All educational institutions in Saba were present at a weeklong course on “Action- Oriented Approach,” implemented by Expertise Centre Education Care EC2. Attending the training were EC2 director and course organiser Henriette van Heijnsbergen, Sacred Heart School (SHS) internal guidance officer Jarmila Wilson- Berkel, Adult Continuing Education Centre’s cosmetology instructor Esther Halley, Margaret Child and Camille Johnson of the day care centre, primary school coach for St. Eustatius and Saba Nienke Deelstra, Vanessa Wilson of Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) and Connie Adkins of Foundation Social Workplace Saba (FSWS).
Training facilitator Erik Adema is a consultant and senior adviser with KPC Groep in The Netherlands, a commercial pedagogic consultancy centre for all levels. Adema was a teacher and a principal at several schools, before stepping into his current consultancy position. Adema explained that his approach looks at the educational needs of every child, taking into account the challenge of providing individualised, need-based teaching in a classroom setting.
The Action-Oriented Approach promotes the formation of groups of pupils with similar educational needs, allowing differentiation that best suits their abilities. During the course held February 27 to March 2, participants actually went into the classrooms to observe and provide feedback. “My main point was to give teachers the instruments to exercise this approach with their internal guidance officers (IGOs),” said Adema. At the end of the week, participants were asked to prepare a presentation for colleagues, who had not participated in the training. Expressing his satisfaction with the results and hard work of the Saba participants, Adema mentioned that he would be conducting a similar training in St. Eustatius, this week.
Participants will next implement the approach with the respective IGOs, under the institutional umbrella and with the continued support of EC2. EC2 was set up by Van Heijnsbergen and the foundation’s board, in accordance with and responding to the Ministry of Education’s guidelines, to provide specialised educational care to all children and young people ages 0 to 24. Van Heijnsbergen explained that her goals were to improve the skills of IGOs, and that the classroom groupings would be understood, planned and evaluated. In efforts to establishing an ongoing “professional learning community,” the group is to meet quarterly for discussion, evaluation and continued training and professional development through sharing books, experiences and other educational materials.
The EC2Saba.org Website will be launched today, Monday. The Website will offer detailed information on specialised services catering to all pupils’ educational needs and will provide support information for parents and teachers. EC2 has also created linked Facebook and YouTube pages to ensure a broad reach of the expertise being provided. In conjunction with the Website launch, residents are invited to pass by the EC2 office in St. John’s, throughout March, for a tour of the facilities, available resources and complimentary gifts, such as bags, mouse pads, key chains, magnets and notepads.