PHILIPSBURG – On Thursday, March 1st, 2018, the Cabinet of the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport hosted an information session for all staff of the Public and subsidized school boards’ staff with representatives of the General Pension Fund (APS) on their newest investment property, the Oryx Residence Project. More than 75 persons attended the session held in collaboration with the Windward Island Teacher’s Union (WITU). The session was opened with words of welcome by Minister Jorien Wuite who thanked the teachers for their presence and reiterated her role in securing the interests of all aspects of the educational sector including their well-being.
WITU President, Claire Elshot-Aventurin, encouraged audience members to pay close attention to the information presented to ensure that they were well informed of the possibilities. She thanked the Minister and APS for their efforts in organizing the session and called for further collective efforts. APS Director, Nadya Croes-Van Putten, spoke on the importance of teachers and school administrators as invaluable members of our communities. She also spoke on the importance of home ownership and investing in one’s self.
The main presentation was given by APS Projects Manager, Kendra Arnell, and Michelle Noll, owner of Key Real Estate on the details of the development of the project. Some aspects of the presentation were the motivation behind the project, the explanation of the name of the residence, an overview of the residences and construction timelines. At the end of the presentation the audience was invited to sign up for smaller group sessions where details more specific to individual needs could be ascertained.
Audience members asked several questions during the question and answers segment on matters relating to financing, future housing projects, joint purchase of building materials and pension related questions. Minister Wuite indicated her satisfaction at the success of the session and agrees that similar sessions should continue to be organized, in partnership with the WITU, for teachers on the above-mentioned matters.
The information session was organized in reaction to expressed concerns to the well-being of the school staff including housing and rent related difficulties worsened after the passing of Hurricane Irma. The Minister continues to ensure that the practical as well as the psycho-social needs of the school staff are taken into account after the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September last year.