St. Kitts & Nevis’ education officials implement measures to minimize risk of COVID-19 spread during regional exams

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 16, 2021 (SKNIS): Education authorities in St. Kitts and Nevis have implemented several stringent measures to ensure that students undertaking Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams are protected from COVID-19.

The first series of CSEC exams run from June 15 to 25, 2021. These are oral exams. Additional CSEC and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) sittings will take place from June 28 to July 30, while Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCLSC) exams are scheduled for August 09 to 12.

At a press conference on Monday (June 14, 2021), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, William Hodge, said that the primary focus is on protecting the nation’s children who are at a critical stage of their education.

“The focus is on our 5th Form students, those students who would have spent the last five or six years going to school every day, studying their work, doing assessments, and now they are at the point where they have to be examined by the Caribbean Examinations Council,” he stated.

As such, school buses are operating at half capacity given the current limitations instituted by health authorities to curve the second wave of the Novel Coronavirus. Students within walking distance of examination venues are strongly encouraged not to walk in groups. It is recommended that persons with private vehicles should only transport members of their household to sit the exams.

At the exam venues, students must complete a COVID-19-related symptom survey. Hand sanitization and temperature checks will be conducted. The measures, some of which will be unveiled next week as the exam schedule intensifies, were developed in conjunction with the National COVID-19 Task Force.

While at home, students are expected to stay within their homes thereby reducing the risk of contracting the virus.

“We are aware that we are facing challenging times with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our Federation,” said Dr. Debbie Isaac, Chief Education Officer, noting that health and safety measures also include teachers and education staff. “We are soliciting the cooperation of our parents and all students preparing to sit these regional exams.”

The education officials indicated that a follow-up press conference will be held shortly to update plans and related procedures.

Featured Image – Permanent Secretary in The Ministry Of Education, William V. Hodge

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