On Wednesday November 22nd, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, began the distribution of the larger school and office supplies to the public and subsidized schools and organizations. The supplies distributed was part of the requested supplies by the schoolboards after the assessments were done post Hurricane Irma. The supplies were sent via the Karel Doorman through the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science in the Netherlands. The supplies are to assist in the recovery and bouncing back of the schools. Schoolboard representatives and other representatives of subsidized organizations related to Culture, Youth and Sport, namely SECDA, Philipsburg Jubilee Library, National Sports Institute, Youth Council and the Monument Council were invited to a small press conference for the handing over of HP laptops, which are to aid in the loss of desktops during the storm. The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Silveria Jacobs, informed the schoolboard representatives of the vision behind receiving the supplies. “We are moving towards a technological world and we need to start digitalizing our documents and archive database. The use of laptops in the offices will assist in creating digital files and allow easier storage of information in the event of a natural disaster, as well as allow remote use of the laptop, wherever situated. The workers at the New Government Building were able to resume work more efficiently with the help of laptops and desktops; we were only in need of electricity to power up the devices and internet access to access other resources and archived files. The schoolboards also received cleaning materials as well as classroom materials such as filing cabinets, pens, lined paper, glue sticks and much more items that will aid in assisting teachers.”
After the passing of Hurricane Irma, many of the public schools sustained medium to major damages, in particular the top floors of the buildings. Many of the air-condition units are non-functional, therefore, the Indian Merchants Association (IMA) saw it necessary and vital to donate 157 Lasko standing fans to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and by extension the Division Public Education. The presentation of the standing fans was made to Minister Jacobs and head of Division Public Education Mrs. Glenderlin Holiday. Minister Jacobs expressed her gratitude to the IMA representatives for the donation to the schools and expressed her wishes to have more businesses and communities adopt a school as part of the Education on the Move campaign. The fans will be distributed on Thursday, November 23rd, to the public schools.
Mr. Rafel Skeete, a local baseball hero, and member of the Piper Davis Group, a baseball group based in the United States, which travelled to St. Maarten and hosted a baseball camp, supplied through the Department of Sport, donated relief goods which will be distributed to specifically single mothers or fathers of student athletes. The intention is to touch base with various sporting organizations to determine the need within the membership. Once the information has been ascertained, a date and time will be forthcoming for distribution.
The remainder of the school and office supplies, which are being housed at the L.B. Scot Sports Auditorium, will be distributed on Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th. All schoolboard representatives have been made aware of all the requirements and time slots for the pick-up of the supplies.
Minister Jacobs thanks all stakeholders, and specifically, the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science in the Netherlands, the Piper Davis Group, the Indian Merchants Association and all other critical organizations who have aided the Ministry and by extension the students and teachers of St. Maarten with supplies and emergency goods, which has and will continue to help in the reconstruction of our educational system on St. Maarten. There are a number of additional groups and organizations, which have pledged their support. As the aid becomes available, the Ministry will make the information forthcoming to the public.