PHILIPSBURG:—- On Monday, January 22nd Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Jorien Wuite and members of her cabinet embarked on a series of introductory meetings with critical stakeholders expected to extend over the next several weeks. The Minister, in her capacity of school board to the public schools, found it critical that her first meeting be with the school managers of the public schools. The meeting was held in the presence of the division head Glenderlin Holiday and acting head Marcellia Henry. In what was a conducive meeting, the Minister took the opportunity to inform the management staff of the status of the Ministry’s Resilience Plan (MRP) and provided them with an update as to recovery funds and insurance monies. The school managers were encouraged to share on the social well-being of their teachers and administrative staff as well as what if any post Irma challenges they were still dealing with.
The school managers shared that the immediate need for critical structural repairs as it pertains to the overall safety and staff security was still a big concern for most of the public schools. In addition, the safeguarding of tangible investments such as furniture and school materials were also areas of concern. The Minister informed that within short the Ministry would be looking at avenues through which the repairs could be executed such as through capital investments or insurance claim disbursements. She strongly encouraged however that in addition, the managers make use of every alternative avenue of funding, especially through initiatives such as SXM Doet.
Another highlighted need was the necessity for improved coordinated physiological intervention and follow up care for teachers, students and the need to sensitize parents on the importance of following through with care directives for their children. Minister Wuite assured the school managers that through collaborative efforts sessions and/or workshops dedicated to meeting the psychological needs of the staff, teachers, students and parents would be planned and executed.
After listening to the presentations Minister Wuite thanked the school managers for their candidness and applauded their ingenuity in mitigating some of the schools’ challenges. She shared her own readiness to partner together with them and their staff to begin the road to recovery and the lessening of the challenges through continued collaboration.