Our Education Minister seems to be full of surprises – good surprises.
Minister Alden McLaughlin took time from his hectic schedule last week to sit down with the folks who are actually at the heart of his ministry – adolescents.
And he went about it the right way.
Mr. McLaughlin didn’t attend the gathering with a planned speech or agenda. He went to hear what our young people had on their minds.
Hear he did.
The 50 or so youths in attendance weren’t shy.
There is a litany of problems and issues facing the young people of the Cayman Islands.
The Minister heard about the concern about the lack of places for teens to gather after school or during weekends. Many of the students at the gathering prefer to spend their weekends out of night clubs.
Several of the teens expressed a desire for more career training while they’re in school. They want to learn how to be professional in the workplace.
As a business that interviews and hires young Caymanians either still in school or right out of school, we have to agree.
The teens handled the meeting right, too.
They didn’t just come with issues and problems, they came with solutions.
They suggested to Mr. McLaughlin that work experience placements be expanded to new businesses, that the education system implements more career counselling and personality profiling to match the individual with the career best suited to the students’ personality.
We’re sure the Minister came away from the meeting with a head filled with issues and ideas the education system can address and implement to give our students the best rounded education available.
And that’s what this latest effort of Mr. McLaughlin’s is.
As Education Minister he wants to do all that is in his power to ensure that every student in Government schools receives more than just a good education.
What better place to find out what’s needed than to go to the consumers of the Cayman Islands education product?
Mr. McLaughlin is to be commended for meeting with the youths.
We hope he came away from the meeting with some solid ideas of how to address the issues students raised.
And we hope that he continues the meetings.
From the students we’ve spoken to the opportunity to meet with the Minister meant a lot to them.
They appreciate his efforts and so do we.