SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Shortly after receiving a request to pursue curriculum that includes local history from members of Teen Times, PFP Members of Parliament Melissa Gumbs and Raeyhon Peterson have submitted it to the Committee for Education, Culture, Youth & Sports via a meeting request to the Chairwoman of the Committee, MP Angelique Romou.
The faction provided two agenda points in their meeting request, calling first for a review of pending initiatives or plans regarding the development of a comprehensive St. Maarten history course for secondary schools and secondly, for an update from the Ministry regarding existing and required materials to facilitate such a curriculum.
On June 5, Teen Times members presented their request to Gumbs in person, with the knowledge that it would be channeled properly through Parliament to come to the attention of Government. Gumbs accepted the request with full intentions of getting it to her colleague MPs as soon as possible.
In their letter to Romou, the faction explained that they are bringing this matter to the committee’s attention because they believe that nation building begins with people being aware of where they have come from, the challenges, successes and failures that they have shouldered along the way, and, most importantly to PFP, where they want to go collectively.
“This type of vision can only be accomplished through a full, objective and unbiased educational initiative that we believe should be spearheaded by the Ministry of ECYS,” the faction writes.
“With the discussions that we are having these days,” Gumbs states, “in Parliament, at the hairdresser, in the supermarket, it is important that the most critical force for our future as a country is not ignored or left behind. It is equally important that the knowledge to frame these discussions is made available to them via the one place they spend the most time in: school.”
Peterson confirms that the faction first wants to understand what, if any, initiatives have been brought forward to or by the Ministry of ECYS since 10-10-10, noting that this is a decision that sits firmly in Government’s hands to make and then execute.
“The Committee for ECYS of Parliament can play an instrumental role in highlighting this topic and in monitoring Government’s progress as it undertakes this request,” the faction concluded in its request, and also noted that it understood that the meeting may take place after Parliament’s summer recess.