Basseterre: St. Kitts, Tuesday, August 31st, 2021: Teachers within St. Kitts participated in the annual opening ceremony for the commencement of the 2021-2022 School Year. The ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Education, was held on Monday, August 30th, at the Antioch Baptist Church. Due to the changes brought about by the pandemic, teachers participated virtually.
In his remarks, Chief Education Officer Mr. Francil Morris, expressed that “the new school year brings new perspectives and new hope”. He congratulated the officers on their new posts and appointments and encouraged them to take advantage of the summer workshops.
“I call on all members of the education sector to embrace the new normal and capitalize on opportunities that are available to help us perform our professional roles effectively and efficiently,” expressed CEO Morris.
Mr. Morris noted that the summer programme for teachers will expose participants to the skills, and knowledge that will prepare them to successfully function with new dynamics of teaching and learning brought about due to Covid-19.
“The way of teaching has changed dramatically…, 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.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. William Vincent Hodge, reminded teachers that the Federation and its education sector is not immune to the alarming effects of Covid-19.
“As we stand on the threshold of yet another school year, we do so against the backdrop of a pandemic that has plunged the world into chaos. 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,” he said. Noting that it’s a collective effort in the fight against the pandemic, P.S. Hodge exclaimed, “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.”
Looking back at the past school year, Mr. Hodge expressed gratitude to the teaching fraternity for its resilience and dedication to educating the youths.
“Following the emergency closure of schools, our teachers went above and beyond the call of duty for the sake of the nation’s children. The Ministry of Education was generally satisfied with the number of teachers who provided instruction for students via the online platforms. There was evidence that teachers emerged from their comfort zones to deploy the technology in the delivery of the online teaching,” noted Mr. Hodge. “Equally the Ministry of Education is pleased to highlight the work of secondary school teachers and CAPE lecturers who took to the virtual platforms to complete their syllabuses and revisions with candidates writing CSEC and CAPE examinations.”