Press conference – update post Tropical Storm Elsa – July 3, 2021. (PMO)

There will be no classes on Monday and Tuesday next week for public primary and secondary school students, to allow for the restoration of school plants damaged by the passage of Hurricane Elsa.

This was announced this evening by Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, at a press conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, to give an update about the state of the country in the aftermath of Elsa.

“In order to get things fully up and functioning… and given the impact on some of the students and their families … we want to obviously give sufficient time to the relevant authorities to be able to handle their business and to get things in order over the next couple of days. So, Monday and Tuesday of next week, it is our intention to suspend classes across the schools. 

“All students, however, will go online from on Wednesday and Thursday. As you know, school is ending next week. It is the last week of term, but we believe that even if the students are not able to interface fully in this environment, there are some who can and those who can will go online…,” Ms. Bradshaw stated. 

With reference to the Class Four students writing the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination or the 11+ later this month, the Education Minister said that the Ministry would be making “accommodation for them to do face-to-face classes … and they can return hopefully, once everything is done, on Wednesday and Thursday”.

She also spoke about the secondary school students who would be taking Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams next week. 

“We are in discussions with CXC because we recognise obviously that this is an unprecedented event. Many of the students may have been impacted because of the issues with electricity, or inability to get to the various centres, and as a consequence, we are speaking to them in relation to what may happen next week.

“So, I will be in a position, hopefully by tomorrow, to be able to further update, but we are trying to work out at this point how do we deal with those who may be affected, and so long as the school halls … are in the condition that they can take students, exams can go ahead. But for those who are experiencing hardship, they have the opportunity obviously to indicate to us the challenges, and we will certainly be there to ensure that they are not prejudiced in any way,” Ms. Bradshaw stated.

She added: “If there are any changes due to any difficulties that the agencies may have, we will certainly update the country as to any changes that may have to be made to those arrangements.”

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