WILLEMSTAD, THE HAGUE – Recently the Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sport (OWCS) Mr. Sithree van Heydoorn received a report from the Dutch government that more than 5.6 million guilders will be made available for maintenance work on three schools in Curaçao, namely: Kolegio Erasmo, the Prof. dr. Nelly Winkel School and the Cola Debrot School.
These schools can be refurbished with these financial resources. The donation is part of the Curaçao country package. The National Package includes 30 million euros that are intended for the maintenance of school buildings. In 2021, approximately 1 million guilders were already made available for urgent maintenance, such as repairing leaking roofs and replacing toilets.
“Education is extremely important; it is the foundation on which you build your whole life. You have to be able to get that education in a good and nice building. That is why the Netherlands has made money available for this in the national package. I am delighted to see that the first three schools are now benefiting from this in this way”, says State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of Kingdom Relations.
A lot of time and energy was invested in preparatory work last year before the maintenance that has now been announced could start. In that regard, it has been agreed that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science bears ultimate responsibility for carrying out the (overdue) maintenance of school buildings and that it will ensure sound financial and operational management when carrying out maintenance on the school buildings. The Minister of OWCS of Curaçao has also introduced a maintenance standard for school buildings, which has been established by law.
In addition, a joint project organization has been set up that prepares subsidy applications, coordinates maintenance and accounts for the expenditure and quality of the maintenance. In that context, a detailed project plan has been drawn up for each school to eliminate overdue maintenance and to bring the school buildings up to standard. By means of the project plan, the school buildings can be refurbished in such a condition that they can then also be kept at the desired level with structural maintenance.
Minister van Heydoorn of OWCS is happy with the start of the work and endorses the importance of a sustainable maintenance plan and safe school buildings for the learning environment of students. Minister Van Heydoorn:
“Our children have the right to a good education. Schools must be accessible and safe for students and teachers. I am proud of the preparatory work led by my ministry and would like to express my gratitude to the Dutch government and school boards for their contribution. This is just the beginning. Preparatory work for the maintenance of several school buildings continues. Good education is a priority of our government and we must continue to invest in this for both our teachers and students.”
Bron: Curacao Chronicle