First of all, thank you Rene, for bringing some light in this darkness out of Statia. It seems that miracles work. Reason for this is because here on Saba we are still in the dark and not knowing which course we should sale.
The school board promised us in July that all teachers would be present on Saba by July 11th. During last Monday’s meeting we had only two teachers present, while the others were still off island or had other more important things to do. (Talking about being in control of staff!!!!) Both teachers were promised by Ms. Raquel Granger that the new teachers would be on the island. The same day the new director rectified this statement by stating that it would take much longer for these new teachers to come to Saba, because it was a visa issue. Today, August 18th, we were informed that board member Tabby Hassell blames the immigrations office for their late and incompetent actions.’ But if you start a recruitment procedure late June, you can add 1 + 1 and conclude that teachers who require a vise will never be here on Saba beginning of school year (thanks we had an extra week of vacation due to a vacation schedule change). So please don’t pretend to staff and parents that you have everything under control because you just haven’t. With your lies you only create more dissatisfaction and unbelief in your functioning as board members.
Ok. The recruitment process is ongoing and together with the staff functionaris the school board has appointed the best possible teachers and directors they could find for the SCS. This wonders me to ask myself why an unqualified art teacher was last year unable to apply for a position, while this year he has been appointed as the NEW art teacher. Was this an act of desperacy? Where all the OCW recommendations taken into account, set by the State Secretary?
Furthermore it has become clear that the Dutch teacher will only available on Saba somewhere September/October. The other teachers who are in need for a visa will most likely show up later this year. Because of this recruitment procedure, where the school board is fully responsible for, they are jeopardizing the student’s’ education which is funded by law. Not only by recruiting unqualified teachers, (SCS has already 2 unqualified teachers), but also by not having these teachers here on time and blaming the local Immigration department for this shows you the immature attitude of the school board members. Just for the record; by having these needed teachers not on island, the students in lower form will miss an average of 45 % of their weekly lessons while the academic stream will miss an average of 30% per week. In other words lower forms will miss 3 to 4 hours of academic hours per week while the higher forms will miss out 2 to 3 lessons per day. Thank you school board for you pro-active action and improvements to bring the Saba education to a higher level. SHAME ON YOU FOR THOSE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS. By the way have you informed CXC about these missing hours, because this could have an effect on their SBA’s and examination’s. Just a hint.
In April this year they mentioned that the contract of the passed director and teachers would not be renewed since they wanted to go “into a different direction”. Now the new director is on Saba, has no qualifications for CXC/academic education, is not familiar with PRO education, is not familiar with a mufti-cultural team, has no management experience, but only experience as a department leader within a VMBO school for over 10 years, and above all speaks pigeon English. His apposed changes in school today are clearly a reflection of the school boards’ wishes. I guess the change with this guy is that the board now has a real puppet on a string who will dance to any tune the board sings.
This school board has proven over and over again to be occupied with personal staff issues (based on greedy and jealousy), occupied with internal school affairs (where they want to have the donated lockers located), general staff performance (installation of a time clock), student individual performance and wellbeing (happens to be their own children), interference with school orders and uniform orders and most of all interfere with the educational planning and execution without consulting the director.
The board has set their own ways and will continue to move accordingly to their tune. They believe they have the knowledge and the power, given by OCW representative mr. Nolly Oleana, to act according to their liking. Unfortunately the ministry of OCW has put the Executive Council and Island Council at a side line just to watch how things can deteriorate. The question is tough how to deal with incapable personnel who are indeed not able to set out a five year educational program based on developments which we still do not know about? Is there budgeting for these developments? Are future changes in CXC taken into consideration? Is the deadline set by OCW for 2016 taken into consideration? Does the school has a multi tasked team that can accommodate the individual needs of each student and keep up with new developments in the total educational field? Their current leader does not show any of these qualities. Nor does the management team, who are only focused on their own territory and have no clue for innovations.
I strongly believe that not one board member or management team member ever had a meeting about these issues, issues that will affect our future education on Saba and beyond.
Therefore Mr. State Secretary of OCW, a system that you have implemented here on the BES islands in 10-10-10 will never work because it is lacking the direct control and support. The freedom that board members have gained over the years are being misused and hamper the educational progress made by real educationalists on the island. I therefore pledge on behalf of many Saban community members to withdraw the power given to these individuals since they do not have the knowhow and expertise how to be responsible for a school on a daily basis, but further how to handle future vision and developments since they are all lacking the big educational picture for years to come and keep focusing on the amount of blue pens we need this school year.
Another concerned parent