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Divergent opinions on trade schools highlights first national debate

Five candidates took the stage Tuesday (18 April) for the first of six televised national debates.

From crime and safety, to immigration and tourism.

Five of seven candidates vying for seats in East End and North Side took on a smorgasbord of the country’s most pressing issues at Tuesday’s national debate, where the most contrasting opinions centered around trade schools.

Independent MLA’s Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller told moderator Tammi Sulliman they favored sending students abroad for tech training.

“We have tried many technical schools in this country over the history of our education system, and they all failed,” said Mr. Miller. “Why? Under-subscription.”

“Why not send them overseas, it takes them 18 months maybe to get qualified as a mechanic,” said Mr. A. McLean. “It’s cheaper than trying to do it here for the amount of kids we have.”

Their independent challengers Justin Ebanks and John McLean called for on-island training.

“Let’s get them standardised here, let’s spend money at home to keep our homegrown children educated at home. There’s no need to spend $75,000 overseas when that can pay one teacher to teach 100 kids,” said Mr. Ebanks.

“Any carpenter can train a carpenter, any plumber can train a plumber. I don’t see that costing the country much money,” said Mr. J. McLean.

Progressives candidate Ed Chisholm split the difference with a more nuanced answer.

“We need to have a vocational, a tech school, but we need to realize that is not happening now,” said Mr. Chisholm.

With such a divergent set of viewpoints, it appears trade schools could be an issue where candidates separate themselves from the pack.

Candidates Isaac Rankine of East End and Jay Ebanks of North Side were not participants in the debate.

National debates continue next Tuesday, 25th April, broadcast live on Cayman 27.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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