26 June 2022
Weekly Current (archived version)
OES report on COVID’s challenges to Cayman schools. Current Editor appears on UK TV news. British Stowe Group eyes new private school in Cayman. Red Bay Primary investigation update. Chief Officer Cetonya Cacho leaves Ministry of Education.
Welcome to this week’s newsletter on education in the Cayman Islands.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all stakeholders in the Cayman Islands education system — including teachers, parents and students — forcing them to adapt to new systems, routines and technology.
But while the disruptions have in some cases led to negative consequences on the mental health of adults and children, as well as academic progress among students, many lessons learnt from COVID will be carried forward to improve the education system going forward.
Those are some of the observations made Office of Education Standards inspectors in their analysis of the 2021/22 school year.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic tested the mettle, resilience and resolve of school leaders, teachers and students globally. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in the Cayman Islands in March 2020, school leaders had worked tirelessly to promote continuity of learning for all students in government and private schools delivering compulsory education,” according to the ‘Thematic School Visit Report 2022‘ that was recently published on the OES website.
“Consequently, school leaders had sought to evolve or adapt their management of the learning environment to mitigate the challenges to students’ learning presented by the pandemic and to create a safe and supportive environment for students and staff,” according to the report.
This semester the Current has published stories on all OES visits to 34 public and private schools as well as higher-level analyses of inspectors’ observations. This is the fifth and final story in our series looking at OES reports from a comprehensive perspective.
(Read our story on the OES report here.)
Cayman Current editor Patrick Brendel appeared on a UK television programme to discuss Cayman Islands news, including the local cost of living and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
During his appearance on TalkTV, Brendel spoke with host Petrie Hosken about those topics, as well as implications of the UK-led anti-corruption probe in the British Virgin Islands, the conclusion of which coincided with the US arrest of BVI Premier David Fahie over allegations of his agreeing to a massive cocaine smuggling deal.
(Watch Brendel’s appearance on TalkTV here.)
The Stowe Group of independent UK boarding and day schools is seeking to create a new private school in the Cayman Islands.
According to an advertisement that appeared in Friday’s Cayman Compass newspaper, “Dr. Anthony Wallersteiner, the Head of Stowe School, a leading independent British school, warmly invites prospective parents and other interested parties to a presentation of Stowe, its mission to create the world’s future Change Makers, and its ambitions for the development of an exceptional new international school in Cayman.”
The presentation is scheduled for 6 July at the Camana Bay Cinema.
The Stowe Group has three schools in the UK, according to its website.
Yearly fees for those schools (not including boarding costs) range from £10,905 to £23,619 depending on the school and the age of the student.
(Read more about the Stowe announcement here.)
Happy anniversary to the Red Bay Primary School investigation, which has officially been going on for more than a year now.
More than a year since law enforcement began looking into reports of alleged misconduct toward students at Red Bay Primary, “The investigation is still ongoing,” a Ministry of Education spokesperson confirmed Friday.
Ryan Dale has been serving as acting principal in place of longtime principal Vickie Frederick.
On 7 May 2021, the Ministry and Department of Education Services issued a press release stating that the joint Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) — comprising the police and Department of Children and Family Services — had been contacted about allegations at Red Bay Primary and that staff reported to be involved were being “relocated from schools until the investigation is completed”.
As we did in June, July, September, October and December 2021, and March 2022, we asked police and education officials questions, including:
- Is the investigation still ongoing?
- If the investigation has concluded, what are the findings and what actions were taken?
- Has the file been submitted to prosecutors, or will it?
As they have before, education officials confirmed the investigation continues.
We’ll continue following up until the issue has been resolved. … Stay tuned …
(Read more about the Red Bay Primary investigation here.)
Uniting the Cayman Islands around education
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The Ministry of Education’s Chief Officer Cetonya Cacho is taking on a new role as Strategic Operations Officer in the Office of the Deputy Governor.
Deputy Chief Officer Lyneth Monteith will step in as Acting Chief Officer when Cacho’s transfer takes effect Friday, 1 July.
Cacho has university degrees in education and business. She worked her way up through the public education system, including stints as Principal of Bodden Town Primary School, Manager of Initial Teacher Training, and Deputy and Acting Chief Officer of Education.
She served as Chief Officer of Education since 2019.
“Earlier in the year, Chief Officer Cacho expressed her desire to work beyond the scope of education and to utilise her skills, knowledge and experience to engage in projects across the broader Civil Service,” according to a government press release.
(Read more about the Chief Officer’s departure from the Ministry of Education here.)
Around The Web
The Current is a central resource for education journalism by others, including regional and international news relevant to Cayman education. (Find our running collection of links here.)
- Cayman Compass: Journalist Tad Stoner passes away
- Cayman Compass: Mask mandate, pre-arrival COVID tests dropped
- Cayman Compass ($): Half of government school leavers don’t meet expected academic standards (By Cayman Current)
- Cayman Compass ($): After COVID school closures, Year 6 results suffer (By Cayman Current)
- Cayman News Service: Education ministry boss moves to DG’s office
- BVI Beacon: Mask mandate extended in public offices, schools
- The Guardian (UK): Students show ‘shocking growth in support for censorship’, ministers warn
The Week Ahead
- EdBeat: Episode 38
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