Home-Based Re-Opening of Schools for Term II

December 7, 2020, Port-of-Spain: Following the announcement by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, on December 5th, 2020, the Ministry of Education takes this opportunity to confirm the virtual or home-based re-opening of schools for Term II on Monday, 4th January, 2021. Shortly after the home-based re-opening, the Caribbean Examinations Council’s (CXC) January examinations will begin on January 17th, and continue to February 4th, 2020.

The remote opening will precede plans for students preparing for examinations to physically return to school, once deemed possible by the Ministry of Health.  The Ministry of Education has proposed a phased physical re-opening with Phase I of the Reopening Plan being finalized presently and subject to take effect from February 8th 2021.

The proposal includes:

    1.       Return of students preparing for examinations: Standard 5, Forms 4-6
    2.       Students to be masked
    3.       School day to be slightly shortened
    4.       Ministry of Education Health Unit to be set up in each Education District to include at least one County Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and eight (8) nurses. This unit, in collaboration with School Health and Safety Officers, will manage the health protocols at schools.
    5.       Arrangements for schools to set up and operate a parallel system for students who do not return to the physical classroom.

A second draft of the Guidelines for the Physical Reopening of Schools will be circulated to stakeholders by December 11th, 2020 to be followed by a stakeholder meeting in the first week of January 2021, after parties have had the opportunity to review the document.

The Ministry intends to have the final version of Guidelines for Physical Reopening of Schools completed and issued within the second week of January 2021.

The Ministry of Education urges citizens to be responsible during this season to minimize the spread of Covid-19. The education of our nation’s children is the responsibility of all; our actions this season will impact the ability of students to return to school in Term II. Citizens are encouraged to continue to observe the recommendations made by the health authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

    •        Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when you go out in public 
    •        Keep your distance from others (6 feet) 
    •        Stay home if you are ill 
    •        Clean then sanitize surfaces regularly (e.g. tabletops, doorknobs and cell phones) 
    •        Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer 
    •        Cough into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow 
    •        Avoid touching your face
    •        Minimize visitors in the home
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