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Education Ministry mulls extending Christmas break

The Ministry of Education and Department of Education Services have confirmed they are in consultation with government schools to extend Christmas break by two weeks.

Fact check: Sex education in Cayman

In Cayman’s social media groups, fear, anger and confusion have driven increasingly hostile discussions about gender and sexuality in recent weeks. With the newly enacted Civil Partnership Bill – passed by assent of Governor Martyn Roper – as the backdrop, debate has spiralled beyond same-sex partnerships and, at times, veered into the realm of misinformation.

Funding increased for early childhood assistance

The Ministry of Education has approved an increase in funding for students in the Early Childhood Assistance Programme to help support parents and children negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC)

Tardy exam results complicate Year 12 entry

Year 12 students will begin the 2020-21 school year before the results of their external exams, such as CXC examinations, become available, advised the Department of Education Services on Friday.

OES: Budget concerns, digital access impact private schools’ remote learning

The Office of Education Standards commended Cayman’s private schools this week for their resourcefulness in handling remote learning, but noted inconsistencies across schools in quality of education.
John Gray High School

Education roundup: Minister outlines school reopening plan

Minister of Education Juliana O’Connor-Connolly appeared alongside several of her colleagues during the 26 June government press conference to address questions about reopening Cayman’s schools.  

Summer camps and daycares to open 5 July

Schools and daycare facilities will begin reopening on 5 July, as Cayman moves into Suppression Level 2 of the COVID-19 crisis. Eased public health protocol, announced by Premier Alden McLaughlin on 17 June, will allow tutoring centres, preschools, summer camps and bible schools to receive children in person.

Technological and social challenges complicate remote learning

While few of Cayman’s young people have become physically ill from the virus, they are living with its social and developmental consequences. School closures, mandated in mid-March, mean most students in Cayman have not seen friends, teachers or coaches face-to-face in 12 weeks. Homes have become classrooms, parents have become teachers, and teachers have become masters of improvisation.

Home learning ‘an imperfect substitute for schools’, inspection finds

Nearly one in 10 public school students in the Cayman Islands lacked access to a digital device or computer as of mid-May, two months after government-mandated distance learning began, according to an inspection report released Thursday afternoon by the Office of Education Standards.
Distance learning

Education ministry to track student ‘learning loss’

The Ministry of Education is implementing methods of tracking 'learning loss' for students who have spent the last several weeks being schooled at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Education minister: Schools closed until further notice

Cayman’s private and public schools will not reopen any time soon, according to Education Minister Juliana O'Connor-Connolly.

More Caymanians opt for private schools

Enrolment in private schools is increasing as more local parents opt out of placing their children in Cayman’s government-run public schools, the Public Accounts Committee heard last week.

Educators eye cameras for classrooms

Education officials are considering adding cameras in local classrooms.

Sir John A. Cumber teachers happy with new curriculum

Teachers and administrators at Sir John A. Cumber Primary say implementing the new school curriculum has gone relatively smoothly.

Tenders sought for drug-sniffing dogs in schools

The Ministry of Education opens tender to have drug-sniffing dogs used at government high schools.

UCCI expects budget boost

An anticipated infusion of $1.3 million from the Ministry of Education is allowing the University College of the Cayman Islands to end its year with a balanced budget. 

Cacho named education chief officer

Cetonya Cacho has been named chief officer for the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands. Cacho has been serving in an acting capacity since the departure of Christen Suckoo in August 2018.

Curriculum information remains on hold

The Ministry of Education has enlisted the help of a local public relations agency to promote the new curriculum being implemented in its primary schools, but so far little information on the programme has been released.

Pay raise for teachers delayed

Despite a government surplus and the promise last year of a 1 Sept. wage increase for teachers, Education Ministry officials now say teachers won’t get the expected bump in salary for another year.

Student test scores show more work needs to be done

Preliminary test results show Year 11 Cayman students improving over last year while Year 6 scores declined.

Year 12 student scores narrow against expectations

Recently released data from the Ministry of Education shows a slight improvement in Key Stage 2 performance and in that of Year 12 students. However, the comparative performance of Year 12 students to how they were expected to do fell off in 2018.

New principal taking over at Clifton Hunter High

Pauline Beckford is leaving as principal of Clifton Hunter High School.

Governance change looming for schools

In his recent strategic policy statement to the Legislative Assembly, Premier Alden McLaughlin outlined a move to decentralise control away from the Ministry of Education and Department of Education Services.

EDITORIAL – Disabilities study should be public information

When government uses public funds to study an issue of public interest, the product belongs to the people. Transparency is a philosophical cornerstone of any...

Decade-old disabilities study still not public

Premier Alden McLaughlin said during his Strategic Policy Statement this month that a new Sunrise Adult Training Centre will be built by early 2021, but government still has not released a study commissioned nearly 10 years ago on the special-needs facilities.

EDITORIAL — Why care about school inspections?

The new school inspection framework sets appropriately high expectations. Now it is up to us to reach the bar.

Youth Parliament takes center stage

The ideas are the same but delivered with the force of youthful exuberance.

Ministry of Education clears debt with UWI’s Open Campus

The Ministry of Education has squared its accounts with the University of the West Indies with a payment of $2.3 million, and says it wants to strengthen the relationship between the two entities.

Artificial playfields planned for primary schools

Government is planning to build a number of new football fields and playfields at primary schools throughout Grand Cayman.

New Proud of Them recipients announced

The Ministry of Education announced 12 new Proud of Them award winners at a reception and dinner Wednesday evening at the George Town Yacht Club.

Education Ministry outlines steps to improve high schools

The Ministry of Education released a statement on Saturday in response to a new report from the Office of Education Standards, showing that government high schools in the Cayman Islands are well short of where they need to be to meet accepted standards.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Brac Day Care Centre now satisfactory

The Cayman Brac Day Care Centre has made satisfactory progress in addressing problems that were identified as “important weaknesses” in a report issued in April by the Office of Education Standards.

EDITORIAL – Education 102: A ‘re-introduction’ to Cayman’s schools

In first world countries, this sort of information falls into the category of “old news” (or “not news”) because the figures typically are well-known and readily available to the public. In Cayman – well …. Suffice to say that our reporter Mark Muckenfuss put his phone book, Rolodex and records searching ability to good use.

Educational pitch

Today's editorial cartoon.

Grand Court will review government hiring dispute

The Grand Court will review a dispute between the Ministry of Education and the Civil Service Appeals Commission involving a situation where a non-Caymanian was hired to be the ministry’s human resources director over a Caymanian who says she was similarly qualified.

Christen Suckoo transferred to OfReg

Christen Suckoo has been seconded to serve as the chief operating officer at the Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, after serving as chief officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands.

Cayman documentary on sexual abuse to feature at international conference

A documentary about child sexual abuse made in the Cayman Islands will be featured at the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect’s congressbeing held in Prague this September.

Gender gap widening for college-bound Caymanians

Young Caymanian women appear to be attending overseas colleges and universities at more than twice the rate of their male counterparts.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Letter: Concerns about children and safety

I have been to see a Councilor in the Ministry of Education about several issues concerning our schoolchildren that are of great concern to me, and I believe others as well.

Math intervention boosts performance scores

A math intervention pilot program helped mid-range performing Year 3 students in government schools improve their performance by 38 percent over a three-month period.

Government seeks court review in ministry hiring dispute

The Cayman Islands government has requested that a court review a dispute surrounding a senior human resources hire made last year within the Ministry of Education.

Premier seeks commission to deal with ‘fair employment’

An independently appointed commission will be created to field complaints made by Caymanian job-seekers who feel they have been unfairly discriminated against during the hiring process, Premier Alden McLaughlin said last week.

EDITORIAL – Hiring authority: It must not be delegated or usurped

What Deputy Governor Franz Manderson knows, and former Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks ought to know, is that department heads – not appointed commissions – MUST be empowered to make hiring decisions.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Childhood aid offered

Applications for financial help for preschool are now available through the Ministry of Education.

YMCA after-school program contract renewed

The Ministry of Education has renewed the Young Men’s Christian Association contract to manage and operate its Extended After-School Program.

Cayman agencies to attend US child abuse forum

Seven government agencies and independent organizations from the Cayman Islands that work to help combat child abuse will be represented at an international forum in the United States next month.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Special education needs audit delayed

An audit of special education needs students slated for the 2016-2017 academic year was never completed and is now being delayed until the 2018-2019 school year.

Ministry signs agreement with UCCI

The dust-up between the Ministry of Education and the University College of the Cayman Islands is not over, but on Wednesday, UCCI’s board of governors was presented with a signed copy of an ownership and purchase agreement it had been asking for.

UCCI: Government ignoring requests

Officials at the University College of the Cayman Islands say they feel a bit invisible these days. They can’t seem to get the government to return their calls.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

30 goverment agencies get ‘clean’ audits

Thirty of 42 Cayman Islands government entities received the highest possible rating on audits of their finances during the 2015/16 budget year, Auditor General Sue Winspear reported Tuesday.

2017 editorials: The Compass’s voice on significant issues

Today we feature highlights from some of what we consider to be the most compelling and important editorials that appeared in the Cayman Compass in 2017, dealing with some of the most pressing matters facing our country.

Stalemate continues over UCCI control

The Ministry of Education and UCCI Board of Governors remain at loggerheads over control of programming at the campus, and it appears they will likely remain so until a ruling by the solicitor general on the matter.

New round of school inspections

Three years after a comprehensive set of inspections found only two of Cayman’s 15 public schools performing at a “good” level – 10 were deemed “unsatisfactory” – a new round of inspections is under way.

Mothballed John Gray High School project revived

Work on the new John Gray High School is not expected to resume until mid-2019, with a multi-stage assessment process planned over the next two years to determine the best way to complete the project.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Applications for early childhood assistance open

The Ministry of Education is accepting financial assistance applications for its Early Childhood Assistance Programme fund for Caymanian children who were born between Sept. 1, 2013 and Aug. 31, 2014.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Cayman schools taking in hurricane evacuees

British Overseas Territories residents who have evacuated from the eastern Caribbean to Cayman in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria will be able to send their children to local schools.

New minister: Greater resources, accountability for public schools

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly promised to fight for a minimum $5,000 a month salary for teachers in a rousing first speech as Cayman’s education minister that was greeted with a standing ovation Tuesday morning. The majority of teachers are paid between $3,500 and $4,800 per month, according to a 2011 government report.

Empty mobile units to become classrooms

Two empty mobile units outside George Town Primary School are being relocated to the Lighthouse School where they will be transformed into classrooms for vocational courses.

EDITORIAL – How much has gov’t spent on the John Gray gym?

How much has the Cayman Islands government spent on the construction of the new John Gray High School gym?

Education session invites public-private partnership

Stakeholders gathered at the Chamber of Commerce Wednesday in an effort to unite private and public initiatives to address Cayman’s myriad educational needs.

Ministry of Education announces two senior appointments

The Ministry of Education has appointed Lyneth Monteith as director of the Department of Education Services, and Cetonya Cacho has been named as deputy chief officer of education policy and planning.

Exclusions from school down sharply

The number of children excluded from school for bad behavior has decreased dramatically in the past year amid a new approach to classroom discipline. According to statistics from the Ministry of Education, 395 days were lost to exclusions in the first term of the 2015/16 academic year.

Second teacher on required leave at West Bay primary school

A second teacher at West Bay’s Sir John A. Cumber Primary School is currently on “required leave” following an alleged assault on a student, education officials confirmed Thursday.

New Sunrise Adult Training Centre plans advance

Plans for a new Sunrise Adult Training Centre will move forward under the initiative of local project development company Rider Levett Bucknall, the Cayman Islands government said this week.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Ministry celebrates Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

The Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs will host a Lunch and Learn session on Nov. 30 for women entrepreneurs and anyone who is considering starting a business. The event recognizes Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, which is commemorated globally in November.

Cleaners, security staff to be school role models

Cleaners, bus wardens and security guards are joining a school-wide effort to improve student behavior at John Gray High School.

John Gray teacher acquitted of indecent assault loses job

A John Gray High School teacher who was found not guilty of indecent assaults on students has lost his job at the school, officials confirmed. The teacher, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was unanimously acquitted last month on charges that he had assaulted three female students.

Cayman Finance celebrates student education, work program

The second year of the Cayman Finance Student Education and Work Experience Programme has concluded after nine weeks of workshops and mentor sessions and a four-week work placement component.

EDITORIAL – Speaking up for West Bay’s schoolchildren

How can issues as obvious as broken equipment, “debris,” and mold be present in a primary school in a country as wealthy as ours, within a public education system as well-funded as ours? And, for the record, smack in the backyard of Education Minister Tara Rivers?

‘Interventions’ aim to lift reading ability

Interventions helped 86 percent of Year 1 students in the public school system meet the expected literacy level for their age group in the last academic year – the first time the intensive intervention program has been used in Cayman’s schools.

KPMG Report Card

EDITORIAL – Minister Rivers takes a ‘pass’ on schools report

Education Minister Tara Rivers appears to be missing, or willfully overlooking, the central point of the report her own government commissioned — that Cayman’s government should get out of the business of running schools altogether.

This week