80% of local kids in under-performing schools

| 07/01/2021 | 83 Comments

(CNS): Only one school across the Cayman Islands received an ‘excellent’ grade from school inspectors in 2020. The Office of Education Standards’ annual data analysis for last year revealed that almost three-quarters of all children are in under-performing schools and 80% of Caymanian students are attending schools not yet meeting the expected level of performance.

In a damning summary of local education published at the end of last month, the OES noted that Little Trotters, a kindergarten catering to children under five, was the only education establishment, from pre-school to high school, that received the top mark.

The short report showed that over the last year the office inspected 53 schools and pre-schools and only 12 received a ‘good’ report while more than half were graded as merely ‘satisfactory’ and another 13 were ‘weak’. Nearly 8,000 children are attending schools that have significant weak points and 1,906 Caymanians students attend ‘weak’ schools.

Only one quarter of all the country’s schools were graded ‘good’, most of which were private nurseries and pre-schools. Just one government school, the Light House School, which caters to children with special needs, received a ‘good’ grade. The majority of the government schools were rated ‘satisfactory’.

Inspectors said that all of the schools that were rated ‘weak’ were re-inspected and had made progress, but overall there had been slow progress in schools addressing the recommendations and suggested pathways to future success by the OES.

See the full report in the CNS Library.

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Category: Education, Government oversight, Local News, Private Sector Oversight

Comments (83)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Underperforming????? Wow
    Who/where are the majority of the teachers from?

  2. Socrates Belmont says:

    Education starts at home we can NOT expect teachers to take the whole responsability to educate our kids. We can have the best system in the world but if we as parents don’t try our part it will be failure no matter what angle you look it at.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Have a read while you’re all busy blaming teachers and parents. I know many want to talk about children’s attitudes toward school, but trust me some of these kids don’t even stand a chance. The system is set up for only the 1% to achieve and “they, the powers that be” are well aware of this fact.


    “There is no long-term strategic plan for education that sets out the goals, objectives and success measures, including outcomes to achieve the overarching strategic broad outcome. A long-term approach is needed for education, as it can take a number of years for changes in policy and activity to have an

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s embarrassing when the executive assistants at some of our largest law firms are sending emails to US hedge fund managers that are barely literate, with random capitalisations, apostrophes and basic words spelled three different ways in the same paragraph. It is so common I am more surprised when I see something written correctly.

    I don’t think it is an understatement to say this is the single biggest issue facing the Cayman Islands. The crime, obesity, poverty, corruption, even poor driving skills can all be related back to never developing the skill of learning.

    There is money to fix it- more than enough. And it would be the greatest give we could give our children and their children. But Juliana and the current crop of idiots are never going to do it. We need MLAs who actually care about people other than themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      The sad thing is our education budget per pupil is the highest in the world by some margin (except Lux)

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am a teacher at one of the government schools. I had a young man (who is failing my class) say to me, “My mom said your subject isn’t important so she doesn’t care about your class.” I confiscated an iPhone 11 max from this same young man a few days later – he said to me he got that phone as a gift for getting 50% in his English exam…

    But I guess I, as the teacher, am to be blamed for this, right?

    • Had to actually work today...phew says:

      Maybe pick up the phone, contact the parent. A CNS post just makes you seem immature about the importance of your roll.

      And finally, in the real world going beyond expectation will usually reap reward. If you care about the student you will HELP make this right.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is a shame that we now accept without fuss any standard of grammar in a blog post. Perhaps this leads to poor English in later, more formal correspondence. The post at 11.05 proves the point.

        Roll or role ?
        Reward or rewards ?

        • 345 says:

          Sadly it is too late for me but I get by.

          To your point and mine, HELPING works better than complaining or talking down. You are the provider, in this case, stop looking for every obstacle to speak down or fault those under your guidance.

          But you are a one-trick pony after all

    • Anonymous says:

      50% on English! He’ll be management material in the minds of some!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Would like to share a story once told to me by my boss. (He is retired now but held a very high position in government, which he served well). Will make it brief. As a kid, he decided to skip school one day and go fishing. When he though it was all well and dandy, something told him to look over his shoulder. When he looked, he saw his teacher with the rest of the students standing on the beach. His teacher told him ” that should be enough time for him to catch fish, and would like for him to spend the rest of the day in class”. The moral of the story was to simply show how much the teacher cared about educating the children and his patience.

    His teacher’s name is Mr. Roy Bodden.

    • Anonymous says:

      Today if a teacher dared to do what that teacher did then, they would be written up for compromising the health and safety of all the other kids, the parents would also report said teacher to the ministry, and the child on the beach would be coerced into accusing the teacher of stalking him/her. The teacher would then be placed on administrative leave pending investigation. When I first arrived on island in 2016 I used to pick kids up take them to school and drop them home after school as well (the ones that take the public bus)…..but the longer I worked in the system I learned to stop doing those things. The counselors preach child health and safety which forbids teachers from actually caring about their students. I have students who love to hug, but if I hug Jack too often one child can report me and I be placed on administrative leave pending investigation, no questions asked. I want you to realize that teachers still care, but because of the current climate we are afraid to go to certain extent in the Cayman Islands. Back home kids would come to my house for extra lesson. When I was a child attending high school I went to my male IT teacher house for extra lesson. Same with my female Accounts teacher. Here in cayman this cannot happen because of the parents, children and DES. Stop saying that teachers don’t care, we care. We are just afraid, afraid of some parents, afraid of some kids, and afraid of losing our jobs. When a teacher loses their job because of some child endangering accusations its hard for us to get a job teaching again. Please see things from our perspective as well.

  7. Anonymous says:

    BIG UP, Little Trotters. You are our future…..in a couple decades…!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      This can only mean more dumb dumb, Luddite, corruptible politicians to come. They have been trained well.

  8. Anonymous says:

    i work with some young caymanians. i am staggered at the way theu struggle with the basics of maths and written/oral communication.
    their work ethic, time keeping and common courtesy is another story entirely.

  9. Anonymous says:

    They’re many children graduating from high school that don’t know their multiplication table. How can you qualify to work in a bank? My granduncle who had 6th grade education memorized his multiplication tables and could read a rule. He was a carpenter. Sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      The current education plan that DES has does not encourage the teaching of these old methods and therein lies the problem. They subscribe to skip counting and other fancy methods. But at the end of the day a child who can skip count by 5 still cannot identify what 3×5 is or what is 15÷3. Its ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      To add to your point, many do not know when to use “there” and “they’re”!

    • Anonymous says:

      There are not they’re
      Are you sad he was a carpenter?
      I think studying the alphabet and multiplication table are the most basic rules parents should be responsible for teaching their children. Most books have the answers even if they don’t understand or know the tables.

      The main issue I have experienced with the private and public schools is the obvious bullying, name calling, negativity towards Caymanian children who are not from families who can influence their lives in some way or if the chilcren are not from their country of origin. I have found too many African Caribbean teachers to be racist or defensive which translates into a form of jealousy towards the Cyamanain children.

      For eg the post above about child being rewarded with a phone, we have no details of true context, parent might be very proud for a 50% because they might not have achieved even that level, how much the phone cost or what it is all need for and how much effort the parent used to try to provide motivation.

      But like that poster above, they see the efforts by many Caymanians as being too materialistic (I don’t necessarily agree with this) but maybe they’re doing their best with their level of education and parenting skills. But if the teacher, supposedly the professional comes with so much judgment against the student and parent, how will that teacher really assist them genuinely? How are those feelings of disgust, judgment, maybe jealousy because of their own suffering in their country of origin create a caring learning environment? Caymanians please wake up, your children are being profiled, bullied from primary school and throughout to adulthood to destroy their hope, dreams and potential.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is as much (if not more) a sad indictment on parents as it is on teachers.

    Learning begins at home. Period.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try again. It’s a 20% indictment on government, for their back and forth idiotic policies, a 50% indictment on some parents, a 20% indictment on some students, and a 10% indictment on some of the poor teachers. Send a student thirsty, ready and able to learn, and you could teach the student to become a doctor, underneath a coconut tree – no classroom, no electronics required.

    • Anonymous says:

      80% of Caymanian cultured kids are not brought up to value education. Which is then blamed on the teachers. Can’t change this with money or politics. It will be this way for a long time .

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t even know where to begin. Why are we only blaming the teachers? The entire system is in shambles. Maybe MEYSAL can create a “Teach Only” mandate where teachers actually go to school and teach, away with all these fancy events!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Does anybody learn anything in the public school system? Most of the John Gray an Clifton Hunter HS graduates know nothing, zero, on essentially everything

  12. Anonymous says:

    The fact that we pay inspectors to do their job but then the Ministry of Education does NOTHING to empower change in the education system is a complete waste of everyone’s time.

    • Big Poppa says:

      Have been saying the same thing over and over again. Put these useless inspectors to do some real work – in the classrooms. Make them teach these students year after year. Provide all teachers across the island with an opportunity to “learn” from these inspectors, by observing the inspectors teach. Let’s just see how well they implement “best practices”. I would imagine all inspectors would fail. That’s why they couldn’t wait to get out of the classroom. F- to the useless inspectors who do nothing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is a sad and shameful indictment not only of our education system but our role as parents.

    We have all let our children down.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, 3:00 pm, it is not an indictment of MY role as a parent. We have not ALL let our kids down. Please do not generalize.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok… you’re part of the 20%. Then it’s a sad indictment of 80% of the other local parents.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Remember back in the day when you folk even had a video of young adults doing further education. (70’s?) That was actually here!! Here on this island!! They had decent schools for their youth after high school!! Imagine

    • Anonymous says:

      4:11 pm Would you expect any better when the head of education is more lost than the teachers. Hire experience teachers from abroad and stop filling up the schools with first timers with no experience.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have no idea what you’re saying. A vast majority of teachers hired are experienced teachers who have taught in multiple countries, as far as Germany and beyond. The problem lies in the fact that a huge amount of ks4, ks5 and pre-university lecturers are hired and then are thrown in to teach ks3. The approach for teaching ks3 is vastly different from ks4. A prime example of this is at Clifton. Plenty of strong ks4 and ks5 teachers but not enough ks3 teachers. Teachers are not being deployed appropriately to maximize on their skills. DES has the staff, the money and the technology but what they are doing is asking a fisherman to build a hut. They need to align hiring with a desire to meet gaps and needs in subject departments. But that will never happen because subject leaders are not consulted and are not on the interview panel when DES is recruiting teachers. Imgaine you’re the subject leader of a department and you know the kind of teacher your department needs, you know what is lacking and in the new school year a teacher comes and you have no idea what their qualifications are, where they previously taught, what year group they are strongest with….you know ntn and you finally learn the facts and realize that this person cannot meet the needs of the department because maybe you wanted a teacher with SEN background to do invertention classes or a teacher who is good in a particular area or a ks3 teacher.

    • Anonymous says:

      Their are too many children brought here to get FREE education and who are funded by NAU. If her parents can’t take care of them, they should not be allowed on island. We are creating the problems by allowing low income people/parents to dump their burden on us.

  15. Anonymous says:

    You people just keep leaving the education of your future to go to H£ll. Just keep popping out dumbasses and get stuck with more dumbasses in your future government. Dah wah ya get!

    Keep the poor islanders poorly edumacated. That’s the trick. And not one of your imbeciles in government care as long as the trough stays open for their snout to get their fill before it all gets squandered away.

    While the expats keep their nose to the grindstone and the eye on the goal. You should take heed of that instead of whining about them taking your jobs that you do not qualify for.

    It’s not just a tagline. EDUCATION IS THE WAY!!

    • Anonymous says:

      1:24pm. Many parents have gone the extra mile to help their children get better education, but our government must appreciate those who are willing to forge ahead and give them the support that their parents cannot afford.
      Education costs more than some parent can afford. Stop giving scholarships to those whose parents can afford to pay for tertiary education. Help the less fortunate who are smart but doesn’t have the means to achieve.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why companies need to hire so many expats…

    • Anonymous says:

      Because when they get them on work permit they advertise the post when renewable comes out 4 days before the due date internally through email instead of publicizing it.

      “to fulfill immigration requirements” WHEN CAYMANIANS COULD HAVE FILLED THE POST? WTF

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, employers are jumping at the chance to hire Caymanians who underperformed at school. Some of these kids coming out of school can’t read or write past a 2nd grade level. And you want businesses to hire them instead of educated expats?

      • Anonymous says:

        No, the point of the comment was that they need to hire expats, because 80% underperform in school, and therefore are not equipped to handle the job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Expat here. AGREE!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t matter, you’ll all get government jobs because you’ll be related to someone in authority

  18. Anonymous says:

    Under performing parents, teachers, education system, ministers, government and Caymanian society in general.
    Self entitlement and rank stupidity rule this island, as McKeeva has proven on more than one occasion.

    • Anonymous says:

      I said time an time again giving teachers one thousand raise of pay, wouldn’t change anything. People either had good work ethics or they didn’t have it, and more money don’t make good work ethics.

      • Anonymous says:

        Raising their pay is a good bloody start don’t you think…?

        • Anonymous says:

          7:49 pm, you must be from UK, may even be the one that after they got the raise said good now they can go home and have a good vacation. Nothing about trying harder to help the kids.

          • Anonymous says:

            So true. The pay raise was to attract teachers from the UK who complained about the low salary. But it seems they cannot be satisfied at all.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Downloaded the report. Page 4 is the summary of how many schools are excellent, good, etc. and the number of students in them. Unfortunately, the author uses the “”>” (greater than) sign when trying to show that “<“ (less than) 1% of schools are excellent and <1% of students attend them. Not the end of the world, but friggin disappointing to see in the annual report of a supposedly educated group.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Inexperienced, uninspired leadership. Failing schools/teachers need strong leaders with proven skills and uncompromising courage NOT weak ‘yes men’ from the ministry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Education begins at home. I’m an ex-pat from the UK and lucky enough to have had (she passed away in early 2012) a mother who was a teacher. By the time we (I had a younger brother and sister now also gone) went to school we could all read, write and do basic maths. All of us went to grammar school, my sister went on to university while my brother went into TV and I went into the civil service.

      I still (just about!) remember starting my junior school days with a class where most of the other kids couldn’t even tie their shoe laces and that’s what you’ve got here. Too many parents who regard school as a dumping ground for kids they probably never wanted in the first place.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said. Most parents here do not read to their kids, listen to how their day went, look through their books, help them with homework, teach them how to cross a busy road or how to handle money. It’s so sad. They are always too busy but never miss an appointment to get their hair and nails done, always out in the club on weekends or flying out to Miami to shop. Grow up parents of cayman.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Teachers can’t focus on teaching because their too busy, buying lunches for kids that didn’t eat since lunchtime the day before, they’re writing up reports for kids that told them their being assaulted at home, they’re busy….80% of students are in underperforming schools because 80% of parents are under performing in cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you…..I wrote reports, set and mark tests, and address unwanted behaviour more than how I teach. It’s ridiculous. And when I think I’ll be able to teach..surprise surprise…half my class is out for some stupid event

    • Anonymous says:

      11:17am. Check the background of those parents/chldren and you have your answer.

      • Anonymous says:

        how exactly is that an ‘answer’? we need solutions/tools to fix the societal issues in this country, not identifying the lineage of individuals.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Big surprise! Just go back to third world status Cayman Islands and your doing great! Soon come.

  23. Anonymous says:

    @CNS – Is there a school inspection for UCCI given some children complete year 12 there?

    CNS: That’s a good question for Auntie. I’ll see if I can wake her up from her long nap.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Two part issue – Those in charge of this system and the children’s home.

    Those who have the responsibility for the continually failing education system need to be shamed. It’s clear that they do not care for the improvement of education and the its been too long now that every year we hear failing grades for schools

    The parents of the children also bear responsibility. There is a lack of leadership and proper upbringing in homes here. Children are too quick to disrepect any and every one they feel like because they know there will be no consequences.

    The Cayman mentality will have the country collapse in a few generations.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t all of the public school teacher’s just get a salary increase?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Thats cause no one cares what the children learn cause the teacher’s don’t pay attention to the child in need other than a pay check

  27. Anonymous says:

    It’s all part of the plan…that’s how you keep them voting for the likes of Bush, Jon Jon and Juju for years to come!
    If they really wanted to improve education they would have done it by now. When they really want something, like a fancy new regiment or pay raises, they can get it done quickly and under the radar. Education gets the same or less effort than fixing the dump!

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