University celebrates anniversary

POSTED: 01/16/13 1:03 PM

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao — Students, especially from the technical faculty, are to become more involved with the maintenance and renovation of schools. The new minister of Education, Rubina Bitorina  thinks the students’ participation with the community could improve.

Bitorina said this during the celebration of the 34 anniversary of the University of the Netherlands Antilles in a crowded, renovated auditorium. “We must be able to make use of our students’ skills in a structural way; from the technical faculty but also from other faculties. I hope after six months my successor will adopt this plan from the new cabinet.”

Wilfred Flocker, chairman of the Supervisory Council, is pleased that a subsidy for the university is included in the draft budget for 2013. Nevertheless, he thinks increasing the revenues is also important. He hopes the collaboration with universities in the regions can be concretized within short.

Rector Francis de Lanoy predicted the coming year will show only victories for the university. “The fact that we managed to renovate our aula, despite limited financial means, is significant.” Also the classrooms and the ICT will be upgraded. The university is working on accreditations from the Dutch association for educators and new master programs. Also the second chair from UNESCO in water technique is recognition for the university. In this new academic year the management wants to pay more attention to art, culture and music, and reactivate the medical faculty.

Shannon de I’Etoile from the University of Miami was specially invited for the celebration to give a lecture on rhythmic auditory stimulation. After all, music is an important part of the Curaçao culture. De I’Etoile has meanwhile been very successful with her music therapy to people suffering from a brain disorder, from children with autism to adults with Parkinson or people suffering a stroke.

Music usually has a positive influence. The performances of artists often pep up the morals of (wounded) soldiers, just like it had done in the forties. The therapeutic aspects however weren’t recognized yet. De I’Etoile illustrated her findings with several videos, including the one from Rudsel ‘Little’ Leito with the tumba ‘Laga e pueblo disidi’. Without noticing your body sways to the rhythm or you sing along. It brings back memories or emotions. De I’Etoile’s uses this principle with her therapy.

 

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