Education Summit at University – Schools have shortage of qualified personnel

POSTED: 10/31/12 12:01 PM

St. Maarten – The Ministry of Education Culture, Youth and Sports hosted the Education Summit for school managers and coordinators. The summit was part of the 3rd installment of the Turning Challenges into Stepping Stones summit series. It was held at the University of St. Maarten.

Approximately 50 school managers and coordinators from both primary and secondary schools were invited to discuss possible improvements for education. They were asked to present their challenges and solutions on three topics; communication, finances, and personnel.

Each school had a maximum of eight minutes to make a presentation. A shortage of qualified personnel, high turnover of teachers on a yearly basis and insufficient funds for day to day operations and teacher qualification were frequently reoccurring topics.

Most participants said to favor drafting local teachers through a recruitment drive, the Department of Communication said.

Suggestions for a teachers training college were also mentioned. Other discussion points were the Foundation Based Education (FBE) exit exams and the total FBE structure in the primary schools.

The high school managers expressed concern over the lack of local input in the national exams.

Closing remarks were rendered by the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Silveria Jacobs, who thanked the school managers and coordinators for their honesty.

In addition some of the challenges presented were immediately addressed by the Minister with updates about their status and progress.

The Minister stressed on the importance of having the input of all stakeholders in education as this would be a key component in implementing sustainable changes to the current educational system.

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