Psych Evaluations for study financing candidates

POSTED: 06/7/12 1:15 PM

St. Maarten – Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, Silveria Jacobs on Wednesday outlined her ministry’s plan to increase the 10 percent success rate for students who are in the Netherlands. One of the first steps will be establishing an intake and assessment interview that will be conducted by the Department of Student Support Services and the Department of Study Financing to evaluate a students’ psychological state.
“(This) in order to ascertain whether they are not only physically and academically able to do the work but also emotionally and socially as well,” Jacobs said.
The minister believes the move is necessary especially considering the high incidence of suicide among tertiary students in the Netherlands.
“Students in general are actually going through severe bouts of depression. This is not just a St. Maarten case but in general among students in Holland. On a weekly basis one or two of them jump in front of a train. We really would not like that to be the case for our students.”
The ministry is actively studying the establishment of a career choice center “which should be better able to guide students that have applied for study financing or are leaving on their own strength,” the minister added. She reiterated however that schools, students and their parents need to actively research the area of study and the location within which the student’s university will be located.
In addition to the curriculum guidance counseling that is currently available, students will also soon be required to submit a portfolio once they would have applied for study financing. The portfolios are intended to give a further indication of students’ interests, strengths and weaknesses.
Though the process begins in St. Maarten, Jacobs and her team will see that it does not end until students have successfully completed their studies.
“We will do our best to better prepare and follow up with our students.”
To stem the phenomenon of the brain drain in the country, Jacobs said that a priority list of crucial functions for the development of the country will be prepared. Once students elect to pursue studies in one of those areas, “they will be among the first to get study financing” and upon graduation will be actively pursued to return to serve the nation.

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