Cayman's schooling crisis

Old May 15th 2018, 3:06 am
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Default Cayman's schooling crisis

All people with young children will be interested in this Editorial by our respected and popular newspaper;
https://www.caymancompass.com/2018/0...cation=picture
It seems to be quite a recent development - and on other threads I have been assuring prospective immigrants that there will always be room for their children. Ahem - but maybe not, if this Editorial is anything to go by (and it almost certainly is). So. Watch this space!
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Old May 30th 2018, 11:29 am
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

A symptom of the hostility towards immigration. Two tear systems are not only in the education system, a wave of people not most suitable for the job are in charge due to them being able to prove a long lost grandparent once lived here, those most fit for purpose aren't selected to gain the role or be promoted because 'they don't belong here'. Hence the ineffective public services right through from waste management to policing. So us non Caymanians come, make our money and get out but that's the way the cards are stacked, we have no interest in furthering this great nation because the nation has no interest in furthering us. There is no incentive to invest in a property or a life here nowadays. Living here really has made me question anti immigration sentiment back home.
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Old Jun 19th 2018, 4:29 am
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by TandD2017 View Post
A symptom of the hostility towards immigration. Two tear systems are not only in the education system, a wave of people not most suitable for the job are in charge due to them being able to prove a long lost grandparent once lived here, those most fit for purpose aren't selected to gain the role or be promoted because 'they don't belong here'. Hence the ineffective public services right through from waste management to policing. So us non Caymanians come, make our money and get out but that's the way the cards are stacked, we have no interest in furthering this great nation because the nation has no interest in furthering us. There is no incentive to invest in a property or a life here nowadays. Living here really has made me question anti immigration sentiment back home.
The attitude of a high percentage of the native bloodline-Caymanians towards foreign residents is reflected in spades by the Immigration Department, and it has been the whole of our forty years here. But as you know, T&D, the two communities don't really mix much, Caymanians and expats; and that reluctance to mix has been a factor in children's schooling - government schools for Caymanians only, with only the richer Caymanian families sending their kids to the private schools. Of course the ban on poorer migrants bringing their children with them to Cayman, does nothing for community togetherness either! Only very recently has the penny dropped, that the Caymanian kids are missing out on the superior education that's available in the private schools.
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Old Jun 21st 2018, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Very interesting posts from both of you. As you're (maybe) aware I am only 'on island' for a few months now. I interact with all sections of the local communities and ex-pats daily. I see first hand the disparity in education standards with colleagues and MOPs.

A colleague of mine basically threatened to go home if his kids weren't accepted into a local school. The employer caved in and his kids and are thriving and excelling in fact. Maybe due to having been UK schooled first?

I'm lucky enough to be a guest on this island and we are loving (most) of it. I'm not and never will be in a position to effect change here.

Maybe everyone concerned would benefit from a beefed up Government education system. Ex-pats would save a fortune and standards would improve as they would demand it!
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Old Jun 21st 2018, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
Maybe everyone concerned would benefit from a beefed up Government education system. Ex-pats would save a fortune and standards would improve as they would demand it!
Unfortunately, there's no real incentive for the politicians to improve government's own education product, since bloodline-Caymanians in the workforce benefit from the affirmative-action legislation enforced by the all-powerful immigration bureaucracy. By law, Caymanians must always be hired before higher qualified and more experienced foreigners; and (as a general rule) they cannot be fired for incompetence. As you'd expect, the more this affirmative-action is expanded, the more it is circumvented by devious employers. The more new regulations are invented, the more new glass-ceilings are put in place to block the unwanted. Twenty years or so ago, back when I was politically active, I once wrote a newspaper column on the subject of this ridiculous carousel, and titled it "Everybody's Cheating". Nothing has changed since then.
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Old Jun 22nd 2018, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Off topic but question. A conversation I had with a colleague recently. If Cayman decided to pursue independence, would there be a mass exodus of ex-pats? Not just Brits but all ex-pats? He's been here 20+ years and is married to a 'real' Caymanian. He said he would be on the first plane to Canada.
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Old Jun 22nd 2018, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow View Post
Unfortunately, there's no real incentive for the politicians to improve government's own education product, since bloodline-Caymanians in the workforce benefit from the affirmative-action legislation enforced by the all-powerful immigration bureaucracy. By law, Caymanians must always be hired before higher qualified and more experienced foreigners; and (as a general rule) they cannot be fired for incompetence. As you'd expect, the more this affirmative-action is expanded, the more it is circumvented by devious employers. The more new regulations are invented, the more new glass-ceilings are put in place to block the unwanted. Twenty years or so ago, back when I was politically active, I once wrote a newspaper column on the subject of this ridiculous carousel, and titled it "Everybody's Cheating". Nothing has changed since then.
So what you're effectively saying is that they are quite happy to bumble along knowing that however poorly they perform in school, barring complete illiteracy, they are guaranteed a job? There's a bigger world out there.
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Old Jun 22nd 2018, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
So what you're effectively saying is that they are quite happy to bumble along knowing that however poorly they perform in school, barring complete illiteracy, they are guaranteed a job? There's a bigger world out there.
Forty years ago when my wife was teaching at what was then the GT High School, she chastised one of her Sixth Form pupils for not doing her homework. The reply was, said very politely, "But, Miss, I don't need to do any homework. When I leave school I can get a job with my sister in Barclay's Bank." The story is old, but the girl's expectation was no more realistic then than it would be now.

Of course there's a bigger world out there, but as long as Caymanians are guaranteed jobs here on the Island, very few of them are interested in competing in that bigger world! How many young Caymanians do you know who have voluntarily left their home to work overseas? (Not counting those who study overseas.) Very, very, few, I suspect. Why do you reckon that is?
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Old Jun 22nd 2018, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
Off topic but question. A conversation I had with a colleague recently. If Cayman decided to pursue independence, would there be a mass exodus of ex-pats? Not just Brits but all ex-pats? He's been here 20+ years and is married to a 'real' Caymanian. He said he would be on the first plane to Canada.
The first thing that would happen if Cayman became independent would be the departure of most of its "offshore" business - and that departure would start at the first sign that the politicians were pursuing independence. So, we can imagine the sequence... Departure of offshore business > departure of expats currently servicing that business > sale of the departers' houses and cars and collapse of those markets > total collapse of construction work > departure of maids, gardeners and other low-skill migrant workers > collapse of government revenue > back to the "smoke-pots and wompers" of the days before the tax-haven for those who stayed.

So, really, it's not going to happen. Our politicians aren't very smart, because they're drawn from too small a gene-pool. But they're smart enough to know that without the British flag, Cayman would forfeit the trust of its offshore clients. It would be left with just tourism, and there isn't anywhere near enough of that to keep its present standard of living.
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Old Jun 22nd 2018, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow View Post
The first thing that would happen if Cayman became independent would be the departure of most of its "offshore" business - and that departure would start at the first sign that the politicians were pursuing independence. So, we can imagine the sequence... Departure of offshore business > departure of expats currently servicing that business > sale of the departers' houses and cars and collapse of those markets > total collapse of construction work > departure of maids, gardeners and other low-skill migrant workers > collapse of government revenue > back to the "smoke-pots and wompers" of the days before the tax-haven for those who stayed.

So, really, it's not going to happen. Our politicians aren't very smart, because they're drawn from too small a gene-pool. But they're smart enough to know that without the British flag, Cayman would forfeit the trust of its offshore clients. It would be left with just tourism, and there isn't anywhere near enough of that to keep its present standard of living.
He put it a little more indelicately than that. 'They're quite happy sucking at the Queen's t*****s'. He's an ex finance industry worker so I can assume he knows what he's talking about.
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Old Jun 22nd 2018, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by Jamesy5008 View Post
He put it a little more indelicately than that. 'They're quite happy sucking at the Queen's t*****s'. He's an ex finance industry worker so I can assume he knows what he's talking about.
The true situation is a little more accurate than he implied. Cayman gets nothing from Britain except the status of "British Colony" and the concomitant revenue from the offshore business. For its part, Britain gets a regional HQ for MI6, so it's a fair exchange.

I'm an old tax-haven professional too (Bahamas, New Hebrides and Cayman), and was the first salaried Manager of our Chamber of Commerce 1986-88. Long retired, I don't have my finger on the pulse any more; but I do keep a weather eye on the Islands' governance and economic fortunes. At the Chamber, I was involved in an extremely bitter battle with the ruling politicians of the day who tried desperately to introduce a government-monopoly state pension scheme, which we saw as heralding an Income Tax, which would in turn herald the end of the tax-haven and thus the Islands' prosperity.
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Old Jun 23rd 2018, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

I am a bit naive but after being here a short while I am left wondering what GB gets out of the deal? As I see it Britain is expected to help when war or more likely disaster strikes. Britain has ships that are Hurricane ready and are criticised for a slow response (or at least were last year for other islands). Britain accepts Cayman's worst prison offenders. Britain gives a passport to anyone from here. Britain spends money having a puppet, sorry I mean governor here. What does Britain get from the deal except an airport to launch an unlikely needed attack from should war break out in the region? Why does GB not give the territory up and enforce independence, especially when a large proportion of Caymanians are not that interested in the UK.
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Old Jun 23rd 2018, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by TandD2017 View Post
I am a bit naive but after being here a short while I am left wondering what GB gets out of the deal? As I see it Britain is expected to help when war or more likely disaster strikes. Britain has ships that are Hurricane ready and are criticised for a slow response (or at least were last year for other islands). Britain accepts Cayman's worst prison offenders. Britain gives a passport to anyone from here. Britain spends money having a puppet, sorry I mean governor here. What does Britain get from the deal except an airport to launch an unlikely needed attack from should war break out in the region? Why does GB not give the territory up and enforce independence, especially when a large proportion of Caymanians are not that interested in the UK.
It's a fair question, and the best explanation I can come up with is that these islands in the Western Caribbean are a useful part of what remains of the British Empire - bearing in mind that the British establishment still likes to punch above its weight in international affairs. You and I might think, "oh the hell with it. Let's us just look after our little homeland off the coast of Europe and leave the rest of the world to the USA." But British companies are hugely invested all around the globe; and most of them are controlled by The British Establishment - and don't pay British taxes. Very useful to have an offshore tax-haven, in those circumstances. It used to be Bahamas, but when the Black Power movement took that colony to independence, they ("They") set up Cayman in its place, and transferred all their secret international goings-on to here. The US would love to take Cayman under its wing - and the CIA has a finger or two in our pie - but there will always be jealousy between the Old Empire and the New, and MI6 (the Foreign & Commonwealth Office) is not about to hand over the keys just yet.

It's a complicated web, and my conclusions are simplistic. And, they may be wrong. We may never know!
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Old Jun 25th 2018, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

I still don't understand why children of British parentage that are born on island are not entitled to a Caymanian passport? Yet, Caymanians are entitled to a Britsh one?
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Old Jun 25th 2018, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Cayman's schooling crisis

Originally Posted by ABCR View Post
I still don't understand why children of British parentage that are born on island are not entitled to a Caymanian passport? Yet, Caymanians are entitled to a Britsh one?
Basically, it's because Cayman is part of the British Empire. If Britain were part of a Caymanian Empire, things might be different!
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