School Visits Begin
Published 1st December 2009, 4:40pm
Youngsters at West Bay's John A. Cumber Primary School were recently treated to a visit by the Education Minister, the Hon. Rolston Anglin. Accompanied by Education Ministry Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues, Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler and West Bay MLA Capt. Eugene Ebanks, this was the Minister's second visit to a government school, as part of a tour of all government schools in the Cayman Islands. Noting that relationships between the Ministry, Department of Education Services (DES) and schools needs strengthening, Minister Anglin said: We want to see for ourselves what's happening, and hear directly from teachers. "It's important to get on the ground, so we can better appreciate what's needed," he continued. "We cannot afford a disconnect between the Ministry and our schools." The delegation visited each classroom at John A. Cumber, where they were treated to vivid classroom displays and had opportunities to see students and teachers at work. They also met separately with the school's senior management team and teaching staff. Among the topics raised during that meeting were the need for more full-time specialist staff, such as psychologists and speech therapists; the need for improved work environments and incentives; and the desire to be consulted on changes affecting their school and the education system. Minister Anglin acknowledged the challenges faced by teachers, and thanked them for their work. "The magnitude of your work is certainly not lost on the ministry," he told them. Mrs. Wahler also recognised the dedication of the school's principal and staff, which she said had resulted in significant progress. "All the things we have been saying about raising standards and strengthening schools are evident here," she said. Once all the schools have been visited, Ministry and DES officials plan to review the issues raised and collaborate on possible approaches or solutions. Arrangements are also being made for meetings with local Parent Teachers Associations.