Teachers and educational partners in St. Eustatius met Friday, August 14, to determine schools’ COVID-19 readiness and to wish them success during the new academic year 2020-2021. The public entity was represented by Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis, crisis manager Peter Glerum and director of Social Affairs Carol Jack-Roosberg.
ST. EUSTATIUS–In preparation for the beginning of the new 2020-2021 academic year, Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis met with all teachers and educational partners in St. Eustatius on Friday, August 14, to wish them a successful new school year and to receive an update from them on their COVID-19 readiness. The analysis found that all schools have taken strict hygiene measures and were ready to open on Monday, August 17.
Day-care centres and out-of-school programmes also resumed their operations.One primary school will reopen one week later, due to ongoing construction work that will be completed later this week.The final months of the previous school year came with challenges for the educational system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Francis thanked all teachers, school directors and education partners for their patience and flexibility.“Despite the challenges we faced and still face on a daily basis, we were and are able to cope by putting a number of important plans and actions in place,” she said.
“We feel relieved that we can announce that this new academic year begins without any positive COVID-19 cases in Statia. We, as the public entity of St. Eustatius, are working hard to keep it this way,” she said. “To be able to continue on this trend, it is very important that the entire Statia community, including the educational partners, play their role.”Statia is a relatively small island with limited medical facilities and currently no testing capacity.
Therefore, the public entity urges everyone to practise proper hygiene and physical-distancing guidelines. Francis mentioned that the island government is aware that social distancing is not always possible in vocational education and during practical training, but requests that students and teaching staff comply as much as possible.Stakeholders in education will meet again during the first week of September to discuss, among other things, the assessment of each educational institution’s COVID-19 contingency plan, with the ambition to come up with a common contingency plan for all schools in Statia.
Representatives of National Department Caribbean Netherlands’ RCN’s Education, Culture and Science Unit OCW were also in attendance and have agreed to provide the public entity and schools with support and information that may be useful in formalising a common contingency plan to be used in response to COVID-19.