The re-opening date of schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines is currently in limbo due to the global pandemic COVID-19.
Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Hon. Luke Browne informed on Thursday (Apr. 30) via his Facebook page that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is meeting with a multi-ministry team to further discuss the re-opening of schools.
The minister also noted that the Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) would assess school infrastructure to make sure there are sufficient pipes and general facilities to allow students to follow guidelines especially as they relate to hand hygiene.
Schools have embarked on an e-learning journey to allow for the facilitation of lessons in the absence of physical classes.
“I know currently the Ministry of Education has engaged teachers in training for Microsoft Team. It’s a training the trainers workshop so that teachers can train the others on the staff.”
Bynoe, who is also the Second Vice President of the Caribbean Union of Teachers, notified that a meeting was held earlier this month with member states, discussing issues relating to Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams.
“I know its exam term… CSEC, CAPE, CPEA. What I know is that on April 8th, officers of the Caribbean Union of Teachers and one rep from each member state met with the Caribbean Union of Teachers to discuss issues relating to CSEC and CAPE. Several issues were raised including date of exams and structure.”
“…What CXC plans to do is utilize a modified approach in the May/June exams which they have slated for June/July.”
She further noted that Education Ministries from regional governments have asked CXC to consider a later date.
“After that meeting, I am aware that certain countries’ Ministry of Education… Montserrat, St. Lucia and others have written to CXC asking it to be slated for August/September.”
“The final date of exam will be influenced by the circumstances of COVID-19, she added.”
The Outgoing President informed that educators met with Education Officials to assess the best modality for teaching and learning within the current environment.
She noted that the fact that some students do not have access to digital devices has been appreciated, noting “that’s the part that we have to work out.”
Bynoe ended with a word of advise to students.
“Most schools would have done everything within their power to prepare students for exams… so what I am advising students to do is to continue to review your work because of course CXC is going to, from what they say, they are going to use multiple choice and SBAs which will be moderated more than ever now.”