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Repair work will continue on three primary schools when the Michaelmas term begins on Monday, September 21.

They are the St. Luke’s Brighton, St. Martin’s Mangrove, and St. Giles Primary Schools.  These are three of the 31 institutions which were being renovated under the Ministry of Education’s Domestic Summer Programme.  Work at the latter institution should be completed by October 12.

Acting Chief Education Officer, Joy Adamson, disclosed that students of those institutions will begin online teaching next week.  There are also plans to accommodate Class Four pupils in alternate locations, so that they could benefit from five days of face-to-face learning.

She indicated that the Ministry was working to ensure students at those schools had access to tablets, and shared that students at St. Giles Primary were given the additional devices they needed to facilitate online classes.

The Acting Chief Education Officer stated that most schools were ready to begin teaching, but with several different approaches.

“All of the schools will be going in face-to-face, especially small schools.  Some big schools have actually acquired tents that they can actually start teaching from the outside.  Then, we have some schools with the blended approach, where children would come for two or three days, but wherever possible we are trying to get as many in as possible for the face-to-face,” she reported.

Mrs. Adamson further stated that because the COVID-19 protocols require desks to be spaced at least three feet apart, many schools opted to use alternate sites to accommodate face-to-face learning for Class Four students from Monday to Friday.

“As a Ministry, we have to make sure that there is public liability insurance in those locations.  We have to make sure they have the personnel to give security and sanitise,” she said.

She indicated that the School Meals Department would proceed “as normal” and deliver lunch directly to schools.  Students based at sites which are close to the school will walk to collect their meals.  Where this cannot be done, disposable containers will be delivered to the alternate sites.

“All of the locations that have been identified and shared with us have some form of nutrition area where they will be able to serve it, and the School Meals workers will be able to work.  There are times where we will need obviously volunteers, so we are encouraging parents and retired persons who might want to lend a hand to assist.  From the Throne Speech, the Government has allowed us to have primary monitors, and they will be assigned to schools after we identify them and give them some training to assist with the sanitisation and anything that has to be done within the classroom,” Mrs. Adamson said.

shamkoe.pile@barbados.gov.bb

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