Following the announcement by Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, on December 5th, 2020, the Ministry of Education is confirming that virtual or home-based re-opening of schools for Term II on Monday, 4th January, 2021.
In a release issued this afternoon the Education Ministry said “shortly after the home-based re-opening, the Caribbean Examinations Council’s (CXC) January examinations will begin on January 17th, and continue to February 4th, 2020.”
It said “remote opening will precede plans for students preparing for examinations to physically return to school, once deemed possible by the Ministry of Health.”
The Ministry of Education said it proposed a phased physical re-opening with Phase I of the Reopening Plan being finalized presently and subject to take effect from February 8th 2021.
The Reopening Plan proposal includes:
I. Return of students preparing for examinations: Standard 5, Forms 4-6
II. Students to be masked
III. School day to be slightly shortened
IV. Ministry of Education Health Unit to be set up in each Education District to include at least one County Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and eight (8) nurses. This unit, in collaboration with School Health and Safety Officers, will manage the health protocols at schools.
V. Arrangements for schools to set up and operate a parallel system for students who do not return to the physical classroom.
“A second draft of the Guidelines for the Physical Reopening of Schools will be circulated to stakeholders by December 11th, 2020 to be followed by a stakeholder meeting in the first week of January 2021, after parties have had the opportunity to review the document.”
The Ministry said it intends to have the final version of Guidelines for Physical Reopening of Schools completed and issued within the second week of January 2021.
The Ministry of Education urges all stakeholders to be responsible during this season to minimize the spread of Covid-19 in an effort to safe guard the country’s children.