The Public Entity Saba and Yuverta, the biggest green vocational education training organization in Europe, on Monday, April 3, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore how green education can contribute to the goals and ambitions of Saba, as well as the possibilities for establishing green vocational education on the island. The agreement was signed in the presence of Minister of Education, Culture and Science Robbert Dijkgraaf.
The Public Entity Saba took the initiative to seek a collaboration with Yuverta because it wants to expand the possibilities in vocational education, in particular in the area of advanced agricultural training and education programs.
The MoU, as is stated in the text, “aims to enhance the relation and collaborative alliance between the parties to exchange information, knowledge and carry out advanced agricultural training and education programs, generic for the Caribbean and specific to Saba.”
The availability of vocational education is currently very limited, both locally and regionally. This results in missed opportunities for the development of local skilled people in certain areas. In the light of climate change, the demand for skilled 'doers' in the field of food production, nature management, sustainability and related matters, is likely to increase on Saba, explained Commissioner of Agriculture Bruce Zagers, who signed the MoU on behalf of the Public Entity Saba.
Nature based solutions and sustainability are, next to the quality of education, the main goals of Yuverta. Saba’s ambitions give Yuverta the opportunity to share and develop its knowledge at the Public Entity Saba, explained Director Education & Quality of Yuverta Inge Thuys, who signed the MoU on behalf of Yuverta.
Unique education market
“We believe that the collaboration with Yuverta could create a unique education market that does not yet exist in the Caribbean region,” said Zagers, who noted that the education Yuverta offers connects well with the Nature and Environmental Policy Plan (NEPP), which aims to ensure good management of the natural environment and facilitate responsible and sustainable use of natural resources.
“By integrating the principles of the NEPP into our green vocational education program, we can ensure that our students are not only equipped with the necessary skills but also the awareness and knowledge to protect our precious natural resources,” said Zagers.
“To achieve the goals of Saba, the entire community must have an easy access to green knowledge and skills. Together we will explore the possibilities of lifelong learning in all possible ways, through certificates, micro credentials, sector diplomas etcetera,” said Thuys.
“We are confident that the partnership with Yuverta will bring benefits to both Saba and Yuverta, and we look forward to working together to develop a sustainable and green education program that meets the needs of our island and the region as a whole,” said Zagers.
Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf agreed with Zagers and Thuys that the MoU brings “great opportunities” for Saba. “Trans-Atlantic relations are important, and while vocational education training might not seem as the most obvious collaboration, it is quite relevant and effective. Vocational education is hands-on learning. It is show, not tell. I see this collaboration as a win-win. It is great to see this happening and I compliment the Public Entity Saba for this achievement,” said Dijkgraaf.
The MoU has a term of five years.