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“ We have committed to achieving a world-class education system, and this announcement is a true testament to the significant progress we are already making towards that goal.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rolston, Anglin, JP

Published 21st March 2012, 8:51am

Ministry of Education officials have advised that the Sir John A. Cumber Primary School (SJACPS) has become the first government school, not only in the Cayman Islands, but in the entire Caribbean region, to receive their International Baccalaureate (IB) Authorisation for PYP. This stamp of approval by one of the most respected education organisations in the world is truly a historical achievement. The school has achieved the criteria to be called an IB World School within the IB’s Primary Year’s Programme (PYP). As outlined on the IBO website, “The PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of national systems and wealth of knowledge and experience from international schools to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children.” Minister of Education, Hon. Rolston, Anglin, JP, offered his endorsement saying,“My ministry and I, along with the Department of Education Services and all the schools, have committed to achieving a world-class education system, and this announcement is a true testament to the significant progress we are already making towards that goal.” Minister Anglin continued,"As a member of the West Bay community and a past student of the school, I am extremely proud to recognise what has been achieved.I congratulate Mr. Joseph Wallace, his team and all the students and parents of Sir John A. Cumber Primary School on this outstanding accomplishment.” Offering her praise, Chief Officer Mrs. Mary Rodrigues noted that authorization by the International Baccalaureate is a mark of quality assurance.“Achieving this IB World School status enables us to say that SJACPS has been measured up against schools across the world, and has met comparable standards.We look forward to more of our primary schools achieving this international recognition in the near future,”she stated. Mrs. Rodrigues explained that to become an IB World School, there is much more to the process than simply filling out forms and ticking boxes.The first stage involves the school applying for candidate status where they submit evidence of curriculum planning, staff development plans and commitment to international mindedness.Once candidate status is awarded the school is given targets and a Link Consultant who helps them to meet the requirements to apply for authorisation. Once the school feels that they have reached the targets and are ready to apply for authorization, IB visits to ascertain the schools preparedness to implement the IB programme.This involves watching lessons, attending several meetings and interviewing the whole school community. Through the visit to SJACPS, IB found matters arising which the school then had to address before authorisation could be achieved. “The school did just that,” Mrs. Rodrigues noted, “and through the hard work and dedication by the staff and students of SJACPS they achieved this most prestigious certification”. Going forward, SJACPS will have an evaluation visit in three years, where the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) will ensure the quality of their programme. This again is a most rigorous process where the schools will have to achieve further requirements. A most proud principal, Mr. Wallace offered his comments, “This is a very proud moment for us. We’ve worked very hard over the last three years to meet the standards set by the IBO and I thank those teachers, parents, students, Ministry and DES staff, past and present, whose efforts and contributions helped us to achieve this milestone. I am very excited about the challenges we will face as we not only work to maintain our status as an Authorized IBO school but to improve the learning experiences of our students. I look forward to the continued support and encouragement from all our stakeholders as we continue the journey toward excellence.” Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Shirley Wahler, also offered her congratulations. “The Department of Education Services is very proud indeed that Sir John A. Cumber Primary School has achieved this internationally recognized mark of excellence,” she stated. “The hard work and commitment of the staff of the school and the enthusiastic support and cooperation of students, parents and the wider community have made this possible, but I would also point to the focused and dedicated leadership of the school under Mr. Joseph Wallace, Principal of SJACPS, as a key to their success. I encourage the entire community to celebrate this success as a sign of what we can achieve if we have the vision and the commitment to work for positive change.” The International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation which is focused on the student. They offer three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 years which aim at developing intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalising world. IB was founded in 1986 and currently works with 3,356 schools in 141 countries where their programmes reach over 1 million students. For more information on IB please visit their official website: www.ibo.org.