The Daily Herald writes that Saba Reach Foundation (SRF) is announcing the accreditation of its language courses with Dutch accrediting organisation NVAO (Nederlands- Vlaamse Accreditatie organisatie) through its collaboration with the University of the Dutch Caribbean (UDC) on Curaçao.
Starting March 31, upon successful completion of each course, participating Saba resident students will receive a certificate recognised by UDC according to their attained language competency level. These language courses provided on Saba are developed in line with criteria set up by Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels A1 and A2. The Spanish, Dutch and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses certified at these CEFR A1 and A2 levels will be recognised worldwide.
Saba Reach Foundation Programme Coordinator La-Toya Charles introduced the local teachers on Saba. They are Margo Dubois for Dutch, Amanda Aguirre for Spanish and Franklin Wilson for ESL. Wilson, known in Saba as “the educator,” has been teaching ESL to a large group of Spanish-speaking residents who said they are thrilled at the prospect of having their efforts formally recognised. For the same long-term resident, Spanish-speaking population, the Dutch language courses may be of great interest in the context of their eventual naturalisation process. All teachers were intensely trained by UDC representative Rochelle Maretijn in compliance with the institution’s teaching expectations. Charles explained that the SRF negotiated with UDC over the implementation for the next four years of these three language courses, including a prospective fourth Papiamento course. The goal is to improve the communication skills of Saba residents in these targeted four languages most commonly spoken in the Dutch Caribbean. By improving local employees’ language skills, SRF expects to impact positively on their prospects for upward social mobility within the Caribbean Netherlands labour market.
Charles explains that the UDC negotiation was sought since last year, after assessing that Saba’s adult continuing education participants did not value SRF’s local certificates as these were not recognised beyond Saba’s shores. Dutch Education Ministry OCW representative in the Caribbean Netherlands Reynolds “Nolly” Oleana advised Charles to contact ministry advisors, who suggested SRF approach UDC as an NVAOaccredited regional institution capable of providing the needed recognition and curriculum structure. Clearly set and evaluated course competencies imply that that the certificates will also be recognised for employment, for example, on the European Netherlands labour market or for employment anywhere in the Americas.
SRF informs that the registration process for the courses commenced this Wednesday, March 19, at the SRF office at the Eugenius Johnson Centre (EJC) in Windwardside. Each course will last 11 weeks starting during the week of March 31, lasting up until the week of June 13, and all are to be held at the EJC in the evenings. Additional content and module information will be provided by the teacher at the beginning of each course. Immediate enrolment into the advanced level A2 course will require prospective applicants to sit an entrance exam during the week of March 24. Final exams will be held during the week of June 16 with results to be published during the week of June 23, and, if needed, second-chase testing will be organised during that week. An awards ceremony is planned for August. Registration fees have been waived by the SRF and special arrangements were made for the possibility to pay the course fees in four instalments of US $90. This does not include the US $25 entrance exam fee for those seeking entrance into an A2 course, nor the approximately US $35 book fees.