The official start of the 2020/2021 academic year will be October 05, 2020. It will be unlike any other as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In order to adhere to the guidelines put in place by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) to stem the spread of the virus, several changes to the operation of schools have been implemented for the new academic year.
Guidelines for Reopening
According to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI), the major plans for the reopening of schools are as follows:
- Some primary and secondary schools will utilise a blended approach of limited face-to-face engagement and online instruction. They will also teach students using the Ministry’s content application, which students can use to access resources offline.
- Other schools will operate remotely. These schools will mainly utilise televised and computer-aided online learning, with students accessing all their lessons in a virtual environment. The online lessons will be recorded, giving students the option of retrieving them after the end of classes.
- The 2020/2021 academic calendar for new tertiary students will be extended, while returning tertiary students will stick to their original schedules. Many courses will be moved online.
The option to be homeschooled is available for students who have chronic illnesses or an inability to tolerate the wearing of masks due to hypersensitivity. The system is monitored by the Ministry of Education, Youth and information’s Independent Schools Unit (ISU). Parents and guardians who wish to utilise this system may register online at email@example.com for guidelines and support.
The following resources will be provided to assist student learning during the upcoming academic year:
Learning Kits – These are printed learning materials that will be made available through schools for students who do not have access to the Internet at home.
Diagnostic Assessments – These school-administered tests will be conducted to determine and address gaps in student knowledge caused by the extended closure of schools due to COVID-19.
Google Suite Learning Management System – this system allows teachers to host lessons and distribute lessons in formats such as worksheets, quizzes, and tests. It will be used in all educational institutions.
Televised Lessons – The two major local television stations, Television Jamaica and CVM Television, will be providing 24-hour dedicated stations on which lessons for primary and secondary level students will be broadcast starting on October 5, 2020. A lesson schedule will be provided by the Ministry.
Student Lodgings – The boarding capacity for some universities, colleges and high schools will be reduced and additional boarding spaces sought for students.
Early Childhood Institutions (ECIs) – Guidelines for the reopening of ECIs include:
- Adherence to teacher to student ratios of:
- 1 adult to 5 children – For children 0 – 12 months;
- 1 adult to 8 children – For children 13 – 35 months;
- 1 adult to 10 children – For children 3 – 5 years.
- Assigning staff to the same group of children each day to reduce exposure and cross- contamination.
- The utilisation of small group teaching corners primarily (with four or five children in each group) rather than whole group teaching.
For further information, contact:
Ministry of Education, Youth and Information
2a National Heroes Circle
For queries and support:
Tel: (888-EDU-CATE) 888-338-2283 or (888-SCH-TIME) 888-724-8463
Independent Schools Unit
Early Childhood Commission
Shop 44-49 Kingston Mall
8-10 Ocean Boulevard
Tel: 876922-9296-7, 876-618-2769