Get our headlines on WHATSAPP: 1) Save +1 (869) 665-9125 to your contact list. 2) Send a WhatsApp message to that number so we can add you 3) Send your news, photos/videos to times.caribbean@gmail.com


A Statement from the 52 St Kitts Nevis Students who were rescued from Jamaica yesterday.- May 1st, 2020

The St. Kitts-Nevis Students’ Association of Jamaica (SKNSAJ) wishes to express sincere gratitude to the Government of St. Kitts-Nevis for facilitating and ensuring the safe return of its students from Jamaica. Our fears were relieved by your generosity and support during such a difficult time. To the Minister with responsibility for Education et al., Hon. Shawn Richards, thank you very much for working tirelessly on our behalf. Your concern for our well-being was evident, as you remained in constant communication with us, which was greatly appreciated.
Getting us home was an expensive venture, but it was done without any cost to us, our families or our loved ones. All expenses for flight, accommodation and those essential services that are required for us to continue our studies online were borne by the Government. We commend you for taking such stance on behalf of your citizens.
We are definitely ecstatic to be home, and cannot wait to reunite with our families upon completion of our quarantine period. This is indeed a global crisis, and we hope that in the not too distant future, this would become a thing of the past.
To those persons who contacted us, encouraged us, lifted us up in prayer or advocated on our behalf, we are eternally grateful.
However, in light of these positives, I must clarify some misleading remarks and falsehoods that would have been peddled across social media.
Firstly, some students had already purchased their tickets to return home, but the borders were closed before they were able to do so.
Secondly, at no time were students contacted or interviewed about their financial status or inability to pay for tickets. Additionally, no demands were made of the parents/ guardians for any monetary contribution towards this cause.
It must be mentioned that some of us opted to remain put as the situation seemed under control. However, as the cases increased and the situation deteriorated, we were left with no choice, but wanting to return home.
Another factor which impeded students return home was the uncertainty which some students faced concerning their programmes (eg. Medicine and Surgery), and how they would be completed. No immediate notice was given of online classes, so students remained. It was subsequently given, but there was no way of getting out.
Students were due to return home shortly, as exams would have been completed at the close of the semester. Therefore, having the means to return would not have been an issue. Quite frankly, it is more expensive to remain in Jamaica, having to pay for accommodations and utilities as well as daily subsistence, than to purchase a ‘one way’ ticket home. Added to this, some of the students’ housing contracts would have expired in May, and given that there was no extension or indication for accommodation by the University, these students feared that they would have had to seek alternative housing.
Finally, correspondence was sent to the Government of St.Kitts-Nevis requesting their assistance to facilitate our return home. This clearly stated that the students were willing to purchase their own tickets to return, if needs be. However, the Government saw it fit to finance this venture to assist its citizens and should be commended. We are indeed grateful.
To the other students (nationals) remaining in Jamaica, particularly our finalizing medical students, as well as those at other universities around the world, who for whatever reasons could not return home, we have not forgotten you. You are in our prayers and thoughts. We hope that you remain safe and in good health.
Once again, thanks to the Government of St. Kitts- Nevis for the provisions they made for our safe return.
Kindest Regards
Jaiida Sutton
President (2019-2020)

Leave a comment

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)