Address by Minister of Education Hon. Jonel Powell

Fellow Citizens and Residents

Two weeks ago I announced to the nation of St. Kitts and Nevis that the Federal Cabinet made the decision that the following educational institutions were to remain closed for in-person teaching and learning until Monday, 24th January 2022:

  • All public and private primary schools
  • All public and private secondary schools with the exception of Form 5 students
  • The Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC)

The Ministry of Education places on record its high commendation for parents, teachers, and ancillary staff for their sacrificial work with our students during the last two weeks.  Your commitment and devotion to duty have not gone unnoticed.  

Over the past two weeks, the Ministry of Education continually monitored the COVID 19 situation in the country.  Following consultations with stakeholder groups, I am pleased to announce that under the advice of the Ministry of Health that ALL public and private primary and secondary schools and The Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC) will resume face-to-face instruction, on Monday, the 24th Day of January 2022. Kindly note that the Basseterre High School, the Washington Archibald High School, and the Cotton Thomas Comprehensive School will report to school at their designated shift time. The principals of these three (3) institutions will make available through their Facebook pages and WhatsApp, any other relevant information pertaining to Basseterre High, Washington Archibald High, and Cotton Thomas Comprehensive.

In reference to the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, I am quite pleased to learn that face-to-face instruction commenced on Tuesday, 18th January 2022.

At this juncture, I wish to direct a few guidelines to parents and legal guardians of children enrolled in our institutions of learning. PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:-

  1. ALL students must report to school on Monday, 24th January 2022 in full uniform and ready for classes.
  2. ALL students MUST wear a mask throughout the school day.
  3. Students MUST remain on campus during the lunch hour and therefore MUST pack a lunch or partake in the school meals provided or purchase from the school’s cafeteria or canteen.
  4. ALL arrival and departure protocols MUST be adhered to at ALL of our institutions
  5. Parents or guardians MUST make an appointment with the principal or teacher prior to visiting their child’s OR ward’s academic institution.  
  6. Students who are experiencing flu-like symptoms MUST remain at home and seek guidance from a medical practitioner at a neighbouring health facility or family doctor prior to their return.  Parents should notify the principal or teacher about his or her child’s or ward’s illness.

The safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance and therefore we seek your cooperation and adherence to these guidelines.

I now direct a few guidelines to adults who work in our schools:

The Ministry of Education firmly believes that the quality of education received by our students is critical to their future success and therefore the following guidelines pertain to our teaching and ancillary staff:

  1. All teachers and ancillary staff MUST report to school on Monday, 24th January by 8:00 am.  The regular working hours of 8:00 am – 4:00 pm remain in effect.  
  2. ALL employees, when on the school grounds, are required to always wear a mask.  
  3. Instruction must resume immediately, and teachers are to continue utilizing balanced assessment to assess our students’ learning gaps.  
  4. Administrators and teachers MUST make provisions for a period of review and require remediation.  Also, allowances MUST be made for students who have reported ill.

Despite our desire to return to some sort of normalcy, the Ministry of Education with guidance from the Ministry of Health has decided to postpone all scheduled graduations.  Graduations scheduled for the month of January and February are postponed until further notice.  Likewise, the Ministry of Education will NOT host any sporting events during this said period.

The Ministry of Education 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.  

The Ministry of Education wishes to repeat that in-person learning is best for our students. Therefore, the Ministry of Education will do all in its power to ensure that the nation’s children can learn in safe and healthy environments. School administrators and teachers at all institutions are required to continue the enforcement of the non-pharmaceutical measures given from the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Wear your Masks, Wash your Hands, Watch your Distance, physically and socially. Additionally, our children ages twelve to eighteen years can help to make their schools safe by getting vaccinated. The call goes forth again to parents and legal guardians to take students to the Health Centres in their respective communities to be vaccinated.

I end this message by extending best wishes for a successful term to all our students and adults who work in our schools. May God continue to bless the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

I thank you!

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