Opinion: SCS still faces multiple challenges

Dear editor,

On October 9th, 2014 I wrote an article on Saba News, stating that the SCS was in big problems.
On November 26th again I highlighted the problems at the SCS in a letter to the Commissioner.

Now, more than 3 months later I have to conclude that the school is still in big problems and it seems that it is getting worse by the day. Let me explain you why.
1. As far as I am aware, nothing has been done about the non-qualified teachers.
2. The quota for staffing at the SCS has increased dramatically since August last year. An extra support for care and guidance was recruited. The Dutch language department exists now of three teachers instead of two. The director has recruited a communications officer to assist him with his daily communication to parents and teachers. A consultant has been appointed to give assistance with the Care and Guidance program. All these extra positions have been filled without any public announcement of available jobs at the school. The labor department needs to look into these practices.
3. I was told that due to the tight budget, no new educational materials can be ordered for this school year but adding extra personnel to the staff is no problem. Honestly speaking I feel that these extra positions have to cover up for the incompetence of certain persons.
4. The unqualified care coordinator has so far produced nothing to improve the care and guidance program in school. On the contrary, she is more involved in running the school and dictating the director how he should run the school. Although she got an extra assistant, results have been zero. This has been acknowledged by the Dutch inspectorate in an inspection report that has been published recently on their website. (http://www.onderwijsinspectie.nl/onderwijs/Caribisch+Nederland/rapporten#02)
5. In this report the inspection concludes that due to the various changes since August which created the necessary unrest in school, the educational improvement process has stagnated and needs a new impulse. With other words: The school has stalled!!
6. The recent suspension of several selected students shows us that management has no professional background and is not aware of the rules and regulations in this matter. This ad-hock decision to suspend a number of students who acted outside school grounds and not in school time, is absolutely illegal and management should therefore be reprimanded for their actions. More so that students have been threatened with a night in prison if they don’t act according to the liking of director and care coordinator. I am sorry to say this, but we don’t need this kind of treatment and bully attitude from management which we are supposed to thrust when they deal with our students on a daily basis. Honestly I find this very scary and hope that the upcoming meetings with VO-raad and Commissioner will tackle this very seriously since this is a complete violation of the law and the right of the child (UNESCO)
7. The director changed the academic curriculum for Form 5 without permission of CXC by adding an extra subject to the list, Principles of Accounts. He forced the students to sign up for the upcoming exam, knowing that they did not meet the set criteria of CXC.I wonder how the examination results for this subject will be in July.

Seen the above, I have to conclude that although certain individual teachers absolutely try to do their best to improve in their areas, the school as a whole is not improving and developing as it should be. I sincerely hope that the VO-raad and Commissioner of education are coming up with drastic improvements in order to put a hold on non-performance and get the school in gear again like it was last academic year.
Saba Guru

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3 comments

  1. Nothin been done as yet and elections round the corner. SCS need to be fix before the Dutch takes over as we wants it as our own.This is the time for Commissioner Johnson to strike and make right correct wrong. We Sabans been waiting and this would get my vote as it show you finally acts and listens to the community for our kids. Likes it or not the school is important to many come mid March.

  2. Another concerned parent

    Reading the above, I am amazed that the Ministry of OCW is allowing this to happen at SCS.
    Commissioner Johnson, you are having education in your portfolio. Where is your action and influence on safeguarding the education on Saba? Our children have no other choice than to attend the SCS, which is funded by tax money. It seems that mismanagement is dragging the school into a critical situation where education, care and financing is being questioned. If no solution can be found soon, I am afraid that our Saba school will soon goes under higher supervision and we will loose our identity, credibility and dignity.
    We have always been able to manage things the Saba way, but I feel that with all developments at the SCS we will loose total control.
    I am therefore expecting that you will take things into your hands and make the necessary changes which are deeply needed.
    Don’t let this school goes into hands of others. Our children do not deserve that.

  3. Humm….you want to keep the school and manage it the Saban Way??? Sorry, Another Concerned Parent but the ‘Saban Way’ of management of the school by the previous school board is what put you here. Just stating the facts. Don’t hate the messenger

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