operators are non-profit associations of people who care about public education.

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    • Anonymous says:

      ALL of the research suggest that Charter Schools are ultimately no better.

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is simply not true.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Oh it simply is. My job is the valuation of school systems world wide. I have spent much of the last four years research solely the effectiveness of Charter Schools and believe me they are no better. I have no ax to grind with types of schools. My job is simply to look at the evidence and evaluate it.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    CNS whatever happened to the PPP for the dump? Radio silence by our elected folks.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I hear the private sector tried to start a school recently, following the UK curriculum, and Government refused to license it due to an absence of playing fields. True or not?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I hear it was going to be a Trade School, specific to the car washing industry.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That is a fact. The Ministry should be held responsible. As long as a school has access to a sports complex or play ground it should be okay. Land is premium in Grand Cayman.

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    • Too much says:

      This is a prime example of too many people in cayman. Too many children, too many vehicles on rhe road , no enough land, not enough public beaches etc. Grand Cayman is too crowded and it is effecting everyone quality of life. No more work permits it is putting too much strain and demands on our government, our people and our country.

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      • Anonymous says:

        2:20pm, September you will see an influx of family members children coming in from abroad, seeking registration to enter government schools. The government has to put a stop to this tric. Some go as far as giving incorrect addresses to get their relatives into other dictrict schools. Why should children from W. Bay or G.Town be allowed to attend B Town Primary or Clifton Hunter school? Their are people using their tricks to circumvent the system. They bring them in and they never leave.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Why do you want to punish people who are trying to get their kids into the best school they can? How about having good schools that anyone can go to?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Because both those schools are totally failing and every parents wants the best for their child so why should they toss a dice with their childs education.

    • Anonymous says:

      Convenient excuse used by narrow minded village mentality politicians. There are ample opportunities to access underutilized sports grounds in some form of sporting curriculum if the will was there.
      Wasted opportunity by lazy education chiefs.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman Brac has a state of the art sports complex (half Olympic pool, FIFA approved field, track and soon to be completed indoor court facilities) minutes from the high school yet it is not being used for PE classes.?

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        • Anonymous says:

          5:21pm, remember the two representatives are going to get the best for their people. They contribute next to nothing in revenue, but they have to get the biggest slice. of the pie.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If that is fact how do all the Montessori’s carry-on business, none of which have playing fields nor is PE part of their curriculum….?

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    • Advocate says:

      This is true. There are many facilities on island who educate children with exceptionalities. Ie- extremely intelligent children who are being diagnosed in traditional schools as having ADHD because the school/classroom/teacher cannot deal with the boredom of a child who has above average intelligence. Or the case of a child who has average intelligence who is dyslexic, again being told to be on medications because he/she is disruptive. (Remember dyslexia occurs in most children with average intelligence who process language/written word differently). Most are not typically troublesome children if they are engaged. So…

      The government gave notice to all tutoring/homeschooling facilities last year notifying them that they will SHUT them DOWN! If they do not reclassify themselves as a school.
      BUT here is the kicker… most of these facilities applied but because of the way Cayman is in regards to availability of facilities and land they failed the “guidelines” of what a “traditional” school would be. No consideration was granted by government.

      Therefore those children and their parents struggle to find placement or accommodations for their child who cannot fit into traditional schools. And then the Ministry then decides to ignore the parents, who are voicing concerns and looking for dialogue, as their children have nowhere to go as ALL schools have declined them due to their special needs. Expat and Caymanians are all in the same boat!!

      Such a joke. Capitalism vs Socialism. Or more like “can I have my cake and eat it too” mentality. Sure Government is eager for expat businesses to fund charities and now educate children but they are not good enough for anything else. The government is shirking the responsibility of any developed nation (so they claim) to meet the Human Rights of their citizens (children) Also under the Children’s Law the child has to be provided an education!!

      Personally i will seek alternatives as I don’t want my child exposed to gangs, drugs and sexual assaults on campus, from elementary to high school. All exist in government schools Government should be ashamed of themselves as they are leaving a hell of a legacy of local children who cannot read or process basic mathematical equations, regulate anger and even have access to meaningful extracurricular activities. This is your future!!!!!

      So Dan Scott in short…you want others to clean up your mess that you refuse to address and deal with. Disgraceful, continue to hide behind your flunkies

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      • Anonymous says:

        Try sitting in on some lessons in many of the schools and its a credit to the children that there is not a riot. Boredom coupled with those that cannot teach and their inability to undertake basic classroom management means are children will continue to get substandard education to compete in a world class economy.

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      • Anonymous says:

        What a croc of self righteous crap you spew. Spoiled rotten kids from spoiled rotten parents treating the education system like a baby sitting network created by spoiled rotten government. That is your problem in a nutshell.

        Take responsibility for your own kids. Its hard work and forget the “It takes a community” trap that makes everybody lazy so everybody else solves your problems except yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope doesn’t have an official playing field. It has the skate park. Was this new school going to have less than what Hope has?

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is true. Meanwhile the kids would have been thriving academically, unlike so many of the government schools. Nonsensical.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    If our children studied a little (lot) more natural science, agriculture, architecture and quantum mechanics, we would not have half the problems that we have.
    Fabulous truth is locked in science.
    Anyone read about when Nihls Bohr stood up to Einstein and won?
    Bohr was incredible.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I cannot imagine why he thinks it is the private sectors responsibility to build schools…

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  14. Anonymous says:

    PPP’s won’t do diddly-squat to combat against the overrun of newly arrived expats that will stop at nothing to ensure their precious kids are not schooled or raised alongside locals’.

    Yet they claim to “love Cayman”.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Stop at nothing? They are not allowed to send them to public school numbnuts. Government requires them to send kids to school but bans them from public schools and you think it’s the expats fault for not mixing. Right.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, Numbnutz, the private school system is stuffed to the gills with “new Caymanians” aka Permanent Residents that insist on existing here but within their own “safe” little circles – with people who look and think as they do.

        This involves schooling and raising their kids in a similarly segregated manner.

        Lastly, it is absolutely expats’ fault when they choose to not integrate themselves in their host community.

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        • Anonymous says:

          “New Caymanians” meaning the offspring of the children of Mac’s mass status grants .?

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          • Anonymous says:

            Yeah, like problematic grantees from 16 years ago, who are only now having school-aged kids, can somehow afford CIS private tuition, in an elaborate conspiracy to avoid integrating – and that’s an unconscionable social problem. Let’s get real.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Always back to the same xenophobic nonsense even while their own elected government screws them sideways.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I appreciate facts may interfere with your pretence to blame expats for everything but it’s still not an issue of choice. Try and get your kid a place in public school even as a PR holder and see where you get – unless you are a government employee. Strange enough the private schools also seem to have the kids of government officials and the Cayman merchant class – who absolutely do have a choice – but I guess that doesn’t fit your agenda, right?

        • Anonymous says:

          Doubt you’d be much fun to try and integrate with…..

      • Advocate says:

        This is not true as a few months ago I was in a meeting with the Department of Education talking mouth pieces who said that all expat children are welcomed if they pay a small fee AND they can provide ALL the special needs that an expat child needs within their school walls. And btw we were all told they are doing such a fantastic job!!! Poor children who already are in there struggle to access services in a timely manner!

        Such a sad joke. Morons

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      • Anonymous says:

        All school-ages kids must go to school by law. Expat kids may apply to enroll in the failing-grade public schools, they just have to pay. It’s cheaper than the private schools, but…

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        • Anonymous says:

          From governments website – priority for registration is:

          1) Caymanians, with proof established by birth certificate, passport or status certificate
          2) Dependents of Caymanians
          3)Dependents of contracted government employees (Space permitting following the close of registration)
          4) Dependents of permanent residents (Space permitting following the close of registration)

          Except there is not sufficient space to even deal with all of category 3 with schools at capacity. So your comment is just plain wrong.

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        • Anonymous says:

          aahhh…hellloo, almost all schools in Cayman has gotten a failing grade, exceeept?..CIS: a segregated institution, that only the “elite” and high-achieving students may attend for a premium dollar!! Let’s face it ppl, Cayman is overrun/over populated and too fast developed beyond it’s means and capacity…it’s nothing to do with Xenophobia, but the true is foreigners will come and leave after the dollars has dried up and the damage is done, while generational Caymanians are “left behind” to inherit what?!?! They will have no education or skill to go elsewhere to work and earn a living whilst they wreak havoc on that country’s infrastructure (there’s not enough of them alive to do that)…so they will be left here to starve and stay. I arrived here in Grand Cayman in the 70’s, totally fell in love with this Island I call home (by choice and birth) and decided to have children because of the greatness we were blessed with from God, in all aspects. However, that has changed immensely and rapidly and still doing, so much so I wish I didn’t have them to witness and live with the atrocities happening here now. My child had to provide my Birth Certificate to WORC to prove being a Caymanian after submitting a CI Passport…things has gotten too out-of-hand here and I hope my children will continue aiming for higher education, so they too can look to relocating elsewhere if they so chooses to! I LOVE CAYMAN, but it’s not as it was back in the good ole days when everyone lived peacefully, harmoniously and with pride for the Land and their neighbour! Sorrowfully, we are the ppl now that is forgotten, not only by time but by the greedy, corrupt, selfish and money-loving humans living here! Be sensible and educate all children equally and according to their needs whether it be Gov’t or Private Sector, it everyone’s problem to solve because the uneducated criminals don’t steal from the poor it’s the well off or filthy rich that they take from and have worried if it’s their turn next for a break-in, robbery or auto theft…I thank God I don’t have much for them to steal and what I do have and can afford to, I’m always giving away to the less fortunate.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They do love Cayman, but they also want their children , (as do all parents) , to have education that is consistent with first world standards. Sadly the govt.schools do have room for expat children, so foreigners go for the private schools which strive to provide the same standards expected of US, UK, and Canada schools.

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      • Anonymous says:

        US and UK schools…okay buddy.
        Lol, I suggest you do a bit of research.

        Nevertheless, how do you explain away grown adult expats relegating themselves to venues, activities, clubs and institutions where they are guaranteed to only find themselves?

        However, by no means does this apply to all expats. For example, my son goes to a private primary school and his bestie is a White boy of American and Canadian parentage.
        During a conversation his parents remarked they would never consider sending their child to a certain school because it was “too white” AND they were well aware of the racial discrimination that is prevalent within…even onto faculty.

        3 guesses for everyone for which school I am referring to.

        Sad state of affairs.

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        • Anonymous says:

          We just tryin’ to avoid you.

        • Anonymous says:

          Striving for passable educational standards is not laughable if you intend for your child(ren) to qualify to attend a proper college/university in the real world. I’m fairly certain the best ones don’t care about the melanin concentrations of their applicants. Just grades, and sometimes co-curriculars. But that’s adult stuff…enjoy your hotdogs with your white friend. Congrats on successful infiltration!

        • Anonymous says:

          they describe a school as “too white”, we can see who the racists are then

          intergration runs both ways

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t agree with you. What happens is that they want to send their children to good schools. I agree they will stop at nothing to ensure that their precious children are not schooled at our failing government schools. Every school here has Caymanian children attending. And if I recall correctly, the nationality that represents the greatest percent of the school population is Caymanian at every private school here. Good luck finding a school without locals. This is pure nonsense and it’s sad that you believe it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Many adult expats today refuse to socialise with locals.

        It is sad that you do not believe it.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You should try to be more fun. All the whining about “expats” tends to put them off.

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        • Anonymous says:

          All the expats i know have young kids. I cant remember the last time i socialised with anyone at all. Dont take it personally!

        • Anonymous says:

          As a general policy, our household prefers to socialize with nice people, from stable households, that share our values (ie. aren’t alt-right religious zealots, endangered species eaters, homophobes, wife beaters/misogynists and/or puppy mill operators)…that tends to narrow the field quite a bit in the Cayman Islands. To get a second appointment, they also need to be fun to be around. Exceptions and compromises to those criteria are more common than uncommon, especially at compulsory work functions.

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          • Anonymous says:

            You sound fun too. Tough being surrounded by people not of your class.

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          • Anonymous says:

            9.44pm You are describing UTOPIA. So if that is where you hang out good for you. Trouble is there is only one way to get there, just don’t get caught smoking whatever it is you are smoking.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sad indeed 3.26, but to be fair, that is a two way street.
          Birds of a feather etc.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ever gave consideration to putting the brakes on population growth? Or limiting the number of school age children coming in here? How about taking control and not letting population growth outpace our infrastructure.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Too many coming in and creating liability on taxpayers. Those who can afford to pay for their children are not the problem, it is those who are coming in from poorer counties that become wards of the state.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Limit the number of school aged children”, ignoring the fact that expat kids aren’t enrolled in your schools. Why stop there, why not go all the way and insist on forced sterilization of expats? So much misplaced hate.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    It is not really the schools that have failed. It is the many sperm & egg donors that have failed their offspring, both in public & private schools. Parenting is more than a few minutes in the sack.
    FREE CONDOMS would greatly assist. Even if only 2 or 3 uncared for offspring were prevented every year.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure what Dan is smoking but if memory serves me right it was previous governments years go by who wanted to segregated the Caymanians from the expats. Also any recent expat children in government schools was a tiny fraction of that population. The public schools are a failure and the government and past governments should be ashamed. Considering the majority of government send their children to private schools shows you there is one standard from them and a lower standard for you the public. You are not meant to have this advantage. Second class citizens while your government rulers get the goodies.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Space & cost forced the separation.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Next they’ll want to put us in reservations.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Do you have reservations about that?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Juju claims she solving the school problem with raising the teachers starting salary to $5 k p. m., pure bull s…

      • Anonymous says:

        “They”? You mean the government, because it’s not the expats that made the decision to separate the education system.

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      • L.D. says:

        Cayman has been building its own reservation for decades. Uneducated parents, under educated teachers, Gov. propaganda to place the blame on educated, well to do expats. Caymanians have created their own third world reservation in a first world environment.

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        • Anonymous says:

          2:24pm. Why can’t they recruit English speaking teachers? Their are great teachers around the world, but why are we recruiting from one location? Change the recruiting system. When I went to school their were teachers from overseas (UK, Canada and Spain).

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Roy and Truman

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yet there are many excellent students who have been through the public school system. One complaint is that it is difficult to do so when the medioce cause disruption in and out of class.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Good example of progress. The revolving door pushes a principal out and is replaced by another who serves no purpose. What can you expect?

  18. Anonymous says:

    If only we had a surplus…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or if they weren’t wasting money on the dock or spending it to discourage us from exercising our Democratic rights for a referendum

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      • Anonymous says:

        The use of PPP’s is applying a band aid to the wound.

        Building more schools like housing is not the long term solution. Population control through immigration and birth growth is the only sustainable option.

        I fear we will run out of land space before this PPM Unity Government tries to stop the flood gates!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Surplus – no that is for the port, before the schools and dump.

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