There is no definitive word yet on when the trinity term will end. Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METV), Santia Bradshaw, said the Ministry was considering a number of options before it, on when, and how it would bring the term to a close.
The trinity term, the last term before the summer vacation, was originally scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 14, but its start was delayed until May 4, due to uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
While speaking at a press briefing this evening to update the country on the way forward for education in a COVID-19 environment, Ms. Bradshaw said the Ministry had received “a lot of concerns” as to when the term, which usually runs for 12 weeks, would end.
“It would’ve started on April 14, if all things had gone according to plan it would’ve ended on July 3. Then students would’ve been able to engage in the summer vacation. If we apply the 12-week period to the start date of this term, then the official end of the term would bring us somewhere around July 24.
“Now, there have been several suggestions that we should have a seven-week term [or] that we should end it at 10 weeks. We at the Ministry are considering all of the options that have been put on the table…. It is easier for us to shorten a term than to add on a piece at the end,” Ms. Bradshaw explained.
She added that the Ministry was in discussions with the teachers’ unions to determine how it would address the end of term and would inform the country when a decision was made.
Additionally, she revealed that the METVT was in talks with the Ministry of Culture, specifically the National Cultural Foundation, prior to the end of last term to see how it could incorporate “a national consciousness” in students during the last few weeks of the term when the school syllabus was practically finished. She said those weeks were usually reserved for “correcting papers and preparing reports”.
“In some cases, students tend not to go to school at the end of term, or they get up to mischief. So, we were looking at a partnership with the Ministry of Culture where we would use a number of their human resources to go into the schools to work with students to enrich them in terms of their national consciousness.
“While [now] we cannot physically go into the school environment, one of the proposals that we are working on is being able to look at the latter part of the term as a period where we can have some of those enrichment activities for students to engage in online,” Ms. Bradshaw stated.
She said the virtual environment gave rise to opportunities for teachers to schedule sessions with artists, musicians, bankers or entrepreneurs, for example, to speak to students in a formal setting on topics that will prepare them for adulthood.