The President of the National Principals Association (NPA), Valerie St. Helene-Henry, says the organisation is excited over Monday’s reopening of schools.
She noted that it has been over two years since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are opening on a fairly good note in that we are going back to the whole school. That’s one of the greatest joys for us,” St. Helene-Henry told St Lucia Times.
She recalled that some schools had students attending in groups, creating a challenge.
“We are pleased that schools are opening under normal circumstances and with fingers crossed we are hoping that we will have a complete year in the physical setting,” the NPA President stated.
Regarding challenges, she mentioned wear and tear at the schools and the availability of supplies.
In this regard, St. Helene-Henry explained that lack of furniture was a major issue.
However, she disclosed that the Ministry of Education is doing its best but has encountered problems linked to global supply chain constraints affecting the timely delivery of items.
St. Helene-Henry told St Lucia Times that some of the schools have received desks but are waiting for chairs.
Nevertheless, she explained that due to a ‘buddy system’ schools with a surplus would share with another until they obtain their own.
“The challenges are there but we are working collaboratively with the Ministry as well as schools within the district,” the NPA official stated.
On the matter of school security, St. Helene-Henry revealed that the NPA executive had a ‘productive and successful’ meeting with Education Minister Shawn Edward on Friday.
“We were very pleased that at the meeting the police were represented and there is going to be a whole review of school security,” she said.
And the NPA President said her organisation was looking forward to the review and making a contribution to improving school security in Saint Lucia.