by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The St. Kitts and Nevis 2021-2022 academic school year was officially opened yesterday (August 30), with a commencement ceremony held virtually.
Amid the third wave of COVID-19 in the Federation, the new school year is faced with navigating the spread of the virus and the education and safety of the nation’s youth.
In his remarks to open the new school year, the new Chief Education Officer, Mr Francil Morris, expressed that the way of teaching has changed dramatically as a result of the global pandemic and assured that the teachers were doing what was necessary to ensure the education of students with training that began earlier in the summer and continues.
“Over the next four (4) days, educators will be provided with the additional leverage required to continue the transition from a traditional classroom experience into a solution involving the combination of face-to-face, blended, and remote learning; thus, giving educators the necessary tools to support students, whether in physical or virtual classrooms. Each of us must take the necessary action to ensure that all our students can live a life that has a positive impact on our community.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic is greatly affecting the education sector. School closure and loss of learning are the major impacts. Covid-19 positive results amongst schools’ staff and students led to the closure of schools. The more recent closure during May and June 2021 created more learning loss for students,” said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr William Vincent Hodge.
“It becomes the personal responsibility of each of us to play our part in the fight against the Coronavirus. As teachers, school administrators, as support staff, Ministry of Education Officials, Heads of Department, Directors- let us band together to fight this pandemic.”
The Hon. Jonel Powell, Minister of Education, in his remarks, emphasised the importance of diversifying the educational approach to affect the learning of all students at all levels.
“I, therefore, seize the opportunity to fully endorse the coming on stream of mixed ability classrooms in Form One of our secondary school. I implore teachers to embrace this opportunity to teach children in alignment with their needs. As you embark on your summer workshop, I expect that you will avail yourself [of] the training that provides you with the capacity and skillset to deliver differentiated instruction. Differentiating your instruction in your classroom delivery will bring you closer in your determination not to leave any of your students behind.”