NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 20, 2021) – The following is a statement from the Ministry of Education in the Nevis Island Administration, regarding a midterm break for public schools on Nevis.
The Education system has faced several anomalies in the last year and a half. These anomalies have led education officials to make several decisions. Decisions are always made through consultative processes and take the various stakeholders into consideration.
At the beginning of this academic year, school was delayed by one week due to a COVID-19 related closure of the Ministry and Department of Education. We also opted to begin school using an alternate day model and phased full time in-person sessions at all levels. Effective October 11, 2021, a little over a week ago, all pre and primary school students transitioned to full time instruction.
Our teachers and students are adjusting to the challenges and expectations which are related to functioning amidst positive COVID-19 cases and a community spread. Even now we are still contending with students and teachers not being able to attend school due to the pandemic. As much as we welcome the online modality for classes, we know the ideal setting for classes is face-to-face.
Although we have lost considerable contact time during this term, we are mindful of the psychosocial impact of the fast-paced challenges which are being faced at this time. We are also mindful of the fact that the last day of instruction of students is December 2, 2021, with teachers continuing until December 10, 2021. This early release of students will add to the number of missed contact days.
In an effort to regain the momentum in the education of our students and to strike a balance for all parties involved, which includes teachers, students and parents, we are making a concerted effort to maximize the contact time with our students while ensuring that we provide opportunities for psychosocial reprieve for our teachers and students who are grappling with the adjustments.
In light of all factors considered, and the number of instructional days which have been missed thus far and those which will be missed later this term, the Ministry of Education took the decision that all public schools on Nevis will observe a two-day midterm break on October 28 and 29, 2021. Regular sessions will resume in full on November 1, 2021.
It is our hope that this break will allow teachers and students to regroup while attempting to be fair to all parties. We have also taken into mind that some teachers and school leaders have been in work-mode for an extended period of time, without much of a let-up. We are absolutely certain they would more than welcome a break.
We hope that this break, by virtue of its length, would not lead to any increased gaps or create a need to have to resettle our students, as is sometimes the case following breaks.
The Ministry of Education takes this opportunity to publicly thank our education officials, school leaders, teachers and ancillary staff for their hard work in the face of so many challenges. We truly appreciate you. We also want to thank parents and guardians for their patience and support thus far. We know that it has also been challenging for you on many fronts. It is our hope that we can move closer to some semblance of a more balanced normal in the near future. The Ministry of Education is committed to serve you and will continue to adjust to any circumstances which may come our way.
I wish the entire Education system on Nevis God’s blessings as we try to provide the best education for all of our students.