The Ministry of Education has put measures in place to ensure fifth form students of the Cayon High School are not disadvantaged by delays in the reopening of the school for the 2019-20 school year as they prepare for the May-June 2020 CXC Examinations, the Office of the Prime Minister announced Tuesday.
The ministry has made accommodations at the Cayon Primary School for the fifth formers to continue their regular classes, while corrective measures are being carried out to address health concerns at the Cayon High School.
Members of the Team Unity Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, visited the Cayon Primary School Tuesday as part of the annual Independence school visits by government ministers.
“The first stop we made was at the Cayon Primary School, and right there they have already made provision for the fifth form of the Cayon High School to use a part of the facilities there, and the head teachers and education officials have organized it so nicely that everybody is comfortable,” said Prime Minister Harris. While acknowledging the situation was not ideal, the prime minister said students and teachers “have pledged to make the best of it, and that is the model of unity which we want to have everywhere in the education sector. So we welcome the camaraderie between the two head teachers and the teaching staff…and we hope that this will help to build a stronger teaching fraternity.”
Following the visit to the Cayon Primary School, Prime Minister Harris led his cabinet colleagues on a tour of the Cayon High School, where they observed firsthand the work being undertaken to address health concerns there.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, explained at the most recent sitting of the National Assembly that during the summer vacation, the entire school was fumigated to treat termite infested spaces at the school. This was in conjunction with the removal of mold in the biology and chemistry labs at the school. The science labs were cleaned, cupboards removed and the labs retested.
The deputy prime minister stated a professional cleaning company was contracted to clean the entire school, and noted that, “All spaces are being power-washed and sprayed with chemicals that will remove any final trace of mold infestation.”
Ministry of Education: Government Going the Extra Mile to Ensure Healthy Conditions for Staff, Students
As work continues to improve environmental conditions at the Cayon High School, the Ministry of Education says it is going the extra mile to ensure conditions at the school are conducive for the health of both faculty, staff and students before a date can be arrived at for the school’s re-opening, Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Shawn Richards, said during the Sept. 4 edition of the “Working for You” programme.
Richards said the school was fumigated during the month of August and that they began the process by “cleaning the labs which were at that time identified as having excessive levels of mold,” adding this was done because “the staff has said for example that they have concerns about the entire school, and so, even after those set of tests were done, we took a decision that we were going to test every single area at the Cayon High School.”
The deputy prime minister said to address complaints of bats in a roof, the government of St. Kitts and Nevis engaged with the Public Works Department to remedy the problem, and added not only was the entire school fumigated, it was also cleaned to improve the work environment of Cayon High School staff and students.
The minister said that he cannot confirm a date when students or staff can return to the school as work is still ongoing and the government “wants to ensure that when the students and faculty return to Cayon High School, that the school has been deemed safe.”