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Mar 17, 2020

2020 P.S.E. Suspended Amid Coronavirus Threat

Primary School Examinations, the first sitting which was to have been held on March thirty-first, have been suspended amid the COVID-19 threat.  That decision comes from the Ministry of Education despite subsequent dates for parts one and two of the annual examinations not being confirmed.  As we reported on Monday, government has taken the decision to call off classes for the next fourteen days leading up to the Easter Break.  The interruption of classes will also affect public and private primary and high schools.


Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

“All schools which include private and public schools will be closed on Friday, March twentieth at the end of the school day because there was some confusion.  We wanted the general public to be aware that classes will continue as normal until the end of the school day on Friday.  As a result of the suspension of classes, P.S.E. will not be held.  There was to be P.S.E. Part One on the thirty-first of March, that has been postponed and the one in April.  The second part will also be postponed and our minister is trying very hard to see if we can have P.S.E. in May at a date to be announced.  All other activities are suspended or postponed until a later date.”


Carol Babb

Isani Cayetano

“Now in the interim, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition at yesterday’s press conference stressed that it’s not necessarily a vacation for students during the next fourteen days.  Perhaps Easter yes, but the next fourteen days aren’t to be taken as a vacation.  Are schools being encouraged to come up with work or perhaps a syllabus of stuff that needs to be accomplished during those fourteen days?”


Dr. Carol Babb

“We have asked all schools, I sent out a memo today asking all schools to prepare home school packages so that students can be engaged meaningfully, meaning that they can give them a book to read, they can write a book report, some basic math.  But we want it to be fun, entertaining, they can do art, maybe they can do an essay on some kind of cooking activity but we want our students to be engaged.  So we are asking all schools to prepare home school packages.  There are some schools that may be able to offer online classes, we are saying that to ensure that every child participates that we are encouraging the home school packages.”


Isani Cayetano

“My understanding is that there are a hundred and eighty days, now how do you make up for these fourteen days that are leading up to the Easter holiday?”


Dr. Carol Babb

“Well we are aware that the hundred and eighty days will definitely not be met this year, but we have not thought or we have not given much attention about how those days will be made up.  We will leave that for a later date so that we can discuss with all partners, including the union.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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