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Last week the minister of education published an article about De Schakel on his Fb page. De Schakel will now be subsidized by the Aruban Government. They finally succeeded after years of trying.
But what does this mean for the ARUBANs?

What will the school tuition be? Like Colegio Arubano? Because even that was unaffordable for a lot of Arubans. Schakel has published some rates on its website. This was for the TTO (tweetalig onderwijs) and the “ouderlijke bijdrage” which is a total of fls 3,456, –  BUT they still haven’t mentioned the prices for books. At Colegio you will pay approximately fls1,200, –  for books. How much will the total tuition be? If you can’t pay Colegio, you surely cannot pay Schakel in ‘20- ‘21.

More students means more teachers. Does this mean the school is creating work for ARUBAN TEACHERS or are we recruiting teachers from the Netherlands again???

How many students can go to Schakel this year? They have a “lotingsysteem.” The school is very small and they conduct a drawing. How many new students will be subsidized at Schakel?

Minister Lampe said he wants 28 students per class. Like i said before, Schakel is a tiny school. Will this apply here too?

I really think this is unfair, especially when you want to cut cost in the education sector, not paying teacher’s overtime work, and underpaying part time teachers.
Teachers are working now extra HARD trying to cope with the crisis and this virtual teaching. This is not something teachers are used to, but for the love of students and teaching, teachers are trying their outmost for it to work.

Rona, this is NOT avo/vwo in Noord Aruba, that was promised. This is still unaffordable for most Arubans, especially in this crisis. ESPECIALLY AFTER THIS CRISIS. This helps the ones with higher incomes, the ones whose children are already going to Schakel. They are the ones who are going to benefit from this!
This is so unfair! We don’t need this right now, what about the rest of the kids?

“Toegankelijker” does not mean it is for everybody. It simply means it is cheaper. Cheaper for the ones with higher incomes!


We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another.

Suddenly Disney is out of magic,

Paris is no longer romantic,

New York doesn’t stand out anymore, the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty.

Hugs & kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents & friends becomes an act of love.

Suddenly you realize that power, beauty & money are worthless, and can’t get you the oxygen you’re fighting for.

The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it’s sending us a message:

“You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.”



Think: What is IMPOSSIBLE to do today but might be possible to do tomorrow… (usually due to technology but now due to Corona)

1) Retract all building permits, that have not been started… basta (including San Nicolas) let them sue us, can Evelyn declare a state of emergency to deflect law suits?

2) No more hotel rooms. convert existing unfinished projects (embassy suites) into Education facilities … nursing schools, labs, hospitals, affordable housing… A true Caribbean Hoge Hotel school…

keep in mind to convert into what is needed, and not into what is profitable!!!

3) Businesses who have faithfully paid taxes for the last 5 years, don’t pay taxes for the next 5 years

4) Businesses who have not paid taxes are audited strictly, and given 12 months to restructure

5) Re-educate at least 20% of ambternaren to tax auditors AND business consultants…and I’m talking serious assistance!! assign 3 small businesses to the CEO of Web, Elmar to mentor… have MinPres make her list of the doers in government … she knows who they are and allow them to audit the businesses

6) RE-SHUFFLE resources: taxi drivers become bus drivers, bus drivers become Serlimar drivers, have your smart people pore over labor contracts to see what’s the best reshuffle (Social services are in dire need of people!) Administration of police work can be done by same people who do admin for Serlimar for instance… making room for police to be on the street and not at their desks Should be easy; Just rank all per task and NOT department.

7) Everybody over 60 goes on mandatory pension. at one standard amount, say Awg 2,000. Not based on last income but flatten this curve as well… to allow for so many more to go on pension

8) Replace ALL taxes with invoerrechten… make it simple

9) Introduce an immediate copayment for AZV. Awg 10 doctor’s appointment. Awg 250 for the birth of child…Awg 500 operation… and mandate insurance companies to add this to their insurance (Similar to eyes and dentist insurances)

10) Restart tourism slowly… at high high HIGH prices!! And drop until you reach the price point that fill the hotels at 80% and then STAY there.

11) Own an Aruba booking site to regulate all the illegal Airbnb’s and supervise the quality of our product

12) Last but not least, declare the entire aruba a SERENE national park, and as such motorized vehicles NOT allowed for rent bikes, sail boats, windsurfing, kite surfing, are welcome…

13) Another idea, if declared a national park then no rental cars allowed, but we develop our own “AR-UBER” allowing for a lot of taxi drivers… Fares must start at $5

MORE MAIL, More ideas

Bon tardi Rona. There are plenty of people already working on the tourism front, so my interests are in economic diversification that leverages Aruba’s strengths and potential:

– Reasonable telecom infrastructure

– Multilingual citizens

– A business culture (private sector nor government) most similar to NA and Europe compared with other Far East jurisdictions … stay tuned on that matters.

– Reasonably cost effective to live compared with major NA cities

– A lifestyle and climate that would be conducive to active young tech folks

– Physical accessibility to NA and Europe business centres

Given the above, here are just two things to explore:


Contact Centres

– Same time zone hemisphere as NA and SA and offsetting for Europe

– Multilingual workforce for NA (English), SA Spanish) and Holland (Dutch)

– Minimal retraining required

– Reasonable capex investment to get up and running

 – Better quality for dollar spent than the infamous far offshore options in Asia


IT Developer Outpost

– Become an outpost for firms such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Shopify, you name it as the cost of living plus climate would attract those in Silicon Valley who can’t afford San Fran area.

– Offer tax incentives for these firms to locate an operation in Aruba with the proviso that they establish educational programs with University of Aruba for a new generation of Aruban IT developers.

– Seed incubators for the future app developers with that emerging Aruban talent pool.

My thoughts. What do you think?

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April 10, 2020
Rona Coster