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Cayman Islands Government

Essay Awardees Impress

Twenty eight primary and high school students bagged prizes in the Royal Commonwealth Society 2014 essay competition. Top winner overall was St. Ignatius Catholic School with 19 awards, followed by Cayman Prep and High School with seven awards. Two students from Edna M. Moyle Primary School won junior silver and bronze awards among government schools.

At a presentation ceremony at Government House last week, Her Excellency the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick, expressed great delight in hosting the event and congratulated all the winners on their stellar achievement.

Delivering remarks behalf of Education Minister Hon. Tara Rivers, who could not be present, Ministerial Councillor Winston Connolly explained the Cayman Islands students’ achievement was especially laudable since the competition attracted over 10,000 entries worldwide from 44 Commonwealth countries. “You should be extremely proud of yourselves,” he encouraged the youngsters.

One of the priority areas for the Education Minister “is international competitiveness and raising standards,” he explained. In this regard, the Ministry has introduced a standards-based writing guidance for schools. A professional learning tool developed to provide support for teachers, the guidance document aims to develop an effective, foundation-strengthening early years’ writing programme. In September this year, the Ministry would also launch complementary standards for reading and a strategic plan for literacy, he said.

The Education Ministry’s motto is “Children First”, he said. “This means that every decision we make must be for the benefit of the children we serve.”

Presenting the awards were the Governor; Acting Chief Officer Christen Suckoo; Mr. Michael McWatt, Deputy Managing Director and Executive VP (Banking) of sponsor Butterfield Bank; Honorary Representative of the Royal Commonwealth Society Lemuel Hurlston and Grand Court Judge Hon. Charles Quin, who also highlighted the work of the late Mr. John Elliott, the launcher of the competition in the Cayman Islands.

In his vote of thanks, Mr. Hurlston highlighted the long-standing and close involvement of the afternoon’s emcee and Education Department’s Senior Customer Service Manager, Mr. James Watler.

For further information contact: Bina Mani