by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – All public primary and secondary schools are physically closed for the rest of the 2020-21 school year in light of the spread of the coronavirus in the Federation and some cases appearing in several schools.
The closure of physical schooling has led to students and teachers going back to online instruction using Microsoft (MS) Teams and other online platforms, several weeks before the start of CSEC, CAPE and end of term examinations.
The CXC examinations are expected to begin on Monday, June 28 and students should be guided by the final timetable that can be accessed on CXC’s website at www.cxc.org.
Staff, students and parents that have been monitored for the past two week from five of the six schools (Sandy Point Primary, Charles E Mills Secondary School, Basseterre High School, Washington Archibald High School and Seventh Day Adventist Primary School) have been cleared to move about in society, according to Health officials.
Dr. Debbie Isaac, Chief Education Officer in an address to the nation laid out some new stipulations that schools will be required to follow for the rest of the school year.
“All schools are required to adhere to the following guidelines during the period Monday, June 7 to Friday, July 2 2021. There will be no examinations for students in kindergarten to fourth form. During this period, teachers will actively review previously taught work with their students. No new concepts will be taught, schools will issue work pockets or small projects or daily exercise to all Kindergarten to Grade Two students. These will be distributed via any medium necessary, such as hard copies, WhatsApp, or the school’s Facebook page… Students from grades three to form four should be actively engaged online each day with their teachers, if your child does not have a device, then the teacher will send work by an agreed upon [medium] such as WhatsApp… First through fourth form students [and teachers] will be guided by the principles regarding the format and content to be used for revision. Parents will be informed by the respective schools, Facebook page, or WhatsApp if work packets would need to be collected.”
Virtual Interaction for students will end on July 2 for students.
Moving back to online instruction may also have adverse effects on students, teachers and parents. Some of which include:
- Social isolation
- Challenges measuring and validating learning
- Interrupted learning for under-privileged learners, etc.
While the Federation was involved in online instruction in 2020 from March until official closure in July, the issues that come with a move to isolated learning may still persist.
Dr. Isaac, in her address mentioned that school counselors are available to those students and parents who may need Psycho-social support during this time.
Graduation and thanksgiving dates have been tentatively chosen by school and will be guided by the National Emergency Operations Centers after consideration.
Dr. Isaac concluded by stressing the need to support staff and students as they seek to finish this school year. strong.