By: Chaïra Flanders
Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 16, 2020 (ZIZ News): Effective Monday 20th April 2020, all educational institutions in St. Kitts and Nevis will remain closed for a period of two weeks to curtail the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
This announcement was made by Minister of Education, Hon. Shawn Richards at the April 16 National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) briefing at NEMA.
Minister Richards said that although the decision was not an easy one to make, it was considered in the best interest of all.
“Extending the closure of schools for a period of two weeks is in the best interest of our students, school employees, families, and by extension the nation. This decision applies to all early childhood care and learning facilities, public schools, private and parochial/church schools, and career and technical vocational centres. All colleges and universities shall also remain closed and may not resume in-person instruction or reopen their physical locations.
He said all re-openings will be dependent on public health guidance provided by the Chief Medical Officer and the COVID – 19 Task Force.
Minister Richards said although schools remain closed for two weeks, it is critical that learniong continues virtually at home.
“Educational institutions can therefore continue with online / virtual instruction for students. As a result, the Ministry of Education has taken the necessary steps to ensure that teaching and learning will continue for our students despite the extended school closure. The Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Development Unit and Early Childhood Unit have organized a selection of educational materials, lessons, and activity suggestions to support continued education in the home. These are for learners at the early childhood, primary, and secondary levels”, he said.
He said the locally structured and approved educational resources will become available on the Ministry of Education’s website www.education.gov.kn as of Monday.
The Minister said that all students in St. Kitts and Nevis will be issued a username and password which allows access to the FLOW Study platform; a website that provides for self-paced learning of content that is aligned with the primary and secondary school curricula.
He used the opportunity to share several benefits of using the FLOW Study
username and password.
“The registration process is simplified, technical support will be available from the Ministry, and most importantly, activities completed by students on the site will be shared with schools and teachers to support students’ return to learning in school. Kindly be informed that the school which your child or ward attends will share the registration information with families”, Minister Richards explained.
He said the Ministry of Education has proactively developed a comprehensive programme for home based continued education should there be a need to extend school closures beyond the initial two-week period.