Last week, board members and directors of the educational institutes of the Caribbean Netherlands visited The Hague. The purpose of the visit was to talk with various policy advisers about the further improvement of the quality of education on the islands. Minister Arie Slob of OCW also joined.
Eveliene Coenen, former director of Stichting Openbaar Onderwijs Bonaire, looks back with satisfaction: The conversation took place within the framework of the Second Education Agenda for the Caribbean Netherlands 2017-2020, and the necessary steps. “The first Education Agenda from 2011 was ambitious”, says Eveliene. “But we did manage it. Our teams, the employees of the schools, have worked very hard in recent years, making a real effort and initiated the development to achieve the goals. And we succeeded! In fact, now with the second agenda, everyone is still ready for it, and everyone goes along with the developments by fully dedicating themselves every day.”
According to Eveliene Coenen, the Education Agenda has been a very good tool for initiating developments. “Other ministries should take an example. It creates a lot of clarity for all parties. I am proud of the efforts of teaching staff in the Dutch Caribbean who have also implemented the first Education Agenda in a short period of time.”
The administrators and school leaders talked in small groups on Tuesday with OCW policy colleagues about important themes in the implementation of the Second Education Agenda and the quality improvement that is central: the curriculum, testing and supervision, educational support, training, recruitment and selection and staff training, career transfer and connection with the labour market and the introduction of the Caribbean Examination Council system on St. Eustatius and Saba. Policy adviser Jeroen Arts of OCW in The Hague: “‘These discussions have shown our policy colleagues what is concrete about their topic in the Caribbean Netherlands, what bottlenecks there are. For a number, this was a lot of new information. They will now have to see what the things they have heard mean for the policies they make.”
The delegation from the Caribbean Netherlands was a guest at the PO Council last week for an entire study week with school visits, master classes and workshops. The visit ended on Friday with participation in the annual conference of the PO Council. The PO Council is the sector organization for primary education (PO). The association represents the common interests of the school boards in primary education, special primary education and (secondary) special education.