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Published 25th August 2006, 11:5am

Following a review by the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture and consultation with Education Council, the government has decided to increase the level of financial assistance provided to Caymanian students, who are enrolled on private school A-Level programmes at the Cayman Prep & High School and the Saint Ignatius Catholic School. Enrolment statistics reveal that there is an increased demand for these qualifications. For example, in the 2003/4 academic year there were 15 Caymanain students studying A-Levels at the Saint Ignatius, whilst it is predicted there will be 30 Caymanian students in the forthcoming academic year. Similarly, the number of Caymanian students studying A-Levels at Cayman Prep has increased from 7 in 2001/2 to an anticipated 15 this year. At the same time, tuition costs have steadily increased. In fact, these have effectively doubled at the Saint Ignatius over the last eight years, rising to CI$7,178 per year. Comparable fees are also applicable at the Cayman Prep, which now charges CI$6,550 per year. This has rendered the level of assistance, currently provided by government to each Caymanian student, which stands at CI$2,500 per year, insufficient to support Caymanian students who wish to study for A-Level qualifications at these schools. In keeping with the government's desire to assist Caymanian students in realizing their educational goals, it has been decided that the level of assistance provided to Caymanian students enrolled on A-Level programmes should amount to 80% of the tuition costs. It is anticipated that this support will continue for as long as the government's educational provision is unable to meet the demand for these qualifications, although the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture will annually review the level of tuition costs and the government reserves the right to reconsider this commitment in the light of possible future developments in the provision of post-16 education. This support applies to all school-age Caymanian students who wish to study A-Levels, irrespective of whether they were previously educated in the government system or at a private school, provided they have attained the relevant passes in CXC or GCSE examinations. For further information, please contact Mrs. Jennifer Smith, Secretary to the Education Council, 2nd Floor, Royal Plaza, George Town, Grand Cayman.