We have been asked to publish the following open letter to Commissioner Johnson:
Dear Commissioner Johnson,
On October 9th, 2014 I wrote an article on Saba News, stating that the SCS was in big problems.
The facts that I mentioned were based on evidence and no gossip.
Now more than 6 weeks later I like to evaluate what has happened and where we are now based on facts again..
- As far as I am aware, nothing has been done about the non-qualified teachers. Can you explain us what the plans are to get these teachers qualified?
- Early at the beginning of the school year, the academic Dutch teacher reported sick and left for Aruba. After a serious of weeks where children were kept busy with movies shown by Mr. Hermans (no degree in teaching Dutch Academic) and the substitute teacher Spanish (not qualified to teach Dutch Academic) finally the support of Mr. Franklin Wilson was called in to help out. Can you explain us what will be happening after the Christmas Break with the exams Dutch coming up? Is it true that the old Dutch teacher, who is presently in Aruba on sick leave, will be coming back as a mentor to support the Dutch department? Why not appoint a fully qualified teacher who is able to teach the Cambridge Curriculum? This curriculum is anyway on a lower level than the CXC Spanish so that must be not to difficult.
- The unqualified care coordinator got an assistant to teach the guidance lessons. Can you explain us what the care coordinator is doing in school besides teaching two hours per week and be the rest of the week ambulant? I also was informed that she will be travelling to The Netherlands three weeks before the school closes for Christmas break to get a training in care and guidance, paid by OCW. If a qualified person was recruited at the beginning of the school year, we would not face this problem and students would have benefited from the beginning of the school year. It feels like doing the impossible to keep the ship sailing.
- The director changed the academic curriculum for Form 5 without permission of CXC by adding an extra subject to the list, Principles of Accounts. Have you checked with CXC if this is allowed and if our students can sit that exam in May next year?
- Mr. Hermans gave a terrible interview where he accused the old teachers of being lazy and not willing to accept training. If they get training they all leave. Mr. Commissioner please reprimand this man for writing such an untrue and negative attack on the previous staff members and let him withdraw this article as promised in order to respect those old teachers.
- Last week, my child was supposed to start with test/exam week. In the booklet to parents is clearly stated that in term 1 and 3 students will sit tests/exams which will be part of the report card grade. If it was not for the deputy director, no schedule was in place. Due to the fact that the director only allowed one week for testing, students had more than 2 exams on one day. Totally against the school regulations as stipulated in the handbook. And you know who paid the price for this misconduct. Correct the students and teachers.
- I also was informed that two teachers will leave Friday November 28th to meet with teaching staff in Statia to discuss the CXC subject English and Cambridge Dutch. Sorry to say but the English Teacher has no CXC experience and the language of instruction at the GVP in Statis is currently Dutch HAVO. Both teachers will have exactly one afternoon to sit with Statia teachers to go over what ever they want to discuss and return on Sunday. This is not a business trip paid fully by the school but a weekend trip to sightseeing Statia, as one teachers explains the trip, while the other will meet up with her husband who is doing research there. In my opinion misuse of school finances which could have been spent more efficient if the correct persons where sent over to Statia. Do you know that this decision made by the director is illegal and can have serious consequences when an audit will take place?
- I was also informed that the director had spoken to the form 5 students about the fact that SBAs and CXC has not his attention. Passing the Dutch Cambridge exam is enough. He had further stated that if they would fail the exams, that would be an extra income for the school. Is this the attitude we expect from a director? He should be ashamed and be fired immediately.
- I understand that the director is travelling to Bonaire for meetings, therefore miss out completely on the SLO workshop this week which was planned months ago. Has the director planned this deliberately to avoid confrontation on subject matter that is not familiar with him?
You see commissioner; the school has not been able to solve serious matters. On the contrary, the situation is worsening by the day. Dutch national teachers are awarded with pleasure trips and expended holiday trips while non-Dutch teachers are running the school and try their utmost prepare the students for exams. Please dont see this as negative criticism but as stating facts where the director is totally responsible for.
How much more time do you need Commissioner and VO Raad to make a decision on which actions need to be taken to bring this school back in shape? How much longer do you allow our students to be the victim of this all?
I hope that based on transparency, a full explanation to us parents, students and teachers will be given within short.