Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 26, 2020 (SKNIS): Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, said that teachers are expected to perform their duties to be better able to educate students as schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“During this period of great educational transformation, teachers are expected and required to make themselves available for training; participate in matters related to school administration; provide virtual instruction, and where necessary, provide support within their school in whatever capacity they are called upon to serve by their principals,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richards during an address to the nation on Monday, May 25, 2020.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards urged teachers to adjust to the new teaching techniques.
“Teachers, as you begin to carry out instruction with your students, you are advised to adhere to the directives of your principals, and the Chief or Principal Education Officer, with respect to the time table, lesson planning, and the coverage of curriculum content,” he said. “The connection between a student, their peers, and their teacher is more important than ever. Teachers, while this is by no means a normal education situation, it is critically important to engage your students through the MS Teams platform and to provide them access to a school community, support network, and learning experience.
He said that the Ministry of Education will engage all stakeholders – parents, students, educators and health experts – for the remainder of the current school year, to strategize a plan for the safe return to school. He added that education is a top priority on the COVID-19 National Task Force agenda hence the ministry is working assiduously to resume school in classrooms that represent the safest environment possible.
The education minister implored all to continue working to help in the fight against COVID-19 including adhering to all safety protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Regulations.
“I am appealing to all of us to continue to work to ensure the continued health and safety of our nation’s citizens and residents. We can, by our individual and collective actions, prevent the Coronavirus from wreaking havoc on our nation, particularly our people,” he said “Thus, I urge us all to continue to follow all the precautionary recommendations and guidelines outlined by our Government acting on the advice of the national COVID-19 Task Force. Let us continue to uphold the appropriate hygiene protocols and practice the necessary physical distancing to limit the spread of the virus.”
The Deputy Prime Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to the health and well-being of our nation’s children, which guides every decision made regarding education in the Federation. He added that the children’s interest is always at the fore, and the government will work collectively for the benefit of our children, teachers, families and the Federation.