It seems the old adage, the third time’s the charm, worked for Education Minister Hon. Tara Rivers as the Education Bill was approved on Wednesday (October 19) morning.
However it was by no means an easy debate for the minister as Independent and Opposition MLAs weighed on the bill aimed at reforming Cayman’s education system.
Minister Rivers says the Bill was encompassing as it incorporated comments from all stakeholders who participated in the consultation process.
“This has been a highly consultative process. We certainly have not developed this bill in a vacuum or developed this strictly by the technocrats. This has been done in partnership,” the minister said.
However Deputy Opposition Leader Hon. Bernie Bush raised questions about the wording of the provisions and exactly how tracking the effectiveness of the changes will be done.
“What information is to be collected to be to determine the education system’s ability to produce citizens who are capable of succeeding in a global world?” he asked.
Minister Rivers assured systems have been included in the bill to address all concerns, as well as, studying the effectiveness of the changes.
Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin, a former Education Minister, says the bill brings ministerial responsibility in line with the Constitution since in the law in its present form does not delegate the authority on to the minister even though the he/she has the responsibility.
“To have responsibility and take to the licks without having the authority to effect the change, because that is currently where any Education minister sits,” he said.
The bill now heads to committee stage where amendments will be made.
Minister Rivers pointed out the bill not only regulates the public schools, but private institutions to ensure quality assurance in education.
The Education Bill repeals and replaces the Education Law (2010) Revision and now paves the way for private sector involvement in education.
Also in the LA was the Utility and Competition Bill debate on that legislation is currently in progress.