Beginning June 8, 2020, secondary schools will be temporarily reopened to facilitate final preparation for the sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), scheduled to get under way on July 13, 2020.
The CSEC examinations and CAPE, which were originally slated to start on July 27, have been brought forward following consultations with regional and local educational stakeholders and the leadership of the Overseas Examinations Commission.
The CSEC and CAPE refresher programme for students will come to an end on July 3.
Minister with oversight for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, gave details at a digital press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St. Andrew, on May 31.
Some 58,720 students have registered to take the CSEC examinations and 16,184 are registered to sit the CAPE.
Mr. Samuda also announced that CAPE will end on July 31, while CSEC examinations will end by August 4.
He said the results should be published in late September. The exams will be done through two methods – via the Internet and paper-based.
Additionally, he noted that students with special needs and underlying conditions that would make them more susceptible to the coronavirus (COVID-19) “are not required to come to school at this time”.
He added that teachers with underlying conditions will not be required to present at school until further notice.
Mr. Samuda said the Ministry will partner with private schools for additional space to ensure that physical distancing measures are obtained.
He pointed out that the Ministries of Education and Transport are working on a mechanism to assist in getting students to schools.
Meanwhile, Mr. Samuda said placement announcements for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations will be made on June 26.
He further advised that classes for the new academic year will begin on September 7.
Mr. Samuda said from September 7 to 30, students will be engaged in a refresher and assessment programme to determine the level of readiness of each child, having been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Where students are found to be incapable of going on to another level, and in some cases parents might get a little concerned about the progress of [their] children, we will have a programme to hold dialogue with the parents, explain the situation to them, solicit the support of the parents and make the recommendations that will be satisfactory for all concerned,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Mr. Samuda said the Ministry of Education will complete the procurement of necessary equipment by June 3, to facilitate the reopening of schools. These include masks, sanitisers and cleaning agents.
The Minister informed that the process of cleaning all schools should begin today (June 1).
He also noted that all the issues that could cause any delay going forward, such as leaking roofs and sanitary conveniences, will be dealt with, and schools will be ready for opening in September.