Stop social promotion now

Over the years we’ve heard many
complaints about expensive studies concerning specific issues in the Cayman
Islands that have not been implemented or simply ignored.

Usually all we’ve lost out on is
the money that was spent on those studies and the manpower committed.

But in the case of the Yolande Forde
Report done in 2006, we’ve wasted more than just money by ignoring the study –
we’ve potentially lost Caymanians and others.

The Forde report pointed a finger of
blame on the criminality in the Cayman Islands square on the education system
and its practice of social promotion – advancing students to higher grades
based on age and not merit.

Those students then become adults
and expect the same sort of promotion when they enter the job market where
promotion is based on the ability to do the job.

And when people don’t work, some
turn to drug crimes such as assaults, thefts and burglaries.

It is upsetting that we have had
the information from the study in hand but have ignored it year after year.

We have got to stop social
promotion in our government school system. And it has to stop with this
administration and this minister.

Socially promoted students rarely
graduate and they become adults who are not prepared for life or work.

Parents should be taking a stake in
this too. If a parent sees that his or her child isn’t prepared to be advanced
to the next grade, they should speak up and insist that the student learn the
necessary skills to move on. If they don’t, they have failed their children and
are teaching them how to be failures in life.

We can arm all of the police in the
Cayman Islands, we can make laws more stringent and we can throw all of our
money and resources to fighting crime, but we have to look at the root cause,
which the Forde Report did.

This country can’t afford to go one
more year with social promotion of students. We owe it to the future of this
country to do the right thing by our students.


  1. Stop Social Promotion Now

    Wow ! All I can say is that this lady, Ms Yolanda Ford must be one brilliant professional in her field to have produced such accurate evidence in her report.

    I have never attended any government school, either in Jamaica or the Cayman Islands and have had the privilege of attending and graduating from two of the very best schools in Jamaica, between which a high school career was sandwiched at a church-based private high school in the Cayman Islands.

    At no school that I have graduated from has ‘social promotion’ been any part of the education system and at no private schools in the Cayman Islands has ‘social promotion’ been a part of the education system of these schools as far as I am aware of.

    If we did not get the grades and pass the exams we were not promoted and could qualify for graduation; no compromises or exceptions.

    From way back when we used to hear it rumoured that it was common in the Government schools of the Cayman Islands and did not only mean promotion by age but also ‘streaming’ by socio-economic status in Caymanian society.

    No doubt, Ms. Ford’s findings has great merit when checked against the nepotism in the Civil Service, the underperforming of some members of the workforce who have been ‘socially’ promoted and some of the underhand tactics in the workplace, including sabotage of colleagues work and careers, that this education culture has led to.

    Include the ‘culture of entitlement’ that is encouraged by this practice and you can clearly see why and where it needs to be done away with as soon as possible.

    Brilliant work, Ms. Ford !

  2. What a concept??? One does not get promoted to the next grade in school unless they have the academic grade requirements. What stupidity on the part of our government. Actually our government is a great example of this concept. Persons serving in posts for which they are not qualified on a social or educational level. In my opinion this is part of the reason for the contempt held by Caymanians toward expats. Lets face it. The majority of school “graduates” in Cayman do not possess the educational and/or social skills to function in the work place and the community. Most of them are too immature. What is the reason for this concept anyway? Who came up with such an idiotic idea? Thankfully, even though I am Caymanian, I was educated in the US. In my opinion graduates from high school in Cayman are about as educationally and socially prepared to move forward in employment and life as those in the rest of the world at a middle school level. That may seem harsh, but has anyone actually paid any attention to the curriculum of our schools. When I graduated high school in the US in the early 80’s I had to have mastered trigonometry / algegra / calculus math, chemistry, biology, health (including sex education)yes even the taboo of sex, ecomonics, world history, business administration, “english” that was not only focused on grammar, and many other topics which fully prepared me for transition into a 4 year university. In fact in my senior year of english class I completed a 40 page report on the Shakespearean play Mc Beth as a requirement and all without the benefit of a “portable computer” or the internet.

    Hopefully this will reach the ears of someone who pay attention and realize that we are doing our young people an injustice by perpetuating this concept of “social promotion”. It just amazes me that our children are allowed to graduate at the age of 16 or 17 and then leashed upon the harsh world of social responsibility which usually lands them in social and economic problems when they cant get a job making the salary that they feel entitled to.

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