Tuesday , March 28 2023

Opinion: SCS not ready for the future.

Dear Editor,

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

Opinion: rally against crime is needed
Opinion: Not all new teachers are present at school start


  1. I hope all Sabans will print this out and share it everywhere. This is all true and factual and really tells the story of the SCS School Board and their manipulation of Saba Comprehensive School for their own perceived ‘GLORY’. I am not sure what these 3 ladies have to gain because from where I sit…..the Public Outcry is still out there and they are not only digging their graves they are even making the pine boxes they will be buried in.

  2. I still say I would like Mr Hemmie to address the issues and give his 5 cents. He has lived on the island and been involved with education for many years and this never happen when he were running things. The board has personal problems with many and they walk around with their nose in the air like they better than we. They didnt like Mr. Hemmie because he flat out told them ‘no’ on many things he didnt agree with them on as it was not in the interest of our kids. He was the one to bring teachers outside of the Caribbean to the island because many of our kids go to Holland to study. They needs more than a Caribbean education yet this year they let go or allowed most of the teachers from outside these waters to leave. It make no sense and because of that and that he stood up to them Mr. Hemmie was let go. This was personal from these women. Everyone on the island know that and i hope they pay for all their dam mistakes as teachers still not on the island and its not fair that the ones that are have to work all these additional times to cover the boards incompetence and confusion. They should all be fired and where is this new principal? My child say he hide in his office all day.

  3. An Inside View - Sarah Hertsens

    Dear friends and my beloved students on Saba,

    I left the school because I felt that my coworkers and our principal had been treated unjust by the school board when they decided not to renew the contracts,
    they are excellent teachers who had proven that they were invaluable to the school.

    No matter how deeply I regret their decision and the consequences, even me leaving the school and beautiful Saba, I do believe that the new art teacher is a gifted teacher.

    He is an experienced teacher and familiar with the CXC system, in fact he is the one who first explained it to me. He has worked in the school before and he knows the children.
    When I made the difficult decision to actually leave, It was my only hope for the future of the kids that he would return to his position.

    I am glad that the board at least made one good decision.

    I wish you all the best,


  4. Hemmie van Xanten

    Dear Saffy,
    I do not respond regularly to these comments on public media sites, but since you have mentioned my name several times, I feel that I should react to certain issues. First of all the board has ordered me via their lawyer that I am not suppose to publicize confidential information. So I try to stay as neutral as possible.
    This whole situation has escalated like I have never seen before. Reason for this is that there is no trust, common believe and goals and transparent communication. It is easy to point your finger at someone but are you sure that that person is the main wheel in this pandemonium?
    I strongly believe in meeting together and look each other in the eyes and say what you have to say than rather jump to other information sources.
    But Saffy, I can guarantee you that what is happening at the moment at the SCS is a crying shame and I strongly believe that those who made decisions which resulted in this mess should be hold fully accountable for this. I promise you that if they had left it to the professionals, this would have never ever happened because professionals will always put children’s learning first and would have no room or space for personal grievances.
    Please give me a call if you would like to elaborate a little more on this important issue.

    Best wishes,


  5. saffy@hotmail.com

    Maybe i didn’t makes myself clear. I in no way blame Mr Hemmie for any of this confusion at the school. I blame the board and anyone who they answer to if any as they’s the ones that coordinated all this. They let teachers know they were not coming back in April. They had five months to hire new teachers yet at this time my child still has 4 missing teachers on their schedule. What be the point of sending them to school if noone be there to teach them? I guess the board expects the other teachers to babysit. I never knew about an open house on Monday afternoon. No letter went out from the school to parents yet the school was open the week before. How we supposed to know about it? They lucky I didn’t see them there as I hear Raquel and Tabby were all smiles and I would surely have wiped it off they fat smug faces quick.

  6. Hemmie van Xanten wrote “First of all the board has ordered me via their lawyer that I am not suppose to publicize confidential information.”
    The implication of this action of the board is that it looks as if they have to fear or to hide something.