Students from John Welsey High School send letter to the minister regarding permanent school closure

265805 Pinchos- PGB promo Banner (25 x 5 cm)-5 copy

(Oranjestad)—Students from John Wesley High School in San Nicolas are addressing in their letter their concern about a possible permanent closure of the school and are urging Minister Endy Croes (Education) to please discuss this matter with them first before taking a final decision.

“We are members of the student council ‘Student Making a Difference’ (SMAD). We started this student council this year to be able to use our voice when it comes to our education. The reason we are sending this letter was to share our point of view on why the school should stay open. Our problem with this is that we feel comfortable at our school and are finally adapting to a new path. The biggest reason why we think the school should not close down is because we have amazing teachers who are always there for you no matter what. They really go the extra mile, even staying after school to give us extra lessons. We are upset that no one brought this closure to our attention; we also have our rights. We as SMAD have taken the students’ concern in consideration. Minister Croes can further read all our concerns below,” the document stated.

They have expressed that their small school is a team, a family. They have created several social media account to bring in more students, seeing as though the yearly tuition is very high (650 to 700 florins a year) and not every parent has the means to pay this sum.

This school was founded 63 years ago in San Nicolas and now houses a total of 62 students. “The love and dedication we get from the teacher is just what we need, because some of us don’t get this at home. That’s why for many of us, this school is not just a school. It’s a home,” some students have expressed.

They also do not agree with a possibility of a name change. They are asking the Ministry of Education to keep the school open so they can stay together: “We are willing to do whatever it takes, just like we are doing already to keep our school open. Put us under the DPS registry but please don’t change our teachers. They have a vision for this school and for the students. It’s upsetting to see them taking something away from San Nicolas once again. Why is it that Oranjestad always gets the best attention and care?” the student representative pointed out in the letter.

This past week, our reporter found out through a source that students had to rectify this letter, because the Ministry did not find their letter appropriate. For this reason, they had to make a new letter.

They have also informed, along with the teachers, that they have planned different activities for the school, like Orientation Day, Job Fair and Tag-a-longs, but these have all been canceled. “SPCOA just decided this themselves,” according to the students.

On social media platforms, they have explained their situation to the school’s followers. Yesterday afternoon, the ministry held a meeting with the parents of these students, but the students themselves were not allowed to attend. According to the source, the reason why the students weren’t invited was because the ministry thought that these discussions can incite disruptions during the meeting.

The source also claimed that since last year, the school has undergone a change in management and things are starting to change, but since 2017, the number of students has been declining. Because of this decline, the budget for upkeep is not enough. If this is true, why has the ministry not done anything to prevent further decline? Besides this, parents have nothing to do with what was happening in 2017.

Our reporter has also gotten in contact with the minister of education, Mr. Endy Croes, to receive more information on this awkward situation the schools is currently experiencing. What is going to happen to the teacher, will they still get paid? What is going to happen to the students? Why is the ministry closing down the school, if that is the case.

One possible solution brought forth was to adapt the school to a three-year trajectory and see how that goes. All this is up to Minister Croes.

So far, we have not received a response from the Minister.