Tuesday 27 October, 2020

Blended approach seems the best option for new term in September

Come September 21, public primary and secondary schools across the island could be adopting a blended approach to teaching and learning.

 

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This approach means a combination of face-to face instruction and online learning will be employed when the 2020-2021 academic year commences.

Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw made this announcement in an address to the nation on Saturday, September 5, 2020.

While revealing that there were approximately seven proposed approaches up for consideration as it related to the reopening of school, Minister Bradshaw stated that those seven were later reduced to two: the shift system and the blended approach.

“Our initial discussions over the course of the past few weeks presented about seven or so options on the return to school. We narrowed it down to two approaches: the shift system and also the blended approach. Based on all of the discussions that we have held to date, the preferred option for most of the schools has been the blended approach,” she stated.

The Minister went on to explain that the blended approach will allow students to have face-to-face instruction in the classroom as well affording them the opportunity to utilise technology from at home to learn.

The decision to adopt this approach is influenced primarily by several challenges parents identified with the proposed shift system, one being that those with multiple children would face difficulty in transporting them to and from school under such a system.

Going forward, Minister Bradshaw promised that communication would be continual as discussions with stakeholders continued.

“Over the course of the next few weeks, as we look forward to the reopening of school on the 21 September it is my intention to ensure that we regularly brief the country on the new protocols and expectations for staff and also for our students. This briefing is therefore intended to provide you with a better understanding of what to expect as parents, teachers and students prepare to return to the classroom environment on 21 September,” she said.

The first term of the new school year will be reduced from the customary 14 weeks to 12 weeks. It is scheduled to end on December 11, 2020.

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