Educational Innovation leads to success

Caribisch Netwerk writes, that students of the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) are about to start their final examinations. They are confident that they now will perform better because they are of the opinion that the new teachers of the school are better.

Students SCS are pleased with their new teachers. (Photo SCS)
Students SCS are pleased with their new teachers.
(Photo SCS)

Final exam candidate Jody Morgan: “Initially I thought, and with me most of my classmates, that we would not appreciate the change of teachers. We were accustomed to the teaching style of the previous ones. But after a few months, we noticed that our results improved. ”

The school struggled for years with a shortage of teachers and problems with the school board. Last year, in April, four teachers were fired and the director got stuck in a quandary because two other teachers resigned in solidarity. It was not the first time that the SCS started the school year with an insufficient number of teachers, but this year was the first time that the school lacked six teachers.

The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) had made six million dollars available for hiring and retaining new teachers on the BES islands. In 2016, all schools in the BES have to meet the basic quality of schools in the Netherlands. Now,on Saba, the first results are visible.

Michel Hassell, a student on SCS, says, “The new teachers have more experience with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams, so now I think, that the teachers are better than before.”

“Whether students have success in their studies cannot be traced to any particular teacher, but the simple fact that the teachers do not change jobs so quickly anymore, already has a positive effect. We now can complete the courses. The present teachers force us to work harder and as a result the level goes up. ”
Jody gives an example: ” Initially, I was very frustrated because in six months, we barely had time to master the ‘Principles of Accounting’. Previously, this course took three years! But now, we have the impression, that we are well prepared for the exams for all subjects. ”

In August, the results of the exams will be communicated to the students. Hassell wants to go to the United States because there he can study in English.

Neil Wilson wants to America because most of students from Saba to go there. However, because studying in the Netherlands is cheaper, he is still considering to go to the Netherlands.

Morgan has chosen immediately for the Netherlands. “I see more opportunities for myself. I think it’s a great country to explore and there to broaden my horizon. “

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15 comments

  1. It is good to read that the students of the SCS are pleased with the teachers they have.

    But, I must question the author of this article: why do you continue to use incorrect and misleading language? Do you do so deliberately or are you just a poor journalist? Last year many teachers were replaced at the SCS, but not one of those teachers were fired. If you don’t understand the difference between non-renewal of a contract and dismissal (firing) – a dictionary is the most obvious place to start.

    Note Editor Saba News:
    This is a translation from a post on the website of Caribisch Netwerk. The link to the original article is in the first line of this post.

  2. I know that a lot of this not true as students still complaining about the school this year and that there is no life there anymore. I feels for the form 5’s as they want to go out and make a life for themselves outside of little Saba but lets be honest that some of them kids not even sit that accounting exam because you can’t expec anyone to learns 3 years of work in just 6 months. I thought CXC had rules about class times yet little Saba seem to break every rule.

    Out of these 3 students 2 is going to America and 1 to the Netherlands. As a parent I’s concern why we even using CXC as none of them kids going to the Caribbean to study. It make no sense! To me this just that old board trifflin to trick everyone and have them say theys was right but no they was not. This just coming up now as all them good teachers and Mr. Hemmie is going to court to win against them wicked three. This foolin nobody excepts they!

  3. Saffy,

    You are correct again. You hit the nail on the head. The majority of students are not happy in school. They tell me this themselves. The school has become a learning institute where cooperation and teamwork, critical thinking and responsibility has been put aside.
    It is clear that this article is trying to brush up the image of the school, but when you talk to students, teachers and those who work in school as non-teaching staff, they will tell you a different story.
    Hassell stated last week that a lot of information about the school is too negative. Well you harvest what you sow. I wish there were positive things to mention, but when you read the last inspection report you can only conclude that things are not going well at all.

  4. 1. This article comes up now because (hold your breath now) the students are actually doing their CXC examinations now. That is the purpose of this article, not any trick to do with the court case. The court case has nothing to do with the daily lives at SCS of the students, however examinations do.
    2. The CXC system has been in place for years…it was not put into place by the previous board.
    3. Yes, I did state last week about the negativity some of you always portray about SCS. This article points out the confidence and aspirations of the examination students, and yet again some of you bring negativity into it.

    There is a saying ‘misery likes company’. And some people just always have to be negative. There are many things that are positive about SCS, but some of you just want to nitpick at everything because you want your own way….

  5. Finally an old board member speak out. Well this all be well in good in print but I hear first hand they was not prepared so how does this article say so. Nobody trying to gets there own way but the last board of wickedness and look how it work out for they as they all resigned when the heat was on. If they was truly behind all them bad decisions then why did they not stick it through. Nobody fooled and justice will rule the day. Nobody said the previous board brought in CXC but as a parent I don’t understand why it being used when nobody going to the Caribbean to study. Can anyone answer? All year they been nothing but confusion and strife at SCS and the year not done so lets see what else happen before July and see how you paint a pretty picture on that.

    • You need to get a life. I suggest all the things you have to say to the old school board members, you need to do so in person. You know where they live and work. Don’t hide behind Saba News or your alias. Get over it – both of you.
      (Shortened by Editor)

  6. Alida Heilbron

    It is a pity that some will choose to dwell in the negative as that seems to be a comfort zone…

    As the parent of Jody Morgan, I too was very much dismayed, upset and worried about the developments at the SCS last year. It was a big disruption for us all, but especially the students and especially the 5th form students. They were really worried about their exams as they were very much influenced by all the negativity, and hated to see the teachers leave. Change is difficult and definitely so on a small island.

    Having said that, Jody and Michel spoke from the heart. They were not coached to say what they said, neither would it benefit them to not speak the truth. These are 2 bright 5th form students who, when interviewed, gave their opinion.
    We all agree that not all is nice and dandy at the school, but the end justifies the means. The 5th form students seem to be well prepared for CXC exams and I am positive that they will do well. The results will speak for itself.

    CXC is a Caribbean system, but that does not mean that it will only benefit you if you stay in the Caribbean. There have been plenty of students studying in the U.S. and The Netherlands and some have opted to study in the Caribbean and they are doing (have done) well. Not all will succeed, but there are many deciding factors in that regard.
    Let’s move forward by encouraging our kids, not discouraging them by constantly shining a negative light on their education. In the end it is the students that count, not our egos!

  7. Saffy, I am not an old board member. So, please save the presumptions and conjecture.

    I am not painting a pretty picture for anyone. Like I said, SCS has its issues to work on just like every other school. No school is perfect. I would only like to see a stop come to the continuous negativity in the media about SCS. Some people just cannot see anything positive I guess.

    SCS has had many students successfully complete CXC and gone on to do well. I agree with Ms. Alida that sometimes when students do not do well there are other factors involved. You can question and complain about CXC all you want, however no system will cater to every country our students want to go to. An American system or Dutch system would have the same issues for students who are going to the opposite place.

  8. I would just like to add that I would challenge anyone to use their actual name when commenting. It is very easy to say hurtful, negative things or make unjust statements when hiding behind an alias. However, using your own name and stand behind what you say, will make you think twice before you talk.

    Just a suggestion to Mr. Editor.

    Comment Editor:
    Thank you for your suggestion, Mrs Heilbron.
    Comments provide a means for feedback from the readers concerning the articles published. Some websites have decided not to provide any means of feedback. We have chosen to follow the same rules as the websites of the major newspapers. You can checkout the Rules for Publication from the link at the bottom of each page.
    In general, we do not censor comments that are in line with these rules, so they will be published. Only in very special circumstances will we block publication.

  9. Malachy Hugh Magee

    I wholeheartedly agree with Alida. With oars and sails.

    And boy if you must use a pseudonym whilst appearing to have knowledge…
    At least make it amusing.

    The world is a competitive place and many seem to have forgotten their education, and what a shock it was to leave it and enter the job market.

    The best of luck to all the students, forgetful negative folks be damned!

    <blockquote

  10. I totally agree with Alida that some would choose to dwell on the negative and not see that the kids are happy and doing well. clearly shows that for saffy and sabaguru it is not about the kids and never were about them. its all about trying to wreak havoc and stir up WHAT AGAIN??? what do you guys want?? then again if it was not clear in the past as to what your agendas where from the beginning it is clear as day light now. the kids are happy they even praising the work of the teachers and that they have more experience with the cxc so what is you all problem? I suggest you get over it and get a life like Curious suggested you do and if your beef is with old members be man or woman and go deal with them and stop trying to ruin the school. Shame on you people.
    I am glad for the kids that they are motivated and wish them all the best with their finals and for those that will be furthering studies abroad much success

  11. Dear students, May I already compliment you with the fact that you have made it that far. You are busy with your exams or have finished them by now and hopefully by August you will know how you will move on.
    But let me give you one advice though, having your cxc certificate does not mean you have the world in your pocket. On the contrary. You will have to start from zero again, if it is in The Netherlands, The USA or The Caribbean. High school education/university life, campus society or just live by your self demands skills of responsibility, and dealing with ups and downs and how to control your budget. I sincerely hope that SCS has prepared you enough to take this giant step forward. Wish you all well and hopeful and positive.

    And for Mrs. Hassell I have another positive point to make. This year only 4 teachers will leave SCS instead of the 6 last year. A decrease with 33%. (still 20% of the overall staffing).

  12. Dear Jake and all others,

    Let me explain you what I want to achieve with these articles. Most people on Saba do not know what is happening behind closed doors. A school is an institute which is suppose to have an open door policy. But apparently that is not the case. And that is exactly why I write these things. Not to bring the school down, nor to create a negative attitude about the SCS but to inform you what is happening behind these closed doors since you parents, students or anyone else interested in education on Saba should know.
    Just realize that the school was running since August without a school board. The director had card blanche and acted accordingly. Who controlled him? NO ONE!. Now the financial administrator is getting the blame for the financial situation the school is in.
    The director did not develop any kind of Care plan, mentioned in the inspection report this June. Why was this not developed? Because behind closed doors they played a strategy to have a free ride on what was already in place.
    Behind closed doors the director ignored invitations from the Saba Health Care to participate. Did any one of you see a SCS student participate in this and did no one wonder why these students were not present?
    Four teachers are leaving and one of them is the School Coach. Yes, it is out on the street, that’s where I heard it. To loose such a viable and energetic positive motivated staff member must be a slap in the face of the Director (especially if you know the reason). This teacher has committed himself to the Saba community and brought respect, discipline and sportsmanship to our youth. And the school just let’s him go?
    I am sorry Tom Dick or Harry, but I don’t care if you write that my critics are negative. First of all it is all based on facts and no gossip. Secondly it is not meant to down grade the school but to open the eyes of everyone and to not let people responsible for education get away with it.
    But when you read all, it is depressing and seeing that our secondary education is going downhill extremely fast. But let’s challenge some here. Give me a list with at least 5 solid positive educational developments that happened the last school year and I will shut up.

  13. Wow I can’t believe Coach Derrick is leaving after all his time here on little Saba. This man so involve in the community and both Sacred Heart and SCS. Now we see that Saba Guru is talking sense all the time and been telling truths.

    I also here yesterday about Coach but i was hoping it wasn’t true but now we knows it is. We all know that the wrong person running that school and making a mess of things and teachers and students not happy. Now we see how its all going to fall and I wonders who be next.

    Jake need to watch heself as I knows full well who he be and he need to save heself for the political arena if any party actually want he. I says it all year and now I says it bold MR HEMMIE NEEDS TO COME BACK AND SAVE SCS BEFORE IT TOO LATE. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

  14. Another concerned parent

    Thank you Saba Guru for putting this piece on Saba News. I had already heard some rumors but reading the facts now makes me wonder and question who is ultimately responsible for the mess that has been created in that school. It all started in 2012 with removing Roy and them. Then we got a new school board that would solve the problems, a team introduced by the commissioner, head educational department and OCW representative had written a Growth Document that would outline the way forward with the SCS. The new school board explained to be very happy with this document since it would help them and the new director to be appointed, to bring the school to a new level.
    What happened? Well we all know. Chaos, insubordination, dictatorship and bullying toke place by these board members. And the Growth Document was dumped in the bin. This board set out their own rules and guidelines according to their liking.
    Teachers and director had to leave because these board members wanted a new direction.
    New teachers were recruited and a new director appointed. But soon after the school year had started, the board members were politically removed, if you know what I mean. The new director, who had no experience as a school administrator/director had to run the school without any support or supervision.
    Chaos turned into mutiny and soon the school was ready to sink. Thank God the VO raad came in and established a new school board, based on their experience and knowhow.
    But we all know how this story has ended so far. A new school board has been appointed, but it looks as if this time the director, who decides what will happen, let the board dance to his tune.
    This all brings me to the following conclusion. First of all it is our children who pay the price for years of incompetent leadership/management and governance. And this is still on going. Our students study according to their ability and MOST teachers support them when needed. When I read that again 4 teachers are leaving the school, I question myself, who is in God’s name responsible for this ongoing mess? Continuity? Stability? Security? Improvement of Education? Who can we call to to have this re-established? Is Mr. Oleana the hero to help out? I don’t think so looking at the mess the SGB is in? Our commissioner? He washes his hand s in innocence. Our Dutch Inspectorate? They can only do as much as the law allows them. Our state secretary? He has his VO-raad and advisors to monitor the situation. BUT IN THE MEANTIME OUR STUDENTS PAY THE PRICE OF THIS ONGOING SAGA.
    Of course we try to stay positive and look and hope that the future will be better but so far we have not seen any guarantee for this. Do we now have to call His Majesty The King to step in since all other established levels have failed?
    Please give us a solution in this.

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