According to the newssite Bonaire.Nu, MP Antje Diertens of D66 has submitted a motion last Wednesday in the Second Chamber, calling for the conversion of libraries on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba into more multi-faceted development centers.
“Libraries also need to be the place on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba where people can start learning skills that stimulate self-reliance”, says MP Antje Diertens (D66) about the reason for submitting her motion. Diertens wants to give the libraries on the islands a role in the introduction of the so-called ‘lifelong learning’ phenomenon.
“Preventive activities that stimulate awareness for the need for a healthy lifestyle can also be offered in the library in the form of information and courses. This in collaboration with other social partners on the island. ”
Diertens points out in a note, written together with former Bonaire commissioner Nina den Heijer, that a library is a community home where everyone is welcome to learn to read and write, for example. ”So that everyone gets the chance to (continue to) participate in the community. Knowledge and expertise ensure that people direct their own existence. Knowledge of language has a positive effect on well-being, health, self-reliance and opportunities on the labor market. Many adults on the BES islands have difficulty reading, writing, calculating and dealing with the computer. That is why it is important to seduce people easily to learn. People in the library environment can also be encouraged to take further steps in the context of permanent education. Because of the island problem it is sometimes difficult to follow a (supplementary) education at the university in Curaçao or in the Netherlands. A good ICT infrastructure in the library enables people, for example, to follow courses or lectures given elsewhere at a distance.”
The current libraries on the islands still have a more traditional function and do not meet the standards that apply in the European Netherlands, emphasizes the MP: “Activities that can be offered in the modern library are: reading groups, writing courses, tutoring for, language improvement, walk and talk meetings for jobseekers, and special activities for teachers and supervisors, adult education, web lectures and web courses, for example about a healthy lifestyle, etc. ”
In her motion, Diertens calls on Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science to investigate whether libraries in the Caribbean Netherlands can be assigned a role in introducing life-long learning. She sees this as a means to tackle problems in the social domain.
“One of the biggest problems is tackling poverty alleviation. People are often, in addition to other problems, caught in debt problems. It is difficult for many people to get control over their own existence.”
The motion that is put to the vote on Tuesday can count on a large majority in the Second Chamber.