Conolly: “I will continue to challenge the Education Minister” Loop Cayman Islands

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

Readers are asked to note that Op-eds do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Loop Cayman.

By Barbara Conolly, Shadow Minister for Education

An Education Strategy That Adds Up

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” … Benjamin Franklin

The workforce of the future will be more highly skilled than the workforce of the past. Whatever career routes young people aspire to follow, a good education that allows them to develop the skills that the job market will require is essential.

The results that Caymanian students achieve at the end of their high school education are improving. However, we must accelerate the rate of improvement if we are to ensure that our young people are able to fulfil their potential.

The first thing that is necessary is for the PACT government to continue to implement the reforms that were begun by the last two Progressives-led Administrations.

Those two Progressives-led governments finally brought some much-needed stability to the education system and some real vision for improvement. Minister Rivers put in the foundation during the first term to update the legislation and to establish baselines for improvement in schools.

During the second term, Minister O’Connor-Connolly implemented a series of reforms that built upon Minister Rivers’ foundation. Those reforms included changes in the national curriculum and improving the pay and training of teachers so that Cayman could recruit, retain, and develop the high-quality teachers that our students deserve.

There is solid evidence that our programme of reforms is succeeding.

Perhaps the most significant indicator for the long term is that School Inspection Reports confirm that our schools are getting better. That is the key to long term improvement. The round of inspections of our high schools carried out by the independent Office of Education Standards inspections in the Spring of 2021 found improvements in all three schools.

The John Gray inspection rated the school as ‘good’ and identified excellent leadership and good improvement in the quality of teaching which is the most important factor in delivering the improved outcomes for students that we set out to deliver. The Layman E Scott Sr High School on Cayman Brac also achieved a rating of ‘good’ and Clifton Hunter also improved, raising its rating from ‘weak’ to ‘satisfactory.’

While these achievements are the results of a lot of hard work by staff in our high schools, the consistent pattern of improvement demonstrates that improvement was happening because of the Progressives-led government’s national programme.

We in the Opposition have therefore been consistent in offering our support to the Minister of Education as she continues down the path we set.

However, we have also pushed the Minister to make sure that the government rapidly implements the reforms that are necessary. It is for that reason, for example, that I raised questions in Parliament recently about the pace of implementation of the national curriculum and the delivery of improvements in the way that we support early years development.

I will continue to challenge the Minister and to press for delivery at pace of the reforms we know are vital if our young people are to get the best possible start in life.

The best way to judge whether education in the Cayman Islands’ public schools is improving is to look at the results our young people are achieving.

In April of this year, the Ministry of Education released their data report for the 2020-21 academic year. In the report, as well as telling the story of that year, the Ministry looked back at the trends in performance over recent years. Looking across a range of indicators for the level of attainment of our 16-year-old students at the end of Year 11, the report found clear trends of improving performance over a five-year period.

That trend of improvement indicates that results are getting better because of the systematic measures that successive Progressives-led governments put in place.

The trend is encouraging, but a closer look at the data shows there is still much work to be done. The expected national standard at Year 11 is the achievement of five or more Level 2 subjects including mathematics and English.

While there is a clear trend of improvement in the achievement of the national standard, the rate at which this indicator is improving needs to increase significantly if Cayman’s schools are to be regarded as delivering the quality of education that our students deserve.

Students need to get to the standard level, including achieving the necessary levels in English and math, if they are to maximise future job opportunities. Those core skills are vital not just for the digital industries that are held up as being the future for our Islands. They are important skills for jobs in retail, in tourism and in a range of service jobs.

And we know from what employers tell us that too many high skills leavers are still not sufficiently skilled in those core disciplines to be as successful as we all want them to be in their future lives.

The single most important thing we could do would be to drive up levels of attainment in mathematics. Itis clear from the data presented by the Ministry that the key issue holding back overall performance is the low pass rate for mathematics. Improving mathematics attainment levels would improve both the level of national performance and the life-chances of the students concerned.

The data report also shows that the proportion of students achieving five or more Level 2 subjects in any subjects is significantly higher than the proportion achieving five or more including mathematics and English.

In 2021, 59.9 per cent of students achieved five Level 2 subjects but the pass rate of only 43.2 per cent in mathematics held back the level of achievement of the overall national standard to only 40.3 per cent. The current level of broad achievement of five Level 2 subjects suggests that if mathematics results could be improved at a faster rate, then this would have a corresponding positive impact on the overall national standard achievement rates.

It is worth recording that we are already seeing improvements in the level of attainment in mathematics.

We know that not just because Cayman’s own results are improving but because they are getting better when we compare them to our neighbouring countries. Looking right back to the start of the last two Progressives-led Administrations we can see clearly that Caymanian students have improved their performance in mathematics relative to the average for the Caribbean over the last decade. Attainment levels in mathematics in Cayman first went above the Caribbean regional average in 2017 and after slipping back a little have been above the average for the last two years.

This is encouraging and reflects a lot of hard work from teachers and students.

We also know from the data that a significant proportion of Caymanian students are getting close to the expected standard in mathematics but not quite making it over the line. In the 2021 examinations, more than a quarter of Caymanian students (28 per cent) achieved a result in their examinations in mathematics that was only one grade below the standard.

What lies behind those results is that students are not making as much progress in mathematics as they are in English or science. The Ministry’s report presents what is known as ‘added value’ data which compares the actual results achieved by individual students with their predicted performance based on previous cognitive ability tests. The report states that for English and science, students are improving by an average of 1.2 grade points above expectations, but for mathematics less than a half of one grade point is added.

If we could do as well in improving performance in mathematics as we do in other subjects, we could expect a good number of those currently falling just below the standard to achieve passing grades. We owe it to those students to give them the support they need. In doing so, we will also significantly accelerate the national level of performance.

We should expect that over time the reforms being implemented will help to drive up standards. In particular, the new national curriculum and the new teaching and learning methods that will be introduced with it are designed to improve levels of attainment by students. That is why I have continued to press the Minister on implementation of the curriculum.

However, we should not just sit back and wait. If we do so, more Caymanian students will not be reaching their potential. A new strategy to support students better to progress in mathematics during key stage four should be devised and introduced immediately. The strategy should target those students who might need extra support to ensure that they get ‘over the line’ and meet the standard in the Year 11 assessment.

International evidence tells us that beyond the curriculum itself, the most important thing is for teachers to adopt differentiated classroom instruction, flexible grouping, and continuous assessment with immediate intervention for students who were not mastering mathematics standards. This will ensure that teachers give students the individual instruction they need to succeed. Teacher collaboration, within and across grade levels, ensures there is continuity in mathematics instruction which better ensures students progress.

As I have said repeatedly, in the end it is the quality of teaching that makes the most difference to results. Therefore, the new strategy should focus on supporting the development of our teachers.

The first step should be to ensure that Cayman’s high schools learn from each other, and that national best practice is consistently applied across the education system. In 2021, Clifton Hunter’s attainment rate in mathematics, 52 per cent, was significantly better than that at John Gray (35 per cent). It is unclear whether this represents a one off ‘blip’. However, comparison of teaching practice should be made and the best practice across all three high schools should be universally adopted.

Successful international strategies can then be drawn upon to supplement the good practice that is already in our high schools.

In this way we can create a new key stage four mathematics improvement strategy to support Caymanian public-school students to reach their potential. This will give them the best possible chances of success in the future workforce.

The by-product would be a significant improvement in the country’s headline rate of overall achievement in the expected standard of 5 passes, including mathematics and English.

Power outage impacts over 11,000 CUC customers this Sunday Loop Cayman Islands

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass
Loop News

27 minutes ago

The website of Caribbean Utilities Company shows that over 11,000 customers were affected by power outages this morning in West Bay and George Town.

While CUC has not given a timeline for the resolution of the outages, they said that they are “working to resolve all outages as safely and efficiently as possible.”

The areas affected are highlighted in the graphic below.

Customers are encouraged to call 345-945-1282 to report an outage in their area.

CUC Power Outage (affected areas)

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Revellers waned against carrying weapons while taking part in the J’Ouvert and Last-lap street jump-up

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room


With the last few days of carnival remaining, the police continue to encourage the general public to exercise caution and practice safey to avoid any serious incidents.

Revellers are waned against carrying weapons or other dangerous instruments on their person while taking part in the J’Ouvert and Last-lap street jump-up.

The police are further appealing to vendors to avoid serving drinks in bottles and cans that may be used as weapons or missiles during a fight.

The motoring public is also asked to desist from parking vehicles on the parade routes that may obstruct the smooth flow of the parade. Failure to comply will result in having your vehicles towed.

Vehicle owners are further advised to park their vehicles in secured parking lots or in areas that are properly lit, and avoid leaving valuable items exposed.

Homeowners are dvised to secure their homes before leaving; ensuring that doors and windows are propperly locked.

If you have any concerns or questions about your safety or security you can contact the police station nearest to you or call the 911 emergency hotline number.

The Police Administration takes this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and continued incident-free carnival.


Le quitan vehículo y lo queman en Quebradillas

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Radio Isla TV

Un hombre fue despojado violentamente de su vehículo en horas de la madrugada del domingo, en el Barrio San Antonio callejón Sonera en el pueblo de Quebradillas.

Según el reporte de la Policía, un hombre alegó que en el lugar vio un individuo caminando por la  carretera. El conductor  se detuvo y le preguntó si se encontraba bien y este se sonrió.

Acto seguido lo agredió con un objeto contundente y cuando miró hacia atrás había otro individuo en la puerta de su vehículo y le dijo que se bajara.

Lo despojaron del vehículo Toyota Corolla, color blanco, año 2022, tablilla JXJ-281.  Posteriormente, el vehículo fue recuperado en el Barrio Ciénega sector Martínez de la calle Alejo de Jesús en el pueblo de Camuy, totalmente quemado.

Agentes de la División de Robo y Vehículo Hurtado del Área de Arecibo investigan.

El príncipe Carlos aceptó una donación de 1,2 millones de dólares de la familia de Osama bin Laden, asegura un informe

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Radio Isla TV

La organización benéfica del príncipe Carlos de Gales, The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund, aceptó una donación de un millón de libras esterlinas (1,2 millones de dólares) de la familia de Osama bin Laden, el fundador y exlíder de la organización terrorista Al Qaeda.

El dinero ingresó de manos de dos hermanastros del terrorista asesinado en 2011, Bakr y Shafiq bin Laden, y presuntamente Carlos de Gales negoció el pago en una reunión que sostuvo con Bakr en su residencia real, Clarence House, en Londres, el 30 de octubre de 2013, sostiene un informe del diario británico The Sunday Times.

Aunque no hay indicios de que los hermanos Bin Laden, herederos de una de las familias más ricas y reconocidas de Arabia Saudita, hayan patrocinado acciones terroristas o hayan estado involucrados en ellas, el periódico señaló el sábado que la organización benéfica del heredero de la corona británica y varios de sus asesores intentaron persuadirlo de que sería mejor no recibir la contribución. Sin embargo, pese a las discrepancias, el dinero finalmente fue aceptado.

Posteriormente, uno de los consejeros del príncipe le instó a devolver la donación, advirtiéndole que su reputación podría verse gravemente perjudicada si su nombre se asociaba con el de la familia saudita. No obstante, el hijo de la reina Isabel II sintió que sería demasiado vergonzoso devolver el dinero a los magnates y temía que sospecharan el motivo, afirma el artículo.

The Prince of Wales’ Charitable FundWCF aceptó el donativo luego de concluir que las acciones de Osama Bin Laden, principal sospechoso de los atentados del 11 de septiembre de 2001 en Nueva York, no deberían empañar al resto de los miembros de su familia, en este caso a Bakr y Shafiq. Sin embargo, fuentes cercanas al príncipe cuestionan las acusaciones de que Carlos negoció personalmente el trato y de que accedió a las donaciones a pesar de las objeciones de sus asesores.

El presidente de la organización, Ian Cheshire, aclaró que la entrada de ese capital fue una decisión tomada “íntegramente” por los fideicomisarios del fondo en ese entonces y no de Carlos. “Cualquier intento de sugerir lo contrario es engañoso e inexacto”, añadió. Al mismo tiempo, The Sunday Times comenta que un portavoz del príncipe había recalcado en el pasado que “todas las decisiones sobre la recaudación de fondos” de sus organizaciones benéficas “operan independientemente” de él mismo, quien además no tiene un cargo oficial dentro del fondo.

Pese a estos argumentos, el caso pone nuevamente en entredicho la conducta y el juicio personal de Carlos, quien ya se ha visto involucrado en otros escándalos similares. El mes pasado un representante de Clarence House confirmó que el príncipe había recibido bolsas con millones de euros en efectivo de un influyente político e inversor catarí durante reuniones personales. No hay suposiciones de que los pagos fueran ilegales y los fideicomisarios de la organización benéfica confirmaron que la donación fue realizada en 2015 en efectivo por elección del donante, y que una auditoría especial concluyó que no se había infringido ninguna ley.

Nota original de RT Español.

Anxious mourners gather for viewing of 5 slain family members Loop Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Funeral to get under way at 11 am

Loop News

1 hrs ago

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With hundreds of people gathered at Clarendon College for the thanksgiving service for the lives of a mother and her four children who were last month slain by their relative, Rushane Barnett, from as early as 8 am Sunday, attendees are anxious to see their bodies.

Mourners view the bodies of the five family members killed in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon last month ahead of the thanksgiving service for their lives at Clarendon College on Sunday.

The funeral, which is scheduled for the Stuart Hall auditorium, is set to begin at 11am after a viewing that is scheduled for 10am.

As organisers readied to begin the viewing of the bodies of Kimesha Wright, 31; Kimanda Smith, 15; Shara-Lee Smith, 10; Rafaella Smith, five; and 23-month-old Kishawn Henry on Sunday, there was some amount of confusion as people rushed to view the bodies before it was officially time to do so.

The family of five was slain between the night of June 20 and the early morning of June 21 in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon. Barnett has since pleaded guilty to their murders.

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McKenzie cites need for campaign to highlight road crash ‘disaster’ Loop Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, has indicated that there is an urgent need for a campaign to highlight the severity of road crashes across the country.

McKenzie’s comments come in the wake of last Sunday’s two-bus crash on the Llandovery main road in St Ann, which resulted in the deaths of 50-year-old Jennifer Palmer and driver Kermit Grant on the day of the incident.

By Thursday, the number of persons dying as a result of injuries sustained in the crash moved to four, after 20-year-old Khadijah Campbell of Brown’s Town and an unidentified man also died.

Approximately 18 people remain hospitalised as a result of that crash, while there have been several other fatal road crashes since then across the island.

While speaking at a town hall meeting hosted by the ministry in Runaway Bay, St Ann on Thursday, McKenzie described the road deaths caused by traffic crashes as a man-made disaster that is affecting the country.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie (Photo: JIS)

According to him, the same way persons can use social media to raise awareness about issues, the same should be done to tackle road fatalities locally.

“We are paying a severe price for this level of indiscipline that has taken over our roads. We are losing lives – (mostly) young men – and I am concerned,” said McKenzie.

“The same way in which we use social media and other forms of information to be critical and raise concerns about (other) issues, let us start a campaign in this country about the carnage on our roads, and what we as Jamaicans can do and are prepared to do,” the minister continued.

“I bet yuh any morning some of you decide yuh not taking these buses or taxis yuh send dem a message!” he added.

The carnage on the roads, said McKenzie, is also resulting in the country losing much-needed revenue.

“The law alone can’t help, and I am feeling a little bit down, because I saw somebody who is mourning the death of a loved one.

“When I listen to the number of persons in the hospitals, where elective surgeries have to put on hold, that is a cost to the country, loss of revenue, loss of production, and we consider it to be a disaster,” he explained.

“… And we are going to be taking this message right across the country,” stated McKenzie.

Ticketera sufre otro ciberataque

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Radio Isla TV

El portavoz de la empresa Ticketera, Daniel Hernández, confirmó el sábado que sufrieron un nuevo ciberataque.

“Estamos confirmando que nuestra plataforma de venta de boletos sufrió un ciberataque. A eso de las 11 de la mañana nuestro equipo técnico tomó conocimiento del inicio de un ataque con “bots” que hasta el momento todo tiende a indicar que la intención era acaparar los boletos en venta pero las medidas que hemos tomado sacaron la plataforma fuera de línea  (off-line) para evitar que lograran su cometido.

Ya un poco después de la 1 de la tarde nuestro equipo logró subir en línea la plataforma de venta nuevamente y ya se encuentra en servicio.   Al igual que la ocasión anterior nuestros controles lograron ser efectivos.  Los eventos que están en funciones estos días tienen boletería tanto en Caguas como en el Mall of San Juan. Por el momento nuestros clientes pueden estar tranquilos que su información no ha sido comprometida. Cualquier eventualidad les dejaremos saber a través de estos medios”, dijo Hernández en declaraciones escritas.

En el mes de junio, la empresa enfrentó un evento similar, durante la compraventa de boletos para varios eventos en el Coca Cola Music Hall.

Santuario de Animales en Cabo Rojo realizará dos “servicarros” para recibir donaciones con motivo de su 14to. aniversario

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Radio Isla TV

El Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asís, Inc. (Sasfapr) celebrará su décimocuarto aniversario con dos “servicarros” para recibir donaciones para los 260 perros y gatos que alberga y que buscan un hogar, el sábado, 13 de agosto de 2022.

El punto principal para el recibo de donaciones será frente a las instalaciones del Sasfapr, en la carretera PR-114, en Cabo Rojo, mientras que el segundo punto será en la sede de la empresa Reality Realty, en Santurce. Este punto de donaciones estará a cargo de los amigos y amigas de la Fundación Mochileando 100×35.

El Sasfapr es una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada al bienestar animal que no aplica la eutanasia por cupo, edad ni adoptabilidad. La entidad es lo que en inglés se conoce como un “no kill shelter”, y actualmente alberga 260 perros y gatos en busca de hogar permanente.

“La operación mensual del Sasfapr fluctúa entre $22,000 y $25,000, siendo unas de las partidas principales los gastos veterinarios. Es por esto que, con motivo de nuestro cumpleaños, recurrimos al gran corazón de las personas que creen en nuestra labor de amor, y les invitamos a compartir con nosotros sus bendiciones en la forma de donaciones”, expresó la presidenta del Sasfapr, Dellymar Bernal.

El Santuario, que tiene una alta población de inquilinos seniors, depende de donativos para costear sus operaciones y proveerles a sus perros y gatos los cuidados veterinarios que requieren, así como el amor y las demás atenciones que necesitan para tener buena calidad de vida mientras esperan por ser adoptados.

El sábado, 13 de agosto de 2022, voluntarios y personal del #Sasfapr recibirán las donaciones frente a las instalaciones de la organización entre 10:00 AM y 3:00 PM. De igual forma, la Fundación Mochileando operará su centro de acopio en Reality Realty, en Santurce, en el mismo horario (10:00 AM a 3:00 PM).

“Estamos emocionados de poder colaborar con Sasfapr y contribuir a que los animales en Puerto Rico tengan un mejor futuro, lleno de amor y compasión. Donde haya una oportunidad para mejorar la calidad de vida de las mascotas, allí estará Mochileando, defendiendo su bienestar”, expresó Wilson Santiago Burgos, presidente de la Fundación Mochileando 100×35 y blogger de

A continuación, un listado de los artículos más necesarios en estos momentos:

Comida mojada (de lata) para perros y gatos adultos
Comida mojada (de lata) para cachorros y gatos bebés
Arena para gatos
Baldes para mapear con exprimidor
Vinagre blanco
Jabón de fregar
“Baby food” de pollo, carne o pavo
Atún enlatado
Pollo enlatado
Bolsas de basura de 33 y 39 galones
Platos para mascotas
Collares, correas (leashes) y arneses para perros
Piscinas plásticas (como para niños)
Juguetes para perros y gatos
Galletas o “treats” para perros y gatos
Detergente para lavar ropa
Periódicos viejos

En estos 14 años, el Santuario ha rescatado y rehabilitado más de 3,000 animales, logró la esterilización o castración de 5,000 animales en las cinco clínicas que lideró durante el “Spayathon for Puerto Rico”, y ha colaborado con más de 20 organizaciones de bienestar animal dentro y fuera de Puerto Rico.

“En este tiempo, también hemos logrado la adopción de más de 3,000 perros y gatos en Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos”, agregó Bernal Martínez.

La organización creó una lista de artículos deseados o “wishlist” en la plataforma de ventas por internet Amazon:

Si escoge donar algún artículo del “wishlist”, puede enviarlo a la dirección postal de la organización: PO Box 538 Boquerón PR 00622-0538.

Los donativos monetarios pueden hacerse por ATH Móvil al 787-612-8587, Paypal a o cheques a nombre del Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asís.

Kokosverwerkers bijgeschoold tijdens intensieve training

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: De Ware Tijd Online

PARAMARIBO — Kokosverwerkers hebben onderricht gekregen van het Suriname Business Forum en de International Trade Center. Tijdens een training van