Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, has announced that face-to-face classes for the Trinity term will resume on Monday, May 3 for the following students:
- Primary schools: Classes 3 and 4.
- Secondary Schools: Fifth and Sixth forms.
She was speaking this morning at a press briefing held at St George Primary, Walkers, St George, the final stop in the tour of several schools.
Minister Bradshaw gave an update on the cleanup of volcanic ash from school plants across the island; and the phased resumption of classes for the other students, including those at nursery and special schools.
“I want the public to be aware that all is not well in terms of us being able to have everything cleaned one time, but the commitment from the Ministry of Education is to continue to work with the schools to be able to ensure that we are in a position to get the school plants as safe as possible for teachers and students to be able to return to the school environment,” Bradshaw explained.
The Minister also admitted, that though some schools, including St George Primary, were in desperate need of structural repair pre-COVID, the pandemic and then subsequent ashfall, had delayed contractors in their work during the last several weeks, and thus, work at several educational institutions across the island is expected to continue into the new term.
“I want to make that abundantly clear; COVID has not allowed us that window to be able to continue extensive work at this school, but it is part of the electrical upgrade programme where we are spending about $4.4 million on about seven primary schools across the island, because we recognise that a number of these schools have particular challenges with the electrical works. We want to make sure there is no danger being caused to any of our students or our teachers” she said.
Acting Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson also toured the St George Primary school with the Minister, and stressed that though she understood that most students and parents were keen on having all children return physically to schools on Monday, only those students given the go ahead from the Ministry are permitted on the compounds.
Adamson also said, “The duration for school [from Monday] is 5 hours, so that means teaching time will stop at 2, and therefore parents will make the arrangement for the collection of students at that end. The school monitors will also be monitoring throughout the day, assisting with the sanitization and also assisting with the arrival and departure of the students from the school.”
Both Minister Bradshaw and Adamson admitted that though Monday may be a rough start for some, with them finally returning back to a face-to-face setting, students and teachers have demonstrated so far, that the restart of such classes is a welcomed one. (SB/PR)