The last People’s Progressive Movement Government has failed in several of its major policies. Many projects could have been phased so that some part could have been completed without financially damaging the Cayman Islands.
Alden McLaughlin is a prime example of failure on some of his responsibilities. The schools are very important. It is not what is intended, but what he did. In the past prudent Education ministers built good but affordable schools and spent money on teachers and resources.
A school building is only a part of educating our children. Why did Mr McLaughlin not build affordable schools which Government could afford to complete? All schools built in the past were good and were completed without financially hurting Cayman, but probably did not all together cost $60 million in total.
The former Education Minister and the PPM government are sending a wrong message to children and the country when they spend beyond Governments means. The two $120 million unfinished schools are twin financial mistakes.
The money borrowed and spent on these could have built four good schools, including George Town Primary, the West Bay high school (where about $5million was spent on site works!), and the two unfinished schools.
Eight hundred children graduated from schools and colleges this year instead of about 400 in one of Caymans worst economic recessions. Adding another year to the school age is good, but why do so at this time when there are no jobs available? The former Minister Mc Laughlin has created severe hardship on some of these young people who cannot find jobs.
Another failure of Mr. McLaughlin was Cayman being put on the bad OECD grey list through his not doing what was necessary. Fortunately for Cayman the new Leader of Government Business [now Premier] took advice from the private sector and with an experienced proactive team which included George McCarthy, a former financial secretary and gentleman with international standing and extensive experience who had this portfolio in the past, Cayman is on the white list and a member of an important OECD committee.
The extensive changes to the education system should have been phased. They are creating problems to teachers and students. The changes have to be assessed carefully by the new education minister and his team and the good changes only introduced in a timely manner. Education should not be rushed.
The PPM government’s many failures are examples of transferring power from competent and experienced Caymanian official members to politicians with less experience and relevant qualifications, some of whom have chips on their shoulders. This is what the new constitution will do extensively without the necessary checks and balances.
Cayman’s children and future generations will spend their lives repaying the massive loans from the PPM government’s failures and PPM’s spending beyond their means. At least the electorate voted out the PPM before they did further damage, if that is imaginable.
Truman Bodden John McLean