WILLEMSTAD - The court in Willemstad has ruled today that the government is acting unlawfully against the Protestant Christian Education Association (VPCO). Not enough funding is made available to provide quality education.
Curaçao must adjust the rates and standards to proper amounts that put an end to the unlawfulness, according to the Court of First Instance.
Curaçao must also pay an amount of more than two million guilders per school year to VPCO in advance and with effect from the next school year and continue to pay each school year until adjustments to the rates and standards have taken place.
According to the Education Inspectorate, the school boards in Curaçao are at all times ultimately responsible for the quality of education at a school.
But VPCO states that it cannot meet its many obligations due to constant financial shortfalls. A problem that other school boards also have.
In addition, the Ministry of Education acknowledges in a memo that financial shortfalls play a role in the mediocre level of education.
The court therefore considers it sufficiently plausible that financial shortfalls play a major role in the mediocre level of education. The report of the Government Accounting Office SOAB shows that many rates and standards have not been adjusted since 1998.
The court makes this comment against the background of the inflation rate calculated by the Central Bureau of Statistics between 1998 and 2020, which is approximately sixty percent.
“With too little compensation, VPCO cannot meet its obligation to provide high-quality education,” says judge Kimberley Lasten. "The position of the Country that it is its discretion to determine what constitutes sound education and what compensation should be provided for this, loses meaning.”
According to Lasten, the conclusion is unavoidable that the country is still insufficiently fulfilling its legal obligation to ensure sound education and its related obligation to finance that education.