Charlestown Primary School tour, left to right, Mrs. Cheryl Haynes, Principal; Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer in the Department of Education; Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration; and Mr. Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education.

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — Public schools on Nevis reopened for the 2020/2021 academic year on September 7. The Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) said he is satisfied with the school’s compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols.

Charlestown Primary School Kindergarten student demonstrates proper hand-washing techniques.

Minister Liburd, along with Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer in the Department of Education; and Mr. Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education toured several schools on the first day of the new school year.

Schools in St. Kitts and Nevis were closed in March in an abundance of caution, after cases of COVID-19 were first reported in the Federation.

In preparation for the reopening, schools have been outfitted with a hand-washing station at the entry to the school. Staff made sure everyone entering the facility sanitizes their hands and their temperature is taken.

Temperature check is carried out by the staff at the entrance of the Charlestown Primary School.

Liburd said he is pleased with the work carried out over the past few months to sanitize and deep-clean all the government-owned schools and Early Childhood Development Centres.

He applauded everyone who worked diligently to prepare the educational facilities ahead of the reopening.

“We are just bringing students back for in-class teaching and it is something that is being done very carefully,” said Liburd. “The entire ministry, the Department of Education, everyone working in our schools have all been working very diligently. I must commend their efforts in getting the schools ready on time.”

Liburd, also extended thanks to Superior Interiors, a local manufacturer contracted to build single desks for schools due to new spacing requirements under the COVID-19 physical distancing protocols.

During the visit to the Charlestown Primary School the education officials were met by Mrs. Cheryl Haynes, the school’s principal and Ms. Linda Brown, Education Officer for the school, who pointed out the new amenities such as wash stations in each classroom and desks rearranged to allow for physical distancing.

Meantime, Ms. Claxton said both the Gingerland and Charlestown Secondary Schools and other primary schools opened on schedule.

At the secondary level, only First Form students attended school on Monday, as part of a phased reopening. Ms. Claxton said it is anticipated that by September 9, all students will be in classrooms in their respective schools. She explained that a shift system will be implemented at the secondary schools.

A Charlestown Primary School teacher, with left to right, Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer in the Department of Education; Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister of Education in the Nevis Island Administration; and Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education interact with students.