Jacobs: Public education findings alarming

POSTED: 01/24/13 10:05 AM

St. Maarten -The investigation into Public Education Services which was conducted last year has provided some alarming findings. A report of findings and recommendations were presented to Education Minister Silveria Jacobs last month. Yesterday she made public some of the investigating committee’s findings.

“It has been shown that an alarming lack of knowledge in Division Public Education with regard to the laws, policies and common procedures in preparing advices is a problem,” the minister said.

The minister added that the report also makes clear that there appears to be a wrong interruption of task descriptions of staff members and in some instances the lack of responsibility of some of the staff has led to many challenges that are being faced today within the education system.

“The committee also found ineffectiveness and inefficiency as a result of poor productivity due to a lack of communication within the division and the staff bureau.”

This, the committee concluded, has negatively affected the management of public schools, appointment of teachers, intake of students, maintenance of buildings, cleaning of schools, purchasing of materials, payment of salaries and service to pensioners.

“The service provided by Division Public Education is inadequate and below expectations which precipitated the investigation,” Minister Jacobs stated.

The findings and recommendations will be discussed and a plan of action will be drafted between the relevant stakeholders to ensure that improvements take place in “an acceptable manner,” she added.

The one month investigation resulted in the division head Glenderlin Davis-Holiday being sent on paid leave because of not cooperating with the investigators.

Improvements are to result in the department becoming more service oriented.

The report of the investigating committee will be presented to the Council of Ministers next Tuesday.

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