MINISTER OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCES NEW REOPENING DAYS FOR SCHOOL; SAFETY OF STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND STAFF IS TOP PRIORITY
Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 08, 2022 (SKNIS): Schools across the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis were scheduled to reopen for face-to-face instruction on Monday, January 10, 2022, but given the ongoing fourth wave of COVID-19 infections plans have since been adjusted. During the January 07, 2022 NEOC COVID-19 press briefing, Minister of Education, the Hon. Jonel Powell provided an update for the reopening of schools.
“The Ministry of Education, under the advice of the Ministry of Health and with approval from the Cabinet has decided that schools will resume for face-to-face instruction as follows, for the Early Childhood Sector and fifth form students only in our secondary schools on Monday 10th January; and for primary schools, secondary school students in forms one to four and AVEC on Monday 24th January, 2022. All fifth formers and their respective teachers will report to school on Monday 10th January. These students are in the process of preparing to write CXC examinations and at this critical juncture require face-to-face instruction. Therefore, the main objectives during this two-week period are to ensure that these students are able to complete their SBAs and remain on target for the completion of the CXC syllabus in time for their exams which are scheduled for May 2022,” said Minister Powell.
The Minister of Education further stated that all ancillary staff within secondary schools are required to report to work on Monday 10th January, 2022 to facilitate the maintenance of school grounds, cleaning and sanitization of spaces and the security at the school’s entry points.
In an effort to bolster the Ministry of Education’s teaching staff in the event of a widespread COVID-19 outbreak affecting teachers, the Minister of Education indicated that work is ongoing to formulate a secondary pool of retired and part-time teachers and ancillary staff to provide support.
“The Ministry of Education is formulating a secondary pool of retired and part-time teachers and ancillary staff to provide support should we have a COVID-19 outbreak amongst our school staff after we resume schools. Since the start of the new wave of COVID-19 cases, several students and teachers have been infected. Both students and teachers are again encouraged to properly wear face masks, wash, or sanitize their hands, and avoid crowds, where possible… The Ministry believes that the health and safety of all students, teachers, and staff, must be given top priority. However, it also holds the view that the continuing education of students is paramount,” said Minister Powell.
The Ministry of Education urges parents to have their children, ages 12-17 years old, vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 virus at the soonest possible time, to provide an extra layer of protection. Vaccination remains the key weapon in the fight against COVID-19.