Education ministry and lost opportunities

| 26/08/2019 | 28 Comments
Cayman News Service

Are you kidding me? The Ministry of Education is changing the curriculum AGAIN? Instead of changing the damn curriculum every four years, why not work on fixing the BROKEN public education system in this country? What is happening in public education in this country should be consider CRIMINAL!

To give just one example of how inept and dysfunctional the Ministry of Education is: Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants (CIIPA) members VOLUNTEER every year to participate in the primary school numeracy program, whereby experience professional accountants VOLUNTEER to go all government primary schools and act as teacher’s aids in math classes.

Participants literally VOLUNTEER to take an hour out of their busy schedules a couple of times a week, go to government public schools and sit in on maths lessons and personally help students understand maths and improve their math skills.

VOLUNTEERS must obtain a police clearance AND take the “Darkness to Light; Stewards of Children” training, in which participants learn about the abuse of young children and how to spot the signs of abuse. The ministry is then responsible for contacting these VOLUNTEERS and allocating them to schools across the island.

For two years in a row (2017 and 2018) VOLUNTEERS who signed up and jumped through all of the hoops required to participate in the Numeracy Programme WERE NOT CONTACTED BY THE MINISTRY! We’re talking about professional accountants VOLUNTEERING their time to assist in educating the most disadvantaged kids in this country, but that opportunity was LOST for two years in a row because of the Ministry of Education’s dysfunction.

VOLUNTEERS were not even contacted and given an explanation! And while I know some volunteers do so for status and PR points, I know many Caymanian accountants (myself included) VOLUNTEERED so that we can show young Caymanians that people that look like them can educate themselves and become successful professionals. We do it to set a good example to young Caymanians.

Yet, that opportunity to help our own was LOST! So, if the Ministry of Education can’t even get their XXXX together to organize VOLUNTEERS, then how the hell are they going to implement a new curriculum to ANY degree of success?

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Category: Education, Local News, Viewpoint

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is James Watler still a curriculum adviser in the Education Department?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The decay started at the top. Is it not time to inspect DES and Ministry staff ? They are paid good salaries and spend disproportionate amounts of money on a failing school system. Where is the real expertise? Are they really doing the job that we pay them for?

    • Anonymous says:

      excellent point 4:45 pm!! Why isn’t the Ministry getting evaluated??? Seems if we get rid of them, we can really fix the problems plaguing the gov’t schools!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I used to spend 70 hours plus, held classes on the weekend, worked with students one-on-one after hours, and even held meetings over the internet…it did not matter. In fact it made people even more angry because it was my job that people wanted, not what I was doing with the job.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Give the teachers the $5000 minimum that was promised to them. Why is Julianna going back on her word?

  5. Anonymous says:

    The blame for poor education lies in parents first, not the schools. If parents have little to no interest in their offspring’s education how do we expect a school to overcome that?

    • Anonymous says:

      The system is broken for the parents who want to see their children get ahead. Parenting is part of the problem, but there are parents that do a good and want to see their children succeed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s so sad. What is incredible is that the last time I checked the government spend per pupil was higher than the fees of the best private schools on island!

  7. Al Catraz says:

    The Education Minister did take the time to encourage people to protest the wedding of two people who love each other. If that’s the level at which Cayman is operating, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for education.

  8. Anonymous says:

    what a tragedy. Cayman schools used to be good even back in the early days when all we had was black board and chalk.

  9. Anonymous says:

    99% of Cayman’s problems could be fixed if we could just fix the third-world local education system. Crime, parenting, unemployment, even health. But to do that Cayman needs two things: firstly good schools. That means making schools about the pupils and not the staff. And that means initially hiring expats. The solution to the education system is not appointing teachers that are themselves products of it. We need teachers, administrators and principals from countries with the best education systems in the world to come here and fix our system. Secondly it needs a proper teachers training program (initially run by expats) to take locals who have a will to teach and make sure they have the literacy, numeracy, communication skills to produce well educated kids.

    Changing the curriculum, building new schools, building cruise ports, none of this will help.

    Cayman needs to do this now or nothing will ever change.

    • Anonymous says:

      80% of the teachers are already expats.

    • Anonymous says:

      I should have clarified, it’s not just more expats, it’s hiring the best teachers from the best schools in the jurisdictions that do education well. This is a small wealthy country, there is no reason why Caymanians can’t be up there with the most well educated students in the world. Make the investment now and in 10 years (half the time they’ve been talking about fixing the dump) the benefits will start to show.

      • Anonymous says:

        Barbados has the highest literature rates in the Caribbean. Perhaps we can learn something from them?

  10. Anonymous says:

    For a long time I could not understand what is really going on with the dismal state of Education in this so called world’s financial center.

    It is done by inten I concluded.

    1. The less educated people are, the smaller pool of electable people is. Thus, the same people would be elected again and again. The power of few with money would continue indefinitely.
    2. It is so much easier to manipulate uneducated people. High school graduates have no employable skills and can’t find gainful employment. “The few with money” then use the unemployment card to justify their projects that allegedly would create jobs for Caymanians which is a lie since to hold a job one have to have skills and knowledge.

    Meantime vocational training is not finding support from the government. Projects that would create jobs for Caymanians, such as public bus system for example, is not supported either. To add insult to injury, Minister of Education is unqualified for the post, but for some mysterious reasons continues climbing the political ladder.

    Professional expats represent real threat to continuation of this “established” system of producing unemployable people. At the very least they shine the light on the real state of Education in the Cayman Islands. This also explains the resistance they face from Ministry of Education when they volunteer to educate Caymanian children.

    So I do agree the crime is being committed against children in this country. CIG doesn’t seek to educate highly productive, skilled Caymanians to meet the demands of the labor market.

    • Anonymous says:

      You could not have said it better. CIG is intentionally failing our young people to ensure their political power for the long run.

      They say Caymanians are not qualified for most jobs out there. What do you think they’ll say next? Caymanians are not qualified/educated enough to run their own country. Then we’re in a big mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a well written piece. Fit to be in the newspaper. Spot on 1.53.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Horrible, horrible news, and the children continue to be disadvantaged while far too many employees with responsibility for their well being continue to enjoy the benefits of being employed. An educator needs to be more than qualified, caring, commitment, belonging and passion is a must to be a good teacher. Without those qualities all we have is someone with qualifications being paid as a teacher.
    The Parents must also do their part by giving the schools their full support as this will benefit all children and the Cayman Islands. Yes, you may not be able to teach, but how about getting your children to school on time, abide by the dress code and teach them good manners. You have them for 14 hours each school day, 60 hours over the weekend. Be responsible and care for them they are your children and did not ask to come into this world. I know it is a difficult job, but it is your responsibility to try and give them an opportunity to be the best that they can be. To you Good Parents, Thank you, you are the salt of this earth.

  12. Anonymous says:

    That is so sad!! The public should demand an explanation as to why this is slipping through the cracks! The entire Ministry is a joke, and our children are suffering the consequences of their inaction and inability to do their jobs– they all need to resign or get fired… like ASAP!!!

  13. Silver lining says:

    Hey, at least juju took a break from hollering at the sky fairy and actually considered teaching more science in schools.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How can I give multiple “thumbs-up” to this article? This person has hit the nail on the head! Education Ministry officials and its political leaders should resign!!

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