Information and communication technologies is the terminology used in various regulations, such as the 2002 Information and Communication Technology Law as revised in 2019 and the 2011 Information and Communication Technology Integration (ICT) Policy.
Constitution and laws: The 2016 Education Law set that a course on information and communication technology must be included in the curricula, but it provides no additional information on the integration of technology into the educational environment.
The 2002 Information and Communication Technology Law, as amended in 2019, defines licencing requirements, data protection, and ICT usage regulations. Section 4 of the Act establishes the Utility Regulations and Competition Office, whose primary duties include promoting research and development initiatives through public education. ICT throughout the Islands. The Act requires the provision of Universal Service and provides that licensees may be subject to certain conditions that may include (a) public voice telephony services together with free calls to emergency services and directory assistance, and (b) Internet access together with free Internet access for educational or health facilities.
Policies, plans and strategies: In 2010, a series of policies and strategies were enacted to incorporate and enhance the use of ICT in the educational context. The 2010 Information and Communication Technology Integration Policy aims to outline the ICT integration in all Cayman Islands public schools and focus on how technology resources can be used to enhance the delivery of various subject areas.
The 2010 Information and Communication Technology Integration Strategy, and the 2010 Student Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Use (as reviewed in 2020) aimed to define and outline the use of ICT resources in schools.
The 2010 Staff Information and Communication Technology (ICT) USE Policy and the 2010 National Teaching and Learning Policy provide a guiding policy for teachers.
The 2022-2024 Strategic Policy Statement prioritises funding for the Ministry of Education to support the continued improvement of teaching and learning in schools, with a focus on increasing the use of online and computerized testing. It also supports the Department of Education Services' connectivity program as part of the overall digital strategy to facilitate effective learning at home.
Digital competency frameworks: There are no national digital competency framework for teachers or students.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: Several policies were modified, including the 2010 Student Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Use (as amended in 2020). Additionally, other policies were issued after 2020, such as the 2020 National Anti-Bullying Policy for Schools Students and the 2022-2024 Strategic Policy Statement.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The 2005 Electricity Sector Regulation Law, as revised in 2019, makes no reference to education institutions. The National Energy Policy 2017-2037 aspires to increase awareness and competencies in sustainable energy technologies at every level of the educational curricula.
Computers and devices: The 2010 Information and Communication Technology Integration Policy states that the Ministry of Education will provide laptops to new teachers entering the public school system. The 2010 Information and Communication Technology Integration Strategy aims to integrate all government information and communication technologies.
According to the 2010 Student Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Use (as amended in 2020), the provision of ICT resources by schools advances one of the primary goals of the education service, which is to provide high-quality, cutting-edge resources for the benefit of the teaching population. The devices provided by the Ministry belong to the Ministry. The 2020 Student Laptop Agreement Policy regulates the distribution of laptop computers to students.
In 2020, funding for the One-To-One Laptop program for government schools was approved. The 2022-2024 Strategic Policy Statement includes the Ministry of Education funding priority supporting the One-to-One laptop programme and the continued roll-out of the Department of Education Services’ connectivity programme.
Internet connectivity: The Information and Communication Technology Law, of 2002, as amended in 2019, provides for the establishment of a Universal Service Fund to compensate any ICT service provider or ICT network provider mandated by the state to provide universal services. The categories of universal services may include Internet access and free Internet access for educational and medical institutions.
As a result of COVID-19, the Ministry of Education has liaised with various internet providers to help to increase access to the internet.
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
Distance learning was implemented in order to provide continuity of education during COVID-19. Online learning, paper-based learning and a combined methodology were implemented as mentioned by the 2020 Continuity of Education Policy Guidance for Schools COVID-19 Pandemic. Further guidance was developed as the 2022 MOE COVID-19 Guidance for Education Institutions Revised.
According to the 2016 Education Law, the curriculum for every school shall comprise mandatory subjects such as literacy, numeracy, science, information and communication technology, the arts, physical education and studies related to civics, religion, and the history and culture of the Islands.
The 2019 Primary National Curriculum includes the core subjects of Computing and Design and Technology as independent subjects and addresses the responsible use of cell phones and ICT and online safety. According to the Ministry of Education's 2018 Parent Guide, the main components of the Computing curriculum are information technology, digital literacy, and computer science.
According to the 2011 Information and Communication Technology Integration Policy, Information and Technology are taught as a standalone subject in public primary and secondary schools as part of the National Curriculum.
The 2011 Curriculum Policy, which governs all government schools, requires a coordinated approach to the development of cross-curricular literacy, numeracy, and ICT skills.
The 2017 Education Regulations state that a programme at a post-compulsory or tertiary institution must be taught in accordance with the institution’s accreditation or certification standards as approved by the institution’s registration.
The 2016 Education Law establishes that the Cabinet may issue qualifications, registration, and de-registration regulations regarding teachers in schools. In addition, no individual may be employed as a teacher in any school unless registered in accordance with the rules.
The 2011 Information and Communication Technology Integration Policy set the responsibility of the State to provide opportunities for professional development for teachers in the area of ICT integration.
The 2010 Information and Communication Technology Integration Strategy aim to enhance ICT teachers' skills.
2.4.1. Data privacy
The 2017 Data Protection Law, as amended in 2021, governs the Cayman Islands' general data privacy. The Cayman Islands' Data Protection Act (2021 Revision) (Law 56 of 2021) ('DPA') draws its foundational tenets, including processing principles and legal bases for processing, from the UK's Data Protection Act 2018 and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) .
The 2002 Information and Communication Technology Law, as amended in 2019, prohibits the interception of messages and outlines data protection guidelines; however, it does not address education-specific circumstances.
The 2013 Use of Student Images Policy guides the use of student images for publication.
The 2020 Student Code of Conduct-Teacher Guidance Handbook specifies that a breach of the Student Code of Conduct may result in Police action if photographing or filming staff or other students without their knowledge or permission.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The 2002 Information and Communication Technology Law, as amended in 2019, states: "A person who knowingly uses an ICT network or ICT service to defraud, abuse, annoy, threaten, or harass another person is guilty of an offense and is liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine of ten thousand dollars and to imprisonment for one year, or, upon conviction on indictment, to a fine of twenty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for two years" (Article 90).
The 2020 National Anti-Bullying Policy for Schools Students requires all educational institutions (public and private) to develop an anti-bullying policy based on the Ministry of Education’s supporting guidance documents. Cyberbullying is included within the scope of Bullying.
The 2020 Ministry of Education Guidance Circular Behaviour and Discipline in Schools mandates that a school leader must include anti-bullying measures in the school's "behavior policy". The same guidance document classifies bullying as a major offense and outlines a variety of disciplinary measures that may be applied for such an offense.
The National Policy on School Discipline and Student Behaviour as revised in 2020, outlines the expectations of the Ministry of Education (the ministry) regarding how government, assisted, and independent schools should develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate discipline and student behavior policies.
The 2010 Student Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Use (as revised in 2020) prohibits displaying, generating, or disseminating obscene, defamatory, libelous, or pornographic messages, sending harassing communication, and uploading or sharing indecent images, videos, or other content that could embarrass or harass others. In addition, it specifically prohibits online bullying.
Finally, the 2020 Student Code of Conduct-Teacher Guidance Handbook states that a violation of the Student Code of Conduct may result in police action when bullying, harassing, or intimidating staff or students via text, email, or multimedia messaging, sending inappropriate messages or posts to social networking or blogging sites, or using cell phones outside of school hours to intimidate or upset staff and students.
The Human Rights Commission for the Cayman Islands developed a Guide for Students, Parents and Teachers to combat bullying that discusses what bullying is, what the potential consequences are, and provides suggested strategies on how to tackle it.
The Ministry of Education, through the ICT Unit, provides oversight and management of Information, and Communication Technology (ICT) throughout the Ministry of Education.
According to the 2002 Information and Communication Technology Law (as amended in 2019), the Utility Regulations and Competition Office is in charge of supporting research and development activities through public education.
Mobile phones are not allowed in public schools. The 2020 Student Code of Conduct-Teacher Guidance Handbook classifies cell phones and other electronic devices as prohibited items and specifies that schools are not responsible in the case of loss, damage or stealing if the rule is broken. Furthermore, it specifies that cell phones and other electronic devices are not permitted in school.
The 2010 Student Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Use (as revised in 2020) states that regardless of the ownership of such devices (laptops, Smart watches, Smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, mobile/cell phones, etc.), school rules still apply to the use of such devices inside and outside of school where such use relates to school activity. All personal devices should have adequate security to prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing data, including the use of user account login credentials and data encryption. Moreover, it dictates that students must switch off cell phones, laptops, or similar electronic devices if instructed by a staff member. The only devices allowed in the classroom are those acceptable as outlined in the school’s guidelines and policies.
The 2010 Staff Information and Communication Technology (ICT) USE Policy specifies that school staff may choose to ask students to switch off cell phones, laptops or similar electronic devices if they are disruptive to the classroom. The only devices allowed in the classroom are those acceptable as outlined in the school’s guidelines and policies.