PHILIPSBURG (PARLIAMENT/Independent Faction) – Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Leona Marlin-Romeo on Tuesday said that much have been said about the Adopt a School program, some negative and others positive.
“Irrespective of the feedback it is imperative for all to start thinking outside the box and embrace creative solutions to assist in remedying the challenges that we face in Sint Maarten.
“Hence, by no means does this imply that government is relinquishing its responsibility to the education system of the country. However, it creates the opportunity for businesses to be socially responsible and allow them to make a contribution through the adopting a school program.
“Big businesses come to Sint Maarten and receive tax breaks for a certain amount of years as an incentive for them to conduct business on the island but what should be added to this incentive is the ability to adopt a school in order to get the tax break, along with other fiscal measures that will secure our competitive edge.
“There is nothing abstract in this request. Many of our public schools function on a skeletal level because of the lack of material or they run out of basic necessities before the school year ends. Regardless to what is budgeted from the little that the government has; receiving additional contributions from big businesses can only be supplementary and benefit those schools that are in dire need.
“This concept is nothing new it is actually being practiced even though partially by companies such as PJIA. Businesses can also grant scholarships or pay for specialized training or internships to students of the schools they adopt. The physical up keep of the schools is just one way to adopt a school, and there are many other creative possibilities.
“It is expected that the community minded businesses will sit with the school management and PTA Boards and dialogue on the needs of each school as these may differ across the board.
The aforementioned is one of the initiatives proposed by this independent Member of Parliament and accepted by the coalition.
“It’s easier to sit back and critique but coming up with innovative ideas to remedy ailing situations on Sint Maarten is what’s needed. Improving the overall school environment leads to improved student results. This in turn leads to optimistic students that will contribute positively to the society. It takes innovative leaders and thinkers to move this island forward,” MP Leona Marlin-Romeo said on Tuesday.