MP Arrindell addressing Minister Samuel about education system and compulsory education

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Minister Samuel was officially questioned and reminded that through these tough economic times where many have lost their source of income and have only started a slight rebound back to normalcy. I am hearing the cries of many parents throughout the community with regards to them being ill-treated when it comes to receiving academic information of their child. Below are two important matters that have been brought to my attention.

•Students that have gone through the 2021/22 school year without receiving their books due to lack of parental contribution.

 

•Students and Parents are told to not come for the report card if the parental contribution had not been paid.

In a country with “Compulsory Education” can we put a cost on it?

How can parents not be informed about their child’s scholastic progress because, of not being able to pay the parental contribution?

Is the stress of this situation psychologically beneficial for our students?

How does this give our students a fair chance at education?

Especially when said Compulsory Education is free and being subsidized by Government.

Has the Ministry gotten these complaints? When will the Ministry decide to step in?

Nearly 4 months back I questioned the Minister about the Truancy Department and about its functioning, most importantly is the department properly staffed and is personnel equipped to perform their duties.

Even with Compulsory Education in place, many school-aged children have been observed out of school which is a serious concern.

I questioned if this is due to the lack of space in schools, not having sufficient teachers, due to parents/guardians not having sufficient finances to pay their school contribution?

Or is it simply because of noncompliance by parents/guardians to the law. 

My questions have unfortunately been confirmed by the cries of our people, and not by the Minister himself.

Today we have parents/guardians with tears in their eyes barely able to make ends meet because our system is failing us. The very same people who we turn to for support during elections are the same people who need your support now. As representatives of the people we must step up to ensure laws are upheld and our future generations are protected!

I saw an excellent post on social media which stated “we feed and clothe prisoners for free”. Don’t get me wrong, I do have the utmost admiration for this. But at the same time if this is possible, then why do we still have kids out of school and hungry.

The Minister Minister was asked to have his urgent attention to the above mentioned matters and hoped for a quick solution.

Minister was reminded to provide an answer to the inquiries post haste as these issues are past due and keep repeating themselves all too often.