Note editor: we have received a request from the directors of SHS, SCS, SRF, and EC2 to update the article originally published in The Daily Herald. See below.
On November 5th and 6th, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education visited the Sacred Heart Primary School (SHS), the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS), the SKJ program of Saba Reach Foundation (SRF), and the Expertise Centre Education Care (EC2). The inspectorate concluded that all 4 educational institutions on the island have achieved the Basic Quality Standards as prescribed by the Dutch Ministry of Education (OCW) for primary, secondary, and vocational education. The inspectorate has made yearly visits to all four institutions since 2012 with the aim of providing an integral assessment on the basis of which the schools and their boards could work on consolidating and securing existing quality and take targeted measures to remedy identified deficiencies.
At the SHS, the inspectorate held extensive interviews with students, parents, teachers, management, and the board of the primary school. All documents pertaining to the quality of education at the SHS were also favorably reviewed. While SHS is elated with having achieved the basic quality standard, the team is also committed to continue developing increased quality education upon the foundation they have successfully built.
The SCS has made vast progress in the development of the school since the last inspectorate’s visit in October, 2014 and has achieved the basic quality for their Practical Training (PrO), Academic (HAVO) and Vocational Education (form 3+4) streams. The MBO stream (form 5 vocational) did not form part of the inspectorate’s visit in November 2015 but will be evaluated in the spring of 2016. The Inspectorate mentioned in their report that the SCS has a “confident and committed team that are work-driven toward the professional development of the school”.
As of August 2015, the SRF Youth Opportunity Path program, or SKJ, is offered in collaboration with the SCS and provides youngsters between 18 and 24, who exited their secondary education without a diploma, a renewed opportunity to attain a vocational secondary education level 1 or 2 diploma after completion of a 1 or 2 year program respectively. The inspectorate states in its report that “SRF has developed a program which effectively combines intensive education and guidance. By providing education of this quality, SRF achieves its social mission to provide young people with limited opportunities on a small island a real second chance”.
The EC2 offers daily support to 38 out of the approximately 250 pupils in the above mentioned schools aged 3-24 years old. The team conducts 80 assessments per year varying from school entry programs to the evaluation of learning styles and speech & language skills. In the opinion of the inspectors, “EC2 has proven convincingly that it offers care that covers all areas for all students who need support, and this care is set up and carried out methodically. The center guards its own quality adequately, and works together with the different partners in youth care.”
Individually, the schools are proud of their accomplishments and are determined to maintain their attained standards and enhance the various areas of quality education within their institutions. Collectively, the schools have achieved a milestone for education on Saba and are committed to continue to work together to provide quality education to the island’s youth.