‘Education is the key’ should be more than just a political buzz phrase. But sadly that has not been the case in Cayman for more than 3 decades.
In this country we enjoyed very successful growth while ignoring the need to, not only ensure that our children are better prepared for a changing economy, but that today’s education curriculum and the quality of our primary and high school graduates is of the highest standards that we can achieve with our limited resources.
Instead of taking action on education we have consistently promoted the idea that the failure to achieve a higher rate of employment among Caymanians and our youth is down to some other group that keeps our people down.
Elections are now only a few months way and we can all rest assured that we will be hearing a lot about how these problems are the fault of everyone else besides the government: it’s the fault of discriminating businesses, big business, work permit holders etc etc. Its never ever the fault of the government which has failed term after term to put in action a true long term plan to prepare the next generation of business and community leaders.
Monitor the words of existing (and aspiring) politicians and you will quickly understand that it’s a really bad thing to speak openly about lack of preparation of our students. Its far better to speak about how someone or something else (as long as its not the government) is responsible and to blame for our situation and our destiny. And how the politician, when elected, will ‘fix that’.
As is the case in every other country, discrimination and glass ceilings do exist in Cayman. But this is unlikely to be the primary reason for the problems we face. In fact if policymakers are serious about addressing discrimination in the workplace they should put the monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in place and get on with it. That way those companies who are guilty will be dealt with quickly and the vast majority of other businesses won’t be squeezed and harassed everyday with intensely unreasonable deferrals and rejection of work permits and other issues., sometimes for no other reason than “yesterday’s headlines said unemployment was high”.
Ignoring that unemployment is a mutlfacetted issue and pretending for political expediency purposes, that its mainly due to discrimination is the approach used for decades. That approach has not nurtured, inspired, or resulted in a single solution to help our people. All it has done is helped career politicians get elected so they can get a pay check term after term. So lets try something new.
Caymanian politicians: its political very effective to sing the ignorant tune that blames everyone else for our challenges during the election. We get it. But unless you are willing to say something about the preparation of the youth of the Cayman Islands and articulate a long term plan that addresses that, please leave education out of the song this time around.