Many of our Caymanian children are falling behind in the core areas of reading, writing and arithmetic.
And while those in the Ministry of Education say great strides are being made to rectify those numbers and bring students up to speed, the 2012 results show we have failed hundreds if not thousands of children.
What’s worse, if you compare those scores to minimum standards in the UK, our public schools – if they were in the UK – would be considered to be failing and emergency steps taken.
There should be some way to test children before the end of each school year to determine if they should actually be promoted. If they can’t read or do math at a minimum level in Year 4, they shouldn’t be allowed to advance to Year 5.
The public would be shocked at the number of Caymanian students who apply for jobs with top businesses – ours included – that cannot write, spell or do basic math.
But the Cayman Islands still employs social promotion, despite promises from administration after administration to halt the practice.
The Cayman Islands has hosted education conferences, seminars, meetings and think tanks year after year where experts have told educators to end the practice of promoting students through school with their peers without satisfying academic requirements or meeting performance indicators at key grades.
Research shows that passing students on to the next grade when they are unprepared doesn’t prepare students for future employment or for college. It also doesn’t do much for their self esteem or achievement.
Our leaders, administrators, teachers, parents and community members need to expect more of our students and of themselves.
We look forward to the new path the Education Department seems to be on, but we also expect to see major results from our students.