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Minister of Education Drs Rodolphe Samuel updates schools

PHILIPSBURG - On Sunday, August 16, 2020, the honorable Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Drs. Rodolphe Samuel sent a letter to all private school boards and subsidized schools that fall under the Division of Public Education...

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In this edition, we publish several articles regarding Education and COVID-19, particularly about the Minister of Education Drs. Rodolphe Samuel's approach to the reopening of schools for the new 2020-2021 academic year. We have done a review of the dilemmas facing the education sector. Our conclusion is that education on St. Maarten will never be the same again. See if you agree with us or not.

Have a safe week and remember to practice social distancing. and

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Distance learning or no learning

In St. Maarten, the pandemic has made life very difficult for schools, teachers, and students. The choice is a familiar one by now. We must choose between safety for our children first and convenience. Or inconvenience, however you want to look at the options.

Streaming live online classes into the homes of children until life is normalized will be a major challenge for parents of younger students. They are not old enough to go unsupervised. For the schools, the challenges are enormous. The Ministry of Education has produced an Education Continuity Plan, ECP, consisting of many pages outlining procedures for the reopening of schools on St. Maarten, whether fully online or blended.

The challenges, troubles, and issues for parents are piling up. One school is already pleading with the Minister of Education to issue clear guidelines as to the opening of schools for only distance learning in the form of a ministerial decree so that they can have a foot to stand on when it comes to dealing with the parents of their students.

Although to some, the approach to reopening schools remains confusing, whatever challenges schools will be faced with going forward with distance learning in a COVID-19 pandemic period, one thing is certain, this period presents a chance for the Ministry of Education and the school boards to come up with long-needed actions to overhaul our education system and bring it up to par with modern technologies, online learning capabilities and human adaptations that are more in sync with the needs of society in general and the workforce demands in particular.

Earning Limited

Private schools such as Learning Unlimited may be facing issues as their earnings through onsite education become limited by the distance learning measures the Minister of Education is asking them to implement. However, in the end, it is a matter of distance learning or no learning if students and staff begin to get sick with the virus. That is the situation that the Minister of Education is trying desperately to avoid.

Like we have said before, COVID-19 is the great reset button. This is also the case for education in our country. However painful the process may be, COVID-19 is also a chance to set things right by embracing long-needed modernization in the field of education.
SXM Daily News Feature Episode
SXM Daily News August 14, 2020 extends its deepest condolences to the loved ones, family and friends of the late Ghislaine Choisy-Rogers (RIP). May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Read more COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 Update - St. Maarten

Active cases: 193
Hospitalized: 10
Isolation facility: 2

If you have been exposed to someone with the virus or experiencing flu-like symptoms, please remain at home and contact your family doctor immediately.

For any questions or concerns, call CPS at emergency number 914.

Do your part: Wear a mask. Practice social distance. Avoid greeting by hugging and kissing. Sanitize hands frequently or, wash with soap. Avoid mass gatherings.

(Source: MInistry of Health (VSA) / FBP-AS)
COVID-19 has now risen to 193 confirmed

PHILIPSBURG - As of August 16th, St. Maarten has confirmed seventeen (17) new cases of persons who have tested positive for the Corona Virus (COVID-19). The new total of confirmed cases now stand at 317. Of the active cases, the Collective...

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Minister Samuel urges schools to do distance learning

PHILIPSBURG - "It was never the intention of the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport to close schools," Education Minister Drs. Rodolphe Samuel writes in a letter dated August 16 to all subsidized schools and all private school...

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Minister of Education Samuel's approach to reopening schools

PHILIPSBURG - The bottom line of Education Minister Drs. Rodolphe Samuel to reopening the schools remains focused on three by now familiar issues: wearing facemasks, washing hands and social distancing. Nothing new there, but in the meantime the...

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Closure of Learning Unlimited was unlawful

PHILIPSBURG - Public Health Minister Richard Panneflek did not have the authority to close down the Learning Unlimited preparatory school as he did last week Wednesday, August 12. That is the essence of a ruling issued by the Court in First Instance.

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Learning Unlimited defies Education Ministry's closure-order

PHILIPSBURG - All public and private schools have to remain closed for onsite education, Education Minister Rodolphe Samuel wrote in a letter to all school boards on August 11, but that message was apparently wasted on the management of Learning...

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Learning Unlimited establishes hygiene procedural handbook

LU's hygiene procedural handbook balance educational needs with safe environment ~ CAY HILL - In preparation of the opening of its 2020-2021 school year on August 12, Learning Unlimited (LU) has produced a 30-page Hygiene Procedural Handbook for...

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Public Health vs Economic Health

We are of the opinion that we had this corona virus since November/December last year, long before the worldwide pandemic and lockdown. It is only now it is really rearing its ugly because of testing when people exhibit flu-like symptoms. Now we...

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Every voter must buy a copy of this book - Book Review

"The Constitution of Sint Maarten - When it is time to vote" By author Hensley G.A. Plantijn A book review for by Terrance Rey ~ People must buy this book if they want to fully understand our parliamentary system and the...

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Electoral reform: the Lynch-law under review - part 1/2

PHILIPSBURG -- The discussion about electoral reform will soon be in full swing, whereby the focus will be on the Lynch-law - actually, an article in the current electoral law that determines who gets elected: candidates with more votes or...

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Electoral reform: the Lynch-law under review - part 2/2

Curacao sticks to system that favors position on candidate-list ~ PHILIPSBURG - St. Maarten's current electoral law - oft referred to as the Lynch-law after its architect - determines that candidates with the highest number of votes are elected...

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Kingdom stands firm: No third tranche of liquidity support

THE HAGUE - St. Maarten has so far failed to comply with the conditions attached to the third tranche of liquidity support from the Netherlands. State Secretary Drs. Raymond Knops stated in a letter to the Dutch Parliament that financial...

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MP Buncamper: The Netherlands must stop hiding behind CFT

PHILIPSBURG - In light of today's meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers in The Hague, MP Claudius 'Toontje' Buncamper issued a statement to the press on Friday night urging the government of the Netherlands to come clean and stop hiding...

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Billy Folly Road Drainage Project completed

Philipsburg - The Honorable Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment & Infrastructure, Mr. Egbert Doran, hereby wishes to inform the general public of the completion of the drainage project on the Billy Folly Road in Pelican....

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Corona spike provokes business closures in St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG - Less than 24 hours notice for a two week shut down was given to nightclubs, bars, coffee houses and adult entertainment venues in St Maarten on Saturday. These businesses have been ordered to close from Sunday 16th August until...

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St. Maarten Weather Updates & Forecasts -...

Another tropical wave located over the far eastern tropical Atlantic is producing a large area of cloudiness and showers. This wave is forecast to move westward at 15 to 20 mph over the next several days. Some development will be possible by ...

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Rijksministerraad: Opnieuw geen akkoord, wel optimisme

DEN HAAG - Aruba, Curaçao en Sint-Maarten hebben opnieuw geen akkoord bereikt met Nederland over de honderden miljoenen aan coronaleningen. Toch zijn de eilanden 'hoopvol' en 'optimistischer'. De zogeheten Caribische Hervormingsentiteit is het...

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Coronacrisis legt verslechterde relatie Curaçao en NL bloot

WILLEMSTAD - De relatie tussen Curaçao en Nederland lijkt sinds de coronacrisis bergafwaarts te gaan. Zo stelde premier Eugene Rhuggenaath dat hij geen 'mucha manda' (loopjongen) is van Nederland en andere kabinetsleden spreken over...

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Nummer 34 was eerder negatief

Gerstenbluth: Kans op overdracht van virus heel klein Van een onzer verslaggevers Willemstad - De persoon die zaterdag positief werd getest op het coronavirus zat al in quarantaine nadat hij op 3 augustus uit Aruba was teruggekomen naar Curaçao....

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Bedrijfsleven Aruba niet tegen Nederlands toezicht

Van onze correspondent Oranjestad - Organisaties die de commerciële sector vertegenwoordigen, tillen niet zo zwaar aan de condities die Nederland stelt voor het bieden van financiële steun. ,,Het is een tijdelijke kwestie en dan kan er mooi...

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Academy Prepared for New Virtual Reality. Online classes ...

SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - The St. Maarten Academy's academic campus will open its virtual gates on Monday August 17 th, 2020 for all students registered at Forms 1 to 5. The sixth form students in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination...

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BAK NDV Online Consultations Final Workshop Session set...

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Consultation workshops pertaining to Sint Maarten's draft National Development Vision (NDV), started earlier this month after the Vision was launched. On Tuesday August 4th and Tuesday August 11th, 2020, the...

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Statia Dialysis Patients flown out to Curaçao

Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- A group of dialysis patients left St. Eustatius today to be flown over to Curaçao for necessary treatment. Due to the ever increasing number of Covid-19 infections in St. Maarten over the past few days,...

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Without Distance Learning there may be No Learning. Do you agree?
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Schools in the north go back on Monday

Schools in the northern school region of the Netherlands, which includes Amsterdam, went back after the summer holidays on Monday - marking the first time in five months secondary school pupils will have been in complete classes. Primary schools...

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First year students to get priority in lecture theatres

Dutch colleges and universities will only give around 30% of lessons on location this academic year, but first years will be given priority, university association chief Pieter Duisenberg has told BNR radio. Duisenberg told the broadcaster that...

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Career switch: more people sign up for part-time teacher

The number of people applying for part-time teacher training courses has gone up 20% this academic year, according to new figures from the Dutch college association Verenigingen Hogescholen. The increase, the organisation said, is due mainly to...

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