In an effort to improve the quality and increase participation in school, the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) reached out to its students, parents, staff members, school board, and the wider community to seek feedback on a variety of school related topics. This newly formed body is called the School Advisory Council (SAC) and is designed to represent the school and the wider community. The group shares the responsibility for guiding the school toward continuous improvement.
The first SAC meeting was held early in September 2020. At this meeting, concerns were voiced about adequate preparation for and information about tertiary education for students at the end of Form 5.
In an effort to provide the parents with more information, the SCS organized five information evenings for parents and students. This commenced with Mr. Calvin Mardembrough from St. Maarten on November 4th, 2020 via Zoom. On November 9, 2020, a general information session was held at SCS about Study Finance, Visas, and Grants. In November Zoom presentations were held by several Dutch Colleges.
In January the SCS continued with information sessions geared towards studying within specific regions. The first session was studying in the Caribbean Region, the second session was studying in the USA, the third session was studying in The Netherlands and the final session was about studying in Canada.
“We are very happy that the parents, guardians, and students took the opportunity to be present” Carol Irvine-Skinner, the care-coordinator stated. During the information evenings, students who studied within the various regions were present to share their stories and experiences about their educational journey. “We are very grateful that persons from our community came out to share their story” Anton Hermans, principal of the SCS stated. “This surely contributed to providing clarity to parents and students in making a well-informed choice and to be better prepared for tertiary education.
Even though the turnout was not what was expected, the SCS looks back positively on the sessions held and aims to continue with these sessions in the upcoming years.
I fear that as long as some of the secondary and tertiary education has to be followed abroad, the brain drain will not stop. Ask yourself how many have come back from the USA or Canada?
Shouldn’t we invest in own education, part fysical, part digital? Maybe together with other islands to keep the brains at home?