New Education Minister Powell Makes First Address and Continues Orientation Visits

Basseterre: St. Kitts, July 4, 2020  (SKN Education Media Unit):​ During the past week, new Minister Hon. Jonel Powell made his first address to the nation as the Minister of Education revealing several key dates of importance to students, parents and educators alike.

In an address on July 01, 2020, Minister Powell announced for the first time that the 2019-2020 school year would end on Friday, July 10. Deliberations on the end of the school year were frequently held in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which kept students out of the traditional classroom setting for months.

It was, however, determined that the best way forward would be to maintain the school year schedule as initially planned and to resume the 2020-2021 school year on Monday, September 07.

During the period when students were away from classrooms, they were given review packages, access to Flow Study, as well as teacher-guided classes via the Microsoft Teams online learning platform.

Some teachers in transitioning to Microsoft Teams utilized other platforms and methods for communicating with their students. However, it has been emphasized by the ministry that the way forward would be the Microsoft Teams learning platform in order to standardize the experience.

Minister Powell also announced in his speech that CXC examinations would start on July 13.

The minister explained that there would be a phased approach to the return to learning institutions in September to ensure the safety and security of students and staff are maintained.

Other exciting news shared was the start of meetings with Day Care Supervisors about the phased re-opening of Day Care Centres and the procedures in place to allow for such. These procedures were determined in discussion with the Covid-19 Task Force and require that centres apply for approval via the Early Childhood Development Unit.

466 2810 on St. Kitts and 469-4651 on Nevis were provided as contact numbers for the ECDU for further information.

Also during his third week Minister Powell along with Permanent Secretary William Hodge and Chief Education Officer Dr Debbie Isaac, met with Hon Troy Liburd Minister of Education (NIA); his Permanent Secretary Mr. Kevin Barett and Principal Education Officer Ms Zahnela Claxton.

Additionally, meetings were held with Dr. Jaqueline Austin, President of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, Ms. Melva Walters, Acting Project Engineer of the Building Maintenance Unit and staff, as well as Ms. Maria Crawford, Director of the Education Media Unit and her media team.

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