Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

The objective of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS) is to represent the internal affairs of the country in the fields of education, culture, youth and sport.

Download the program of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

New: Presentation Parliament Year Plan 2017 of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
Silveria E. Jacobs E-mail cabinet +1721 520 0285
"Providing opportunities for our diverse learners to achieve their highest potential, build self-esteem and a willingness to contribute to Sint Maarten’s development"

Promote integrity and transparency

Initiative Project
Strengthen provisions and access to information by the public
  • Maintain weekly press briefings
Review and strengthen relations with government owned companies, foundations and ZBO's
  • Promote and monitor improvement of operations efficiency and transparency
  • Review the legislative framework that governs the Corporate Governance Council and Corporate Governance Code
  • Review the articles of incorporation

Develop and provide the highest quality education system and training

Initiative Project
Implement legislation and policies for Education
  • Finalize pending legislation e.g. National Ordinances Study Financing, Early Childhood Development and Tertiary Education
  • Finalize pending policy e.g. Behavior, Agriculture, Health, Wellness and Safety within the schools, Extension of School Hours and After School program
  • Draft legislation and policy for Early Childhood Development
  • Review the service level agreement between USM and government of Sint Maarten
  • Legislate the requirements and standards to establish a school on Sint Maarten
Improve quality of the primary and secondary schools
  • Enhance the curricula and educational materials to meet the changing needs of our learners
  • Implement extended school hours
  • Implement entrepreneurship, environment and agriculture curricula in the schools
  • Further execute ICT in the Classroom project / iSTEP
  • Implement a breakfast program for all primary and secondary schools
  • Develop Higher Standards for Vocational Education (VSBO/SBO)
Improve the quality of and accessibility to education
  • Standardize early childhood development curriculum (0-3 years)
  • Subsidize Early Childhood Development Programs (0-3 years)
  • Work towards the presence of Assistant Teachers in each classroom
  • Ensure education is inclusive and student centered
  • Reinstate Transitional Classes
  • Provide opportunities and improve accessibility to Special Needs Education
Improve quality of educators
  • Ensure that teachers, school managers, assistants and members of school boards continue upgrading their skills
  • Ensure that teachers meet the standards and qualifications to function optimally in the classroom
Establish tertiary and professional education as a vital pillar to Sint Maarten's economy
  • Recognize the University of St. Martin (USM) as a national tertiary institution
  • Ensure accreditation of degree programs offered by USM
  • Expand USM campus
  • Review study financing criteria to improve access to USM
Stimulate life-long learning
  • Establish a Law school
  • Utilize the opportunities offered by Global Network of Learning Cities
Reduce repetitions and decrease dropout rates in education
  • Institute summer school programs aimed at decreasing the level of grade repetition and reducing passing students that should not pass
  • Evaluate and execute social formation program (sociale vormingsplicht) to reduce number of dropouts
  • Invest in programs for extra guidance with homework and tutoring sessions

Provide responsive public services

Initiative Project
Improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Reduce bureaucracy and publish standardized procedures
  • Ensure inter-ministerial collaboration, tripartite processes, and consultations with key stakeholders and the public

Respect cultural and art resources

Initiative Project
Foster understanding, pride, appreciation and respect for our natural and cultural heritage
  • Implement strategies and policies towards using tourism as an additional means to protect natural and cultural heritage
  • Include standardized local natural heritage education in primary and secondary school programs
Promote and support the development of literary, performing and creative arts
  • Utilize the schools, community centers and NGO?s in the districts as spring-boards
Promote patriotism and national pride
  • Finalize the Cultural policy
  • Research, write and execute an overall 10-year plan for The Decade of Revitalization of our Natural & Cultural Heritage (DRN&CH)
  • Facilitate the carrying?out of economic valuation studies of natural heritage
  • Encourage the presence of Sint Maarten?s culture heritage in carnival
Develop and improve state-of-the-art cultural and art facilities
  • Maintain and upgrade existing cultural and artistic facilities, such as John Larmonie Cultural Center
  • Enhance the utilization of the Festival Village and increase accessibility
  • Build a National Theater of the Creative and Performing Arts
Preserve monuments
  • Strengthen and enforce the Monument policy
  • Strengthen the management and the role of the Monument Council
  • Finalize monument labeling
  • Finalize the cultural and historical tour / cultural track
Safeguard Sint Maarten's artifacts
  • Facilitate establishment of National Museum, Archives and Art Gallery
  • Document and promote tangible and intangible heritage
  • Ensure proper management of material culture, archival, archeological and natural history collections

Upgrade government operations

Initiative Project
Strengthen strategic planning and develop monitoring and evaluation frameworks
  • Ensure that each ministry creates plans as extrapolated from the multi-annual budget in conformity with a standard format
  • Ensure each ministry has a research agenda and monitoring and evaluation framework attached

Nurture inclusion

Initiative Project
Develop closer ties with Saint Martin
  • Resume and pursue new bilateral projects
Ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Focus on the remaining targets and objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Review and execute the recommendations made by relevant government commissioned work groups
Strengthening community development
  • Utilize existing public facilities such as schools in neighborhoods for community center purposes

Secure a balanced budget and responsible spending

Initiative Project
Introduce, review and enforce the collection of fees and debts
  • Regulate and improve collection of study finance debt
Ensure effective and efficient use of the education budget
  • Improve purchasing process for consumables for public schools
  • Regulate school bussing and strengthen the collaboration between Education and Transportation departments
  • Restructure Division Public Education
  • Evaluate to streamline funding of education related programs

Improve the efficiency, effectiveness and quality in the justice chain

Initiative Project
Tackle illegal immigration and human smuggling and trafficking
  • Strengthen cooperation between Customs, Immigration & Border Control, Judicial Care Services, Education and Public Health departments

Strengthen safety and security

Initiative Project
Promote and protect the rights of the child
  • Establish a central reporting center for child abuse as well as reporting codes and investigation approaches
  • Create policy and implementation plan to ensure the Rights of the Child to a Nationality
  • Create policy and implementation plan to ensure the Rights of the Child to Education
  • Create a culture of intolerance against child abuse by breaking the Code of Silence through public awareness and training
Reduce youth crime
  • Intensify efforts with Community Police Officers to prevent crime amongst youth through crime prevention programs
  • Offer opportunities for Second Chance education
Ensure a safe and positive learning environment for all students
  • Further execute emotional intelligence programs in schools to deal with e.g. tolerance and anti-discrimination
  • Introduce and promote anti-bullying programs
  • Review and enforce safety regulations at school premises
  • Create awareness program on safe use of technology including social media

Stimulate economic growth and development

Initiative Project
Stimulate agricultural initiatives
  • Provide opportunities to the youth to learn, experience and actively participate in the agriculture sector

Fortify and diversify the tourism sector

Initiative Project
Strengthen the tourism product
  • Identify and promote niche markets e.g. cultural- & eco-tourism, medical tourism, voluntourism and entertainment tourism
Promote sports tourism
  • Realize a swimming pool that meets the Olympic criteria
  • Realize a cricket stadium
  • Realize a football stadium
  • Attract major amateur and professional sports & recreation tournaments, games and championships
  • Encourage our youth to develop skills and expertise to build a career in the sport industry
Develop edu-tourism
  • Explore partnering with USM and the University of the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Establish a marketing plan to promote edu-tourism

Invest in human capital

Initiative Project
Ensure that education is in tune with the employment and sustainable needs of our society
  • Maintain an online database of workers, professionals and students locally as well as living and/or studying abroad to link with our employers
  • Strengthen the NIPA program
  • Conduct ongoing assessments of the labor market and training needs in collaboration with Education and Economic departments
Facilitate and stimulate the creation of a skilled labor force
  • Encourage and provide incentives for the private sector to invest in education programs and facilities

Responsible energy production and consumption

Initiative Project
Promote the use of green energy for production of electricity and water for Sint Maarten?s consumption
  • Stimulate the use of sustainable energy at all government owned buildings, sport facilities and schools
  • Implement water saving techniques at all government facilities, schools and sports facilities

Enhance infrastructure management

Initiative Project
Continue with the renovation and upgrading of schools
  • Finalize the renovation of the Education Care Center/ Charles Leopold Bell School
  • Construct additional classrooms for Sint Maarten Vocational Training School and renovate Milton Peters College and Sundial
  • Finalize the construction of the Prins Willem Alexander School
  • Finalize installation of solar panels on schools and air conditioning in all classrooms
  • Execute assessment and maintenance of all educational facilities
  • Build a new secondary school
Improve quality of telecommunication
  • Facilitate high speed Internet for medical institutions and schools

Preservation of natural resources

Initiative Project
Ensure responsible management of the environment
  • Introduce garbage sorting at the source in government, homes, schools, public areas and businesses
Identify a site for the Creation of a Man and the Biosphere Reserve (MAB)

Enact legislation and policies to improve quality of life

Initiative Project
Implement legislation, policies and improve data collection for youth
  • Update youth policy
  • Finalize legislation for the Youth Employment Fund
  • Ensure accurate collection, compilation and dissemination of research and data on youth
Implement sports policies
  • Finalize and execute the sports policy in cooperation with the National Sports Institute (NSI) and St. Maarten Sports Federation
  • Finalize a 10-year plan for the promotion of sports and recreational development in the interest of the general health and fitness of the population
  • Prepare a 10-year plan for the preparation of our athletes to reach to the highest possible level of competition, locally, regionally and internationally
  • Implement and enforce a Code of Conduct for all coaches, trainers and individuals in a position of guidance of our children and youth in an effort to protect them

Strengthen youth opportunities

Initiative Project
Enhance youth involvement and development
  • Promote Youth Entrepreneurship, Volunteerism and Ambassadorship programs
  • Finalize Integrated Youth Framework to strengthen coordination amongst government stakeholders
  • Continue to involve youth in the planning and execution of Youth, Sport, and Cultural Awareness campaigns and programs such as #YesYouthCan, Education on the Move (EOM), Youth Empowering Conference, and literacy campaign
  • Utilize insights and tools from Organisation Eastern Caribbean States - OECS YES Program
  • Maintain the empowerment of adolescent programs for teenagers with relevant agencies and organizations, such as Girl Power and Real Talk
  • Create a think tank, involving youth, professionals and academics to address youth issues and come up with innovative ways to promote positivity in our youth
Execute extracurricular activities for youth
  • Further implementation of the After-School Programs considering the proposed extension of school hours
  • Expand a pilot ?Steel Pan? training program in schools
  • Review and advise on the Healthy Lifestyle School Program
  • Utilize Community Centers and school facilities more efficiently
  • Offer opportunities for academic tutoring, counseling and mentorship by qualified adults and youth
Tackle & decrease youth unemployment
  • Assess the root causes of youth unemployment
  • Execute Youth Employment Programs such as establishing the Youth Employment Fund Project

Promote sports and wellness within communities

Initiative Project
Realize, upgrade and maintain sport and training facilities
  • Upgrade and renovate current sports facilities in the various districts
  • Adequately maintain all sport and training facilities
  • Establish outdoor fitness parks and playgrounds
  • Assess the needs within the communities for training facilities and secure such facilities where needed
Support elite sport development and recognition
  • Prepare top athletes to form National Teams in each sport to represent Sint Maarten regionally and internationally
  • Recognize sports heroes
  • Facilitate the possibilities for top local athletes to earn sports scholarships and grants to further develop at tertiary and professional levels
  • Support the Sports Federation in the attainment of the Olympic Committee Membership
Enhance competitive and recreational sports
  • Facilitate interscholastic sports competition
  • Foster physical fitness, sport and health awareness programs for the general public
  • Stimulate collaboration of NSI with the Sports Federation and Sports Organizations for the promotion of competitive sports and training programs for coaches, trainers and officials
  • Increase access for all citizens to participate in recreational or competitive sports activities
  • Develop and support programs for the elderly, the physically challenged and the underprivileged youth