Opinion: SCS faces multiple challenges at start of new school year

Dear editor,

Please allow me some space on your site because my concerns about my child’s education and that of others is absolutely worrying me. Therefore I hope that the school board will read this and take the necessary actions needed to rectify the current situation that our children are facing each day.

  1.  During last academic year I stated constantly that the care at the SCS is not up to par. Now, one year later, we still have not seen any improvements in this area. No one knows what the care plan looks like and no one knows in which direction the school is going regarding care. The director is directly responsible for this.
  2.  I reported last school year that the business teacher and lower form teacher will have to teach mathematics this school year since no new mathematics teacher has been recruited. We all know that mathematics is a weak subject area from lower to upper school. And it turns out to be so. Both of them are not qualified to teach mathematics in upper forms. So I expect an explanation by the school board how they can allow this to happen since Mr. Franklin clearly stated that he will act based on rules and regulations. Mr. Franklin, the school is breaking all the rules and regulations on this one.
  3.  The same for the subject Dutch. No qualified teachers to teach the upper forms the Cambridge Dutch.
  4.  The same for the subject Physical education. No teacher for this subject since Coach Derrick left the island. Students are missing out on this subject at least two hours per week. I absolutely start to wonder if this director takes his role seriously and is competent to run this school.
  5. And what happened with the ‘Golden Rule” that teachers and Director need to be in school one week before the academic school year starts?
  6. At the moment the students (approximately 45 girls and 45 boys) have two toilets to use during school hours, one for each gender. The school staff ( about 25 members) have one toilet. I am sorry, but this is absolutely unacceptable!! Mr. Franklin where are you with the rules and regulations? Officially you have to close a school under these circumstances. And you know what; these toilets have been ordered in Holland!! Does the director not know that we have hardware stores in Saba and St. Maarten? A crying shame Mr. Director, a clear example of mismanagement.

With all this said, the start of the new school year is absolutely a disaster. Mismanagement and no control, leads the school into a new academic year.

Don’t hide behind the results from CXC because SCS has always performed well. It is thanks to the dedication of teachers that the results were perfect. It is time that management shapes up and that the school board takes action as promised.

Saba Guru

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8 comments

  1. I’m not an islander but I follow your politics and issues…

    The issue with your schools is shameful, especially considering that people do apply for these teaching positions-often without even a response. I’ve applied twice to teach on the island-I’m a qualified teacher with much experience with children, a high IQ and a varied skill set. I didn’t even get a response to let me know my application was received.

    Yours system is obviously a mess. Your children need to be able to compete globally, not just on your small island.

    Parents, I hope you are getting angry enough to demand changes.

  2. I also complain about the toilet situation but then all the comments here was deleted hmmmmmm things is not starting off well at all and I would like to know if the school is even open tomorrow with this storm coming? As yet there is no word.

    I hear that them toilets that was ordered have gone missing so it will be weeks before the school facilities are correct. This not right man. This happen in Holland and the school will be closed yet our kids have to put up with this foolishness and confusion. This not right at all.

  3. another concerned parent

    Reading this again just at the start of the school year makes me sick and miserable. Don’t we all pay tax now? Is this money used for our educational system? Should our children benefit from us paying taxes? Each answer should be answered with YES.
    Then why are we in such a mess each time? Why does nobody do something to correct this and make it the flagship again we had some years ago. I feel frustrated since the new elected board just do not react and accept the Director to run the show, but he can’t. That has been shown now all last year and beginning this school year.
    Please let me know who is able to help out here and get this school back to its glory.

    • Sitting on the Sidelines

      Dear Another Concerned Parent,
      Saba Guru is absolutely right. The only person or persons that can fix the problems at SCS is you and the other parents.
      First, let me remind you that another parent tried to start a PTA and no one supported that movement. The PTA exist in a semi-legal status and the MR has no power to affect any change since it is controlled by the director.
      Before school year ended in June, many parents sent emails to the board asking for a meeting to discuss their concerns. Did anyone have a meeting or even receive an acknowledgement from SEF? From what I heard no one did.
      The 2015 – 2016 school year started a week ago and the place is already in turmoil.
      The current bathroom situation is illegal. Go contact Bastian Jansen at RCN and either you get the problem fixed immediately or keep your children home until it is fixed. Is the bathroom situation the only problem at SCS? Only you and the other parents can answer that specific question.
      There is strength in numbers. One person wanting change is not enough. You need the other parents to join with you to start a movement of your own.

  4. Dear another concerned parent,

    Can you remember that about 20 years ago we demonstrated as parents to get the present board member (gied Mommers) out of school? Eventually, under pressure from us (parents) he had to leave.
    What is different this time? We have a new PTA and a MR in school. Both can be approached to discuss our grievances. We move forward from there. Discussing this with the director does not make any sense since he has his agenda full already with the previous board members.

  5. Dimetri Whitfield

    Allow me to add some clarifications/facts to the valid points raised by Saba Guru. Sir or Madam (I can’t tell by your pseudonym), you are correct in stating that there are some problems with SCS (as with any school) and I can tell you because I worked there for some time during last school year. I’ll just comment on your points.

    2. “We all know that mathematics is a weak subject area from lower to upper school.” CXC math grades have consistently improved since 2010. I was a member of the class of 2010 and less than 50% of the 27 person class passed math. In 2015 only 1 or 2 out of 12 failed.

    “Both of them are not qualified to teach mathematics in upper forms.” By both of them you mean the business teacher and lower forms teacher. They are not teaching the upper forms. That task belongs to Mr. Derrick Goffe and he is a qualified and competent teacher and I know because he both taught me and I was his colleague.

    3. “The same for the subject Dutch. No qualified teachers to teach the upper forms the Cambridge Dutch.” Ms. Esther Schasfoort teaches the upper forms to my knowledge since the retirement of the veteran and excellent Ms. Nadine Granger. Ms. Schasfoort taught Dutch in Curacao many years and is also qualified.

    4. “The same for the subject Physical education. No teacher for this subject since Coach Derrick left the island.” There is one that is coming for September 1. You give the impression as this position was left with a permanent void. Some things even the best management cannot control.

    5. “And what happened with the ‘Golden Rule” that teachers and Director need to be in school one week before the academic school year starts?” I personally saw Mr. Genghis Khan, Mr. Derrick Goffe, Ms. Rhiannon Jorna, Ms. Constance Clement, along with several others 5 days before the start of school. If you would be so kind, elaborate on which teachers were absent because to my knowledge a majority of them were on island before the beginning of the school year.

    6. “At the moment the students (approximately 45 girls and 45 boys) have two toilets to use during school hours, one for each gender. The school staff ( about 25 members) have one toilet.” There is a staff toilet in each of the two student toilets. I worked there in 7 months and I did take bathroom breaks from time to time. They are there, trust me.

    My point, your concerns are valid yes, but they are diminished by your misinformation. Seems like your more into breaking down than building up the school. And I stand behind my real name instead of a pseudonym.

  6. MR Whitfield, what do you know?
    What Mr GURU is saying is fact! Why are you, the NEW part-time teacher, the one responding? We have meetings and yet the director does not take the time to meet with the parents, he never takes time to respond to emails nor listens to what the kids have to say.
    We are not breaking or bringing down the school: we are trying to see how it can be better! The points across from GURU are ones WE the parents should want to know.
    Unless you are a parent and your child is attending SCS you will not know.
    (Shortened by editor)

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