Here Are The Protocols To Guide The Reopening Of Schools

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Education Officials

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Michael Browne is assuring the general public that everything will be done to create a safe environment for students when the new school year commences on Sept. 7.

During a press conference on Tuesday to update the nation on plans for the new academic year in the COVID-19 era, the Education Minister said cognizant of the concerns being expressed by the general public, parents and guardians about students’ health and safety when they return to school plants, consultations have been held with key stakeholders in developing a plan that aims to alleviate those anxieties.

The ministry unveiled a slew of protocols, policies and plans regarding the pending reopening.

Here are the highlights of this morning’s Press conference:

1. There is a phased in approach and there will be blended learning ( face-to-face and virtual).

2. There will be some schools on a shift system and days on, days off for some large schools.

3. There have been upgrades to the school plants to include additional desks and chairs, hand-washing stations, dispensers, water tanks.

4. Students and teachers will be provided with two masks and hand sanitizer kits by the Ministry.

5. The official learning platform is Google Classroom, therefore blended learning is supported by Google Classroom.

6. There will be parent training in Google classroom on ABS so that they too can understand how to use it.

7. Teachers will be offered continuous professional development training.

8. Psycho -social (emotional) needs will be taken into account guiding the return to normalcy for both teachers and students.

9. ABS channel 11 will be devoted to providing educational content.

10. Computer devices will be provided to enable Google Classroom, YouTube and streaming of content. (There seemed to be some uncertainty as to the promised $2 million to purchase devices and the Minister did not provide any clarification.)

11. Internet will be provided for all schools. Zero rating of all educational sites.( No mention of internet at students’ homes.)

12. A very thorough briefing which indicates that some level of preparation and planning has/ is being done by the Ministry.

13. Students will be constantly monitored for the wearing of masks. In this regard, breaks will be staggered.

14. There are special protocols and procedures for early childhood facilities (preschools and daycare centres).

15. All persons visiting schools will have their temperature checked.

16. There are protocols for vendors and entrepreneurs selling snacks on the school plants as well.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Has parents been given the option of having their children stay at home and learn? With all these airlines coming back, community spread is highly likely. The way children are, one sick child WILL result in twenty. To the education officials each child is just a statistic but to the parents, we would willingly give our lives for our children. Think about this…

    • The Ministry of Education over the years have offered homeschooling as an option. You can find the info in the Education Act our visit the MOE. If you’re planning to homeschool you will need to register with the Ministry.

      • Y’all sure y’all looked at the variables?
        Is people’s children lives y’all playing with. If one child gets sick it is not going to go down well at all. Y’all thought about the fact that children are creatures of physical contact?
        Y’all thought about the fact that when rain fall all the green spaces in every school in Antigua turn to muddy water? Y’all thought about the fact that little Johnny is going to cough in lil Joe face and bet him that he can’t take off his mask?
        Y’all thought about the fact that if some people pickney dem get sick or worse that they just might hold y’all personally responsible? Y’all really thought this through or y’all just doing wah da minista say?

  2. So with all this protocol and the need for parents to wash school uniform everyday, will APUA be supplying the country with water everyday? why not work on the internet system and have students stay home and learn instead this place is way too hot for student to be in a mask all day. think this is totally ridiculous. Schools should remain close a bit more.

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