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Story Highlights

  • Principal of Yallahs High School in St. Thomas, Mark Malabver, says that all is in place for the start of face-to-face classes at the institution on Monday (November 9)
  • Mr. Malabver said that the institution, which has approximately 900 students on roll, is happy to be included among the 17 test schools in nine parishes for the in-person classes.
  • All 17 schools are required to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, including temperature checks, distance markers, social distancing practices and installing hand-sanitiser stations.  Additionally, the wearing of masks will be mandatory.

Principal of Yallahs High School in St. Thomas, Mark Malabver, says that all is in place for the start of face-to-face classes at the institution on Monday (November 9)

In an interview with JIS News on Friday (November 6), Mr. Malabver said he has met with and spoken with stakeholders including parents, teachers and personnel from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

He told JIS News that not all students will be accommodated every day, noting that “there will be a phased opening for the students of the different grades”.

“Commencing on Monday, we will start off with our grade 11 students, then after that we will have some of our grades seven, eight and nine coming in,” he said.

“So we will have everyone on a rotational basis. However, the grade 11 students must come right throughout the time, because they would have been a bit behind because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are trying our best to prepare them [for the Caribbean Secondary Examinations Certificate (CSEC)]. So we have taken a decision to bring them in every day,” he pointed out.

Mr. Malabver said that the institution, which has approximately 900 students on roll, is happy to be included among the 17 test schools in nine parishes for the in-person classes.

He said that the two-week pilot will provide the opportunity to reach students who have not been able to fully engage in online learning since schools were closed in March.

He told JIS News that the school will also use the pilot period to teach the students how to navigate the online learning platform.

“We are going to go through that process with them, just in case there is a spike in COVID-19 cases, and we may need to go back fully online,” Mr. Malabver told JIS News.

“We want to ensure that all our students get the teaching and learning that they deserve. We understand that this situation is very challenging, but this, for us, is a much better approach, given the fact that we were not able to reach more than 40 per cent of our student body [through online classes],” he added.

Mr. Malabver is assuring parents that safety measures have been put in place to safeguard the health of children, while they are at school.

“Parents can rest assured that we are taking all necessary precautions to protect the children. All stakeholders can rest assured that we are doing all that needs to be done to ensure that the students and other stakeholders at the institution are protected as we try to adapt to COVID-19,” he said.

All 17 schools are required to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, including temperature checks, distance markers, social distancing practices and installing hand-sanitiser stations.  Additionally, the wearing of masks will be mandatory.

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