The Ministry of Education has made it clear that schools across St Vincent the Grenadines will close this Friday March 20th, and not tomorrow as is being suggested by some persons.

The decision to close schools one week ahead of the normal Easter vacation, comes against the backdrop of ongoing concern over the possible spread of COVID-19 in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The decision was taken by the Government following consultations yesterday, with the heads of Primary and Secondary Schools across the country, both public and private, as well as public and private Pre-schools

Heads of private schools are being advised, though not compelled, to follow the Government’s protocols in this regard.

The Ministry of Education has advised that the COVID-19 situation would be monitored and information regarding the re-opening of schools would be communicated to the schools by the Ministry.

In light of the pending closure, schools are being encouraged to make all necessary arrangements for exams among other things. They are also encouraged to await official information from CXC, regarding CSEC and CPEA and not to listen to rumours.

The Ministry of Education has announced that all school sporting activities have been postponed until further notice. These include the Inter-Primary and Secondary Schools Sports, and the Cricket and Volley Ball finals. The Primary Schools Performing Arts Festival (PRISPAF) has also been put on hold.

The Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of Health met with the heads of schools across St Vincent and the Grenadines yesterday March 16th, to advise them on the current situation with COVID-19, the possible impacts on schools, actions to be taken to safeguard the schools population and closure of schools.

The consultation was addressed by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Myccle Burke, Chief Education Officer Elizabeth Walker, Dr Charmine Bailey-Rogers, Dr. Jerold Thompson, and Chief Health Educator Patsy Whyllie.