Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 26, 2021 (SKNIS): Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education, Mr. William Vincent Hodge stated during the May 25, 2021 edition of “Leadership Matters” that the current situation in schools in relation to the COVID-19 virus requires parents to get vaccinated in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

“The COVID-19 is making a huge impact on our schools. Learning is disrupted just at the brink of examinations, schools are forced to abandon their field trips and educational tours, graduations may not be held except virtually, parents are forced to stay at home to provide care for their children, some parents may actually lose their jobs. COVID-19 is in our schools. Teachers, students, auxiliary staff are contracting the virus, some are in quarantine. We as adults, parents, and teachers must leverage the resources at our disposal to stop the spread of this deadly virus. Let me be straightforward here, parents and teachers must be vaccinated,” said Permanent Secretary Hodge.

Luckily for parents who may have to be away from work to care for their children due to school closures, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is introducing new measures to protect workers who are placed in quarantine or isolation from losing their income during their time away from work due to the local exposure to COVID-19.

Further, the Ministry of Education has continued its comprehensive Vaccination Education Programme to educate more and more parents and teachers alike about the importance and benefits of vaccination, the vaccine available for administration in St. Kitts and Nevis, while also answering any question persons may have related to the issue.

“The Ministry of Education in itself organized a series of information sessions throughout the length and breadth of this country educating parents, educating teachers, educating practically everyone. We would like to express a heartfelt thanks to all the medical professionals who have worked with us to ensure these information sessions were delivered. I say to parents and teachers that it is time to stop stiffening our necks or stiffening our hearts in relation to being vaccinated,” said Permanent Secretary Hodge.

Permanent Secretary Hodge indicated that further testing of children is underway in some schools, with schools in the Basseterre area to be tested next. Principals will be responsible for disseminating to parents any information regarding the testing of students. The Ministry further requires persons to turn up to be tested in an effort to secure the well-being of every citizen and resident of the Federation.