Jacobs: Students need not fear rejection

POSTED: 06/8/12 11:56 AM

St. Maarten – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Silveria Jacobs announced on Wednesday that the government has received guarantees from the Kingdom partners that a decision to defer application of new and stronger exam norms will not affect students’ ability to get into tertiary institutions. St. Maarten, unlike the other Caribbean territories, had initially said it would implement the new norms for especially Havo and VWO students in the 2011/2012 school year. That decision has now been reversed because the process was not finalized and parents and students were not informed early enough to be fully prepared for the new standards. Part of the reason for that is that the national decree outlining the new standards has not published as required.
“Whilst we had signed on to change that (the norms) it does not put our students on an even playing field with the other students going to Holland. So we would not like to keep back or hold back even one student that may be affected by the new examination norms, so we have decided to use the old ones, and put strict regulations in place for it to be implemented as of the school year 2012/2013. Our departments that are involved in this process – Department of Examination and Department of Inspection – has been charged with the duty of being a guide, but also ensure that the accountability checks are in place throughout the coming school year, so come the school year 2012/2013 we have no surprises and the schools, as well as the students, the parents and the teachers have done all they have supposed to do to ensure that their students are properly prepared for these exams, as well as these exam norms,” Jacobs said.
Once the national decree on the norms is finalized and the schools are informed of the changes Jacobs plans to request that each school submit a plan of action so that the ministry can monitor implementation.
Education Law
Jacobs also announced on Wednesday that the Department of Education has almost completed its review and updates to the national ordinance on education. The review and updates were initiated by former minister Rhoda Arrindell.
“The part that the Department of Education for is basically complete and just needs to be reviewed and tweaked by myself before it can move through the regular channels,” Jacobs said.
Once the Council of Ministers approves the changes, the document will be sent to advisory bodies for their review. That process can take up to 40 weeks.

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