On Friday, March 19, the school board of the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS), the Saba Educational Foundation (SEF), and the National Institute of Professional Advancement (NIPA) of St. Maarten signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further their collaboration in vocational education.
The MoU seeks to enhance the development of (technical) vocational education and training opportunities and resources on Saba and St. Maarten. Through the agreement, SCS and NIPA want to stimulate opportunities to collaborate and together develop and offer a bigger curriculum.
The scope of the collaboration includes the planning and development of (technical) vocational programs and courses, organizing seminars, workshops, conferences; explore the possibilities of singular or joint twinning programs in interdisciplinary areas of specialization; exchange of technical information and materials; identifying opportunities for exchange and cooperation and joint research and development in the discipline of general construction, hospitality, maritime and early childhood development; organizing and participation of joint international activities such as training programs, seminars, and conferences.
In the MoU, the NIPA committed to collaborating on maritime, early childhood care, and hospitality initiatives, engaging in technical vocational education & training initiatives that foster and promote standardization and accreditation and participating in blended learning and resource exchange.
SEF committed to providing NIPA the possibility to provide an information session for vocational students about the options at the NIPA and to actively support students to enroll in NIPA and making resources available for NIPA to use such as simulators, training facilities and/or trainers.
“We are all excited about this collaboration,” said Deshaun David of NIPA, St. Maarten’s government-recognized institute for advanced vocational and technical education during a virtual meeting. “There is strength in numbers. This MoU provides us the opportunity to push forward with vocational education in the region, to take vocational education to a higher level,” said David.
“We share the same vision: we all aim to improve vocational education, and this collaboration is the next step. I hope that the students can benefit the most from this MoU,” said SCS Director Anton Hermans. The collaboration is one of the results of the collaboration both partners have in the Caribbean Vocational and Trade schools network.
The MoU was signed by SEF Chairman Franklin Wilson and President of the Supervisory Board of Directors of the NIPA Peggy-Ann Dros-Richardson. The MoU entered into effect immediately and is for one year. At the end of the virtual signing ceremony, Dros-Richardson thanked everyone for their input in making the MoU happen.