Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU), Stuart Johnson has expressed deep concern about the current state of St. Maarten’s educational system and the quality of learning for students.
He said the country has over 1500 Covid-19 active cases and it seems ad hoc decisions are the order of the day.
Johnson revealed that WITU has made two attempts via written correspondence to have a meeting with the Honorable Minister of Education drs. Rudolph Samuel but to no avail.
The WITU President said a message of reassurance for those educators affected directly or indirectly would have been expected by now but not a single word has been given “to guide us through this quagmire.”
On December 13, 2021 WITU met with representatives of the various school boards in a “very fruitful” meeting with one of the outcomes being a joint meeting with the Education Minister.
“The quality of education worries me daily as there is no vision or clear plan to guide us through this pandemic,” Johnson said.
He continued, “It’s unforgivable how our students and teachers are being treated. Put aside the proposed cost-cutting measures, I just want to see someone actually showing they genuinely care about what happens in education on St.Maarten,” Johnson pleaded.
WITU is also worried about the exam and pre-exam classes of both primary and secondary schools, especially as we are approaching rapidly the Foundation Based Education (FBE) Group 8 Exams.
The WITU will be calling a general membership meeting with its members to apprise them of all the developments and to discuss the next steps forward.
“I want a clear mandate from our membership as what is happening is affecting them daily and I am fearful of what is yet to come if we accept things blindly,” Johnson added.
The closure of various schools and the high absenteeism of students/staff have the full attention of the WITU.
“I am calling on the relevant authorities to act as make no mistake the WITU will do so if there is any more delay,” Johnson concluded.