This morning, August 27 2014 at 9:00 am at the RCN-building parents transferred a letter to Hans Kuilder, representant of the Dutch Ministry of Education a letter, signed by at least 100 other parents.
In this letter the parents made a clear statement that they had no confidence anymore in the board of the Saba Comprehensive School, which – by the way – is called the Saba Educational Foundation Board.
Although you will see smiling faces, it was very clear how upset the parents were and are about the situation in the Saba Comprehensive School. The fact alone that so many parents rejected the behaviour of the board, is – especially on Saba – very significant because speaking out in public and signing objections against an organisation is far from normal in the Saban context.
A meeting on Tuesday with approx. 10 parents was an emotional experience for the members of the VO-Council, Sjoerd Slagter and Wim Littooij.
On Wednesday the former director of the school and one of the teachers – representing the other teachers- the meeting was also revealing for the situation on Saba.
Although René Caderius van Veen has no relations with neither the parents nor the teachers nor the former director, had a discussion with the representants of the VO-Council. He mentioned the problems that Michiel Boeken, the director before Hemmie van Xanten, had experienced with the board. He stressed that it was exceptional that so many parents had signed the letter that the parents did not have any confidence anymore in the board, and he explained the problems that the Foundation Social Workplace (now Foundation Saba Reach) had to realise a cooperation between secondary education (The Comprehensive School) and Adult Education.
On this small island all expertise should be used as much as possible in the conception of not only the Adult Education but also in the view of representatives of the Ministry of Education like Nolly Oleana and the Education Inspection.
But despite of all that the board – and especially Raquel Granger – refused to cooperate, even though it was so obvious that this would be so beneficial for Saba.
Hereafter you may find – not as an attachment this time – the complete letter, sent by the parents to the Ministry of Education, that has been handed over to Hans Kuilder this morning.
Letter of Non-Confidence
August 23, 2014
Mr. Hans Kuilder OCW BES Director
Subject: No Confidence in Saba Educational Foundation Board
Dear Director Kuilder:
Based on recent developments at Saba Comprehensive School we, the parents of the students of SCS, family members of SCS students and/or concerned residents of Saba, are delivering this letter of no confidence in the Saba Educational Foundation Board to OCW. Our lack of confidence is based on the following items:
Lack of Teachers:
Five teachers and the Care Coordinator departed Saba Comprehensive School in June 2014. For the 2014 – 2015 school year, six teachers plus a Care Coordinator were recruited. The following subjects are missing teachers: Math, Art, Spanish, Business, Dutch, and Social Science.
The Dutch teacher is not expected to be here at the school until September or October. The exact date is unclear.
Missing Educational Hours:
The lack of teachers directly impacts students negatively. Depending on The Form, missing educational hours range between 30 – 47.5% of teaching hours per week. Form 4 & 5 Academic are severely impacted since these students are preparing for CXC examinations which requires a minimum of class room instruction time.
Qualification of Teachers:
The Board hired at least one unqualified teacher who lacks the appropriate teaching credentials.
Many of the books for the upcoming school year have not arrived for the first day of school as of August 18, 2014 and the exact arrival date is uncertain.
Many of the books for the upcoming school
Teachers Exceeding 28 hours of Instruction:
Because of the lack of teachers, one teacher has been assigned additional classes and now exceeds the 28 hours per week. In addition, the same teacher is now teaching 3 additional hours per week outside of the normal school hours in order to ensure that the students qualify to take the CXC and Dutch History examinations.
The Board Must Step Down:
The Saba Educational Foundation Board continues to misleading parents. On July 14, 2014, The Board guaranteed the parents that all teachers would be on island the week of August 11, 2014. Today, August 18, 2014, six subjects have no teachers. Many of the materials order for the school year are not here, as yet. Part of the agreement from the July 14, 2014, meeting was to provide an open house so that parents could meet and interact with all teachers. The open house announcement was placed on Facebook and scheduled on August 18, 2014, from noon – 1 pm which effectively excluded all working parents.
The request for transparency is dead.
The Board did not honor its agreements with the parents. The Board continues to act in an irresponsible manner. The Board’s dismissal of teachers and the director places our children’s education in jeopardy and it will not be tolerated.
The Board MUST step down and a new board selected by the parents to replace them within 2 days of receipt of this letter. If The Board doesn’t step down then we will start our own school.
(Note: Please see the attached signature pages)