Friday, Sep 19th

LATEST:
You are here: Islands Islands News More bilingual classes, assistant teachers needed, says minister

More bilingual classes, assistant teachers needed, says minister

page1a217MARIGOT--French Minister for Educational Success George Pau-Langevin agreed more bilingual classes, assistant teachers and "Classe Relais" – special classes for problem or backward children – are needed in St. Martin, but stopped short of announcing any concrete action in this regard from her ministry directly.

She did say that French Quarter, which is a designated priority education zone, would receive 10 per cent more in its budget as of September.

The Guadeloupe-born Minister, in her first official visit since being appointed in President François Hollande's government, appeared to be using the visit to observe and listen to the difficulties St. Martin faces in education, rather than coming out with any instant decisions. Any actions she recommended were referred for follow-up to Recteur of Guadeloupe Stéphane Martens, who was in the delegation.

The Minister and her entourage were welcomed to St. Martin by Préfet Philippe Chopin, Préfète of Guadeloupe Marcelle Pierrot, St. Martin President Aline Hanson and Vice-Presidents Guillaume Arnell and Ramona Connor at Grand Case Airport, where she disembarked from an Air Caraïbes flight from Guadeloupe.

She went straight from there to Sandy Ground Elementary School, where she observed an arithmetic class in progress that was conducted in French and English. That was followed by a presentation by another class on the theme of UNESCO projects the children are undertaking. Sandy Ground School is a UNESCO-affiliated school.

Teacher Regis Hurtis told the Minister the school had chosen to work with two other UNESCO schools in Paris and Grenoble on a flora and fauna project. Another project is with Ivory Coast for an experimental agriculture project whereby the school will be receiving seeds to see if plants from that part of the world will grow in St. Martin.

There are also other agreements for scholastic exchanges on the environment and peace with a Spanish-speaking school in Argentina, an English-speaking one in Paris and a Creole-speaking school in Reunion Island.

The children read out UNESCO affirmations and informed the Minister of their own aspirations. They said they had created themed games on general knowledge of St. Martin that they wanted to sell in the shops. At the end of the session some of the children presented their projects to the Minister and asked her to sign their caps.

The delegation then moved on to Nina Duverly School where the Minister observed an autistic art class in progress. Assistant Teacher Janice Choisy-Wever explained some of the challenges and issues the teachers face, such as the need for special training for the staff.

The class has eight children ages 6-12 afflicted with autism to various degrees. Two children do not speak, but in the last two months they have begun to say their names.

"Puzzles were very complicated at first, but they are now getting used to it," Choisy-Wever said. "They've shown a lot of improvement."

The delegation then looked at the school canteen and chatted with some of the children having lunch.

Next stop was at a refuge for teenagers (maison des adolescents) managed by Liasions Dangereuses, which created the institution. A "classe relais" from Collège Mont des Accords was present with its teachers.

Liasions Dangereuses President Ketty Karam gave the Minister an overview. Director Didier Witczak said the establishment caters to teenagers 11-20 years. Entry is free and teenagers who use the facility either have some problems or no problems, but are just finding themselves.

"We have social workers here and psychologists," Witczak explained. "The kids can have problems at school, with violence, money, or problems at home with the family. We find that most of the problems stem from the relationship with their parents and we try to find solutions."

Following lunch at the Lycée, the Minister returned to Hotel de La Collectivité in the afternoon to meet the elected officials. Territorial Council President Aline Hanson in her introduction outlined the major issues facing education in St. Martin. Councillor Alain Gros-Desormeaux also made a presentation stressing the importance of sports in children's educational development.

The Minister said in her speech that she was very impressed with what she had seen during the school visits in the morning, noting the positivity expressed by teachers and pupils despite the difficulties. She acknowledged more teachers from St. Martin are needed, and ones who speak English. She called for more projects to be developed between State, Collectivité and Rectorat, and advocated school curricula should include more sports and activities.

The last point on the agenda was a roundtable discussion with teachers at the Préfecture on the theme of delinquency in the schools. This meeting was closed to the press.

The Minister will visit French Guiana this weekend before returning to Paris.

Image
Bigger, special medevac helicopter for Statia, Saba
Friday, 19 September 2014
THE HAGUE--Canadian company National Helicopters will remain the medical evacuation provider for... Read more...
Fight was not public violence, as statements didn’t specify details
Friday, 19 September 2014
PHILIPSBURG--Three men stood accused of various offences in connection with a fight that took place... Read more...
Image
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Chief Justice pleads for more funds
Thursday, 18 September 2014
THE VALLEY, Anguilla--Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Justice Janice Pereira... Read more...
Image
Caribbean becoming less competitive due to increasing aviation taxes, IATA warns
Thursday, 18 September 2014
ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands--The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Tuesday... Read more...
Image
Arab Bank never backed Hamas, lawyer tells jury
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK-- Arab Bank Plc never provided material support for the Palestinian group Hamas, a lawyer... Read more...
Image
U.S. inflation surprisingly weak, Fed keeps low rates pledge
Thursday, 18 September 2014
WASHINGTON-- U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in nearly 1-1/2 years in August and... Read more...
Image
Hollande asks Europe for patience with France
Thursday, 18 September 2014
PARIS-- President Francois Hollande pleaded with Germany and other European partners on Thursday to... Read more...
Image
Islamic State beheadings a concern for mankind
Thursday, 18 September 2014
WASHINGTON-- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced Islamic State's beheading of innocent... Read more...
Image
Alibaba IPO prices at top of range, raising $21.8 bln
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK- - Alibaba Group Holding priced its initial public offering at $68 a share, the top end... Read more...
Image
Pro-pot activists launch first U.S. 'Consume Responsibly' campaign
Thursday, 18 September 2014
DENVER-- Taking a cheeky jab at a New York Times columnist who had a bad experience with... Read more...
Image
State sectarianism
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Dear Editor, After reading Wycliffe Smith's letter in The Daily Herald on September 17 I agree with... Read more...
Image
Fed up
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Dear Queenie, My boss is quite well-off, maybe you’d even call him rich. The problem is he’s... Read more...
Image
Sevilla sparkle as Europa returns with goal glut
Thursday, 18 September 2014
LONDON-- Sevilla's love affair with the Europa League was immediately rekindled as last season's... Read more...
Image
St. Martin’s Brown hits game winner
Thursday, 18 September 2014
GERMANY—The French National Baseball team advanced to the next round of the 2014 European... Read more...
Image
Sophia Loren, Italy's national icon, turns 80 with book of memoirs
Thursday, 18 September 2014
ROME-- Sophia Loren, Italy's national cinema icon and eternal diva, turns 80 this week and is... Read more...
Image
Jaguar XKE stolen in NY in 1968 recovered
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK-- U.S. authorities have recovered a Jaguar XKE stolen 46 years ago outside a New York City... Read more...
Image
Dine - Beirut
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
~ Tasty fare for all ~ Beirut is new on the block and right on the road next to RBC Bank in Simpson... Read more...
Image
Glow Ride
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Bike-a-thon ~ Glow in the dark fun ride in Simpson Bay ~ This fun event is taking place this... Read more...
Editorial - Definitely possible
Friday, 19 September 2014
The many legal twists and turns surrounding Caravanserai Resort in the previous months and years... Read more...
Editorial - Joint effort
Thursday, 18 September 2014
The Pointe Blanche prison remains in the news as authorities unveiled a package of measures to... Read more...
Image
Friday Sep 19, 2014
Friday, 19 September 2014
Image
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Notices September 18
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Friday, September 19 PEACE RALLY A march and a manifestation hosted by Peace IS Foundation and the... Read more...
Notices September 17
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Friday, September 19 PEACE RALLY A march and a manifestation hosted by Peace IS Foundation and the... Read more...