Foreign teachers may benefit from work permit review

POSTED: 06/22/12 2:04 PM

St. Maarten -The ministries of education and labour have joined forces to address teacher shortage on St. Maarten. Just before leaving the island, Labour Minister Cornelius de Weever met with Education Minister Silveria Jacobs to discuss a review of the work permit policy for foreign teachers. Jacobs disclosed on Wednesday that the process would involve evaluating each individual teacher’s contribution to the education sector.
“Especially for teachers who have been teaching for a very long time on the island and are busy with the various upgrading courses that we have offered. We are looking at giving them an extension on their work permits so that they will be able to have that opportunity to complete their bachelors if they were evaluated at below bachelors’ level,” Jacobs said.
“St.Maarten is suffering from a serious teacher shortage,” Jacobs noted and because of the stringent requirements that have been put in place for educators, many teachers are now fearful of dismissal.
“I have spoken to various school boards and they are reassuring them that it will not be so that they will be summarily fired as long as we can get the agreement from them which states that they have to follow the courses necessary to be able to carry the qualifications which the law stipulates,” Jacobs explained.

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