School Term to be Extended Until July 29

Ministry of Education officials on Friday announced that the current school term is to be extended until July 29, 2022. This extension is for early childhood, primary, and secondary education.

Speaking on the Breakfast Show with Basil Chambers, acting Permanent Secretary Lyston Skerritt said the education sector has been challenged since 2020 from COVID-19. Day-to-day operations were affected, and the last wave had exacerbated the problem.

The PS said with the help of the principals, teachers, and other administrators, they considered five factors when making the decision to extend the school year.

  1. Impact on teaching and learning environment
  2. Absence of teachers and students over the school year
  3. Quality of instruction that was provided
  4. Syllabus completion levels
  5. Effectiveness of remote instruction.

Skerritt said the core objective is to reduce learning loss at all levels of the school system to reduce the long-term impact of gaps in children’s learning. He added that the data along with feedback from parents and teachers shows that the students aren’t logging in for online classes. Having students in a physical classroom with teachers was the most effective way for them to learn.

Skerritt was accompanied by Director of Education Dr. Gregory Julius. The director said the decision to extend was also taken to deal with several other challenges, including the lack of teachers for some classes. He spoke of the accumulated effect of the continued gaps in learning for students and that from the ministry’s perspective they need to ensure that all students have the best education delivered to them under the circumstances.

Dr. Julius said they were cognizant of teachers needing rest and students who may be going away on holiday, which is why school will resume five weeks later on September 12, 2022.

Currently fifth form students are taking their CSEC exams. Director Julius said the attainment tests which are administered to students at grades two and four will be delayed allowing for more teaching time. The results will be evaluated and serve as the basis for a summer programme to offer additional support for students.

Both officials agree that the extension is necessary to support the needs of students and the island’s future.

At “…the root of it we have to ask ourselves are we doing right by the students in the sector. What are the implications if they are unable to advance? What are the implications for the labour force and for Montserrat It is a difficult decision but absolutely necessary,” added Skerritt.


Monday May 30, 2022 Continued : “Update On Montserrat’s Education Sector”