POND ISLAND--The Marcel Gumbs-led Council of Ministers “recognizes the importance” of the University of St. Martin (USM) and “will support it wherever possible. We, government and community, see the importance of USM growing and continuing its development,” said Education Minister Rita Bourne-Gumbs on Sunday.
Three members of the Council of Ministers met with USM Board Chairwoman Valerie Giterson-Pantophlet and USM President Francio Guadeloupe on Friday morning to discuss the way forward with the country’s main tertiary institution.
Giterson-Pantophlet said in the press statement issued by the cabinet: “The board and management of USM extend their heartfelt appreciation to the council for the cooperation and support even though it was just a short time. What has taken place has taken the university to the next level.”
Bourne-Gumbs said her ministry’s credo is: “We are not focused on building, but we are focused on building people, their strengths and their knowledge.” She added it must be recognized that is what the university is there for. “It is there for our people, our businesses and our government. Therefore, we all need to support the university and what it is doing for St. Maarten.”
Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs said, “I have done my little part by contributing to USM even before I was a prime minister, and the university can be assured that I and the ministers of this Council will continue to support USM in any capacity we may hold.”
Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Claret Connor said, “For the last 26 years, the university has been on a track to build a solid foundation of ratio countries to grow on. Education is the key and only by education we will be able to get through the challenges we will be facing as a country.”