ECYS Minister Wycliffe Smith and Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Michael Somersall.
POND ISLAND--Education and Youth Minister Wycliffe Smith and Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Michael Somersall met this week to discuss how the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport and the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary can work more closely together to support local students studying in the Netherlands.
One critical point of discussion was the “free movers.” Free movers are students who travel to the Netherlands on their own without the assistance of study financing. One task of the Plenipotentiary Cabinet is to assist all students. The experience of the Cabinet has been that students or their parents only reach out to the Cabinet in case of emergency.
Somersall said, “It is heart-breaking to hear that one of our students is standing with their suitcases on the streets with nowhere to sleep. No child should have to go through such an experience so far away from home. If only they had gotten in contact with the Cabinet from the time they arrived, maybe we would have been able to give them the assistance they needed before things got out of control.”
The two ministers issued a plea to parents and students travelling to the Netherlands to contact the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary to share contact information.
“Even though students leave to go the Netherlands on their own, without study financing, we encourage them to register with the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary … Please do not wait until hard times to get in touch with the Cabinet,” Smith said.
The Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary in collaboration with SXM Students Connect will host an event for all first-year students in the Netherlands at the Cabinet on August 20 from 11:00am to 6:00pm. The Cabinet is on Prinsessegracht 7, 2514 AN Den Haag. For more information, e-mail
[email protected] , call +31 70 215 6067 or visit
www.kgmsxm.nl or its Facebook page.