Minister Wuite supports pupils at UNICEF film festival finals

Minister of Education Jorien Wuite and Hillside Christian Schools pupils last Friday before going to Curaçao.

Ministers Wuite and Alcala-Walle pose together during the Harvest Festival Parade.


PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Jorien Wuite travelled to Curaçao last week Friday to support Hillside Christian Schools pupils who, after winning the local United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF Children’s Rights Film Festival competition were invited to participate in the regional finals amongst the Dutch Caribbean. She returned on Monday, April 16.

Wuite acknowledges that UNICEF has been instrumental in the recovery process of St. Maarten, contributing to a number of programmes to protect and encourage the healing and wellbeing of St. Maarten children in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The children, along with their chaperones and UNICEF coordinators, were able to meet and interact with students from all six Dutch Caribbean islands. They participated in workshops, explored and were able to expand their horizon.

The children were very well behaved and very gracious when it was revealed that they were not victorious. Ultimately the top prize was given to Bonaire, but Wuite said she was extremely proud of St. Maarten’s pupils. As part of the panel of judges, she was very impressed with the quality of the films presented by all the islands.

While in Curaçao, Wuite also took the opportunity to pay a courtesy visit to Curaçao’s Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Marilyn Alcala-Walle. Wuite left that meeting both enthused and encouraged, as both Ministers recognised the similarities of their portfolios and were able to immediately connect.

The education agendas clearly confirmed a mutual interest and priority for the position of public education, renewed legislation for higher education and the associated challenges of the so called “boy problem” and early dropout of at-risk youth.

The Ministers discussed the status of St. Maarten exam students who stayed in Curaçao to complete their final year of secondary education after the hurricane. The Minister pledged the Ministry’s support and coordination to ensure that the students’ needs are continuously monitored.

In the area of sports they discussed anti-doping policies and structures that support the observance of the International Convention against Doping in Sport which would enable athletes’ participation in regional and international competitions.

Applying technology to encourage capacity building between the respective Ministries is another proposal that both Ministers also saw as a valuable opportunity.

At the conclusion of the meeting Wuite accepted Alcala-Walle’s invitation to join her at Bandabou’s Harvest Festival Parade which, according to Wuite, “was a delightful highlight of our shared time together.”

“As Ministers of Culture it clearly underscored our joint responsibility and love for cultural heritage! I definitely look forward to further collaboration with the Minister and Ministry in Curaçao, as I believe we have much to learn and teach each other,” Wuite said.

She said she is thankful to Alcala-Walle and the community of Curaçao for their friendliness during the visit and looks forward to a continued partnership between the Ministries.

Source: The Daily Herald