JIS News

Story Highlights

  • As the country continues to be impacted by the chikungunya virus (Chik-V) outbreak, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has informed that teaching time lost will be recovered on a school-specific basis.
  • One school has been closed so far, due to severely hampered operations.
  • He noted that absenteeism due to illness has been trending down, particularly in Region One, which had the highest levels of absence.

As the country continues to be impacted by the chikungunya virus (Chik-V) outbreak, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has informed that teaching time lost will be recovered on a school-specific basis.

“Some schools will be able to absorb the additional time needed within their fixed term dates. There are other instances where additional days may be required, and that is the purview of the school Boards and administration, and where necessary the regional officers will advise and indicate what is required,” Rev.  Thwaites told a press conference at his Ministry’s Heroes Circle offices in Kingston, on October 16.

Meanwhile, one school has been closed so far, due to severely hampered operations.  The Minister said with six of the seven teachers at Jack’s River Primary in St. Mary having fallen ill, the Board, with guidance from the Regional Authority, had agreed on the closure. The school is expected to re-open on October 22.

He noted that absenteeism due to illness has been trending down, particularly in Region One, which had the highest levels of absence.

“The Ministry is grateful to the Boards, Principals, and staff of schools, who have gone the extra mile to keep the doors of the institutions open, while taking the best care of the students. We are also very grateful for the cooperation that we have had from the primary health system,” Rev. Thwaites said.

Several institutions  have been adversely impacted, particularly in eastern parishes, and the Corporate Area.

The press conference was called to announce a national clean-up campaign in schools over the mid-term (October  15-22).

The Minister indicated that discussions for the clean-up campaign have been ongoing with the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), and that these plans have been fast-tracked due to the chikungunya virus.