Saba, Bonaire, and the Netherlands on Wednesday, July 5, signed the Education Agenda which aims to further improve the quality of education on the two islands.
Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Robbert Dijkgraaf, Saba Commissioner of Education Eviton Heyliger and Bonaire Commissioner of Education Jolinda Craane signed the Education Agenda on behalf of their government. For Saba, the education agenda was also signed by the Executive Director of the school board of the Sacred Heart School and Saba Comprehensive School Anton Hermans, and Expertise Center EC2 Saba Director Annelies Buurmeijer.
The collaboration focuses on, among other things, recruiting and informing of education personnel, professionalizing of the school boards, attention to multilingual education, the upkeep of school buildings, a better transition to secondary education, and the development of a vision for digital literacy.
The agreements were secured in an Educational Agenda per island which was signed during a digital gathering. The details of the agreement will be worked out and published in August. The agendas will be implemented in the new school year. This is the third Education Agenda and it will be valid up to and including the school year 2026/2027. The Ministry of OCW is still talking with the involved parties on St. Eustatius to also draft an education agenda with this island.
Minister Dijkgraaf said that the education agendas for Saba and Bonaire contained important themes that would be worked on in the coming years. “This agenda will take education further and realize improvements that are so necessary. I am convinced that by working together, we can reach our ambitions, raise our common goal,” he said.
Dijkgraaf said that during his visits earlier this year, he saw the beauty of the islands, how education was organized, and the work that was being done to strengthen education. “We keep looking at how we can further strengthen our relations, how we can help each other and learn from each other,” he said.
Commissioner Heyliger signed the Third Education Agenda on behalf of the Public Entity Saba. He said in his short speech that the signing showed “another milestone of achievement” in education on Saba.
According to Heyliger, the integral approach that the Ministry of OCW took with the educational stakeholders on Saba was much appreciated. “It shows that when we work collectively, we can achieve great things. This collaboration also shows great commitment to a continuous working relationship and a further strengthening of education on Saba and the other Caribbean Netherlands islands,” he said.
“We have already accomplished a lot. This education agenda contains many important aspects that will help our children to grow and excel,” said Executive Director Hermans, who emphasized that for Saba, housing was a cardinal issue. “Let’s make great things happen in the interest of our children,” Hermans added.
Bonaire Commissioner Craane said that multilingual education was very important for Bonaire’s children to do better in school. She said that school buildings also required improvements. The commissioners and the minister thanked the teams for drafting up the education agenda.