Grade 5 students at most government schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will return to school on Wednesday, June 3, for the first time since Easter, when classes were suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exceptions will be the following schools, which the Ministry of Education said, on Thursday, “cannot adequately accommodate Grades 5 and 6 students at this time:
Lodge Village Government, Kingstown Anglican, C.W. Prescod Primary, Kingstown Preparatory, Fitz Hughes Government, Barrouallie Government, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic, Lower Bay Primary, Bequia Seventh Day Adventist, and Leeward Seventh Day Adventist.
iWitness News has obtained a memo sent to heads of educational institutions on Thursday in which Myccle Burke, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, said classes will resume for Grade 5 students “due to the overwhelming request of stakeholders for student engagement”.
Burke further said: “All established protocols are expected to be observed.”
The senior public servant indicated that schools close on July 3 as stated on the official school calendar.
Classes resumed last Monday for Form 5, Grade 6, and technical vocational students to allow for final preparation for their school-leaving examinations.
Students resumed their education amidst new physical distancing protocols occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Ministry of Education, National Reconciliation and Information wishes to thank all principals, teachers, parents and other stakeholders for their input and cooperation in facilitating the smooth reopening of school for students preparing for external examinations.”
As of Thursday, SVG had recorded 25 cases of the viral illness, including seven cases this week among sailors who returned aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line vessel.
More students are returning to class even as the Central Water and Sewerage Authority has warned that it can no longer provide water to 50% of its customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week as is usually the case.
The CWSA, on Thursday, called an emergency press conference for Friday afternoon to update the nation on the situation.
A reliable supply of water is especially important in the context of the frequent hand washing advisory regarding curbing the spread of COVID-19.