Education in Cayman’s public schools should be a gateway through which our young people are supported to achieve their full potential. We should expect that every student is educated in a school rated ‘good’ with great teachers in our classrooms delivering high quality teaching and learning, utilising the most up-to-date technology. Levels of academic attainment and results in technical and vocational qualifications need to improve significantly if Caymanian students are to be properly equipped to live their lives to the full.
The Current Situation
The Progressives-led governments from 2013-21 created the foundations for a modern and successful public schools system. The legislative framework was brought up-to-date; the national curriculum was updated; and teachers’ pay was increased to help recruitment and retention. We oversaw the successful redevelopment of Grand Cayman’s High Schools and improvements at a number of primary schools. Inspection reports showed that schools were improving while exam results were on the up.
Under PACT, progress has stalled. The previous focus of improving the quality of teaching has been lost. Exam results are failing to improve and action to address acknowledged weaknesses has been too slow in coming. Promised changes to the governance of Cayman’s public schools have not been implemented.
The Progressives’ Agenda for Action
- Develop and implement a comprehensive early years strategy to support early childhood development
- Develop new approaches to the teaching of mathematics to overcome one of the key areas of weakness in current performance
- Extend individualised support for students to ensure every student has the best possible opportunity to succeed
- Expand technical and vocational opportunities available to students
- Invest in new technologies in the classroom that support more effective learning
- Design and implement a national teacher development programme with a particular focus on early career development. The strategy will centre on in-classroom mentoring and support.
- Ensure teachers’ pay and benefits are sufficient to attract and retain talented teachers
- Invest in school leadership development
- Implement a new governance model for Cayman’s public schools that enhances accountability and supports school improvement