photo: Hazel Durand

THE BOTTOM – Minister of Education, Culture & Science (OCW) Jet Bussemaker said her recent working visit to St. Eustatius also served as a joint celebration seeing that all BES-islands made evident improvements in their education systems over the last year.

The third annual BES Education Conference was hosted in St. Eustatius this pass Monday, where the second education agenda was signed for 2017-2018. Bussemaker said the agenda outlines areas for collaboration in education between the BES-iislands and entails a common and legal framework which reflects the interest of all in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Minister Bussemaker and Commissioner Zagers – photo: RCN

Among various topics discussed Bussemaker said an area for attention was the careers of the teachers in terms of assisting them in furthering their education. She said it was noted that a lot of teachers rely on online programs to achieve more growth in their fields. So she said steps need to be made to address this important aspect.

Saba the example
“I would like to stimulate the people of Saba and other islands to take responsibility on deciding for themselves the right education systems for their island,” Bussemaker commented, noting that in her opinion Saba was an example for the other islands in the way its education system is constantly evolving.

The Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) was the first school of the BES islands to reach the basic quality for vocational education and maintain the basic quality for secondary education. As well SCS recently celebrated its consecutive 100 percent passing rate for the academic and vocational exams, students sat this past school year.

During her visit to Saba Bussemaker was given a tour of the various education facilities on the island. She said she was particularly impressed with the islands vocational program and the way it prepares students to enter the work field.

In his comments Education Commissioner Bruce Zagers said it was good for the Minister to have a hand on experience of what her Ministry has been contributing to Saba. He said Saba’s future in education looks promising, because of the positive cooperation from OCW.

Zagers said this constructive cooperation between the local government and OCW should serve as an example of how the other Ministries in The Netherlands can work more progressive with the islands.