Editorial: Language skills

POSTED: 10/29/12 12:57 PM

Education Minister Silveria Jacobs has work to do or, to be entirely correct, more work to do, after she received the report from the Soualiga Foundation about the experiences of St. Maarten’s students in the Netherlands.
The main stumbling block for academic success on the other side of the ocean seems to be the lack of language skills. This is not about any language skill: the students are not proficient enough in the Dutch language. That makes them a target for teachers and fellow students and it obviously also hampers their ability to learn.
Add to this that for most meaningful government jobs in St. Maarten mastering Dutch is practically a prerequisite and we all know what needs to be done.
Our kids have to become better in Dutch; the government has to take the lead here and make sure that this happens.
There is obviously no overnight-solution but the language issue needs to be tackled sooner rather than later. Making a language test part of the process to qualify for study-financing would probably encourage students to put more effort into upgrading their Dutch.

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