Mr. Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education in the Nevis Island Administration (file photo).

The following is a letter from Mr. Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), to parents and guardians on Nevis regarding the importance of school work packages for students in light of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the confirmation of two persons in our Federation who have tested positive for the Coronavirus, the Ministry of Education gives you the assurance that we are taking this crisis seriously.

The Department of Education, ably headed by Principal Education Officer, Ms. Zahnela Claxton, was very proactive in putting in place Phase 1 of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This response included ensuring that your children were properly supplied with teacher-prepared work packages at the early closure of school.

The main objective of the school work packages is to provide your children with what is mostly review material and exercises, which they can complete while away from school. We did not give your children the work packages to burden them with school work but rather, it is to help them retain lessons taught and to keep their brains sharp. The work would also help them to develop a very necessary trait of self-discipline as the work would not be supervised by teachers.

We therefore urge you parents and guardians to encourage your children to attend seriously to the work packages that they received. Encourage them to review and practice regularly. Please take some time to check to see that the work is done. Supervise your children if needs be.

The Ministry of Education’s priority is to provide the best education for your children that we can offer. Thus, the effort was made to ensure that your children did not go home at this time empty-handed. We therefore urge you once again to encourage your children to take time out to do the work given.

The safety of your children is another of the Ministry of Education’s priority. We strongly believe that the children, at this time of the crisis are safer in the confines of your home. We encourage you to ensure that they remain indoors, that they avoid congregating with friends, practice social distancing without being disrespectful and most of all, wash their hands properly and often.

We encourage you too, to practice social distancing respectfully, avoid persons who are coughing and sneezing and you too must wash/sanitize your hands properly and often.

I ask you to pray sincerely and ask God’s help through this time. He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Let us all believe what He says and trust Him to be faithful.

Stay safe parents and guardians. May God bless us all.