Editorial: Try a disincentivePOSTED: 04/23/12 1:52 PM
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Rhoda Arindell has said “your guess is as good as mine” in terms of measuring the return on investment that the country has been getting for students who travel to the Netherlands to study. While we won’t quantify, we’d dare to say now that is abysmally disproportionate to the amount that is paid to finance their studies.
The full scientific data is yet to come, but we believe that the fact that students not only drop out of school or stay out the country is crippling its ability to grow. We note that some come back, but because they are, many a times, not fully qualified they are not able to help the country really go to the next level.
While it may be established that the country is not getting great returns now, that does not mean that the government needs to stop handing out financing. Instead the better option is to revamp the strategy and put more emphasis into what has proven successful – study at home, in the Caribbean, and in the United States. Those have proven to deliver successful graduates on time.
One option that may also need to be considered is make the Netherlands the last choice for study. Understandably some fields will require it, but the requirements to go there should then be stricter and there must a well motivated reason for sending students to that particular country. That lack of incentive, may yet help to accomplish the goal of students studying successfully and returning successfully.