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Aug 4, 2020

M.O.E. on Schools’ Preparedness

Turning to the Ministry of Education and the state of schools, the ministry says that schools are in high gear preparation mode for the re-opening of schools on August tenth. Today, Doctor Carol Babb and Cecelia Ramirez-Smith appeared on an episode of Ask the Experts. Babb opened the discussion by sharing that a number of corporate partners, including B.E.L., B.W.S. and Social Security are giving funds for hand-washing stations; while the Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Fund has given two hundred thousand dollars for arm-chairs. So, how this translate for schools? The ministry says that to reduce the chances of COVID-19 exposure, the minimum of three feet apart will be implemented, as well as the wearing of masks. The M.O.E. reps explain the two-fold approach for the classrooms.


Cecilia Ramirez Smith

Cecilia Ramirez Smith, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

“One prong is focused at the proposal that schools puts forward in terms of how they are going to provide instruction to the children once they get back into the classroom. Because of the size of enrollment at schools, we are no longer able to, in most cases, to receive the same number of students within the limited space that the school has. So, most of the schools so far have submitted a plan where they would engage the students in some form of alternate shift system. It varies from school to school, from region to region. Some schools are looking at a morning shift and an afternoon shift. Some are looking at an alternate system where group one comes in on one day and another other group comes in day two. And whatever it is they have proposed and we have reviewed and approved, they really need to complement it with some type of home-based instruction, so that when students are not in school we are still able to engage them in some form or fashion.  The district education centers are actually visiting every single school at the pre-primary, primary and secondary level to look at what they have been able to put in place for same efforts to mitigate potential risks. We know that students need to be physically distanced at school, so the seating arrangements will accommodate that. We know that frequent hand-washing is being recommended by the medical experts so schools need to have facilities in place to allow for frequent hand washing. Where there are schools that are not advancing or progressing the way we believe they should be doing by now then that comes to our attention and we are able to provide the additional support that is necessary.”

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