NATIONAL SCHOOL CHAPLAINCY PROGRAMME TO BE STRENGTHENED

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 02, 2019 (SKNIS): The effectiveness of the National School Chaplaincy Programme in St. Kitts and Nevis is expected to be strengthened following a formal review and training session to be held in late August 2019.

The chaplaincy programme was introduced in January 2019 by the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs to provide additional support for students, teachers, and parents, in personal, moral, emotional, and spiritual development matters. Some 50 spiritual leaders took part in the programme that was implemented on a seven-month trial basis in all public and private schools that are not faith-based.

A meeting was held on Thursday, August 01, 2019, at the Solid Waste Management Conference Room. The chaplains reported that during the January to July period they performed various functions in their assigned schools including attending general and gender assemblies, conducting home visits, performing grief counselling, and providing pastoral services during various school events.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Ron Dublin-Collins, said that the meeting was very productive. He noted that the interaction between the chaplains was excellent and the excitement exhibited at the start of the programme in January remains.

The formal training and review session was an outcome of yesterday’s meeting. Permanent Secretary Dublin-Collins said that a commitment was given to host the training given that some 20 pastors are expected to join the expanding programme. It will also serve as a reorientation for returning pastors. Mr. Dublin-Collins added that the government agency was also developing a manual to help guide the participating members of the clergy.

The chaplains are expected to be in place before the start of the 2019-2020 school year.