NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – The Department of Education on Nevis is forging ahead its enhanced curriculum in primary schools for the new school year, despite teachers and students having to cope with challenges relating to COVID-19.
The enhanced curriculum, which will be implemented throughout public schools in St. Kitts and Nevis, will target students in grades four and six at the primary school level, and will focus on five core areas of study.
The new curriculum aims to improve the assessment of students’ abilities, reflect their interests, and better monitor their progress.
Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer in the Department of Education, said the department has been preparing for the project’s implementation in September.
“Despite school closure due to COVID-19, we still continued to work on our enhanced curriculum which started in January 2019.
“We’ve had teachers writing, education leaders supporting. We’ve had consultations with the general public, our students, all trying to shape a product that we can all be proud of because for the new school year, amidst everything else, we’re going to be doing a technical review/pilot of the grades four and six curriculum,” she said.
The education official noted it was originally envisioned that the enhanced curriculum would have been piloted in both primary and secondary schools, however due to COVID-19 setbacks, the project was scaled down to only primary schools for the upcoming school year.
Education Officers received training on the enhanced curriculum from August 10 to14, principals from August 17 to 21, and teachers of grades four and six will receive their training from August 24 to 28.
Ms. Claxton noted that Information Technology is a key part of the enhanced curriculum, as they prepare students for the rapidly evolving world of technology. She said the young people are technologically savvy from an early age and are able grasp the concepts quickly.
“I know we are continuously working to ensure that we integrate more technology as part of the way of the future, as part of the global readiness and preparation.
“Our students are digital natives and they love technology. It doesn’t take anything out of them to do it, and do it really fast. In fact, during the closure when we went online, the students, no matter how young, were able to navigate really quickly,” she said.
Over the course of the pilot project, principals and school leaders will monitor and support the curriculum enhancement process.
Ms. Claxton is encouraging parents to lend their support, and to keep an open mind throughout the process, as educators try to provide students with opportunities to develop.