Education ministry spends $195k on reusable masks

| 11/11/2021 | 42 Comments
Cayman News Service
Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly

(CNS): The Ministry of Education has purchased 44,000 reusable masks, branded with the Department of Education Services (DES) logo, for around CI$195,000 to hand out to students and teachers in government schools. The education system continues to be hit hard by the pandemic, including the University College of the Cayman Islands, which closed this week as a result of the spread there, and John Gray High school, where almost every class is now dealing with an outbreak.

According to a release from the MoE, the order comprised 30,000 child-sized masks,14,000 adult-sized masks and filters for each of the protective face coverings. All students and staff members in government schools will receive a minimum of five masks.

Under current rules, all staff and students over the age of five in educational institutions are expected to wear masks while riding the bus, moving through the school compound, while indoors, and while in a group setting, if unable to maintain a distance of six feet from others.

“It is important that we provide our students and staff with an extra layer of protection at this time as we ensure continuity of learning amidst the recent spread of COVID-19 in our schools,” Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said in a press release.

“The new masks will be utilised along with the 500 disposable masks that the Health Services Authority graciously donated to each of our schools in September. I am hopeful that through the provision of these masks, the continued implementation of the safety protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Guidance for Educational Institutions, the advice of our health officials and partnership with parents, our schools will be able to fight COVID 19 even more effectively,” the minister added.

See the COVID 19 Guidance on the CIG webpage or in the CNS Library.

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (42)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of money. We shouldn’t even need masks anymore given our high vaccination rate. Wasn’t the point of all getting vaccinated to return to normal (i.e. no masks)?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Purchased from WHO?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Typical Ju Ju, clueless but happy to waste the taxpayers money.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget to take it off when you poop (unless you are within 6 feet of another pooper). Wouldn’t want to pass out.

  5. A.J. says:

    Elect clowns, expect a circus.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You can’t get these kids to cover their mouth when they cough, you expect them to wear a mask….properly…… donkeys

  7. Anonymous says:

    One word………..WASTE.
    Typical wasteful spending.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey- that was money that’s could have been used to pave my driveway Ju Ju!

  9. Anonymous says:

    What I find amusing is the ‘security’ guards at the ready with spray sanitizer wearing masks that only cover their mouth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not amusing for me. A security guard for a school of 60 plus kids on the Brac when there is one maintenance guy between four educational sites? Money I’ll spent.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well i guess masks with embroidery is better late than never ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    But for my understanding, Can someone explain to me how is it that UCCI where everyone who is at age and are eligible to receive the vaccine….clearly adults moved to online learning after just a few cases yet the other schools where the kids(especially primary who are not eligible to receive the vaccine) and who have been “hit” the most and hardest (in my eyes) is still ongoing?

    Other than (the obvious) assisting kids who needed one, what was the purpose of buying the laptops if the kids get sick and can’t even use them? Wasn’t it to move to online learning should there be an outbreak like how it is now? Is it the same as the masks where she hopes they use/wear them at some point?

    Orrrrr is it that she just wants to spend money to say she did something?

    What has to happen before considering the children’s health to move to online learning? Are the schools not equipped to do online learning after all this time?

    These are just questions that I’m hoping to get answers to from someone 🙏

  11. Anonymous says:

    Complete waste of money but then again it is Ju Ju. How many times has the Hurricane Hilton been used in the many years since it was built?

    • watcher says:

      Yes. What should have been a multipurpose building, conveniently located next to an Olympic pool and a world-class football field. Gee, I wonder, wonder whatever connection could be made between them? GOSH! Could we host teams and actually house them????????

      • Anonymous says:

        Truth hurts doesn’t it. Tell us it’s total cost. How many teams could be housed and fed many many times over and still have saved money.

      • Anonymous says:

        And can we please actually use the pool? At least swim “coach” is gone and hopefully we can get back to Coach Hundt when pool reopens.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, everyone has had to have a mask to wear in public already for almost two years. That includes the responsible adult teaching staff being paid.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Was this the same corrupt athletics gear company that orchestrated CIFA kits? For $50k we should have posted a junior auditor to Juliana to ensure her typical boondoggle decision-making would be checked with another set of eyes. She should welcome this accountability to cover her own ass. Let’s at least get two signatories on her files going forward please? Thanks, everybody that pays, and all the unfounded social services that suffer.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh but wait till the ever fashionable GTC masks arrive from China! So much for this government wanting to support local enterprise. It’s all talk and no walk. Yes I said it! Kenneth ordered his GTC masks from effing China where Corona started, supporting their economy. But don’t worry it’s good advertising for the next election, and and excuse for him to go door to door with the cops again. I’m so disgusted with this bunch of egomaniacs.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Wet my beak” Buying Chinese crap to get some future Chinese investment back here in Cayman.

      Everything for sale $ or Yuan accepted.

      If the gov had half a brain, they’d be all in Bitcoin NOW

  15. Anonymous says:

    Only thing they are good for is saving money on toothpaste.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Julie still around ?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Let me guess. Masks cost 95K, branding cost 100K.

    • Anonymous says:

      ….and it appears that they do not fit the older children. Some are refusing to use them as they easily slip off the face……..or they refuse to carry the brand that is associated with failure.

  18. Anonymous says:

    and the vaccine remains free…..just say’n.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why not spend the money local with the seamstresses and the tailors??????????

  20. Anonymous says:

    First she paved the driveways in The Brac and I didn’t say anything;

    Next she went to Dubai First Class to tell us we won a bronze medal in Express Mail, once more I buy my tongue,

    but today, $USD5.00 a mask on a count of 44,000 ! Jeeze Louise Ms O’Connor Connolly, it’s almost like you’re spending someone else’s money ! 💸

  21. Anonymous says:

    Terrible waste of money, cloth masks do little to stop the spread of the Delta variant.

    • Anonymous says:

      A recent article in the local press stated that cloth masks are designed for reducing damage done by dust in the lungs. Surgical masks are designed to block ‘viruses carried in the air’.
      A number of manufacturers clearly state this in their advertisements.

  22. Anonymous says:

    What! Wow! I work for a school in the states and have to provide my own mask and been wearing one daily since July 2020. Would love the education dept. to pick up the price. Lucky…

  23. Anonymous says:

    Another “white elephant” serves to distract us from the pitiful job some schools are doing with teaching and learning.

    In one high school from ‘the east’ the discipline is so poor that many students do not wear masks, especially on the busses.

    May I suggest that before spending vast sums of money on laptops, school busses, face masks etc a workable, practical plan should have been put in place to ensure their effective use. BUT …. even before that find out if they were really needed.

    I know that in some classes the students may not have any books. What they do have is direct access to Minecraft.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey at least it isn’t Fortnite. Minecraft is the more sophisticated game these days for children with open minds willing to learn.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Would it be given to colleges and universities as well, who are yet to receive the LFTs.

  25. Anonymous says:

    $4.4 a mask. for 44,000. Lol.

    Great deal! Guess they didnt ask them for a bulk rate or some bobo along the way made atleast a 50% markup.

  26. Half measures again says:

    “Expected to wear masks” ? The ministry needs to absolutely mandate wearing of masks or most of those masks will end up in the dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Just like Ms Renita Gibbs/ Ebanks that happily stated on FB that she throws the LFTs sent by the government in the trash.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Bunch of damn clowns

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