Fixing AruTram and AruParking then Fixing the First Grade

KUDOS TO ANDIN BIKKER. There was an excellent analysis of Member of Parliament Andin Bikker in the media yesterday about the retail situation in Oranjestad and the negative accumulative effect of AruTram and AruParking, on downtown shopping. It was a concise and snappy evaluation. Just common sense. You already know what he said. It’s what you have been thinking, and saying all along. By the way, these two businesses are clumped together because apparently one pays for the other, yes AruParking was designed to pay for AruTram.

AruParking has over the past few weeks tried to adjust, and cross-promote, but not really. Their efforts are too little, too late. The only incentive for shopping in town on Saturday, is FREE parking, and opening the street to motorized window-shoppers, every evening after 7pm. Just do it. Free parking on Saturday, and free flow of vehicles after 7pm.

I noticed the MinTour loaned AruTram & AruParking one of his secret weapons, and made Carolina Rojas Lacle the Sales & Marketing Beleidsmedewerkster. This girl can write and move things along, but in this case, there is only one partial fix: Free parking on Saturday, and free flow of vehicles after 7pm.

The latest AruTram and AruParking Back To School campaign includes 41 stores in Oranjestad awarding a ONE FLORIN rebate for every thirty-five spent. I saw Dolce Gabana and La Martina among participating stores, and had to chuckle.  What a waste of time. And I do not mean to offend those two beautiful stores, thanks for participating.

NO MORE STAYING BEHIND. The MinEdu announced yesterday that her office evaluated the number of first-graders held back to repeat the school year, found it exceptionally high, and decided to reduce it drastically. Apparently it’s now part of our culture. An acceptance of kids repeating the school year for the second time, but no more, this practice will be reduced to a minimum. Then I asked myself how. How will that miracle unfold? Will you just let them pass and allow their fourth-grade teacher to eventually discover they cannot read, or are you going to institute remedial courses during the summer? I did not hear anything about remedial measures, so the magical-thinking announcement intrigued me. How are you going to crack down on the number of kids left behind in the first grade? One way is to refuse them premature admission. So that kids born around the cutoff date, stay one more year in kindergarten and when they finally get to school they are more mature, less baby-ish and can grasp the material easily. Summer remedial courses are great, kids hate them, parents hate them, but they get the job done!