Schools on the Dutch side of the island will open their doors to thousands of school children as the summer holiday recess came to an end on Sunday.
Commissioner of Education William Marlin would like to wish students, parents and the teaching staff a successful 2010/2011 school-year.
"Students are once again embarking upon a very important process in their overall development. An education is essential if you want to be successful in life. Everybody has a responsibility to make sure our young people succeed in life, from parents at home, to teachers in the classroom.
"Every student also has a responsibility in their education. Because even though with the good efforts of parents and teachers, if students don’t show up for class, or don’t pay attention, the responsibility of not succeeding lays with the student.
"I call on our students to be responsible and while in school, the number one thing is focus on your studies. At the end of the school day, when you leave the school ground, then it’s your free-time to do whatever you like to do, but of course don’t forget to do your homework. Remember, you are doing it for yourself in order to be a better person and to make a contribution to your community and island.
"Remember, no matter what you want to do in life, you’ll need to have an education in order to do it. An educated person will be hired while one without will be without a job.
"At the beginning of every new year, as individuals or families, we come up with new year’s resolutions. I encourage all parents and students to do the same starting this new school year. Set goals and work towards them together by supporting each other. Parents need to support their kids and invest the time in order for them to learn and be successful young persons.
"Remember, you cannot drop out of school and just drop into a good paying job. It doesn’t work that way. Every educated person plays a key role in our island nation. Your investment in education is also an investment in Sint Maarten’s future as an island nation. We need every single person who attends school to study hard and become a success. Don’t let your-self down, make us all proud," Commissioner of Education William Marlin told the Government Information Service (GIS) on Sunday.
Commissioner Marlin also added that as the new school year begins, the island is also on a journey to country status come 10-10-10. "During the first semester, before the end of the year, Sint Maarten will take its final exam to become a country. Now more than ever, we need educated and a well prepared workforce to take on the responsibilities that country Sint Maarten brings.
"Over the past months much emphasis and effort has been placed on compulsory education. We have worked diligently making sure that every child documented or not, has an opportunity that our island nation offers. A brain is a terrible thing to waste," Commissioner William Marlin concluded.