September 24, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Renovation is better than nothing and more diplomacy

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With government having little funds, although they seem to still have plenty to throw away on what they deem to be necessary (political vote winners are top) it was with a beaming smile Education Minister, Rolston Anglin, opened the first new classroom block in the government’s renovation and expansion of public primary schools at George Town Primary last Thursday (17).

Marie Martin, George Town Primary School principal, said she didn’t think the new classroom block would ever happen in her lifetime. Minister Anglin said given the economy constraints on government the decision to renovate rather than build new schools, presented a practical approach to overcrowding and facility shortages in many of the islands primary schools.

I have to concur. After Hurricane Ivan, the school was badly in need of either knocking down or a major face-lift. With no money for either, the only solution was renovation.

“We had to think how we could deal within the financial realities and at the same time deal with the needs of the children,” Anglin said at the opening ceremony. “The ministry went back to the drawing board and came up with a plan that would revolutionise the school.”

The new facility has nine classrooms each with smart boards, a library and music room plus computers.

AND . . .

The premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush, could learn a few things about politeness and diplomacy (if he’s ever heard of the words) from H.E. Governor Duncan Taylor.

In an interview he gave CITN/Cayman 27 following his return last week from London, he said he was disappointed relations between himself and Mr. Bush had “broken down”.

Saying there was no truth in the premier’s accusations of himself and the FCO undermining the Cayman Islands and he was “saddened” by the present state of affairs. He also denied he was against the Dr. Shetti health centre that the premier constantly says he is.

I know whom I believe.

One very interesting thing Mr. Taylor said was, the China Harbour Engineering Company deal Mr. Bush is proceeding with regarding the berthing facility, does not have the backing of the UK. “To get that support the project would need to be put back in line with minimum international best practice standards,” he said.

So, does it matter then what KPMG’s report says?

What a pleasure it was not to hear the childish and embarrassing tirades of “let’s get personal” that we hear from not only the premier, but some of his MLA’s, anywhere in this interview. He said only there were “difficulties” that had to be worked through.

“Having good governance in place and following and practicing that good governance is actually an essential underpinning for a successful economy … In the long term, if you don’t have good governance in place then the economy is under threat,” Mr. Taylor said.

Can one really argue with that?

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