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Sep 7, 2020

First Day of Distance Learning Starts

It was the first day of school today and instead of children donning crisp uniforms and new back packs, parents lined up at the different schools to pick up learning packages. The COVID 19 pandemic has changed the traditional way of teaching and students will now be taught at home and virtually. To get them up to speed after months away from the classrooms, the focus will be on reading and writing. While it is a challenge for parents, the sense is that it is safer to keep the children at home. The Ministry of Education is offering initiatives to ease the children into virtual learning.  Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo with a report.


Hipolito Novelo reporting

It’s the first day of school and while we are accustomed of seeing lines of students entering their respective school compounds, today we saw lines of parents who were picking up learning packages for their children.


Rosa Espinal, Mother

Rosa Espinal

“In a way it will be kind off challenging and complicated for me but at the same time it will be more better because it will be safe for my child and I feel better knowing that my child is not interacting with others. Yes, they might have the social distancing at the schools and whatever but you don’t know where the parents of the child have been and when they come they will come and get. I would rather prevent that bring my child and they get sick because no ministers or whatever will pay for my child’s death. Only me so I rather have them home. We use to everyday have them an hour or half an hour to read but now with this I have something that I can go back with them and whatever I don’t understand I know that I can always call the teachers and whatever they will definitely  help us with it.”


This year teaching and learning will take place at home. Parents have been given guidelines to create a suitable learning atmosphere for their children. Some parents have started this since the COVID-19 pandemic began.


Sherese Salgado

Sherese Salgado, Mother

“We just received our package today from Saint Joseph’s School. I have been working with my children at home since the COVID started. So to get them in the routine of doing anything, it is already started so what I am actually going to do know is spike it up. We as the parents have to do our parenting. We can’t depend on all the teachers to do but I say let’s take our preventative measures and keep our children at home to be safe rather than having them commuting everyday and having them expose to this virus.”


In a virtual school reopening ceremony, the Ministry of Education advised parents to focus on literacy. Chief Education Officer Dr. Carol Babb says that once the students learn to properly read and write, the other subjects should fall in place.


Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

Dr. Carol Babb

“Research has shown that if you read with and to your students daily for about sixty minutes and engage them in writing for about forty minutes every day they will become proficient readers and writers. If your child can read and write well the other subjects will fall in place.”


In order to ensure the success of distance learning for every student, the Ministry of Education is implementation several initiatives.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“Students at the preprimary and primary level will have access to free workbooks filled with activities to reinforce the  topics thought. Each school will develop a lending library and will give story books to each child with guided questions. We will develop a literacy corner on the Ministry’s facebook page. The objective of the literacy corner is to encourage daily reading and writing. Teachers will model how to read to and with your children. We will develop model lessons at various levels with easy to follow research based strategies that parents can use to facilitate learning. Teachers will provide ongoing support to students and parents.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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