大鸿沟:在开曼战斗教育不平等

尽管她自己的财务挣扎,但米歇尔米尔尔斯正试图为女儿Miska提供最佳教育。照片:詹姆斯怀特克

随着开曼继续发展其现代知识的经济,令人担忧的是,一些人被遗弃。

Economic and social disadvantage, in many cases, translates to academic disadvantage. Schools and non-profits are working to break the cycle, but amid the impact of COVID-19 the challenges of poverty and social disruption are becoming greater even as the need for high-level education grows.

挑战时代

在锁定的狗日内,Michelle Myles在她的手机上保持了密切的信誉。

在周日她将增加500 mb和清华rsday she would be screening calls to ensure she had enough data left for her 8-year-old daughter Miska to attend online classes the next day.

“我必须为她使用它,”她说。

“你知道如果你WhatsApp调用你的信用goes fast, so you have to watch it.”

The大流行强调了开曼的数字鸿沟,引发了担忧,特别是在教育中,留下的差距和没有。

带笔记本电脑和iPad的儿童,他们自己的卧室和计算机识字的父母,对那些没有的人具有明显的优势。

在大流行后,可以获得学生和经济实惠的,可靠的互联网成为优先事项。政府和非营利性识字是为了每个人都搬到了这个问题,投资了近3,000台儿童科级,以帮助虚拟学习计划。

But lack of access to technology – an obvious imperative when lessons are being delivered digitally – is far from the only area in which economic disadvantage translates to academic inequality.

Myles and her daughter went for a time without proper access to power and water.

Their living conditions have improved, but Myles, who works at hotel Locale, which has now converted to cater to long term residents, lost shifts in the aftermath of the pandemic and making rent on her new apartment in West Bay is a monthly challenge.

Making progress

In those circumstances, it can be difficult to prioritise education, but Michelle and Miska are making progress.

在乔治镇小学的同龄人继续跟上她的同伴的Miska已经在过去一年中提出了两级读数。

Miska Myles has come up two grade levels since joining the MER program.

她一周一直与导师合作,这是随机善良的慈善行为的一部分,旨在通过教育提升贫困的援助计划的慈善行为。

The goal of the initiative, says Tara Nielsen of ARK, is to give youngsters from less-privileged backgrounds, who are falling behind in school, intensive support to help them to catch up.

Myles is happy to see her daughter’s progress.

“她在学校有所改善。在她的最后一次考试中,她做得很好。“

Every night, she sits at the kitchen table with her daughter and helps her with her homework.

“我推她,因为我想要她最好,”她说。

“I want her to get a scholarship so she can go further in education. She says she wants to be a doctor – if you want to be a doctor your education has to be to the top standard.”

Breaking the cycle

ARK目前通过MER计划帮助13名学生。但这只是问题的一小部分,警告尼尔森。

There was a long waiting list of children in need of support, she says, adding, “I would say it is in the hundreds.”

Four out of 10 children in Cayman enter high school without reaching the expected level for their age group in English or maths, according to the 2019 Education Data Report.

The concept for the MER programme began with the work ARK does to support families with housing challenges.

慈善机构看到儿童与正在努力保持灯光的父母陷入困境,缺乏优先考虑其教育的遗嘱或方式。

Tara Nielsen of Cayman Acts of Random Kindness

Nielsen says she has seen many examples of children growing up, falling behind in school, dropping out, suffering the same employment challenges as their parents and coming back to ARK as young adults looking for help with food and housing.

Investing in education early enough, she believes, can break that cycle and prevent greater costs to government and non-profits in the long run.

Some parents, she says, are working hard to provide the best for their children. But their circumstances mean they need a little extra support to keep up academically with families that have better resources.

Fighting for a better future

As a single father of three girls since the breakdown of his marriage, Dennis Campbell is grateful for whatever help he can get.

He wants his daughters to be able to realise their dreams of being a doctor, a vet and a marine biologist. He is hustling every day to put food on the table, clothes on their backs and to ensure they are safe and happy. Education is one more thing to manage.

丹尼斯坎贝尔和他的三个女儿。

His youngest daughter, Destiny, 8, is one of the newest students to be admitted to ARK’s tutoring programme. She and her sisters Carol-Ann, 13, and Dejah-Lee, 12, are also involved in the charity’s robotics club.

丹尼斯和他的女儿住在他长大的房子里,在东部大道的一个理发店。

It was a busy place during Dennis’ childhood. His mother and grandmother fostered scores of children between them over the years.

“总人们会来,”他记得。

“There would be a knock on the door in the night and it would be the police with a baby.”

The house is quieter now.

他的祖母和他的母亲都通过了。他的支持网络已经瘫倒了,但是,丹尼斯以自己的方式呈现了家庭传统。

“I’m working hard, holding my job, trying to do everything I can for my girls,” he said.

In the mornings he presses their uniforms, gets their breakfast and makes sure they make it safely to school before he goes off to his own job as a courier at RBC.

“这是一个挑战,但它是一个有目的的使命,”他说。

When he comes home, sometimes the girls are there before him. The family circumstances have made them grow up quickly and they have learned to do a lot for themselves, helping with the cooking, cleaning and the laundry.

丹尼斯坎贝尔决心为他的女儿提供更美好的未来。

“I get home and they say ‘Daddy how was your day, did you eat today, sit down, relax’ – they help me so much.”

Sometimes money is tight, but the family is getting by.

“即使我们分享一盘食物用四叉 - 每个人都吃,每个人都睡觉,”他说。

Amid the challenges of a divorce and money struggles, Dennis says he is happy to have some support for his children’s education.

“与教育有关,签署我的任何事情,”他说。

“我每天都告诉他们所有我想要的人都是为了获得良好的教育。

“每次我把它们放下我告诉他们,'听你的老师,专注于你的工作。'他们是如此美丽的灵魂。我只是想要最好的。“

Positive role models

The programme also provides a mentor, who can act as a kind of aunt or ‘big sister’ to the girls, says Nielsen.

The aim is to give them positive role models and to broaden their horizons about what they can do with their lives.

The core belief at the centre of ARK’s programme is that many of the academic challenges faced by students in Cayman’s schools are linked to social and economic challenges.

Miska,命运和她的姐妹们与他人相比,不仅仅是因为方舟的支持,而且因为他们有父母,尽管他们缺乏资源,但足够关心他们的教育,以寻求支持。

尼尔森的最大担忧是她无法帮助的孩子。

She believes the programme is barely scratching the surface of the problem.

“There is so much demand for us to roll out the programme across all schools, but we only have funding for so many students,” she says.

如果方舟的努力别无其他别的,她希望慈善机构可以改变计划内的儿童的生活,并展示阅读早期学生的重要性。

她认为,从学校系统中几乎所有问题都在学校系统中,从这个社会,茎,从这个基础上,她相信。

在其他科目落后难以阅读的儿童,变得脱离或具有行为问题。最终,他们辍学或毕业,没有有意义的资格,循环再次开始。

“我们开始了这一点,因为我们想要掌握问题的根源。阅读成绩水平是我们必须正确的第一问题,“她说。

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