BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 12, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris says his Government intends to use the planned reopening of schools in early September as a measuring stick as to how well St. Kitts and Nevis is prepared to handle the inflows of visitors to its shores when the borders are reopened in October of this year.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. William Vincent Hodge, revealed that schools are expected to reopen on Monday, September 07, with a virtual opening ceremony. The dates of September 07 and 08 are reserved for teachers to convene their various meetings in schools. Then on Wednesday, September 09 students will return to classes.

On the Tuesday, August 12 edition of the Leadership Matters, Prime Minister Harris stated, “Our organization and reopening of the education sector, for me, is a big test – a big test of our systems, a big test of our ability to deal with large crowds because we are talking about 12,000 plus persons participating in educational settings. If we can do this successfully, then I believe we would have reached a substantial way in our ability to treat and to deal with the tourists who will come when we finally reopen up all sectors of our country.”

The prime minister said he is comforted by the fact that here in St. Kitts and Nevis, there are competent individuals to lead the charge in the safe reopening of schools.

Notwithstanding, Prime Minister Harris said his Government will continue to employ its all-of-society approach to COVID-19 and the opening up of all sectors of the economy. He added, “That is why it is important, even as we go about introducing new measures, reforms of the education sector and other sectors of the economy, we are bringing all critical stakeholders onboard.”

The honourable prime minister said it is his hope that the Ministry of Education will have a productive and successful new academic term but noted that this success largely hinges on the contributions and input of parents and guardians.

“Parents and adults can contribute tremendously by first advising themselves of what are the new imperatives, secondly, by encouraging their [children] to comply with them and to give the incentives that would help the students to adapt quickly to the new environment.”

The early childhood sector recommenced operations this week with 14 government-run early childhood centers and five privately-owned centers opening their doors.

The early childhood sector, primary, secondary and tertiary learning institutions were closed in March of this year as an early measure to protect the nation’s students from contracting the coronavirus.

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