Jadon Simpson was happy to return to face-to-face classes at Dunoon Park Technical High School on Monday (May 10).
The grade-11 student, who will be sitting Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams in June/July, believes that the physical classroom setting will enhance her preparations.
“For me, it’s better than the online classes because I learn more and I get to understand more with the face-to-face,” she told JIS News.
Jadon, who said she often experiences challenges with inconsistent Internet service at home, credits the teachers for going the extra mile to ensure that the students will be ready for their upcoming exams, including providing them with study guides.
“The teachers help us. They help us with the [online] classes and we also have extra classes,” she noted.
Jadon was part of the welcome party for the visit of Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, to the Kingston-based institution on Monday.
The visit by the Minister was to observe operations as in-person classes resumed at schools across the island to accommodate students who are preparing for upcoming exit exams.
This includes students doing the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) Ability Test, CSEC, the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), City & Guilds and the National Vocational Qualification – Jamaica (NVQ-J).
Schools were ordered closed on March 21 by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, due to a surge in the number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the island.
During the visit to Dunoon, the Minister observed health and safety protocols such as temperature checks and sanitising of the hands at the gate, hand washing stations, and social distancing markers.
She informed that more than 500 schools reopened on Monday.
The Minister urged the students at Dunoon to abide by the protocols outlined by the Government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We are going through the pandemic and we are requiring of you that you observe the protocols. Ensure that you wear your masks to and from school and while you’re here,” she said.
She added, “I see that you are observing the social distancing quite well in the classroom and I know that Dunoon is observing the protocols, which are so important to do.”
Principal, Dunoon Park Technical High School, Shawn Aarons, told JIS News that the school administration has developed strategies to ensure the continuation of learning while students are at home.
He said that printed material is delivered to the homes of those students, who are unable to log on for classes.
Mr. Aarons said that based on a survey done last year, more than 75 per cent of students have access to a device, whether tablet, laptop or a phone, and the school was able to procure devices through support from the Ministry and past students.
“We do have devices and we are awaiting another shipment,” he said.