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Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 1, 2021 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis through the Ministry of Education, has recently closed schools for two weeks in response to a new cluster of COVID-19 cases in the Federation. Minister of Education, the Hon. Jonell Powell, in an address on May 31, 2021, reaffirmed the commitment of the Ministry to learning and ensured the safety and security of teachers and students alike.

“While the decision to close schools is always a difficult one, it was necessary. Ensuring the continued health and safety of our children, our families, and our communities is of greatest importance. Although on-site instruction has been suspended in schools for a period of two weeks in the first instance, our students are being afforded the opportunity to continue to learn at home. The Ministry of Education, understanding the likely reality of school closure due to national COVID-19 mitigation efforts, took the necessary steps to ensure that educational support will continue despite school closure,” said Minister Powell.

The Ministry of Education has invested heavily in training and has provided the relevant resources to teachers across the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to prepare them for this period which would require online learning classes. Minister Powell further stated that regional examinations such as the Caribbean Examination Council’s CSEC have been postponed a further two weeks.

“My leadership team is in close collaboration with school leaders who are working to chart the most appropriate course for our system.  With respect to regional assessment, in a recent press release dated Thursday the 27th of May, 2021, CXC announced the decision to delay the sitting of regional examinations further by two weeks.  Therefore, regional examinations will commence Monday, 28 June 2021,” said Minister Powell.

Minister Powell thanked parents and teachers for supporting the ongoing contact tracing exercise and indicated that a second phase will begin shortly. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Vincent Hodge, has also indicated that further testing of children is underway in some schools, with schools in the Basseterre area being tested. Principals will be responsible for disseminating any information regarding the testing of students to parents. The Ministry further requires persons to turn up to be tested in an effort to secure the well-being of every citizen and resident of the Federation.

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