Opinion: Saba Guru updates on SCS development

Dear editor,

Please allow me again some space to update those interested in education on the current developments at the SCS.

  1. Communication: This academic school year, we as parents have not seen any communication from the school with regards to daily activities, school developments and improvements. Those who have internet can read on the Facebook page from the school what is going on. What about those who don’t have internet/computers at home? Facebook is considered a social media not an official body to bring your school information across.
  2. In February 2015, I mentioned that the care coordinator is not qualified. The inspection report from The Dutch Inspectorate is, based on their last visit in 2015, stating clearly that the CARE department has not improved at all and does not show any signs of development. We are now nearly in October, ready for a next visit by the inspection. So far, no one has informed the parents about the improvements and developments within the care department.
  3. I understand from parents that a student was suspended from school, but after a call from the father who is presently in Colombia, Mr. Hermans decided, against management advice, to have to student back in school the next day. This shows us that the director’s authority has been undermined and is now open for everyone who disagrees with his abrupt decisions.
  4. I also understand that the former Dutch Teacher is back on the premises. This time as a consultant. Hiring a consultant to support the present teachers teaching Dutch could mean two things. First it could be that your current Dutch teachers are unqualified/inexperienced and you need therefore a consultant. In this case you have the school coach who is responsible for this. Or it could mean that this is a future planning for her to take over the scepter at SCS. In that case Mr. Hermans you failed for yourself.
  5. The school is running low on financials, but it allows consultants and other specialists to come in to train those who have been in education their whole life. Mr. Hermans, based on transparency to parents, could you please present us your school improvement plan and school development plan where is outlined where these consultants fit in. It would be nice to know as parent where the SCS is heading for. A drastic improvement in this is much appreciated.
  6. Last but not least, if I am able to get this information, why is the school board not able to act on the above mentioned issues? The previous school board was far too obsessive with the daily running of the school. It seems that this school board has the interest in the monthly financial contribution and stays away from SCS as much as possible.
  7. My children dislike school, there is no atmosphere, a lot of conflicts are discussed publicly in the presence of my children and your ghost appearance in school shows us that you have things not under control.

Saba Guru

(Shortened by editor)

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9 comments

  1. Tired of the redundancy

    What makes Saba Guru such a go to authority on what’s going on in the school. We all know this is just someone who’s going to say every possible bad thing about the school…. I wouldn’t take these posts too seriously.. Maybe someone should get another hobby other than obsessing over SCS

  2. Maybe you have no kids at the school but Sabaguru speaks the truth that many of us parents is feeling. I would also like to say that it greatly concerns me that several students were suspended a few weeks ago for playing with cleaning products and setting fire to them in class. They did this with the business teacher in the classroom so I wonder why he didn’t notice this? How can kids be playing with these dangerous things and setting fires with a teacher in the room and he doesn’t notice this?

    The school is supposed to be safe for our kids and teachers are supposed to look after them wile they are there. This could have been a very dangerous situation and put many people at risk. Making flame throwers is dangerous and I hear one child got burnt. There was videos posted too so no one can say it didn’t happen.

    I am not excusing the behavior but I have to ask why was those chemicals were left sitting around the classroom where they could be played with? How come the business teacher did not notice that his students were making a fire in his room? All fine and well that the school suspended the students but who is going to suspend the teacher for not doing his damn job and Mr. Hermans for allowing dangerous chemicals to sit openly in a classroom when they should have been lock up.

    That school is a mess and after 5 weeks I hear the restrooms are finally here and working. It took five weeks which is not good enough. Why was this not done over the summer like it is usually done so. It is a disgrace and nobody is doing anything.

  3. I would like to direct this message to ‘Tired of the redundancy’. Based on your response, you are clearly not a parent of a child at the Saba Comprehensive School and are clearly not a parent to have such a carefree attitude about the education on this island and the learning environment offered.

    I am a parent and have been reading and hearing about the various goings on over the past two years and have witnessed the progressing downturn at the Saba Comprehensive School. As a parent, I am always concerned about my children, their education and the environment in which they are being taught. Saba Guru has identified himself/herself as a parent and is someone with considerable information about SCS. He or she has been proven to be correct many times over, so I think it is rather insulting that you simply are fluffing it off as a person finding fault with everything about the school, and someone that, in your opinion, needs to find a new obsession.

    (Shortened by editor)

  4. Thanks for the updates Saba Guru.
    Can you please also add 7 possible solutions to the dilemmas SCS is facing and what should be done to further improve them at SCS?

    We are all parents in this and we all want the best for the children..

    I believe when giving “updates on the SCS developments” you should also mention what the positive things which are being done and has been done as well.
    The school just had a 100% passing rate under the leadership of Mr. Hermans believe it or not.

  5. Dear Moses,

    Thank you for your compliment and advice.
    Maybe you don’t read my opinion pieces that well, but let me guarantee you that they are not based on gossip, rumors or negativism. As I mentioned before, they are written only for the purpose to keep parents informed about the happenings in school.
    Yes, I get a lot of information from school which allows me to write these opinion pieces, but they must be seen as a positive contribution towards a much better school system than we have now. The lack of communication from the school is also a reason why these opinion pieces are written. If the school would use a proper communication system to inform us on their highlights, I am sure that everyone would applause this. But that does not happen. We are withhold from any information and therefore focus on the things we see, observe and experience. You get my point? The school does not operate as a professional institute and therefore needs to be corrected where necessary. After all we all contribute financially to a better educational system isn’t it?
    If you would have read my opinion pieces from the last 12 months carefully, you would not have asked me for solutions since they were given in every opinion piece. So take your time and read them againa and you will find your answers. ( Just to let you know that in total more than 12 solutions were given. Not one has been used).

    Last but not least, a 100% passing rate is fantastic. Happened in the past before as well, but this does not tell me anything about the school development and improvement. See it this way. I can drive a 100 miles per hour but that does not tell me that the car is safe. You get my point?

  6. Sitting on the Sidelines

    Dear Moses:
    I believe it is wrong to attribute the 100% pass rate to the SCS Director because he has had no time to implement changes at the school to affect the pass rate. The director arrived in August 2014 and he inherited the 2014 – 2015 school year program. He has yet to make any significant changes to the curriculum.
    The applause belongs to teachers who have been at SCS prior to the director’s arrival. These teachers have guided the students from Form 1 through to Form 5 ensuring that they mastered the course materials in order to graduate. These teachers worked side-by-side with their students and their parents to achieve their end goal – preparing each child for the future.
    If the current director is still at SCS five years from now, he should be proud of a 100% pass rate. He would have had sufficient time to own those results but he cannot claim success in this case after only year on the job.

  7. Sitting on the sidelines, If I can summarize what you are saying then it would be that the current teachers are responsible for the pass rate of the students?
    As you stated below.
    “The applause belongs to teachers who have been at SCS prior to the director’s arrival. These teachers have guided the students from Form 1 through to Form 5 ensuring that they mastered the course materials in order to graduate. These teachers worked side-by-side with their students and their parents to achieve their end goal – preparing each child for the future”.
    So this means that all the previous statements by Saba Guru that some of the teachers are unqualified are incorrect?

    I was wondering…

  8. Moses, I think it is very clear to everyone else that Saba Guru is stating that the 100% pass rate truly belongs to the teachers that have been there for the majority of the 5 year high school tenure, as they have put in the most work with the students. A brand new teacher that stepped in last year is, in my opinion, in a similar position as the new Director in that they were simply picking up the mantle of the previous teacher/Director. I will say that they do deserve more credit however, as they have daily contact and interaction with the students.

    As a parent, my concern has been that the new Director has very limited contact with the students and the community as a whole. This, I find is part of the issue at the school as it no longer feels like a part of the community as it once did, and from my own assessment and from what I am told by my children, is not the community and great learning environment that it once was.
    (Shortened by editor)

  9. Dear all,

    Well if your child graduates with vmbo level 2 diploma
    From the school it’s not worth much.
    Believe me I know I’m European dutch, living happily here on Saba.
    And it worries me that people think it’s an achievement with a 100% passing rate.
    But for some of my fellow dutchies please interact more with the saban community because you don’t come to live here and hang around with your own crowd.
    You could better stayed in The Netherlands for that..
    It comes across that some of them are here to fill their pockets.
    Saba deserves better!

    Hope we can make the school and Saba a better place for us all.

    One love

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