The Ministry of Education, under the advice of the Ministry of Health and with approval from the Cabinet has decided that schools will resume face-to-face instruction as follows:
For the Early Childhood Sector and 5th form students only in our secondary schools on Monday 10th January; and
For primary schools, secondary school students in forms 1 to 4 and AVEC on Monday 24th January.
All 5th formers and their respective teachers will report to school on Monday 10th January. These students are in the process of preparing to write CXC examinations and at this critical juncture require face-to-face instruction. Therefore the main objectives during this two-week period are to ensure that these students are able to complete their SBAs and remain on target for the completion of the CXC syllabus in time for their exams which are scheduled for May 2022. 5th form students at BHS and WASH are expected to report for full-day sessions for the 2 week period. When forms 1 to 4 report on the 24th these two schools will revert to the shift system as per the first term.
All ancillary staff within our secondary schools are required to report to work on Monday 10th January to facilitate the maintenance of school grounds, cleaning and sanitization of spaces, and the security at the schools entry points. School offices will remain open with a skeleton staff so as to answer questions or facilitate the collection of educational material. All staff members will be guided by the office of the Chief Education Officer and their respective principals.
Primary school students and secondary school students in forms 1 to 4, will remain at home and engage in revision until the 24th of January. During this period teachers within the public sector are required to communicate with their respective principals and ensure that parents are apprised of the revision work and exercises to be completed. Parents, please be guided by your teachers regarding the submission of said work.
The Ministry of Education is formulating a secondary pool of retired and part-time teachers and ancillary staff to provide support should we a covid-19 outbreak amongst our school staff after we resume schools.
Private Early Childhood facilities can contact the Early Childhood Development Unit for further guidance and support. Similarly, private primary and secondary schools can contact the office of the Chief Education Officer for further guidance and support.
I reiterate what I said in an earlier statement today. Since the start of the new wave of COVID-19 cases, several students and teachers have been infected. Both Students and teachers are again encouraged to properly wear face masks, wash, or sanitize their hands, and to avoid crowds, where possible.
The Ministry also urges parents to have their children, ages 12-17 years old, vaccinated at the soonest possible time, to provide an extra layer of protection.
The Ministry believes that the health and safety of all students, teachers, and staff, must be given top priority. However, it also holds the view that the continuing education of students, is paramount.