PHILIPSBURG:—- On the 20th May 2015 the Board of the University of St. Maarten Foundation (BUSMF), assisted by its management team, discussed the developments of the University of St. Martin (USM) with the parliamentary committee of Education, Culture, Youth & Sport Affairs. During that meeting, which was chaired by the Honorable Member of Parliament, Ms. Silveria Jacobs, the Honorable Minister of Education, Mrs. Rita Bourne-Gumbs made two public promises. The Minister pledged that the government of Sint Maarten would officially recognize the USM, and the annual subsidy would be increased to enable the institution to better serve the people of this island.
Last week the first of these promises, in the form of a letter of endorsement, was kept. The BUSMF and management would like to thank the honorable Minister for keeping her promise, as it demonstrates the character of the person the people of Sint Maarten have in office. Additionally, the BUSMF would like to also extend its gratitude to Honorable Minister Claret Connor and the Honorable MPs Mr. Maurice Lake, Ms. Tamara Leonard, Ms. Leona Marlin-Romeo, Ms. Silveria Jacobs, and Mr. Cornelius de Weever for their unwavering support to the USM. Their lobbying and endorsement of the institution (Mr. Lake, Mr. Connor, and Ms. Leonard also as a faculty) were indispensable in getting us this far. The same applies for Mr. Antonio Aventurin and Mr. Calvin Mardembrough of the Department of Study Financing, who have continued to recommend scholarship recipients to the institution.
The BUSMF however is still waiting for the second promise to be kept, namely, that as of next year the USM will receive more government subsidy. Currently the USM receives less than 1% of the budget allocated for education. In such a situation the USM cannot achieve its mission of contributing to a reality whereby every Sint Maarten household is inhabited with a person who holds at least an Associate Degree; in other words an educated population that will enable the people of this island to man managerial positions. Upward mobility ought to nonnegotiable for everyone who cares about Sint Maarten. We trust the second promise will also be kept by the government.
Source: St. Martin News Network