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.