Friday, Oct 24th

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.

458 cases of chikungunya
Friday, 24 October 2014
WILLEMSTAD--Curaçao’s Department of Public Health received about 1,500 reports of possible... Read more...
Mosquito fogging starts November 1
Friday, 24 October 2014
PHILIPSBURG--Mosquito fogging throughout the country as part of a regular vector control programme... Read more...
Image
Hurricane Gonzalo’s damage in Bermuda estimated up to $200M
Thursday, 23 October 2014
HAMILTON, Bermuda--Hurricane Gonzalo caused between US $200 million and US $400 million in... Read more...
Image
Dr. Rodney’s widow completes testimony
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
GEORGETOWN, Guyana--Dr. PATRICIA Rodney Tuesday completed her testimony before the Walter Rodney... Read more...
Image
California community suffers as wells dry up
Thursday, 23 October 2014
EAST PORTERVILLE, California--In one of the towns hardest hit by California's drought, the only way... Read more...
Image
White House fence jumper to face mental evaluation
Thursday, 23 October 2014
WASHINGTON--The man arrested after jumping the White House fence on Wednesday night was charged in... Read more...
Image
Canada Parliament gunman had planned to travel to Syria
Thursday, 23 October 2014
OTTAWA--The gunman in Wednesday's attack on Canada's capital had a criminal record and recently... Read more...
Image
Economic bounce, tough campaign point to Rousseff win
Thursday, 23 October 2014
MATEUS LEME, Brazil--President Dilma Rousseff looks positioned to narrowly win a second term on... Read more...
Image
EU strikes compromise to set new climate target
Thursday, 23 October 2014
BRUSSELS--European Union leaders struck a deal on a new target to cut carbon emissions out to 2030,... Read more...
Citigroup will revisit US court over Argentine bond payments
Thursday, 23 October 2014
NEW YORK--A U.S. judge has scheduled a Dec. 2 hearing to weigh whether or not Citigroup Inc can... Read more...
Image
What must the tourists think of us!!
Thursday, 23 October 2014
Hello Government officials, Car rental agencies, Hotel managers, and anyone else who has the first... Read more...
Image
Confused
Thursday, 23 October 2014
Dear Queenie, I have two friends who always visit me at the same time. Even when I arrange to get... Read more...
Image
Lievense engineering Relay Race strategy
Thursday, 23 October 2014
SIMPSON BAY--The 27th annual Around the Island Relay Race may break the record for most teams... Read more...
Image
Sharapova falls to Kvitova as Williams bounces back
Thursday, 23 October 2014
SINGAPORE-- Maria Sharapova's bid to end the year ranked number one was left hanging by a thread... Read more...
Image
A Minute With: Shailene Woodley on teen sex, violence and Marvel
Thursday, 23 October 2014
LOS ANGELES--For actress Shailene Woodley, transitioning from her teen years into adulthood in... Read more...
Image
Keanu Reeves returns to the dark side in John Wick
Thursday, 23 October 2014
NEW YORK--Actor Keanu Reeves travels to a murky underworld in the action thriller, "John Wick,"... Read more...
Image
Carib Swimteam Coach
Thursday, 23 October 2014
New CST coach makes an impact ~ CST wins Corail Helicopter Fall Meet ~ Carib Swim Team (CST) held... Read more...
Image
Hurricane Story
Thursday, 23 October 2014
The writer is a student at Methodist Agogic Centre, read her great review of the passing of... Read more...
Editorial - On their own terms
Thursday, 23 October 2014
MAN leader Charles Cooper did the right thing by apologising for saying "blood will flow" should... Read more...
Editorial - Not much of a choice
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
By unanimously passing a motion rejecting the instruction from the Kingdom Council of Ministers to... Read more...
Image
Friday Oct. 23, 2014
Friday, 24 October 2014
Image
Thursday Oct. 23, 2014
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Notices October 22
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Friday, October 24 KIDS NIGHT OUT Organised by Beyond Writing Foundation Place: Culture &... Read more...
Notices October 21
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Friday, October 24 KIDS NIGHT OUT Organised by Beyond Writing Foundation Place: Culture &... Read more...