Opinion: Is a new school a solution for SCS issues ?

When I wrote the opinion piece: Shaping the Future of SCS, it was unclear how you would react but I did know that there wasn’t any middle ground.  I wanted us to talk because I continue to believe that this conversation we are having about Saba Comprehensive School is important.

I think we can all admit that Saba Comprehensive School is a challenge to our community for reasons that have been discussed here and elsewhere since problems first surfaced last year.

Let me say to all the cynics out there my opinion had two goals:

  1. Outline key challenges facing many of SCS’ students and to
  2. Start a conversation as to how we can fix the numerous challenges facing students.

We’ve reached the tipping point when we discuss SCS and its many challenges. I use the word ‘challenges’ because it recognizes a problem in search of a solution. As I indicated in my opinion piece everyone needs to participate to make education on the island effective and efficient and beneficial to the community.

You may be asking yourself what caused me to write this opinion piece? The answer is simple.  Someone commented, and I paraphrase…there are no alternative to SCS… but I disagree because there are always several solutions to a challenge.

Several months ago at a Saba Educational Alliance (SEA) gathering, the question of starting a new school was lightly discussed. At the time it was of interest to many parents however that specific idea was put aside because the Vo-raad was coming and everyone decided to place their salvation with these two men from the Netherlands. However, many parents who are now concerned about SCS may never have come to any meetings so this may be new territory for them. I also need to remind everyone that the while the Vo-raad was on island at the beginning of the school year, SEA delivered to OCW BES representatives a petition that informed them that if certain actions were not resolved then serious consideration would be given to starting a new school. That entire idea was lost in the shuffle.

As a side note, it’s very easy to start a new school. All schools are funded by the government however initially the school would be private which means that it would be funded by parents paying tuition until such time that the school’s business plan is presented and accepted by the Inspectorate. At some point in the future the school would shift from private to public but it would be operating under a mission statement and vision that clearly and concisely articulates and reflects what parents envision for their children. Now, less I make this seem simpler than it may be and should parents decide that is the avenue to follow a commitment will be required from parents:

  • Send their child regardless of the fact that many children will complain because their friends may not be attending the new school and to
  • Participate in their child’s education

My father use to say that “anywhere worthwhile is never easy. If it was easy then everyone would be doing it.”  So the question I am asking you, is what do you want for your child? What are you willing to do to advance and guarantee your child’s future? Those are the kind of questions that only you can answer when you are alone or talking with your wife or husband. The answer may cause your stomach to drop. The answer may cause doubt. Sometimes, it’s easier not to do anything and if you choose to do that that is fine but there is something that MUST be said. You cannot rely on the coming election to solve the problem.

Education of your children is above politics and you would be misguided to believe that if there is a change in government all educational problems on the island would disappear in a cloud of smoke.  Let me be clear – no one is going to look after your children like you will. There are people who mouth the correct words.  There are people who do have your child’s interest at heart but they are not you. They have not walked in your shoes and they don’t know what hopes and dreams you may have for your child based on your personal history.

Finally, unless my memory is failing should you decide that you want to start your own school no one can stop you. This idea of starting a new school is not all candy and rainbows because starting a new school requires a lot of work and commitment and you’ll need a leader. That will be the first step. You’ll need a leader to create this new school that will reflective of you but the first step is to consider your options to SCS.  This is just one possible solution.  There are others, I am sure.  It’s just a matter of considering your options.

Now, it’s your turn.

Name withheld on request

Opinion: Party strategies: how does it work inside?
Opinion: Shape the future of SCS

2 comments

  1. My God things be so bad that now we’s considering a new school. How bad does it have to be before the Dutch step in and finally fix it all once and for all. I cant afford to pay anymore than my tax for school so I dont know what my option is but I will keeps on fighting until I see justice serve.

  2. Standing on the Sidelines

    Dear Saffy,

    What was outlined above is an option. Someone asked if there was an alternative to SCS and this was one idea that was discussed several months ago and remains an option. Ask yourself this question first. If you did not have to pay tuition would you send your child to this new school?

    You’ve waited for the Dutch to fix the problem and six months has pasted since the Vo-raad was here and nothing has happened. The Vo-raad spoke about transparency. The Vo-raad told several parents that they, the parents, would be happy with the changes they would make but they have not met with the parents since the initial meeting at beginning of the school year. Where is the transparency they promised?

    If you want to fix the problem you and the other parents need to do.

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