As the education ‘think-tankers’ continue to deliberate and discuss the way forward in the eventual re-opening of schools nationwide, special consideration is being given to having Grades 10 and 11 students return first, since they need “critical time in the classroom to complete School-Based Assessment (SBA) in the lead-up to CXC and CAPE 2021.”
This is according to a statement from the Ministry of Education following the meeting of key officials, inclusive of Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, with Regional Executive Officers (REOs) and Regional Education Officers (REOs) from the various regions throughout Guyana.
Minister Manickchand stressed the importance of certain amenities such as running water, adequate toilets and other related features that each school should have, for the reopening process to be executed efficiently, smoothly and in a timely manner.
She acknowledged that the eventual reopening of schools in a COVID-19 environment will be a costly initiative but pointed out that the 2020 National Budget caters for this blended approach to address the situation.
Another topic that was high on the agenda during the meeting was the process for students attending schools with dormitories. These locations will be adequately facilitated while still observing the COVID-19 social distancing guideline.
In addition, emphasis was also placed on ensuring adequate staffing and textbooks for schools in light of the pandemic which will ensure certain restrictions are not infringed.
The Ministry also stated that it was the consensus of the officials that ongoing work had to be accelerated and efficiently managed to ensure the safety of both students, teachers and other stakeholders, all of which would be addressed.
The Ministry officials added that works are currently being undertaken at schools across the country, for the installation of additional sinks at the entrances and within the schools, while additional toilets are being built, and COVID-19 guidelines signs are being erected in and around the school environments.
Weeding and cleaning of school compounds are other ongoing activities as part of the preparation for the incoming students.