It’s back to school for students of The Ellerslie School on Monday, October 19.
The good news came today following a walkthrough of the school’s compound at Black Rock, St. Michael, by officials from the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training.
They were accompanied by the Crisis Communication Committee comprising members of the school’s Board of Management, the school’s administration, its Health and Safety Committee and the Parent Teachers Association (PTA).
Also represented on the tour were members of the Barbados Union of Teachers and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union.
Chief Education Officer (Ag), Joy Adamson, speaking prior to the walkthrough, informed the representatives that on October 16, the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George, indicating that the contact tracing at The Ellerslie School was completed.
She noted there were no further COVID-19 cases found; there was both primary and secondary contact tracing and the Ministry of Health and Wellness was satisfied to report that the primary contact tracing was 100 per cent complete.
“To this end, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, recommended that the school was now safe to be reopened for both students and teachers on Monday, October 19,” Mrs. Adamson said.
Representatives also heard that there was a “thorough and deep cleaning” in all areas, including its administrative block, classrooms, specialist areas and the pavilion.
“The cleaning was completed on Saturday, October 17, and the school will be totally ventilated on Sunday, October 18, so that when students return on October 19, everything will be in order,” the Acting Chief Education Officer said, as she acknowledged their satisfaction and support for the reopening on Monday, October 19.
Mrs. Adamson however spoke to a major concern which was evoked by the group and took the opportunity issue an appeal. “One of the things that we would want to tell the public of Barbados is that the contact tracing found no further cases and therefore on October 19 we want them to embrace the students of The Ellerslie School.
“The students, teachers and their relatives would have had a traumatic time over the last two weeks. Their return to school should not be made difficult,” she stressed.
It was also noted that the Ministry provided counselling for students, teachers and all other staff during the last two weeks.
Concluding, the Acting Chief Education Officer stated: “We therefore think it important that school should go back to normal. This episode here at The Ellerslie School is a wakeup call for all of us in Education and throughout Barbados; we must continue to wear our masks; we must continue to practise physical distancing; and we must continue to sanitise.
“The Ministry of Education is very pleased with the outcome here because it proves that our protocols have worked at this school, and if all schools also adhere to the protocols, hopefully we will be able to keep this scourge of COVID-19 at bay within our schools and throughout Barbados.”