Ministry adapts UK primary curriculum

| 23/08/2019 | 73 Comments
Cayman News Service
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Governor Martyn Roper

(CNS): When government primary schools open next week, children will be following a new curriculum, government officials have said. The Ministry of Education has adopted and adapted the English national curriculum, which officials have said includes localized social studies that will see children learning about Cayman history and culture. The official announcement was made at the recent Annual Educators’ Professional Welcome event.

According to CIGTV news and a press release from the ministry, which came via a local media company, Tammy Hopkins, the acting director of the Department of Education Services, also revealed that 80 new teachers have been appointed. However, it is not clear if these are new jobs to help deliver the new curriculum or vacancies created by the departure of staff at the end of the last school year.

CNS has submitted questions on this issue and numerous others but we have heard nothing from the new publicity firm contracted by the ministry. The media was not invited to the event to hear and document either the acting director’s announcements or the education minister’s address about this new curriculum, the appointment of the new teachers and what appears to be a considerable boost in investment for schools for books and other resources. We have also requested transcripts of speeches.

In a brief extract from Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly’s address in the press release, she revealed that the government has supplied laptops for all government teachers.

“I did promise you that we were going to get text books back into the classroom,” O’Connor-Connolly told the education staff at the event. “Science books have previously been delivered to all of their destinations in our schools. We can already see the upward mobility in the science related areas. I am not just satisfied with that though. I want science coaches available to every single primary school and we will be working to make sure the necessary assistance is there.”

The minister said that around CI$1 million has been spent on new resources for the curriculum, and programmes such as ‘Power Maths’ have been implemented.

Government is still under fire for poor education standards, which have been directly exposed over the last few years, from the original base-line inspections, which happened under the previous minister, to the more recent individual school inspection reports that have exposed a number of shortcomings across government schools and in many private schools as well.

The ministry is hoping that combined with the investment in resources, the increase in staff and last year’s pay increases, the new curriculum will push up standards in all schools.

The new curriculum covers the subject areas of English, maths, science, art and design, computing, design and technology, Spanish, life skills, music, physical education, religious education and social studies. Social studies, which has been adapted to reflect the Cayman Islands context, comprises three main strands: social organisation, civics and economics; geography and the environment; and history, culture and identity.

Officials have said that the implementation of an early years curriculum for Reception is also expected to go live for the upcoming new school year.

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (73)

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  1. Are you kidding me??? says:

    Are you kidding me?? The Ministry of Education is changing the curriculum AGAIN….

    CNS: The rest of this comment can be found here.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is no such thing as a UK primary curriculum. Ignorantly equating England with the UK again?

  3. Anonymous says:

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

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another change to the curriculum! When will these political morons stop messing with our childrens’ education in favour of their own experimentation?!

  5. Anonymous says:

    “I did promise you..” ” I “???? I s she spending her personal money?
    Paving machine operators should pave roads.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Elsewhere in the world:

    In primary school, kids study mathematics, nature studies, native language, reading, a foreign language, drawing, music, physical education, and chess(optional).

    The curriculum of the secondary school looks like this: native language and literature, a foreign language, algebra, geometry, informatics, history, social science, geography, natural history, biology, physics, chemistry, life safety fundamentals, physical education, handcrafts.

    In senior high school, students get in addition to continuing secondary school curriculum: mechanical drawing, astronomy, world art culture.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Do they teach Newton physics? chemistry, both organic and inorganic? Anatomy, zoology and botanics? Quantum physics? Geometry? That is what kids in other countries learn at schools. What about music? Field trips to classic music concerts and theater? Critical thinkng and decision making?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Right, well, except for literally millions of transitional fossils representing many millions of different species that have lived over billions of years. Yeah, except for that, evolution is totally dumb.


    • Anonymous says:

      Why complain? Positive change is happening. I believe in the Ministers vision for a world class education system. Cayman is leading the world in so many areas. So why not Education.

      • anon says:

        8.49am Only Caymanians could ever dream of describing any of their institutions as “world class”, now they have extended this farcical habit to claim Cayman is “leading the world in so many areas”. I’m afraid this habit of fantasy is one of them, along with our performance in culling 850,000 green iguanas.

      • Anonymous says:

        Besides leading the world in cost of living, what else?

        • Anonymous says:

          Why are you still here???

        • Anonymous says:

          The fact that people believe Cayman is the most expensive place in the world to live because of some blog demonstrates the need for a good education- one that develops critical thinking.

          No empirical or truly independent evidence to back that. I guarantee you from personal experience and statistics that Bermuda is way above Cayman in expense, From real estate to groceries. Can’t touch ‘em. Their people are migrating in droves.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:49, Bobo, you need to get off the island and see some of the rest of the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really. Name one.

    • Anonymous says:

      The English curriculum is inferior in that it trashes values that it knows nothing about.
      Locust mentality.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This should not be rocket science, simple go to the schools who scored excellent inspection scores and ask for assistance and adapt there teaching curriculum and see what is missing from the public schools.

    This is but the first step, the second being how to deal with the behaviour of children in school.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wait, I’m confused. Julianna O’Conner-Connel-Connery now likes science? When did this happen? She used to think evolution wasn’t real and the earth is 6,000 years old.

    And what exactly does “religious education “ mean? Is a presentation of several major world religions, their claims and practices? Or is it just the usual indoctrination program designed to dim young minds and turn out more Christian fundamentalists?


    • Anonymous says:

      Evolution is not real. There is nothing in the fossil record to suggest it is. Try facts and not opinions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mmm you are being sarcastic right?!
        You can get university degrees in Evolution & you study actual fossils…

      • Anonymous says:

        Lol……yeah. We just ‘appeared’ on the planet. Sent here by the purple spaghetti monster in the sky.

        • Anonymous says:

          Such ignorance on display. It is almost embarrassing. Perhaps you can explain consciousness, the very thing that is invisible and you cannot exist without. You will be moaning when called upon to give account of your tenure in this dimension.
          This boorish horde mentality has to stop.
          There are people who are genuinely seeking answers through dialogue, science and spirituality and your contribution is a “purple spaghetti monster in the sky”.
          Come on, you can do better than that!

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m headed for hell
            All the whores are down there. Much more fun.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you for presenting the classic hollow defense of religious nonsense: “You can’t explain something, therefore my god is real.” Just think for two seconds how stupid that is. Ignorance, mine or yours, proves nothing, least of all the existence of your particular god.


    • Anonymous says:

      School doesn’t have any business teaching my child any religion. I don’t care which one it is.

  11. Anonymous says:

    God Bless JuJu.

  12. Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

    Oh my here we go again. If my memory serves me right wasn’t this MLA the same one years ago who changed our education curriculum with others. And we wonder why our children are failing, our schools are failing. It is high time the ministry and the current Unity Government own up. They have failed our children. Changing the system every 4 years does no one any good. Shame on you all. Why not bring back some of our educators and teachers from the 80’s and 90’s. One person shouldn’t have the power to hold our children down. Own up that you all have failed our children, which are our future.

    Thank you.

  13. Accurate Andy says:

    There is no “UK curriculum”. Education is a developed issue. Cayman is using the English curriculum.

  14. Anonymous says:

    OMG! Really?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Will there be a new dress code? Just asking.

  16. Anonymous says:

    2019 and Cayman finally gets a national curriculum. FAIL

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully the new teachers is the Special Needs Education teachers that is urgently needed in our schools. That one of our past minister”s for Education the Hon. Tara Rivers the second elected politician for West Bay suppose too have got for our schools. That no more public annoucements have not being made or given to the public in a longtime about those Special Needs Education teachers that suppose too be flooding our schools by now. Our schools will soon be getting a Anti Bulling law but that will not help those students/children that have the learning disabilities. Because most of the behavioural problems that is happening in our schools today is coming from the children that have Special Needs disabilities and they are not getting the special education that is needed. So those children got frustrated and will continue to express or show their frustrations with their behaviour. If the children that needs special education attention teaching do not get the special needs education teaching those children will end up in the judiciary system. And it will only be at the mercy of the judges and other law enforcers to hear and understand those children voices, struggles and stories and to be given the opportunities for a better future. What is really needed is for the Discrimination and stigma to be stopped in our schools and in the public against our special needs childtren. And not to say or be saying our children is bad they just have a disability or different types of disabilities that have to be given special attention. Most of those children have a chemical imbalance in their brains causing their brains not too work or react normal.

  17. Anonymous says:

    If by localized studies, they mean the primary school textbooks that focus on the unspoken tiers of citizenship: paper/driftwood, birthright/belonger and ofc, Status Grant of 2003…is worth keeping that curriculum unchanged?!

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Really? At this day and age, the ‘degrees of citizenship’ of the Cayman Islands makes a difference? I have traveled a lot; this is the only country I’ve been in that even HAS degrees of citizenship. You go to the U.S., go through the process, and you can be every bit as much a citizen as anyone else (unless you are running for President).

      Why does it even matter? Yes, in 2002-2003 the Premier at that time gave away lots and lots of status grants. Can we take it back? No we can’t. Prior to and after that time, people had to actually qualify for Caymanian Status, wherein heritage was a primary consideration.

      What is done is done. Zero reason to persecute anyone because they are a few degrees less Caymanian than you or me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm, there are no degrees of citizenship here and we are not a country. You are either Caymanian or you are not. You are either a BOTC or you are not. The fact that some civil servants do not understand that is irrelevant.

  18. Anonymous says:

    As long as time is wasted in our schools on standalone religious education our students will always be behind other areas of the world

    It’s not that hard of a concept, if you want an education that specializes in religion or religious philosophies the time and place for that is a tertiary setting and institution not primary or secondary institutions
    The only thing accomplished by bombarding children with specific religious dogma is the continued brainwashing of generations who simply do as they are told when they are children

    Until Cayman wises up our students will always be fighting an uphill battle in terms of education and placement in top tier insitutions of higher learning

  19. Anonymous says:

    Someone needs to ask the Minister why she has reneged on her promise to teachers to get them to $5000 per month by August this year and glossed over this in seconds in her speech. It was just one of many things that contributed to poor teacher morale at the start of the year.

  20. Anon says:

    The Minister once again shows her disdain for the media and the public. Parents need to be informed of exactly what changes are being made. Pupils need to have enhanced facilities to improve their basics, reading, writing and arithmetic so they can be ready for university entrance and subsequently the local workplace.I am not aware of many opportunities here in science unless it’s teaching.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Good. About time. Perhaps the next generation can compete. The government has destroyed the prospects of most of the last two generations.

  22. Anonymous says:

    OMG!! She actually did her job for once.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Please no negative comments, Lets pray it works out for the best for the Children.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Look like they at the grand opening of Mr Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Sing it with me….

    • Anonymous says:

      ooompa lumpa dippity dooo

    • Anonymous says:

      I did not want to be the first to comment on that : )

    • Anonymous says:

      10 04 no need to trash the Honorable lady. She has stepped forward to help her island nation. Have you stepped up to the plate? Are you a perfect person? No big rock throwing when you probably have challenges of your own. We thank you Honorable Juliana that you step forward to rise above the circumstances of the day and you give time, talent and treasure. We pray for you, teachers and students in the new school year ahead.

      • Anonymous says:

        To answer your two questions; Yes and yes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stepping up by paving driveways for those in need!

      • Anonymous says:

        Save it! Juju does what is best for juju

      • Anonymous says:

        7:01 pm- oohh please! There’s nothing Honorable about her!! She’s more concerned with telling the public to show up, uninvited to a gay wedding ceremony then she is to communicate to the public (aka parents of children in gov’t schools) about her new curriculum or whatever BS she wants to fling today)!

        Let’s just shut our mouths until the next Education Inspection to see how many of her schools remaining a FAILURE!! She should have been fired years ago! SMH

  25. Anonymous says:

    You people are no naive. They plagiarized the English curriculum in 2007/2008. This is no different other than the fact they are owning up it this time.

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