Students can be their best in school

Are we about to see the change in the Cayman Islands education system that’s been a long time coming and much needed?
In today’s cover story in the Observer on Sunday we read that Michael Myles, working through the Education Ministry, has a plans to get school children on the right track from early on.

He has introduced a Behaviour Education Support Team to the department to target at-risk youth.

Educators can tell from an early age whether a child has the potential to be a future achiever or a problem in the long run. It is at that juncture – when the child is still in primary school – that flags need to be raised and children steered to the right course.

It is hoped that the programme will be able to use the expertise of staff in various agencies and groups, such as the Department of Children and Family Services, the schools, counsellors, the police service and others to prevent at-risk children from developing emotional and behavioural problems.

The idea isn’t new. It’s been implemented sporadically over the years; usually as a knee jerk reaction when something goes awry.

But we can’t lay the failure of the programme over the years squarely at the education system’s feet.

For any programme involving children to work, parents have got to be involved. Read today’s cover story in The Observer on Sunday and learn of a young man who led a troubled life, wound up in jail and is now a success.

His life was doomed from the beginning because his parents just didn’t care. And we think he has a pretty good idea; there should be more stringent laws in the Cayman Islands that allow the prosecution of negligent parents. As an aside to the Best programme, Myles has also instituted extended after-school programmes for secondary schools.

The plan is to get kids out of the house, away from the computer and television between the time school is out and supper is served (again this depends on caring parents) and get them to engage in physical activity.

The future of the Cayman Islands is in the hands of our children. It is incumbent upon us as a society to do all that we can to ensure they are properly educated and to identify those that could be future problems. The bill will be cheaper now than in Northward later.

The Observer on Sunday hopes that this time the programme will stick and that all involved will work together to ensure our at-risk youth are identified early and measures taken to help them. They deserve it.