Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Federal Ministry of Education in St. Kitts and Nevis is providing psychosocial support for students and members of the education fraternity who are experiencing psychosocial effects as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Chief Education Officer, Lisa Pistana, said that everyone is feeling the effects of the global health emergency. She noted that in some cases, there has been a decrease in income earned by adults in the household, which reduces the quality of life. This creates added stress at home that can negatively impact students and their learning. Others may have experienced anxiety from contracting the virus themselves or seeing family members ill, while some may have experienced quarantine and/or isolation in some cases.
In response, support systems are in place for persons in need.
“One of the things we have done is try to equip our guidance counsellors so that they can adequately provide for the needs of these particular students,” Mrs. Pistana stated on January 05, during the 2022 debut edition of the radio and television programme Working for You.
“All of our students are impacted, but our teachers are also impacted, and I really want our listening audience to be very compassionate towards our teachers because they are not just there to teach our students like robots, but they themselves have homes, they have families, lives and in some cases, they are down to one income within their family, so they come with a burden as well. So, we try as best as we can to channel them into outreach centres so that they can gain access to counselling, and we provide counselling for our students on site.”
Mrs. Pistana added that the number of guidance counsellors has increased in order to meet the need for enhanced psychosocial support.
However, she strongly encouraged parents to monitor their children for any behavioural changes that may be a cry for assistance or attention.
The Deputy Chief Education Officer expressed that any issues identified must be communicated to the school to ensure that the students receive the best support possible at all times.