- as Education Ministry looks to reopen doors for CSEC and CAPE students

Parents were reminded today of their importance in the education process as the Ministry of Education engaged over 1200 parents from Regions Four and Five virtually.
The Ministry specifically engaged parents of those students that will be writing the 2021 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.
The Ministry of Education is considering the reopening of schools to prepare the students to write these two examinations next year.
It was noted by the Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand that face-to-face engagement will be necessary for the students to complete the syllabi for the various subjects and the School Based Assessments (SBAs) at the CSEC level and the Internal Assessments (IAs) at the CAPE level.
Minister Manickchand said that the Ministry is aware that children want to matriculate and move on to higher education. As such, students will have to be prepared properly to write the examinations which will entail getting these students back into school, in a safe environment with their teachers.
Minister Manickchand explained that the Ministry cannot leave the matter to chance but rather provide options for the nation's children. She said that with the lack of connectivity in many instances and the practical SBAs and IAs that need to be completed, the reopening of schools for the examination classes is a necessary move.
She told parents that the Ministry will open the schools but parents must inform their children about what will be required of them.
She said that parents need to reinforce the COVID-19 protocols with their children and encourage them to follow those measures when in and out of the school environment.
She urged parents to consistently talk to their children about the importance of handwashing, social distancing and the wearing of masks.
Minister Manickchand also informed the parents that schools will be equipped with the necessary handwashing stations, toilets will be functioning and social distancing measures will be implemented.
Additionally, the Education Minister said that students, teachers and cleaners will be provided with packages including sanitizers, masks, face shields and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure safety.
Meanwhile, the Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson said that the meeting with parents was called because of the importance the Ministry attaches to education. "We value the delivery of quality education, life-long learning and equity," Dr. Hutson noted.
He told the parents that a partnership with parents is important to making these efforts successful. He said that it is important that the Ministry hears from parents and that parents hear from the Ministry so that whatever decisions are made will be practical, efficient and suited for the prevailing circumstances.
Chairing today's meetings with the parents were the Senior Education Officer (Mathematics), Mr. Saddam Hussain, and Deputy Chief Education Officer (Development) Ms. Volika Jaikishun. Also present during the meetings were the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Alfred King, Assistant Chief Education Officers, the Regional Education Officers and other Senior Education Officers within the Ministry.
Similar meetings are scheduled for the remaining regions during the course of this week.