In an effort to realize the October 2nd deadline date of the reopening of our schools, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport received great assistance from the Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) from the Netherlands. USAR is a search and rescue organization, which assists in the event of a disaster.
On September 21st, the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the honorable Silveria Jacobs, met with the Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) of the Netherlands, for farewell gathering at the Fire Department. Upon arrival in St. Maarten, USAR along with local contractors assisted at the majority of public and subsidized schools with the clean up, removal of debris, galvanize, and the further securing of the schools and materials. USAR NL did an extensive clean up at the schools, but due to limited time on the island as well as other areas of priorities, they were not able to complete all 27 schools.
USAR representatives attended meetings, which were held with the Ministry ECYS’ recovery team and the school boards of the public and subsidized schools to ascertain the short-term recovery needs of the schools and to meet the goal on the reopening of schools on October 2nd.
At the farewell gathering, the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, honorable Silveria Jacobs thanked the USAR team for the contributions, hard work and dedication to the restoration and recovery of St. Maarten, especially within the education system. An exchange of tokens of appreciation was made between USAR NL representatives and Minister ECYS Silveria Jacobs.