A new date has been set for over 3 300 Class 4 students to sit the 2020 edition of the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSEE).
Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw said today that the students who will now sit the BSEE on July 14, will return to the physical classroom from June 15 to allow for one month of face to face teaching in preparation for the annual examination.
The examination was initially scheduled to be held on May 5 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bradshaw made the announcement during a press conference at the Ministry’s, Elsie Payne, Constitution Road, St Michael complex where she assured Barbadians that the students and teachers will be going into safe environments when they return to their respective plants.
Sanitizing facilities, provision of masks for teachers and students, and physical distancing will form part of the requirements for the phased opening of schools.
“With the assistance of protocols that have been put in place for the reopening of schools in a phased way by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), we have spoken to our public health officials, we have had discussions with the respective unions and we have come to some consensus in terms of the way forward as it relates to a set of protocols, which would guide the return to school for both our teachers as well as our students at the Class 4 level,” Bradshaw said.
The Minister also announced that CXC students, who were in the process of putting together their School Based Assessments (SBAs) before schools were abruptly closed on March 18 as a result of COVID-19, will also be allowed to return to school to complete the assessments.
She said the decision has also been made for the Trinity school term to remain at 12 weeks until further notice.
“We are in discussions with the unions as it relates to how we should address the end of term and whether we should shorten and in the fullness of time we will come back to the country. But as it stands right now the term remains a 12-week term and we will come back in relation to the full details on that,” she said.
The Minister also reported that the Blackman and Gollop School, which was used to assist with the period of COVID-19 will be handed back over to the Ministry of Education following a thorough sanitization of the facilities scheduled to commence in a matter of days.
She said the sanitization of Blackman and Gollop will be completed before the Class 4 students return to the classroom.
The Education Minister expressed gratitude to all education stakeholders who have remained committed to serving the nation’s children at this critical period.
She especially thanked those donors who would have contributed tablets, laptops and other electronic devices to allow students to be able to participate in Emergency Remote Teaching sessions online. (AH)
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