Students will receive their devices to facilitate virtual learning on May 28 at 9:00 a.m. at the Education Planning Division at Lockhart Street in St. Kitts and the Education Department at Marian Heights in Nevis, says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, during his remarks at the May 26 National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing.
Device pickup is by invitation only on a schedule basis, said Mr. Hodge. He added that students who were selected for devices were identified based on a survey prior to the close of school.
“Each recipient, whether it be a parent or guardian will be called at least 24 hours in advance of their schedule appointment,” he said. “In other words, there are no children allowed on the site where these devices are distributed. They are to be collected by parents or guardians.”
Mr. Hodge said that at the pickup location in St. Kitts, the first round of tablets will be distributed from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on May 28 and continue throughout the day up to 3:00 p.m.
“Ten recipients will be served each half hour with approximately 110 devices being distributed each day,” he said.
Distribution in Nevis will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., said Mr Hodge.
The Permanent Secretary stated that both places have undergone security screening by the NEOC.
Mr. Hodge noted that device distribution will be done by the Office of the Chief Education Officer in collaboration with the Education Planning Division in St. Kitts and the Principal Education Officer and the Education Department in Nevis.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education stated that the distribution has been prioritized starting with high schools in the federation giving preference to those students without devices.
Mr. Hodge added that to maintain order, the schedule for device pickup has also been organized school by school.
After Thursday, distribution will be carried out on subsequent days until it has been completed, stated the Permanent Secretary.
Recipients of devices for the primary school students will be contacted at the appropriate time, he said.
The Permanent Secretary said that parents and guardians will be expected to bring a national issued picture ID including driver’s licence, social security card or passport to pick up the devices.
Social and physical distancing protocols will be in place in alignment with the COVID-19 requirements, said Mr. Hodge.
“These include hand sanitization, wearing of masks, and the six-foot distance,” he said.
Persons are asked not to go to the pickup location until they have been given an appointment. They are also asked to arrive 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
Parents and guardians will also be required to sign a loan agreement form as the tablets are on a loan basis to students, said Mr. Hodge.
Any home having three or more students requiring tablets would be provided with two tablets, noted Mr. Hodge
There will be a total of 700 household, 500 on St. Kitts and 200 on Nevis, being provided with internet access by the Ministry of Education.
Additionally, 400 laptops are being processed to be distributed to teachers to enable them to provide virtual instruction, said Permanent Secretary Hodge.
Photo: Mr Vincent Hodge