JIS News

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  • Mr. Samuda also advised that the Ministry is forging stakeholder partnerships aimed at providing spaces that will adequately facilitate physical distancing protocols for students when the new academic year gets underway.
  • He said the reopening of schools between June 8 and July 3 to facilitate final preparations for students sitting the Caribbean Examinations Council's (CXC) external tests will serve as a "practice run" for September's programmed reopening of schools.
  • Additionally, Mr. Samuda said schools have installed handwashing stations, spaced out furniture in accordance with the physical distancing protocols, and placed markers on the floors to guide students in this regard daily

Minister with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the Ministry will be assisting schools developing plans to fully reopen when the 2020/21 academic year commences in September.

This, after being closed since March due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Mr. Samuda said the Ministry will be collaborating with the schools and will seek to “guide them in every way we can, after looking at their plans”.

“These plans are to be submitted (to the Ministry) within two weeks, and the final plan for implementation will be available in the first week of July,” Mr. Samuda indicated.

He was speaking during a digital press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre in Kingston on Friday (June 12).

Mr. Samuda also advised that the Ministry is forging stakeholder partnerships aimed at providing spaces that will adequately facilitate physical distancing protocols for students when the new academic year gets underway.

This, in keeping with COVID-19 safeguards being emphasized by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Mr. Samuda said based on research conducted and data collated, “we have identified all available spaces for our students”.

“In many instances, we have identified churches which will be engaged in this partnership,” he informed.

Mr. Samuda said partnerships are also being established with private educational institutions to accommodate some students.

He said the reopening of schools between June 8 and July 3 to facilitate final preparations for students sitting the Caribbean Examinations Council’s (CXC) external tests will serve as a “practice run” for September’s programmed reopening of schools.

Mr. Samuda said the Ministry provided the necessary support to institutions to enable them to sensitize students and teachers about the protocols and safeguards and conduct the requisite sanitization procedures.

“We also provided items such as infrared thermometers, masks, and disinfectant to the schools. Inspections were carried out to ensure schools are adhering to the protocols established,” the Minister further indicated.

While acknowledging that there were some “glitches”, Mr. Samuda said the reopening exercise was “very successful”.

He advised that teachers have been “leading by example” and, among other things, wearing masks.

Additionally, Mr. Samuda said schools have installed handwashing stations, spaced out furniture in accordance with the physical distancing protocols, and placed markers on the floors to guide students in this regard daily

He further said signs outlining the protocols and safeguards have been strategically placed on school compounds to remind students and teachers of these while emphasizing the importance of adherence.

Some 74,000 students have been registered to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) external tests in July.

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