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Minister Rivers and her team meet with Lord Nash, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State of Schools, and his team in London.

The meetings provided an amazing opportunity ... information relevant to the local education and employment initiatives ...

Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs

Published 4th February 2014, 3:54pm

Minister for Education Hon. Tara Rivers has returned from her trip to London which was a huge success. Minister Rivers, who was accompanied by Councillor for Education Mr. Winston Connolly, Chief Officer for Education Mrs. Mary Rodrigues and Deputy Chief Officer in the Education Ministry Dr. Tasha Ebanks Garcia, attended the Education World Forum, which is the largest gathering of education and skills Ministers in the world.

Minister Rivers and her team hosted a reception for Caymanian Students studying in the UK, met with Ministers and Lords responsible for Education and Employment, visited three high performing schools (two primary and one high school) in the London area and visited both publicly and privately operated job centres working to tackle the issue of unemployment in the UK.

In addition, the Minister and members of her team met with policy advisors of a leading “Think Tank” to discuss issues related to education and welfare-to-work programmes, as well as the Secretariat of the Low Pay Commission. The Secretariat is an independent agency established by the UK Government in the late 1990’s to advise on the introduction of a national minimum wage.

Minister Rivers gained valuable information to assist her and the Ministry in their ongoing work to improve the Cayman Islands education system and the services provided by the National Workforce Development Agency. Minister Rivers said, "The Education World Forum highlighted the fact that the challenges related to education, the appropriate use of technology as a tool to facilitate learning, and skills development in general for the 21st Century are global challenges. Participating in the Education World Forum provided a great opportunity to meet, network with and hear from other Education Ministers from around the world on the system challenges they face and the solutions they have found. It was also very informative to hear from leading international experts and corporations in the fields of education and technology, who discussed and debated the latest pedagogical changes and educational reform strategies used in some of the world’s most effective education systems and schools."

Minister Rivers explained that the range of meetings held during and subsequent to the Forum on Education, Employment and Labour topics, were also very informative and helpful. “The meetings provided an amazing opportunity to amass a tremendous amount of information relevant to the local education and employment initiatives that I have been driving since taking office. We have also made many useful contacts, in both government and non-governmental organisations, on which we will continue to draw”.

The total cost for the trip was CI$19,829.81 which was paid for by the Ministry of Education. Flights for the four person delegation totalled CI$8,409.65 while hotel accommodations totalled CI$6,235.33 and ground transportation totalled CI$436.09. Per Diems for the group totalled CI$4,300 and the Ministry’s contribution to a dinner meeting with CEO’s of Education Trusts totalled CI$448.75.

The Ministry of Education will be releasing further details about the outcomes of the trip in the upcoming weeks.