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Published 12th June 2015, 10:0am

The Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs is pleased to release the Education Bill (2015) for public consultation. The Bill represents a milestone for education in the Cayman Islands.

Commenting on this process, Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister for Education said, “I am delighted that we have achieved this extremely important milestone within two years of taking office. This law will be the cornerstone for continued progress and development of education institutions and programmes in our country, and is necessary in order to work towards creating a centre of excellence in education. I would like to thank the dedicated team within the Ministry of Education for their hard work in producing this Bill. I would also like to encourage the public to read the bill and complete the online survey as your input is important to us and to this process. You are all key stakeholders, and your participation is crucial in ensuring that we have a world class education system for the benefit of our future generations and country as a whole.”

The current law, the Education Law (2010 Revision), is effectively over 30 years old, being largely the same as that originally enacted on 21st November 1983. As a consequence, provisions pertaining to a number of important priority areas for the government, including Early Childhood Education, Special Educational Needs, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the National Curriculum are not covered in the operating law. As a result, there are a number of deficiencies in the current law, which regularly lead to technical breaches.

In order to cure these breaches and to bring the law in line with the Cayman Islands Constitution Order (2009) and other pertinent obligations, a significant revision to the Education Law has been necessary.

The Education Bill (2015) used the Education Modernisation Law (EML) that was passed in the Legislative Assembly in 2009 as a starting point. However, the Bill significantly enhances the scope of the EML while clarifying areas of ambiguity and concern that existed at the time the EML was passed.

This Bill represents the Government’s priority areas for education and provides a solid legislative framework for the areas to be supported by the Regulations, which will contain the operational details for each part of the bill.

Further amendments have also been made to bring the law in line with other relevant legislation passed since 2009, most notably the Children Law (2012).

Many of the provisions of the Bill are already followed as a matter of policy. These policies, developed as needs were identified, form the basis of secondary legislation (or regulations) to be drafted and adopted. The drafting of the regulations will be completed before the Bill is debated in the Legislative Assembly so that the Education Law (2015) can come into effect immediately once passed.

Given the importance of this legislation, the Ministry is looking to receive the public’s feedback. Members of the public are invited to review the Education Bill (2015) and complete the online survey on the Ministry of Education’s website: www.education.gov.ky.

The public consultation process is already underway, and will continue throughout the month of June. Various stakeholder groups will have the opportunity to participate; consultation sessions have already been arranged with teachers and specialist staff, principals and the Education Council. Further meetings are being confirmed with parents, PTA reps, and students. Internal stakeholders, including Ministry and DES staff are also being consulted. Opportunity for direct consultation with schools has also been arranged for Cayman Brac. The online feedback survey will be open for public input until the consultation period ends on June 30th, 2015.

Education Bill, 2015 Summary Notes
Education Bill, 2015 Summary Notes