Schools across St Vincent the Grenadines will close one week ahead of the normal Easter vacation as at the end of the school day on Friday March 20th, 2020.
The decision was taken by the Government following consultation with the heads of Secondary and primary schools both public and private as well as pre-schools both public and private. The decision to close early comes against the backdrop of ongoing concerns over the possible spread of COVID-19 in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Heads of private schools are being advised though not compelled to follow the government’s protocols in this regard.
In light of this the Ministry of Education has advised that the COVID-19 situation would be monitored and information regarding the reopening of schools would be communicated to the schools by the ministry.
In light of the pending closure schools are being encouraged to make all necessary arrangements for exams among other things. They are also encouraged to await official information from CXC regarding CSEC and CPEA and not to listen to rumours.
Meantime, the Ministry of Education has announced that all school sporting activities have been postponed until further notice. These include the Inter-Primary and Secondary Schools Sports, and the Cricket and Volley Ball finals. The Primary Schools Performing Arts Festival (PRISPAF) has also been put on hold.
The Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of Health met with the heads of schools across St Vincent and the Grenadines today March 16th, 2020 to advise them on the current situation with COVID-19, the possible impacts on schools, actions to be taken to safeguard the schools population and closure of schools.
The consultation was addressed by Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Permanet Secretary in the Ministry of Education Myccle Burke, Chief Education Officer Elizabeth Walker, Dr Charmine Bailey-Rogers, Dr. Jerold Thompson, and Chief Health Educator Ms. Patsy Whyllie.