Education minister touts successes

Government circulates one-year progress report for Tara Rivers

Government has released a “one-year progress report” touting the “many key accomplishments” of Minister Tara Rivers and her counselor Winston Connolly in their first year in office.

The report, circulated by the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs, is a two-page flyer of bullet-point lists summarizing the work that has been done within the ministry’s various departments over the past 12 months. A press release from government suggested the ministry had produced the document. 

“In an effort to highlight and inform the public of the work undertaken and achieved in the first year, the Ministry has released a one year progress report outlining the many key accomplishments to date,” the release stated. 

Minister Rivers is quoted in the release as saying, “This year has been a very productive one. We have made great strides in many key areas in a relatively short period of time. We still have a long way to go, but we have made tremendous progress already in this first year since taking office, and it is important for us to share this progress and the accomplishments with the country, so that the public knows exactly what we have been doing.” 

The flyer was handed out to West Bayers at a constituency meeting held by Ms. Rivers last week. It was also distributed to the media along with a press release from the ministry. 

The flyer, under the title “Progress Report, No Excuses, Just Solutions,” comes as the ministry faces questions about Caymanian unemployment, which is at 9 percent, according to the latest report from the Economic and Statistics Office, and claims of behavior problems in schools. 

Minister Rivers highlights a review she commissioned of current provisions in schools for children identified as at risk or having serious social, emotional and behavioral issues among the list of successes in education. 

She also says the ministry has developed a framework for safer schools and points to the implementation of some of the goals in the Strategic Plan for Education, produced under the previous two governments, as key achievements, 

In other departments, she points to the creation of the minimum wage advisory committee and improved efficiency in resolving pension cases. 

Changes to the National Workforce Development Agency, including the launch of an online job portal and a new intake and assessment process for job seekers, are also outlined in the flyer. 

Ms. Rivers writes, “During the course of the year, I set about making strategic and purposeful changes, not to unravel the work of the previous administrations, but to enhance the work and functioning of agencies responsible for carrying out the government’s policy directives. 

“I am looking forward to driving continued improvements.” 

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Ms. Rivers
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