Single-sex Education to be Introduced in September

On September 5th, when the new school year begins, three of the largest primary schools in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis would be introduced to a single-sex (education) system, for Grade three (3) to six (6).

A single-sex system is where students are classed by sex, meaning boys and girls in separate classes. Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas disclosed this information on Tuesday (July 26th) during the radio program ‘Ask the Prime Minister’.

“What we have found is that up until Grade three (3), the academic performance of boys and girls is indistinguishable, one from the other. The performance of the girls remains strong, while the performance of the boys begins to lag. (And) this divergence remains in Grade four (4), it remains apparent in Grade five (5), and it remains in Grade six (6).” said Prime Minister Douglas. “This is not something that we want. This is not something that any society should want. We want both our boys and our girls to have the kind of curiosity, and pluck, and enthusiasm that is needed to fuel their successful course through elementary, secondary, and eventually university itself.”

Dr. Douglas in expressing concerns on what he termed as gender imbalance at the University level stated, that the number of females at these institutions now outnumber the males by a ratio of more than two to one.Primary-School-Parliamentarians---Opposition-side_copy

“This imbalance is not one that magically emerges when our young people arrive at UWI. It is a trend that has been developing throughout the region over time. It is a trend that can be seen right here in the Federation. And it is a trend, the signs of which are emerging early,” Dr. Douglas told listeners.


The Prime Minister however, mentioned clearly that the Ministry of Education is not looking to return to single-sex primary schools as all schools would maintain the coeducation system. Boys and Girls of the Junior division would continue to learn side by side.



“…the point of this shift is that if there is any chance that single sex classrooms increase boy’s concentration, and their willingness to strive and persevere between Grades three (3) and six (6), we want to do give them that chance. We do know one thing. Single sex instruction cannot hurt. And the literature suggests that, elsewhere, it has helped. We will be carefully monitoring and analyzing the performance of students involved in these three test schools from Grade three (3) all the way up to six (6),” said Dr Douglas.

Pupils of both genders will still carry on their usual interactions in talking, and running , and before school, after school, during recess.



“The results that we see in the months and years ahead will be of great value to us as we strive to ensure that those factors most conducive to the indistinguishable performance between our boys and our girls, are very much in place,” Dr. Douglas.


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