• From Elvis Levenston on Workshops on Dutch as foreign language

    I fully agree to have English as the language of instruction in the schools on Saba,but in the mean time the Dutch language should be giving more hours in the schools so that the children could also know Dutch on a higher level. On the French side I heard the President of government speaking English and then he went on with his speech in French maybe we can see how they do it over there.

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    2017/05/26 at 3:30 pm
  • From Tricia on Child Focus Foundation at award ceremony at the Noordeinde Palace

    STACY is a God Send…when it comes to….any project!!! Child Focus has One great Leader in Her. She is Trusted for her Fairness….Has Such Compassion..& Is In Tune with WHAT the island children desire & need! We ALL look up to her for her Contributions to Saba…And All Of Us!!! From the Plays to art projects and assistance with more and more!!!

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    2017/05/25 at 10:04 am
  • From James Tripp on Youngest Lions president ever appointed on Saba

    Just wanted to updated that Michael T. Tripp has been elected the president of the Lions Club in Belleview Florida on 5.23.17 at the age of 19. I think this makes him the youngest elected president within the Lions Club.

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    2017/05/24 at 1:41 pm
  • From Christalle Klaber on Formal response by the Saba Educational Foundation

    The meetings is still being held tonight in The Bottom. Please attend.

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    2017/05/22 at 2:09 pm
  • From standingupformychild on Formal response by the Saba Educational Foundation

    Well, well, well

    I would say that this response from the SEF Board is not only badly written, but again spins a very differing take on the situation at the Saba Comprehensive School, now laying blame dating back to 10/10/10. Conveniently, after a majority of Caribbean teachers have been let go, by August things will be better. Very convenient and very contrived.

    So, who is to blame Mr. Wilson and SEF Board? Is it Mr. Boeken? Mr. Van Xanten? 10/10/10?

    The biggest question is, when will this board and current Director take accountability for the situation that the school is in.
    If you knew the school was overstaffed, then why did you wait until now to fix it?

    What have you been doing for the past three years to allow this to happen?

    You are saying that education won’t suffer but that’s not what teachers at the school have said when it was openly discussed at a meeting with them that education WILL suffer. Will you now admit to the parental stakeholders that you intend to lump all vocational grade levels together . in one class. Will you admit that there will only be one Mathematics teacher (who lacks any formal qualifications) for the entire student body. My understanding is that you are now hiring teachers completely unfamiliar with the CXC syllabus and who speak English as a second language, yet you seem to think that the community will accept your conveniently REVISED version that the quality of education won’t suffer!

    Nobody believes a word that this board has to say as they keep changing their story, but no surprise, considering who sits at the helm of SEF runs it, while running the school into the ground. Excuses, excuses and blaming everyone else to protect yourselves and your nice little paycheque that you collect each month.

    If the board do not show up at the meeting tonight and keep running away from the community that they have been entrusted to serve, then it is my belief that we the parents, seek immediate action to terminate all board members and dismantle the SEF foundation for good. As it stands, my child and about 5 -6 other students are leaving SCS next year to complete their studies in other schools. This board has let our children down with their oversights and incompetence. Furthermore, this board has let down their staff and betrayed and lied to the community. It’s time to end the deceit and corruption by abolishing the SEF board once and for all!

    Enough is enough!

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    2017/05/22 at 1:21 pm
    • From doitforthekidsdoitforthefutureofsaba on Formal response by the Saba Educational Foundation

      Concerned parent.

      I believe that this is not the way to handle the situation.
      Do you know how difficult it is to find people to VOLUNTEER their time to serve on school boards, let alone on Saba??

      I feel that if all parents are so concerned about the wellbeing of their children they should volunteer their time to either join the board or the participation council which BTW was mentioned in the article above.

      To long people are sitting on the sidelines and not doing anything to better the situation on Saba, it is very easy to cast blame on others when you are not sitting in the chair actually doing the work.

      I believe the SEF and the SCS has the best intentions for the children on Saba but we as parents also have to do our part.

      This should not turn into a blame game.

      Whomever the organizer of the meeting is I know you are trying your best and this is why you and others should volunteer your time to become school board members, this will enable you to better grasp what the responsibilities are and maybe even do a better job.

      I advise you to also accept the invitation from the board and promote others to join the PC as well.

      Do it for the kids, do it for the future of Saba.

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      2017/05/22 at 2:48 pm
      • From Christalle on Formal response by the Saba Educational Foundation

        They are not volunteering their time they are getting paid. In the past it has been mention for parents to go on the school board which we had an agreement with the former Comm. Of Education Christopher Johnson. We had agreed upon 5 board members not 3. This 3 board members which was done in the past shouldn’t have continued. We also agreed on elections for the school board.
        There are many willing to volunteer their time on the schoolboard, the question is do the school board Want anymore members?

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        2017/05/22 at 3:30 pm
  • From Patricia Dowling on Include Saban English at school, says Ted Johnson

    I, a New Yorker,USA married in to a Saba Family,66 years ago CPT. ALDRICK DOWLING AND HIS WIFE,THELMA HASSELL , DOWLING both from St John’s Saba, recognized the old English influence due to my extensive reading of old English literature. For years Saba people thought I was a ‘bit off’ in my perception. So thank you Mr Johns

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    2017/05/18 at 12:35 pm
  • From Saffy on SLP Island Council Members denied a Public Meeting regarding SCS challenges

    I hope the Dutch send people over again to fix this out for our kids and fire this board and get rid of these foundations as they create trouble and confusion and people only sits on them to make money.
    We should seek a good lawyer and fix them so and they have the nerve to be paid yet claming the school so poor. Why they only a party of three and they pick people to be part of the board to carry out anything FW wants. they should let Holland run the school as every few years this happenng and also on the other islands. Time to fight back once and for all. Sabaguru always been correct from the jump!
    (Shortened by editor)

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    2017/05/07 at 3:04 pm
  • From Sitting on the Sidelines on SLP Island Council Members denied a Public Meeting regarding SCS challenges

    I would like to comment on the wailing and gnashing of teeth now that we’ve all discovered the depth of SCS’s financial distress and that the only solution, according to the director and the board, is to terminate teachers and to eliminate courses.

    It is unimportant that this problem began three years ago when the then board decided to terminate certain teachers and the director and gave all the new teachers three year contracts. It is unimportant that this specific problem was exacerbated because everyone for the past three years focused on trying to determine who Saba-Guru was rather than reading what he or she wrote and acting accordingly. It is unimportant that in the past students and parents protested. Some teachers protested yet nothing changed.

    You demanded reform. Parents wanted representation on the board. Parents asked to have a voice in the selection of board members. Many talked loudly and vigorous and at times drown out all the other voices in the chorus while others did nothing.

    Many believed that when the Vo-raad arrived they would fix the problem, only to be disappointed once again. Parents were also told by the management that the Participation Council would be your voice, yet again you were disappointed. What is the solution?

    The solution is you, “the parents”. Only you can fix the problem. You have a choice. You can determine your child’s future or you can allow the board and this director to do it for you.

    Taking your child out of school and sending him or her to a private school is not a solution. Complaining on Saba – News is not going to solve the problem. Demanding a meeting is not going to solve the problem because the school is a private foundation that answers to no one. Going to see the Commissioner of Education is not going to solve the problem because he has a conflict of interest, his wife is on the management team.

    It takes a united group of parents to stop everything. Parents need to unite and sue the foundation and the director on grounds that they have failed in their responsibilities to provide your child with an education.

    Remembering the past is not going to solve the problem cause you cannot change it.

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    2017/05/07 at 12:06 pm
  • From Standingupformychild on SLP Island Council Members denied a Public Meeting regarding SCS challenges

    What I find most troubling is that under the current board and leadership at the Saba Comprehensive School, parents were simply sent a letter home a few weeks ago stating that due to the financial situation, major cuts to teaching staff and school hours would be in place for the upcoming school year. It has now come to light that the school board and Director of the school knew about the financial situation for over two years. Therefore I have to ask why was the community and government not informed then? Perhaps if they were, a contingency plan could have been put in place so as to avoid all this. I, like many others in the community, have heard various stories regarding why the school is now in such a dire financial situation, yet I don’t see the school board or the current Director taking any accountability. Instead they appear to point fingers and lay blame at previous Directors (Boeken and Van Xanten) and their corresponding school boards for the financial status at SCS, rather than taking any responsibility that they have been entrusted. So my question is, what have they been doing for the past three years?

    It just seems to be one thing after another with SCS and now my child lacks a Math and Science teacher, who will most likely not be replaced until the next school year. Our children are promised a quality education under Dutch law, but how can this even be considered as such? Teachers who have been with the school for several years and who are actively involved in the community are being dismissed, yet somehow the administration seems to think that teachers from overseas will still come over here to work. I believe this to be very wishful thinking on their part, as there is clearly no job security for any teaching staff on Saba.

    In my opinion, Director Van Xanten should have never been dismissed from SCS, as he singlehandedly revamped and revitalized the school. This continuing downward spiral occurred after his departure. and now it appears that the school, under the so called leadership of someone clearly incompetent and lacking any vision, has been run into the ground. Anyone with children at SCS have noted that over the course of the past three years the quality of education has decreased, the overall school environment has become more hostile and there is clearly a dissatisfied staff, yet nothing was or has been done about it. How did the inspectors from Holland turn a blind eye to this, as they come over quite frequently. Can they not see what the rest of us have observed! The sad part is that the school is now in this position and the ones that will suffer the most will be our children.

    I feel very sorry for the current students enrolled at the school and for the staff that seemingly are completely undervalued by their employer. If this was anywhere else in the world, the board and the director would have been dismissed a long time ago for their gross incompetence and negligence, but this is Saba and everyone just sits back and is too afraid to take a stand. I am a big supporter of Commissioner Zagers, but am thoroughly disappointed that he has yet to address this issue with the community. like several other parents, I will fight for my child’s rights to a good education, and am fortunate enough to be in a financial position to enrol them in private school next year. That’s how grave the situation at the school has become and I hope other parents take this as seriously as I and others are. Let’s hope that the Dutch government are listening and will step in, as it is ridiculous that less than three years after the last upheaval, SCS is in turmoil again. The difference this time is our kids and the quality of their education is directly affected due an inefficient board and amateurish leadership. Enough is enough!

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    2017/05/06 at 4:01 pm
    • From saba guru on SLP Island Council Members denied a Public Meeting regarding SCS challenges

      I can only fully agree with the article written by Standingupformychild. I have been writing various articles in the past who were questioned by certain people about it’s validity and accuracy. Now, two years later, after my last response, it all becomes very clear that what I was telling you then is indeed not based on nonsense but on facts.

      Indeed we deal with a non-functional management who has shown over the years to neglect democracy, input from others and most of all, act as a dictatorial institute where any difference in opinion, educational and racial background has been ignored and not appreciated since this could harm the fragile situation of management. A classic example of incompetent and unqualified management who is trying to save their situation by bullying, reprimanding and opposing on those who are seen as irritating, to outspoken and not important.
      All of this resulting in a current situation that I described two years ago. Financial mismanagement, unfamiliar with laws, regulations and temporary measures coming from the ministry of OCW, a complete incompetent behavior towards personal affairs, no passion and enthusiasm for the student population but an overflowing admiration for Dutch inspectorate and Ministry.

      As a result of this we now have a school board and school management who are trying to please the Dutch educational ministry and all it’s departments in order to score for their personal benefit in the future.
      This leaves us with a secondary school, where the once developed vision and mission of working together, appreciating and respecting each other, passion and harmony, has been ripped apart and destroyed, leaving an empty shell behind. But who cares? Those who are coming to Saba for a short time, reap the fruits and leave again ones pockets are full. Others, like the board, allow those to fill their pockets without blinking an eye.

      The conclusion of this all is that we have seen a development over the years where race, nationality and personality has become a big issue, directly reflecting on our students. As parents we all knew about this, but kept silent. Now, when it all comes at the surface, we are flabbergasted and amazed about this, but I told you already years ago what was happening and no one took action.

      I am very sorry that the students again, after 5 years, have to pay the price for adult mismanagement, observed and guided by officials from the educational department in The Hague and Bonaire, and the local school board and elected officials.

      Dear students, you have a right to proper education. Stand up for your rights and demand a correct educational system where each of you can obtain an individual level of excellence.
      Let us parents not just write comments and blow off steam but come together and demand a public meeting with the school board, RCN representatives, government officials and the general public to hear and discuss the future of our only secondary school on the island and keep those responsible for the situation the school is in at the moment.

      Saba Guru

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      2017/05/06 at 9:09 pm
  • From Worried parent on SLP Island Council Members denied a Public Meeting regarding SCS challenges

    That school has gone to hell in a hand basket. When we attended SCS our teachers cared for us and were interested in their teaching and our learning. They also reached 2-3 subjects, but we all passed our classes.
    Over the years I have noticed that the teachers that are-were hired are only on a 1years contract and then they were let go. They were some of the good ones. Then they turn to hire people who were not properly qualified and or who had or have no interest in helping our children succeed.
    What is going to happen now to our children. First they talking about all the different upgrades and advances for the new school year and how and what the children will be thaught. Now they are telling us that they have to let some of the teachers go because the school is in financial difficulties. WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR CHILDREN NOW???? I have 2 children who have to go to this high school, what is their experience going to be like, how will they be thaught? Is the CXC_CCLSC programs going to be in effect still? The parents and the community have not been informed. Only last week we got letters from the school board stating there is no money to keep majority of the teachers and some will have to teach more than one subject. What really is the deal here and what is really going on?? As a parent i would like some answers!!!!!!

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    2017/05/06 at 8:41 am
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