Saba Comprehensive wins Student Skills Competition



photo: Esther Henry

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) emerged winner of the first ever Skills Competition for students from Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The “Unspoiled Queen” hosted the premier of this battle of carpentry skills between students.


  Students from Bonaire were not able to attend, but the battle between SCS students and those of Statia’s Gwendoline van Putten (GvP) School was an intense one. The Saba students were victorious with 37.8 points, leaving Statia at 34.2 points. Saba will now be participating in the grand competition in the Netherlands in March.

  Saba was represented by students Marjolijn Thielman, Alexander Deibyram and Dwight Courtar; Statia was represented by GvP’s Twrell Hassell, Gerquetn Gibbs and Arnold Blair.

  “This competition is a great initiative to showcase the skills of carpentry from the students of Saba and Statia, as well as giving the two islands exposure to future employees. This is also a part of their final examination preparations,” SCS principal Anton Hermans told online news source Caribbean Network.

  Judges adjudicated the winner’s final product on elements such as creativity, safety and timing.

  “We are encouraging more students to follow their passion within the technical area as 80 per cent of students within this area are not from the BES islands. These islands are in great need of this skill as it goes hand in hand with other industries, such as hospitality. I must say the Dutch language sometimes is a problem; however, the students will overcome that with age. The communities of Saba and Statia should continue to encourage their students because this is good for the islands and for their personal development,” said one of the judges Martijn Baptiste.

  “We made candle holders and birdhouses before and now we have the project of making wooden letters from our initials. This is something that I’m excited about. I would also be proud to represent the island at the next competition as this helps to show my abilities, and also show that females can work in this area as well”, said an SCS Pro-Student.

  “I’m very proud of my daughter as she can handle every task and is independent. Her contribution to the island is greatly appreciated and if she wins it’s an opportunity to broaden her horizon,” said Mary Thielman, mother of the only girl-student in the competition.

  Saba’s team was confident in their “measurements, drilling, cutting and lap joint.” However, their stumbling block was combining the pieces due to the nature of the wood and “last-minute pressure,” her daughter said.

  “We had the advantages of teamwork and individualistic skills such as the drilling, cutting, measurements and chiselling. Our greatest challenge was adjusting to the workshop’s small equipment, as in Statia they are much bigger. We have in mind to donate our product to our school’s hospitality department where students can promote their work,” Statia team member Hassell stated.

Source: The Daily Herald