Numbers fall but Jacobs also deviates

POSTED: 06/21/12 1:11 PM

St. Maarten – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Silveria Jacobs has now made a decision on the study financing applications in 2012. Her decision follows a review of the decisions taken by former Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Rhoda Arrindell. The latter had used her discretionary to grant 208 applications, deny 22 applications and leave seven pending the outcome of final exams. Jacobs on her turn has granted 174 applications, denied 50, referred 37 to other destinations and placed 13 on hold pending the outcome of examinations.

“As it stands with the granted study financing, those who have been referred to other areas and counting what is normally the amount of pending cases, we are still well within the established budget for study financing,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs’ decision also deviates from the study financing committee. Their original advice was that 134 applications be granted, 82 requests be denied and 21 applications be put on hold until the students had completed their exams. The number of approvals could still shift slightly depending on how the students with pending applications fare with their exams and on whether students who were initially denied are successful on appeal.

The move to refer 37 students to schools here and in Curacao is part of a broader strategy to promote studying in the region. Some 26 students were referred to the University of St. Martin, two were referred to the SBO program and nine were referred to Curacao. They will now have to decide whether they will accept the government’s terms. Promoting study in the region also includes ensuring more students go to USM.

“We have pledged to support USM, which is currently going through serious financial constraints. We are in active talks with them. As a matter of fact we have another meeting this afternoon. We are actively seeking solutions and we have pledged to continue supporting all students who are meeting the requirements to USM to get the study financing also. That is also in keeping with studying in the region,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs also announced on Wednesday that the Vobas course for students going to the Netherlands will be held on June 25 to June 26 at the PMIA Hall.

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